Monday, July 16, 2012

Maddeningly Unhelpful Monday

Remember when I used to give unhelpful advice *every* Monday? Ah, the good old days. Well, today I'm back with some advice that will be so useless to you, you'll make sure not to thank me.

But first! How about something you might actually want?? Over at Friday the Thirteeners we're giving away a prize package of 13 books. They're books we wish we would've written first. So basically they are thirteen of the most awesome books ever. You should go enter the contest because who doesn't want thirteen free books? Enter here.

Back to being unhelpful. This past week we spent some time in Zion's National Park, Utah. What a beautiful place. The colors and canyons and scenery were AMAZING. But what someone didn't tell me was they set the temperature to SCORCH for our arrival. It was hot. So what did we decide to do? How about spend the day horseback riding? Sounds like something anyone would do on a nice 111 degree day, right? The correct answer is, no. This is what insane people do. Also, more advice--when someone says: Do you want to take the most adventurous horse ride in the United States? You say: No thanks. Can you point the way to 'horse rides for beginners' or 'the strolling horse ride through flat, shady pastures' or even 'pony rides are us'?

You should definitely not say, sure why not. After all we could count on one hand how many times the lot of us combined had ever sat on a horse. So why not spend four hours on the back of one? They assured us this wasn't a problem. Beginners were just cowboys waiting to happen. (Okay, they didn't say that last sentence but I think that's the motto engraved on their very experienced cowboy hearts.)

So off we go. Me, my husband, and three of our children, smiles on our faces, the fear we should've felt far from our minds. I won't go into too much detail, but let's just say by the time we stopped for lunch my husband thought he might have the early stages of heat exhaustion and our sandwiches looked like balls of goo. The rest of the ride involved a run straight up the side of the mountain where the wrangler warned us: "Do NOT let your horse stop on that mountain or it will be bad news for you. You must run all the way up." Um.....yes I was terrified. Along the trail, my husband's horse decided, it too was a bit hot and kept sitting down. SITTING DOWN. With him on it. It was craziness. And my horse liked to be in the front of the pack, no matter where we were in line. And in order to get there it liked to run.

All joking aside, it would've been a pretty amazing ride if it wasn't so hot. Apparently us city dwellers don't know how to prepare for heat like that spent on the back of a horse. By the time we got back, I could hardly walk and I poured a whole bucket of water over my head (kind of like Hugh Jackman did in the movie Australia....except I had my shirt on....and I was a sweaty mess......and I don't have awesome muscles.....okay, it was nothing like Hugh Jackman).

So, my advice restated? When given a choice always opt for the pony ride through the lush green meadow on a breezy spring morning. And watch Australia because that Hugh Jackman scene is really awesome.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Excuse my delay in posting today. I forgot my computer charger back home and have been begging and borrowing internet access for the past few days because my poor computer is dead. Yes, it is hard for me to be without my computer. No, I don't want to talk about it.

So, on to the winner.

I knew this would happen. I knew I'd want to give everyone who entered the contest the ARC because I loved all the answers. Why oh why do I ever make contests subjective? Seriously, I can tell you all loved VARIANT as much as I did. But there was one person who showed her love by doing something not even I did and that was buying several copies of VARIANT and distributing them. Therefore I think she deserves this ARC more than I do. And that person is: Melanie Jacobson

Congrats, Melanie! Email me your address and I'll send this very awesome book your way.

Loved your answer, Jordan. It made me laugh.

And Rissa, I related a lot to your comments. Totally agreed with all your reactions.

Thanks so much to everyone for entering. Stay tuned because I'll be posting about some giveaways of my own ARC, PIVOT POINT, soon.

And once I'm back home and done with the whirlwind vacation tour I've been on, this blog will back to its regular schedule.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I've been hoarding ARCs

So, I have to confess, I've been hoarding ARCs (Advanced Reader's Copy). When I first started getting them I didn't pass them forward because I'd never gotten them before and I loved them and thought they were awesome. But I must stop. I need to share the love. And that is why......*choking sob*........I'm going to......*whimper*......give away my ARC of.....*clutches the book tightly*..... FEEDBACK by Robison Wells. It doesn't come out until October but I was lucky enough to score a copy from my editor when I was in New York. I read it last weekend, loved it dearly, and badly want to add it to my very special collection of ARCs. But I know in my heart of hearts that I must share.

So this is your chance to win an ARC of FEEDBACK. Now, because I hate to part with it, and I only want to do so for someone who loved VARIANT (book 1) as much as I did, there is going to be a requirement. You must tell me in the comments section what you loved most about VARIANT. I will pick my favorite. (If you didn't read VARIANT, hurry, you have a week.)  I also don't like being in charge of picking because I know I'm going to love all of your answers. So if it ends up being too hard or there are too many similar answers, I reserve the right to use a random pick site. :) Good luck! You want to win this book.

Also, I'm not officially giving "extra" entries for tweeting/blogging/sharing this contest. But since it is a subjective contest, your enthusiasm might influence the judge....just sayin'.

This contest ends Sunday, July 8th, at midnight. The winner will be announced next Monday.

Warning: Major spoilers for book 1, VARIANT, in the comments section. If you haven't read VARIANT do not read comments. :)