Serendipity & Flying Monkeys (Guest post from a CP)

Dear lovelies, meet Cindy Thomas....

Most of you probably don’t know this, but Danielle and I are critique partners. It all sort of happened by accident, but it’s one of those fortunate accidents that can only be summed up in one word: Serendipity.

We talk often, perhaps not as often as we’d both like, but we try to keep in touch as much as we can. Each conversation is a little different depending on the life/writing/reading/blogging crisis we are experiencing, but one thing is certain—it’s always entertaining.

So, when Danielle asked me to do a guest post here at Frenzy of Noise, this seemed like the perfect idea. I’m going to give you a sample of what a conversation between critique partners can look like. This one is via gchat, but you can just as easily assume this convo is similar in any format.

Me: OMG! I have a new idea I *have* to tell you about. You got a minute?

Danielle: Sure!

Me: Okay, so there’s this girl and she falls into a hole. Then this really hot guy, who turns out to be an undercover superhero pulls her out of the hole. She’s all banged up but he heals her with one touch. Then a meteor falls from the sky and flying monkeys start eating all the vegetables. The hot superhero guy attacks the monkeys with his super high frequency monkey killing sword and saves the world from monkey mind control. What do you think?

Danielle: Uh…did you say the guy was hot?

Me: Yeah.

Danielle: I think it’s great! He has to be hot.

Me: Totally hot. Like smoking hot. Ohhh……maybe his biceps actually shoot out fire!

Danielle: Oh yeah! That’s *so* hot. I’d buy it.

Me: Sweet. You don’t think there are any huge plot holes, though, right?

Danielle: Nah. I mean, you have a damsel in distress, ugly villains and a super hot superhero. It’s going to sell millions.

Me: I love you.

Danielle: I know.

Me: Uh oh. I think one of my kids just broke something. I gotta go!

Danielle: Okay, see ya! Happy writing!

So there you have it. Writing pep talks at their best. Does any of this sound familiar?

Addition from Danielle:

This is pretty accurate for our conversations. She always says “I love you” and I always say “I know.” :) jk. But really, we DO talk a lot about encouragement and ideas and “read this scene because I need to know it doesn’t suck.” And we do read and tell the other if it does suck or not. That’s more important than the encouragement. Most days.

I also wanted to say that I have three people in my crit group (who aren’t necessarily in each other’s group.) This is because they all offer something different to the table. Christina is one, who has read everything I’ve written and is so good at pointing out the technical aspects of my story that it’s ridiculous.

Cindy tells me if something is working or not—and why. She’s also super awesome encourager and motivator, which I need more often than not. Patricia is the other. We’ve spent most of our time together plotting new novels and talking out stories. It’s always good to have someone who can point out what does or doesn’t seem to fit before you’re writing—and well into the story. I also have three other people who I know I can ask and they will offer feedback if I need it. Only one of those three writes, which is always a nice added aspect to get opinions from a reader.

If you are not part of a crit group, I CHALLENGE you to find one. In fact, maybe once school has ended I’ll organize something to connect people if yall think you want it.

Disclaimer: Cindy is not writing a story about flying monkeys and boys with fire-shooting biceps. But maybe she should…that would be hot.


TV SHOWS. And how they can inspire us writers. (Guest post)

Hi followers of Danielle’s blog! You probably don’t know who I am, so I’ll introduce myself. I’m Kaitlin, KT for short, and I’m a YA writer, too. I tend to write fantasy, but sometimes contemporary as well. I’m doing a guest post (obviously – oh, small fact, I use parantheses a lot) today!

I’m going to lead into my topic a little strangely – and I’m going to say how I met Danielle. Whilst on the lovely twitter, I noticed somebody I already followed (Jaime) tweeting about the TV show Merlin, and I, being a HUGE fan, tweeted with her and discovered Danielle. We quickly became Merlin buddies (among other awesome things we have in common).

And that leads me to the topic – TV SHOWS. And how they can inspire us writers.

Obviously as writers, and people, we have our ups and downs. We stand against the dreaded writer’s block and those moments where we can feel like giving up (I recently had one), but sometimes all it takes is a break and a little inspiration. And that can come from so many different things – books, music, a conversation with someone. A lot of the times for me, and one of my CPs, television helps us.

