Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today's the last day of Blog Me MAYbe and I've got to say, I've loved blogging this month! Having a schedule like that made it so much easier to keep my thoughts organized and I never lacked inspiration for what to post about.

Tomorrow June starts. And June? Yeah. It's gonna be the VERY definition of crazycakes, so blogging'll be back to sporadic at best.


I'm going to try to do this all over again in July! Any of you interested in joining?

I mean... Blog Me JULYbe doesn't have the same ring, but still. If you're game, I am. And either way, we'll definitely do this again next May, too.

For today, instead of telling you about a certain person--I'm reposting the original sign up link thing. So take a few minutes and check out some of these blogs. Meet someone new today, after all it's the best part of blogging isn't it? Joining in with the community?

Enjoy the last day of May!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Regarding Comments

How do you like your blog comments responded to?

I ask because there are so many ways for to do it--and I'm never sure which is preferable.

If you comment on someone's blog, do you like for them to reciprocate and respond to your most recent post? This is what I've been trying to do recently with comments here on my blog. When I can, that is! I've been so swamped with the move, I haven't had much time to comment these days. And even when I'm not gearing up to move, my blog reading list is a little out of control and I don't have time to read all the blogs I want to--or, when I do have a chance to read, I don't have time to comment everywhere--but I try very hard to make that effort for people who visit this place. Yanno? You visit me, I'll visit you sort of a deal.

But . . . If I'm being honest, that's not why I comment on other people's blogs. Like, I don't get offended if I comment on Blog X, and then Blogger X doesn't come over here to comment on my post. I know some people leave comments for that purpose--and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it! That's a great way to build community and get to know people, for sure. But I just like to comment on posts that I actually have something to say about after reading. And that's what I'd like to happen here, too. If you have something to add or question or contribute, do it! But don't feel obligated just because I've commented on your blog.

So then there's the email response. Your comments come into my email account and, if your email is linked to your profile, I can hit reply and respond directly to you.

OR I can reply directly in my comments section on my blog. But with blogger, I don't think it notifies you that I've written back to you, which means you have to revisit my blog to see if I've responded. That sounds like an extra bit of work. However, I could always switch to Disqus, which a lot of blogs have already done. With Disqus, you'll be notified when I respond. So you don't have to come back again, unless you want to reply to my response.


Am I way over-thinking this? Probably. But I'm still curious--so let me know!!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I am . . .

♦ Freaking exhausted after packing up our house all weekend.
(With the exception of an awesome day I spent at King's Dominion with Cristin Terril and Copil Yanez!)

♦ Closing on a new house this week!

♦ Trying desperately to come up with something else about me . . .

♦ Failing . . .

♦ *Krumping to distract you*

♦ Unable to Krump without looking like an awkward chicken.

♦ Failing some more.

. . .

. . .

. . .

Oh, here are a few things:

♦ SO excited that So You Think You Can Dance is back on! It's my favorite summer show. Well . . . It's really a tie between SYTYCD and True Blood.

♦ TOTALLY missing my WIP. Moving has taken up my month and I'm stoked to finally getting back to revision after BEA next week.

♦ Hoping this post is long enough to actually constitute being a post. Ha.

And in case it isn't, here's an example of Krump to distract you. :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

Don't Forget.


Instead of blogging about writing today, I just want to ask you to take a moment to remember--and be thankful for--the men and women who've given their lives to keep us safe.

source: Me! I took this pic in Boston a few years ago.

Thank you to everyone who's ever defended our freedom. 

And to the families of our fallen soldiers, please know they'll never be forgotten. 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Who WOULDN'T workout for this?

First of all? 

Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories. 

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life. 

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah's memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her. 

Find Grasping at Eternity on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

CHANNING TATUM, Plus: Karen, Katy, Literary Rambles . . .


So this happened:

And then I became really popular with retweeters for a day. It was fun.

I mean, I know it's a small thing. One little retweet.

