Mar 31 2014

My Writing Process Author Hop

I’ve been invited to take part in the “My Writing Process Blog Tour” by Page Morgan, the author of THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED.  I just got to meet her this month, and on top of being super funny and kind in person, she has the claim to fame of writing gothic fiction, which is my favorite genre of all time.  (Seriously.  I own seven different editions of Jane Eyre.)
On to the questions!
1) What am I working on?
Landry Park II: Landry Parkier,  which is in the edit stage right now.  Send scotch.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
YA Dystopian has really flowered in the years since The Hunger Games emerged, and it’s been really exciting to see how different authors take similar themes and explore them in vastly different ways.  I think Landry Park takes a slightly more glamorous approach to the Oppressive Future of Society theme–the protagonist is one of the elite, rather than being part of the underclass, and the world is richer and more colorful than many of the desaturated and gray dystopias out there.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I don’t have an easy answer for this.  Sometimes I write because I’m compelled–by an image or a character or a setting.  Sometimes I write to escape.  Sometimes it’s both.  What drew me to Landry Park was the luxurious world, with both its beauty and its darkness.  I love settings that take on a life of their own, that are more and more complex the deeper you delve into them.
4) How does my writing process work?
  • After the initial inspiration–a scene or an image–lodges itself in my brain, I usually give it a gestation period.  Sometimes a month or several months, depending.
  • Then I write the first chapter or two, just to dip my toes in the water.
  • After that, I do the SAVE THE CAT beat sheet to give myself a loose road guide for the journey ahead.
  • Once that’s in place, I aim for 1000 to 2000 words a day.  Any less, and I won’t get the book finished in a reasonable amount of time, and any more, and my words devolve into mush that’s at best unreadable and at worst madness-inducing…
Be sure to check out Elizabeth Otto’s blog next week for the next installment of the hop!  Elizabeth is a dear friend of mine, in addition to being the most talented romance author I know.  A paramedic by day, Elizabeth writes women’s fiction that’s as heartfelt as it is steamy by night.

Mar 28 2014

Life as a Crab

Well, hello everybody.  I know, I know, shocking, Bethany is actually on her blog.

I don’t know why I hide from the internet so much.  (Well, not from tumblr.  I would never hide from tumblr.)  I think partly it’s a combination of day-jobbing and writing, which means that if I’m not a desk jockey, I’m writing, and when I am writing, my brain shies away from talking to people–real and digital.  And part of it is having kidlets, I suppose.  Apparently they like it when you feed them and stuff.

But I think a lot of it is that I’m naturally a creepy recluse, and I prefer to be a creepy recluse on the internet as well.

I’m a Cancer, so this makes sense.  *snaps crab claws together*

Anyway, update time!  Landry Park II: the Taffeta Reckoning is finally in the editorial stages! Yes! Yay! This calls for drinks!  The drafting process was…how can I put this?  Like climbing a mountain wearing shoes made of broken glass all while being taunted by a certain petulant boy pop star and sucking on a Vegemite-flavored sucker, and there’s nothing in the water bottle except flat seventeen-year-old Surge and the only companions (besides the petulant pop star and his illegal pet monkey) are self-doubt and self-loathing and the knowledge that once you get to the top, there’s a second, even bigger mountain waiting to be climbed and guess what–there are shoes filled with even more broken glass waiting for you there and they are just the right size!

God, I love writing.  I am not even being sarcastic right now.

So I don’t really have a timeframe for when the sequel will emerge bloody and howling into the world, but it will be sometime in 2015, and hopefully it won’t be as terrible as it is now, but even if it is, I will still win the award for Most Hours Spent Laying on the Floor Hating Life while I worked on it, and that is a fairly coveted prize in the writing community.

