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Goodbye 2015 and Hello 2016!

I can’t believe it’s almost 2016! Where did this year go? I know I say that every year, but it seems like it was just yesterday that we were dealing with an endless, brutal, snowy and cold winter, and now we’re about to start that fun all over again (I hope not! It’s been pretty mild here so far!).

2015 was the year the Silver Moon Saga ended with The Shadow Stealer. I was very sad to see those characters go and I still think about them often. But 2015 was also the year I got to introduce you to the characters from The Fading Dusk! I’ve been hard at work on the Smoke and Mirrors series this year, between publishing the first book and writing the first drafts to the second book AND a novella I had no idea I was going to write until late this year. I’m currently editing the novella, and once that’s done, I’ll get to start the first draft of the third book in the series. I’m super excited to write that one!

In 2015 I managed to read 100 books! (Okay, no, technically I’m at 99 but I’m going to finish number 100 after I write this blog post.) I finished a few series, started a few more, read some books that I’ve been meaning to read for a few years now, and even managed to read a couple of 2016 releases. My favorites were Six of Crows, Queen of Shadows, Things We Know By Heart, A Darker Shade of Magic, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Saint Anything, Walk on Earth a Stranger, Fans of the Impossible Life, The Wrath and the Dawn, Wolf by Wolf, and This Monstrous Thing. Have you read any of these? What were some of your favorite 2015 reads? What are you looking forward to reading in 2016? I already have a list of books I can’t wait to get my hands on, but I also need to get through books that have been sitting on my shelves for years. I need to avoid the libraries if I ever want to make a dent in my TBR pile!

I also went traveling for the first time in four years! I’m not a huge fan of flying, and it got so bad that I didn’t go anywhere for the longest time. But this year my friend told me to come to Texas in September, and I did it! And I’m glad I did because I discovered flying isn’t nearly as horrible as I originally thought. It was a lot of fun seeing another part of the country, even if it was super hot and humid most of the time! And then after I came back, I went to Boston for the weekend! That was a great trip as well, and I’m so glad I went. As for 2016? Well, my plan is to go to BEA in Chicago in May. I’ve never been to Chicago, so I’m excited for that. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit all the books in my luggage, though. 🙂

So that was my year. A little bit of reading, a little bit of writing, and a little bit of traveling. If my 2016 contains all of that, I’ll be happy.

Have a wonderful 2016!!

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No, I haven’t forgotten about this blog.

WHAT? AN UPDATE? HOW CAN THAT BE?!?!

Yes, I’m fully aware that I pretty much suck when it comes to updating this blog. This is what happens when I’m writing and editing. I tend to forget about things like my blog or my Facebook page. It’s bad but it’s also good because it means I’m busy!

So what have I been up to? Earlier this year I wrote the second book in the Smoke and Mirrors series (I really need to reveal the title of that soon!). It, sadly, was not perfect (not that I expected it to be, but that would have been nice!) and required a bit of editing/deleting/rewriting and all that fun stuff. I wrote the ending three times before I got it right, but guess what? I might go back and change it again! Why? One of the things I like to do to get to know new characters is write short stories from their POVs. In the Smoke and Mirrors series, I introduce new characters in book 2 and even MORE new characters in book 3 (which is still an outline at this point!). Sometimes it’s hard for me to throw a character in the middle of another character’s story (in this case, Irina’s story). I want to know who this other character is, but it’s hard to get inside of their head when I’m writing strictly from another character’s POV. So that’s why they get their own short stories (Phil’s story in A Promise of Magic is a perfect example of this. I wrote that story BEFORE I wrote The Soul Healer, even though it takes place AFTER that novel! It really helped me get a feel for both him and Kain, which is why I didn’t have any trouble writing them in The Soul Healer. I already knew, for example, that Phil was a picky eater and that Kain liked to say foolish things.). I decided in October to write a story from the POV of  a character that will make her first appearance in book 3. It started off as a little project, but now it’s evolved into this much bigger story that’s given me a ton of new ideas for book 3. The only problem is I now have to go back and tweak some things in book 2. I don’t think it’ll be too many changes, though! It’s just a lot of work during the craziest time of the year. I’m hoping once things calm down in January I’ll be able to wrap everything up and polish the short story so it’s ready to be shared soon after I publish book 2. And then I’ll get to work on book 3, which I actually cannot wait to start writing, all because I decided to write this short story.

