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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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2014 Recap and Bookish Goals for 2015

I can’t believe it’s almost 2015! Where did this year go? It definitely had its ups and downs, and I’m hoping 2015 is a much more peaceful one for everyone.

In terms of writing, I more or less wrote two books. I say more or less because I technically started THE SHADOW STEALER in 2013, and I also wrote 1/3 of A PROMISE OF MAGIC in, oh, I don’t even know, late 2012? But let’s just say I wrote two novels in 2014. I also published two novels! THE SOUL HEALER came out in April, and A PROMISE OF MAGIC was an early arrival, publishing in November (instead of January!). As for 2015, besides publishing THE SHADOW STEALER (February 27th! Less than two months away!), I hope to start and finish two brand new manuscripts. I’m not sure if this will actually happen, but as long as I finish at least one manuscript, I’ll be happy. I’m a little nervous starting something brand new that doesn’t involve Gabi and company because it’s really hard to let those characters go. But at least I can visit them whenever I want to in Tomodachi Life, right?

As for reading, I didn’t read as much as I did in 2013, probably because I spent almost the entire year writing/editing/revising THE SHADOW STEALER! I wanted to read 100 books, but I missed that goal by five measly books! (If you count rereading THE SHADOW STEALER at least five times and beta reading, then yes, I read over 100 books!) My favorite book of the year was HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas. I waited for over two hours to get an ARC of it at BEA and it was worth it, oh my goodness. I loved it from start to finish, and I can’t wait for the next installment! In 2015 I’m going to try to be better about reading the stuff I own. I go to the library a lot and always end up with five or more books to read, which is ridiculous because I have three years worth of BEA books to read! So I’m going to ban myself from going to the library unless they have something I really, really need to read (which is basically every book ever). I already made up a list of 2015 books I want to read (and when they’re published), but I also made up a list of older books that I’ve been wanting to read but never got a chance to. A few are series that are complete now, so if I can get all three books in one library trip, I can binge read the series, which is something I love doing. I didn’t put too many books on that list, less than twenty, because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I’m interested to see how I’ll do in completing that list. Guess we’ll find out a year from now! Oh, and something else I’ve wanted to do for the longest time is reread the entire Harry Potter series. But it’s so hard to reread something when there’s so many other new things to read. But I really need to make time for this series! It’s been too long!

Other than that, I hope to attend more book events (I’m definitely going to BEA for its final year in NYC. And hopefully I’ll remember to buy NY Comic Con tickets before they’re sold out! I totally forgot this year and wasn’t able to attend.) and blog about them, of course. Unfortunately a lot of the events are at night on a weekday, and I can’t go, but I always keep an eye out for a weekend ones!

Do you have any bookish goals or resolutions for 2015? If so, good luck and to everyone, Happy New Year!

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Another month, another update!

Have you visited my Facebook page recently? I have a little contest involving the title of the second Silver Moon Saga novella happening right now. Each day I’m revealing a letter of the title, and the first person to unscramble them and guess the title wins a $5 Amazon gift card! Definitely check it out if you can.

I also have an Ask the Author feature on my Goodreads page! I’d love to answer your questions, so don’t be shy!

In writing news, I am just about done with the second novella, which is very exciting. Even more exciting is I read through THE SHADOW STEALER for the third time, made a few more changes, and sent it to my beta! This is a big deal. I’ve been working on this since November, was rather unhappy with it for awhile, but I’ve finally come to the point where I’m able to let it go. Of course this is not the end for it; I’m sure I’ll have to make some more changes, but I’m happy that I’ve taken one step closer to finishing it. Although finishing it means I’m done with the Silver Moon Saga, and I’m not quite ready for that…

I’ve also been trying to read more. Because I’ve been writing and editing so much, I haven’t had much time for books this year, but in July I was able to read a whole bunch! I hope to keep this up for the rest of the year; I still have piles of ARCs to get through!

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BEA 2014

Happy June! According to WordPress, this blog turned two. I can’t believe it’s been two years already!

I also can’t believe that another BEA has come and gone. Yep, for the third year in a row, I was over at the Javits Center surrounded by books and book lovers. I ended up with forty-eight new books (that’s the same amount I got last year!) that I can’t wait to read. Want to see what I got?

day1Day One-I thought my arms were going to break carrying all of this! (7 of these are signed)

day2Day Two-9 of these are signed!

day3Day Three-Just one signed this time

I’m excited because a lot of these are YA contemporary, which I’m definitely in the mood for right now! There’s something about the summer that makes me want to read contemporary novels. But what do I read first? Usually I pretty much grab whatever book catches my eye and go from there, but sometimes I have a hard time choosing! I’ve seen my friends make lists of what to read during which month, and I’m going to try that method out. I’ll let you know if that works for me! I hope to get through a large chunk of them this summer since I’m in a huge reading mood and haven’t had a chance to read much this year, but it all depends on how my writing and editing goes with the final two books in the Silver Moon Saga! Last week was spent writing the last story for the second novella, and after I finish that, it’s time for another read of the final book. I have my work cut out for me, but I hope to be done by the end of the month or early next month!

