To see or post comments, click on the blog post title to be "in" the post.
I have a new blog! It's over at my new website. So make sure to go over there for new posts as this blog will be closing soon!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop Winner Announcement

Just a quick announcement that the winner of the Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop for a copy of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is:

Rad Hall

Rad please email me at j.souders (at) me (dot) com by Friday. Thanks again and congratulations.

Everyone who didn't win, please stayed tuned next year for a slew of excellent posts and giveaways as I count down the days to the release of RENEGADE! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mid-winter's Eve Giveaway Hop

I hadn't planned on doing another hop so soon, but my group blog The Oasis for YA is hosting this one along with I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and so I wanted to show my support.  :)  Also, it's a chance to pimp my editor sister's book and mention what my favorite book of 2011 was.

So, without further adieu, I present this hop's prize.  A copy of my favorite book of 2011.  ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake.

Anna Dressed in Blood

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life. 

All you have to do to enter is be a blog follower and fill in the form below.  The contest is international as I'll be buying the book through the book depository.  So, if they'll ship to you, you can enter.

The contest will run from Dec. 21st to 27th.

Winner will be announced sometime on Dec 28th.

Good luck and thanks for entering!

**For some reason, the linky list and form won't show unless you are actually in the post. So, just click the blog post title and it'll bring you to the actual post.  You'll be able to see the list, the form, and be able to post comments. Sorry for the inconvenience.**

(Oh and PS, don't forget to check back here January 19th!  I'll have the details of my BOOK COVER REVEAL scavenger hunt contest up and there's a lot of great blogs participating, not to mention an awesome prize.)

For a list of all participating blogs, please either follow the links above or click on the linky below. Thanks.

And P.P.S. I won't be posting again until the new year, so HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


The group blog I'm apart of, The Oasis for YA is co-hosting the 2nd annual Mid-winter Giveaway hop with I'm a Reader, Not a Writer and we want YOU to either join in the fun by joining the giveaway and/or entering the contests of the participating blogs. 

The Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop is taking place between December 21-27th and you can offer up any reading or book-related prize you like.  (BUT you can only have 3 entries per person and only 1 of those can be mandatory.)

If you'd like to join us, go here to read the full rules and sign up.

If you just want free stuff (and who doesn't :]), then come back on the December 21st for a full list of participating blogs and my own giveaway.  :)

Happy Birthday, Liz Czukas!

I'm just do a simple post today because it's my best friend/crit partner/shoulder-to-cry-on's birthday today. 

Happy Birthday, Liz!  May you be blessed with many more. Thanks for being a great friend/crit partner/shoulder-to-cry-on. And NEVER stop writing the funny. Who else will be there to balance my over-emotional stuff. :D

To balance all the funny you sent my way, here's some more. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday and Blog Hop Winner Announcement

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My selection for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:  CRACKED by K.M. Walton.

I first saw this book when I joined the Apocalypsies and I was fascinated by the cover.  I immediately went to see what it was about, because I just couldn't figure out what the book was supposed to be about from that cover (it's perfect, though, right?)  The description had me at hello and now I can't wait to read it.

Sometimes there's no easy way out.

Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.

Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn't stop Bull's grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.

When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there's no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better….

And now onto the Giveaway hop winner!

Wow, guys, I'm blown away by how many people entered the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway hop!  Thanks to all who entered, tweeted, blogged, and otherwise spread the word.

I'm super excited to announce that the winner is:


I've emailed you with instructions, so be checking your inbox.  :D  Thanks for entering and congratulations!

And, if you're interested, I'm at the BNW blog today talking about the different incarnations of my favorite fairytale. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Torment Tuesday: Revising the suck

Yeah...not the most uplifting title, is it?  But that's the way I feel this morning. I really don't know what else to write about, so I hope you'll bear with me as I chatter on and on.  J/K.

Anyway, I'm deep into revisions and seriously I feel as tormented as my characters. I'm at that lovely stage where I just want to throw my computer at the wall because I'm pretty sure I've just written 86k words of crap. 

Sure my CPs don't agree, but I'm looking at the words I've written and wondering how I ever thought that this train wreck of a MS was a good idea. 

Okay, that's probably a bit harsh.  I've got some great things in there AND it's really technically only the first draft, but I hate it. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. 

So, you're asking, if you hate it so much, why don't you delete and start over? 

Well, you see, that's how I ALWAYS feel at this stage. I've done it with absolutely every book I've ever written.  And I know, deep down, it's not nearly as bad as I think it is, but it's like looking in a mirror and seeing yourself as fatter than you really are. 

No matter how often someone tells you, you look great, you don't really believe it.  It's the same with my MSs for me. No matter how often my CPs tell me it's great, I only see it's flaws. 

