Thursday, December 26, 2013

merry christmas!

Did you all have a Merry Christmas? We had a memorable one with our little baby experiencing it for the first time. At barely five months, it's the little thing that entertain her the most. Like the wrapping paper. Me? I'm enjoying my new HDX.

The new year is just around the corner, and I have few resolutions in my back pocket that I will be pulling out. Namely, writing a whole check of a lot more. You?


Monday, September 9, 2013


The giveaway was such a success over the weekend that I'm extending it through today! Tell your friends!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Freebee Friday!

Celebrating selling over 3,000 copies, CASTE will be free up on Amazon for Kindle until Sunday! Spread the word and enjoy! :)


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Updates on CASTE

My decision to self-publish was the best decision I could have made for my book. It's been a little less than three months and I've sold around 3,200 copies of CASTE.


Honestly, I didn't think I'd ever reach that number. I'm so excited that it's getting such a good response out there in the world. To celebrate this awesomeness, I'm going to do a little celebratory promo starting Friday. So check back here to find out what it is.

Now, onto what the majority of you want to know. Where's book two???

Book two is currently in my head and on paper. There's a lot more I want to do with this one. The storyline is a bit more complicated and involved and I want to make sure I get it just right. I sat down the other day and started writing again, and it felt marvelous.

I'm excited because a lot more backstory will be revealed. Not so much for Karis, but for Ethan and Rebeka. And we'll get a peek inside the Corporation's diabolical scheme and what, if anything, is going on in the Further. And we'll find out more about Akin's plans for Karis. Oh, we'll also get a new character to hate. Pearl. I'm excited beyond belief about that one. And, possibly (I'm still playing around with this one), a tug-of-war involving love, but not between who you're thinking.

Okay, quite a bit of a teaser paragraph there. :) I hope you enjoyed it.

Right now, there's not a specific month for a release date, just "2014". As we get closer to the date, I'll let you know. I'll also tell you guys the title and reveal the cover just as soon as I can!

Until then, happy reading, my friends!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Updates on moi

You may have noticed that I've been absent for a little over a month. In July, Hubby and I had our first baby. A beautiful girl, and while she is truly a blessing, it was a rough road for me when she got here. A warning in advance, this post might be a bit too graphic for some readers. There's a bit of blood involved.

My pregnancy was easy. My labor was easy. My delivery was easy. It was about twenty minutes after our little girl joined our family that things went downhill. Fast.

My doctor had just delivered the placenta and there was, in my opinion, a lot of blood (but what do I know of these things?). The doctor wasn't worried, so neither was I. I was holding my baby, taking in how miraculous birth actually is, when I started to get really light-headed, as if my blood sugar was dropping. No biggy. I'd felt like this before prior to pregnancy. It wasn't anything that a little food couldn't fix. But when I told one of the nurses that I needed food because of my blood sugar, she looked a little surprised and skeptical. After that, my symptoms multiplied rapidly.

I will try and describe what happened the best that I can, but everything happened so fast, and I wasn't really conscious for some of it.

"I can't breathe," I said to the nurse as my airways tightened up. It felt like I needed my inhaler, but I hadn't brought it with me. Then there was the murky darkness that was creeping in at the corners of my vision. Then it all went black. I couldn't see and I couldn't breathe. The nurse was hooking me up to oxygen and I was still bleeding.

I laid back in bed, finally closing my eyes. After all, what was the use if they weren't working when they were open? And I was so tired. So I just laid there. At this point, there were about eight nurses in the room with the doctor and everyone was scrambling around, going in and out of the room, not telling my family (who were all waiting outside in the hall, watching staff enter and exit in an emergency fashion) anything except, "She's bleeding a lot."

GREAT thing to tell the mother of the girl who just had a baby.

Anyway, back in the room, my doctor gave me a few pills. Let me tell you about these pills. They're the pills that they give you when they induce labor. But when you take them then, you only take a quarter of the pill every four hours. It helps get contractions started. I had all of these pills at once, in an attempt to stop my bleeding.

But it just kept coming.

I had three IVs going at once (when all was said and done, I had five bags of fluid pumped through me), a fourth one a male nurse was trying to start, but had no room. He was going to go for my foot, but we ended up not needing his IV. A needle of something was jammed into my thigh. And it hurt like heck.

The nurses kept trying me to do things, to show them I was responsive. They wanted me to talk. To lift my arm. But, come on, people! I'd just given birth and lost a lot of blood. I totally could have done those things, but I simply didn't want to. I was too tired. I remember thinking, "I'm okay, I don't know why they're freaking out. I just don't have the energy to talk or wiggle my finger." According to Hubby, I lost consciousness a few more times before everything was said and done.

