Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Introduction

For all the new followers from the Campaign, I thought I would introduce myself.

Hi, I'm Nicole! Writer has been my passion since forever. In grade school, I used to write stories during class. Yep, you could defiitely say I was born to be a writer!

I write across the board. I've written PBs, MG, YA, and for adults. Flash fiction, short stories, and novels. Fantasy (both based in a medieval-like world and urban), paranormal, dystophia, romance, horror.

I have a fantasy romance series through Desert Breeze Publishing (an epublisher). I also have a paranormal YA short story series through Echelon Press (another epublisher). Currently, I'm revising a PB that I plan on querying agents in a few weeks, as well as rewriting a MG fantasy.

When I'm not writing, I'm editing. I work as a freelance editor with Passionate Writer Publisher, a content and line editor for MuseItUp Publishing, and a content editor for eTreasures Publishing. I find being an editor to be very rewarding work.

Let's see... what else? I'm happily married to my college sweetheart, we just celebrated out 4th wedding anniversary. We have two sons, the youngest just turned one, the older will be three in October. I'm hoping that in February, I'll no longer be the only female in our family!

I love to watch movies and TV shows, and can't wait for The Vampire Diaries to return. I used to go horseback riding fairly often but since my first pregnancy, I haven't done back. Maybe once I'm done giving birth.

Oh, I have a B.S. in chemistry with a concentration in forensic science. So you would think I would write mysteries. I plan on it... eventually. Right now, I'm more of a panster and you have to be a plotter to write mysteries. But I will take at stab at it sometime in the future.

If you do to my website, you'll see a few of my wedding pictures. I love the Middle Ages so it's no surprise that we had a Renaissance-themed wedding.

Feel free to follow me on twitter or friend me on facebook or on goodreads. I'm on a fair amount of social networking sites. Just let me know, and I'll follow back!

I think that's enough for now. Glad to see so many new faces!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Favorite Summer Reads


Cherie Reich's Favorite Summer Reads Blogfest has already begun and will go through Saturday. Join up! It's a lot of fun! Here's the description: All you have to do is pick a favorite read (this year, this summer, years past) and write why it is your favorite read.

This summer I read to books that really struck a chord within me.

The first was Possession by Elana Johnson.

From Goodreads: Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.


My thoughts:  I was able to get my hands on an ARC of Possession and let me tell you, I was stoked to read it! This book features a well-drawn heroine that you can't help but root for. Vi is playful and defiant and wants to do things her way. I love how fierce and loyal she is. She made the book for me.

And Jag. Don't get me started on Jag! Wonderful and handsome and dreamy... I am definitely team Jag!

This book is full of layers. Not just with the worldbuilding but with Vi's background. This book is fulled with so many ups and downs, it's like a wild roller coaster ride that will leaving you breathless and begging for more. The ending especially, it just killed me.

Possession is a book that I must get. I had to pass on the ARC I read, but boy, did I not want to.

Thank you, Elana, for a wonderful read that I cannot stop thinking about. And to me, that is a sign of a wonderful book.


The second was Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

From goodreads: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.



My thoughts: Delirium was a heart-wrenching read. A world where love is thought of as a disease? How horrible! At first, Lena believes the scientists and counts the days until she'll be cured. This is definitely one of the most romantic dystopias I've read yet. The ending leaves you breathless and dying to learn more about Lena and her struggles to become an adult, who chooses love over order.


And now for a book that I've read over and over in summers past.


Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I can't tell you the number of times I've read this book. I love Anne - she'll always be one of my favorite heroines! Feisty, with a temper, not afraid to speak her mind, always getting into mischief and fun. A wonderful start to a wonderful series that is a must-read for all girls.


Well, those are a few of my favorite summer reads. What are yours?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Love Me Some Football!

I'm a huge football nut. As part of Steph Burkhart's football blog tour, I blogged about being a diehard Eagles fan. I hope you check it out!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign

I decided to sign up for the Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign by the awesome Rachael Harrie.

From Rachael's blog: There are so many of us out there. Aspiring authors, bloggers (whether established or beginning), industry peeps, even published authors, all of whom want to build their online platforms. We write insightful posts and articles, actively blog within the blogosphere, take part in challenges, competitions, and contests galore.

We have the passion and the drive to make it, but…we could all do with a bit of support.

So I started thinking. What if we link all these people together? What if we create a way to meet people in a similar position, people who genuinely want to help build our online platform while at the same time building theirs? People who want to pay it forward in the spirit of writerly writerness and blogging beautificity (and see it come back to them in turn).

And so, my Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign was born.

To learn more and sign up, click here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Awesome Contest for Readers

Missy over at Missy's Reads & Reviews is celebrating reaching 1000 followers by having a huge giveaway with 6 different prize packs! Details can be found at her blog. Good luck!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Write on Con and Author Spotlight

Write On Con is a seriously awesome FREE online writers conference for PB, MG, and YA writers. Some many awesome blog posts and live chats, and the forums are amazing - so much feedback from other writers and even ninja agents that are going around, leaving comments and sometimes requests!


I've been hanging around the forums a ton and posted several queries (for Elena's Pen and 3 picture books) as well as the first 250 words and first 5 pages of Elena's Pen. I've been having the most trouble with Elena's Pen's query, so I would love it if you guys could stop on by and help me out, if you have the time! Here's the revised thread: http://writeoncon.com/forum/showthread.php?7561-MG-Fantasy-ELENA-S-PEN-Revised And here's the original thread (if you want to see where I started from) http://writeoncon.com/forum/showthread.php?6419-MG-Fantasy-ELENA-S-PEN

Also, I'm in the Author Spotlight for Joyfully Reviewed

Monday, August 15, 2011

My First Impressions of Sandworms - Guest Blog with Aubrie Dionne


When you think of sandworms and science fiction, most people think of Dune. But, as a kid, I was more interested in scary Christopher Pike books and the Adventures of the Unicorn Queen.  I hadn’t read Dune or even heard of it. My first impressions of sandworms came from two of the oddest movies.