Only after revising it to the point that I feel if I fix even one more thing I'll vomit, do I consider the fact that it may be all right. And then, that's when I send it to my agent.  So she can help me make it even better, and then to my editor, who will hopefully love it and make it practically perfect. 

So, question for you?  How long does it take you fall back in love with your manuscripts?  Do you ever get to that point?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Winner's Announced for Book Deal Celebration Giveaway!

Yay! It's the 5th of December! Which means I get to announce the winners of the two prize packs.  Unfortunately I didn't get enough entries to add the super sekrit prize with the prize packs ( :[ ) BUT that just means I get to give them away with one of the blog hops or other giveaways I'll be doing in the future.  (:])

However, in the meantime, thanks to all who entered, spread the word, congratulated me on my deal and help me celebrate this momentous occasion!  I'm very excited to get to work with Mel and all the fabulous people at Tor and I love that I get to share that excitement with all of you.

Now, onto the reason for the post.  And what I'm sure you're dying to know.

Congratulations to the following people!

The winner of the Writer's Prize pack is:

                                                  Matthew Morgan!!!

The winner of the Reader's Prize pack is:

                                                  Kate Haggard!!!

I have sent you both an email with further instructions, please make sure to check your inboxes.  Thanks again for entering and congratulations!

For those of you who didn't win, don't worry because I'm participating in a blog hop now.  And another in January, not to mention I have a whole slew of different things planned for each step of my wonderful journey. Just make sure to check my CONTEST page at the top to see what's coming up and when.

I hope you'll keep stopping by and commenting on the blog and keep doing everything all you wonderful people have been.

Again, thank you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop

The Holidays are just around the corner and even though I'm already giving away a TON of books here.  I have a few more I'd like to giveaway, so I joined in with I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and entered her BOOK LOVER'S Giveaway Hop to do this juicy giveaway.

I've had the priveldge of being friends with the fabulous Jaclyn Dolamore and I have an autographed copy of BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY and an autographed ARC of MAGIC UNDER STONE to give away.

All you have to do to enter is fill in the form below.

The contest will run from Dec 2nd-Dec 6th.  Winner will be announced sometime on Dec 7th.

Good luck and thanks for entering!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Book Birthday

And I have ANOTHER book birthday to celebrate this week!  This one is for fellow apocalypsie and debut author Miranda Kenneally and her wonderful CATCHING JORDAN.  I haven't read this one yet, but it sounds great and I can't wait to get my copy. 

Happy Book Birthday, Miranda, may this just be the first of many.  :D

And now for the important stuff:

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though—she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team…and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

You can find Miranda at her website, twitter, and facebook.

CATCHING JORDAN can be found online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound, Powell's, Target, or at your local bookstore.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: A Million Suns

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My selection for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: A Million Suns by Beth Revis.

I have two reasons for this: 1) I really enjoyed the first book and I can't wait to see what Amy and Elder are up to in this one and one of her crit. partners is also one of mine and she says this book is awesome.  How can you get a better rec than that?!  Amiright?  and 2)  Because I keep getting told I look a lot like her.  Since I think she's very pretty, I'll take that as a compliment.  I hope I'll be able to meet her in person one day and verify it for myself.  :D

Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision – no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.
And, as a continuation to my crit partner post last Monday, I've posted on the Oasis about where to find crit partners. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Book Birthday, Amaranthine!

Another one of my friends, Leah Crichton, had her book birthday recently.  Yesterday in fact and I'm pleased to be able to spread the word.

There's been a lot of ups and downs with this book, but I was lucky enough to read an earlier version of it and it was great.  I can't wait for my copy to come so that I can see how great it is now.

Sixteen year-old Ireland Brady is sure she's losing her mind.

After a horrific car accident leaves her barely clinging to life, she wakes from a coma with a renewed sense of gratitude to a world more surreal than she could have imagined, a world which includes Orion Alexander.

Darkly handsome, Orion is cool and confident and has his sights set on her, something she's never experienced and she finds herself falling hopelessly in love. But when Orion's betrayal sends her straight into the arms of his rival, Damien, things go from bad to worse.

Despite Orion's warnings, Ireland is attracted to Damien. He's strong and protective, and harbors an intense dislike for Orion, which makes him...perfect.

But Damien is not one to be crossed.

When all the secrets are revealed, will Ireland trust the boy who broke her heart?  Or is she doomed to suffer a fate worse than death?

About the author:

Leah Crichton began writing at the tender age of five. She was fortunate enough to grow up with two teachers for parents, so she's used to being constructively criticized which has some serious perks when you live in the real world. Her father is also an author and the rest as they say, is history.

