Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reasons I Love Jubilee Chase

I realized a while ago that I hadn't done a post like this in a while. And since I just finished off This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, I figured I could talk about my liking for Jubilee Chase, hardened soldier on the war-torn planet of Avon.
  • She's tough as nails. The girl isn't called Stone-Faced Chase for nothing. She runs toward the fires to help people, she can shoot like nobody's business, she can take a hit or two or ten. She's is logical and calculating and I just love that.
  • She can read people. I really really wish I could read people the way Jubilee does. She notices the shifting of a leg, the twitch in the jaw, the slight dilation of pupils so she knows how to talk to people, how to make them angry, how to know what they're feeling. So jealous.
  • She doesn't do insta-love. By the end of the book she hasn't fallen hopelessly in love with Flynn. She just wants to have the chance to live on a planet where finding out if she could is possible. When she sees him he's gorgeous and strong and can keep up with her. But she doesn't fall head over heels and lose all brain function. It's nice.
  • She understands the limits of loyalty. When it comes to life and death situations, she knows that there are people who will follow you into the darkness, and people who won't. And she doesn't judge those who don't because she knows what it's like not to want to die. She sees that people are different (although her mind needs stretching about the rebels at first) and that each person has their own motivations. And she knows that at some point you need to not blindly follow just because you want to.
  • She is capable of changing her mind. See my comment about the rebels. She at first has a very militaristically painted view of the rebels on Avon. But once she gets to know Flynn and hear their side of the argument she starts to work toward a goal that is different than just maintaining the ceasefire for the military. She wants to bring the goals of both sides together because she knows that there's not just two sides to any argument.
As you can see, Jubilee is one tough cookie. She is flawed and she is tough and she made reading This Shattered World a pleasure. I'm adding her to my list of kickass heroines.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Perfect Lies

I'm seriously on a roll with the reading the last couple days. I've got another review coming up tomorrow for Stargazer. Today's review, however, is for Perfect Lies, the sequel to Kiersten White's Mind Games. I think it's the last one in the series, and it wrapped up most of the plot stuff, but I'm not sure. Anyway, as usual, spoiler alert!

Retrieved from Goodreads
Annie is dead and Fia killed her. At least, that's what the Keanes need to think. Fia and her boyfriend James, the son of the head of the Institute for gifted girls, are planning on bringing the place down. But because they're surrounded by Feelers and Seers and Readers, they can't even think about a plan for fear of being discovered. Fia has to rely on her perfect instincts. At the same time, Annie thinks she's safe, but her visions are getting more and more disturbing, most of them involving her sister.

I liked Mind Games and how it played with the unreliability of the narrator, even when it's our internal narrator. Perfect Lies uses this too, although to a lesser extent. Also, the timelines for Fia and Annie's stories don't hook up until almost the end, which can get a bit confusing. I liked this book; it was a fast, nice read. I like how broken Fia is, and how she knows it. Annie was a little less interesting, but I liked how her character arc ended with her taking power when she hadn't before. That being said, there is almost no description of setting in this book, which I missed. I also felt some of the secondary characters such as James and Pixie could have been more fleshed out. And I still don't know how I feel about the ending. In some ways it felt too easy or unfinished. Anyway, I still like White and I want to read her book, Illusions of Fate at some point.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Stargazer

Monday, December 29, 2014

This Shattered World

It's been a couple lovely days of almost constant reading and watching Marvel movies. On the downside, the day after Christmas the water heater broke and I haven't been able to take a real shower in three days. Which sucks, since I really like my showers. But anyway, that's not the point. The point is that I have read four novellas and This Shattered World over the past couple days. This Shattered World is a companionesque sequel to These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner. Well, here we go!

Retrieved from Goodreads
Jubilee Chase is a stone-cold soldier, a lifer on the planet of Avon. Avon is a giant swamp, and the terraforming hasn't been as successful as it should be, leaving the planet and its people without the independence that comes with being granted freedoms by the Galactic Council. The people are angry, but Flynn Cormac knows that all-out war against the military stationed there will only makes things worse. But his control is slipping. When he captures Jubilee with the hopes of her giving him information about a secret base that popped up overnight in the east, it could be the end of the ceasefire, or it could just provide the peace and answers Avon has needed for decades. If they can stand to work together.

Where These Broken Stars was a survival novel about two people stranded in the wilderness all on their own and falling in love, This Shattered World is a story about how war breaks you, and how the slightest spark can light a fire of violence. Jubilee and Flynn's relationship grows into respect and friendship, with the possibility of love. One of the best parts of this book I think is that it doesn't get too bogged down in having them fall in love. The groundwork is laid, but they know Avon is more important. There's a line in there where Jubilee says she doesn't know if she loves Flynn, but she'd like the chance to find out. And that's the important thing. It's imperative to stop the rebels and the military from breaking the ceasefire, to find out why off-worlders eventually go crazy on Avon, to save as many lives as possible. The pace lagged in a couple places, but I greatly enjoyed this second installment in the Starbound books.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

Friday, December 26, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Yup, it's that time of year again. For the past few Christmases I have picked a new book and read it in one long sitting. Well, this year I mixed things up a little, and read a book on Christmas Eve. Don't get me wrong, I also read on Christmas, but I didn't finish off that book. I'll have a review on that one probably tomorrow or the next day. But for today I'm here to talk to you about Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Isla Martin has been in love with Josh Wasserstein since their first year at the boarding school in Paris. But she's never had the courage to strike up a conversation with him, much less profess her love until some pain meds for her wisdom teeth removal recovery prompt her to talk to him while they're home for the summer in New York. As their senior year at the School of America in Paris starts, it looks like romance could be on the horizon for the pair, if they can survive the drama of friends, family, and college applications.

