Thursday, March 6, 2014

DC Event! --- NoVaTeen Book Festival

I'm in DC! And I'm here doing an event this weekend, which I'm TOTALLY EXCITED ABOUT. 

The event is free (YAY!) and will take place at Washington Lee High School and Arlington Central Library on Saturday, March 8th. It's an all day event, with tons of great panels, with tons of great authors. I can't wait to see/meet Marie Lu! I'm hoping a get the chance to tell her how much I love Day. Basically I'll fangirl her if given the chance. 

I'll be speaking on a panel from 12:00PM - 12:45PM with Elizabeth Scott (OMG I LOVE HER) and Jenna Black. Our panel is called "The Scientist" and it'll deal with the morality of science and the consequences of trying to defy nature. I seriously can't wait to chat with everyone. 

After the panels, attendees will get a chance to have their books signed by all the authors in attendance. The signing takes place at 4:00PM at Arlington Central Library. 

For more information on the event, check out the NoVaTeen website HERE.

I hope to see/meet some of you awesome readers out there!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

More on Nick's Book --- Altered 3


I’ve received a lot of questions about Altered 3, especially now that people have read Erased, so I thought I’d do another Altered 3 update post for those of you who might be new to the series (or the blog).

Altered and Erased were Anna’s books, and her story ended with Erased. But, while her story has an end, the Branch’s story doesn’t. The same could be said for the boys. There are still a lot of holes in the boys’ pasts. Who were they before the Branch? How did they come to work together? This was something I wanted to explore in Altered 3, and I really really wanted to explore it with Nick.

Altered 3 is Nick’s book, for sure, but it will be told in a dual POV. Half from Nick’s POV, and half from a new girl character’s POV. If you read my old post about A3, then you might have heard me call her Callie, but once I started writing the book, I realized she wasn’t a Callie at all. So I changed her name! It’s now Elizabeth, and it fits so much better.

Nick has been having flashbacks about his life before and after joining the Branch, and there’s one girl he can’t get out of his head. He breaks from the group to do a bit more digging, and that’s when the action begins. Who is this girl? And is she connected to the Branch?

Altered 3 is very close to being finished (YAY!), so I can confidently say that it turned out to be a lot different than Altered and Erased. For one, it’s a dual POV, and one of those POVs is a genetically altered (male) badass. I’ve never really tackled writing a male POV (other than Trout in Bot Wars – but he’s a preteen, so it’s different!). Nick doesn’t see the world the same way Anna does. That was an adjustment, but a great writing experience. He’s also a lot angrier, a lot more broken, and a bit unpredictable. I loved writing him.

Elizabeth is also broken, for many reasons, and I certainly don’t want to give anything away. But, I can say, she’s a perfect match for Nick, in that they’re both confused about the past, present, and especially their future. They both have a lot of healing to do before either of them can let another person into their lives.

When I set out to write this book, and when I tried to picture who would make a great companion for Nick, I originally pictured a girl who was as equally badass as Nick, someone to whip him into shape, someone who wouldn’t take his crap. But then I realized, Nick would never let someone like that into his life. He would immediately go on the defensive. He grew up in a home where he was constantly pushed around, whipped into shape, and those kinds of strong personalities turn Nick off.

What someone like Nick needs is a person who is not afraid of a damaged past, who knows what pain is, and who would accept him, flaws and all.

I love writing characters who kickass, especially female characters that kickass! But strength can come in many forms, and I thought perhaps it was time to write a female character that, on the outside, is the opposite of kickass, but on the inside, is as strong as steel.

Altered 3 is a long ways away (eleven months!) but I can’t wait for people to read it. It IS different from Altered and Erased, but I think it’s a good different. And of course, there IS lots of ass kicking!

If you have any other questions about Altered 3, drop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Surprise --- An Excerpt from Altered 3

Happy Valentine's Day!