Eventually, I was okay. After losing almost two liters of blood in around twenty minutes.

That's a third of a person's blood volume. That's more than what someone loses in surgery. That's how women died during child birth, and still can today. That's some scary crap.

I was lucky I had an amazing doctor present and a great staff. And I thank God everyday that things didn't take a different path.

I had to stay in the hospital a total of three days. I had to have a catheter. I couldn't sit or stand on my own without getting dizzy, out of breath, or passing out. Walking was out of the question for the first couple of days. I couldn't walk more than a few feet without breathing like I had just ran a marathon, and my heart beating like it was trying to get out of my chest. I was pale, my lips were white, and the skin around my eyes was purple.

The first week home, I was on bed rest. And towards the end, I was feeling better. Far from 100%...maybe more like 45%...but I could feel myself getting better. The second week brought me to about 65%.

Then, about 1 a.m., when I was getting up to feed my baby, I passed a large clot. I was warned that I would probably pass some clots, but this was the size of a softball. And not supposed to happen. So, our little girl's first outing was to the ER, where they couldn't find anything really wrong with me, but gave me a blood transfusion. I felt amazing after that, and thought the worst was behind us.

The next weekend, I started bleeding again. Heavily. Now, for all of you out there who haven't gone through pregnancy, every woman bleeds for up to 6 weeks postpartum. It's normal, and fairly light. What I was going through wasn't normal. So, once again, I woke Hubby up in the middle of the night, we bundled baby up in her car seat, and we left for the ER. The entire trip, I was praying, "Lord, don't take me from my husband and my baby." Going through something like that, it's a very rational thought to have.

This time around, they did a couple of ultrasounds, found several blood clots inside my uterus, gave me some medicine to induce cramping to try and flush them out, and made an appointment with my doc for the next day to get a prescription for that same medication.

So I went in, everything looked good. I filled my prescription. I was still bleeding a medium amount, but my doc said that would be "normal" until my body settled itself. I camped out on the couch. Hubby had to go back to work that week and my mom had been with me all week. I passed another large clot, but I tried not to worry about it.

Then I got up from the couch and immediately lost another liter of blood. All over the couch, all over the carpet, all over the bathroom floor, where I managed to make it to. It covered my legs. I was light headed again. My legs were tingling. I was talking and thinking slowly. I was so cold. I could barely stay awake. It looked like a crime scene inside my home.

I had to lay on the bathroom floor, covered in layers of towels to try and get warm. Hubby came home, I called my doctor. The bleeding had stopped and I wasn't feeling worse, so we toughed it out at home. And things turned out okay. But, man, am I glad I had my mom there. I can't even imaging going through that alone, and with a newborn.

So, I'm better now, six weeks later. I'm working on getting my endurance back. My lips are back to pink and I'm not short of breath from walking from the kitchen to the living room.

But I look at my beautiful little girl, and know that I would do it all again. That she was, and is, totally worth it.

That's why I've been neglecting my blog. Dealing with all of that, and then just a normal newborn. It's hard to find time to do much other than feed the baby, sleep, and try to keep up the house. I promise to do better, though. She's starting to get on a sleeping schedule, so I should have more time to do the things I want to do. Like work on the sequel to Caste!

I'll put that update in another post for tomorrow! Happy Tuesday, my friends!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Just so you know....

I have a plan.

And here it is: I plan to devote tomorrow (Tuesday) to actually spending some quality time with my blog. Which means:

  • Updates on CASTE
  • Updates about me
  • Updates on the blog content (dates, promised features, etc)

So don't hate me. Apparently, being a mom to a newborn is time consuming. Who knew??? :)

So, until then, Happy Monday, my friends!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Freebee Friday!

Still my all time favorite group routine on SYTYCD The LXD (League of Extraordinary Dancers). You can watch their mini episodes on Hulu.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Freebee Friday!

I don't think there are enough words in the world to describe the awesomeness that is contained in these few minutes. McDonald's, I IMPLORE you, please bring this back!!


Monday, July 15, 2013

FYI on Caste

Hello! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Just wanted to let you (my readers) all know that we appreciate and value all constructive feedback and thoughts we get about Caste.

We heard some rumblings about the editing in the book (a repeated paragraph, small editorial errors, etc). And while that isn't uncommon for a book to have (even for Big 6 books), it is still undesirable.

We have sent it to an additional copy editor and believe we have fixed all the errors. The newest edition is uploaded on Amazon for Kindle and the print copy of the book.

Thank you for everyone reading, reviewing, rating, and spreading the word about Caste! I am still astonished and floored by the response and truly humbled and grateful.