I just love Perkins' works. My writing style in Balancing Act has been compared to it several times which is very flattering. I love how Perkins paints the insecurities of young girls and the over-analyzing. And what I truly love is how these characters have to evolve on their own, generally independently of their love interest, although the introspection might be prompted by them. They are strong girls who are vulnerable, who aren't perfect, and have no wish to be. I also love how each book paints a setting that is almost its own character in her books. In Anna and the French Kiss it was Paris, in Lola and the Boy Next Door it was SF. Isla breaks this mold with neither New York, Paris, or Rome taking the center stage. But I loved this, because Isla doesn't have a city that she loves most, that claims her. That would make her life and the choices she has to make in the book too simple. So I was pleased with that where I know it bothered other readers. Let's see. I greatly enjoyed seeing another side of Josh, and all the insecurities he carried. There were a few awkward bits that were so bad I had to put the book down and wince, so good on you, Perkins, that's hard to do! Overall I greatly enjoyed this last installment of Perkins' series.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Monday, December 22, 2014


It's taken me like four years, but I've finally finished Allie Condie's Matched series. Part of the reason it took me so long is because it took an inordinate amount of time to finish was because it took longer than normal to come out in paperback. I'm sort of OCD, and unless a series makes me stay up all night to finish it, I won't break up the series in kindle/hardback/paperback. I know, I'm weird. So, I enjoyed Matched, even though it was a bit slow. I was not a huge fan of Crossed, though. It suffered greatly from Middle Book Syndrome. But anyways, on to Reached!

Retrieved from Goodreads
Cassia is back in the Society, sorting by day and doing illegal trades with the Archivists by night. She's been told she'll play an integral role in the Rising, and she's happy to help. But at the same time she misses Ky, who was stationed in a different city to train as a pilot for the Rising. And then there's Xander, a physic in another city who is in on the ground floor of the Plague, another part of the Rising's plans. These three teenagers will play important roles in overthrowing the Society, but that won't solve who will win Cassia's heart.

Um, where to start with this book. There were things I liked and things I didn't like, as with most books. I guess I'll start with the likes. If I look at this book as being a standalone or separate from the other two, I liked it. I also liked Oker's snappiness and inability to let others be as important as him. I also appreciated Xander, who was kind and helpful and very imperfect as he didn't make connections that he should have and which hurt others. The book is also well-written. There weren't many times when my editor brain crossed out extra words.

But on the other hand, there were things I didn't like about this book. One, it felt completely different from the other two. A plague that basically makes the Rising able to take over in the first 50 pages? Weird. I thought the purpose of this series was to overthrow the Society, and it just sort of happened with no pomp or circumstance and then there were still 450 pages left. I need a climax, and this one didn't really deliver. Also the prose was not really my thing. I like poetic prose if it's done well (see my obsession with everything Maggie Stiefvater writes) and this did not strike me that way. I found myself skipping the poetic bits of Cassia's narrative, because they weren't important in the way they are in Stiefvater's novels. And Indie. Weird, flawed Indie. She deserved a better final arc than that. That's all I can think of for now.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Monday, December 15, 2014

Princess of the Silver Wood

Well I'm on break! I've been reading and sleeping and watching Merlin. It's been heavenly. I have big plans to see a ton of movies this break (Big Hero 6, The Hobbit, The Imitation Game). But for now, here's a review of Princess of the Silver Wood by Jessica Day George. This is the third book in the series about the 12 dancing princesses.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve daughters, was only six when the spell that made her and her twelve sisters dance every night was broken. Now she's back from the royal exchange of princesses, and she's visiting an old friend on her estate. But she dreams of the princes Under Stone most nights. And the road she travels is littered with wolves, both two-legged and four-legged. But when she is taken captive by Oliver, a former earl, she discovers the wolves to be much kinder and intent on redistributing the wealth of the kingdom. When she is freed and arrives on the estate, she discovers that her enemies were not in the woods, but in the castle.

It's hard to describe this book. It is probably my least favorite of the 12 dancing princesses saga. Rose was so badass and Galen such a nice guy with his knitting. I liked the twist on Cinderella in Princess of Glass. This one...I didn't feel a connection between Oliver and Petunia. A lot of time was spent reiterating Oliver's problems to the reader when they already knew it. What I probably liked most was the connection between the 12 sisters and their desire to beat the King Under Stone. They were all fierce but vulnerable, and I liked that they were all trained with pistols. It's a fast read, and not a complicated one. Not the ending to the series I would have liked, but it was decent.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I can't believe it. The quarter is over. I have finished my last fall quarter of college. Next quarter, barring any unforseen circumstances, will be my last. My last quarter of college before graduating with degrees in history and creative writing.

It's been a crazy past couple weeks. I had to get stitches in my hairline because I banged my head (stupidly) on a cabinet. I also fractured my nose a little in another completely dumb way. I also cut my wrist on a microwave which wasn't horrible, just so dumb it warrants telling it. I also finished writing my fifth novel and at the same time polished off my 20-page research paper for my history class. I got an internship at a literary agency as well!

So it's been a lot of up and down for me. And now that the quarter is over I'm looking forward to editing and writing and reading and watching a ton of shows that have been piling up in my queue.

It's been a hard slog these past few weeks, and now I'm ready to party. *curls up to watch Agents of SHIELD*

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Poison Ivy Completed

Well, after I wrote the first half of it last year for Nano, I have completed Poison Ivy, my fifth novel since I first started writing full-length books 4, nearly 5 years ago. It seems so surreal. It's been a hard slog. I've had a tough time of it, getting over Entranced closing and my book going off the market. I've been blocked big time, and even when I had inspiration it generally fizzled out quickly.

But now I've done it! I used the powers of NaNoWriMo to finish Poison Ivy, my loose fantasy retelling of Romeo and Juliet. It's nowhere near being good. Nothing written in that short of a time is going to be. But I finished! I have my fifth book under my belt and it feels damn great.

Now I'm finishing up the quarter so I don't have time to edit, but I will definitely take a look at this story again once I don't have to worry about finals.

This is so fantastic guys. Writing this year reminded me why I love to write: that feeling of immersion you get when the story is flashing before your eyes and the words can't get on the page fast enough.