To celebrate the day of love (and hot guys), I thought I'd gift you all with something fun. I've been working away on Altered 3 these last few months, and it's getting closer and closer to the end! I'm so excited for you all to read this book, but unfortunately, it's still eleven months away. To hold you (and me) over, I'm posting a short excerpt from Altered 3, from Nick's perspective.

For those of you who don't know, Altered 3 is a companion novel to Altered and Erased, and it's told from the dual points of view of Nick and a new girl character --- a girl from Nick's past. When I first set out to write this book, I was terrified at the idea of writing from Nick's POV. How could I capture someone so brooding and dark and angry? I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, but I'm happy to say, writing Nick has been one of the best writing experiences yet.

So, without further preamble, let's get to the good stuff!

This is the opening of Altered 3 as it is now. I don't think the scene itself will change much at this point, but this is still in the middle of editing, so things could change on a sentence level.

I hope you all enjoy it!



*

ALTERED THREE
NICK'S POV



I never took to fighting like the others. I could do it well enough. Maybe I was even good at it. But I didn't like it. Or maybe it was that I liked it too much.
Sam only fought when it meant something. Like escaping. Surviving. Protecting. Cas treated fighting like a dance—he always wanted to show off the best moves. Mostly because he's a jackass.
When I fought, I had a hard time pulling back.
I slammed a shot of whiskey, the cheap shit, and felt the muscles in my stomach tense. Pull from the core, that's what Sam always said. Or maybe it was something he used to say, back before we lost our memories to the Branch—the shadowy organization that turned us into super soldiers, and then tried to kill us when we didn’t obey like dogs.
"Did you hear me?" the man next to me said.
"I did." I felt the gloom of the bar settle over me. There'd always been something about dark, smokey bars. Something familiar.
"Well, what do you have to say then?" the man said.
He was taller than me by a handful of inches. Bigger too. Fatter, though, which meant he was slower. Speed always wins over brawn, if you ask me.
I turned to the man, wavered to give him the idea I was drunk, which I wasn't. Or at least, not entirely. I peered at him from beneath heavy lids, and then looked over his shoulder at his girlfriend or sister or maybe it was his mom. "Your mom is pretty. I'm sorry I hit on her."
The woman frowned. The man scowled.
"That ain't what I'm talking about. My friend says he saw you steal my wallet back near the john. Did you?"
Yes. "No."
"Well he said you did."
If I were really trying, there wouldn't have been witnesses to the lift. So I guess I'd been sloppy on purpose.
Maybe I did like fighting after all.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Salt & Erased Release Day Fun


It’s Friday! And you know what that means? ERASED is only 3 days away from being released! Not only that, but my good friend, Danielle Ellison, has a book coming out the same day. SALT is a YA about witches and hot boys, and I highly recommend you read it.

Danielle and I are hosting a Twitter party January 7th 9-10 PM EST to celebrate our release day. We’ll be giving away books and swag, answering questions, and most certainly chatting about hot guys. We hope you all can make it! But, in the event you’re busy (kids, homework, deadlines, your own hot guy), we wanted to give everyone a chance to win a prize pack simply by entering through the Rafflecopter form below. It’s that easy!

Here’s what you’ll win:


I'm throwing in some Altered bookmarks and Altered boy pins as well, and Danielle is throwing in a necklace with a salt charm. So, you'll definitely be winning some great prizes! 

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below, and if you can make it, we'd love to see you at the Twitter party on January 7th 9PM! Follow along on the #HotBoysWin hashtag.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ERASED Pre-Pub Blog Tour

ERASED's release is right around the corner! 28 Days to be exact. I can't wait!

This week I'm doing a pre-pub blog tour with some of the coolest, nicest bloggers out there. Bloggers are some of the greatest book champions on the internet (and IRL too), and everything they do, they do for free, and on their own time. They do it because they love books, plain and simple. That's my kind of people right there.

So, I am forever grateful to all the bloggers who've read and reviewed Altered & Erased, and especially grateful to the bloggers who have hosted me on this tour!