As for those who have been asking about movie stuff, I can’t say much yet, except that yes, that is a thing that happens sometimes with books, but also that it’s a long journey with lots of gateways and that most of those gates are locked, so while making it through one gate is exciting, it’s not a guarantee that any other gate will be opened–much like selling a book.  Barry Lyga has an excellent post about that very thing.  I will tell the world about any Developments as soon as any Developments are made official…

In the meantime, I would also like to extend an invitation for you to follow me on tumblr since I’m so rarely here or on Twitter.  Apologies in advance for swear words, nerdy crap, politics and gifs of thirtysomething British actors.

Jan 23 2014

Come See Me!

So Landry Park is coming out soon.  Like actual soon, not just I’m going to make surveillance reforms as soon as Congress helps soon or the next DMV agent will be with you shortly soon.  This is like proper soon.  Less than two weeks soon.  I’m feeling jittery about this, but I think it’s the good jittery.  I’m not sure.

But to help with the good jitters, my fellow librarians are hosting me at the Central Resource Library in Overland Park, KS on the day on Landry Park’s release, Tuesday, February 4th.  Event details can be found here.  I have already promised to wear real pants and not sweatpants, and I will also try not to ramble about scotch and Tom Hiddleston and other hobbies of mine.  So you should come and stuff.




Dec 4 2013


Just popping out of my scotch-soaked creative cave to tell you about a book that I am super pumped for.  So Lynne Matson has this book coming out March 4th, and it’s like Survivor plus LOST plus Battle Royale plus Lord of the Flies plus kissing.  Here’s the copy from Goodreads:

On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days–to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing Charley remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley hunts for a way out. She discovers desolate beaches and human remains, but no sign of civilization–until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with hidden dangers, their greatest threat is time.

They can’t stop the clock. They can only hope to beat it. 

And, because Lynne knows we’re all dying for this book (and because she’s all industrious and productive while I lay on my floor in sweatpants and gnash my teeth) she has started the Nil Tribe.  Here’s the deal from her blog post:

If you love books, especially thrillers, packed with mysteries, islands, secrets and ALL THE FEELS, then #NILtribe may be for you! All you have to do is tweet… or post to Facebook . . . or post on your blog . . . or comment on my blog: “I joined the tribe!” and add the #NILtribe hashtag. And that’s it! You’re in.

Over the three months, follow the #NILtribe hashtag on Twitter and Facebook for chances to win galleys of NIL, copies of other YA books I love and sweet NIL swag . . . and to discover NIL sekrits. Each day I’ll tweet using the #NILtribe hashtag. I’ll share cool facts about the characters, island sekrits, author interviews, giveaway links, etc. Each week I’ll share new goodies that will be up for grabs by members of the #NILtribe in upcoming giveaways (spoiler: creepy bone cuff bracelet anyone?!) Each month will bring more opportunities to win NIL galleys, NIL swag, and after NIL’s release, signed hardbacks.:) And in the last month before release, all #NILtribe members will get swag-to-be-revealed… just by joining the #NILtribe.

And to all those readers-who-love-thrillers-and-islands-and-sekrits-and swoon? Feel free to use the #NILtribe hashtag as often as you like! Post anytime using the hashtag! You can countdown to Nil’s release, repost any of my posts, or post about why you’re excited for NIL, Waiting on Wednesday style. Just remember to use the #NILtribe hashtag, and you’re golden.  Welcome to the tribe.

Nov 18 2013

The Love of Bare November Days

I am not NaNo-ing, which means I have the brain power to enjoy these chilly, dead-leaf-filled days and also to see Thor 2 twice because, well, Tom Hiddleston.  It also means I have the extra brain power to angst about Landry Park Two, which has Been Sent Off and is Awaiting Help from the marvelous editor lady.  In the meantime, I’ve been working on a new WIP, which has lots of dead leaves and fog and abandoned buildings (and is decidedly not part of a series.)

There’s a kind of excitement to drafting something New and Completely Different, and it reminds me of why I love writing so much.  There’s always a new project, a new world and new people to daydream about and explore.  And this nascent stage, where it’s all still internal and daydreamy and pure creation–it’s basically like magic.