It’s always sad when BEA is over, since I pretty much spend the entire year looking forward to it. But after three days of trekking to the Javits center, dealing with crowds, and carrying bags stuffed with books, it was nice to come home and relax! Now I’m literally surrounded by books (my bookshelf is full, so I have piles on my desk and dresser) and it’s amazing. I love it.

By the way, I joined Instagram, so feel free to follow me to see more BEA pictures. And dessert. I like posting pictures of desserts!

I will probably be quiet again, especially with all the writing and editing I have planned, but I do make an effort to update both my Facebook author page and my Twitter on a daily basis.

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My Favorite Reads of 2013

2013 is coming to an end! It was a great year for me, both in terms of reading AND writing. Not only did I read the most books I’ve ever read in one year, but I also published a novel and a novella! So this definitely was the year of accomplishments.

When I started 2013, I had, like many other YA readers, a case of series-fatigue. Following the example of others, I decided to try contemporary, a genre I’ve always avoided for no reason whatsoever, and I discovered I absolutely loved it. I didn’t read as much of it as I wanted to, but I hope to read more in 2014! Also this year I went to three days of Book Expo, and I think I’ve read maybe 1/3 of the ARCs I received? So another goal in 2014 is to read all of those books! We’ll see how well that goes. I also want to keep up with my series (especially any that are ending in 2014), so I may alternate between ARCs and new books.

Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite reads from the year:

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New York Comic Con 2013

On Friday, October 11th, I attended New York Comic Con! Comic Con is always a crazy, fun time, and this year was no exception. Actually, this was the best organized year yet, so maybe it was slightly less crazy than other years? For example, this year they placed microchips in the badges, and you had to tap your badges before entering the venue. When I first heard about this, I groaned and said, “It’s going to take even longer to get into the exhibit hall now!” But they actually set everything up outside of the Javits Center, where there is much more room. Better yet, there were no crazy long lines as everyone waited their turn to tap their badges. Once through, I waited my turn to enter the building, and then it was on to the exhibit hall!

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My first stop was, of course, to the booths run by publishing companies! This area wasn’t too crowded, so I was able to take my time and look at everything. Everyone there was super nice, too. For example, when I stopped in front of the Penguin booth, they asked me what I liked to read, and then went out of their way to open up a box of books so I could get an ARC of Rebel Springs. They were also giving away giant tote bags, which I grabbed and used for the rest of the day. When I passed Disney’s booth, I saw Victoria Schwab was doing a signing in a few minutes. I actually missed seeing her at BEA (her line was so long they ran out of books!), so it was nice to finally meet her and get a signed copy of The Archived.

014 (Medium)Free swag

After that, I wandered the floor some more, looking at merchandise for sale and all the different cosplayers, before heading down to the conference rooms. I don’t know whose idea it was to have two literary panels back to back in the same room, but I want to shake their hands and thank them. For two hours I got to sit down, put my heavy bags on the floor, and listen to authors speak.

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The first panel was “Once Upon a Time in Fantasy Lit…” featuring authors Bennett Madison, C. Robert Cargill, Catherynne M. Valente, Soman Chainani, Emily Croy Barker, and Gitty Daneshvari. They introduced themselves and their books, and then went on to discuss everything from Disney animated movies to what fantasy creature they wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alleyway. As a lover of fantasy, I had a great time and wished the panel had been longer, because the authors were both interesting and informative. I’m definitely going to pick up their books in the near future!

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After a fifteen minute intermission, the next panel, “Kill or Be Killed: Crafting a Powerful Female Protagonist” started, featuring authors Amelia Kahaney, Kendare Blake, Danielle Paige, Lauren Oliver, and Lindsay Ribar. Once again, each author was introduced and talked a little bit about their books, before discussing their awesome female protagonists in their current and upcoming novels. In particular, I was very excited to hear about Lauren Oliver’s forthcoming Panic, and Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die. Both sound excellent. Ironically, they also discussed Disney animated movies. In fact, The Little Mermaid was mentioned in both panels (both favorably and unfavorably) by the authors!

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Once the second panel finished, I headed back to the exhibit hall. There was a book giveaway going on at the Harper Collins booth (spin the wheel, win a book), and I won an ARC of Cruel Beauty, a Beauty and the Beast retelling I can’t wait to start reading! I spent a little bit more time at the con (visited the Artist Alley to see all the beautiful artwork) before heading home, thoroughly exhausted. But I had a great time, and I’ll definitely go again next year!

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Books of 2013: October

Here are the October books I’m excited for! (Once again, these are not all the October releases I’m interested in, but I removed the ones that I already read and/or own. Love my ARCs!)

October

1st-Perfect Ruin-Lauren DeStefano

8th-Desert Tales-Melissa Marr

15th-(Never) Again-Theresa Paolo

22nd-Allegiant-Veronica Roth

Do you see what’s on there? (Never) Again by Theresa Paolo, one of my agency sisters! I’m super excited for this book, you guys, and you all definitely need to check it out on the 15th!