So that’s where I am, writing wise. I’d been hoping to write two novels this year, but I’m happy with one novel and one short story (which will hopefully not be THAT long, but who knows with me). I can’t make any promises about no longer neglecting this blog and I want to thank everyone who’s still sticking around to read my random rambles. You’re awesome.

Also, The Fading Dusk went on a blog tour! If you’re interested in reading my interviews, some excerpts from the novel, and all the lovely reviews that were posted, then check out this link!

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Black Friday Sale!

For those of you doing some holiday shopping this weekend, you might be interested to know that all six of my ebooks are only 99 cents each! This has never happened before, so it’s pretty exciting!

blackfriday20152

The Sight Seer (Book 1): http://smarturl.it/vetboz
An Autumn Dream (Novella 1.5): http://smarturl.it/qi7bi3
The Soul Healer (Book 2): http://smarturl.it/rencc9
A Promise of Magic (Novella 2.5): http://smarturl.it/qbxa00
The Shadow Stealer (Book 3): http://smarturl.it/vaol35

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http://amzn.com/B0125KV45W

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It’s the Fall 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt!

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

Welcome to the fall 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt! My name is Melissa Giorgio, and I am part of Team Pink! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

YASH PINK TEAM 2015Go Team Pink!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 4th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

All set? Then let’s get this party started!

Today I’d like to welcome author Jennifer Tressen to the blog!

jennifer tressen

Jennifer Tressen is a wife, mother and writer. A former actor, she spent nearly ten years in the entertainment industry appearing in commercials, print ads and television shows. It was her love of storytelling that pushed her to the other side of the camera and sent her to film school at Chapman University. Although she entered as a Cinematography major, Jennifer graduated with a degree in Screenwriting after a single required screenwriting class forever changed her path. She found a passion for writing she had forgotten in her childhood. Everything she learned about screenwriting and especially storytelling she attributes to her mentor, the late Blake Snyder.

After several years of writing and editing for producers and other screenwriters her curiosity led her into writing novels. As a huge fan of Young Adult and New Adult literature this is where her pen tends to lead her. However, she does have plans to release a few middle grade fiction and adult novels in the future.

Jennifer is also the current series writer for a soon to be released animated children’s television show ‘Max and Wrigley.’

Castle in the Air - High Resolution

Jennifer’s book featured today is Castle in the Air. Here’s a little bit about it:

The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been called “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” largely because of the events of the 1930s when Dr. Norman Baker ran a “cancer treatment hospital” which he called his “Castle in the Air.”

Follow the fictionalized story of Clara, the young, unwed pregnant niece of Dr. Baker who comes to help at the cancer center in exchange for room and board and finds things aren’t quite what they appear to be. Caring for an ill young boy at the center she feels her maternal instincts kick in – something is definitely not right at her uncle’s hospital. But what? Will she be able to piece together the clues in time to save herself and the boy? Or will she be forever doomed to reside in the Castle in the Air, where once you check in…you never leave.

This one sounds spooky! It’s a perfect read for the fall. You can purchase Castle in the Air here, and check out this exclusive, deleted scene Jennifer is sharing with us today!

“Do you believe in ghosts?” Samuel asked. His tiny hand wrapped around a single jack and caught the ball midair with ease.

“My grandmother does,” Clara replied. “And I think my mom did.”

“But do you?” Samuel swooped up two jacks and the ball without even looking.

“I don’t know,” Clara said, a rush of sadness filling her heart and pressing down the already surging weight of her pregnant stomach.

“You should,” he said. “She watches you all the time.”

“Who?” Clara could feel the little hairs on the back of her neck lifting. Her last haircut had been at the hands of her shaky grandmother and she knew long before looking in a mirror that uneven lines and missing clumps were her fate.

“You know.”

Clara studied the boy further. He had the beginnings of frown lines, the markings of entry into adulthood and middle age, not that of adolescence. He was far beyond his single digit years, hidden in the body of a young boy was the mystery of a man time had forgotten.

“Who, Samuel? Who is watching me?” Clara tried to get a response but he was too focused on his game of jacks. Yet when it was time to collect six he stopped, allowing the ball to fall to the ground.

Clara could feel the presence. Turning slowly she saw the frail outline of a woman standing beside the window scribbling her name with her fingertip on the glass pane.

“Theodora?” Clara said softly.

“They are….” Samuel said quietly. “We all are.” Just then the ball began to roll away on its own, out the doorway and into the hall. Theodora turned to look at it. Then her eyes lifted from the ground to the little boy seated a short distance away.

