Sunday, February 27, 2011

Writer’s Block Woes: How to Get Inspired Now (Guest Post!)

If courting the muse has left you disappointed and unproductive, it’s easy to start losing your confidence and motivation. It can be tough to force yourself to write because creativity requires inspiration, and that can be elusive. It’s also frustrating to write for the sake of writing, then have to go back and edit heavily or remove large portions of content. However, there are some strategies you can use to get your confidence back, find inspiration, and write something that’s worth publishing. No matter how uninspired you feel, you can choose one of the following options to get you back on track.

Location, Location, Location

While it’s comforting to write in your office, working in the same place consistently can hurt your chances of being spontaneously inspired by external factors. Having a large picture window can be effective, but it doesn’t always do the trick. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to get into your car and start driving until you see a good place to stop and write. If you’re writing on a laptop and have a short lifespan on your battery, you’ll need to find a coffee shop, library, or other quiet place where you can find a free outlet. Otherwise, you can write outdoors, which can both inspire you and help you write more prolifically. I’ve found that the best cure for my writer’s block is to take a pen and notebook to a park, sit on a bench, and let nature keep me inspired.

Time Machine

Besides writing your novel or other pieces for publication, it’s helpful to keep a journal that you can look back on for inspiration when you’re suffering from writer’s block. I know of at least one talented and widely published poet, Claudia Emerson, who keeps a journal for the purpose of inspiration. She reads back through it for words, phrases, or ideas that catch her attention, and she uses those to spawn new poems. Not only is this effective for poets, but it’s also a helpful habit for novelists, authors of children’s books, and nonfiction writers. I wasn’t sure that it could work for me, but now I’ve started reading through my journal and I’ve found several phrases to use in my writing projects for publication. It’s not entire sentences that become useful, but two- or three-word phrases that have real substance and can engender larger ideas. Gleaning these from your own writing can boost your confidence and help you write more effectively, even when you think you’ve hit a wall.

Stop, Look, and Listen

When you start to feel that you’re unsuccessful in your writing endeavors, stress can start to creep in and rob you of any inspiration or productivity that might have been available to you. Sometimes, it’s helpful to stop what you’re doing, look at a peaceful image, and listen to calming music. Viewing a slideshow of favorite vacation photos can return your mind to a more peaceful and enjoyable time, enabling you to access productive thoughts and ideas. The same is true of listening to inspirational music. Stimulating your visual and aural senses in this way can distract you from the problem of writer’s block while providing a solution: calm nerves and fresh ideas.

For especially intransigent writer’s block, try combining two or more of these strategies. This will help you focus your energy, expand your options, and reduce any negative thoughts that might be associated with writer’s block. Stay creative and positive to get back to writing in no time.


Today's guest post was courtesy of Maria Rainier.
Thanks for the great advice, Maria!

What's your trick to combat writer's block? Leave it in the comments!

About Maria: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education, online universities, and what an online degree means in an increasingly technological world. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

For L.K. Madigan

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of author L.K. Madigan, who passed away yesterday from pancreatic cancer.

Today, the blogosphere is filled with posts remembering and celebrating her. The outpouring of support and love from the writing community and the words people have written about Lisa are beautiful.

Here are some posts honoring Lisa, and please share yours or others' in the comments.

Jennifer Laughran
Courtney Scheinmel
The Book Pixie
Sarah MacLean
Malinda Lo
Mundie Moms
Shelli Johannes
Sara Zarr
Kristen Kittscher

I'd like to leave you with Lisa's heartbreaking final blog post from January, in which she announced her diagnosis. Her grace and strength are astounding.

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your words with us.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's Sara's birthday, and she'll be funny if she wants to!

It's Sara's birthday today (YAYYYYY!) and to celebrate, I'm linking to my top three, hands-down FAVORITE posts of hers. In addition to being an incredible writer and critique partner, Sara also has an awesome sense of humor, and these posts make me laugh out loud every time I read them.


The Perks of Being a Fictional Character
- Bladder of infinity! Amazing pain tolerance! No homework EVER! and more.

Dystopia A-Go-Go! Could YOU Survive a Dystopian world?
- Her personal survival rating for the Hunger Games: "I am a slow runner with glasses. I'm doomed."

The Hunger Games: Disney Princess Style
- Which Disney princess would win?
Sara's estimation of Cinderella:
Why she'll survive: Her fairy Godmother will be sending her silver parachutes day in and day out.
Why she'll die: She'll use the silver parachutes to make a ball gown for herself.
Love you Sara!!!!!!

Interview with Kathleen Ortiz of Lowenstein Associates!

Check out the GLA blog for my interview with literary agent Kathleen Ortiz, known as @KOrtizzle on Twitter.

