Thursday, December 1, 2011

The blog is MOVING!

Yep. You read that right.

After many debates in my head for the past few months, I've decided that I'm going to merge JYTBB into my other blog: Adventures In Amberland.

My main reason of doing this is because even though I have LOVED running this blog for almost 3 (!!) years, I just don't have time to keep up with being an actual reviewer. Instead of making up excuses, making posts about how I will come back, and doing everything half-way, a merge just makes things easier.

I want to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who has been a follower here, left comments, sent me an e-mail. I really enjoyed running JYTBB, reading amazing books, talking to authors, and meeting some awesome bloggers that I have become friends with. I do plan on still discussing books on the other site. Just not in a review style, and they'll come whenever they come. I want to keep doing Rock This! Thursday though so if you have ever wanted to participate, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

I've been debating on changing my twitter name and e-mail address, but right now both names I tried to enter in Twitter have been taken. And I'm kind of lazy to set up a new e-mail account. So for the time being you can reach me in the same places. (And my Twitter name is: @JYTBB in case you didn't know.)

I hope a lot of you will follow the new blog. I promise I will not feel your reader with pointless posts. It'll take me a bit, but I'll be re-following other blogs too, and catching up on many upon many of your posts. And if you don't want to follow the new blog because you are a strictly book blogger reader only - that's cool. I understand. For everyone else, this link below shall lead the way:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blog Tour: Little Women and Me Character Interview

What's so bad about being the middle sister? 
Have you ever seen The Brady Bunch? Oldest siblings get special privileges for being the oldest; youngest siblings get special treatment for being the youngest and for still being cute, like little puppies; middle siblings get to be Jan Brady. It's not easy.

Any advice to give other middle sisters? 
Yes! Get over it! It's taken me my whole life - which is the 14 years before I got sucked into Little Women plus the time afterward - to learn to accept that I'm a middle and stop using it as an excuse for whatever's wrong with my life. It's not my sisters' faults that things are the way they are and if I want my life to be better, it's up to me to change it.

What do you love most about the novel, Little Women?
People are going to think this is corny but it's all the love the main characters have for one another and even some of the supporting characters. Like, in my real life, if the boy next door's grandfather gave a piano to my little sister, everyone'd be all, "What's up with the creepy old guy?" But when Mr. Laurence gives Beth the piano in Little Women, it even puts a tear in my eye.

Who is your favorite March sister?
Even though she started getting on my nerves once I got to meet her up close and personal, it has to be Jo. She's the most alive plus she's interested in writing like I am. Oh, and how can anyone not love Beth?

What was the hardest thing to cope with when you were transported into the era Little Women was written? The lack of decent indoor plumbing. I suppose I missed my family a bit too.

One piece of advice to give those that get sucked into a story and try to change things? 
Accept that you will occasionally experience "story amnesia," even if this later surprises others who read about your adventures. You ever hear the phrase "can't see the forest for the trees"? Well, getting sucked into a book, no matter how well you think you know the book, is like that. It's a lot different, living through a story firsthand as opposed to reading about it from the comfort of your bedroom; and you find yourself so busy dealing with and reacting to whatever in the story is happening to you at the time that it becomes difficult to focus on anything else.

Don't forget to stop by Just Another Book Addict tomorrow to see what Christy thought of Little Women and Me!


Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo. Are you down for the cause?

I've never exactly "won" NaNoWriMo. The first time I did it, I think I made it to about 35K then said screw it. The 2nd time I went over the 50K mark with The Unexpected Clash of Strangers, made a ton of progress on it, but then crashed miserably in the end. Each time I've done NaNoWriMo, I've never had a fresh new idea. I know that's the jist of things, but really who the heck is going to kick me out for NOT having a fresh new idea? Exactly.

Last year while having the flu I read some of The Iron Fey series and watched an ABC Family movie about a princess and it struck me that I wanted to write my own world. I've never been a big fantasy reader, but I absolutely loved fairy tales as a kid. My favorite show? Grimm's Classic Fairy Tales. I would come a runnin' full force into the living room when I heard the theme song. The idea, like most of my ideas, kind of deflated after a month or so. Who was I kidding? ME write a fantasy book? I've only read contemporary novels forever. I had no business trying to come up with kingdom names. So I moved on to other stories then to a few months of not really giving a crap if I ever wrote again (that's for another post). Last month, my characters were tugging at my mind. I went back over what I had written (about 80 pages of stuff), and I picked it apart. Took the good out and left the bad in another file and started tackling the sucker.

I have a new plot.

A few new characters.

A whole lot of bloodshed.

And some awesome creatures lurking through my fairy tale realm.

And most of all, I have a kick butt MC who is about to go on a ride of her life.

Oh, and I have boys. Hot boys.

For my NaNoWriMo, I am working on what I've always nicknamed: Fairy Tale. I suck completely at writing a synopsis, but here's the jist:

Gabby stopped believing in fairy tales the night her father was brutally killed before her eyes. What she saw was a creature in a red hood, but that's not what the cameras caught. Nearly 10 years later, Gabby cannot help but notice how things are starting to get strange. She's seeing things she saw as a child. Like a fairy in her locker, trolls tripping the basketball players, and then the biggest nightmare of all: the creature who killed her father. The moment Gabby thinks she's safe, a realm opens up, and suddenly her and her best friend, Jesse, are sucked in to it. 