What kind of goodies do you get to look forward to on the tour? Each blogger asked me one burning question, and man were they good questions! You'll also have a chance to win an ARC of Erased and a paperback of Altered on each blog. It's worth making the stops!

Here's the line up for the week:


Monday, December 9:

Tuesday, December 10:

Wednesday, December 11:

Thursday, December 12:

Friday, December 13:

So please check out their blogs and the tour stops! I promise it'll be worth it!


Monday, November 11, 2013

If Walls Could Talk Part 2

Remember when I posted that story I'd started about a murderous house and cursed land? No? If not, read it HERE! (And then come back and read part 2 of the murderous house story!)

When I posted it, almost a year ago now, I wasn't sure if I was going to write more. I liked the story a lot, but I didn't really know how I wanted to continue it. And since I liked it so much, I figured I'd share it with you guys. WELL...I wrote some more, and I'm going to post now! I figured I posted the beginning for you guys, I might as well continue on with it. I'm thinking I'm going to turn this into a short story, and post snippets here until it's finished. And I promise it won't take me a year this time to post another!

I hope you guys like it!


--------------------------------




Maggie sat in the parlor staring at the painting of her likeness hanging above the fireplace. It was an odd thing, that painting, because every time she looked at it, it was different. 
Sometimes it was a small change — her hands were in a different position, her hair was down instead of up, her dress was trimmed in burgundy instead of gold. Other times, like now, the change was drastic. 
Today, in the painting, she was dead. 
Her skin was leathery and ashen gray. Her usually blue eyes were cloudy and sunk so far in the sockets they looked like pearls in a clamshell. 
Her dress was nothing but tattered dirty rags stitched together by roots and cobwebs, and her hair had turned silver and patchy. 
Maggie tilted her head to the side, as if changing the angle of her observation would change the painting as well. 
It didn’t. 
She wasn’t sure what this meant. She wasn’t sure what the house was trying to tell her. And it was surely trying to tell her something. 
Though Maggie had only lived in Cromwell Mansion a total of forty-seven days, it was all the time she needed to know the house was not just a house. She thought perhaps it was just as alive as the people inhabiting it. 
Of course, she’d heard the gossip in town. How could she not? Everywhere she went, people were talking about it. The curse, that is. And the house that now sat in the center of it. 
People said the curse originated with a slaughtering in the hills a century ago, though no one told quite the same story about it. It was as if the legend changed in the same way Maggie’s painting did. 
Some said the land was cursed after a battle between the American settlers and the Native Americans who had inhabited it. 
Some said it was a plague. 
Some said it was a dispute between lovers that took out an entire village. 
Though the people in town disagreed on the legend itself, they were in consensus about one thing — whatever haunted the hills was pure evil. 
Maggie wasn’t sure if she believed that part. She’d been living in the house long enough that she felt particularly well-informed on all matters of the walls surrounding her. And whatever was here in Cromwell Mansion, it was neither good, nor evil. 
After all, every person in this godforsaken town had a little of both in them. 
For instance, the woman who owned the dress shop considered herself a very religious woman. Devoted to god, to her church, and to anything else that had anything to do with religion, but she was also sleeping with the mayor, who was a married man. Married to a woman who was not the dress shop lady. 
And the butcher sometimes offered scraps to beggar children, but when his shop closed for the night, he went to the pub and got so inebriated, he had to be carried home. And that was after he gambled away nearly most of his profits in a game of cards. 
Maggie sometimes wondered if her goodness, and her badness, were weighed against each other on a scale, if her badness would hang a bit lower than her goodness. 
She didn’t sleep with married men, and she didn’t drink herself stupid, but she did have a nasty secret she’d been carrying around for some time. And if anyone found out, well…her life would change irrevocably. 

**

I suppose you’re wondering what this terrible secret is? At this point in the story, so was I. I’m a house, you see, not a mind reader. I knew there was something off about Maggie — I just wasn’t sure what. 
So, did I kill her for justice? Or did I kill her to recruit someone as equally damned as me?
You’ll have to wait to find out. 
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