Friday, January 25, 2013

A Quote and a Note

How true this is. . . my family is moving to another state and I came home today to find many books packed up in boxes. My house feels incredibly hollow, I guess. I never noticed how much books bring to a home.

(Google Images)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Writers and Runners

I hate running. It stinks.

My siblings say that they hate it, too. But the difference between them and me is that they typically place within the top 15 whenever they race for cross country. My youngest brother won for his age group at the district race this fall. My sisters were numbers 5 and 6 in their age group. My other brothers placed 3rd and 14th in their respective age groups.

And then there's me. Cheering at the sidelines, freezing my butt off. Yay. . . .

I admire runners. Running takes guts. It takes a strong will. It takes a fearless, I'm-sure-as-heck-not-giving-up attitude. My dad says that running takes imagination. It takes strength to realize that where you are on the course is not where you will always be. You have to remember that there is a finish line waiting to be crossed and fans (ahem, loyal big sisters) are waiting to welcome you home.

Sounds sort of like writing, huh? It takes guts to write, to declare to the world that you are a writer. It takes a strong will to vow not to give up. It takes fearlessness to proudly pursue the writing goal. Writing takes imagination. It takes strength to realize that where you are in the writing process is not where you will always be. You have to remember that there are editors waiting for you. Readers wanting to read your story.

Now ready, set, go write! Or run. Or write about running, like I did=)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Interview with Cassie Mae!

Cassie Mae is an absolutely brilliant writer I came across a few weeks ago through her group blog, Falling For Fiction. She has a great writing style and does an amazing job bringing humor to just about any situation! She has a sparkling personality that really shines through in her writing. Anyway, I am honored to host CASSIE MAE of as well as So, read on and then check out her blog if you've aren't already one of her 500+ followers!

First, BIG THANK YOU AND CHEST BUMPS to Anne Marie for having me over :) I hope I don’t scare away all your followers ;)

Ok, so if anyone has read your bio, or any of your blog, they might know you kind of like Harry Potter just a little bit=) How old were you when you read HP for the first time? Do you remember any of your thoughts while reading? What kind of impact (if any) did Harry Potter have on your writing?

Oh, I love this interview already :) Gosh, how old was I in 2001? Um… 13 or 14, haha. So that’s when I first read it. I picked it up after I saw the first movie. (Which I saw in the theater 12 times ;)) All I remember while reading it, because I read them so fast was “this is pretty much the best thing ever!” And I sort of wanted to marry Ron.

I think the only impact HP really had though on my writing was being part of my inspiration for HOW TO DATE A NERD. I got the idea from playing HP Scene It for four hours straight… by myself, haha!

Lol, awesome sauce! Actually, I liked Ron so much that my cousin "code-named" my first crush Ron Weasly=)

And I have to know-- who is your favorite HP character and why?

It’s a tie between Ron and Luna. Ron is so awesome at being himself and saying whatever he thinks, yet he has all these worries and insecurities just like everyone else. I sort of love him. And Luna is so wonderfully weird. She reminds me a bit of myself. ;)

 Oh, goodness, I love Luna! I think I would totally wear radish earrings if I had them. Despite her quirks, she is a really insightful character.

You first started writing when you were a "20 year old new mommy." If at all, how has your writing style changed since then? What are some important writing lessons you've learned since then?

Goodness, I think I need to change my bio. Cuz that’s not exactly accurate, lol. I contemplated writing when I turned 20, but didn’t actually write anything until I was 23 (so two years ago, in case you aren’t keeping up with all the math of my age, haha!) When I finally took the dive into writing I had NO CLUE what I was doing. My first book is crap. I mean it. It sucks so so bad. It wasn’t until I started blogging and doing some major research and most importantly GETTING CRITIQUE PARTNERS that I learned my writing style and felt comfortable with the words I put down. ;)

What would we do if you hadn't taken the dive?! My first attempt at a novel was totally horrible, but if it wasn't for that novel, I never would have known how exhilarating it felt to write.

What are some "joys and sorrows" of being a writing mother?

I think it’s actually the best thing ever. I can’t even imagine those full-time job-ers and parents and writers. Um, agh! LOL. I get to pull out my computer whenever the kids are “napping”, or when they go to bed at 8:00 every night. Though, I’m sure things will change once baby number 3 pops out. But it’s nice to know I can write, even when it’s all in my head while I’m doing the dishes or changing diapers, whenever I want.

It is totally awesome that you are able to be with your kids and still be able to write as much as you do. Congrats on baby-the-third! That's wonderful!

You just not only completed but WON NaNoWriMo 2012 a little over a month ago with 57,124 words. That is a pretty amazing feat! What is your Nano novel about?

I actually wrote 2 novels during NaNo, but only recorded the one I worked on with the amazingly talented Kelley Lynn. :) It’s about two teens whose schedules are so packed, but end up working together and being in the school play. And when their onstage romance turns into something a little bit more, they wonder if they have time for a high school relationship. Right now it’s with our agents and about to go out on sub! So wahoo! :D

Oooooh, sounds exciting! You have me hooked!