Determined to get back home, Gabby takes on the help of a guy named Mason and his band of not-so-merry men. But Mason seems to have his own agenda, and when they're found by a dark prince, Gabby is starting to realize that her father had failed to ever tell her the truth of who he really was. Who her mother was, and who Gabby is destined to be. 

Hey. Don't say I didn't warn you I suck at writing summaries. What about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Find me: sammyjones57 and let's cheer each other on! If you want to keep up with my updates, go check out my other blog (Which will probably soon JYTBB's new home by next year. Running two separate blogs seems a bit silly, and let's face it, I am not the best book blogger anymore.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crossroads: Jeri Smith-Ready and Amanda Ashby + Giveaway!!

You have two series – one in YA and one in Adult – is it hard juggling the two? 
It’s pretty challenging to keep up with competing deadlines, but I love having the variety of two different sets of characters. My adult series is a bit lighter than my YA, so it’s fun to have that as a change in mood once in a while.

If you could jump into either series and be apart of the story, which one would it be? 
Wow, good question! Do I want to live in a world where ghosts are everywhere and known by the public, or a world where vampires are living in secret? I guess it would depend on which one of the guys I’d be allowed to date. If I could be Ciara (from the WVMP RADIO series) and have Shane as a boyfriend, that would be ideal.

Do you have any other series you’re planning on starting? 
After SHINE, the third book in the SHADE trilogy, I’m writing a stand-alone YA contemporary. We’ll be announcing details about it later in October (probably by the time this interview is out!), but I can tell you this much: 1) it’s a boy book, and 2) I am SO, so excited about it!

Is there any book you wish you would have wrote? 
There are books I’m in awe of, like IF I STAY by Gayle Forman or LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green. But if I’d written them, they would’ve been different books. Every author brings his or her own voice and life experience to a book, which is why two novels can treat the same subject and be totally different.

Want to win one of Jeri Smith-Ready's books? Just leave a comment below with your e-mail address (no e-mail, no entry). This is ONLY open to those with a US mailing address. The winner will be chosen at the end of the tour. 

You have a great mix of all sorts of paranormal, is there one myth or creature you think you won’t ever write? 
I probably wouldn’t ever write vampires, not because they’ve been done to death, but because I love Buffy far too much to ever want to create a new vampire world. In fact the whole reason I wrote Zombie Queen of Newbury High was because I was looking for an alternative to all the vampires that were around at the time!

What is your favorite paranormal creature? 
Demons! They are smart and evil but I like to think that they have the potential for good as well.

Do you plan on writing any sequels to any of your books? 
No plans at present though I have been receiving a few emails asking for a follow up to Fairy Bad Day, so perhaps in the future that might be on the cards?!

Favorite thing about Halloween? We don’t really celebrate Halloween in Australia though I do buy lots of candy in case we get trick or treaters so I guess I like to eat as much of that as I can before I have to give it away!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crossroads: Joy Preble and Dawn Dalton

Do you always remember your dreams? 
Yes, absolutely. I still remember dreams I had when I was five years old. I am a vivid dreamer. I really did give that to Anne. Like Anne, I’ve had numerous dreams in my life that were more like movies – I was clearly not dreaming as myself. (although interestingly, since I’ve been writing the series, I’ve had fewer of those!)

Oddest dream you’ve ever had? 
Hmmm…. Once I dreamed that I swallowed a bird. It was black bird – like a crow maybe? – and it walked right down my throat. (I was sick with strep when I dreamed this so probably my throat hurt!)

What do you want readers to take away from your series? 
That there are second chances in this world. That destiny exists but we can miss it if we’re not watching carefully. That we can change our path. And that it’s never too late for love.

If you could jump into your book at any time, would you? 
I’d jump into almost any scene in book 3, especially the time travel ones. And the ending to book 3 – oh my! I hope you guys love it.

What do you love about the paranormal genre? 
I was actually late to jump on the paranormal bandwagon – authors were putting out amazing fiction I glossed over because I didn’t understand what I was missing. And then I read Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten. The book kind of changed my life – and turned me on to the paranormal genre. I love the great world building that happens in paranormal fiction, and the flexibility with characters. Somehow the romance seems hotter, the issues edgier. Truthfully, they’re highly addictive.

Why should we pick up your books? 
Hopefully because they pique – and then hold – your interest.

Favorite scary story? 
My favorite scary stories are the urban legends my uncle used to share around the campfire when I was a kid. He was born with one hand and used a mechanical hook – which made the “Hook” legend one his greatest stories. He should have been a writer. Amazing storytelling ability.

