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Guest Post: The Pull by Chelsie Shakespeare

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The Pull by Chelsie Shakespeare
Website | Twitter

Publisher: Nobel Romance Publishing
Release Date: June 13, 2011
Evie Remington had always done what people expected of her. As a result, at twenty-six she finds herself the unhappy owner and manager of a Denver hotel. That is, until deep-rooted memories of a past life and the hidden knowledge of a promise she made in that other lifetime pulls her away from it all. Without knowing where it will lead, Evie sets out on a cross-country journey that will challenge what she believes about life, death, and love.

In my first novel, The Pull, my characters are really good people. I did this because when I watch a movie or read a book full of selfish horrible characters, I don't care what happens to them at the end, I'm just glad to be rid of them. It's so important convince your reader to root for the protagonist.

But it's a fine line. You can't make your characters too good or you end up with Edward from twilight. Now don't get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed that series and I'm not trying to criticize Stephanie Myer. I think she has a brilliant creative mind and a sensational story, however, Edward is too damn perfect.

He doesn't get jealous or angry when Bella kisses Jacob at the top of that mountain?! Really?!Instead of Edward coming to life in my imagination as a flawed and complicated person, he remains flat on the page as the author's idea of a perfect man.

In my second novel, Split, (which is not quite finished, but close) I tackle this issue in more depth by giving my protagonist an alter ego, who is truly evil. But again, she can't be too evil. She can't be evil without cause like some lifeless soap opera villain. She must have motive in order to be believable.

Character development is key to any good story. If I had one tip for aspiring writers it would be to start there and work your way out.

I am a newly published author.  I live in Boise, Idaho with my husband and our two little dogs. My first novel The Pull was released June 13th, 2011 and I am close to finishing my second novel, Split. The Pull is a paranormal novel about reincarnation and love. 


I Take On the 2012 Contemporary Challenge!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2012 Contemporary Challenge is hosted by Katie from Katie's Book Blog and Angel from Reading Angel.

You can read any contemporary YA novel that is published between January 1, 2012 and December 30, 2012 but you must read them in 2012! (All formats accepted: paperback, ARC, e-book)

Level 1: 5+ books
Level 2: 10+ books
Level 3: 15+ books
Contemporary has to be my least read genre, but I really want to be reading more! Lucky for me there's actually a CHALLENGE! I'm going to set myself at a Level 2, but I'll try to work towards Level 3.
Be sure to sign up by May 1, 2012.

My Top 10 List of 2012 YA Contemporary

1. The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
2. Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala
3. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
4. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
5. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

6. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
7. Flirting in Italian by Laura Henderson
8. In Honor by Jessi Kirby
9. The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
10. Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols

I've already read one 2012 contemporary, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley. I love that book so much!

I Accept the 2012 Debut Author Challenge!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The 2012 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren!

To read & review a minimum of twelve young adult or middle grade debut novels between the dates of January 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013.

I missed out on this year's challenge, but I'll make it for next years! To find more information about this challenge click on the button above! Be sure to sign up before the deadline, May 25, 2012!

My Top 12 - 2012 Debut Books I Want To Read

1. Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould
2. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
3. Cinder by Merissa Meyer
4. Elemental by Emily White

5. Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
6. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
7. Everneath by Brodi Ashtons
8. Fracture by Megan Miranda

9. The Selection by Kiera Cass
10. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
11. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
12. Slide by Jill Hathaway

I already had the chance to read one 2012 debut, Tempest by Julie Cross, and just loved it to pieces! Be sure to add that title to your list!

Guest Post & Giveaway: Why I'm Doing NaNoWriMo with Victoria Hanley

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Seize the Story by Victoria Hanley
Website | Blog

Do you wish you had a published writer's secrets at your fingertips, ready to help you achieve your goals of publication, success, and the chance to be the next great teen writer? In Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write, Victoria Hanley, award-winning author of young adult fiction, spills the secrets for bringing action, adventure, humor, and drama to stories. All of the elements of fiction, from creating believable dialogue to exciting plots, are laid out clearly and illustrated with examples taken straight from story excerpts by excellent writers. The book is packed with writing exercises designed to encourage teens to tell the stories that are theirs alone.

In addition, other published authors of young adult literature share their insights about the writing life. Teens can gain firsthand advice from accomplished writers T. A. Barron, Joan Bauer, Hilari Bell, Chris Crutcher, David Lubar, Lauren Myracle, Todd Mitchell, Nancy Garden, and many more.