She lives in organized chaos in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband and children, who surprisingly not only put up with her but maybe even love her. She has a few obsessions including but not limited to: coffee, writing, reading, photography, lip gloss, vacations and music. She works full time in a very technical job, so she welcomes the voices inside her head which are fighting to get out and puts them on paper. Sometimes they turn into decent stories. Other times, people just assume she's crazy.

Amaranthine is the first novel she ever finished. The feeling of reaching the end sparked a desire to do it again, so she's currently working on her second novel (the first in a series). What happens next remains a mystery.

She can be found on her website, wattpadd, twitter, and facebook.

Amaranthine can be found on amazon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Musings: Crit Partners

I've talked here before about crit partners, but in the last two years that I've been serious about writing, I've never been as thankful for my crit partners as I am today. Or this year, really. 

I've been blessed with having found AMAZING crit partners.  We don't always agree on things.  I have one who HATES (maybe that's too strong of a word, I'm sure she'll correct me. :P) when my heros carry my heroines around.  I like it. Not ALL the time, but when I think there's a need for it.  Another of my crit partners is more on the innocent side and doesn't like my more steamy scenes.  And yet another loves both of those things, but hates other things. 

The thing about them all is they all have their strengths.  The one that hates all the sappy, sappy stuff, is the one that knows me the best. I can talk to her about any little idea that pops into my head.  And not only does me encourage me to try it, she'll run with it and come up with something even zanier!  Also, she's not afraid to tell me when something isn't working.  We're both so honest with each other that sometimes, I'm TERRIFIED of opening my crit notes from her.

Like last night I got my latest notes from her, knowing she would "Tear me up"  (I specifically asked her to and she did!) But I also knew that I would probably agree with all of the things she saw as problematic.  I was right.  In fact, if I thought about it, we've been together so long I could have easily pointed out the areas that she had a problem with. 

And she's awesome because she doesn't mind spending 2 hours on skype with me while I whine and hem and haw in her ear about the things she doesn't like.  Especially those heros of mine.  ; )  (LOVE YA!)

Anyway,  moving on.  Another is excellent at pointing out movements and is PERFECT for helping me stage my characters. She'll point out each time she can't get a feeling of where my characters are or how they're moving.

But the thing is, for me crit partners are essential.  They help me brainstorm.  They tell me when things aren't working, and they encourage me when I feel like my book is crap and it's "all wrong. Every thing is WRONG!"  LOL.  And yes, sometimes the only nice thing they have to say about a story is what's up in the little picture, but then that's what they're there for, right?

But my crit partners are more than that.  They've become friends. In some cases,  my best friends and I seriously don't know what I'd do without them.  Even when I want to pull my hair out and go, as I'm saying, "But now I've got to change EVERYTHING!" 

Thanks, guys!  For everything!

So, question for you.  What's your thoughts on crit partners?  Problematic or Godsend?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DESTINED tour stop and giveaway

Yay! I am SO pleased to be able to do this post!  One of my oasis sisters and close friends, Jessie Harrell, just had her debut book birthday!

In celebration she's giving away an e-copy of the book and a prize pack giveaway!

Isn't that awesome?!   Yay, Jessie. I'm so happy for you.

When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.

Destined is a fresh and heartachingly romantic retelling of the Cupid & Psyche myth from debut novelist, Jessie Harrell.

And now onto the contest details.  She's giving away TWO prizes: an e-copy of the book (this giveaway IS international) and a DESTINED prize pack. (This one is US only).  If you're in the US you can enter both.

The prize pack includes: an autographed ARC, an autographed bookmark, Psyche's ring and a Destined notepad.

If you leave your e-mail address in your comment, you’ll be automatically entered to win an e-copy of Destined. The contest will stay open for 48 hours after the post goes live, and then Jessie will use to select a winner. Available formats include .mobu, .epub and .pdf.
And please be sure to visit the other stops on Destined‘s official blog tour for chances to win copies of Destined and other goodies.
Tour Schedule