Find out the nonfiction platform she's looking for, her personal agenting philosophy, the one piece of advice she wants you to know, and more!

(Keep an eye out for more GLA interviews by yours truly in the coming weeks!)

Previous agent interviews of mine on the GLA blog:
Elana Roth 
Andrea Somberg 
William Clark 
Laura Blake Peterson 
Katie Kotchman 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New mini reviews! 12 more pocket-sized recommendations.

Because everything is more awesome in miniature, here's a quick list of books I've read recently, and why I recommend you check them out yourself. (And there are mini audiobook notes, too!)

* Click on the book name for a Goodreads summary!

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
I loved The Maze Runner, and the sequel didn't disappoint. The world-building is stellar, and it kept me on my toes. Can't wait for The Death Cure!
Audiobook Files: Excellent narration (same narrator as TMR), especially considering all the accents!

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
So creepy and wonderful! I'm not big on faerie/changeling lore, but this book hooked me, and I became really invested in Mackie, the main character.
Audiobook Files: The narration worked for me and didn't detract from the story at all!
* Check out Frankie and Sara's co-review HERE.

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Anyone else afraid that the final book in a beloved series will crash and burn? Never fear -- this one left me totally satisfied.
* Frankie's review is HERE.

Thirteen Days to Midnight by Patrick Carman
I'm a sucker for any book about a superpower (invulnerability, in this case), and I loved the main character's voice and the exploration of the intense dark side of the gift.
Audiobook Files: A solid narration that I really enjoyed, though I wasn't in love with how the male narrator did female voices.

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
I laughed out loud many times at this vignette-style contemporary novel, and I desperately want an audiobook version to come out!
* Check out Frankie's gushing HERE.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
One of my favorite Dessen books with a great main character and a love interest to root for. I still randomly think "Hate Spinnerbait" and giggle.
Audiobook Files: Average narration, but it kept me listening.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
If you're like me and have delayed reading this for whatever reason, DON'T WAIT any longer. And when you start, make sure you have enough time for a read-it-in-one-sitting binge. And tissues.

The Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Gorgeous cover!
Ok, I'm not technically finished this one yet, but I'm 85% through and love the concept (modern-day Knights Templar fighting uber-bad supernatural beings!) and the main character Billi (badass but emotionally conflicted a la Buffy) and the stakes (hello, Apocalypse).
Audiobook Files: I'd choose book over audio, if possible. The narrator can make me forget it's set in modern times, and sometimes the snarky side of Billi's voice is lost.

How to be Popular by Meg Cabot
I've never met a Meg Cabot book I didn't like! This stand-alone is quirky and fun, a perfect light read that's classic Cabot.
Audiobook Files: Loved the narrator! Pitch perfect on the tone and voice.

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Oh, John, how I loved this book. Complex characters, amazing voice, and a gut-wrenching end. Must-read, without a doubt.
Audiobook Files: Narrator FTW! Definitely recommend.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
This is Maggie's favorite book that she's written, and I can see why. It's in her signature lyrical style, and James is one of my favorite characters ever. Love!
* Frankie reviews it HERE.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The lightest of John Green's books. So funny and quirky, and I dare you not to want to use "sitzpinkler" as your new go-to insult.
Audiobook Files: I didn't listen to the audio of this one, but it's the same narrator as Alaska, so it's probably worthwhile!

Whew! Any of these on your TBR? Have you read any of them? Leave your own mini reviews in the comments!

Previous mini-review posts: HERE, HERE, and HERE!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Vampire Diaries Episode 15: The Dinner Party

Opening Credits

Elena reads from her Great Great Jonathan Gilbert’s Diary

Diary: I’m in this episode! I'm in this episode! Yay! And it’s time for a…

Flashback to the Year When You Think the Vampires of Mystic Falls are Gone. But They’re Not! 

Great Great Uncle Jonathan: And thus, I expelled all the vampires from Mystic Falls for Ye were they a great evil and owning too much land. And then I burned their butts in the church and hurrahed and huzzahed and we celebrated with a dinner party at my pad.

Thomas: Good sir and God save you. Are ye sure you got rid of all the vampires?

Jonathon: Totes!

And thus Thomas and then Jonathan go out to investigate a strange noise that can’t possibly be a vampire because ALL the vampires are gone and some woman is all Oh me! I fear. Are there vampires out there?

Vampire :*leaps*

Jonathan: And then Stefan Salvatore killed us all!

Frankie: Ummm, so who wrote this diary entry?

The Lake House of Dead Parents: Present Day

Elena: So I KNOW Stefan is a vampire and he went on a psycho-killing spree a hundred years ago because he told me last season, and then I signed the "I have a scary monster boyfriend" contract so hearing these things shouldn't bother me. But our relationship hasn't had any drama in a long time. So I'm going to look at him like I'm scared.