In other news, I have been getting your questions (both on facebook and the blog here) about pronunciations, sequel info, and other things. I wanted to let you know that we're working on an FAQ to put up, so keep your questions coming! Time has just been short with the impending arrival of baby ANY DAY. :)

Until then, keep reading and sharing the love for Caste!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Freebee Friday!

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a LONG time. :) Happy Friday!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Break it Down Now!

Well, they heard our cries of protest and listened! No more of the lame "You're off the show, but please, still dance for us" eliminations!! It's back the way it should be with the kick-offs being done at the end.


Onward and upward! Cat looked fan-flipping-tastic with her dress and make-up. And those shoes! Oh, momma! I want them!

Guest Judges: We got two of them last night! Erin Andrews and Paula Abdul

That sucks moments: One of my favorites, Detroit aka Jude is out of the competition because of an injury. Sad day. But, that means only one girl will get kicked off.

(Videos courtesy of IdolX3)

Opening Routine: This was fantastic. I'm usually always a fan of the group numbers, but this was a collaboration between Sony and Christopher. Ummm, who's the genius between that pairing??

Girl Bottom 3: Alexis the tapper, Jasmine M the contemporary dancer, and Jenna the ballroom dancer. The solos were good (I'm not going to post them here, though), and you could tell that Alexis and Jasmine especially were dancing for their lives. But who will the judges send home? Good thing they're waiting for all the routines and another talk with the choreographers before making a decision.

Amy and Fik-shun (Paso Doble): I love Jean Marc as a choreographer, so I'm excited to see his routine.This is one of my favorite Latin dances, so I'm excited to see how they do. MAN! This was such a strong and ROCKIN' routine! Jean Marc did not disappoint. And Fik-shun did really well. One of my favorites of the night for sure. Favorite. 

Jasmine H and Aaron (Broadway): I have to say, that Aaron just keeps impressing me each week. I'll admit, he wasn't one of my favorites in Vegas. Actually, I didn't really like him at all. But, he keeps proving himself with each dance, and he is showing that he is so much more than a tapper. And Jasmine, well, she's just an amazing dancer, period.

Makkenzie and Paul (Contemporary): A new choreographer. Hmmm....lets see how she does. (I'd like to point out here that the judges will probably give a standing O and cry. Along with my co-worker, Tracy). Okay, Paul really captured this character and the emotion. So did Makenzie, but Paul really stood out for me. Although it was a beautiful routine, I can't call it a favorite.

Jasmine M and Alan (Jazz): I'm quickly growing to like Jazz. I think the routines so far this season have really brought out a different side of Jazz than I thought I knew. Honestly, I don't understand how Jasmine could have been in the bottom 3 this week. She's a fabulous dancer. And it showed through in this number, as well. I'm kind of surprised that the judges didn't like it more than they did. Favorite

Jenna and Tucker (Hip Hop): They aren't holding back on the new choreographers, are they? These two are definitely different than anyone they have currently on the show or have had. Which is nice and fresh. It reminded me A LOT of Michael Jackson, and not just because there were clips of his voice in the song. The moves were good, but I would have liked to see more interaction between them as dancers than just them doing the same moves. It was more like them mirroring each other. And I didn't believe that it was 100% hip hop, it felt like there was some jazz in there, too, which I think is what added to the freshness of this number. Favorite


Malece and AS Marco (Contemporary): First of all, WOW, look at that stage set up! Malece was one of my favorites going into the Top 20, but I don't think she's as strong as some of the other dancers on the show. I don't know what it is about her, but I just feel like she holds herself back a bit but at the same time tries a little too hard. If that even makes sense. But, it shows how much I show. Sonya was dancing in the aisle and the judges gave a standing O.

Hayley and Curtis (Samba): Hold on there! Two Jean Marc routines in one night?! We are being spoiled. And let me tell you, Hayley did an amazing job. I never should have thought she wasn't a ballroom dancer. Curtis did pretty good for the most part. There were a few times that I saw him stumble, but he did a pretty good job with his hips and his frame. The lifts and tricks weren't his things, we could all see that. The set up was obvious and the strength that was needed wasn't there.

Alexis and Nico (Jazz): This was okay. I like Nico, but I'm not a big fan of Alexis. So I think that prevented me from liking it as much as I could have.

Mariah and BluPrint (Hip Hop): I love seeing dancers when they get a routine in their element. And this did not disappoint. From the very beginning I was just captivated. And Mariah has such showmanship! She out performs BluePrint in that way. And actually, as a hip hopper, I think she out-shown him the entire time. I really like her. Great routine. Favorite

Who went home: Jasmine went home :( Which is sad, because I really thought she was fantastic.

Well, that's all for this week! Until next Wednesday!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Freebee Friday!