1-Nov Once Upon A Twilght -  Book Trailer +Interview Ebook giveaway
2-Nov Books With Bite – Interview Ebook giveaway
3-Nov Living in Literary La La Land Guest Post Ebook giveaway
4-Nov I am a Reader, Not a Writer Guest Post Ebook giveaway
5-Nov Paper Hangover Interview Ebook giveaway
6-Nov Nikki Katz Interview Ebook giveaway
6-Nov Fictional Distraction Review Ebook Giveaway
7-Nov Daisy Chain Book Review Interview Ebook giveaway
8-Nov MundieMoms Review + Short Story Ebook giveaway
9-Nov Safari Poet Guest Post Ebook giveaway
10-Nov Good Choice Reading WOW CONTEST + Review Ebook giveaway
11-Nov LM Preston Guest Post VLOG – Read a Scene Ebook giveaway
12-Nov An Avid Readers Musings Interview VLOG Ebook giveaway
13-Nov Skyla11377 Review Ebook giveaway
14-Nov Dark Readers Interview Ebook giveaway
15-Nov Shortie Says… Character GUEST POST Ebook giveaway
16-Nov A Cozy Reader’s Corner Reviews Guest post – Sneak Peek Ebook giveaway
17-Nov Stuck In Books Character Interview Ebook giveaway
18-Nov From A to Z Review  Ebook giveaway
19-Nov Turning Pages Interview Ebook giveaway
20-Nov A Tale of Many Reviews Guest Post Ebook giveaway !
21-Nov Read My Mind – AliseonLife Interview Vlog Ebook giveaway
22-Nov S.A.Larson Review Ebook giveaway
23-Nov Starry Sky Books Prize pack giveaway + Guest Post Ebook giveaway
23-Nov Angels and Demons and Portals. Oh My! Prize pack giveaway Ebook giveaway  ***You are HERE***
You can find Jessie and more about Destined:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: DESTINED

DESTINED by Jessie Harrell
Publisher: Mae Day Publishing (November 17, 2011)
Paperback: 368 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating: 5 of 5 feathers
Source: Author

Of course I have to give this book 5 stars because Jessie is awesomesauce, but seriously, you don't have to believe me. I highly suggest you read it for yourself, because I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

DESTINED is a book that has something for everyone packaged into a delightfully sweet historical romance/mythology retelling that will have you turning pages until the end and leave you wanting more.

At first I was concerned about Psyche's modern voice in an ancient Greecian setting (as it was difficult to tell when the story was taking place) and some of the freedoms and liberties she had that a girl (especially a princess) would not have had during that time period. However, I think it might really help teens who wouldn't normally pick up this type of book really get interested in a historical setting. One of my own personal favorite time periods, BTW.

Psyche is an awesome strong, female character who was well-developed and had a great character arc through out the novel. I love how Jessie used the deepness of the 1st person POV to really show us what and how Psyche was feeling, which was a great foil for Eros' limited 3rd POV.

Eros was the typical alpha male romance hero with a twist. He was a god. And not just any god, but Cupid, the god of love, whose Mother happens to be Aphrodite. Which, of course, left many interesting dilemas for poor Psyche.

All in all I really enjoyed reading this book (I read it in less than 24 hours) and I highly recommend it.

Also, stay tuned for tomorrow when Jessie will be here and giving away a DESTINED prize pack and an e-copy of the book.

Monday, November 21, 2011

ARTICLE 5--A Shout Out

Today, I'm pleased as punch, to be able to give a shout-out to my bestie and fellow Tor Teen author, Kristen Simmons. 

She's only a few short months away from publication, (SQUEE!!!) and, in celebration, she's giving away FIVE (5) ARCs of ARTICLE 5. One a week for the next five weeks.

Just go here and she'll explain the rest.  Good luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings: A rant--don't engage the crazy

I normally try to look at the bright side of things.  I'm not an optimistic person by nature, but I usually try very hard to look at the glass as half-full.  The "there's always a reason for everything" thing.  And I usually succeed. It may take me a minute or ten, but I eventually figure it out and go on my happy way, but this time I can't. I'm pissed.  Yeah, I said it. I usually don't like swearing on my blogs and really that's not all that bad,'s the only word that I think really describes exactly how I feel at this minute.

I know by holding onto the anger I'm only making things worse. I know by being angry still I'm letting her "win," but damn it, it bugs me. Well, obviously, it does more than bug me.

And now you're going "well, what the hell is it all ready?"  It's road rage, people.  Don't give in to it.  Seriously. It's dumb. It's stupid. And it causes you to do idiotic things.  Why am I talking about it? Because of an incident that happened on Saturday to me.

I was driving behind my husband (who finally got his motorcycle back after his accident) and we needed to meet my MIL at her work to pick up my daughter.  So, I'm following behind him, keeping an eye on him and the bike and everything else, and we merge into the exit lane off the highway.

Now this particular exit can be fairly tricky to manuever, but I've done it a thousand times.  I flick on my blinker, glance behind me and check all my mirrors (seriously, if you don't do all that, you'll hit someone, it's ridiculous how horrible this exit is.)  and see I have room to merge over. 

The minute I do, the lady I merged in front of gets pissed (for what reason I have no idea because there was more than a car length between us) she flashes her lights and blares her horn.

