What I’ve been working on: I’ve been super busy this month, going to RT Conference in Dallas, working on MY LADY JANE with Brodi and Cynthia, tinkering with Cell Story, and generally trying to keep from getting too far behind.
And, I just got pass pages for both THE GLOWING KNIGHT (OQ novella 2) and THE MIRROR KING, both due soon! So that’s what I’ll be doing in the next couple of weeks.
What I’ve been reading:
- SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller – I spent a long time trying to figure out what to say about this one, but let’s just go with: I loved it. This was a really powerful story about post-traumatic stress and the long road to recovery.
- A LONG, LONG SLEEP by Anna Sheehan – I knew I wanted to read this one as soon as I read the synopsis. Futuristic sleeping beauty, with a look at darker issues of abuse and neglect.
- FROZEN by Erin Bowman – I loved TAKEN and I was really excited to finally read FROZEN. I wasn’t disappointed. This is such a fantastic futuristic series.
What I’ve been watching: Hubs and I caught up on GAME OF THRONES (what’s on DVD, not what’s on TV) and now we’re in the middle of DEXTER, which I’m enjoying a lot more than I anticipated! (I’m really amazed by how the writers are getting me to cheer for a serial killer. And a little disturbed.)
We also watched PITCH PERFECT 2, and MAD MAX. (Plus, rewatched a couple of things – PITCH PERFECT, MEAN GIRLS, and I made my mom watch INTERSTELLAR with me.)
What I’ve been yarning:
I finished spinning some yarns. First, the yarn I was spinning on the wheel, which is becoming a hat now.
And also, the rainbow yarn I’ve been spinning on spindles. It actually took three different spindles to hold all of it (it gets heavy and hard to spin if you try to pack too much yarn onto one), but I put it all one one spindle because I needed to ply it as one strand. And because I thought it looked cool.
What the ferrets have been up to: The ferrets have been snuggling.
And helping me clean their room.
And generally being goofy.
Other things you might be interested in:
THE MIRROR KING cover is revealed!! And there’s a giveaway! (US only.)
And you can add the book to your Goodreads page! Semi-related:
Good morning, YA book fans!! Holly Bodger’s 5 TO 1 releases today! Clan MacLeod (authors represented by Lauren MacLeod) decided to celebrate gameshow style, in honor of the tests boys must go through in order to win a wife in 5 TO 1.
Here are your contestants!
Part Homeless Bird and part Matched, this is a dark look at the near future told through the alternating perspectives of two teens who dare to challenge the system.
In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.
Sudasa, though, doesn’t want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.
This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view—Sudasa’s in verse and Kiran’s in prose—allowing readers to experience both characters’ pain and their brave struggle for hope.
I know that March must have happened, but I’ve been so busy I barely saw it go by!
What I’ve been working on: I have been working on everything, it seems like. This month was a whirlwind. THE ORPHAN QUEEN came out on the 10th (hurrah!!!), so I had a lot to do to prepare for that, plus edits on the four OQ novellas. And shortly before OQ came out, I got copyedits for THE MIRROR KING. And then the Lady Janies (Brodi, Cynthia, and me) got edits for MY LADY JANE.
So, to sum up what I’ve been working on:
- OQ novella edits
- MK copyedits
- Novella 1 copyedits
- Novella 1 first pass pages
- MLJ edits
Not counting the emails, interviews, guest blogs, and other stuff that gets heavier around the time of a new release. And travel. I’m still working on MLJ edits, but the rest of that is done now, so yay!
What I’ve been reading: I’m not sure how I managed to fit any reading in this month, but I did read a few books!
- OMEGA CITY by Diana Peterfreund (ARC) – A Middle Grade story that really reminded me of a modern-day Goonies. I read this on the plane to Texas and left it with my eight-year-old nephew. I think he’s going to love it. This releases WHEN.
- VALIANT by Sarah McGuire (ARC) – A retelling of The Valiant Little Tailor fairytale, complete with giants, high stakes, and a slow-burn romance. This one comes out on April 28.
- ALL FALL DOWN by Allie Carter – I wouldn’t usually have aimed for this one, but a friend gave it to me and I’m glad she did. Foreign affairs. High stakes. Fast plot.
What I’ve been watching: Hubs and I just finished LOST. There were several days where we didn’t watch anything, some because I was traveling (he watched something scary-looking called Penny Dreadful while I was gone), and some because I didn’t even have time to eat a meal with him because I had so many deadlines. But now we’re finished! And I liked it! J.J. Abrams seems to have a real thing for doubled people, doesn’t he?
