Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Reads--Variant

Don't forget to enter my holiday giveaway on the post below. You have two more days to leave a comment to win one of three prizes!

So last night I finished Variant by Robison Wells.

Such a great book. I highly recommend it. It was fast paced (which I love) and intriguing and kept me curious and guessing the entire book. I loved the twist and the characters and really just everything about it. Except the cliff hanger ending, Mr. Wells, you are very cruel. So of course now I'm dying to read the second one. Does anyone know when it comes out?

Amazon blurb:

"Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible."

Sounds awesome, right?? It is.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Giveaway

So I'm in the mood to give something away. There are many reasons. One, did you hear about my friend, Renee, and her awesome news? If not, go check out her blog. Very inspiring.

Also, I've reached a few milestones. They seem silly but they make me happy.

*I finally hit 300 followers on my blog.

*I reached 800 followers on twitter.

*And 100 people I don't know personally, put me on their to-be-read list on Goodreads. (Thanks, everyone, it really means a lot to me)

In honor of all the support you guys are showing me, I'd love to give you something. I'd really love to give you all something, but that's impossible, so I'll pick two winners. The prizes. Your pick of one of the following:

1. A book. Any book. Your choice. I'd be happy if it were a Young Adult book and preferably a debut author, but I'll let you pick. Or I can send you my favorite book of 2011--Divergent by Veronica Roth (I should say, one of my favorites. There were so many good books in 2011.)

2. A partial critique of your manuscript. Up to 50 pages. Again, I feel most qualified to critique a Young Adult manuscript, but if you aren't a Young Adult writer and would like me to try my hand at something else, I won't turn you away. (If you win)

3. A query critique.

So that is my Thank You! offerings. Oh, rules. entry for a comment, one entry for a tweet, and one entry if you blog about it (Please tell me how many entries you earned in the comments section). Contest ends next Friday, December 30th, at midnight.

****Contest Closed. Will announce winners Monday, January 2nd****

Monday, December 19, 2011

New York, New York

So this last week I tagged along with my husband on his work trip to New York. It was so much fun! Best trip ever! But I'm an idiot and didn't take a single picture. So I will try to recap my trip borrowing other people's pictures so you can get the idea.

We arrived Tuesday night and started our time in New York with a slice of pizza. Yum.

(See how happy my husband and I are eating pizza. Doesn't it look delicious?)

Wednesday my husband had meetings so I braved the city alone and did a little shopping. It truly was pure bravery. I had to face stores like Abercrombie where they made their store employees parade around the front door like this:

I mean, come on, if you think stunts like this are going to bring in shoppers, Abercrombie, come the store in my home town doesn't do this? Maybe I should let them know what their New York counterpart is doing. I mean, purely in an effort to make them more consistent.

Wednesday night we had more pizza right before we saw this guy:

(Isn't my boyfriend so handsome?)

Sigh. I'm not going to lie, we shared several magical moments where I'm almost a hundred percent certain he was looking at me. Hugh Jackman put on such a great show. He was funny, witty, handsome. Seriously, what more could you want? The eighty year old women surrounding me agreed.

Thursday, I walked around in these shoes for 9+ hours (and this is the actual picture because I took it just now) and my feet fell off.

But before my feet fell off, we went to a taping of David Letterman and got to sit in the front row because apparently they thought we were loud and full of energy in our "interview" before the taping. They don't have me pinned at all. It was so cool. Jude Law was the guest. He pretty much looked exactly like the picture below. With the hat and everything.

That night we went out with my agent who rocked some cute and very high heels to try to close the distance between our height. She looked hot. :)

(So this picture is from our last meeting. Imagine us both looking even better! I know, it's hard to believe, but that's the kind of luxury taking no pictures affords us. We can remember things how we want to remember them.)

Friday I got to see both my agent and editor together over lunch. Having two of my favorite people in the same place doing one of my favorite things (eating) was awesome!

(That's me on the left [obviously]. :) Sarah, did you know this is the only picture of you in the entire webiverse? I mean, if that were me, I'd probably want this to be the only picture in existence of me, but now I have even more regret that we didn't take a picture. Because your super cute self needs some more web time and the world needed to see that awesome shirt you wore to lunch that I wanted to steal.)