But, um, Channing Tatum tweeting me?

Made me giddy

I've loved him since Step Up and see every movie he's in.

(I don't even care if it was his marketing people or whatever either. In my mind? Me and Channing had a conversation twitter moment that will last forever.)

Next up? Ryan Gosling. I now have faith that it could happen. And maybe Adam Levine. And Jared Leto.

Okay, and even cooler news?

Karen Hooper's book, Grasping at Eternity, comes out tomorrow!

Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories. 

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life. 

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah's memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her. 

 I've already posted about this novel, but you guys. Please, please get it and fall in love the way I did. You can thank me after you've stayed up way too late to finish the story, okay?

Find Grasping at Eternity on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

And in other news, there are some cool books and ARCs up for grabs in contests!!

Three ARCs of Shannon Messenger's Keeper of the Lost Cities at her blog. (Trust me. You want one of these babies. Bad.)

A SIGNED copy of The Disenchantments at Katy Upperman's blog!

Lola and the Boy Next Door also at Katy Upperman's blog!

Torn at Literary Rambles!

And my own giveaway here for Monstrous Beauty, The Raft, and Wake!

Are there other giveaways I'm missing? If so, leave them in the comments for other people to see!

Happy Thursday.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Do you want these ARCs??

We're moving! Woohoo!

But between packing and getting everything in order and set up, my reading (and revising, sigh) time is being almost completely consumed.

I'm worried I won't have time to promote these ARCs the way I'd like to before they come out. So I'm dropping the responsibility on YOU.

Out September 4th
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama. Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.

Out August 21st
The Raft by S. A. Bodeen. Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.

And then . . . she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.

Out August 7
Wake by Amanda Hocking. Lose yourself in the magic of Watersong, an unforgettable new series about two sisters who nearly lose their lives - and their loves - when they fall under the spell of three beautiful but deadly sirens.

First in a four-book paranormal romance YA series from bestselling author, Amanda Hocking.

Let's make this simple. Here's how it's going to work:

To enter:
  • Follow my blog
  • Spread the word about the giveaway (Tweet/facebook/blog/sidebar/whatever you want to do. 1 point for each! 2 for a blog post about it.)
  • Leave a comment telling me the following four things:
    • Which ARC you'd like to win
    • How many points you have, with links to the ways you spread the word
    • A promise to promote what you loved about the ARC if you win it
    • The country you're from--one winner is guaranteed to be from someplace other than the US! 
  • That's IT. 

This giveaway ends Wednesday, June 13.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Perks of Being a Bad Rememberer

My memory is $#!T.

There. I said it.

I mean, you guys, it's bad.

Some things I remember with absolute clarity*. But other things? It's like peering through the thinner parts of a strand of cotton candy. I can see what I'm trying to remember, but only through a kind of sticky haze.

Which, yanno, to put it lightly, sucksssss.


But this actually isn't a post to whine or lament about that cotton candy piece of my conscious. Because here's the thing: there's one area of my life where having a shoddy memory actually works to my advantage. And it's one of my favorite areas.

Here's a hint:

Yep. BOOKS! Don't get me wrong, I hate when my friends start discussing books and, even though I've read them, I can't really contribute much because I can't really remember much. Character names. Secondary plots. Character motivations and reactions. (I could go on and on.) Even with books I've loved.


It also means I get to reread my favorite books over and over again without their stories ever losing their sparkle.  Because of my crapy memory, reading the first page of a book for a second time is like slipping back into an amazing dream that's gone a little wispy around the edges--and sometimes in even more so in the middle.

It's awesome, getting to rediscover so much.

It's the one area I feel bad for people with amazing memories. Sure, they still reread for pleasure--but it's never as close to the first time for them. Because they remember too much. Which is something I rarely have a problem with.