For me specifically, the show Merlin actually helps me A LOT, which is just another reason I love it. Hehe. My current WIP is a YA epic fantasy – which is pretty much what that show is in a nutshell. Young protagonists, magic, swords, medieval time period, yeah? Yeah. How it helps me is through its world, the visual it gives you. In television, you have a picture instead of description. And sometimes when you’re stuck, seeing something close to the world that you’re writing can help a ton. You can get the image you see and transfer it to help the setting in your book come alive. I can be completely stuck, wondering how something would play out in my book’s world, take a break and watch Merlin and suddenly feel that inspiration to write because I can see it again.

But sometimes it’s not even an entire episode that can be inspiration. Maybe just a preview can strike something within you. For instance, when I was watching TV one day, I caught a quick scene in a preview for a show I don’t even know – it was of a guy wrapping a blanket around a girl’s shoulders. And that’s a scene I have pictured in my head later in my book, and it immediately gave me this urge to write, like I wanted to get to that scene, wanted to know how my characters would react in that situation!

As for that CP of mine? She writes while watching TV shows a lot lately. And in her case, it’s a show that doesn’t even relate to her WIP. She’s able to write through the background noise because she loves the show and its characters, and it becomes a comfortable writing environment for her.

And with such a wide array of genres and TV shows these days, there has to be something out there that can relate to a lot of different writers’ WIPs. So, even if it may seem wrong to be a couch potato for a few days and veg out watching an awesome television show, it may be exactly the RIGHT thing to do! Because maybe you can find a little inspiration there :)

I obviously get it from a show with an epic castle and magic. I get it from a little scene of a blanket. It becomes a comfort, and it’s good to be comfortable when writing, isn’t it?

So, what kind of awesome TV shows do you guys watch? Do they inspire you, too?

-Kaitlin :)

Find Kaitlin: Blog  |  ||  Twitter  ||


All The Things

There is so much to tell you lovelies. So much because my life is sort of like this post. Only not as funny.

1) I spent the weekend in the DC area with my CP Christina--who is awesome and wonderful and fantastic. (I already knew that but when you get to meet in person it's 10000x better.) AND my other writing buddy Patricia. We had a fantastic time together. (And I'm doing two secret projects with Patricia. Both are exciting. One involves writing. That's all I can say right now. But yes.)

2) I'm only a nanny for a matter of WEEKS. Weeks. Crazy. Scary. Excited because my brain is about to explode from All The Things. And, lovelies, the end of that means I'm living on couches and in spare beds for a few weeks. I have no idea what happens next so don't ask me!

3) I can not stop singing this song!! (Plus, Adam is hot. Gah. Take me away please.)

4) I met Maggie Stiefvater last week. I'm sorry that I forgot to tell you. She was very sweet.

5) I just read this book. And it was SUPER AWESOME. Anyone else? Go buy it and let's discuss!

6) I'm plotting my WIP. It's exhausting. Never ending. So exciting! I can't wait to write again. It feels like it's been forever. FOREVER.

7) GRAD SCHOOL IS HERE. I start on Friday and don't end until July 2. I'm so excited/nervous/wondering what the heck I was thinking. With that said, I'm in class all day every day. I'll be having some guest posts and some reviews coming up over the nine days. I know you will enjoy what they're all going to contribute and I hope you leave them lots of comment-love.

Tell me....

What's going on with you??


SO many winners!

Lovelies. LOVELIES. YOU ARE AWESOME. You get a gold star!

Seriously. You made my blogoversary so much fun! I hope it was fun for you. I like random things. Your comments and tweets were so sweet. THANK YOU! 

Speaking of random, thanks to random.org I have some winners. MANY winners!

Day One:  FloeticFlo  

Day Two:  Katelyn Torrey

Day Three (Followers only!):
Pack 1: Stephanie Hall    
Pack 2: Marcie 

Day Four: Ash

Surprise Box:   Hafsah @ IceyBook 

Congrats winners!! I'll be sending out your prizes the first FULL week of July! (Remember, that school thing is coming up and will delay me, as I mentioned.) THANK YOU AGAIN to everyone who made this week so awesome. 