Hope you're all having a good week!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ruby Red

So the quarter is almost over! Crazy! And I finished writing my fifth novel, but I'll talk about that tomorrow. For today I want to talk about the book with the pretty dress on the cover, Ruby Red by Kerstin Grier. I read this over the Thanksgiving weekend in between Christmas movies and lots of eating. Well, here it is!

Retrieved from Goodreads
Gwyneth Shepard has grown up her whole life knowing her cousin Charlotte was special. Charlotte had the coveted time travel gene and when she turned the right age she would travel into the past. But then Gwyenth disappears into the past. She's only a gone a little while, but that's enough. Now she's being taken to the secret society of time travelers and is told she's the final time traveler to complete the circle of twelve. But her mother tells her not to trust anyone, which is hard to do when she's sent into the past with the beautiful and charming Gideon, a fellow time traveler.

This book is very clearly the first in a series. It takes place over, I think, three days and has a pretty fast clip. Big ideas are introduced for the series and very few are answered by the end of the book. I liked reading about the fancy clothing, and I always like the concept of uncontrolled time travel. But some of the science was really glossed over where I thought it could use more, and I totally didn't believe that Gideon really came to like/love Gwyneth to the extent he did in such a short time. But it was a fun, fast read, and it was nice to read about London. I do miss it there. I'll be reading the sequel, but I wouldn't recommend it for people who like their time travel books complicated.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Shadow and Bone Novellas

I've been on something of a novella kick lately. What with the quarter winding down my work load is coming to a head and I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and read a full-length book. However, a nice 40 page novella is just about perfect when I'm taking a break in between assignments.

Retrieved from Goodreads
I've read about 10 novellas over the past couple weeks, most of them by Leigh Bardugo and set in the Ravkan world of her Shadow and Bone series. I adored every single one of them. For the record, they were The Witch of Duva, The Too-Clever Fox, Little Knife, and The Tailor. Each of these except for The Tailor has the feel of a fairy tale, with lots of exposition but not in a way that makes you want to snore.

I think my favorite of these stories was The Witch of Duva. It got my heart racing and had a seriously creepy ending. But at the same time I really appreciated Little Knife, in which a girl trapped in a tower is freed in a much cooler way than waiting for a prince.

These are quick reads, and if you've got an hour, I definitely recommend reading them. Leigh's style of writing is whimsical and dark, always a winning combo.

Up next time, my review of the Cinder novellas!

Friday, November 21, 2014


Well, it's day 21 in NaNoWriMo and I've had a couple setbacks because I've had so much work to do for school. Like, a 17 page paper on top of another shorter paper and my reading. As usual, school is doing its best to kick me in the teeth.

But let me tell you, it's been great to get back into writing. In fact, last night I kept writing even though it started off painful because I was just having fun with it. And I'm reaching the climax of the story. My fifth book. Wow, that's crazy to think. It's been a long time since I finished writing a book, but I really do think this month has helped kickstart my brain back into writing mode where it hasn't been for a long time.

In case I forgot to mention this, I'm finishing up Poison Ivy, a story which I wrote half of for NaNo last year. It's a loose fantasy retelling of Romeo and Juliet and it's been really fun to write. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read, but I've never seriously written it before. It feels like great practice for when I get back to rewriting Griffin's Song.

How has your NaNo experience been going? What bumps have you hit along the way?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Looking for Alaska

I read The Fault in Our Stars two years ago in one sitting. I loved John Green's poetic style, and while I didn't fall-down adore it like a lot of people do, it was a good read and it was enough to have me pick up another of his books. I'm hoping to make more time to read for pleasure in the next couple months. I can't believe the quarter is almost over. In the last week I've read 3 books and 4 novellas. I've also done a lot of writing and homework and I'm so delightfully tired. But anyway, you don't want to hear about that right now.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Miles "Pudge"Halter just started boarding school in Alabama. He's hoping he'll find his Great Perhaps. He loves last words and has never smoked before. His life gets turned upside down when he meets his roommate the Colonel and the beautiful girl down the hall Alaska Young. She's smart, mysterious, self-destructive, and sad. And she also has a boyfriend. Miles' existence is no longer safe. And he couldn't be happier. Until it happens. Until after.

I liked The Fault in Our Stars more than this book. That one felt like Green's writing style had done a lot of maturing. And while I liked reading about Pudge and the Colonel and Alaska, I didn't get invested in their story the same as I did with Hazel and Augustus. And when the book switched to "after" it slowed down so much. I didn't feel the same emotions Miles had, and I wanted a little more action. Still, I liked learning all those last words, and this book talks about drinking and smoking and sex in a relatable way that doesn't seem like it's trying to moralize. Props to Green for that. I've heard Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines are good, so maybe I'll pick those up some time. In the meantime, it was nice to read a contemporary book. It's been a while.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Young Elites

I adore the Legend series by Marie Lu. I adored June Iparis and her way of noticing tiny things a la Sherlock Holmes. So when that series ended I was very sad. But then I heard that she had a new series coming out and I got excited! That series starts with The Young Elite. I had a crazy busy week, and as you all know I've had practically no time or energy for pleasure reading. Well this week I sort of broke and read 2 books and 4 novellas. It was fantastic and I'm excited to get back into reading whenever I can. Anyways, on with the show!

Retrieved from Goodreads
Adelina has been pushed aside her whole life for her beautiful sister who wasn't marked by the blood fever. For not having the courtesy to have the powers some of the people who survived the fever manifested. That is, until the night she runs away and those powers awaken. Then Adelina is thrown into a world where the Inquisition tracks down the Young Elites and kills them, and the Daggers (a society of Young Elites) are training Adelina to use her powers of illusion to help them overthrow the king. She should feel happy, but the Inquisition has her sister, and Adelina hates and loves the feeling she gets when she uses her power to inflict fear.

