Winner of Cashore's Graceling

Monday, November 29, 2010
The winner of Kristen Cashore's Graceling is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Sorry for the rest of you. :(
Don't worry. I never win anything either.

Last Chance to Win Signed Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Just a reminder that you only have one week to enter the contest to win my signed copy of Kristin Cashore's Graceling! (It seriously pains me to give this away :( )

Here's some pics. I can't tell you how beautiful this book is. The colors are gorgeous.

Why I Only shaved One Leg Today

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I come out from hiding under the covers. The first thing I notice is that 18 MO is fussing from her crib. But sad to say, that's not what forced my brain to kick on. Strange, metallic clangs are coming from the kitchen. Baby on my hip, I trudged down the stairs, still half asleep (it'd been a long night). Mid-yawn, I step into the kitchen to see burned toast crumbs spilling from the counter onto the tile floor (which I'd just swept the night before) all around my 8 yro's bare feet. He looks up from where he's shoving a butter knife into the toaster.

"What're you--"

He cuts me off before my lecture has even begun, "Someone put batteries in the toaster, Mom."

Still befuddled with sleep, I step closer. Sure enough four rechargeable batteries. All toasted a nice crispy black . . . kinda smells like my sister-in-law's idea of the perfect bacon.

"Who did that?" I demand.

8 yro shrugs. "I don't know. Not me."

I take a deep breath, pull out a rag, the broom, and dustpan and get to work.

After I'd finally finished feeding everyone breakfast, I picked my 18 month old up from her high chair. Of course, she'd figured out how to unscrew her sippy cup a few days before. And of course she dropped it. All. Over. Me. Soaking wet, I clean her off and penguin walk toward the bathroom.

Before I've made it up the second step, my 8 yro comes bursts  back into the house. "I forgot to have you sign something." Winter wind whips in from the open door, freezing my milk soaked pajamas to my legs. Shaking, I sign it and hope against hope his teacher doesn't think he forged my handwriting.

At this point, I know there won't be time to clean up the kitchen if I'm going to make it aerobics. I jump in the shower, just to rinse off my bottom half. Then I fight to get the kids out the door, find shoes, and convince the 5 yro that the little kids WILL NOT chase him anymore.

When I get home, I jump in the shower for the second time. Just as I'm starting to shave my second leg, 5 yro bursts into the bathroom, his voice high and panicked, " . . it ing . . . off . . . waw."

Wiping soap out of my eyes, I move the shower curtain back. "Huh?"

He's dancing from one foot to the next. "it . . . fell down . . . waws."

He's spinning in circled and miming something falling. "Do you need to go potty?"

"No!" he shouts in exasperation.

"Is your sister okay?"

He takes a deep breath, as if finally understanding I'm not going to get it unless he speaks very slowly. "The ite ting fell off the waw."

At this point, I've decided it's time to rinse off. "What white thing fell off the wall?"

"You know," he points to the ceiling. "The white ting above the tabwe."

It suddenly clicks in my head. Shutting off the water, I run downstairs, dripping water all over the carpet as I go. In the kitchen, the mess that awaits me has reached epic proportions. The ceiling light has indeed fallen from the "waw". It's now teetering serenely on a box of Multigrain Cheerios. Another box of cereal has been knocked down, spilling Life (how perfect is that metaphor?) all over the table, chair, and floor.

At least nothing is on fire. Yet, I think. And no one needs to visit the emergency room. All in all, not as bad as it could've been.

And then I realize something profound. I'm standing, perfectly naked in my kitchen. And all the blinds are up.

With a little squeal, I rush back up the stairs to dress (at this point, toweling off seems unnecessary). Of course, when I finally pick up the box of Life cereal, milk has practically dissolved the cardboard. The sack would have prevented the cereal from flying everywhere, except when my 18 mo had spilled it the day before, she'd ruined said sack. And with the cereal in nothing but the box, I know have SOGGY cereal all over me.

Of course, the phone would have to ring at this point. As I screw the light fixture back into the ceiling, phone propped on my ear, I remember the flyer my church handed out recently. About training for disaster response.

Disaster Training, ha! I'm already an expert.

And that, my friends, is why only one of my legs has been shaved today.