Also, if you're a writer---go read this post. Because Tahereh Mafi is a writing genius. You will love her blog. Seriously. So good. (And her book is better!!)

We now return to your semi-regular scheduled program.


Blogoversary: Big Surprise Giveaway

So, I've given away some books on Twitter and FIVE prize packs. I have a lot of books! All week you've been commenting (hopefully) and tweeting. Thank you for making my blogoversary so amazing. Hugs for everyone! This is the last prize I have to give away...

It's a box. Much like this one....
It has books in it. And swag. There are about 20 books in there. (I forgot to count before I sealed it) and a bunch of swag. What kind of books? Old ones. New ones. Ones that haven't been released yet. And really, they are free!

One of you can have it.

My request is simple: leave a comment. All over this blog I have posts and reviews. Find one that's not from this week and leave a comment. Maybe it's something that you read a long time ago and liked, or a review for a book you're interested in. This is a little weird but it's something I've wanted to try for awhile now.

Then, up above in the "happenings" header (so you can find it easier from wherever you navigate on the blog) and below in this post, I have a form that you need to fill out. Then, you're entered! Pretty simple, huh? You must comment somewhere on the blog and fill out the form to be entered. Entries without a comment will be disqualified.

Once the giveaway closes, I'm going to tally up all the comments with your name on it from this week and give you extra entries for the Surprise Box. Pretty simple.

  • Following not required unless indicated! 
  • All winners will be chosen at random.  
  • All giveaways close at midnight on Sunday, June 19th 

     Have a chocolate chip and lollipop filled day! I'm off to D.C to see my CP and my other writing friend. Who are also my real friends. And I am excited!


    Blogoversary: Day Four.

    Wow. All of you are unbelievably awesome. Seriously. I'm glad everyone's having fun and commenting and tweeting. So awesome. :) I'm floored. It's been an awesome blog week. *throws confetti* *eats cupcakes*

    I also want to take a second to let you know that all the prizes will be mailed out the first week of July. I have a vacation and then class for two weeks, so I won't be able to box them all and send them all until after that. But I promise, I'll send them as soon as I can. :)

    Here's another round for you, lovelies! Day Four Pack:

    All giveaways are open internationally and US/Canada unless noted. 
    Following not required unless indicated! 
    All winners will be chosen at random. 
    All giveaways close at midnight on Sunday, June 19th.
    * means ARC    **Fall 2011 ARC 

    Don't forget: you can get extra entries into the Big Surprise giveaway by leaving comments.And...since I like comments that tell me something---everyone tell me what book you are looking forward to that's still to come out in 2011!! And if you're on twitter, use #GiveawayFrenzy to promote!


    Blogoversary: Day Three (Two packs for FOLLOWERS ONLY)

    This giveaway is for followers only! (If you're not a follower (or are) be around twitter today. That's all I'm saying.)

    Anyway, followers only. I will be checking. It's for followers that existed prior to this week. I know who you are, I promise I do. And thank you. Thank you for being so amazing.

    These prize packs are just for you. YOU CAN ENTER BOTH. Here's what's up for grabs.

    City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (signed!)
    The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
    Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton*
    The Unidentified by Rae Mariz *
    Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham**

    The other pack:

    The Poison Eaters by Holly Black (signed)
    Falling Under by Gwen Hayes*
    The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney*
    Empty by Suzanne Weyn *
    The Bridge to Neverland by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson **

    • All giveaways are open internationally and US/Canada unless noted. 
    • Following not required unless indicated! 
    • All winners will be chosen at random. 
    • All giveaways close at midnight on Sunday, June 19th. 
    * means ARC    **Fall 2011 ARC 
    Don't forget you can comment/tweet for more chances to win. (You don't have to do either. Tweeting is just helpful promo and comments give you EXTRA entries into the Surprise Box giveaway. You can still enter it without commenting---but comments are super awesome.)


    Happy Book Birthday: HOURGLASS & IMAGINARY GIRLS

    I need to take a second to say two things:

    1) IMAGINARY GIRLS comes out today.