This book has sort of a weird start, with lots of flashbacks to Adelina's childhood and how she came to crave revenge and feel power from fear. But it picks up after she starts training with the Young Elites, and by the end I was forgetting to blink I was reading so fast. I love a heroine with a powerful dark side, and I love heroines who are also villains. Also, the power of illusion? Super cool. I thought parts of the ending were rushed, but I'll be excited to read the next book in this series. I liked Legend more, but this is a good, fast-paced book.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Friday, November 7, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Yes, I know, you guys are probably really tired of me going on and on about how much I adore Maggie Stiefvater. But did you guys read this book? It's gorgeous! And on an even cooler note, The Scorpio Races is getting made into a movie!! Anyway, I've been waiting for Blue Lily, Lily Blue to come out...basically since The Dream Thieves was released. So, without further ado, here we go!

Retrieved from Goodreads
Blue Sargent's mother has disappeared underground, leaving her daughter to search for her and Glendower while her senior year of high school starts. Meanwhile Colin Greenmantle has come to town with the goal of punishing the Gray Man for disappearing without giving him the Graywaren. And the Aglionby boys and Blue are getting ever closer to finding the mysterious, lost grave of Glendower, though there are definitely some obstacles in the way.

It is always so freaking hard to describe Stiefvater novels! Because they are so beautifully written and they're more about the characters than the action. I tried to hit the main points up there, but there wasn't much I could say without giving it away. The Dream Thieves was angry and edgy because it focused a lot on Ronan and his habit of pulling real things out of his dreams. This time, Ronan takes a back seat to make way for Adam and Blue and Gansey, which is delicious in a whole new way. Perhaps my favorite part of this book which sums it up is when Blue explains that all of her friends are in love with each other, and it's an odd friendship, that they draw out jokes to make them last as long as possible. It was just so...accurate it made me happy. Anyway, beautiful character portraits as usual. I would have liked to have seen a few more scenes from Ronan's POV, but that's because I miss him from The Dream Thieves. Also, a little more about the caves they go into. It just got a bit confusing at the end. Oh but the getting there was gorgeous and I'm so glad I got the book and AH I can't believe this series is nearly over.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Monday, November 3, 2014

NaNoing while completely crazy

Yep, folks, it's that time of year again! When your favorite blogs devote tons of time to how to get inspired to write 50k words in 30 days, how to keep yourself on a schedule, how to plot, etc. Well, I'm not going to do that. Instead, I have a confession and a goal for myself.

I have been really blocked with my writing ever since Entranced Publishing closed its doors and Balancing Act was lost to oblivion. I have started and stopped so many writing projects, ones I still want to complete but can't seem to find it in me to do it. I have tons of valid excuses as to why I haven't finished a book in so long. I go to school full time where I'm completing two degrees simultaneously. I also work as an editor which takes up a lot of my writing and reading energy. I also try to have a social life because my friends are awesome. But in reality I should have been finding time to write. That's what writers do. When life kicks us in the pants, we use writing as an outlet.

It's NaNoWriMo time again, and I've done it for the last three years. And I'm going to do it again. I'm going to get inspired, and I'm going to write The End. I need to remember why I adore writing so much, and why it's such a big part of my life.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Tethering Blog Tour

Hey, everyone! I have a lovely interview for you today with Megan O'Russell. She's the author of The Tethering, a YA Fantasy out from Silence in the Library.

Before we get to the interview, here's the blurb of The (awesome) Tethering!

All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray,  but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia's boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance.

Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia's family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he's only just beginning to discover.

When Emilia's life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?

And now you get to hear from the lovely Megan O'Russell!

  1. If you could tell anyone in the world five things about yourself that really defines "you," what would they be?

    I am an actor. My home is on stage under the lights.
    Running around outside like puppy on a kibble high is one of my favorite things to do right along with hiking. I love climbing mountains.
    I love conversations. Not always being part of them, sometimes just watching them happen. I think it's an actor thing. I love dialogue.
    I love to travel, and bits of my adventures work themselves into my books all the time.
    My husband is my beta reader, chief spell linguist, and fight choreographer. I couldn't have written The Tethering without him.
  2. What was your inspiration for The Tethering?

    It all started with a boy sitting in a window waiting for a girl to come back. I don't even remember why the boy popped into my head, but the image wouldn't go away. After a while, I needed to know more about him, and then I needed to help him. That is how Jacob Evans and The Tethering came to be. I wanted to help the boy in the window.
  3. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?

    Probably about a year-and-a-half.
  4. What is your writing/editing process? Pantser? Outliner?

    I would have to go with Pantser, but I don't know if the Pantser party would want me. I don't always write in order. I don't sit down and wait for the next scene to surprise me. I write what I find interesting that day. If I really want to write about a garden and make something magical happen, then I do. If I'm hyper and want to write a fight scene, that's what happens. This becomes a nightmare come editing time. I have to be super careful to balance POV. Going through and make sure the pink shirt stayed a pink shirt and I didn't insert an extra couch is excruciatingly painstaking. But it's worth the extra work to keep myself excited about writing and hopefully that excitement comes through in the book.
  5. Could you tell us a little bit about the Silence in the Library? Any connection to Doctor Who?

    Yes, it is a Doctor Who reference, which is great for me since I love Doctor Who! Silence in the Library is actually a really unique and wonderful publisher. They use Kickstarter as their pre-order platform to allow readers to interact with them. You know from day one if the readers are interested in a project, if they want to see the book packaged with another book, or even if they wish there was cool SWAG available for a title. It also allows Silence in the Library to promote other titles from their collection as add-ons or freebies to introduce readers to a new series. It's also a way to make sure a small press stays in the black, preventing the awful "my editor never got paid" syndrome that is frightening in the publishing world right now.
  6. What are your favorite books overall? Recently?