Me? I ignore it. Although I'll admit I was a little frustrated.  I mean, really?  Was all that necessary?  But that wasn't even the worst of it. This is where the road rage comes in.  She decides that since I've ignored her, obviously she needs to get my attention. She roars up around me and then pulls up next to me --in my lane! --And proceeds to yell at me through her open window and my closed one.

My heart is seriously pumping some blood now and I'm a bit shaky (because I HATE confrontations. Seriously hate them.), but I ignore her, figuring she'll just go away when the light turns green.  She didn't.  In fact, she follows me THISCLOSE to my back bumper until the next light, in which she speeds up to get in front of me and then SLAMS ON HER BRAKES, so I have to slam on mine in order to avoid hitting her.

Then she flings open her door and continues to YELL AT ME again through my closed windows. I honestly have no friggin clue what she was saying.  Of course, now I'm pissed.  She almost made me HIT HER!  WTH?!  So I flick her off (not my brightest idea) and stick out my tongue at her.

This, of course, only makes her more angry and she slams back into her car and THROWS IT IN REVERSE!  Uh, yeah, I had to do the same, so I decide to just pull into the second turn lane next to me. To get away from Psycho bitch, as I've now dubbed her in my head.

Of course, she gets in front of me again, but this time blocks BOTH turn lanes.  This is the point that I SHOULD have called the police.  I should have just stayed there and waited for them to come and arrest her, but I was worried about my husband and I didn't know where my MIL worked, (also, I was a little scared at this point. I didn't want to be alone with this woman and for some reason this side street was practically empty--probably because it's a business complex and it was Saturday, but anyway, I digress)  So, I speed around her and try to catch up with my husband who is blissfully unaware any of this is happening.

She continues to follow me, all the way into the parking lot where my husband and MIL are.  She speeds around me and blocks all of our vehicles in, then opens her window and starts screaming again.

At this point I've had enough, so I get out of the car and storm to the halfway point between our cars (which happened to be next to my husband) and I say, "WTF is your problem?!" I think I may have called her a bitch, too.

She starts screaming that I cut her off and almost killed her three babies in the back seat.

At this point I'm completely dumbfounded. 1) there was plenty of room and we weren't even going more than 10 MPH 2) SHE did much more harm to those kids by pulling her stupid stunts than I ever did, even if I'd done what she thought I did, and 3) she's spitting and cursing and screaming like a mad woman while her kids are in the car?  How is THAT not damaging to them? 

Then  she really pisses me off by calling me a fat ass.  Okay, I know I'm fat. I get it.  It's a little impossible not to realize this fact when I put on my jeans every morning, but really, you followed me all the way from the highway to my MILs job, cutting me off and driving like a lunatic to call me a fat ass?  Really?

But, at this point I don't much care, so I spout off some not nice things.  Something along the lines of calling her a whore and whatnot.  Then she tells me I couldn't even get laid if I wanted to.  Obviously the hot man next to me, with his arm around me didn't make it clear that that's not a problem, but I scream out that at least I know how to close my legs.  Mature, right?!  *eye roll*

Yeah, not my most shining moment, I know.  After a few more moments of her screaming at me and me now ignoring it because my husband is smarter than me and tells me to "shut up. You're only making it worse", she leaves.

I have to sit down because now I'm sick to my stomach and shaking so hard I can't stand.  Then I start to think, because obviously my brain stopped working a while ago.  That she was really dumb.  And I don't mean just the road rage.

She had NO IDEA who was driving my big ass truck with tinted windows.  It could have been anyone.  I could have had a gun. I could have been a rapist for crying out loud. It's not like we were in an area that had a lot of people.

Here she is, so pissed because she thought I did her wrong (and in her eyes maybe I did get too close. According to me and the law--which I looked up afterward--I didn't, but who knows what she thought), she was willing to risk not only her life, but that of her three kids.

Something tells me she wasn't all that worried about those kids and it was just an excuse, but really?  And yeah, now I'm mad all over again. Not because of what she did to me--which was dumb--but because of what she did to her kids!  And that, in my mind, borders on abuse or neglect or something.  She didn't once think of those kids when she was doing all that.  Otherwise she wouldn't have done it!

But that's not even the end, she waited until we all left the parking lot.  My MIL decided that it would be better to take my DD home in her car, in case crazy lady hadn't given up. SHe felt it would be safer.

I agreed, which is a good thing I did, because she--crazy lady-- of course did wait for me.  But she went after my husband instead.  Remember he's on a motorcycle.  So I'm freaking out she's going to get him killed.  So I try getting her attention so she'll follow me again and try going a different way home.

