Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday- Best of September

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
What was the best book you read in September?

I had a fabulous listening month. I'll tell all on Monday for my How Many Have you Read/Heard Contest (I have a signed ARC of Ally Condie's CROSSED to give away).

My favorite book this month was DIVERGENT.

But since I already raved about that one once. HERE. I'd also like to say that I loved:

   I haven't finished BEAUTY QUEENS yet, but so far I love, love, love it!

What About You? Favorite Reads/Listens in September?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Debut Author Challenge #6

The next debut book on my Mp3 playlist was ASHES, ASHES. I got this one from Audiobook Community. They offer a series of free YA audiobook downloads for several weeks each summer. 

A ruined NYC is the setting for this plague-based Dystopian about surviving on your own and with others.

I enjoyed the strong MC in this, and there were some good twists along the way.

What about you? Read this one? How many debuts have you read this year?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday and Peace Blogfest

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
What are your all-time favorite book covers?

I've come a little late to cover love. Audiobooks used to have totally different covers than the regular book, so sometimes I wouldn't even recognize books I've listened to at a bookstore.

That being said, I do have a few favorites:

This is one of the first times I saw a cover and thought, Ooo, I want to listen to that one. I love historical, and it's rare to find those on the YA shelves, so that might have had something to do with my reaction.

Others I love, in retrospect, because they fit the story so well:

This last one in particular (an adult series) fits the female perspective Arthurian legend perfectly.

The first time I fell into total cover love was with Libba Bray's new book:

The lipsticks are pure genius. I can't wait to see if this one lives up to its cover...with Libba Bray, I'm sure it will.

Today is International Day of Peace. To celebrate, has hosted a three day blogfest.

Today we were supposed to share how we connect with others.

I do think the face of connecting has changed with technology. Today, we all probably know someone we met on the internet better than we know our neighbors.

For all these changes, connecting does matter, and being open to connections matters most. It's not without risks, but the rewards are much greater.

What about you? Any cover loves or thoughts on connection to share?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Peace Starts At Home

International Day of Peace is on Wednesday. To celebrate, is hosting a three day blogfest.

Today we were supposed to share our personal experiences with the negative things that make peace seem unattainable.

I've been blessed with a loving (if not perfect) family, both as a child and as an adult, but I've always felt strongly about the victimization of women and children. I've volunteered and/or donated to women's shelters in every place I've lived as an adult, and many of my professional jobs have focused on working with at-risk families.

Domestic violence and child abuse are major stumbling blocks to world peace. How can strangers from different races, religions and nationalities ever learn to accept each other and work together if a significant percentage of families haven't even learned to do so? 

What about you? What are the barriers to peace you feel most strongly about?

Monday, September 19, 2011

All We Are Saying...

International Day of Peace is on Wednesday. To celebrate, is hosting a three day blogfest.

Today we were supposed to show something we created that expresses how we feel about peace.

Unfortunately, nothing I can create can express how I feel as well as John Lennon did. So, I'm trying my first video...crosses fingers...hope it works!

This song reminds me that if we can step beyond the artificial boundaries of race, religion, power, money, and nationality we can create a world that is beyond most of our imaginings but not beyond possibility.

I have hope for this. Do you?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Debut Authors Challenge #5

Woo! Woo! I've got my new Mp3 loaded with my Audible selections, and I'm ready to fit in my twelve debut books before the end of the year.

In a Dystopian Chicago, A sixteen-year old raised to be selfless chooses to become dauntless.

I was so excited to hear DIVERGENT, and it exceeded all expectations. I rank it right up there with HUNGER GAMES and UGLIES...which is saying a lot as I LOVE both those series...and I believe the romance in this one is the most compelling of the three.

Believe all the hype, and read (or listen) to this one soon.

What about you? Read this one yet?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday-Freudian Slips

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
What themes, setting, motifs, scenes, or other elements do you find reoccurring in your work?

Interesting how almost all us writers "write what we know" even when we aren't trying to...or maybe, more accurately, we write what we "want", "need", are "emotionally attached to" or "think is important."

Admitting this up front, feel free to go all Freudian on the repeated motifs I've noticed in my four books:

Midwestern settings- (know and emotionally attached to)

Protags with some experience dating- (think it's important to avoid cliche of the beautiful protag who's self-conscious about her looks and/or a total innocent)

Dating Around- (think it's important and more realistic for teens to explore options instead of being overwhelmed by one "perfect" and "everlasting" love...though, in the end, my protag only has one strong emotional connection with one guy.)

Quiet, deep, starving artist type side character- (want-ed to date this guy, but never did)

Wild girl side character- (emotionally attached to all my wild friends who provide contrasting viewpoints to my own life and my protag's lives)

Plot/character arcs that are more exploratory than goal driven- (exposes my need to understand comercial fiction plots better :)

I'm sure there are more...things Freud would have a hayday with...but these are the ones that stick out to me most. 

What about you? Any repetitions you see in your own work or others?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Debut Author's Challenge #4

I'm sadly behind in my debut challenge due to a war between my computer, my Mp3 player, and me. The computer won, the Mp3 player died, and I bought a new one for a fifth of the price of the old one...gotta love technology.

Now I've got several good debut books waiting to be listened to. Mostly thanks to Audible, but this one, WITHER, came from my library.

As described in my monthly How Many Have You Read/Heard Contest: Men only live to twenty-five and women only til twenty in this Dystopian where the heroine tries to escape her gilded cage as a polygamist's wife.

This one surprised me for being more character driven than plot driven. Primarily, it's a quest for freedom, but I was impressed with how it explores what happens when strangers are thrown together to make a family. 

What about you? Have you read this? Are you doing Debut Author's Challenge? If so, how many have you read so far?          

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday and Contest Winners

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
What non-YA character would you love to see star in a YA book as themselves?

I had a little trouble wrapping my brain around this one so early in the morning, but I think my answer has already been done.
I love Sex And The City , so when I saw this audiobook, I grabbed it up:

It did not disappoint....AND (unlike the show) it's YA appropriate (if anyone is concerned).

  Now, if someone would write Lorelai's YA story...I think I'd enjoy that one too.

What about you? Any adult characters you'd like to see YA-ified?

For my August Listens contest, the winners are: Laura, Elana, Karla and Diana. Thanks, everyone, for participating. I'll be sending out emails to winners later today.