Call from Damon: Stefan, sup? Mind if I recap everything that happened last episode?

Stefan: *broods*

Fell's Church Fields AKA A Piece of Land NOT Owned by The Lockwoods

Aunt Jenna: And this is called grass! It started growing here over 200 years ago.

Elijah: Fascinating! I will now proceed to ask you a bunch of historical questions that I know the answer to and you do not since I'm pretty sure you've yet to earn your graduate degree. 

Aunt Jenna: Cool! Do you need to ask me anything about future plot points?

Elijah: Yes! Can you tell me if there are any over there?

Aunt Jenna: Let me call Production. BRB!

Alaric: I'm here to stake my claim on Jenna. Also on the fact that I always appear after the first commercial break. WTF are you doing here?

Elijah: Plot points :)

The Only Restaurant In Mystic Falls

Jeremy: Hey, remember that one time last episode when we kissed?

Bonnie: Hey, remember that one time last episode when my witchyness made me a bad ass?

Jeremy: So you want to practice spells at my place tonight?

Luka: WTF did you do to me last episode, Woman?

Bonnie: IDK

Luka: Then why am I having flashbacks to laying on a carpet surrounded by a thousand scented candles while you rubbed my scalp with baby scented oil?

Bonnie: Stress?

Lake House

Elena: Stefan! I can't believe you ate my ancestors!

Stefan: Ok, seriously, you're mad at me? Your ancestors tried to burn your biological ancestor in a church.

Elena: Oh yeah.

Stefan: Also STOP trying to commit suicide by Original!

Elena: You don't get an opinion now. The diary says you're evil.

Stefan: Sweet! They're talking about me.

Flashback To The Year When Stefan Danced and Drank From Whores

Flashback Whores: Are whorey

Flashback Bosoms: Are bosomy

Flashback Stefan: Is evil!

Damon: My God, Stefan! This display of depravity is atrocious! Wipe your mouth. Do you have any manners at all?

Stefan: *belches*

Damon: That is it! I'm leaving. I cannot stand this disdain for life you have--they are people! Not food.

Stefan: *ironic chuckle*

Lake House: Present Day

Elena: *sigh* So this is one of those episodes..

The Only Restaurant In Mystic Falls

Alaric: Man! I can't believe the only way I get screen time is following Damon around. Andy, how many lines do you get?

Andy: Not many. I mostly appear naked in baths.

Alaric: That's not in my contract.

Damon: So why was Elijah looking for plot points?

Enter: Aunt Jenna and Elijah

Andy: I was totally not compelled to invite you over for a murder mystery dinner

Elijah: Good, because those theme parties are so lame.

Damon: My house?

The Tomb of Katherine Cannot Ever Leave Especially if You Kill Elijah, So Just Don't Do That, Okay?

Katherine: Is Decaying

Damon: Got ya blood and some clothes, because we are REALLY tired of that party dress you've been wearing.

Katherine: Is Pretty Again

Damon: So Uncle John got me an Originals Killing Kit. And I'm going to kill Elijah tonight. Will it work?

Katherine: Yes! Do it! Noooooooo! Don't it will keep me trapped here forever because he can't uncompel me to leave.

Damon: Totally killing him tonight.

Katherine: *Brer Rabbited Damon* Hahaha!

The Lake House

Stefan: So I was totally bad ass and drinking everyone's blood and it was awesome.

Elena: How did no one notice?

Flashback to the Year When Stefan Ate Pus-Filled Veterans of War

Stefan: Yum! Scarlet Fever! Ooooh! Amputated leg!

Mysterious Cloaked Woman: *walks into shadows*

Stefan: *follows*

Mysterious Cloaked Woman: Is Lexi!

Stefan: Hey baby.

Lexi: I heard this place was awesome.

Stefan: Want to sleep over?

Lexi: actually leave your dinner laying on the floor? What's wrong with you? Don't you have manners?

Stefan: I ate my maid.

Lexi: I've got work to do. I'm in the market for a best friend and also someone to party with Bon Jovi once they're born and get the hell out of Jersey. You in?

Murder Mystery Dinner

Aunt Jenna: I just don't know if I can trust a man who doesn't own a hairbrush.

Andy: Oh I know. Luckily I can totally trust Damon. I can trust him to bite me, and compel me and torture me. Every night. Very consistent that one.

Alaric: Damon, no killing plans when Jenna is in the house.

Damon: Yeah, yeah ok...

Alaric: Dude! I mean it. You keep trying to kill him and failing and if you do it tonight he'll get all pissed off and kill everyone.

Damon: Ok Fine! *crosses fingers* Andy, convince the men to have after dinner drinks in my lair so Alaric doesn't freak out when I kill Elijah.

Andy: K!