Why I’m doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)
by Victoria Hanley

Every November, National Novel Writing Month launches, and the goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.

I’d been hearing about NaNo (affectionate nickname) for a while, and this year I signed up. It’s easy. You just go to

Why do this?

Well, because I detest writing first drafts. Really. I hate them with a mad fiery passion. And I’m not alone. Many authors admit that they find writing first drafts a detestable monstrous task. (Okay, some say they love it, and to those who do, fine, whatever, I know you probably hate revising, which I happen to love.)

So what do we do when confronted with a detestable monstrous task?

Avoid it! We search out a hundred excuses. It’s time to cook dinner. That closet needs cleaning. What an interesting piece of junk mail! And what about all those books I’ve been dying to read?

NaNo to the rescue.

Somehow, knowing that thousands of other writers out there are taking on the dreaded first draft; that they too are struggling through 1667 words a day; that they too are snarling at their keyboards as they type—well, it makes it a little easier for me.

NaNo is a giant free-write. The goal is not to have a polished manuscript at the end of 30 days. The goal is to have 50,000 words of a first draft.

The important thing is to get something, anything, to work with.

So I’m almost halfway. And I’ve kept up with my word count. I’ve cheered other writers on, and relied on others to cheer me on. We will keep going and finish out those 50,000 words.

And I plan to be a WriMo next year too. Hope to see you there!


In My Mailbox (27)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and inspired by Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. It gives bloggers a chance to share all the books we bought, borrowed, and received this week.

Titles that are linked go to goodreads and covers that are shown on my iTouch are eBooks. 

I just found out that my IRL friends actually read my blog. I also found out that one of my friends watch my vlogs.... yupp. That's not awkward at all.

I hope you all are having an awesome weekend that isn't full of rain and darkness. I envy those of you that have snow.

Won: (Thank you St. Martin's Press and Goodreads)
Born At Midnight by C.C. Hunter

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey

Netgalley: (Thank you Random House)
Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould

Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren
Between by Cyndi Tefft

Be sure to leave a me a link with your comment so I can check out what's in your mailbox. And if you have an upcoming birthday, please feel free to leave that in the comments so I can mention you in next week's shout-outs.

Book Cover: A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young

Friday, November 11, 2011
A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young
Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Series: A Need So Beautiful #2
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 26, 2012

Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.
After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose affect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.
Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

Don't you just LOVE the cover?! It's so pretty and PURPLE!!! The model on the cover is also gorgeous. Also I heard that there will be more Harlin. Yup. I just got 10 times more excited.

Be sure to check out Suzanne Young's interview with Novel Novice. There's also a contest going on at Novel Novice where you can win an ARC of A Want So Wicked.

And also, don't forget to


Review: The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
Website | Blog | Powell's

Series: The Mephisto Covenant #1
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.
A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.
With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

The story was mostly centered around Sasha and Jax getting together to form the covenant. There was also the defending the world parts too that kept things interesting.

In the beginning, it was very cute that Jax was the one pining for Sasha. It was one of those "love-at-first-sight" relationships though. The relationship was cute and all but there was this constant tug-of-war of “I want you but *problem*” and the “I love you, but *complication*”. Which got old really fast. Oh and it wasn’t FORBIDDEN love. This was ENCOURAGED!

The event of her father's murder really led up to the point that introduced Sasha into this new world. Since it was her “natural pull”, everything she went through in this new paranormal world felt too normal. The new information was a bit choppy and wasn't really smooth.

I didn’t feel as if there were any character developments, but I did grow to like Jax’s brothers. Especially Zee and their friend Brody.

Overall: This wasn't my favorite read, but it was enjoyable. The ending was great though. I just wished that things picked up earlier in the book instead of 2/3 through. There was enough of a closure with things, but also just enough loose ends. I'd recommend this for fans that lean towards romance more than paranormal.

Remember when YOU were a FRESHMAN?

Friday, November 4, 2011
Do some of you remember being in high school? Or better yet a FRESHMAN?

My first trimester is almost wrapping up which is really great, but also not at the same time.

What does the end of a trimester mean?
1) Trimester Grades

Right now my grade in my one and only AP class is going all over the place and it's freaking me out just a bit.

I'm guessing that the first trimester is always hard, but I heard that everything will be easier after!

If this is true then you'll be seeing me a lot more on the blog! I know I've been asking you guys to bear with for a bit longer than I originally asked for, but I have been reading which means I have a pool of reviews I can choose from for later on.

Props to those of you who are attending school and keeping your blogs updated.
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