What I’ve been yarning: Because I haven’t been watching much TV, I haven’t been yarning that much! I did start a hat out of some handspun yarn, but . . . I used the wrong sized needles and the hat was too small. So I ripped it out to try again. I’ve also been working on my rainbow yarn some, and the wool that’s been sitting on my wheel.
What the ferrets have been up to: The ferrets are pretty happy since I moved my computer back into their room. They love “assisting.” And by assisting of course I mean sleeping.
What the Kippy has been up to: Two words: Spring shedding. Send help. Actually, I brushed her the other day and I think everything’s going to be okay now. The floor was covered with fur. So was I. But man, Kippy looks great.
Other things you might be interested in: THE ORPHAN QUEEN CAME OUT! Yes!! In case you didn’t know, you can now buy THE ORPHAN QUEEN in your local bookstores.
I also got a cloak.
And I put the cloak on my books.
Usually I like to make people wait to get the title of the next book in a series until I share the cover, too. But it’s so gross and cold outside that sharing a title early might be a nice way to lift spirits, right?
So. Here’s the title for the second (and final) ORPHAN QUEEN novel.
THE MIRROR KING will be releasing next Winter (probably March).
And because you can’t look at THE ORPHAN QUEEN cover too much, here it is again. And the novella covers.
I’ll just skip the introductory stuff for the moment. Here’s a cover.
And now back to some words.
This is the cover for the second ORPHAN QUEEN/Black Knife novella. (The reveal for the first one is here.)
There’s no descriptive copy yet because . . . I’m going to write it and I haven’t gotten there yet. So for now you get the cover, title, and a menacing smile. (The menacing smile is from me. But you can’t see it because I’m hiding behind that mask.)
Here’s the Goodreads page for THE GLOWING KNIGHT.
What do you guys think? Like it??
What I’ve been working on: The Orphan Queen novellas! I’ve spent this month working through the second and third novellas, and now I’m getting to work on the fourth! Even though they don’t come out for a while, I really want to have the whole series of novellas finished by the time I turn in the first one, because they all go together–like a short, serialized novel. One story. Four parts.
I’ve also done my part in editing MY LADY JANE before we (Brodi, Cynthia, and me) turn it in. You guys. This book is so funny. I love it.
What I’ve been reading: Not as much as I’d like (still), since I’ve been under two deadlines this month. But I did get a few books finished!
THE HEART OF BETRAYAL by Mary E. Pearson (ARC) – Oh you guys. I am in love with this series. It starts with THE KISS OF DECEPTION and if you haven’t yet read it, go do it now. It’s so beautiful.
THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand (ARC) – I was predisposed to like this one because Cynthia is my friend, but believe me when I say this book is vivid, emotional, and will tear you up. And it’s so, so important.
What I’ve been watching: ALIAS! Hubs and I started watching this show based on recommendations from a bunch of friends. Plus, I’m a huge fan of FRINGE and they’re the same creator. And . . . man. I am loving this show. Partway through season 3, I’m so completely invested in the characters, their lives, and I think I screamed at the cliffhanger at the end of season 2.
What I’ve been yarning: Socks! And rainbow yarn!
What I’ve been fluting: Um, truly not as much as I should. I promised I would, and then the deadline crunch hit. But I’ve moved my computer into the same room I practice flute in, and the stand is still up, so every day I see it and feel guilty. That’s a start, right?
What the ferrets have been up to: Katniss is a really good shoulder ferret. She loves taking rides around the house, and she’s great about moving around when I bend down or lean over — whatever she needs to do to stay up. So I didn’t think too much of it when I paused in the bathroom to clean something and she moved — and hopped onto the bathroom counter. That wouldn’t have been a problem, but I’d forgotten the soap dispenser is motion activated. And Katniss walked under it.
So then I panicked because she had soap on her and she panicked because she had soap on her and then she panicked more because I was putting water on her — but it wasn’t warm enough (ferrets have higher body temperatures and what’s lukewarm to us is cold to them) because the water in my sink takes forever to heat. But I really wanted the soap off her before it irritated her skin. Eventually the water was hot enough and she stopped trying to murder me, but the damage was done. She was soaking wet. I gave her a brief scrub with a towel and released her into the ferret room. Then she zinged around trying to dry off on anything that looked remotely absorbent. Her tail was all bottlebrushed and it was enormous.
What the Kippy has been up to: Kippy for President.
Other things you might be interested in: I’m giving away quote cards for THE ORPHAN QUEEN! Here’s how you can have one!
And if you preorder THE ORPHAN QUEEN from Books of Wonder (where I’ll be doing my launch), there will be a special shiny quote card in your book when you get it!
TWO teasers were revealed this month. The next one goes live at 12k adds on Goodreads.
Hello, beloved readers! It’s that time again!