    I love The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and Madeline L'Engle. Any book with a sense of wonder is great. I love mysteries and romance. Rhys Bowen is wonderful, and my most recent read was Elected by Rori Shay, which was fantastic.
  7. Favorite ice cream?
    Maple Walnut. But if I can't find it, chocolate all the way!
You can buy The Tethering here!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Burn Out

Ya'll know what I'm talking about. That point when you've been so busy you just lay in bed doing nothing but eating chocolate and binge-watching Netflix. Yeah, I'm quickly hurtling toward that point. I'm hoping if I hold off on buying chocolate it won't come so quickly. Actually, in a way, I've already hit that point. I've got a cold but I have so much work to do.

I'm planning my NaNo novel, and doing a ton of homework for my senior year of college, and I'm editing for work and trying to maintain a social life. It's resulted in my being exhausted.

I guess this post is just to let you guys know why I haven't been posting. I haven't been able to read for pleasure in about a month because I have so much reading to do and just want to veg in front of Gilmore Girls at the end of the day.

I hope you guys have been able to read more than I have!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Settling In

I'm back to the grindstone, juggling work and school and a social life. So far it's been really nice. I'm living with a couple friends, and besides the fruit flies that hitched on someone's fruit, it's been lovely. School is going to be crazy this quarter, with me being snowed in with reading almost constantly but having very little time in class.

I am feeling nostalgic on almost a daily level. I can't believe I'm in my senior year. College went by in a blink, I swear. And soon I'll be filling out applications for grad school and possible moving states for the first time in my life. It's crazy. This being an adult thing sure is a pain. There are days all I want to do is watch Disney movies in my pajamas and eat chocolate. Mature, eh?

I started this blog post wanting to talk about balancing writing. But you all know I've been blocked ever since Entranced closed. I really hope my classes and NaNo will help me get back in the swing of things. This year should see me finishing Poison Ivy for NaNo, which would be my fifth book. I might also have some free time to work on my writing more this spring. But more on that later.

Here's to a new year and a new set of challenges.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Summer 2014 Reading Project

I can't believe it's already that time of year again. This summer I set out to read around 30 books. This is the third summer I've done this, but I am sad to say that this time I did not succeed in finishing. Although, if you count all the books I edited for work, I did actually reach my quota. I adore reading, and this summer's selection was no different. I was just really busy most of the time and really tired the rest.

Retrieved from
Anyway, the genres from this summer include dystopian, fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, romance, and memoir. As usual, fantasy topped the charts as the most common genre I read. However, the types of fantasy were varied and deliciously fun.

These are the books I would highly recommend to anyone entering a book shop or just browsing on amazon: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (fantasy), The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (fantasy), Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (paranormal fantasy), Vortex by SJ Kincaid (sci-fi/dystopian), Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (fairy tale retelling), Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (fantasy).

Huh, looking at those titles, it seems that fantasy was more prominent than usual on my list of favorites. You can check out the full list of books and their accompanying reviews by either looking at the Summer Reading 2014 tab above, or by hitting the Reviews label to the right.

It's hard to believe summer is over and school is starting. I'm entering my last year of college and time has gone so fast. I've loved all of it, except maybe getting sick. And all the books I've encountered throughout the years have just reaffirmed my love of the written word.

If you can, pick up a book today. It'll be worth it, I swear.


The full title of this book is Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek. I was given this book by a friend's mom who couldn't stop raving about it. I actually read it over a week ago, but I'm just now getting to writing the review. It's been a crazy week, guys. Lots of editing to do, and school starts tomorrow! I can't believe it, but more on that later.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Maya van Wagenen is about to start 8th grade. She's the lowest of the low on her school's food chain, and she's well aware of it. But then she rediscovers an old book from the 50's about how to be popular. It's got some crazy stuff in it about wearing vaseline on your eyelids and being confident. But Maya decides to try it out. What has she got to lose? Set near the Mexico-American border, Maya tells her tale of growth in this memoir.

Maya wants to be less unpopular. I wouldn't say she aspired to being an apex predator (AKA a jock). I liked the background of the drug war and gang violence that surrounded her school, and her love of her teacher who entered her in all kinds of writing contests. Maya's journey to discovering the key to being popular wasn't what she wore or how she walked was heartwarming. Her building her confidence is something I think a lot of young girls could learn from. I thought the writing was a bit amateurish, but then again this was written by a fifteen-year-old. I also think the book would have been just fine without the pictures scattered throughout. But all in all this was a quick, enjoyable read about self-discovery.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Life has been a mix of crazy busy and very stagnant for the past couple weeks. I've been moving into my apartment and editing a lot for work. I've also watched a lot of netflix and hung out with my mom. 

And a strange thing has happened. I haven't wanted to read. I have many books on my shelf that have yet to be read, and some of them I'm sort of excited about. Others have been on my shelf for over a year without me picking up, but I was hoping to get to them this summer. I guess it's not going to happen.

As you also know, I've been going through a drought in my writing. I was going to use this summer to write Spiral, or my rewrite of Griffin's Song. And I've done a little of each, but I haven't had any inspiration. Which I know is no excuse. Writing itself would have probably jogged my inspiration.

I guess the point of this post is to say I'm floundering a little. I'm tired, and I feel like I spend all of my time in stories of one sort or another between editing, reading, watching shows, and occasionally writing. Reality seems sort of detached right now.

I'm hoping to pull out of the fog soon, but I don't really know how.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Natalie Whipple, Kiersten White Book Tour

It's been a busy week for signings! Last night I had the opportunity to meet Natalie Whipple, author of Transparent, Blindsided, House of Ivy and Sorrow, Relax, I'm a Ninja, and Trust me, I'm a Ninja. Also there was Kiersten White, author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, The Chaos of Stars, and Illusions of Fate.

I actually followed both these authors on their blogs for quite a while before picking up their books. And I'm glad I did, because both their voices shine through on the page. And discovering these two are close friends was just a perk. Natalie is blunt about the truth of being published, and Kiersten is sass personified. So you can see why I'd want to meet both of them.