“It’s time,” Samuel said.

“Time for what?” Clara asked. “Are you done playing?”

“Yes. The game is done.”

“Now what shall we do?”

“Prepare.”

Samuel’s single word reply brought on a coldness not typically felt in the early weeks of summer. Clara could feel its reach into the depth of her bones. This chill, its grip, it was familiar.

“What are we preparing for Samuel?” she asked.

“Death,” he replied.

Thanks for this awesome scene, Jennifer!

Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Jennifer, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 12. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the indie team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

And that’s not all! For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card and a swag pack (consisting of stickers from my Silver Moon Saga and a signed 5×7 photo card of The Fading Dusk), check out my Rafflecopter giveaway! The contest is open internationally, and there will be one lucky winner!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Okay hunters, it’s time to be on your way. Your next stop is L.A. Starkey’s blog! As you’re visiting all the Team Pink blogs, be on the lookout for my bonus content; this time I’m sharing a deleted scene from The Fading Dusk.

Happy Hunting!

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An Epic and Bookish Weekend!

September has been a busy, busy month for me because I went on not one, but TWO vacations. Yes, that’s right. After four years of staying close to home, I went away twice in one month. Earlier in the month I went to Texas for the first time to visit one of my best friends (and maybe someday I’ll write about that trip!), and this past weekend I went to Cambridge, Massachusetts! I’ve been to every New England state (we did a lot of road trips when I was a kid!), but I’ve never been to Cambridge (or Boston) before.

I took the train from NYC to Boston, which was an adventure in itself. It was very crowded and I couldn’t find a seat, so I spent the four hour trip in the dining car! It was a little uncomfortable, but not horrible. And the view was gorgeous!

215Manhattan. *_*

218Too bad the leaves weren’t changing colors yet!

Once I arrived in Boston, I met up with my friend Molly! We’ve known each other since high school, but the last time we saw each other was in Japan back in 2008! Now that she’s only four hours away (or one hour by plane!), we’re hoping to see each other more. Molly took me to my hotel and after I checked in, she showed me around MIT (her genius husband is a grad student there).

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014Crazy building!

015Not sure if you can tell from the picture, but those are all cranes.

023A really cool sculpture made out of numbers and math symbols.

022There’s a dome at the top of this building.

030And this is the inside of it!

225The view from my hotel room.

After the tour and dinner, I met Molly’s husband (he wanted to know how I’m able to write books, and I wanted to know how he can write complex math equations all over his multiple white boards. XD), and then Molly and I left for Porter Square Books. Mackenzie Lee, author of THIS MONSTROUS THING, was having her launch event there and I was super excited to meet her and get a copy of her book. At the event I met Molly’s friend, Melissa, who kindly saved us seats in the front row! Molly made this awesome, “I ❤ OLIVER” poster for Mackenzie, and Mackenzie’s face lit up when she saw it.

228Mackenzie!

The event was so much fun. Mackenzie explained her love for Mary Shelley and Frankenstein and read a passage from her book, which is being bumped to the top of my to-read pile! After the event we did a selfie with some props:

 tmt3(From l to r-Me, Molly, and Melissa.)

There was a huge turnout, so it took a bit for us to get our books signed. It was so nice finally meeting Mackenzie! We also signed a copy of TMT for Mackenzie (like her own personal yearbook), which I think is a great idea. After chatting for a bit, we went back to my hotel, but first Molly took me to the roof of her apartment so I could see the beautiful view of the city and the Charles river.

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The next morning was the Boston Teen Author Festival! They had an amazing lineup of authors this year; as soon as I saw who was coming, I knew I had to go. And I’m glad I did because the day turned out to be one of the best ever!

Melissa very nicely drove us to the Cambridge Public Library, and after we parked, we went to get Starbucks when Melissa spotted a whole group of YA authors across the street, who were also going to Starbucks! Inside, I approached Becky Albertalli (author of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. If you haven’t read this book yet, DROP EVERYTHING AND READ IT!) and introduced myself. She was super sweet and we had a very nice conversation (she introduced me to David Arnold, author of MOSQUITOLAND). And then we ended up walking back to the library with the authors AND riding the elevator with them. Doing things with authors turned out to be the theme of the day, actually!

241The library! (Look at that sky!)

243I’m not actually sure what this building was used for, but it was next to the library and very pretty.

045All of the authors!