I could watch these dancers do this dance all day. They're AMAZING. Enjoy! (Oh, and if I already shared this, LUCKY YOU!!)


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Break it down now!

Okay, I get that SYTYCD likes to change things up every now and then, and for the most part, I enjoy it. But last night? With the bottom 3 couples?


HORRIBLE set up. Just plain awful. And I hope they change it for next week and not continue to do this format for the entire season.

Who wants to be told at the beginning of the night that they're going home, but oh, wait, you still have to dance with your partner and make it good.

NOT a good format. I miss the two day structure and the announcement of the bottom 3 couples at the end of the show with guest performances and solos before. But, alas, it is not I who produce the show (cough, cough Nigel cough)

Thoughts on Cat's dress? Personally, I don't think it was classy enough for her. Did anyone catch a glimpse of that diamond ring she's been sporting of late?

Okay, down to the show! (Routines are not in order of show appearance, I pulled all videos from IdolXFactor3)

Guest Judge: Christina Applegate

Opening Routine: A great number by Tyce. A little creepy but very entertaining.

Who went home: Brittany and Carlos

Hayley & Curtis, Jazz: This was a very sexy jazz routine that made Dirty Old Man Nigel very happy. You wouldn't have thought that Curtis was strictly a tapper.

Jasmine H & Aaron, Lyrical Hip Hop: I'm not a fan of this genre and this routine didn't particularly grab my attention, so (confession time), I skipped it. But, the judges seemed to like it. :)

Jade & Malece, Bollywood: I was deeply saddened by this routine. I love bollywood. But Malece and Jade really didn't do this number justice. You could tell that Jade was given parts that required minimal skill in that genre. And Malece didn't do too bright, either. The thing with bollywood is that it's hard. I like it better when the program introduces that genre later in the season when the dancers have had the chance to improve in their dancing and are better equip to dance it right.

Alexis & Nico, Contemporary: This was a good routine. But nothing special, for me.

Brittany & BluPrint, Broadsay: THROWING BOOKS?! The atrocity!! Other than that, this was a fun routine. :) And BluPrint did surprisingly well.

Jasmine M & Alan, Argentine Tango (Favorite): I. Loved. This. Routine. That is all.

Mackenzie & Paul, Jazz (Favorite): Another fun, great jazz number. Loved this.

Mariah & Carlos, Contemporary: This was okay. I was impressed with how well Mariah so far out of her style.

Amy & Fik-Shun, Hip Hop (Favorite): This was such a FUN routine. Loved it.

Jenna & Tucker, Cha Cha: I thought Tucker did okay and Jenna did great. But the judges slightly disagreed with me.

Who do you think will be in the bottom 3 couples next week? My opinion? Jude, Malece, BluPrint, Alan, Jasmine M., Jenna.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

You know you've made it when...

....someone pays for a pirated copy of your ebook.

It's $0.99, people, sheesh!

Happy Tuesday. :) LOL


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Break it down now!

So You Think You Can Dance SEASON 10, EVERYBODY!!!

Be honest, did you think it would last this long? I did. I decided not to blog during the auditions, because, let's face it, there's not much to talk about. I did like, however, that they didn't focus very much on the crazy, horrible dancers.

But a question has been plaguing me and mine, WHERE IS TYCE??? If you know the answer, please tell me in the comments. I miss him and we all hope he choreographs some routines this season.

So, last week we had our Top 20 announced. And I love the way they shuffled between the Green Mile and the live show with the dances. They were all wonderful and unique, and the Top 10 Boys with the sand was pretty dang awesome. In case you missed it, our T20 are:


  • Aaron Turner (Tapper)
  • Alan Bersten (Ballroom)
  • BluPrint (Animation) Favorite
  • Carlos Garland (Contemporary)
  • Curtis Holland (Tapper)
  • Fik-Shun (Hip-hop) Favorite
  • Jade Zuberi -- I call him Detroit (Animation) Favorite
  • Nico Gretham (Contemporary) Favorite
  • Paul Kamiryan (Ballroom)
  • Alexis Juliano (Tapper)
  • Amy Yakima (Contemporary)
  • Brittany Cherry (Ballroom)
  • Hayley Erbert (Contemporary) Favorite
  • Jasmine Harper (Contemproary)
  • Jasmine Mason (Jazz) Favorite
  • Jenna Johnson (Ballroom) Favorite
  • Makenzie Dustman (Contemproary) Favorite
  • Malece Miller (Contemporary) Favorite
  • Maria Spears (Hip Hop)

So, how did last night's episode go with partners? Let's find out.

Judges: Nigel, Mary, Wayne Brady

First off.... Did anyone else notice that honkin' diamond on Cat's left ring finger? Hmmmm??? That's the second week in a row it's been on there. I'm just sayin'.

