The Dollhouse Asylum

So everyone knows I'm an editor at Spencer Hill Press. And waaay back in January this little book came into the slush pile that I read. There was something about it that just hooked me. Ever since that moment, I've been waiting, waiting, waiting for the chance to share this announcement: I have another project!!
Mary Gray's THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM, in which a group of teenagers are granted asylum from the apocalypse--and then assigned new identities as famous, tragic literary couples and forced to reenact their stories... or die, to Kate Kaynak at Spencer Hill Press, in a nice deal, for publication in October 2013, by Kat Salazar at Larsen/Pomada Literary Agents (World English). 
Not only is the book going to be amazing--and I can't wait to share it with you next fall--but the author is amazing.

Mary Gray is superbly talented and really excited!! (I am excited too!!) Mary is going to rock your reading world with this story. Not only is she a talented writer, she's also very invested in writing the best story, in these characters and is one of the best people to talk to about anything and everything. Writing, shows, awesome cookies! Mary is sweet, enthusiastic, sincere and you should get ready. You should stop by twitter and say hello! And check out her post about this experience over at her blog.

Congrats Mary and SHP!! Welcome to the family! I can't wait to continue our journey together.

And all of you--I can't wait to share more about this book with you!

Cover Reveal: Breaking Glass by Lisa Amowitz

There's a book coming out July 9, 2013 and it's called  BREAKING GLASS. I remember when it came into the slush and guys, it's pretty amazing. Today I'm going to help reveal the cover!

But first, a little about BREAKING GLASS by 

On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he's not sure whether they're real or if he's losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.

And now....the cover!!!

Isn't it gorgeous!?!? Make sure you add this book to your 2013 list. You won't want to miss it!!!


The SCARY Thin Line Between Love and Hate

I am so in love with my WIP.

This is a new emotion, because for WEEKS I've only complained to my gracious and wonderful CPs how much I hate this book.

And I do hate it sometimes.

I hate it because it's different for me. I get nervous about writing a story that's this "different" and this out of my comfort zone. Can I pull it off? What does it mean for me and my future? Is this really the kind of author I want to be known as? Will Hotboyalicious (not real title) forever alter the things I can write? I don't know.

I hate it because it challenges me in ways that I never knew I struggled in as a writer. Because I can't seem to get a grasp on the story. Because it's ever growing and changing and I have no clue what's going on. The subplots are going in every direction. The voice of my MC feels off to me, and I think it's all in my head (at least that's what those CPs tell me) and I can't quite determine if the love interest comes off as insta-love. I have too many ideas and I'm already at 50k and not even halfway done with all of them. I even have an outline, that I don't know how to follow anymore but somehow keeps finding itself back in the story.

But mostly, I hate this WIP because it makes me doubt myself. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the right person to be telling this story. I've written a few books now and I've never looked at one with such uncertainty before. I get really excited about writing it, but when the time comes to sit down and do it, I get trapped inside my own head all these worries, and all the insecurity and you know what?


I'm not one who gets caught up a lot in writing doubt. That's not to say I think I'm the best in the world or anything---I can barely take a compliment. Ask my CPs. But it's just something I do. I put the words on the page and go. So the fact that I'm so stunted with this WIP is really, really scary. I have to constantly battle myself out of the doubt.

The thing that's striking me today, is that underneath the hate I feel toward it for these reasons, I also love it. I'm talking let's run away together and fly to the moon, love it.

These characters are my favorite out of any thing I've written. The mythos is fun. The story, while out of control, is surprising and lovely. My MC is snark and bubbles and confusion--which makes her easy for me connect to, since that's currently what I'm feeling. My love interest is awesome. He's so amazing. I think I love him more than my MC. And what's even more--this story is fun to read. 

There's a thin line between love and hate. And with this WIP, I find myself constantly teetering the line. Some words, I hate it. Other words, I love it. I have to keep telling myself that this is just a first draft! And that's hard too because I write clean first drafts. I have to let go of some control with Hotboyalicious (not real title) and let the character and the story unveil itself. Then, later, I can polish.