Uncle John: *party crashes*

Damon: Oh hell no!

Jeremy's House of Sex

Bonnie: My, those are a lot of candles. And condoms.

Jeremy: And edible lotion too. In the corner over there.

Bonnie: Um, well I kind of need to ask Elena first if I can do you.

Jeremy: But, I'm not really her brother. It's cool!

Bonnie: Oh no, not for that reason. It's just girl-code.

Murder Mystery Dinner

Elijah: Just so you know, Damon. If you try to kill me tonight, everyone dies. Aunt Jenna goes first!

Andy: Let's eat!

Elijah: So I'm very interested in witches who came here from Salem and were burned at the stake. Wonder where that was...

Damon: You do know that you have a witch working for you. Why don't you ask him?

Elijah: Because then the audience wouldn't overhear the plot point.

Lake House

Elena: Man, John Gilbert was totally insane. I mean, he claimed he died in one chapter and then he's still writing in the next. Crazy! Then he drew all these pictures of the Originals Killing Kit. He wanted to make trading cards or something with it.

Stefan: ZOMG! Uncle John gave that to Damon.

Elena: It says that any vampire who tries to kill another vampire with it dies.

Stefan: Brb! *calls Damon* No answer! WTF! *calls Alaric*

Murder Mystery Dinner

Damon: So why do you want to find this Witch Burial Plot Point?

Elijah: Because we found the moonstone ages ago and the audience is getting bored.

Damon: *lifts Originals Killing Knife*

Alaric: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Damon: WTF!

Alaric: If you use the knife it kills you!

Damon: FML

Back at the table...

Aunt Jenna: Excuse me. I need to leave this scene

Andy: Tell me more about witches! Alaric, fetch me my notebook

Alaric: *Elijah-Originals-Stabbation*

Elijah: Is Dead

Damon: OMFG

Alaric: And THAT my friends is how you increase your screen time. Boo-yah! *takes out the knife*

Frankie: OMFG put the knife back in, put the knife back in!!!!!!

Damon: *Dead-Originals-Dungeon-Drop*

Lake House of Flashback Memories

Stefan: So then Lexi showed me how to be a good vampire.

Flashback to the Year When Lexi Waxes Philosophically About Dumbledore

Lexi: Love is the strongest magic there is. It can kill death.

Stefan: I am dead.

Lexi: You know what I mean! It's great. And though you lost your love in a fake fire, one day you will meet her doppleganger and see that she looks exactly like Katherine and because you're a boy and prone to lust and superficial things like looks you will fall in love with her too. You will also entertain the notion of a better haircut. But you can't do that unless you feel love.

Stefan: I'm hungry.

Lake House: Present Day

Elena: Oh look. In chapter 9 it explains how if you remove the dagger the Original can live.

Stefan: BRB! *calls Damon*

Daddy Warlock's

Elijah: Elena! Tracker Spell! Now!

The Dungeon of You Let The Bad Guy Live Again You Idiot!

The Dungeon: Is Empty

Damon: Crap!

Frankie: DUDE! How many times have you not killed him? You need to watch more Kevin Williamson productions. The bad guys ALWAYS come back.

Jeremy's Love Nest of If You Channel Me, I'll Channel You

Jeremy: Can you like witch my penis into an erection?

Bonnie: You don't really need to be a witch to do that...

Jeremy: Can you witch it bigger?

The Door: Slams open

Daddy Warlock: *witches Jeremy against the wall*

The Wall: Oomph!

Daddy Warlock: WTF did you do to my son?

Bonnie: Please don't hurt me! I've never had a successful romantic storyline before!

Daddy Warlock: If his contract is cut short because of your meddling, I will Kill You! *face grab* *leaves*


Jeremy: Are you okay?

Bonnie: I can't witch your penis!

The Lake House of Elijah Found You Again You Idiots!

Elijah: *Rock-Bomb*

The Door: *is smashed*

Elijah: I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll...

Elena: If you don't put all my friends back on the safe list I'll kill myself right now and Stefan will Vampirize me and I'll give birth to a half-mutant vampire child and name her Renesme.

Elijah: Your bluffing. No one would name their child Renesme.

Bella: Hey!

Elena: *Stabs herself*


Elena: Haha sucker! *Stabs*

Elijah: Is Dead. Again.

Damon: WOOT! Best plan ever!

Stefan: So ummmm, let's leave the dagger in this time.

Frankie: Idiots! Cut off his head! Cut off his head!

Murder Mystery Dinner

Aunt Jenna: Alaric, tell me the truth. Did you appear in scenes without me last episode?

Alaric: Ummmm

Aunt Jenna: You did! You got more screen time than me and you never told me. We have no trust! We're over.

Uncle John: Hehehe

Alaric: Take your stupid Ring-Of-I-Can't-Die and Die!