Impression #1:

The 1988 movie Beetle Juice

Starring Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, and Michael Keaton, this movie sparked my imagination. I watched it over and over again singing the banana song as they danced around the table. A friend of mine boasted that she knew the girl in the beginning that looks out of the car and says one line: “They died.” I used to look for that line and see if I recognized the girl from any distant memories I could have had. Never did.

One thing Beetle Juice had was sandworms: striped sandworms to be exact. They had a head inside a head, and attacked any ghost that tried to leave their house. How utterly awesome is that?
In the end, Geena Davis punches one in the head. She’s not afraid anymore, and because of that, little Aubrie wasn’t either. J

Impression #2:

The 1990 movie Tremors

Starring Kevin Bacon and a cameo from Reba McEntire, this picture portrayed some scary, gigantic beasts. People died, and others starved on top of buildings, afraid to come down. One man thought he was safe on a tire, and got pulled underneath the sand in seconds. If anything put the idea of sandworm into my head, it was watching this movie.

In the end, when they run out of bombs, they outsmart the last worm, running it off a cliff. I always thought that last scene with the worm flying through the air and Kevin Bacon’s shocked face was the best.

When you hear “sandworm” what do you think of? The classic Dune worms, or the more contemporary, cinematic versions?
 
A New Dawn Book One by Aubrie Dionne

Title: Paradise 21
Author: Aubrie Dionne
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: August 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-02-2
Mobi ISBN: Coming soon!
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-03-9


Ebook review copies available at NetGalley.com
  Book Blurb:

Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew—a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries-long voyage.

But Aries has other plans.

When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates—humans who escaped Earth before its demise—are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price.

The life of the man she loves.
 
 Excerpt:
“Might as well stay here and make camp for the night.”

His casual tone stung her composure. How could he talk of such mundane things when they’d almost been captured, when she’d touched him so tenderly?

“We’ll let them get farther away,” Striker explained, reasonable as always. “We’re going in their direction tomorrow.”

The sting of rejection grew, burning a hole in her heart. “Why?”

“Why what?”

Her lips trembled. “Why not kiss me like you did before?”

“I can’t.” He shook his head, and the air cooled between them; so much so, Aries wondered if the desert had turned into deep space.

He’d teased her with such affection before, it was cruel to take it away. “I don’t understand,” she said, wishing she didn’t care, wishing she could stop all the emotions he’d started in her heart.

Aries caught a glimpse of pain etched in the wrinkles around his eyes. Striker turned away and started pulling supplies out of his backpack. “I can’t do this.”

“Do what?”

Striker shook his head and Aries prompted, “Can’t kiss me, can’t trust me? What?”

“I can’t allow myself to get tangled up with someone. Not again.”

The thoughts of Striker with another woman confused her. On the New Dawn, everyone had one lifemate and that was it. “You mean you loved someone before?”

Striker’s hand tightened on the backpack. “I trusted someone a long time ago, allowed myself to love, if you will. She hurt me so much I lost my entire life and ended up here. I can’t experience that kind of pain again.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Contest that Ends Today

Here's a contest that some of you might be interested in entering. Today's the last day to enter. Details here: 
Lauren Ruth from the BookEnds agency for judging this contest. To get to know her better, read my interview with her here.

I am uber excited for the chance to offer another writing contest for all my totally bodacious followers.

The rules are as follows:

·    Make sure your genre fits within Lauren’s interests: literary fiction, mystery romance, science fiction/fantasy, women's fiction, chick lit, historical fiction, steampunk, and young adult. In nonfiction, she's looking for memoir, parenting, family and relationships, food and lifestyle, business, popular science, popular culture, popular psychology.

·    Email your entries to authorrachel@gmail.com sometime time between now and August 11th. If you notice an error with your submission or don't see it posted within 48 hours, email me.

·    Include your first name, title (in all caps), and genre, followed by your polished first 500 words. Do not stop in the middle of a sentence.
For the rest of the rules, click here. If you have some time to check out my entry and leave a comment, I would really appreciate it! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

News!

Some people already know this but now that our families all know the news, I can share this with everyone. I'm pregnant again! I already have two wonderful sons (one just turned 1 this past Friday!) so I really hope and pray that this one is a girl. Theresa Nicole or Christopher James. We haven't decided whether or not to learn the sex yet. My due date is February 20th.

Son #2 had a wonderful birthday weekend, and I'll post pics from his party soon. The only not so great part was that we learned that he is also allergic to milk (we already knew he was allergic to eggs). Luckily, he seems to be taking to soy milk so that's good.

What's new with you guys? Any exciting news to share?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm Back... Sorta

Hi everyone, I'm sorry for all of the sporadic posts here and there. I am going to try to get back into the swing of blogging and definitely by September will be back to my M-F schedule at 7:30. Although my posts on Thursday will all be directing you to another blog - Downtown YA. It's a blog with a bunch of YA writers. I hope you'll check out our posts and considering following the blog!

So what have I been up to? Well, a lot of editing. I've reworked the first 50 pages of Elena's Pen from YA to MG. Those pages are with a great writer friend so I'll probably wait to get her feedback before working on the rest of it.

I am hoping to start a new project in a week or so. Just have to tie up a few loose ends with other things.

In other news, son #2 turns 1 on Friday! I can't believe it. We're going to throw him a birthday party on Saturday. Speaking of Saturday, you might want to stop on by. I'm going to announce some news then (no, not an agent, I wish!)

How are your projects coming along? Read any good books or seen any good movies? How's your summer?