But she doesn't follow me, she only continues to follow DH.  My MIL (obviously smarter than I, calls 9-1-1 and reports her) and I'm panicked the whole way home something happened to him, but he's home when I get there and gives me this HUGE hug, which makes me burst into tears (because I LITERALLY cry over EVERYTHING).

She apparently decided he wasn't worth it and left him alone after a mile or two.  Maybe she came back to her senses?  Maybe she realized we called 9-1-1. I don't know.  I guess it doesn't matter. 

But, yeah, I'm still pissed, and yeah, it's a bit about what she did to me, but it's mostly because of her kids.  I sincerely hope this was a one shot deal and it'll never happen again, but I'm seriously concerned for those kids, because next time she does that, she may not be so lucky.

Of course, I feel pretty stupid, too. I should never have "engaged the crazy."  I should have continued to ignore her.  I should've called 9-1-1 in the beginning. In fact, there are many things I should have done, but didn't.  And that's just another reason we should learn to curb our anger, because it makes us temporarily stupid.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Character Interview with Evelyn.

Hey y'all I'm over at the BNW blog with my MC, Evelyn. I found a recording of an interview between an unnamed reporter (poor thing) and Evelyn that took place before the events of RENEGADE.  Might be interesting to check out!  Also, it's a great sneak peek into the lives of Elysium Citizens.

Also, don't forget to check out my Book Deal contest.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Deal Celebration Extravaganza

Today is THE day.  I can't believe I am actually typing these words.  These last few months have been like a dream. And the best part is I can pinch myself all I want because it's REAL!!  

Most of you already know that I have a three-book deal with Tor Teen and the fabulous Mel Frain is my editor, so I'll spare all the gruesome details, but I've finally signed the contract and gotten my official copy back. And I've gotten my first writer paycheck.  Yes, for those who know me, I did cry.  Buckets!  The bank lady started crying with me. We've known each other awhile.  (smallish towns are awesome, peeps. Just sayin') It was a good day.  :D 

Anyway, because of all this awesomeness that is happening, I finally get to do the contest I've been waiting and waiting for!  My book deal celebration extravaganza!  (Hmm, that sounds a bit like a used car salesman trying to hawk the 1960s POS without an engine that's been sitting on his back lot for awhile, but...well, I like the word extravaganza.  It's got a certain panache, don't ya think.  ;P)

Anyway, details are below:

There will be TWO prize packs available.  One for writers.  One for readers. And yes, you can sign up for both. HOWEVER, if you happen to be picked to win both, I will email you and ask you which one you want more, so I can pick another winner for the other pack.  :)  

Evelyn wanted to help with this contest since she's THRILLED you all are going to be reading her story, so look to the reader's pack for special gifts from her.

Writer's Prize Pack:

·      A critique of your query letter and the first 50 pages of your manuscript.
·      A brand new copy of my favorite writer's book:  SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS.
·      A Starbucks gift card (value to be determined by number of entries)
·      An Amazon OR Barnes and Noble gift card (value to be determined by number of entries)

·      Seaweed soap  (I LURVE this stuff. It's great on your skin. PLUS it's what the Citizens of Elysium use. ;) )

·      Moleskin journal (Great for taking notes, or revising, or going to conferences.)

·      And if enough people enter I will add in a SUPER SEKRIT prize related to RENEGADE.

Reader's Prize Pack:

·      Tor Teen book pack which will include the books PERSONAL DEMONS and ORIGINAL SIN by Lisa Desrochers, ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake, THE FAERIE RING by Kiki Hamilton, ARTICLE 5 by Kristen Simmons (when it's released, since she's one of my BFFs this one will probably be autographed), and an ARC of RENEGADE when it's available.)

·      One of Evelyn's special perfume bottles* (This has a special significance in the book, BTW.)

·      Evelyn's silver rose pendant.*  (This also has a special significance in the book.)

·      Seaweed soap.

·      And again, if enough people enter, I will add in a SUPER SEKRIT prize related to RENEGADE. It'll be different than the one in the writer's pack. ;D

*If you're a guy (since this book is definetely geared toward both ladies AND gentleman) Gavin has stepped up to the plate and offered something special in place of Evelyn's gifts. He's extremely secretive and hasn't told me what it is, but he promises it's great.

And depending on the number of entries, I MAY award a 2nd and 3rd place winner.  Those prizes will be a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card for 2nd and a $10 amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card for 3rd place.

The contest starts today and will end midnight December 5th, 2011 so you have plenty of time to enter and get the word out!  I’ll pick two random winners (one for each prize pack) and announce them (and the 2nd and 3rd place winners if we get enough entries) some time that day.

