October 28, 2013

Awesome "Halloween" Reads

Since I'm always looking for books to read this time of year, I thought it would be cool if I picked some "Halloween" books to share with you on the blog. These are books that are not exactly about Halloween, but have the feel of this time of year. Fall. Leaves. Cold. Dark. Mystery. Those kind of books. 

1) The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
I really loved this dark, creepy story about vampires. While there is romance in this book, these vampires hunt like crazy. They're vicious and dangerous and I loved that. Amazingly written. 

2) Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey
This book is dark and light, serious and funny. And I loved it. It's refreshingly told, and the characters are very real. Since this book deals with dark magic in a small town where strange things happen, it's a perfect, creepy and mysterious read for this time of year.

3) The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
So. Good. This is a darker read about dark things. Mystery. Suspense. Love. Magic. I love every single page and was so glad it was the first of a trilogy. A truly wonderful book for the Halloween season.

4) Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
A perfect Autumn read. If the cover doesn't capture you, get glasses. This book is amazing, like a song. Stiefvater's writing is flawless and gorgeous, and the story itself will hook you. I swear I could feel the leaves burning.

Truth Quotes

"As a reader, I don't feel a story has an obligation to make me happy. 
I want stories to show me a bigger world than the one I know."

-John Green

October 24, 2013

Four Things I Learned About Veronica Roth After Reading Allegiant

After reading Allegiant, here are four (get it?) things I've learned about Veronica Roth. 


1) Veronica Roth is brave, incredibly so. To end a series is an impossible task, because even though the books have been written the characters find a way to live on in our minds. For an author, a series never really ends. The story might end, but there are always new readers, new thoughts, and random scenes that appear in your mind. Ending a series is brave.

2) She knows her characters and is not afraid to show their faults. She is not afraid to tell the story of a girl who is both strong and weak. She is not afraid to tell the story of a boy who is both strong and weak. And I think that is amazing. Men and women, we are all everything at once. We are not just one thing, strong or weak. These are brave things to feature because readers tend to look at (some) flaws negatively - especially when it comes to ideas about sexism and gender equality. This is why I will always love Tris and Tobias - because they are everything at once, as it is. I've found more comments from readers of Allegiant that the ending "blew" because Four appeared weak. And if you've read the ending, you'll know (hopefully) why comments like this are ridiculous. Fear, tears, sadness, love, hope, and loss are never signs of weakness no matter who wears them. Boys will not be boys and girls will not be girls, at least not in this series - and that is something wonderful.

3) Veronica Roth is brave because of that ending. Because it made sense. Because it was vivid and real and raw. And because the ending stayed true to the characters. More importantly, knowing how readers would react makes Roth an even braver soul than most. She knew. For the most part, authors and publishers and agents and editors always do. Knowing that and still writing something because it has to be written is brave. 

4) Veronica Roth is brave. The end.

And in the end, I don't know if this was the ending I was hoping for, but it surely was the ending I needed. The one that was meant to be. The one that should have happened. And the one that, no matter what, will teach us to live freely and move forward and, like Tobias says, "mend each other."

October 22, 2013


Here it is! In honor of over 900 likes on facebook, you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win one signed paperback of Light of the Moon, one signed paperback of Shades of the Stars, and/or a swag bundle of bookmarks and whatnot! Awesome! Liking the facebook page is mandatory because this was a "facebook exclusive" giveaway (the winners will be announced on there), but I decided to give you the option of tweeting about the giveaway for some additional points if you want (you actually get more for liking the facebook page, but can get more easily by tweeting). I added two giveaways - one US only and one International. Feel free to enter both if you live in the US, but I wanted to do something for everyone because there are so many awesome people from around the world on facebook! The giveaway ends Sunday so get to it! 

Check it out and tell all your friends! 

US only giveaway for some paperbacks!
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And here is the International Giveaway for some Kindle/Nook copies!
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October 21, 2013


Want signed paperbacks of Light of the Moon and Shades of the Stars? Be sure to like the facebook page in order to enter! I'll be having a giveaway soon! The more people who like the page, the more paperbacks I'll give out - so make sure you tell all your friends!


October 19, 2013

Philip Pullman's Carnegie Medal Acceptance Speech

Just because this entire speech is amazing, and so very, very true.

"There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children's book. 

 The reason for that is that in adult literary fiction, stories are there on sufferance. Other things are felt to be more important: technique, style, literary knowingness. Adult writers who deal in straightforward stories find themselves sidelined into a genre such as crime or science fiction, where no one expects literary craftsmanship. But stories are vital. Stories never fail us because, as Isaac Bashevis Singer says, "events never grow stale." There's more wisdom in a story than in volumes of philosophy. And by a story I mean not only Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk but also the great novels of the nineteenth century, Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, Bleak House and many others: novels where the story is at the center of the writer's attention, where the plot actually matters. The present-day would-be George Eliots take up their stories as if with a pair of tongs. They're embarrassed by them. If they could write novels without stories in them, they would. Sometimes they do. But what characterizes the best of children's authors is that they're not embarrassed to tell stories. They know how important stories are, and they know, too, that if you start telling a story you've got to carry on till you get to the end. And you can't provide two ends, either, and invite the reader to choose between them. Or as in a highly praised recent adult novel I'm about to stop reading, three different beginnings. In a book for children you can't put the plot on hold while you cut artistic capers for the amusement of your sophisticated readers, because, thank God, your readers are not sophisticated. They've got more important things in mind than your dazzling skill with wordplay. They want to know what happens next. Now I don't mean children are supernaturally wise little angels gifted with the power of seeing the truth that the dull eyes of adults miss. They're not. They're ignorant little savages, most of them. But they know what they need, and they go for it with the intensity of passion, and what they need is stories. Why do they spend so much time watching TV? They're not watching documentaries about Eastern Europe or programs about politics. They're watching drama, film, story. They can't get enough of it.

