Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors

February 26:  Top Ten Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List (basically an auto-buy list is no questions asked..you love this author so much that no matter what they wrote next you'd buy regardless of genre or subject matter)

1. Ally Carter (I own all of her books.)
2. Robin Jones Gunn (I own many of her books.)
3. Shannon Hale (I think I've read all of her books)
4. Jane Austen (Read all of her books but own 4)
5. Rick Riordan (Own all of his books)
6. Jessica Gray (Her fairy tale book series!)
7. Laura Childs (Mystery books!)
8. Lisa Tawn Bergren (so many good books!)
9. Mindy Starns Clark (love her style of writing)
10. Jeff Kinney (my son loves Wimpy Kid and so do I)

(I'm sorry that I'm leaving people out! There are so many great authors that I know and love to read their works. My bookshelves are full of great books.)

Who are your favorite authors?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Melissa-ish Monday: Birthday

Saturday was my birthday! Yay! But I was sick. Boo! I decided I didn't want to spend all day in bed so I pulled up my socks and took some more cold medicine and we went out to dinner. :-) The hubs and I went to Downtown Disney and ate at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen restaurant. Good food, like always. We were able to sit right by a window and here was our view!

The Lego Store and right in front is a HUGE figure of Prince Phillip battling Maleficent as a dragon. Best seat ever!

Not my best birthday ever, being sick and all, but it's still better than my 9th birthday when I woke up with the stomach flu. 'Nuf said.

I hope you all have a splendid week!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Book Haul: Feb 24, 2013

Book Haul: February 24, 2013

Books Received for Review (this week from Netgalley)

THE RUNAWAY KING by Jennifer A. Nielsen
POISON by Bridget Zinn
A TOUCH OF SCARLET by Eve Marie Mont

From the library

FIRE by Kristin Cashore
BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore

Received as a gift for my birthday

BOUNDLESS (Book 3 in the Unearthly series) by Cynthia Hand

I've read 4 of these books this week already. (I read BOUNDLESS in one day because I love the story and needed to know What Happens Next?!) Most of my reviews are over at Goodreads, if you care to know what I think about books. (Though I feel it's a slippery-slope where authors rate books. But...I read a lot and want to keep track of what I read and be able to recommend books to other. Le sigh...)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Photo Friday: Thorn Tree

Photo Friday!

I went to the Fullerton Arboretum and took lots of photos. I like to go here and get ideas and inspiration for books. I found this wicked looking tree. Hmmm....how to work it into a story?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

B&N Book Signing - Feb 2013

I was at the Fullerton, CA Barnes and Noble on Saturday, February 16 to sign copies of THE SEVENTH BLESSING and THE HIDDEN BLESSING. Thank you to all of my family and friends who came by! I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. :-)  Here are a few photos from the signing.

My mom and me

A friend from my son's school came by

My friend Amanda, one of my beta readers and writer friends

Friends from my husband's work

I'm up on the big Nook in the store!

My aunt and my little cousin. I speak his language. ;)

My little fan club! (My husband, my sons, and two of my nieces)

Here I am! Ready to sign books!

My sister Tiff came by to help keep an eye on the kids during the signing

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day Craft Ideas!

Valentine’s Day Paint Can Craft

I found these empty clear paint cans at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and knew I could make *something* with them. Valentine’s Day was the next holiday coming up so I decided to use these for teacher gifts.

Step 1

Find paper that would be cute for Valentine’s Day AND to keep out during the year (if the teacher wants to!)

Trim paper to fit inside can. I used several pieces to give it a cool look. Use spray adhesive or glue that dries clear on the paper and *carefully* place in on the inside of the can with the decorative paper facing out. (My glue started to unstick the next day so I had to glue it again.)

Decorate the outside of the can with stickers, paint, cut out paper, etc. I love to decoupage so I used Mod Podge to adhere cut outs to the outside of the can. It gives the whole project a 3-D look that I think is cute.

You can cut out a circle to cover the top of the lid. Add the teacher's name to it or whatever you would like it to say.

