Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fave YA Reads of 2012

The last week of December is usually a great time to get lost in a book. This year I've decided to work on WIP instead of reading. But it's always nice to reflect on the work other authors have produced. This year was very exciting in YA and MG. Here are my top 5 reads of my fave reads of 2012:

1. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

And the blurb:
Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. And Sophie has a secret—she’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and almost instantly she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.

But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high-demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.

Shannon is active on twitter and fun to follow. I enjoyed her debut and Sophie's story. I couldn't put this one down.

2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

And the blurb:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

This probably goes without saying - this series is amazing! Divergent and Insurgent have received great reviews and are exciting reads. I think Insurgent transcends the follies of many middle-trilogy books and is a thrill ride in it's own right.

3. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

And the blurb:

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.

Galen is dreamy. I fell for him right away. Emma is spunky and fun which makes me love her as well. The world Anna created is exciting and different. I couldn't put this book down. I can't wait for the sequel to come. When will spring get here?

4. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

And the blurb:

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

This book was a complete joy. It actually takes place in my former home town: Cartersville, GA. Anna is wonderfully conflicted and with good reason - Kaidan Rowe is bad (in the best way). I devoured this book and you should too.

5. A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies

And the blurb:

When she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, Skye knows something terrible has happened to her. It's not until she hears Asher, the dark, rebellious angel she fell in love with, that the memories come flooding back. She tries to put the past behind her, but she knows she'll be forever haunted by the ruthless betrayal that almost took her life.

Skye returns home, but with the knowledge of who she really is, nothing can ever be the same. As she tests the limits of her newfound powers, Skye discovers that she's capable of far more than anyone could have imagined. Both the Order and the Rebellion want her for their side as war between the factions looms. She can't forget the terrifying truth she now knows about the Order, but something holds her back from embracing the Rebellion.

I loved the first book in this series: A Beautiful Dark. I didn't love the cliffhanger - but not because it wasn't thrilling. I just don't like the way cliffhangers make me long for resolution. Good thing A Fractured Light was ah-mazing.

These were my best-of-the-best books of 2012. Mermaids, elves, dystopian, and a little heaven and hell.

What were your fave reads of 2012?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cover Reveal: Dracian Legacy

One of my favorite Tweeps, @pkanaparti, is preparing for her debut on Feb 14, 2013.

If you don't know her already here is what you need to know:

Priya Kanaparti was born in India, grew up in Detroit, and is now living in Boise, ID. She attended Wayne State University for her undergrad degree in Bachelor of Science in Biology, and University of Phoenix for her Masters in Business Administration. Priya works as a project manager in software field during the day and lives in the world of her characters during the nights and weekends. She had found the love for reading and writing early this year, when she stayed home with her year old and needed something to occupy those 'downtime' hours.
She loves playing tennis on a good summer day and chess during the cold winters, but reading and writing has become a year round hobby.

She lives in Boise with her husband, son and a Yorkie. Dracian Legacy, a YA Paranormal Romance, is her debut novel.

All book birthdays are exciting but when writing buddies have book birthdays I get all twitterpated. Like this:

So without further delay.....

Here is the cover:

Isn't it lovely?

And here is the blurb:

Ren and Axel are caught between two powerful magical races: one destined to end the bloodshed, the other out for vengeance.

Seventeen-year-old Ren Pernell is prophesied to end the war between the Dracians and the Telalians. So when a Dracian, Axel Knight, is sent to find and bring back the prophesied one before she turns eighteen and Telalians discover of her existence, unexpected sparks start to fly between the two. Once Ren finds the truth behind Axel’s arrival, she wants everything to do with him and nothing to do with his mission.

Things prove to be difficult as Ren’s life is constantly threatened by forces that are beyond her control, including the leader of the Telalians.
With the clock ticking and Ren’s life in jeopardy, it is no longer just a mission for Axel. It becomes a personal endeavor to save the only one he’s ever loved. In a heart racing ending, they must find a way to evade the preordained war that won’t also end Ren’s life.

Sounds exciting! Congrats to Priya and her gorgeous debut. I know I'm looking forward to Feb 2013.

In the mean time here is a contest to wet your whistle until the Feb release.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 3, 2012

NaNo in Review (or 5 reasons I won for losing)

Let’s cut to the chase: I didn't win NaNo and that sucks. I lost the race and for a perfectionist-work-a-holic-type-A-personality-hot-mess like me it was a hard pill to swallow. On November 30th I looked something like this:

But I didn’t wallow in my sorrows for long. Ultimately, a lot of good came from my 30 days of writing abandon (even if it wasn’t words on the page). I figured I owed it to myself to be kind.

So, without further ado, here are the 5 reasons I won for losing NaNo:

1. I actually started a new WIP. I've labored over a project for a long time trying to get it *perfect*. Needless to say I was in too deep and needed some perspective. NaNo was the perfect writing vacation and it always feels good to start a shiny new project.

2. I learned I’m a Plotter in training. I always thought I was a plotter. All of my projects started as a short summary and built into an outline. I thought I was totally great at plotting…and then NaNo kicked me in the face. Something like this:

I was 15 days into my NaNo project and realized I had exhausted my plot. I needed more depth and I hadn't done enough prep. Lesson learned? I should take plotting more seriously for better productivity. I bought a few books to help and have been soaking up as much about plotting as I can.

3. I LOVE SCRIVENER. I had never used it before embarking on the NaNo project and I am madly in love. Maybe even stalker-restraining order-obsessed. Still, Scrivener is a very useful tool and I can’t see myself using anything else for my projects in the future.

4. I learned a lot from Tweeps. The writing community online is amazing and NaNo is 30 days where it truly shines. There were all sorts or tweets, blog posts, and stories online and on the NaNoWriMo site to offer insight, assistance, and encouragement to NaNo plebes like me. See my twitter feed for some of my favorite posts over the last 30 days.

5. Even though I failed to hit 50k I got words. On. The. Page. Yippie!

*F&@$ Yeah*

In true perfectionist-work-a-holic-type-A-personality-hot-mess I took on more than I could realistically deliver. I had one out of town trip, 1 party, several long days at work, 2 Thanksgivings (yummy), and 1 Half Marathon during November. It was a busy 30 days and I still managed to get 17,690 words. This month reminded me that there is never a *perfect* time or circumstance to write.

Writing requires discipline and commitment to yourself, your craft, your vision, etc. NaNo reminded me that I can do more than I thought. It’s a nice feeling.

What about you? What did you learn from NaNo?
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