I want to come out and say this, which will make this a short post. I LOVED all the routines. I thought everyone did fantastic. Even the routine that the judges weren't too impressed about. So there. And that opening number? Favorite so far. :)

So, without further time-wasting, here are the routines from last night!

(Videos courtesy of IdolXFactor, @idolxfactor1)

Live Group Routine (Nappy Tabs Hip Hop)

Mariah & Carlos (Jason Jive)

Jasmine M & Alan (Travis Contemporary)

Malece & Jude aka Detroit (Travis Jazz) FAVORITE

Jenna & Tucker (Tyce Broadway)

Brittany & BluePrint (Sean AfroJazz)

Mackenzie & Paul (Jason Viennese Waltz)

Jasmine H. & Aaron (Sonya Jazz)

Hayley & Curtis (Chris Hip Hop)

Amy & Fik-Shun (Sonya Contemporary)

This is the only one Blogger wouldn't let me embed. Silly Blogger. Watch it here.

Alexis & Nico (Hip Hop)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Contest winners!

Wow! What a weekend!

Caste did great for its big "premier", and I couldn't be happier. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about the book and the sale price. Here's a bit of a breakdown for the past five days:

  • Currently sits at #7 out of all the Children's Sci-fi (the highest it reached was #4, and that was for a few days)
  • Is in the Top 10 for Fiction Dystopian
  • Is in the top 100 for Teen Fiction & Teen Sci-Fi
  • For the 4th day in a row, Caste is listed as #1 in Amazon's Hot New Releases  for Children's Sci-Fi
Guys, seriously, this past week has been the best week. In celebration, I'm going to keep the price at $0.99 for the ebook for a bit longer!

Now, down to the winners of the contest! Ready? 
  • Nicole
  • Kiera
  • Stephanie
Thanks so much for entering! I'll send you an email confirmation. Let me know where you want the book sent and I will send it on its merry little way!

Happy Monday, everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 21, 2013

Freebee Friday!

This is a commercial that's currently on the air where I live. I can't help but chuckle whenever I see it. I hope it brings a smile to your face this fine Friday!


 I wanted to add an extra Freebee Friday! to today's post, because I'm just so dang excited about this. I hopped on over to Amazon this morning, and this is what greeted me:

Not only is Caste #4 overall for Children's Sci-fi, but it's #1 for their Hot New Releases for Children's Sci-fi! I think this news officially makes this Friday the best Friday in the history of my life.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Promo price and a giveaway!

Buy it here!
CASTE has been out for a few weeks now, and I've gotta say, IT'S DOING GREAT! I couldn't be more thrilled with how it's going.

So, to help it out even more and get the word out there, I need your help. I'm doing a $0.99 promo (sidebar: what the heck happened to the cent sign? Anybody? I found it so useful) from tonight midnight (June 18th) until midnight Sunday, June 23rd.

How can you help, you ask? Simple. Reblog this, Tweet it out, Facebook share it, write a review/rate CASTE on Goodreads, Shelfari,, Amazon, etc (but please, ONLY if you've read the book, and give it an honest review/rating. I don't want to be one of those slimy, underhanded people that bumps their book's rating by cheating), put it on tumblr, etc. Share the links for each of those you do with me and for everyone, you'll get your name put into the pot once. At the end of the promo period I'll pull 3 winners and send you a signed copy of my book!

How does that sound?

Well, what are you waiting for?! Get out there and spread the word and win yourself a book!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Freebee Friday!

I choose to believe this is an ad for being a writer and not for Play Station. :)

Happy Friday!!!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Giveaways are ALWAYS fun!

Wanna win one of three signed copies of my book? Enter over at Goodreads, it's free!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Caste by RaeLynn Fry


by RaeLynn Fry

Giveaway ends August 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Friday, June 7, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Break it down now!

I love summer because.....MY FAVORITE SHOW IS ON!!

That's right, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) is on its 10th season, and it just keeps getting better and better. I haven't been recapping the past 4 weeks because its just been the tryouts, and then the next 2 or so weeks will be Vegas, where they cut 200 dancers down to 20.

Then I'll start talking about it.

But, I can't help but share some amazing auditions that were on the show last night. I've really gotten into Animation dance (Cyrus from Season 9 made me aware of it). To me, that style of dance takes as much skill--if not more--than any classically trained ballet dancer or contemporary dancer. The talent and skill it takes to move the way they do is just jaw-dropping. I could watch it all day.Turns out Wayne Brady agrees with me. :)

So, here are four five of my favorites from last night. I hope they make it into the Top 20.