Lake House Of The Bad Guy Is Dead. He's Really Really Dead! We swear!

Elena: Ok, so look I'll stop trying to commit suicide by original now if you want.

Damon: Oh really? Because we kind of killed your suicide weapon.

Elena: I'll fight to live I promise. But no more secrets. Also, I'm the star of the show. I get to be Captain and I want to pick a team name.

Stefan: Hey Damon, remember Lexi?

Damon: Your bff that I killed? *awkward*

Flashback to the Year When Stefan is More Like Damon and Damon is More Like Stefan and Lexi Offers Some Prophetic Advice

Lexi: This attitude Stefan has, it'll be yours one day. You'll be more like him and he'll be more like you. But with better hair.

Damon: Then I'm off for a haircut. 

Salvatore Mansion

Katherine: Is in the shower! Naked!


Katherine: I'm here for the role of bad guy. Heard you had a vacancy...


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vampire Diaries Episode 14: Crying Wolf

Opening credits

Jules: We’ve got to stop opening this show with dead-wolf bonfires.

Stevie: Hey guys! I’m Stevie! I’m here to recap a bunch of things that already happened and explain the season 2 plot point—the moonstone!

Brady: But the audience knows this stuff already.

Stevie: We got a lot of new viewers after Damon wore a towel last week.

Brady: Ok, well hurry up, because we have a lot of vampires to kill!

So this one time, a witch, a vampire and a doppleganger woke up in a bed…

Elena falls out of bed to talk to Stefan

Elena: So I totally slept over Caroline’s to help her through the trauma of being tortured and almost dead, and I didn't really do anything, just slept, but she's totes over it now! Yay! Also I just remembered I’m still the star of the show and the fact that I don’t like my biological dad is taking precedent here. I’m feeling ignored. Let’s have a sex scene! 

Salvatore Mansion

Andie, News reporter: Hey Damon! Thanks for the sex and the whole neck biting thing. Also for the not killing me. I think I’m in love with you. Mwah! I’m off to interview Elijah!

Alaric: So I have the BEST plan ever!

Damon: Hurry up and tell me because your screen time allotment's nearly up and I'm bored.

Alaric: I’m just going to follow you around and  be your butler, because that way I don’t require my own story line AND I get more screen time. WIN!

Damon: Just don’t get in my way when I try to kill Elijah.

The Only Restaurant in Mystic Falls

Bonnie: I decided to use my witch powers to find out whether Elijah wants to kill Elena

Caroline: I'm pretty sure he does.

Bonnie: Yeah, but I had no plotline last episode.

Caroline: Oh Matt!

Matt: Talk to the hand!

Lockwolf Woods

Tyler: Werent you guys supposed to leave before the warlock gave you more wolf-headaches?

Jules: Yeah, yeah…

Stevie: The deal is, we gotta break this curse first, because then we can turn whenever we want. But if the vampires break the curse, they can walk in the light. 

Frankie: Except they ALREADY walk in the light!!!

Werewolf Logic: Does not exist.

Tyler: Wait, did you say we can turn whenever we want? So does that include never?

Jules: Yep

Stevie: Look at this picture of Mason and his vampire girlfriend. We kill her doppelganger and we never have to shave again!

Tyler: That’s Elena Gilbert! Elena Gilbert! ELENA GILBERT! I know where she lives. 

The Only Restaurant In Mystic Falls

Caroline: Matt!

Matt: The hand! Talk to it!

Tyler: *Knocks over Caroline’s purse!*

Caroline: Tyler, you almost let me die last week! I hate you!

Tyler: I’m sorry?

Caroline’s Phone: Heeeeeeelp! I’ve been wolf-napped!

La Casa De Gilbert

Elena: Yay! So excited to head off for a romantic weekend of fade-to-black sex scenes.

Text Message from Caroline: HELP! 911! HELP! HELP! HELP!

Text Message from Elena: Leaving for my parent’s lake house to have sex scenes. Can this wait?

Elena: *Wins the Most Selfish Character In the WORLD Award*

Lockwolf Woods

Tyler: *Has Caroline’s Cell Phone*

Brady: Let’s go wolf-nap some doppelganger!

Lake House of Dead Parent Memories

Elena: I feel the need to make this scene focus on me, me me. So I’m going to be sad that my parents are dead.

Stefan: All the cameras are on you.

Elena: YAY! Mission complete! *runs inside*

Stefan: Um….can’t come in the house….need an invitation.

Elena: If I let you in will you ravish me on the counter?

Stefan: Hell yah!


Ooooh la la, looks like Elena’s been shopping in Katherine’s shoe closet! WANT THOSE BOOTS!!!!

The Only Restaurant in Mystic Falls

Bonnie: Hey, Luca! Frappacino?