(side note, I actually met Kiersten at a previous book signing and had to contain my squees when she said I looked familiar)

This book signing was less crowded than the Sarah J Maas/Marissa Meyer/Mandy Hubbard signing I was just at, which meant I got to ask more questions, but also felt like there should have been more people. Of course, there was an accident nearby clogging up traffic, so that might have something to do with it. And it being a school night for younger readers. Anyway, I got a seat up front and listened to these two friends happily chat about their books and their friendship and isn't Seattle supposed to be rainy?

It was a very enjoyable night with lots of laughs and a couple signed books. I'll be happy to see these authors again whenever they come to town.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sarah J Maas Book Tour

This week has been chaotic. I'm moving into my apartment and there's been building furniture and trying to decide which kitchen stuff I can't live without and packing and unpacking and oi. I'm tired, people. But! Last night I got to go to a book signing.

I love book signings. And I really need to start bringing some sort of laptop or ipod or some other wifi device so I can live tweet them. I love meeting authors and hearing them talk about their process. Even though I've been published and am working as an editor, there's still that element of peeking at the wizard behind the curtain.

Last night I trekked to a book signing that had Sarah J. Maas, author of the Throne of Glass series, Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles, and Mandy Hubbard, author of over 10 stand alone novels.

Now, I've met Marissa Meyer before, and as usual I was charmed by her quiet humor. She talked about how she hates picking names for characters, how she loves to outline, and how she tries to find something she understands or likes about each of her characters, even the villains.

Mandy Hubbard I have an old past with. Way back when I was querying Griffin's Song, I entered a pitch contest on YAtopia that was hosted by Mandy. I was a finalist, too! She said she loved True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle growing up, and GS reminded her of it. I think I ended up getting a form rejection, and I looking back I'm glad. Griffin's Song was not ready to be agented. Still isn't, now that I'm rewriting it. But being a finalist in that contest made me so happy. It made me think I was doing something right. It was motivation to keep trying.

And, for the author I've wanted to meet since I read Throne of Glass back in 2012. Sarah J. Maas. Rambly and cute and a chocolate lover, I loved hearing this woman speak. She talked about killing off her friends' bullies in her books, and how she came to love reading again. What most struck a chord with me though was when she talked about how she felt like she had two sides - the one who liked traditionally "girly" things like nail polish and cute boys, and the one who liked traditionally "boy" things like star wars and indiana jones. She said she felt like she had to choose between the two sides when she was in high school. It wasn't until later she realized she didn't.

One of the things I love about her MC Celaena is her ability to be badass and "girly." She loves a good dress and sparkly things, but she could kill you before you could blink.

I see a lot of myself in Celaena. I love shopping and makeup and I adored Barbies growing up. But I also went hiking and rock climbing, and to this day I geek out over anything Sherlock or Doctor Who or Firefly. I don't care if my shoes get dirty walking on soft grass. I did gaming for 6 years at my old barn, and there's nothing delicate about horseback riding.

It was such a fun signing, and I got to talk to all three authors and get two books signed. Happy sigh.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Of Triton

I ended Saturday night with a horrible headache that advil and wine couldn't fix. So on Sunday (which was gorgeous and the perfect temperature) I decided to take it easy for a while. My SO was over working, so I nestled up on the couch with Of Triton by Anna Banks, the sequel to Of Poseidon which I read last year. As usual, beware mild spoilers.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Emma just learned her mother is a long lost Syrena princess who was mated to her boyfriend's brother seventy years ago. Emma knew she was a Half-Blood, but this takes things to a whole new level of weird. When her mom goes into the water to reclaim her birthright as princess in order to mate with Grom, the situation gets even worse. There's an imposter claiming to possess the power of Poseidon, and the Royal family's grip on the kingdom is getting shakier. Emma may be the only one who can fix the problem, and she'll have to if she wants to be with Galen, the Triton Syrena.

I love mermaid books. So it's shouldn't surprise anyone when I say I liked this book. I had some issues with the first one with Galen being possessive and how messed up the mating rituals in Syrena culture were. This book was a nice, quick read, partially because it dropped a lot of threads that began in the first book. Emma's half-bloodedness is taken for granted and not explored much further. Her grief over her friend's death and integrating back into high school are also dropped. Galen and Emma spend most of the book apart, so their romance wasn't able to annoy me. The writing is good, and Emma has some funny internal commentary. Galen's chapters in the third person present tense take some getting used to, but I think I just tuned it out after a while. The ending was...abrupt and sort of weird. It seemed tacked on in order to have some emotional upheaval, but it fell flat for me. And I wish the epilogue hadn't left it open for a third book. These two books stand well enough on their own. Overall a pleasant read for a relaxing day.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Heir of Fire

Oh, guys. Guys guys guys guys guys. I love Sarah J. Maas on a level nearing that of my love of Maggie Stiefvater and almond roca. I love her badass heroine assassin and her beautiful world and her food porn. She shows that you can be girly and kick butt at the same time. And I love that because I think that often heroines who are tough aren't allowed to be girly. And I want the world to know it's okay to be girly and tough and non-girly and non-tough. It's all good. Be who you are. Unless you want to be a serial killer. Don't do that. But I digress. As usual, this is a sequel, so mild spoilers.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Celaena Sardothien has left Adarlan for the shores of Wendlyn, the home of the Fae, a land where magic is still practiced. She needs answers about the Wyrdkeys from the queen of the Fae, Maeve, but first she must prove herself worthy by training with Rowan. Her training makes her face the horrible truths about herself and her past, and whether or not she can get past them to keep her promise to her dead friend Nehemia. At the same time Dorian and Chaol are in Rifthold, Dorian trying to keep his magic a secret from his father, and Chaol about to leave for his ancestral lands. But the rebel groups are surrounding them, and if they want to help Celaena they may have no choice but to expose who they are.