    My mini-review: The story begins when Chloe is fourteen. She and her older sister Ruby are at a party and Ruby tells everyone Chloe can swim across the reservoir. Rumor is there used to be a city under there--and all the remnants lie just on the other side. Chloe, who lives to please her eccentric, perfect sister, swims across and stumbles on the dead body of a girl. Freaked from the whole incident, she flees her sister and the town they grew up in. Two years later Ruby comes for Chloe. When Chloe goes home again, she is thrust into a dark and twisted and completely unreal mystery that could send her over the edge. Imaginary Girls is a book written with excellence and a story you can't predict that leaves you guessing with every turn of the page. It's a book about the impossible--the impossible that exists in the world, in those we love most, and in yourself. It leaves you wondering and guessing long after the ending.

    I read Imaginary Girls a few months ago and it was fantastic. My review is here, if you want to read more details of all the reasons why I loved it. In short, it's creepy and beautifully written. You won't regret the purchase.

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository

    Congrats to Nova! I hope everyone loves the world you've created and the way you painted it like I did!

    2) HOURGLASS comes out today!! And OMG, I AM EXCITED.

    my mini-review:  Emerson has always seen things that aren't really there, ghosts or figments of her imagination. She's never had an answer, a reason why they appear to her, but they do. When the visions start to ruin her life, a boy named Michael is hired by her brother to help her. Michael turns out to be part of a secret organization called Hourglass that deals with people like Emerson, and like himself. Emerson learns she isn't seeing ghosts--but time slips, moments of the past that appear in her timeline. And Michael, he sees time slips too--of the future. The two team up to solve a murder and prevent the horrible future from happening, they get more than they bargain for. This is a WONDERFUL story. It's the perfect blend of humor, mystery and romance. Toss in some time travel, strange twists and a kick butt main character, Hourglass is certain to entertain every reader! It's awesome yall. AWESOME. Go read it.

    You must go buy it now. Right now. It is one of my favorite books this year. It's full of so much win! You won't regret buying this for yourself, for your friends, for the stranger on the street. My vlog review is here, if you need more reasons.

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository

    CONGRATULATIONS MYRA. It's been a long time coming. And it's been a pleasure to journey it beside you. I can't wait to see what happens next. :)

    Blogoversary: Day Two.

    Day 2 is here!! Woo-hoo! Hope everyone's liking this. I am. Today, I have a chance for you to win an extra entry into the Big Surprise giveaway (the mystery box off about 20 books and swag). When you leave a comment, can you tell me a book that I recommended through the last year that you bought?

    That'd be really awesome!

    Today's giveaway pack:
    To enter, just fill out this form. Don't forget to comment/tweet under #GiveawayFrenzy for more chances to win. (You don't have to do either. Tweeting is just lovely and comments give you EXTRA entries into the Surprise Box giveaway. You can still enter it without commenting---but comments are super awesome.)

    All giveaways are open internationally and US/Canada--unless noted.) 
    Following not required unless indicated! 
    All winners will be chosen at random.
    All giveaways close at midnight on Sunday, June 19th.
    *indicates:  *ARC **To be released ARC


    Blogoversary: Day One.

    In some ways, I can't believe it's been a year. A YEAR! That seems crazy. In other ways it feels like ten years. Either way, it's been pretty wonderful. That's because of YOU.

    This week, I'm doing some giveaways. So if you're a follower of this blog, then you should pay attention because things will be coming up randomly throughout the week just for you. You'll have chances to win extra entries into the Big Surprise giveaway just for being a follower. :)

    Also, all week long, if you're on twitter then you should tweet the giveaways. I'm doing something special for my blogoversary on twitter. Tweet under #GiveawayFrenzy for random chances to win these prizes. AND if you're on the blog, then comments add up for extra entries into the Big Surprise giveaway. (What is this? A box of books and swag. There are about 20 books in the box!)

    I know, that's random. But I didn't want to do a regular giveaway. I want it to be fun for me as well as you. Plus, you should know by now that I adore random. Some things will be for followers, some for tweeters, some for everyone. It's going to be a frenzy!

    Today's giveaway pack:

    Twisted by Gena Showalter (signed ARC)**
    Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
    Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Leviathon*
    Warped by Maurissa Guibord *
    Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz **
    and some random swag

    To enter, just fill out this form. Don't forget to comment/tweet for more chances to win.