First the authors talked and answered questions from the moderator, and then they split up into smaller panels. There were four panels, two at the same time, and luckily Melissa and Molly wanted to attend the same ones I did, so we didn’t have to split up.

240The Author Friendships and Crit Groups Panel (Adam Silvera, David, and Becky were fooling around in the beginning XD)

245The Craft Panel

btaf1In between the panels we did a selfie with Adam Silvera (author of MORE HAPPY THAN NOT) and Becky Albertalli. No big deal. XD This was our silly faces selfie, btw. We did do a normal one, too!

After the panels was the signings! I brought my copies of SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING from home for Leigh Bardugo to sign (She’s already signed my copy of SHADOW AND BONE), and her line was so long! But she talked with each reader and we chatted for a bit (she wanted to know who my favorite character was, and I told her the Darkling.), which was nice. After that I rushed to Becky’s line, and had her sign my copy of SIMON, yay! We talked again and I picked up some SIMON swag, too!

The event was winding down by then, and I found Molly’s friend Nicole (who became my friend after we met at BEA this year!), and we chatted while we waited for Molly and Melissa to finish getting all of their books signed. We left, thinking the day was over, but then this happened:

btaf5Riding in the car with Leigh Bardugo. (Melissa not pictured because she was driving!)

Because Leigh’s Uber was nowhere to be found, we ended up driving her to Porter Square Books so she could sign SIX OF CROWS stock! An epic ending to an epic day. As Molly said, we basically won at the Boston Teen Author Fest.

252My haul from the weekend (well, two I brought from home, but the rest I got there or from Molly!).

I left the following day, and it was a much calmer ride, thankfully. I didn’t have to sit in the dining car, for one!

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268Cambridge is very pretty, but my heart will always belong to NYC.

It was one of the best weekends ever. I’m so glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone, got on that train, and went. And now I have a new pile of books that I can’t wait to read!

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The Fading Dusk is here!

The Fading Dusk_Final_high

THE FADING DUSK IS HERE!

Introducing my brand new YA fantasy adventure! THE FADING DUSK is the first of four (I think? Still working on that!) books in the Smoke and Mirrors series. It’s something I wrote a few years ago, in between THE SIGHT SEER and THE SOUL HEALER. It’s very different from the Silver Moon Saga, but I love it just as much. I’m excited to finally share it with all of you, and I hope you will love it too!

The book is sooo pretty! First of all, there’s a map drawn by my good friend and amazing artist, Merritt. I’ve always wanted to publish a book with a map, and thanks to Merritt, this dream has come true! She also draw a lark (you’ll understand why there’s a lark when you read the book!) for the chapter art, which the amazing Nadege of Inkstain Interior incorporated into the chapter headers when she formatted the book. It’s really gorgeous, and I’m so thankful to these talented ladies. And let’s not forget Regina Wamba’s amazing cover! I really can’t wait to see the print version in person (as always, as soon as it becomes available, I’ll share the link here! It should be up next week.). I will probably end up petting it a lot.

Like I said, this is the first book in a series. You will be happy to know that there’s no cliffhanger of doom this time. I’m trying not to be an evil author with this series. And before anyone asks, I do not know when book two is coming out, but right now I’m aiming for the spring of 2016. But that can change, so don’t hold me to that!

Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in my newest book. I hope you enjoy it!

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The Soul Healer is here!

Talk about a crazy release day. The Soul Healer was scheduled for April 11th, but when I got up early that morning, it was no where to be found! All day long I received messages from people asking where it was, and by the evening, I wasn’t sure if I should continue with the release party or postpone it. It’s weird having a party without the guest of honor! But in the end we decided the party must go on, and about a half hour into it, The Soul Healer arrived on Amazon! I have no idea why it decided to be a diva and make us wait, but it definitely makes for an interesting story (ironically, The Sight Seer released a day earlier than it was supposed to!).

The party was a blast; we ended up having so many contests (thanks to donations from very generous authors!) that we had to extend it for another hour. We played games, talked about the books, and I revealed two exciting pieces of news:

 

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There will be five chapters to the Silver Moon Saga! Three full length novels, and two novellas. I wasn’t sure about the second novella, but I already have one story written, another one partially written, and an idea for the third one, so I’m going for it. And The Shadow Stealer (yay, I can finally call it by it’s proper title, instead of just “book three”) is in the process of being revised. The first two months of 2015 are going to be crazy, and I just can’t wait.

Happy Reading!