Caroline: Check out Bonnie, Jeremy. All seducing Luca...

Jeremy: *jealous eyes*

Luca: I feel so….*faints*

Bonnie: Suck it, Luca! You’ve just been witch-rufied!

Jeremy: Man this warlock is heavy.

Lakehouse of This is HOW Horror Movies Start!

Elena: I’m the star of the show! Standing on the dock! Wrapped in a blanket. Water lapping at my feet. Soft light on my hair! Romantic hug from Stefan. All the cameras on ME! I. Love. My. Life.

Kevin Williamson: Muahahahahahaha

Lockwolf Mansion

Elijah and Damon: Slip Into a Secret Room

Elijah: *Damon-Wall-Slam*

The Wall: OOOOMPH!

Damon: *Elijah-Neck-Grab-FAIL*

Elijah: *Damon-Neck-Stab*

Damon’s Neck: *bleeds*

Uncle John: Hey Alaric, what’s Damon doing with Elijah?

Alaric: IDK

Uncle John: Aren’t you like his guard dog now?

Alaric: His butler!

Uncle John: Hey! Remember that one time when I knocked up your wife and she had my love child? Oh and remember that one time I slept with your girlfriend, Aunt Jenna? Also your magic-ring-of-never-dying is MINE! It fits my finger better!

Lake House of Elena has Stefan Whipped!

Elena: Farm-boy! Make my dinner.

Stefan: As you wish.

Elena: Farm-boy! Get some more wood for my fire.

Stefan: *sexy voice* As you wish…

Elena: Farm-boy! Come see the room where my parents would have conceived me if they’d been my actual parents.

Stefan: As you wish.

Elena: Farm-boy, wear my great-granddad’s jacket. Oh you look sexy!

Neither Stefan nor Elena seem to realize how CREEPY that last notion was. Especially considering the fact that Stefan is as OLD as her great dead granddad’s jacket! So they make out in her dead parent’s closet instead and discover…The Gilbert’s Secret Lair of Vampire Weapons!

Stefan: *Awkward* 

Caroline’s Sorority House Of We Rufied The Warlock

Luca: *whimpers* Heeeeeeelp!

Bonnie: *Witches flames onto candles*

Caroline: Jeremy, you oughta tap that!

Bonnie: Caroline!!! Don’t encourage him.

Caroline: Why? You don’t like the rufied-guy, do you?

Bonnie: He gives witch-gasms with his mind.

Caroline: Ooooooh.

Salvatore Mansion

Alaric: Anything else you need master?

Damon: *bandages neck-wound* No, I’m good.

Alaric: Your wound is bandaged.

Damon: Why are you stating the obvious?

Alaric: And Elijah has really great hair.

Damon: !!!!!!!!!! *calls the screenwriters* Ok, seriously, who wrote in for Alaric to say that about Elijah’s hair?  Who was it? Just because he has no storyline doesn’t mean you can make him say ANYTHING!

Alaric: *slowly backs out of room*

Wolf: SURPRISE *Alaric-STAB* *Damon-STAB*

Jules:  Oh SNAP!

Lakehouse of Secret Family Secrets That Are In Fact NOT Secret

Elena: Look! It’s the entire collection of my great great Gilbert’s journals! Remember when these were a minor plot point in season 1?


Brady: So Tyler, if you eff this up, I will kill you a lot.

Tyler: *swallows*

Draco Malfoy: I know just how you feel!

La Casa De Gilbert

Uncle John: Aunt Jenna, you let your underage niece go to a lake house unsupervised with her boyfriend?  Did you forget how she was conceived? 

Aunt Jenna: I hate you!

Uncle John: Remember that one time when your boyfriend's wife was my girlfriend and I knocked her up and I also had sex with you?

Salvatore Mansion


Alaric: Is Sleeping

Caroline's House of We Have Ways Of Making You Talk

Luca: Elijah wants to kill Klaus. So he's cool. And we want to kill Klaus, because he kidnapped my sister. He's not cool. Elijah's going to sacrifice Elena. It'll make Klaus weak and we'll kill him. That'll be cool. Except Elena will be dead. Not cool. Oh well.

Caroline/Jeremy/Bonnie: Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lake House of Your Life Is About To Turn Into a Horror Movie. Again

Stefan: *brings in wood*

Brady: *Shoots*

Stefan: OW! That clipped my heart! 

Tyler: *Knee-cap shoot*

Stefan: TYLER! OW! We don't want to break the curse! In case you haven't noticed we can already walk in the sun. Also, it means killing Elena. Trust me. We're not curse-breakers.