    All giveaways are open internationally and US/Canada unless noted.
    Following not required unless indicated!
    All winners will be chosen at random.
    All giveaways close at midnight on Sunday, June 19th.

    * means ARC 
    **Fall 2011 ARC


    Fragment Friday with The Near Witch & a winner

    Today is Friday--which means Fragment Friday. I've been kind of a slacker with these because time gets away from me. But a very special book from a very wonderful author comes out soon, and I want to share a piece of it with all of you. Fragment Friday is hosted by James of Book Chic and it's where you read excerpts of your favorite books or what you are reading now. This week I chose The Near Witch by the fantabulous Victoria Schwab.

    Check out her blog or connect with her on twitter. 
    Congrats Ren!

    Enjoy the signed, first edition of The Near Witch. Next month, I'll have one more giveaway for the book so keep an eye out!

    ALSO, keep an eye out next week on the blog because it's a BIG week. It's a blogoversary here at Frenzy of Noise. I'm excited. 


    Sometimes you have to quit.

    Sometimes you have to quit something you really want to finish.

    I'm not someone who stops. I keep going, keep pressing on, keep trying until I've got no other choice but to stop. Or until I pass out because my going usually involves doing too many things at once and staying up too late. But sometimes, especially when you're writing...you have to quit.

    This happened to me a week ago. I was at the office, trying to work out another scene I was stuck in, when bam--a Shiny-New attacked. Only this one, wasn't new. It was old; an old idea I thought of months before and didn't write. I had to write it down-and five written pages later, I knew I was in trouble. I knew story wasn't going to shut up. I was so excited because I hadn't felt that way about book three in months. I was excited because I wanted to write this. But then, I couldn't. I was mid-draft. I couldn't just quit writing it and waste four months of my life and 35, 000 words...Could I? Can people do that?

    The answer I discovered is yes. In fact, I think sometimes it's the only thing you can do. But I feel like that's one of those things people don't say often. Maybe it's because they want us to keep going, keep pressing, keep trying. And they're right.

    Most of the time, we shouldn't quit. If we could quit at any moment then we would quit before we even began, because writing is hard. It's exhausting. If we quit at any moment, we'd never make it the middle--let alone to the end. We'd find someone "better" than us, a stronger story, a brighter Shiny-New, a new character and we'd quit right there. Quitting is not the answer.

    But what happens when you're struggling? When it's four months later and only 35, 000 words? Or when you've been stuck in the same spot for a month and writing the story isn't fun anymore--even though you love the idea or the character or the scene on page 57? I know what you're thinking because it's what I used to think it: That will never happen to me.

    And then it does.

    And crap, crap, crap--what do I do now? Before you "quit" a novel, you should really explore all the options and think it through. For me, I'd debated shelving the book for at least a six weeks before the point of the Shiny-Newish Idea. There are tons of ways to explore other options; these are some that I did.

    • Brainstormed. I looked at what I had, what I wanted to do, what it was in my head and what it could be. I wrote down every single possibility. I eliminated and processed and added and took away.
    • Re-read. I can probably quote most of this book to you. I read it that much. I knew all the lines, all the places I could expand, all the rough transitions, the pointless scenes and dialogue. Re-reading, outloud and inside your head, is key.
    •  Asked questions. Based on what I'd brainstormed and re-read, I asked my MC questions. I asked my plot questions. I asked other people question. I even questioned myself. Why were things happening this way and not the other? Why was this important? Do I really need this part to make this story work? What can I make better?
    • Tried putting my character in other situations. There's a trick I saying that goes around, "Put someone in another situation and whatever happens will tell you the truth about them." This is even true for characters. I put my MC in other places. In my head and on paper. I took her to the store, had her witness a murder, had her enter a coloring contest (true.) I did this because there was (and is) so much about her I don't have access to. Doing this would unlock those things.
    • I talked to some other writers. People who have been there with me throughout the story. Who have heard all my rants, read my awesome scenes, read my crappy ones. Most of them told me to keep pushing--so I did--to take time away--so I did. Then, one friend told me, "You've never said anything positive about writing this book." I was floored, because that was a huge answer. A huge reason I was having so many issues. 