Some of you might know that I’ve been doing the occasional Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway whenever I feel like it/have time/have something to give away. I really like people who review books. It’s hard work! And I appreciate it! So this one’s for you guys.
Here are a pair of Ana’s Incarnate Mitts. They’re knit from a wool/soy blend, and they’re very soft. (I don’t knit with not-soft yarns. Life’s too short.)
You may be asking what must one do to acquire these mitts?
Here are the rules for this giveaway:
1. Reviews must be “substantial” (more than a couple of sentences).
“I liked it!” or “I hated it!” are valid opinions, but we’re aiming for something that will help potential readers decide whether this is for them. (I should add that it doesn’t even have to be a positive review. (Though I do love positive reviews.) Critical reviews count too. I won’t be reading the reviews, just glancing at the random winner’s to make sure it’s longer than a line or two. So say whatever you want. Even critical and negative reviews are useful and I’ll adore you all the same.)
2. Reviews must be posted on a retail site (like Amazon, B&N, Books-a-Million, Chapters, iBookstore, or an indie store that has a review spot on the book page).
This is the first time I’ve ever specified just retail sites. I know a lot of you have reviews on your blogs and Goodreads, too, and I love those, but taking a few minutes to copy and paste those reviews to a retail site where strangers will be looking for reviews — that’s enormously useful, and exactly what I’m hoping to encourage.
3. Reviews can be for any of my books, including INCARNATE, ASUNDER, INFINITE, and PHOENIX OVERTURE.
Used to be, I’d hold the giveaway for one book at a time, which limited the number of entries. This time, you have the potential to get points for four books, and you can use those same reviews on several different sites.
4. Paste the link for your reviews in the comment section of this post (on my website — not anywhere it feeds, as I won’t be tracking those). Every link counts for one entry. At the end of the giveaway, I’ll count up all the links and do a random draw.
5. I’ll be accepting entries until January 25 – a little over two weeks away. That should give everyone time to write up a quick review and paste it everywhere.
6. This giveaway is international. Because I love you guys.
7. There’s potential for a second winner!
If we end up with a ton of entries (whatever looks like a ton to me, or we hit some arbitrary benchmark for number of reviews on a site), I’ll pick two winners to get a pair of fingerless mitts. Yup. I knit a second pair of mitts just in case.
How’s that? Any questions?
It’s been a good year and I’ve really enjoyed doing these monthly roundups. (Do you like them?) It definitely helps keep me posting at least once a month. After chatting with a friend, I’ve decided to add a few more points.
What I’ve been working on: OQ2 is aaaalmost finished. I’ve been working on my final edits for the book and I’m just about ready to turn it in. (The deadline is mere days away.)
I’ve also been working hard on the OQ novellas, which will be coming out between THE ORPHAN QUEEN and OQ2. Since there are four of them, and they form a sort of serialized novel, I’m doing my best to get them all written before the first one is due. That means writing a chapter a day. More, if I have time. (But I’m trying not to overwork myself because these last few months — and the next several months — have been/will be very busy and stressful.)
So! OQ2 and the novellas. That’s what I’ve been working on.
What I’ve been reading: I felt the reading crunch this month! You might have noticed I didn’t read as much as I usually do this year (thanks, OQ2), but I really wanted to hit my Goodreads Challenge.
I padded it with a few novellas, but I made it! I’m listing a lot here (tooootally bragging that I managed to get some good reading in this month!) and I wholeheartedly recommend everything.
- WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman — the sequel to IF I STAY. Ugh. This was gorgeous. That is all I can say.
- CHAMPION by Marie Lu — the conclusion to Marie’s wonderful LEGEND trilogy! What I loved most was getting to see other parts of the world and how different everything looks in the future.
- RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo — the conclusion to Leigh’s Grisha trilogy! This was everything I was hoping it would be. Epic. Thrilling. Sassy.
- VENGEANCE ROAD by Erin Bowman (manuscript) — I read this one for a potential blurb (spoiler: I blurbed it). It’s early to talk about it too much, but this is a fantastic Western you don’t want to miss.
- REAL MERMAIDS DON’T NEED HIGH HEELS and REAL MERMAIDS DON’T SELL SEASHELLS by Hélène Boudreau — the third and fourth book in Hélène’s REAL MERMAID’s quartet! This is such a fun middle grade series.
- UNTIL MIDNIGHT by Melissa Landers — a fun novella that follows her book ALIENATED.
- STOLEN by Erin Bowman — a very emotional novella about one of the characters from her TAKEN series.
- GODDESS IN TIME by Tera Lynn Childs — a novella in Tera’s OH. MY. GODS. series. (I’ve been hoping for another book in that world!)
What I’ve been watching: It turns out a lot of you probably like TV and movies. Me too!