Of course, I do remember some things. Endings, major plot twists . . . Those are almost impossible to forget. But man I love that second reading when little forgotten details jump back out at me. Secondary characters reshape among the pages. Plot threads begin to weave back together. I get to re-fall in love with the love interest. I'd never complain about that. I get a second, third, fourth (all right, maybe not fourth . . . by the second or third readings, usually books are more cemented in my mind) chance to love books like the first time I read them. 

And here's something else about me:

Just watch, now that I've admitted how bad my memory is, it'll suddenly get awesome. That's how things seem to work with me. I tell someone I'm one way--because I am--but then I end up changing, either down the road or right away. It's all very confusing, but kinda makes sense at the same time, I guess. Like when you evaluate yourself in some way, you become more attuned to that aspect. How can it not change or shift in some manner with all that attention? That's why I try not to make blanket statements about myself, because they never end up staying the same. But in this case? I'm hoping for it. :) 


*I felt the need to add that statement 1) because it's true, and 2) I suddenly got nervous. What if I'm called to witness something in court someday and somebody uses this post to discredit what I say?!  So let me clarify here: I don't ever lie about what I can't remember. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The SECRET Trick

I'm not gonna lie. This writing technique isn't groundbreaking. It's something you've probably already thought about. And I'm sure I'm not the first to blog about it.

But I always love getting reminders about stuff like this. Just because I know it, doesn't mean it's always at the front of my mind. Yanno?

So. For today, here is your reminder:

Give each of your characters a secret.

Each character. Not just your main character(s), but your secondaries, too. And your tertiaries. (I totally had to look up the spelling for tertiary. I could have sworn there was a "c" in there somewhere . . . )

I try to know as many of my characters' secrets as possible before I start writing a draft. They each have one very significant one. A secret that they'd do just about anything to keep from coming to light. (Sometimes characters have more than one. That's when things get super fun.) (I'm a poet and I know it.)

Some characters' secrets become large parts of what drive my plots. Their unveilings can lead to major twists. Or small ones. Or they're not twists at all, but something else entirely. Not every secret has to be CIA spy-worthy. Sometimes the secrets never even come out--but they still definitely motivate their character's actions.

A character's secret can be deep and dark. Scary. Or it can be light, like hidden love. Or somewhere in the middle. Really, anything works. As long as the secret exists and makes a difference to the character.

I mean, think about it. We can deepen a character's development in spades just by understanding their secrets--and how they react to them.

Take . . .  Shelly, the main character in your new WIP. Or, yanno, insert the real name of a character here: ______________ :)

What's her secret? And whom would she share it with? Her best friend? (What's her best friend's secret?) Her parents? (What are their secrets?) Nobody? Someone only at the last minute and under duress?

How does her secret affect other characters in your WIP? How does it affect your plot? If it came to light, would it impact her life and the world around her? Or does she only think it would have an impact, but you the big bad author know otherwise? Will you let her secret slip out into her world? How? What about a secondary character whose secret affects your MC? What will you do with that? Or the tertiary character whose secret affects that secondary character? Or the second secondary character whose working against the first secondary character because his secret involves, or depends on, the first's secret?

I could keep asking questions like that for hours. Happily! Because each answer opens up something new. And all the sudden there's the start of this spiderwebbed plot. 

Each answer makes it that much stronger.

Okay, and maybe you're a pantser and don't think about these things ahead of time. No big. This trick still works.

Have you ever stumbled into a corner that you haven't known how to write yourself out of? Of course you have! And not because you're a pantser. I mean, I do that all the dang time, and I plot forever before I start writing. It happens to all of us.

But dude. When you do write yourself into a corner?

Give a character a secret and let it explode. Either your main character, or someone near her. The result from it being leaked?


That corner's destroyed in the rubble and you'll find a million different places you could go. Or maybe just two or three--or maybe just a single strand to pull on, but it'll be enough to move your character forward.

Or, if you want to be evil, backward. :)

And one other little trick for this technique? 

Reread this, but replace the word secret with a different noun. 