Speaking of magic, I’ll leave you with some Loki Jazz Hands because, well, Tom Hiddleston.

30 Reasons You're Loki From "Thor"

Jul 2 2013

Want to See the Cover of Jen McConnel’s DAUGHTER OF CHAOS?

Nothing is more terrifying than the witch who wields red magic.

Witches must choose the path they will follow, and Darlena Agara is no exception. She’s been putting
it off long enough, and in her case, ignoring it has not made it go away. In a moment of frustration,
Darlena chooses to follow Red Magic, figuring she had outsmarted the powers that be, since there’s
no such thing as Red Magic. But alas, Darlena’s wrong (again) and she becomes a newly declared Red

Her friends are shocked and her parents horrified by the choice Darlena has made. As a Red Witch,
she now governs one third of the world’s chaos. She is the walking personification of pandemonium,
turmoil, and bedlam, just as the patrons of Red Magic would have it to be.
But Darlena believes there must be more to Red Magic than chaos and destruction, and she sets out on
a journey to achieve balance. Only doing so puts her at odds with the dark goddess Hecate, who simply
will not allow Darlena to quit. She encourages Darlena to embrace who and what she is and to leave
good magic to the good witches. If only Darlena could, life would be simple, and she would not be the
Daughter of Chaos.

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in a YA paranormal trilogy.

Ready?!  Okay, here you go!

DOC cover

Isn’t it wonderful?  I love how fierce Darlena’s face is fierce but determined (and that hair!)

Jen has put together a lovely giveaway for Embrace by Jessica Shirvington and Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout!  Go here if you want in on that goodness!

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a
variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where
she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When
she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college.
Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are
stories for another time.





Jun 27 2013

My Book Has a Face! My Book Has a Face!

guess what

guess what

guess. what.


landry park cover

I know.  I KNOW.

See, here’s the thing.  Here’s the gritty, God’s-honest-truth thing.  I was nervous about the cover.  I was nervous because, before I even sold my book, I’d heard the horror stories about publishers designing less-than covers.  I was nervous because I’ve spent several years in the library world, and I have seen the world’s worst covers…from the copycat to the banal to the cheesy to the holy-s***-they-put-Comic-Sans-on-a-cover.  I was also told that, as an author, my tiny plaintive cries would be ignored, drowned out by the cogs of Big Publishing.  And you know what, it happens sometimes.  Clearly.  (Enjoy this gem I found hanging out on my mystery display at the library.) Maybe it even happens often.

But not this time.  Not with this book.

Dial has an amazing team, all around, and Landry Park has a fantabulous champion in the inimitable Nancy Conescu (aka Editor Lady) who makes the magic happen and just plain gets the book.  She not only gets it, but sees what it could be, how much better it could be, and has helped me carve and tone and add and make it a better, much stronger story.  You know what’s extra awesome?  She kept me in the loop through the whole cover process.  She told me about the concepts, the photographer, even The Dress.

And when I saw the finished thing?  I fell immediately in love.

Immediately.  Like when I first held my newborn children or when I first tasted Tank 7 beer or when I first saw Michael Fassbender play Edward Rochester.

It’s the perfect synthesis of science fiction and romance.  It’s the perfect representation of the “future historical” atmosphere I was trying to achieve.  The girl is delicate and lonely-looking, but proud.  Upright.  The estate is exactly how it’s described in the book–three stories, gray stone, wide lawns.  The cover is suffused with blue light, the same Cherenkov light that suffuses the novel itself.  It speaks to content, it speaks to atmosphere and above all, it’s striking.

So I am very very happy.

RT was kind enough to host the reveal, which made me super excited because I adore RT.  It’s one of the few genre blogs that I faithfully follow as a librarian, PLUS the annual RT convention is the funnest, loudest, friendliest convention in the world.