You are a contributer to a totally awesome blog-- Falling For Fiction. How did you get involved with FFF?

Um, it’s going to come off arrogant as crap, haha! I actually founded the blog with my critique partners. I wrote a blog post about my cps on my blog and at the time, they didn’t really know each other. But I included them all in the email asking permission to use notes they wrote in my manuscripts. And that lovely “reply all” button turned those emails into this huge email chain of us basically making really lame jokes we thought were the funniest things ever, and it was the best conversation I’ve had with any of my writer buds. I created a group email for us all and all my critique partners became each other’s critique partners. One day we decided we wanted to start a blog together to help lift other writers the way we lift each other. And BAM! FFF was born :)

 That is so awesome that you are able to share the inspiration you all give each other with the rest of the writing world!

What was the best book you read in 2012 and why?

Oh no. I can’t possibly choose! There’s WAY too many. Night Sky by Jolene Perry is one I’ve read like a million times this year. And Blindsided by Kyra Lennon. Measuring Up by Nyrae Dawn. Any book from Elizabeth Scott (because I picked up everything she’s written any chance I got, lol) Oh, and like, all my critique partners’ books. Pretty much anything with a super adorable male lead and really great kissing scenes!

Haha, I'm with you!

And, last but certainly not least, what is your favorite kind of cheesecake?=)

Junior Mint Cheesecake. It’s like, the ultimate foodgasm :)

Thanks so much to CASSIE MAE for allowing me to interview her!! Everyone, check out her blogs!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Loathe, I Like, I Love

I cannot believe that today marks the beginning of a new year. I'm sure many of you are experiencing similar feelings about 2013. Time truly flies by so fast, does it not?

For me, 2012 was the year of the YA books. I have been introduced to so many different characters and authors. Here are the first annual "I Love, I Like, I Loathe" awards for AM Station!

NOTE: Not all these books came out in 2012, but I that is the year in which I read them.

The Dynamic Duo Award for Best Movie/Book Goes To: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I still remember where I was when I read this book for the first time. It was in January or February and I was at back-to-back basketball games that my siblings were playing in. I was so engrossed in the book that I could not lift my eyes from it's pages!
(PG14 for heavy content, brief violence, language, and some sexual content)

The Most Amazing/Disappointing Award Goes To: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I read this book this past August and was extremely impressed by Green's ability to capture real life circumstances. This book was heartbreakingly beautiful. However, the book contained unnecessary sexual content, making it unable for me to give it a full five stars.
(PG14 for mature subject content and sexual content)

The Heartbreaker Award Goes To: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
I finished this book a few weeks ago and was so touched by it. I shed a good deal of tears over this one. The characters in this book are some of the most intriguing I have ever meet. Seriously. In fact, they are too good to be without a long review, so more on them later! Anyway, this story literally broke my heart with everything that transpired in its pages.
(PG14 for mature subject content)

The Disappointing End to a Series Goes To: Reached by Ally Condie
Matched was amazing. Crossed was ok; at the very least tolerable. I was barely even into the first few chapters when I couldn't take it any more. I tried and tried to keep reading, but I found myself reading and re-reading each word. Each page I read felt like two. I was very disappointed, to say the least.
(Rating is NA because I didn't finish it)

The Highest Expectations 2012 Award Goes To: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
After Delirium ended in such a cliff hanger fashion, I was DYING to read Pandemonium!! Though I wasn't as impressed with Pandemonium, (it kind of dragged in some parts) it was such a exciting read. Ugh, and the ending was WAY more of a cliff hanger that Delirium. ALEX!!!!!!!
(PG14 for mature subject content and brief sexual content)

The I Loathe Award for Worst Book I've Read Goes To: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Part of the reason why I disliked this book/series was probably because my expectations were so high. I thought that though the plot was good, but the characters and their actions didn't seem very realistic and I didn't care about them very much. There also didn't seem to be a whole lot of character development.
(PG13 for the first book, PG14 for books 2 and 3)

The I Like Award for Most Ok Book I've Read Goes To: Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck
The Tiger Saga was the first YA series I read, recommended to me by Jen Wagner, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Since then, I've read better written books, but these are still a fun read. That being said, this book lacked a certain pizazz. In my opinion, the characters didn't react the way real people would have when facing certain situations. Another reason why I wasn't very impressed could also be because my expectations were so high following the previous books in the series.
(PG12-- As a side note, the series is great for older preteens to younger teens, but also a great adult read.)

The I Love Award for Best Book I've Read Goes To:
*drum roll please*
Divergent by Veronica Roth!
Since I have already written a review of this novel, there is little left to say. But this was seriously one of the best books I've ever read. There are so many lessons to be drawn from this story. The characters were so real and and relatable. The plot was amazing and there were so many surprises within Divergent's pages! Almost needless to say, I can't wait for the last book in the series to come out in Fall 2013!!
(PG13 for a mild romance, mature subject content, and brief language)

Happy New Year, everyone!! I would love to hear your favorite book/books of this past year!!

(Pictures from Google images)