Did you always want to be an author? 
Not until Grade 6 when a teacher steered me down that path. My best friend in elementary school was an amazing artist. She could draw anything. From scratch. Another friend could sing like an opera star. I remember thinking then, “what if I don’t have a talent?” Mrs. Kratky was tough, but she was a fabulous mentor, and she believed in her students. She dragged me out of self-pity mode and into a creative writing class.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crossroads: Kitty Keswick and Linda Joy Singleton

Give us four reasons why we should pick up your book: 

1. It’s a fun paranormal romp.
2. British lingo and hot hero!
3. It is a series. You’ll have a chance to get to know the world longer.
4. Werewolves are a howl.

What is magic to you? 
Magic is something I wish were real. I think that’s why I write about it so much, trying to make my own wishes come true. Do you listen to music while you write? No. I usually have TV on in the background for company since I’m alone a lot.

Have you experienced any ‘rock star’ writing moments? 
Yeah, and I loved it. The first was when I was invited to BEA in Chicago, my air and room paid by my publisher, and my editor led me to the “Green Room” where Newbery winner (and online friend) Linda Sue Park was just coming out. Books were waiting for me on a signing table. Also signing were writing stars that dazzled me, like Daniel Handler and Meg Cabot. I had 30 minutes of floating on stardust. Amazing!

What’s next for you writing wise? 
I just finished a science fiction YA (mystery-romance) and my agent is shopping it to editors. Since it’s the first book in a trilogy, I need to get started on Book 2 soon, so I’ve started writing down ideas for the plot. I have a general idea of what will happen but expect lots of surprises along the way. I hope it sells soon – check my Facebook for news!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crossroads: Shannon Delany and Carrie Harris

What do you say to the people who think stories about vampires or werewolves are overrated? (For the record: I still love vamp and wolfie stories!)
Two things: don’t read what you don’t want to (and for heaven sakes, don’t complain about what you don’t know) AND consider the author’s reason for using a vehicle like a werewolf or vamp to tell their tale. We don’t randomly plunk a paranormal into a world because we think it’s “hawt”—the vast majority of us do it because of the subconscious meaning attributed to that vehicle.

Is Bargains and Betrayals the last book in the 13 to Life series? 
NOPE. Originally the series was set to end at three but after 13 to Life hit stores my publisher asked to add two more novels to my contract bringing our total to five. We still have Destiny and Deception and Rivals and Retributions (both releasing in 2012).

Who is your favorite character out of the series? 
Max. What?! Eh, I don’t know. I love and get ticked at them all equally most days. I want to shake Jess from time to time and throttle Pietr because they make some stellar decisions, you know? Max is easier to deal with in some ways because there’s not much subtext with Max. He’s just Max. He’s the guy I’d hang out with.

What upcoming project(s) can you tell us about? 
I’m actively developing two stories right now (both VERY different). One’s science fiction/cyberpunk and I’d like to see it as a trilogy. It connects to my short story in the Leap Books charity anthology SPIRITED: 13 Haunting Tales and is set in the future (beyond what’s popularly being termed “the Singularity”). The other one goes in the absolutely opposite direction and takes us into the past approximately 170 years to deal with an amazing moment that’s often overlooked in history. Both include rebellion. And kissing.

Would you survive the Zombie Apocolypse? 
I’d TOTALLY survive. I mean, I’m an expert on the subject! Not only do I write monster books, but I have a ninja doctor husband. No, seriously. He has a fourth degree black belt in ninjutsu, and I’ve actually seen him knock shuriken out of the air with his hands. It’s surprisingly sexy. Ahem. Anyway. I am not a black belt. I have a green belt, which means that I should be able to fall down without hurting myself, although sometimes I think that’s debatable. So my survival strategy is to stand behind my husband and yell helpful tips like, “GET IT IN THE HEAD! NO, IN THE HEAD!!!!”

What was the first idea that sparked Bad Taste in Boys? 
My books are less AN idea and more a BUNCH of ideas all mashed together like an algebra equation gone out of control. So I started off thinking I wanted to do a book about the dead football players from Beetlejuice. And I wanted to do a book about a rational person who became convinced that zombies were attacking her town. And I wanted to write a book in which the geek saves the day. And I think mad scientists are awesome. So you put all those things together, and the result is BAD TASTE IN BOYS.

Best thing about writing? 
Frankly, I still can’t believe that I get paid for making up stories about supernatural beasties. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?! My job can be hard and sometimes frustrating because I am impatient and things happen so bleeping slow. But more than anything, it’s fun. I never know what the day will bring. I might get into a heated debate with a copy editor over whether the word “awesomesauce” is one word or two (and clearly, it is ONE). I might finally figure out who the bad guy is. I might crack myself up with a scene and spit Dr Pepper all over my computer. And that is just plain awesomesauce. Which is one word, damn it.

Any new projects you can tell us about? 
I’ve just finished the copy edits for my sequel, which is called BAD HAIR DAY and will hit the shelves in November 2012. It’s about werewolves and nanotechnology and blueberry flavoured astronauts and killer coconuts, and it makes me snarf things out my nose when I think about it. I’m also working on some shorter Grable projects that I hope to release in the meantime through my website, because I AM IMPATIENT AND I’M NOT ASHAMED TO ADMIT IT. Ahem. Sorry.