Oh this book. Manon Blackbeak and her wyverns. Celaena and Rowan. Oh, guys, I just love them all. I wish there had been more space for Dorian and Chaol, but there just wasn't with everything going on. I loved Celaena's inner turmoil in this book and how more layers of her personality are explored, so you see a real transition from the flirty, mysterious assassin from Throne of Glass to Heir of Fire. She's just...oh I love her. She's so tough and flawed and funny. I'd like to think we'd be friends in real life. And Rowan. His story just killed me, and I want to know more about him. But no romance with him and Celaena please! Uh uh! I am completely team Chaolaena. Even if he has a hard time accepting her, I want them together so bad! I guess if I were to pick one character I wasn't totally sold on, it would be Sorscha. I think she was good to Dorian and soothed his pains and everything, but she felt more like a plot device than anything. Okay, so I could go on about this book for ages so I guess I'll sum it up because this review got more scattered than I'd intended. Heir of Fire is slower paced than the previous two books in the series, but a good, hefty middle book that left me craving the next one. I hate that it's year away. If you haven't picked up this series yet, do it now. Please. It's for your own good.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: Of Triton by Anna Banks

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tiger Lily

I received a very special delivery today! A copy of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, author of one of my favorite series, the Throne of Glass. I had my SO over for a couple days and we spent quite a lot of that time reading. So I decided to read a book the I could finish before HoF got here. That book was Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did.

Retrieved from Goodreads
"Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything--her family, her future-- to be with him. Wen she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her won trive, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter." - Goodreads

I was sad for this entire book. Because it's beautifully written and gorgeously sad, and I loved how wrong and how right Tiger Lily's relationship with Peter was. It just...words can't describe. I've read some reviews of people who didn't like this take on Peter Pan because he was older and not supposed to understand love or girls etc. Honestly I think a retelling should take what liberties it wants as long as it does them well. And this book did them well. Oh, Tiger Lily's heartbreak is so realistic and so in character. And I loved the idea of having it all told from Tink's perspective. I felt so bad for her that no one listened to her and that she couldn't talk. Yes, it's not the fastest paced book and the climax isn't really climax-y, but I loved the way Anderson put sentences together. And to make me feel content and sad at the same time for an entire book is quite a feat for any author. Bravo, Anderson, bravo.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Testing

Well, I did it again, guys. I stopped reading for about a week. I have no excuse. I watched a lot of netflix and played a lot of nonograms. I slept a *lot.* I also spent time with my best friend who is moving to another state this week. Which happens to be how I received this book! Her mother suggested it and lent me a copy so I thought I should get a move on. I don't know about you, but I always get anxious when people keep copies of my books for a long time.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Malencia has been chosen for The Testing. This is a rigorous set of tests by the government to determine who should be the next leaders of the government. Only it's a lot more deadly than Malencia could have imagined. All she has going for her is what she learned back in the Five Lakes Colony and Tomas, a classmate who's just as able as she is. Malencia has to pass The Testing, or die trying.

Honestly, this book is a quick read. It deals with survival in a sort of similar way to Ashfall, without spending too long going into the specifics. However, while this is a quick read I have never read a book so similar to the Hunger Games, and I've read quite a bit of dystopian as my reviews will attest. And I know there are only so many frameworks for novels, but this one was so similar that I couldn't help but be bothered by it. Forget the cliched oppressive government and the stereotypical charred landscape from an unexplained war. For me the biggest problem beyond the parallels between it and the Hunger Games was that it had no heart. I cared about Katniss. I didn't care about Cia. She had almost no personality of her own but was merely a narrator of what happened. I didn't believe her caring for Tomas, and by the end I didn't care if she survived The Testing (who kills off the best and brightest in a failing government? Also a flaw with the concept of this book). I wanted to like this book because it was recommended to me by a friend. And in some ways I did. I liked that the writing was tight and the action fast paced. But in the end I don't think I'll be reading the next one. I've already read Catching Fire after all.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How I Enjoy Bad TV

Okay, sort of a provocative title. I guess what I mean to say by it is that I watch shows that more discerning viewers like to tear apart in comments and reviews. To put it in perspective, some of my favorite (recent) shows to date are: Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Doctor Who, Agents of SHIELD, and Sherlock.

Every single one of these shows has been ripped to shreds in one way or anther. Appropriation of fandoms in unrealistic ways/bad portrayal of geeks -- Big Bang Theory. Ruining the entire path of the story to meet the mother we waited 8 years for -- How I Met Your Mother. Moffat -- Doctor Who. Moffat -- Sherlock. Slow plot -- Agents of SHIELD. It's one in the morning as I write this so I apologize to everyone out there for forgetting other criticisms of these shows.

And I can see the validity of all these arguments against these shows. As a book lover I do the same sort of thing with novels on a regular basis. I wouldn't be an editor if I didn't. I really try not to do it with books I read for fun because I don't want my life as an editor to have a huge effect on my life as a reader. I want to always be able to read for fun and not think "Oooh there should be a comma" or "I bet that scene was made shorter than the original" or some such. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don't. It's hard, and I work at it.

But I am pretty successful at watching tv without my editorial brain kicking in. I like the cheap laughs of Big Bang Theory, and I love Sheldon. I love the interplay between Barney and Robin, although I totally agree about the screwed up resolution with the Mother. In Doctor Who I fell in love with Tennant and then again with Smith. In Sherlock I liked the wit and the bromance between John and Sherlock.

These shows all have problems (looking at you, Moffat), but I love them all. Why? How can I do this? I think I figured out why. I turn my brain off a bit when I watch tv. When I read I'm looking to be intellectually stimulated and drawn in to a world. When I watch tv I want to be entertained. I want to be entertained when I read of course, and my brain stimulated when I watch tv. But for some reason when I watch netflix I don't care so much about the bad science and plot holes in Doctor Who and Sherlock. I don't care that Big Bang Theory has a really loud laugh track or Agents of SHIELD stalled until Captain America 2 came out before it went anywhere. One big exception to this is the series finale of HIMYM in which I rage quit so hard it *literally* ruined half a day for me. But that's another post for another time.