Review of Son Of Ereubus by JS Chancellor

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Son of Ereubus by JS Chancellor

It's book review week. My publisher was kind enough to send me a ARC of Son of Ereubus (which will be given away during week four).

Here's what I liked: Garren was definitely not your cookie-cutter hero. He starts out as the villian. But his interactions with the heroine, Ariana, begin to change him. His struggles with this change are rich and complex. I also like some of the themes: redemption, forgiveness, and making amends to name a few. JS also has a talent for writing powerful romance scenes without the need for gratuitous sex. The relationship between the hero and heroine developed at a realistic pace--a refreshing change from so much fiction with "love at first sight" moments. I also liked how sassy Ariana was.
What I didn't like: I was confused in the beginning. A lot. It was hard to keep all the different names and places straight (definitely keep a thumb in the glossary). Some of the plot lines needed a bit more fleshing out, while others could have been trimmed. Some of the character's actions felt a bit forced.

All in all, I enjoyed the read. :)

On Bacon, Book Covers, and Bloggers

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Contest update: you still have 3 weeks to enter to win Graceling by Kristin Cashore, click here.

I went to McDonalds for lunch today. Not because I wanted to. But because my children did--funny thing that. It's like they don't care what I want. Weird, I know. Anyways, I took a big bite of my sandwich. To my dismay, no salty, greasy, absolutely delicious bacon. I pull off the bun. Nothing but lettuce. And some yucky brown lettuce too. Wait . . . *sniff, lick* Oh, that's the bacon. Though how they figure out how to slice it that thin, I'll never know. 

What's the point of all this? Expectations. When I purchased a sandwich with bacon on it, I expected to TASTE the bacon. I didn't expect it to taste like a fillet minion. Or split-pea soup. McDonalds doesn't care so much about that--they just want to save money.

The same thing goes for you, my dear readers. You pick up a book with a picture of a smoking hot, shirtless man, and it better be a romance . . . not a nonfiction book on chest hair removal. (If you're wondering what in the heck is the point of this post, I told you I have a tendency to ramble at the beginning of the month. Hang in there, it's coming.)

The Point: Book Covers. I want mine to send the right message. I want a reader to walk into a bookstore, stop in their tracks, and walk trance-like to my book. "Dear reader," my book will say, "I'm a YA, epic fantasy about a girl haunted by the burden's placed upon her. Pick me up. Take me home. Read me and then tell all your friends."
Also, I promised I'd brag about everyone who blogged about my contest. Why? Because they obviously have such good taste in blog posts. So without further ado:








Thanks all of you for working so hard!


Monday, November 1, 2010
Witch Song

Fourteen-year old Brusenna is the last Witch. All the others have been imprisoned by the Dark Witch. And the without the witches’ songs to shore up the bindings of nature, storms rage, climates cross hardened boundaries, and seeds refuse to germinate.

Hiding from the Witch Hunters and their muskets, Brusenna and her Guardian, Joshen, must find the key to defeating the Dark Witch and rescuing the others. Because if not, there may be nothing left to save.

Art by Cris Ortega

Brusenna’s straw-colored hair felt as hot as a sun-baked rock. She was sticky with sweat—sweat that trickled down her spine and made her simple dress cling to her. Her every instinct begged her to run from the glares sticking her like wasp stings. But she’d already put off her trip to the market for too long as it was.

The merchant finished wrapping the spools of thread in crinkling brown paper. “Twelve upice,” Bommer said sourly.

A ridiculous price—no doubt made worse by the drought. Had Brusenna been anyone else, she could’ve bartered it down to half that. But she wasn’t anyone else. And even though the villagers only suspected, it was enough. Careful not to touch her, the man’s hand swallowed the coins she dropped in it. She wondered what marvelous things he ate to flesh out his skin that way. Things like the honey-sweetened cakes she could still smell in her clothes long after she’d left the marketplace.

As Bommer mumbled and counted his money, Brusenna gathered the packages tightly to her chest and hurried away. She hadn’t gone five steps when a heavy hand clamped down on her shoulder. Fear shot through her veins like a thousand nettles. Here, no one ever touched her.

Available Sept 1st, 2011.
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