That’s it.  Easey, peasey, rice and cheesy.  :D

Fill out the form below and GOOD LUCK!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Winner announced for query crit contest

Hi all!  Just a quick post today to announce the winner of the query/1st chapter crit. 

The winner, as drawn by, is: ashelynn hetland

Congratulations, Ashelynn!

I've emailed you with the details and can't wait to read and crit your work. 

For everyone else who didn't win, the fun isn't over yet.  Please stay tuned for later today or tomorrow where I'll be putting up another prize pack!

And, of course, that all leads up to the biggest contest starting November 1st, 2011 so don't change that dial!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Virtuosity

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My selection for this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:  VIRTOUSITY by Jessica Martinez.

I can't wait to read this because (besides the fact that we share a name.) well, the description made it sound great.  I'm not so keen on the cover, but it IS interesting, so there is that. I'm just not sure what it has to do with the book...Anyway, it sounds like it could be a really great contemporary romance and I've been itching to read a good one for awhile.

Here's the deets from her website and don't forget to add it on goodreads.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reading to our kids

                               Writers don't forget to enter my query/1st chapter critique contest. Here.

Okay I had no idea what I was going to write about today, then I read this article.  My jaw literally dropped.  I couldn't believe this woman was complaining about reading to her kids. Especially after saying how much she remembered enjoying reading CHARLOTTE'S WEB with her own mother. My first thought was, WTF?!

Reading to my kids is singularly the most enjoyable part of my day.  I get to share with them the discovery of new characters, far away places, and most importantly my love of reading.

Sure, we've run into our fair share of issues. there are days I'm just too tired to read and sometimes I do skip pages. I don't exactly like some of the books they want me to read, and I DO get tired of reading the same books over and over, but for the most part, it's enjoyable.  I get to spend quality time with them. I get to see their eyes light up when I pull that worn out copy of Sleeping Beauty (for my daughter) or Bob the Builder (that's when my son was little--he doesn't want me to read with him anymore. :()

And that brings up another thing, this age doesn't last forever. They won't want you to read with them forever.  Pretty soon, reading time will be spent playing video games, or reading quietly on their own. Talking to friends.  Whatever it is they enjoy instead.

So I'm going to cherish these moments for as long as they last.  And I'm going to read to my kids, doing bad character voices, and puppet shows, and giggling at all the silly stuff until my kids beg me to stop.

And person who wrote that article, honestly, you should be ashamed of yourself. (Sorry, I know that's harsh, but it's how I feel.)  I feel sorry for your kids.  If reading to them is such a chore, why not just not do it?  Then maybe you won't ruin reading for your kids.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Celebrate the small stuff

So these last couple of months, I've just been bidding my time, waiting for things to finalize and I'm glad to say that everything has indeed been finalized.  As of last Friday!!  Whoot! 

I'm happily working on the 2nd of my 3-book deal and I can finally stop to rejoice in what is the biggest accomplishment of my life so far.  It's also one of the happiest. Third only to getting married and having my kids.

Why am I only rejoicing now?  And not back when it happened?  Well, because I'm HUGELY superstitious.  I was afraid to celebrate anything until it was final.  So, since the ink has dried and I feel reasonably assured I'm not going to screw things up by doing a happy dance, that's what I'm doing.

I'm now going to celebrate all the small(-ish) but happy things that have happened in the last two years since I started on my publication journey.

It also made me think of all the bumps and potential roadblocks I've hit along the way.  And I just want to say to all you aspiring writers out there, the only thing that separates a published author from an aspiring one is persistence.  Never give up.  Even if you have to take a break now and then to recharge your batteries, keep going for the long haul. It's WAY worth it.

So, to help some of you on your way, and to give me time to think of an AWESOME contest to celebrate, I'm doing a tiny one. I'm celebrating my two year blogging anniversary this month.  It also happens to be one of my favorite months of the year, so I'm in an especially good mood. Which, in my mind, translates to lots of giveaways. 

I'll be giving away query crits, partial crits, and books. Lots and lots of books. :)  And all this will culminate into the awesomest of awesome contests (to celebrate the awesomest of awesome things--the finalization of my book deal).

So, we'll start small today and I'll offer a query and first chapter crit. 

Rules (because nothing is EVER free. ; ) ):

You MUST be a follower of my blog to enter and you’ll need to fill out the Google form.  Also, while I'll read almost any genre, I'm better at critting MSs in the YA genre.  Otherwise, that’s it.  It is of course, open internationally (as long as the MS is in English).  Contest ends October 17, 2011 at midnight, winners will be announced sometime that day.