- INTERSTELLAR — Joy Hensley went with me to see it again in IMAX. It was incredible the fourth time. Yes.
- THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES — Hubs and I went to see this when it came and and we both really liked it. Very epic. Definitely the end of the story. (It’s pretty much all climax.)
- PRIMEVAL — A show we found on Netflix about anomalies appearing, portals that lead to different time periods in history (and the future!). This one was pretty campy, but we stuck with it and ended up enjoying it.
- GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY — Hubs and I actually saw this one in theaters a zillion times, but we just watched the DVD and loved it just as much.
What I’ve been yarning: I finished my knee socks!
I finished the merino fleece from a friend (from one of her sheep!). I’ve been working on this for ages, cleaning the wool and spinning it finally. This is the before and after washing photo. Behold 977 yards of super soft merino.
This is what’s on the wheel now.
What I’ve been fluting: I decided that I really, really want to start practicing my flute again. It’s been a while since I’ve put in the time, but I want to make a point this year to start working on it again. I miss playing music.
But since I literally just picked it up again the other day, I’ve been playing scales. (This is not scales below.)
What the ferrets have been up to: Merry Christmas from Todd!
Merry Christmas from Katniss!
The ferrets got a box for Christmas.
What the Kippy has been up to:
Other things you might be interested in:
The 9k THE ORPHAN QUEEN teaser has been released! Next one goes live at 10k adds on Goodreads.
I have a couple of giveaways coming up soon, so stay tuned. I’ll be announcing them soon.
And lastly, I’ve been doing some work on this website. It’s just been tinkering when I have time (or am procrastinating), but look how pretty and cover-covered the book page is getting!
Even though I knew today was the last day of November, and therefore the day to post something to my blog, I, ah, forgot the whole posting to my blog thing. I got distracted. With my book.
[Edited to add: Five minutes after posting this, a Twitterer informed me that I had not mentioned INTERSTELLAR once in this, which has, actually, dominated most of my November. So I should correct that and tell you all that I LOVE THE MOVIE INTERSTELLAR AND YOU SHOULD ALL GO SEE IT IMMEDIATELY. It has glorious science, emotions, and the visuals are just stunning. I felt like I was in space. I love this movie as much as I love cookies.
That's basically what my Twitter feed has looked like for the past month. Also, the soundtrack. Just . . . swoon. Hans Zimmer didn't just step up his game; he invented a new game.]
What I’ve been working on: OQ2 edits! My goals for the edits were to both expand certain things and tighten the whole book, which sounds like a contradiction, but it really isn’t. It’s just incredibly tricky. I spent a lot of time adding all the things that needed to be added, while getting rid of the extra junk, first at a wide, slashing and burning level, then at a smaller, more nit-picky level. The process is ongoing, but this draft is due December 1 (tomorrow), so it will be over soon. And then start over because I’ll have another draft that will be due in January.
That’s pretty much it. That’s all I get to do in November. (Sort of. I had a couple of school visits that went really well.)
What I’ve been reading: Because I’ve been so involved in this book, I read only two books this month. (And I feel like a huge slacker.)
- TIN STAR by Cecil Castellucci – a standalone science fiction about a girl stranded on an alien-filled space station. There were so many cool concepts in this book.
- EVERTRUE by Brodi Ashton – the third book in Brodi’s EVERNEATH trilogy. I won’t say too much about it because of spoilers, but I loved this book. (That should surprise no one.)
What I’ve been yarning: Besides a zillion crochet butterflies for school visits this month, I’ve been (slowly) working on a pair of knee socks.
What the ferrets have been up to:
Katniss helped dust the bookcases.
Todd slept in clean laundry.
Since I make soup for them in the winter, they both enjoyed their first slurps of the season. (Katniss might not look impressed here, but believe me she loves it just as much as Todd does.)
Other stuff you might be interested in:
This month, we reached enough adds of THE ORPHAN QUEEN on Goodreads for two teasers! So, the 7k teaser, and the 8k teaser. We’ll have another one at 9k adds!
Currently, there’s a giveaway on Goodreads for an ARC of THE ORPHAN QUEEN, but it’s US-only and I’ve been feeling pretty sad for my international readers. So I thought what if I held an anywhere-but-the-US giveaway?
What if I did???
I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. If you live outside the United States, this giveaway is for you. If you live in the US, this giveaway is not for you. (Enter the one I linked above.)
Much like the Goodreads giveaway, this one requires the entrant to add THE ORPHAN QUEEN to their “want to read” list on GR. I’m not requiring verification because that’s a pain for all of us and I trust you’ll be honest. You can grab the GR link right here. *smooshy*
Oki doki? Put your questions in the comments!
May the odds be ever in your favor.