Tyler: *confused face*

SO then Elena's all like, Farm-Boy where's my wood! It's cold in here and I demand a fire! But Stefan doesn't answer and she KNOWs something is wrong, so she grabs a knife and goes outside to investigate a strange noise and it's Brady! Stab! Elena run upstairs when she should be running out the door. For goodness sakes, instead of driving to Lake Houses Elena, watch Scream, it'll save you time!

So she runs upstairs and Brady's all like I can smell you. So she takes off her sweater and this totally confuses him and she stabs him again in her parents closet and heads downstairs and does the old slamming the door trick so he thinks she's somewhere else.

Then Brady walks down the stairs SUPER slowly because killers never run! Truefax. And then Elena is heading for the door and Brady's there and she is NOT going to make it because after she babysat dying Rose I have NO FAITH in her ability to survive a horror situation. But then...

Stefan: *Brady-Stab*


Tyler: Sorry, Elena! I didn't know they would kill you. And even though I've never really talked to you on the show at all, I'm feeling teary eyed and emotional. Which is weird, because I think I'm in love with Caroline but I was going to watch her die last week. *Calls producers* Um, can you please explain my motivation?

Then Elena and Tyler hug and Stefan looks oddly jealous...

Salvatore Mansion

Elijah: Is this the moonstone you dogs were looking for? Come and get it, boys!

Wolves: Race for moonstone

Elijah: *HEART-RIPS*

Damon: I want to have your babies!

Jules: *Retreats*

Stevie: *HIDES in his jacket as if Elijah can't see him*

Elijah: *Frees Damon* This is the 3rd time I saved you. You owe me, b*tch.

Damon: *googly eyes*

Alaric: *Wakes up* What did I miss? And why does my hair look so crazy?

Bonnie (phone): Elijah is ACTUALLY a bad guy.

Damon: *sighs* I knew that 5 episodes ago. *calls Stefan* Elijah's a bad guy*

Stefan: *sighs* Was that the point of this episode? Hey Elena, did you know Elijah was a bad guy?

Elena: I plead the 5th?

Stefan: WTF?!?!!!!????!!!?!!!!!? Stop trying to commit suicide by originals!

Caroline's House of FINALLY They're Kissing

Bonnie and Jeremy: *****KISS******

I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. They're missing all their hot sexual tension from before...

Lockwolf Mansion

 A note from Tyler: Dear Mom, Became a werewolf. Promised an older woman I'd run away with her. Also saved a bunch of vampires. Not sure where I'm safe. So GG!

The Only Restaurant in Mystic Falls

Tyler: Matt, Caroline still wants you. I wanted her because she's awesome. But the writers on this show are still writing me like kind of a dick. So bye.

Matt: I wonder why he was carrying a giant duffle bag....

Caroline's House

Tyler: *Edward Cullens beneath her window*

Edward Cullen: WHAT are you doing? What, what, WHAT are you doing?

Jules's Car

Tyler: Let the running away scene commence!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winner of epic 3-book giveaway!

Which lucky entrant won...

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver,
Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales,
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab,
A signed bookmark from each author?


(From The Book Butterfly! We LOVE The Book Butterfly!)

Congrats, Kim! We'll be mailing your books out to you soon!

And if you didn't win this giveaway, you still have a chance to win another! This week, we're giving away an ARC of Kimberly Derting's DESIRES OF THE DEAD! Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Desires of the Dead Review

Happy Release Day Kimberly Derting and Happy Book Birthday Desires of the Dead!

I'm about to tell you why you should go run out to the stores right now and get a copy, but just in case you missed it yesterday--we have an interview with Kimberly AND a chance to win an arc of Desires of the Dead!

Description from Amazon: The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

It's so hard to review this book because not only did I love it, but I don't want to spoil the mystery. All I will say is Violent is still struggling with her powers, what they mean and how to use them (and its awesome), Jay is still cute, hot, adorable, smexy, smart, amazing, fabulous, caring, protective...ok I REALLY like Jay. Luckily, he's still awesome. Also the romance between them is sizzling this time. It was so fun to see them fully move on from friends who are totally in love with each other but can't admit it, to a couple learning how deeply in love they are.

The mystery is different from The Body Finder, but it's every bit as intriguing. And the suspense is through the roof--Kim really knows how to keep you hanging on the edge of your seat. Just be warned. Only start this book when you have a good chunk of time, because the first few pages will leave you reeling! 

Honestly, romance, suspense, JAY!!! Go get this book. And celebrate the fact there are now 2 more books in the series! YAY!!! *runs off to buy copy*

Monday, February 14, 2011

Kimberly Derting Interview and Giveaway!!!!

Guess what! The wonderfully fabulous Kimberly Derting author of THE BODY FINDER and DESIRES OF THE DEAD (which releases Feb 15, 2011) stopped by for an interview with us--SQUEE! 