  •   Follow me on Twitter (@jasouders)
  •  “Like” me on Facebook
  • "Like" RENEGADE on Facebook
  •  Add RENEGADE to you TBR list on goodreads
  •  Tweeted
  •  Blogged
  •  Facebooked
Good luck!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The power of words

Remember when your mother used to teach you the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."? And remember when you realized that wasn't exactly true and words hurt almost as much as sticks and stones?

I talked over at the BNW blog yesterday about how I always wanted to be a writer and it started with my 6th grade teacher.  And then I remembered a story from a friend, who had a teacher do the exact opposite and she QUIT writing because her teacher was so awful to her.  Which of course, got me thinking.  No surprise there, every thing always gets me thinking.  Pretty annoying for the hubby and kids when I start asking questions out of the blue, but anyway.  That got me thinking about how much influence people in authority have over others.

I’m not just talking about parents and teachers over kids, but bosses and politicians, etc over adults. Even friends and partners, neighbors.  Anyone really. And how easy it is for one person to say something, which could mean absolutely nothing to them, but destroy an entire person’s career, or life, or whatever.

That’s the power of words.  As a writer I know words can be powerful, but I never sat down to think exactly what power they wield.  One simple thank you can completely metamorphisize someone’s entire day, maybe even their life.  And one ill-thought choice of words can cause untold amounts of pain.

Words have started wars and ended them. They’ve caused and cured illnesses.  They are the windows letting people see who and what we are and stand for. And for the most part, we (as humans) spend more time brushing our hair, then we do in thinking about what we say.

But I have to wonder what a world we would live in, if we just took a few minutes to think about what we say before we say them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'M PREGNANT (with a book)! or How book publishing is like expecting a baby.

Okay, so I was teasing a few weeks back on twitter about how me waiting for my book to be out on shelves was like being pregnant.  And I kept coming up with these different comparisions.  Then I started getting comparasions from former L & D nurse and fab crit partner Liz Czukas, and we both decided that I should totally do a blogpost detailing the entire process from writing the draft to book birthday.  So here it is.  I hope you enjoy it, or a least giggle a little.

Querying is like on-line dating.  You put up your best photo and make yourself sound 100 times better than you really are out there—that would be the query letter, minus the photo (don’t send photos of yourselves to agents, peeps.  That’s all kinds of creepy. :P).

You get a nibble and go on that first date.  That’s a partial request.  Sometimes the date is a total failure and you never want to see each other again.  That’s a rejection.  You go back and forth with updating your profile page and going out on first dates.  Of course, that would be revising that query and manuscript until it shines and looks NOTHING like it did in the beginning.

FINALLY you meet someone who’s pretty awesome and you go on more dates and maybe even become exclusive  (Whee!).  That’s a full request!  Yay! (Keep in mind while some agents do ask for exclusives, it is not a good idea for an author to grant it—IMO.  In dating, yeah, might want to consider that exclusive. :P) Sometimes, again, you realize that the person you’re with just isn’t right for you and you break up.  There’s that rejection again.  (BOO!)

But then, the unexpected but completely awesomest thing happens.  He/She asks you to marry him/her!  OMG!  That is, of course, the offer.  You accept and say I do (There’s no engagement period here folks. We’re talking running straight to the courthouse and getting married before that boy/girl can change their mind. :P).  That’s signing the contract.  

Now you get to have fun (I’m not going into details about what I mean here, I’m pretty sure every one can figure this part out by themselves.*Boom, chicka wow wow*)  and you go out on submission.

After possibly a few negative pregnancy tests, you finally get an offer from an editor and accept.  That’s TOTALLY the postive and doctor confirmed pregnancy test. 

Then is the hard work, you revise, revise, and revise.  That’s all those monthly visits to the OB. 

Then, OMG, you get a COVER!  Wow!  That’s the ultrasound.  And like any proud parent you show it off to anyone you can trap for 5 seconds.  All during this time, people are asking when you’re due, and how much longer.  And are you excited? What’s it’s name? 

Then, debut day/labor. Even though you think you’ve been ready for months, you wonder if you haven’t just lost your mind.  You panic and tell people you’ve changed your mind. You don’t really want to be a mom (author) any more, but it’s too late, because before you know you’ve got a beautiful bouncing baby (book) in your hot little hands and you’ve forgotten how much hard work it took you to get there and you can’t wait to do it all again.  Because the book (baby) is perfect, and you love it so much!

Okay, I’m guessing on some of these, because I haven’t gotten that far with my book yet.  I’m still happily at the OB visits and waiting for the happy day I’ll get my sonogram.  LOL.  HOWEVER, I’ve had 2 babies, so I’m pretty sure I know what happens on that side. LOL.