Give each character a past. A dream. A fearA weakness. A strength. An ability. A disadvantage. A weapon. A goal.  A tendency . . . 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Prank Calls Never Get Old

Yep. This is another throwback, but not because I'm lazy this time. I just like to share this every year or so, because it cracks me UP. :)

Prank Call Edition

Happy friday!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Something Amazing.

Originally my title for this post was "Something Kinda Amazing," but in truth? There's no "kinda" about it. This? It's straight up amazing.

I'm just going to refer you to Summer Frey's post from yesterday.

If you have five minutes to spare today, I'm begging you to watch the video she shared. It's truly inspirational.

So go over. Meet Arthur Boorman. 

And grab some tissues for the happy tears.

Most importantly?


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Not gonna lie.

I'm still mentally in Mexico.

So today? Yeah. Today is a short post day. But it's good, because I get to ask YOU something.

Where's the last place you took a vacation? 

Here's a picture of mine!

With Cambria Dillon in Puerto Vallarta! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sara A-Z

I first saw this survey on Alison Miller's blog, and she found it via Katy Upperman!

Here we go!

A is for age: Ummmm . . . How old do you THINK I am? I'm always curious about this! Leave your answer in the comments--and I promise nothing will offend me!

B is for breakfast today: Special K with Berries! 

C is for currently craving: MEXICO. I want to go back. Like, right now.

D is for dinner tonight: Something bad for me. I ate really healthy for six weeks before my trip and I am ready to CHEAT.

E is for favorite type of exercise: Dancing! Hip hop is my fave. 

F is for an irrational fear: Dying. I'm terrified of it. To an unhealthy level. 

G is for gross food: Chicken breasts. (Trust me. Get Salmonella even once and you'll be agreeing with me.)

H is for hometown: Fairfax, VA, baby! 

I is for something important: My family. 

J is for current favorite jam: Until We Bleed by Andreas Kleerup--It's one of the songs I've built into my playlist for the WIP I have planned for when I'm done with my current one. Don't know the song? Don't worry. I'm going to blog about it soon with a video for your enjoyment!

K is for kids: Don't have any yet--but someday, someday . . . 

L is for current location: My couch in my living room. 

It's sad. I spend so much time here (even though I have a desk, this is where I do most of my writing) that there's a big Sara-sized dip in my usual spot. All the cushion has been worn out. Hmmm . . . I wonder if there are any companies that will re-cushion couches?

M is for the most recent way you spent money: We just bought house! Which I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED ABOUT.

 If everything goes as planned (omg keep your fingers crossed for me PLEASE!) we'll be moving in at the end of the month!

N is for something you need: About five ten fifteen more hours in the day?

 (Stole this answer straight from Alison!)

O is for occupation: Writer! 

P is for pet peeve: Intentional rudeness. Nothing sets my teeth further on edge. That, and lies.

Q is for a quote: "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." (Hellen Keller) (More on this in a blog post coming later.)

R is for random fact about you: I have a weird thing with numbers on digital clocks. If I check the time, I have to make the numbers add up from 1 to 10. Take 12:36 for instance.  1, 2, 3, 1+3=4, 6-1=5, 6, 6+1=7, 6+2=8, 6+3=9, 6+3+1=10. (Thankfully this doesn't happen when I check the time on my phone!)

S is for favorite healthy snack: Fruit! Kiwis! 

T is for favorite treat: Anything with melted cheese. 

U is for something that makes you unique: My tattoos! Here's one of them! My ensō

V is for favorite vegetable: Cucumbers.

W is for today’s workout: Zumba! Tonight! I'll be a sweaty disgusting mess and LOVING IT.

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Yeah. Too many to count. I used to be a gymnast, and danced my whole life . . .  

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: STILL BEING IN MEXICO! (With Cambria and our hubbies!)

Z is for your time zone: Eastern.

Your turn! Take this survey and come back to share the link with me!