There's a hunger for stories in all of us, adults too.

We need stories so much that we're even willing to read bad books to get them, if the good books won't supply them. We all need stories, but children are more frank about it; cultured adults, on the other hand, those limp and jaded creatures who think it more important to seem sophisticated than to admit to simplicity, find it harder both to write and to read novels that don't come with a prophylactic garnish of irony. But those adults who truly enjoy story, and plot, and character, and who would like to find books in which the events matter and which at the same time are works of literary art where the writers have used all the resources of their craft, could hardly do better than to look among the children's books. And there's a spin-off too, a social benefit.

All stories teach, whether the storyteller intends them to or not. They teach the world we create. They teach the morality we live by. They teach it much more effectively than moral precepts and instructions.

Give the books to the teachers, and then leave them alone; give them time to read and think and talk about the books with one another and with their students, so that they can put the right book into the hands of the right child at the right time. We don't need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do's and don'ts: we need books, time, and silence.

Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever."

October 17, 2013

"Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes."


I saw an early version of the Shadow of the Sun (book 2) cover and it is epic! Seriously. And Calum might be shirtless. You are welcome. That will be revealed in the next few months.

October 13, 2013

Writing Advice Part 2

“Tell your story. Don’t try and tell the stories that other people can tell. Because [as a] starting writer, you always start out with other people’s voices — you’ve been reading other people for years… But, as quickly as you can, start telling the stories that only you can tell — because there will always be better writers than you, there will always be smarter writers than you … but you are the only you.”

 - Neil Gaiman

October 12, 2013

Writing Advice

Q: Should I always follow writing advice and writing rules?

A: Absolutely not. Make your own rules. Break them. Create new ones. 

As corny as it sounds, following your heart is the best path to go down as a writer. There's so much static out there about rules and queries and things you should do and not do, but it all comes down to what you think is best. How you define success. What you want to write. What is your art.

Most of the advice out there is from amazing authors who know what they're talking about. Should you listen? Of course. They know what they're talking about. But you should also understand that no advice is right for everyone. No rules stays unbroken. A lot of advice out there is personal advice that works for that specific person - but it might not work for you. Some people forget that advice is not universal.

So, break rules.

Create new ones.

Fall a a few times and get back up.

Keep trying.

Find what works.

Find your voice.

And keep writing.

October 11, 2013

Mythology: The Wicked release day!



Book Description

A demon with a pure heart, Micah Condie lives his life by a code of ethics, but breaking that code may be the only way for him to survive. A supernatural entity in her own right, Hope Gentry would do anything in her power to protect her loved ones, but she may be the one who puts them in peril.

When the Demon Impiorum challenges the laws that keep guardians and demons in balance, ancient enforcers of justice intervene. Micah, Hope, and their mentor Jonathan become entangled in a conspiracy that will test even the deepest love and trust.

Someone will commit an act of betrayal. Someone will forever abandon a loved one.

Someone will enter THE WICKED.


MYTHOLOGY (Mythology #1)
Book Description

Hope Gentry doesn’t believe in Fate. Born with an unusual power to see the dark memories of those around her, Hope just wants to be a normal teenager. But on the first day of her senior year of high school, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to a transfer student named Micah Condie. At first glance, Micah seems like a boy that most girls would dream about. But when Hope's powers allow her to discover Micah's darkest secret, she quickly becomes entangled in the lives of mythical entities she never dreamed existed. Was this her destiny all along? And will her powers help her survive the evil of the Demon Impiorum?
Mythology isn’t just for English class anymore.

Amazon.com   |   Barnes and Noble   |   iTunes Store   |   KoboBooks


Originally from upstate New York, Helen Boswell spent several years of her early adult life tromping around in the city of Buffalo with frequent trips to Toronto, Canada. These two cities in particular serve as inspirational settings for her urban fantasies, and while Helen has since moved to live in the southwestern United States, she will have fond memories of urban life and high-heeled sneakers for all eternity.
Helen earned her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University at Buffalo and dedicates her time to teaching biology and other fun things to college students, spending time with her wonderful family, and eating chocolate while writing.
The YA urban fantasy MYTHOLOGY is her first novel and the first one in the Mythology Series.
Find out more about Helen at http://www.helenboswell.com.

Want to become a character in Book Three or win other cool prizes?
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October 5, 2013

Diversity Writing Advice

Anyone can write diversity. It won't be right for everyone, but you'll get it right for some. Boys can write girls and girls can write boys. Avoid clichés, but realize there aren't single types of people no matter race, gender, or sexuality. "Cliché" is ambiguous - there will always be someone who says you're wrong. No matter, you'll get it write for someone (see what I did there?), and that someone will feel a little more right in the world. Try. 

October 3, 2013

Shadow of the Sun teaser - Zack's

Zackery Solts from Shadow of the Sun

"Sometimes, when the dark of night was quiet and still, and I was feeling reckless with hope, I thought of the moment when I would be completely happy. At home with myself and with him. In love, lost in the perfect escape where dreams and reality met. 

A moment I didn’t have. 

A moment I wanted. 

“You okay, Zack?” Calum asked. 
I answered, “I’m fine. Just thinking.”

-from Shadow of the Sun, the sequel to Light of the Moon


Add Shadow of the Sun to your Goodreads shelf!

Read Zack's short story in The Warrior's Code - out now!

And be sure to like the facebook page for updated teasers and exclusive extras!