BluPrint from Dragon House

Jasmine Harper

Caleb Brauner (don't underestimate the nerd)

Jenna Johnson 

Nicco Greetham (Nigel is such a dirty old man)

Blogger couldn't find the video to embed, so there's a link. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

The Moon and More
Sarah Dessen

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

My Review

First off, I have to say, wow. I really enjoyed The Moon and More. I think what caught my attention more than anything (other than your talent for telling a story) was the fact that this isn’t your typical “summer changes everything” book. It’s not so much about this great romance that has a cosmic impact on the MC’s  life, but more of a subtle growing up and Emaline finding out who she is through a couple different summer romances and complicated family dynamics. I loved how there was so much going on in her life, but not in an overwhelming and confusing way. Everything fit together nicely. And even though it wasn’t your classic romance HEA, I was okay with that.

The feel of Colby, the small island beach town when Emaline has lived her entire life, was very real and quaint. And the story was addicting. I’d be reading for a few hours straight, would take a break, and do nothing but think about what was going on while I wasn’t there, and would have to pick the book up again.

Dessen has an amazing knack for telling a story. It’s smooth, effortless, and wholly organic. It’s hard to believe that it’s just a story that’s been written and not experienced by a living, breathing person.


4.5/5. This book was addicting and so well-written. A great story to lose yourself in


An interview with the awesome Sarah Dessen

You know, working for a newspaper as a book reviewer really does have its perks. Besides getting copies of new/awesome books, being exposed to new authors, and having the privilege of introducing yourself as "The YA book reviewer of Such-and-Such Newspaper", I also get the AMAZING opportunity to interview and meet really cool and talented authors.

Like Sarah Dessen. I mean, she's awesome, right? Her talent for writing books and telling stories is out of this world, and I got to interview her! Plus, she's going to be in Boise this coming Saturday (June 8th) for her newest book, The Moon and More (review here). Want to meet her in person? Have her sign your book copy? Make the trip, I promise it will be worth it.

7500 Fairview Ave
Boise, Id 83704

“The Moon and More” is so different from your other work, what made you want to make this change of direction?

I didn't set out for it to be that different, to be honest. I'd written before about a girl going to the beach for a summer and having her life change, and I was intrigued by writing about it from the inside. What is it like to be permanent in a place that to everyone else only exists in summer? And this is my eleventh book. I think I have to change things up now and then, or else I'll just be repeating myself. 

What was your inspiration for Emaline’s story?

I was on vacation in Emerald Isle, NC, the town that is basically my Colby, sitting by the pool. At the time I was super-burnt out on writing and really sick of myself, two things that often happen when I'm finished writing and promoting a novel. I wasn't sure I'd ever write anything again. (That often happens, too.) But then this pool guy walked in. He was cute and shirtless, dragging a bunch of hoses, and a real talker. We said hello and the next thing I knew he was telling me his life story, all about being from the island and what it was like to live there as a local year round, his job, his family, everything. When he left fifteen minutes later, I was like, "Well, there's the next book." It was like he'd just handed it to me. 

What differences do you notice between writing for Young Adult versus New Adult? Do you have a preference about writing one over the other? Do you have plans to do more New Adult in the near future?

The truth is, I'm not really even sure what New Adult is! I guess it's post-high school? Post-college? I've never been one for labels when it comes to what I write. I had a teenage narrator in my first novel, THAT SUMMER, but never thought of it was YA at all. When my agent suggested it was, I was really worried about getting stuck in a genre and never getting out. Shows what I know: I couldn't be in a better place. That said, I do think that eventually my narrators will grow up a bit more, maybe past adolescence and into their twenties. A lot has happened to me since high school. So we'll see. 

A lot of people may look at the YA genre and think that it’s an “easy” genre to write for, but actually, it’s pretty challenging--collecting all that angst and drama and putting it on the page in a believable manner for kids actually living that timeframe. How are you able to do that so well? Do you have specific memories you go back to from that time period in your life to recapture those feelings/experiences?

I was actually pretty miserable in high school. I couldn't WAIT for it to be over. And when it finally was, I remember sitting at graduation with all these classmates getting nostalgic and emotional already and all I could think was, "Get me OUT of here. I never want to see you people again." So it's ironic that I now spend half my day putting myself back there by choice. I think the voice clicks with me, though, because I WAS so unhappy. Those feelings of inadequacy and confusion...they're not so easily forgotten. It also helps I still live in my hometown. Most days I drive past my high school on the way to drop my kid at preschool. So it's always there, whether I like it or not. 

What would you say is the most rewarding part of writing for the YA audience? Any specific story you've received from a reader that’s really stuck with you that you’d like to share with us?