Here’s something else that blew my mind: Landry Park is on Amazon.  Now, I know Amazon isn’t the arbiter of all things literary, and they are certainly not the sole gateway for getting books (a shout-out here to my local indie Mysteryscape, and the library [obvs.])  But seeing my book in an actual marketplace is kind of mind-boggling in a good–if surreal–way.

So that was my day!  I spent last night covered in old adhesive, breathing in solvent fumes and living out my childhood fantasy of being an archeologist while I picked adhesive out of 217 (actual number, btw) screw heads with an X-Acto knife.  Then I spent the morning at karate, and the rest of my day being a librariador.  Tonight, I’ll go home after work, snuggle the kids for a bit, and then watch MST3K with my hot cop husband.

And I’m doing all this with a book that has a face now.

Jun 25 2013

Want to See the Cover of Kristi Helvig’s BURN OUT?

Well, of course you do.

Here’s why:

Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth’s final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns “red giant,” but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

*hugs description to chest*

I love pure sci-fi.  Love it love it love it.  LOVE.

So, befitting a book as amazing as this, is an amazing cover.  BEHOLD:




Yeah…mama like.


Anyway, drooling aside, there’s extra awesome because there is a *drumroll* GIVEAWAY!  The contest runs through Tuesday, July 9th, and the winner gets the YA Book of their Choice PLUS a copy of DEFY THE DARK (an anthology featuring several of my friends, so trust me, you need this book in your life.)

Don’t forget to find the beautiful author in all the right places:

Kristi Helvig
Author of Sci-Fi novel BURN OUT coming Spring 2014 (EgmontUSA)
“The last girl on Earth…just got company.”
Available now for preorder on Amazon!

Jun 14 2013

Want to See the Cover of Sara B. Larson’s DEFY?

I know you do.  Don’t lie.

First of all, let me tempt you…

A warrior and a protector, the prince’s best guard is also a girl in hiding. No one knows who she really is–or so she thought. But when her world suddenly changes, and two men begin vying for her heart, one girl must stand up against a terrible evil or risk losing everything.

I know.  Amazing, right?  What’s more, DEFY is hitting the shelves January 1st, 2014…so in less than six months!

Are you ready?


Like really really ready?


Because it’s awesome.


Here it is:


DEFY Front Cover-1



Don’t forget to head over to the Valentines blog for an epic giveaway to celebrate!

May 9 2013

Sexy things are sexy

So, last year one of my critique partners told me that she was thinking of writing an adult romance novel and would I think about reading it?  The closest thing to adult romance I’d read at that point was Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels, which does feature a lot of Jondalar and Ayla doing it in their cave and then in other people’s caves.  But she was my CP and I loved her and I told her I’d be happy to read it.  And then she could disregard my “not enough drying meat and woven baskets in the background” comments.

Little did I know that I would be addicted (ADDICTED) to Laurelin’s books.  They are sexy and funny and touching, and they make me have all the feels.

So that’s why I jumped at the chance to host her cover on my blog, even though I write YA (which features feels but no boinking, cave or otherwise.)  I know that you will love Fixed on You as much as I did.

Fixed on You Cover Final

Yeah, that’s right.  Garters.  And a suit.

Expected release date: July 31, 2013


Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Pierce’s past. With her MBA newly in
hand, she has her future figured out – move up at the nightclub she works at and marry the
manager, David. He’s perfect for her because, although he’s attractive, he doesn’t get her all
turned inside out and upside down like some other men have. It’s a safe plan, one that assures
she’ll remain in control of her obsessive love disorder.

But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart,
rich, and gorgeous – the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her
past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and
makes no secret of his plans to seduce her. Avoiding him becomes impossible after he offers a
business proposition Alayna can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull.

Soon Alayna’s charmed by Hudson in every way possible and the control over her old behaviors
slip. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen
for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give
them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

About Laurelin:

Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to
the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however.
When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Mad Men or the
Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She is represented by the wonderful Bob Diforio
of D4EO Literary Agency.

Author social media links:




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