And I'm so excited to not only share her answers, but also announce a contest below for an arc of Desires of the Dead!!!
      If you could pick a theme song for The Body Finder, what would it be?

Possum Kingdom by The Toadies.  It’s really the theme song for the serial killer scenes, but I think it sets a creepy backdrop for the entire book.

 What would the theme song for Desires of the Dead be?

Breathing by Lifehouse.  There are parts of it that fit the love story, but parts that veer into almost stalkery (that’s a word, right?) territory, which reminds me of the “bad guy” in Desires.

Oh I love that song! Ok, can't resist because I'm such a huge fan of Violet and Jay--what would their theme song be? (I know, I have a current obsession with theme songs).

Everytime I hear Who’d Have Known by Lily Allen, I think of Violet and Jay.  It’s cute and playful, and shows how a couple goes from just-friends to something more. 

How was the publishing process for you the second time around? Less scary? More scary? We want to know!

Definitely more scary!  I think most authors, especially if it’s a series, worry about that second book.  I certainly did.  I felt a ton of pressure to have it live up to The Body Finder.

Well I can tell you, it did live up to The Body Finder:-) How many projects do you work on at once? Or do you tend to put all of your energy into just one project at a time?

I try to work on one at a time, so I can stay focused, but recently I’ve had to learn to “multi-task” switching back and forth between writing one book and revising another.  It’s a little disorienting sometimes, especially since one book is in third person and the other is in first.  Sometimes, I forget which POV I’m working in.

 Can you describe your daily process? PJs? Clothes? Snacks? Music? Scenery?

HA!  Are you sure you want to know???  Seriously, it’s not pretty.  Sweat pants, ridiculous amounts of tea, a lot of procrastinating (thank you, Twitter!), and things like popcorn-for-lunch.  Showers are optional.

I don’t listen to music while I’m writing (I wish I could, it seems so cool!), but I will stop to listen when I get stuck.  There’s something about a good playlist that brings you right back where you need to be!

What do you hope readers will take away from Desires of the Dead?

I hope they’ll appreciate Violet’s struggle to make this tough decision.  And want more, of course!

 Can you tell us ANYTHING about what we can expect to read from you after Desires of the Dead? 

*looks around shiftily*  I wish I could, I really do!  The publishing world is crazy-secretive and all I can say is this: when I’m allowed to share news (which will hopefully be soon!), I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops!  Until then, stay tuned…

UPDATE! Kim just revealed all the big news about what else we can expect on her blog today so go check it out and congratulate her after you enter the contest!

Thanks, Kim!

Ok! Hope you enjoyed! The exciting news is that Desires of the Dead comes out in hardcover tomorrow. But we happen to have an arc that is up for grabs. And in case you missed it, check out the amazing book trailer.

Trust me, you want to win this ARC! So just fill out the info below and don't forget to leave a comment on this post!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The evil voice in your head must be stopped!

It's easy to get discouraged as a writer --- aspiring or published. The grass is always greener, right? When you're unagented or unpublished, all you want is to achieve that next step. When you have an agent or book deal, you wish you didn't have so much pressure, so many deadlines. And when your book comes out, you wish it sold more copies or got fewer negative reviews.

For most of us, there's that tiny voice in our head telling us that we should try harder and do better, that our writing is crap, that we'll never succeed.

Tell that voice to shut up.

For real.

Even if you're one of those super-polite, classy people who doesn't say "shut up." This deserves an exception.

You're on one of the hardest journeys of your life. The odds are stacked against you, and yet, you persevere. It's time to be happy for what you do achieve, because those things matter, no matter how small.

See, this guy's happy. He wants you to be too!
For example, instead of getting discouraged because I wish I had more time to work on my newest project, I'm happy because I want to spend every minute of every day perfecting it. What if I didn't have an idea that sparked such passion? That would be even worse!

And I appreciate that my Future Husband* is willing to take on more housework so that I can squeeze in every spare moment to write.

And that I have the most incredible cheerleading team in the FNC, and they keep me going when I get stuck and angsty.

And, heck, I FINISHED A NOVEL. And I love it and am so very proud of it.

And I've busted my butt to learn everything possible about the industry, and that knowledge gives me confidence.

I have every reason to be happy, and so do you.

Happiness is all about perspective. It's a choice, one we sometimes forget to make. And if all else fails, wine usually helps.**

What achievements are making you warm and glowy today? Shout it from the rooftop, but if your rooftop is unstable or inaccessible, or the very thought of climbing up high makes you dizzy with fear, then leave it in the comments. I want a feel-good fest in there!

* Four months! Ahhhh!
** Ok, this is way more emotional than we usually get here on the FNC blog (and it's probably kinda cheesy), but sometimes this journey gets emotional, and despite all the practical advice in the world, this is what we need to hear!
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