I added a note that said,  "CAN" you see how much I love you?  (This caused consternation with my youngest son. "I do love my teacher but I don't want to tell her that! The other kids will see it and laugh at me!")  I liked the paint can/"CAN" pun. Puns make me laugh. :)

Step 2

Cut 5 inch strips of ribbon. Tie on to handle.

Step 3

Fill bucket with candy, notes, small packages of coffee, tea bags, new pens, post-it notes, etc. Whatever little goodies you want to give!

Happy crafting! Happy gifting! 

Photo Friday! Ally Carter signing

Photo Friday!

On Monday, my husband, boys and I went to see Ally Carter at the Barnes and Noble in Glendale, CA. All of the seats were filled and people were lined up on the back wall. Ally entertained us with tales of writing and answered questions from the audience before signing books. I brought ALL of my Ally Carter books to be signed. (She's one of my favorite authors.) She willingly signed them all and chatted with me and my oldest son. He was very excited to meet another "real" author.

The newest book out is the third book in the "Heist series", PERFECT SCOUNDRELS. I just finished it last night and WOW! It's so great, guys. Kat and Hale are perfect for each other and the plot line...No spoilers, of course. Just...go read it. If you enjoy books about smart girls, clever thieves (who are actually the good guys!), and just plain awesomeness, read the Heist books. Tagging on to that - also read the Gallagher Girls books! The sixth book is coming out this fall and promises to be a wonderful ending to the series about girl spies.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday: Bookish Memories!

Today's "Top 10 Tuesday" is about "Bookish Memories." I have so many! (I hope I don't offend anyone by leaving you/events/books out.)

Listed in random order (the things that pop into my head!)
1.) Leading writing workshops, talking about being an author to students at schools. <3 Getting "fan mail" from those students!!

2.) Book Signings - All the signings that I've had that my family and friends have gone to - oh! Love to you all and to the book stores hosting events!

3.) Getting The Call from my publisher, TLT Publishing - I was signed for a trilogy! One of the Best Days Ever!

4.) Attending ALA Annual in Anaheim last year - Again with the book loving people!! Met up with author and blogger friends, met some fantastic authors, had books signed. (I wish I had more pics from this!)

5.) Going to RT Teen Day in LA - I met my editor, Farrah, at the RT Teen Day in LA. I'd emailed and talked on the phone to Farrah for months and then she came to LA. We were able to hang out and I met Ally Carter!! She signed some of my books. She's so sweet! I've never been to a book event with SO many authors, books, people! It was crazy but it the best way. :)

6.) Met Lisa Schroeder and Lindsey Leavitt - They had a signing in Santa Monica. They are so much fun to talk with!

7.) Went to Shannon Messenger's book signing - I took my kids and they had a blast! Cupcakes, a great book, chatting with friends.

8.) Attending Book Expo America BEA last year - SO AMAZING. I roomed with Erika and Tirzah and met a lot of bloggers, authors, lots of great book loving people. I actually talked to John Green! (I made up my mind to speak to authors and not silently fangirl and kick myself later for not speaking to them.) <3

9.) Getting The Email from my publisher, MeeGenius! - I was in public when I got this email and I tried very hard not to freak out and cry as I getting into the elevator while reading the email that they were going to publish my children's book.

10.) Met Jessi Kirby, Morgan Matson, and Jenny Han - They had a signing at Huntington Beach in the summer. It was a great time!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Editing...in gifs

I'm editing Book 3 right now. It's hard, guys. I wrote this book completely differently than Books 1&2 in that I used a storyboarding technique for the outline. Which was super cool for writing the first draft. But then...I needed to edit it to add more details and feelings and thoughts. These are the things that storyboarding is not good for.

Here's how it goes:

Writing 1st draft

Re-reading 1st draft

Sending it to my editor (who is awesome!)

Getting back editing notes

First round of edits

But then...second round of edits

Continuing on edits...not knowing the right words to add

Questioning stage: Why did I even think I could be a writer? *cue freak out*

Husband looking at me, trying to understand

Me, explaining myself

And he's like:

But then I get more coffee

And eat cupcakes

And remember to breathe.

I then start editing again.