The best part of writing YA is the readers. No question. As adults, we get excited about books, but teenagers are often JUST having that experience where they connect fully with something on the page. The greatest compliment I get is, "This is just like my school! These are just like my friends! How did you KNOW?" I'm also incredibly flattered when people tell me that the books helped them through high school. Because of my own experience, the thought that something I wrote might help someone who felt the way I did when I was a teen...that's huge. It awes me. 

It’s probably pretty hard to do, but out of the several books you've written, do you have a favorite? And if so, which one and why?

It's really hard to pick a favorite. I feel like it isn't fair! And each book represents who I was at the time I wrote it. That said, as far as the writing experience, THIS LULLABY was the most fun. Usually writing is a grueling death march sort of thing for me, peppered with the occasional great day. But that one was like hanging out with friends. I never wanted it to end. When I brought Remy and Dexter back into JUST LISTEN, I was really struggling with it, and I just wanted to follow them back out the door. They were so easy to write in comparison! 

What does your writing process look like?

I normally write in the afternoons, from about 3-5. It's a holdover from when I first started doing it seriously, when I had a morning job as an assistant to a local writer and waited tables at night. It was the only time I had, and I got used to that being when I worked. Ideally, when I have a book in progress, I write every day, although it's a bit more challenging now that I have my daughter. I'm very disciplined. It's the one thing I have going for me. Finally, a use for all my guilt! 

Now for the “fun” questions! What book did you just finish reading?

RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA, by Kimberly McCreight. It's about a teen who dies mysteriously and how her mother tries to figure out what happened. I could NOT put it down. I see it being a huge book this summer, kind of like GONE GIRL was last year. 

E-reader or old-fashioned book? 

Both! I usually have one book in progress on my iPad and another by my bed. Plus another on audio in the car. I listen mostly to nonfiction, however. I love celebrity biographies while I'm running errands. 

Editing on paper or screen?

My editor and I still exchange actual manuscripts, with her edits and comments in the margins. Then I make all the changes on screen and send them back to her and we do it again, until it's done. It's how I've always done it. I think I might be too superstitious to ever get more modern about the process. 

If you could co-author a book with any other author (alive or dead) who would it be and what would it be called? 

Honestly, I think I'm way too much of a control freak to co-author anything with anyone. I have a hard enough time writing with myself! I admire people that can do it, but it's not for me. Although it would be nice, during the harder stretches, to pass it off to someone else, saying, "Okay! Your turn!" I see the appeal in that. 


Monday, June 3, 2013

CASTE is now available!

It's done! CASTE is now available and ready for human consumption!

Currently, the ebook is ready to go on Amazon, and the physical version should be there soon, as well.

B&N is next on the list and should be going up online in the next few days (they're a bit slower than Amazon).

iBooks and Google Books should be in the next week or two at the latest.

Guys, this is SO exciting! Now I hope I am forgiven as to why I've been so absent lately. So, go over and check it out and leave an honest rating/review, if you would be so kind.

Happy reading!!!!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Deep breaths


You guys!

The final proof of CASTE just came in. And it looks AMAZING! Looks like we're on schedule for a May 30th release date!

I can hardly believe it! :)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A one-way ticket to Mars?

Did you guys hear about this one? My friend told me there's going to be a private Mars colony that's going to be started and you can win a spot on the one-way trip to the Red Planet.

Would you guys go? Why or why not?

Me? Not so much.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

By: Laura Buzo
Genre: YA Contemproary
Rating: PG
Spoilers: None
Coffee Beans: 3/5
Cover: Plain-Jane, but appealing
Instalove Factor: Not present
My Personal Recommendation: Not a bad way to spend your time
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for this honest review

Publisher’s Summary
Love is awkward, Amelia should know.

From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, 15, is 15.

Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia's crush doesn't seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?

Through a year of befuddling firsts—first love, first job, first party, and first hangover—debut author Laura Buzo shows how the things that break your heart can still crack you up.

My Review
This book had its moments. It was good, but in the end rather un-impressionable and somewhat forgettable.
It’s about the Amelia, who’s just turned 16 and has fallen in love with an older boy she works with, Chris. The thing is, it will never work between them. Chris knows this, and Amelia knows this, but part of her still holds out hope. And part of him is sort of interested.

I think what appealed to me most about this book was the fact that the author was able to capture that part in a young girl’s life with such realistic accuracy. Falling for the older guy, knowing nothing’s going to come from it, but holding out hope for it anyway.

It’s told from two different points of view, Amelia’s and Chris’, so we get both sides of a situation and what’s going on inside their heads. In the end, you cheer for, somehow--beyond all socially accepted and legal odds--that they would find a way to be together. But that’s not realistic. The ending that the author wrote, however, is.

Happy reading, my friends!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Freebee Friday!