    The decision for me was pretty easy. Once my friend said that to me, I felt this freedom. And lovelies, it's okay to stop what you are doing. **It's important to note in all this that you should only quit if it's the absolute perfect thing to do. It should never, ever because something is too hard or lost. There are ways around that. Plus, if you quit because it is hard then you will never go anywhere.**

    It's like driving. If you're going the wrong way, you need to stop and turn around and go the right way. Sometimes, you have to stop and ask for directions. Sometimes you need a map. Sometimes you stay the night at some hotel because you've gone too far and you need to sleep before you take off again. I think that's okay to do. In fact, it's smarter than forcing a book to be written to that isn't ready.

    That's what I was doing---forcing the story--and I didn't even know I was doing that. Since then I've been plotting (YES, PLOTTING. I know. Freak out, right?) the new book. I'm very excited about it. I will someday go back to work on book three. But that time is not now. It may not be for months or years, but someday I will tell that story. This is the right decision for me. Quitting was a good choice.

    So, if you are writing something and you are struggling. If showers won't work and long walks at night only make you cold. If you have no more ideas and all your brainstorming is unproductive, don't be afraid to ask the hard questions. Don't be afraid if the answer is "keep going." Maybe the answer lies in a line that you haven't written yet, and maybe the breakthrough lies ahead of the struggle---and don't be afraid if the answer is "Quit." Stopping will not be a waste. EVERYTHING you write has a purpose. The four months and 35K taught me a lot. I was surprised how much I learned, actually. Failed words have a place next to amazing ones and both make you a stronger writer--whether you are still pushing or whether you are shelving an idea.

    Sometimes the hardest part about writing--and revising, drafting, plotting--is knowing when to quit.


    Intrisical by Lani Woodland

    Publisher: Pendrell Publishing
    Date: August 20, 2010
    Series or Standalone: Series
    ISBN: 978-0982729700
    Format: Hardcover, 315 pages
    Source: Book Tour
    Get more info/order: Amazon   Goodreads    The Book Webpage
    The author on the web:  Twitter   Website   

    First Line: My shadow stretched out in front of me, making my small build and slight frame seem almost tall—willowy even.

     Intrisical has been on my list since the Spooktacular last year. And finally---finally---thanks to a book tour from Extreme Reader Book Reviews I got to read it.

    In this story, Yara is a Waker--one who can communicate with ghosts. Her whole family has the ability to see them. She was relieved when she was the only one who was spared, who got the chance to be normal. When she starts at a new boarding school, she hears the legends of a curse that takes the life of a student every two years. As another life is taken, Yara learns she too has the power of her family--but she doesn't realize it until she's knee deep in a mystery. Now the one thing about herself that she always hated, ends up being the only thing that can save her.

    Yea...sounds good? It is! Not only is the story well-developed, brimming with mythology and fun storylines, but the characters are also great. Yara and Brent (the hot love interest) are so full of banter and romantic tension it makes my heart happy.

    ALL the characters are real. You get to see their relationships develop, which I like a lot. Her secondary characters (Cherie and Steve) are really important to the story, too. You get to know them, get to understand them and without them the story wouldn't work as well.

    It was a truly creepy book. I grew up reading Goosebumps and watching Are You Afraid of the Dark, so I don't say that very often. It takes a lot to get under my skin and Intrisical did that completely. It was a wonderful blend of a unique story and mythology, great snarky and smart characters and paranormal. (And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that by the end, after all the creepy was over, I was left a pile of gush. *sigh*)

    The idea of the curse, seeing how it has effected all the years of the school and Yara's family, was a great twist to the story. I don't want to say the wrong thing and ruin it BUT there's a thing that happens to Yara that gives me chills. While some parts of the book were a little slow, they would be followed up by these really intense, fact-paced scenes. It didn't bother me much. Between the characters, the ghosts and the mystery, I couldn't stop reading. I'll definitely be checking out the second one!


    Win The Near Witch!

    So today is the TWO MONTH mark until the release of The Near Witch by Victoria Scwhab. And last month, we made a rap video. See...

    This month, it's nothing as epic as that, yet still really awesome. Why? Well, the lovely people at Disney*Hyperion have these beautiful finished and signed first edition copies of the book just for you.