I try really really hard just absorb when I watch tv. For a little while it's nice to sit back and be entertained. I don't always succeed, and I've stopped watching shows before because they insulted my intelligence too much. Well written is a must, laughing is appreciated, and if it can make me cry it's genius.

So I'll go back to fangirling over the season 8 premiere of Doctor Who while reading articles about the plot holes and agreeing.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Twice Lost

I love mermaid books. I used to try to pretend I was a mermaid as a little kid in pools. I was usually very unsuccessful because my hips just don't move like that. Anyway, I love reading beautifully written books about mermaids, and perhaps one of the best I've ever read comes from Sarah Porter in her Lost Voices trilogy. Warning: this is the last in the trilogy so mild spoilers.

Retrieved from Goodreads
The humans know about the mermaids and how they've been sinking ships with their voices. With the government sending out teams to slaughter mermaids up and down the coasts, Luce frantically tries to warn as many as she can before they're killed. Then in San Francisco she meets the hundreds of mermaids who had been cast out of their tribes for breaking the timahk. And it is there that she finally takes control of the mermaids and becomes the general of the Twice Lost Army with the goal of ending the violence against mermaids once and for all.

Oh this book. Such gorgeous writing. I love books like this that pop around to a lot of different perspectives, and this book does it well. We are introduced to several new characters while also getting to see Luce transform into the leader of the mermaids as they face off against the humans. In some places I found her solutions to problems rather childish, and I do wish Dana and Violet had a bigger role after coming to care for them in Waking Storms. Overall I greatly enjoyed this book with it's gorgeous descriptions of undersea life and some truly heart wrenching moments of inhumanity with Anais. Would totally recommend this series to anyone who loves to read about our finned friends.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars Up Next: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau and Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Science of Procrastination

There are probably much better blog posts out there about this by authors who have been on best seller lists or editors who have massive credentials lists. But today I want to talk about procrastination. This is because of something I am ashamed to admit. But today I'm going to. It has been nearly two years since I wrote a book.

I have four completed manuscripts under my belt and numerous failed starts. I have Spiral barely started and the complete redo of Griffin's Song which makes it an entirely different genre. I have half of Poison Ivy done with plans to finish up with this year's NaNoWriMo. But since Saddle Sore I haven't written The End.


I am an amazing procrastinator. I have homework, I have a manuscript to edit for work, I have to finish this season of Doctor Who, I should really edit my last book before starting on the new one, I have to make dinner, I haven't spent enough time with my SO, I want to read just one more chapter.

I have endless excuses not to write. And I am so ashamed of myself. Stories are constantly flowing through my head in snippets and images and then they're gone. And I tell myself only when things are truly vivid will I sit down to write a book. Because I've been published! Which means I should be at least a decent writer. A bad first manuscript is no longer acceptable! And all kinds of hogwash.

You see, I think I've become afraid of writing. I'm afraid I won't be published again. I'm experiencing a sort of diluted fear already published authors have. That you won't be good enough this time around. That the first time was a fluke. I'm a bad writer and I got lucky with Balancing Act, Saddle Sore is awful and full of plot holes and not steamy at all. Spiral is too serious compared to the companion novels, and why don't you just go make those scones you love and sit in a corner and binge eat?

I'm scared. I've been making excuses since I signed my contract with Entranced Publishing over a year ago. I want to be a writer, and I'm scared I'm not good enough.

I'm going to be a writer. I am a writer. I need to be a writer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Last year I read Mila 2.0 after seeing Debra Driza at a book signing on the Dark Days tour. This year the sequel, Renegade, came out. As I had a pleasant time reading the first one I had no reservations about this middle book beyond the usual. So in between making raspberry lemonade bars (didn't turn out that well) and baked four cheese chicken pasta (I will eat it forever and ever it's so yummy) I polished off Renegade. As usual, beware mild spoilers.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Mila's mother is dead and she has no one left to turn to. Except Hunter, an innocent boy from her old high school who doesn't know what she is. She doesn't know what her future will be. All she has to go on are the names Richard Grady and Sarah. Travelling with Hunter, Mila sets out to discover the people her mother mentioned with her last breaths.

Action-wise this book is much slower than Mila 2.0. But it's been over a year since I read that book, so I had a hard time holding it up to its predecessor. I will say that the first 100 pages were a bit of a slog before stuff starts rolling, but I really started to enjoy it once I hit the 200 page mark. I really enjoyed Mila's struggles with her emotions, as she has basically accepted the fact of her humanity. I was a little tired of Hunter and honestly thought the book would have been just fine without him. But he was there and I didn't mind. There are some minor revelations about the Vita Obscura and the people around Mila, but nothing earth shattering. It felt a bit like a slow middle book but I still enjoyed it and will read the final installment.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: The Twice Lost by Sarah Porter

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Weirdly Perfect Moment

I turned 21 recently. Yeah, I know, I'm basically a baby. Anyway, I recently had my birthday and things didn't go according to plan. It turned out all right, though, with my parents, SO, and I going to a nice bar with a view to die for. I had my first legal drinks!

And we were lifting our glasses to toast when it happened. Something I hope to never forget. My dad said "Write drunk." And without missing a bit I lifted my glass in response and said "Edit sober." And my SO and mother looked at us like we were crazy, and we clinked glasses.

This moment has stuck in my head since my birthday. It was so perfect. It somehow encapsulated how I've grown since I first sat down to write my first book way back before my senior year of high school. I've grown up a lot since then in so many ways. I'm almost done with college, which is impossible to believe. I'm planning on grad school and I've studied in England. I've read hundreds of books and gotten my first job as an editor, and then my second job as one. I've learned so much.

Before this all gets too sappy, I just want to say how happy I am to be an editor. Before I discovered this business I was a little lost. I'd previously wanted to be a jockey and a country star and an astronaut and a high school history teacher. But nothing felt quite right. Until I found out about editing and the community of people who adore the written word as much as I do.

So, tonight, raise a glass and toast with me. Write drunk...