A friend showed this to me, It's pretty dang funny. Happy Friday!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

High school flashback - the dangers of being "skinny" and "pretty". My response to A&F

Dove's beauty campaign

I was far from being the "cool kid" in High School. Which was a change from Jr. High where I was a cheerleader, on the volleyball team, basketball team, honor roll, yearbook, dated jocks, and was invited to all the parties.

For some reason, when High School hit, I wasn't any of those. I kept myself on the honor roll for a couple of years and was on the drag racing team, but gone were the popular crowds and "popular" parties. I went for guys that weren't good for me (show me a girl who hasn't), went to the parties that were for serious contenders only, and hung out with anyone I wanted to, regardless of their popularity caste. I didn't try to be popular, but I didn't try to be unpopular, either. I think it was just the natural progression of things.

I wasn't gorgeous, but I wasn't ugly, either. I am what I am today. Normal. Beautiful in my own way. As everyone is. I wasn't a size 0, but I wasn't a size 10. I was normal and healthy. But that makes things harder in High School.

I remember one time in particular, after school, I was walking down some stairs and in front of me was a super popular girl (we'll call her Jane) and her friend. Jane was what young girls would typically classify as gorgeous: Professionally highlighted, long hair, expensive make-up, a bleached, brace-straightened smile, size 0 (or 00) name-brand clothes. The whole package. It was known that her mom married rich men, went through their money, and moved on to the next. Well, she almost fell down the stairs. Caught herself on her friend and and looked back to see who had seen her.

Making eye contact with me, she said, to her friend while laughing, "I'm glad nobody cool saw me do that."

Things like that stick with a person, especially a girl, for a long time.

The point is this, that kind of stuff disgusts me, and should be repulsive to normal people. Yes, there are "cool" and "uncool" people out there. As well as fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, successful, failures, gay, get the idea. But to think that those "labels" define a person and offer value, to use it to classify and judge them just to make yourself feel more significant is wrong. Being pretty, skinny, successful, straight, and cool doesn't make you one iota better than someone who is ugly, fat, a failure, gay, and uncool. Or any other combination.

So, for Abercrombie & Fitch to make life harder for young people in an already difficult time who "don't have it all", who aren't popular or pretty, is disgusting. And this is why I don't shop at their stores or any of their affiliate's stores.

Listen up, girls:





IMO, and by his standards, he shouldn't even be wearing
his own clothes 
Don't let some jerk-off running a company with motives only to make a profit without giving any good back
to the community, tell you what your value is.

Don't let him tell you that just because you have wide hips or are the average size of a woman that you aren't good enough to wear his clothes or good enough period.

He's wrong. Plain and simple.

Now go out there and continue being amazing and gorgeous, inside and out.


15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

15 Days Without a Head
Dave Cousins
YA Contemporary

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Laurence Roach just wants a normal life, but it’s far from easy with his little brother who acts like a dog and their depressed alcoholic mother. If Laurence can win the luxury vacation in a local radio contest, he’s certain his mum will finally be happy again. Then one night she doesn’t come home from work, and Laurence must face the reality that she might not come back at all.

Terrified that child services will separate him from his brother, Laurence does whatever he can to keep their mother’s disappearance a secret. For two weeks, he spins a web of complicated lies to friends, neighbors, and the authorities—even dressing up in his mother’s clothes to convince everyone she’s still around. But Laurence can’t hide the truth forever. He begins a desperate search for her, and that’s when the real trouble starts in this powerful story about family, forgiveness, and hope.

My Take: Laurence isn’t your typical 15-year-old. He lives in a run-down, small apartment infested with roaches, a brother who thinks he’s a dog at times, and an alcoholic mother. But that changes when Laurence wakes up one morning to find that his mom didn’t return home from work the night before.

Determined not to let outsiders know what’s going on, and telling himself and his little brother that, “Mom will come back soon”, Laurence lives the most dangerous 15 days he’s ever known. No money, running out of food, and a nosey neighbor that would turn them into social workers are the stakes he’s playing against. But he’s convinced he has a couple of advantages. One being the late night radio contest he’s been sneaking out to enter. If he wins, he wins a family trip to any vacation spot they want. He knows this win will bring his mom back from her drunken stupor and make them a family again. At least, he hopes it will. At the very least, it will put her in a good mood. The second ace in his hand is a girl from school, who keeps his secret and helps keep him and his brother alive.

Although a gloomy and serious story, Cousins manages to fill the pages with bits of humor and lightness that equal out the trials Laurence is experiencing. A touching story about sticking together as a family, forgiveness, and learning to trust again, 15 Days Without a Head is a great read.

Rating: I’d give this a solid 4/5 and rate the content as PG for some mild language and drinking.

Happy reading, my friends!