    And you want it, right?

    Of course you do!

    Here's a chance to win it. It's really simple. In fact there are three steps: fill out the form, spread the word and leave a comment telling me your favorite fairy tale! 

    **This is US only. If you've already won a copy you're not eligible for this one. This prize will not arrive until closer to the publication date in August when the finished copies are available.**


    We're really asking you to spread the word so everyone can get the chance to win this amazing, amazing book. Anywhere you are, tell someone! Let me know in the comments where you posted it. If you're on Twitter please do it under the #NWgiveaway hashtag.  And, since The Near Witch is a fairy tale in so many ways, I'd love if you told me in the comments what your favorite fairytale or fairytale re-telling is.

    Check out my fellow Book Pimps, as they will be giving away a signed, first edition of The Near Witch as well either today or tomorrow!

    Wicked Awesome Books
    Overflowing Shelf
    Ticket to Anywhere
    Secret Life of a Bibliophile
    The Book Cellarx
    Victoria Schwab 


    Cover Me!

    Lookie what came into the world today....

    Who else is swooning?? ZOMG. Can't wait!

    Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

    Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
    Date: June 14, 2010
    Series or Standalone: Standalone (as far as I know)
    ISBN: 978-0525423386
    Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
    Source: ARC
    Get more info/ pre-order: Goodreads    Amazon   

    The author on the web:  Twitter   Website   Tumblr 

    First line: Ruby said I'd never drown--not in deep ocean, not by shipwreck, not even by falling into someone's bottomless backyard pool.

    There are some books you have to think about when you finish them because the only words can you think of to say come out as sounds and squeals and bouts of joy. Imaginary Girls is one of those for me. (One of many lately!)

    The story begins when Chloe is fourteen. She and her older sister Ruby are at a party and Ruby tells everyone Chloe can swim across the reservoir. Rumor is there used to be a city under there--and all the remnants lie just on the other side. Chloe, who lives to please her eccentric, perfect sister, swims across and stumbles on the dead body of a girl. Freaked from the whole incident, she flees her sister and the town they grew up in. Two years later Ruby comes for Chloe. When Chloe goes home again, she is thrust into a dark and twisted and completely unreal mystery that could send her over the edge.

    I liked so many things about this book; the writing is the first thing that stole me. It's beautiful and resonant and the images are painted with perfection. Fine and sharp images, tones, hidden layers that you can't help but swoon over. Seriously. This one had sentences that made imprints on my soul. I will be haunted by them forever.

    The voice is the other thing that sticks out about this story. Chloe is insecure, awkward, flawed and so strong at the same time. She's real. Her time away from her sister has changed the way she views her--which in the beginning is perfect and flawless, and toward the end is a little aware that Ruby isn't quite right. She's very open to the things that are happening, even when she doesn't understand them. Ruby, too, is so vivid. I went from wanting to smack her to wanting to commit her to completely admiring her. That's hard to do for a character who isn't the MC. But it works so well here. I'm drooling.

    The story is one that you can't predict. You just don't see it coming! I mean, most of the time I was in love with what was happening and other times I was so confused by what was going on. Whatever it was we weren't told and Chloe wasn't told and we're both just there, watching it all happen and wondering. I love that. There's a tension from the first line that hints to something bigger--something stranger than we can imagine--and there's no way to know what it is. The tension grows as the story goes on and you can't stop reading the book. It's a great story about the bond of sisterhood and the lengths one will go to save someone they love. It's about seeing someone for who she really is and not being scared to see the flaws along with the good. I think I can say Imaginary Girls is a book about the impossible--the impossible that exists in the world, in those we love most, and in yourself.

    It was gripping and stunning and there was never a dull moment. If there was I was too enthralled with the writing to notice it. Nova Ren Suma weaves the supernatural element with contemporary, hope with despair and joy with sorrow. I can go on and on about this book. I was so frustrated at moments because I wanted to know, I wanted to see and understand Ruby. I wanted to solve the mystery. When the answer is given, I want only to ask the questions again. To keep wondering. And, honestly, I think I still am wondering. There's a whole world that Nova Ren Suma has left open for us and questions that we get to think about. That alone will keep this hauntingly beautiful story playing over and over in your head.