My amazing editor brought me a sneak peek of my book cover!!!!!!!! I almost died. I can't wait to get the final version and show all of you. I love it so much.

So, as you can see through my picture extravaganza, I had the best trip ever to New York. How are you all spending your holidays??

Monday, December 12, 2011

Self Identification

My 4 year old son is really into drawing monsters. Like really into it. Every time he sits down to draw, he draws a monster. When he's at school, he draws monsters, at church, monsters. I have so many monster pictures in this house, it's crazy. Okay, now I feel the need to upload some so you can see their awesomeness.

This is one of our favorites. Note the smiling man in the monster's stomach. He's so happy to have just been eaten.

So, Friday when I went to pick my son up from school, a bunch of the kids were showing their parents what they had drawn that day. Apparently they were learning about self identity--what they looked like as babies and what they look like now. A little girl, showing her mom her picture, said, "This is when I was a baby and this is me now!" Her mom, so proud of the cute big heads with legs attached said, "Good job, honey."

My son, ready for some praise of his own, held up his picture. "Mom, this is me as a baby." I looked at the picture of a small circle with four sticks attached where the arms and legs should be and a big smile on the cute baby's face. Then he continued. "And this is me as a monster!!"

So much for self identification.
(I can't for the life of me figure out how to rotate this pic in blogger. I rotated it in my photo program but now, this. Whatever. You get it. It's a monster. It's scaring a poor little stick guy.)

This is how I feel sometimes when I'm writing. I think I know where my main character is headed, who she is, how she would deal with certain situations. And then she screams: "And this is me as a monster!!"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Book Sale

If you've been thinking about reading any of these lovely books

by the amazing Michelle Davidson Argyle (and if you haven't, why not? They are great) now's the time to do it! For the month of December the ebook versions are on sale for $0.99. Click here for more info.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Never Listen to Your Brain

So about three months ago I started working out. Yes, applause would be appropriate here. Mostly for the fact that it has been three months and I am *still* working out. But anyway, I'm getting side tracked by how proud we should all be of me. Back to the working out thing. Every time I was at the gym, on my way to the bikes I would see this class through the big windows of the...class room...??....what would you call that room? And every time I saw these super fit people doing these super hard things, I thought to myself, No thank you, not a fan of self-torture (you probably sense where this is headed).

Well one day I ran into a friend who I hadn't seen in years as we were walking up to the front doors of the gym. We got to talking and then she was like, "You should take this class with me in the class room (Ha. She didn't really say the class room part)" And I was like, "No thank you, ma'am. I've seen y'all in there and it looks awful." She laughed and we parted ways and I jumped onto the tread mill. And then my brain took over (unasked for, I might add) and was like, "You've been working out for 3 months now, Kasie. You should totally challenge yourself. You can handle it." I sighed at my brain for being so nosy and so unhelpful and walked over to the line (yes, there was a line) waiting for the previous class to get out.

My friend smiled and said, "You changed your mind?" And I said, "I don't know. I need to be talked into it." She laughed and said, "Okay, so you may cry a little. And tomorrow you won't be able to lower yourself to the toilet. But it's a great class!" My mouth fell open. "I said talked into it! Not out of it." That's when the lady in front of us turned around and she said, "If I can do it, you can do it."

Now, if this had been anyone else in the class, it wouldn't have swayed me. The entire class looks like they could be on the cover of We Are Super Fit and You Should Be Extremely Jealous Magazine. But this lady was at least 30 years my senior. Granted, she, too, could be on the cover of that magazine, but still. My brain said, "Seriously, Kasie? If she can do it, you can too."

So I did it. It was very hard. Line Lady could totally do it. I could totally not. I ended the class on my back staring at the ceiling, wondering if this was what slow death felt like. This was the first class. I've been going for about a month now. One week I looked ahead of me and was like, oh look, that girl is doing just as bad as I am. Substituting the hard moves for the modified ones and everything. I felt a little better. Later, she turned around......she was seven months pregnant.

Lesson? When going to the gym, avoid eye contact. If you see friends pretend you don't know them. And never listen to your brain. (At least not when you're at the gym.) That is my maddeningly unhelpful advice.