Today, I love my WIP. We spent hours together yesterday, talking through some of our issues, and I find myself with a renewed excitement. How long will that stay around? I don't know. But for now, I'm sure going to try and embrace it.

Does anyone else find themselves struggling with this? Someone tell me I'm not alone!!


Hope is a Happy Thing

Hope is contagious. Hope is like yeast and baking powder. It has an energy that makes things rise. If you want to know if you are good for others, ask yourself how much hope you've given them. It is there you will find your answer.
Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB author of Seasons of the Heart 

Yesterday was the Boston Marathon and the Boston Globe reported that 21,963 ran in the race. Now, I'm not a runner so the idea of that many people pushing, training and preparing to run for fun is completely crazy to me. I can't even comprehend the amount of work it takes to prepare your body--and your brain--for running 26.2 miles. In the heat. With thousands of other people. But I'm sure, that the answer is a lot. But there's something I appreciate about it: it's people running toward their goals.

It's crazy in life how you wait, you yearn, you work whole-heartedly toward a goal and sometimes, you never really think that goal is going be accomplished. I bet yesterday, in the 87 degree weather, a bunch of those runners probably felt they were never going to make it. They probably wanted to quit--I have no doubt of that--but they didn't. Why not? Because they were in the midst of this goal that they've been preparing for and other people were succeeding around them. There's nothing that's more motivational than seeing other people succeed at the same goal you have.

They have this hope.

Now again, I'm not a runner. But I get what this whole thing is like because I am a writer. Writing is one of those things that so often feels like a far away, un-achievable goal. You train, you prepare, you practice, you get tips and helpful information everywhere--but there's still the doing, the trying, the waiting. The waiting in writing is the hardest part for most people.

But then, something good happens.

Maybe it's a spark of something. An encouraging word. A friend succeeding. Something that validates that what you are doing is worth something. It can be anything and it can be teeny tiny--but those things are the things that keep us hopeful. Like for me, only four days ago, I was so trapped in my own head that I couldn't make my WIP move forward. All it took was for me to stop being selfish and to approach things with a new perspective. It wasn't even my idea! That's a spark of something good and it gave me the ability to keep going.

This industry--especially for those in-between here and there--is not easy. It's not for the faint at heart or the impatient or the jealous. Those things will eat you alive. The only way to survive the bad things that want to tie you down, is to have hope.

My friend Cindy said to me today "I'm happy. I have hope. Hope is a happy thing."

And she's right. Hope is a happy thing.

You know what else hope is? It's contagious. The more we spread it around, the happier people will be while we are training or waiting or running and about to pass out.

Wherever you are in this race, if you are feeling tired or impatient or not good enough. If you want to turn around and quit before you even get to start, then say something to someone you trust. Maybe you will find some hope to keep going. If someone can one 26.2 miles in a few hours, you can do this too. Have hope.

I hope you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for--maybe even worth dying for-- something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead. 
 Ita Ford Maryknoll 

Hope is a happy thing. Pass it on.


EXTRACTED (The Lost Imperials, Book 1)

 Have you heard about this yet????

Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley's EXTRACTED (The Lost Imperials, Book 1), in which two siblings, unknowingly stolen from history, fight on opposing sides of a battle to control time and space, to Kate Kaynak at Spencer Hill Press, in a nice deal, for publication in November 2013 (World).

I am one of the editors on this book. And guys, I AM PUMPED. (side note: Doesn't it sound amazing??! Eeek!)

It's weird, though--being someone's editor.

Saying things like "I have a meeting with my authors on Saturday." Or being put on twitter lists for "book editors" or exchanging emails with author-friend-clients and having them be excited about your ideas for their book.  It's weird.

It's also very exciting! I'm all official like. And I get to be all official like with my best friend. So, that's awesome. And these two fantastic authors, which is also awesome.

This is me right now:

*skips off to do happy things*



Guys, guys, guys. I read Grave Mercy last week and I have not been left salivating for sequel like this in a very long time.

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. 

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Grave Mercy is a unique book. The premise is exciting, intriguing and the world is really solid. I enjoyed reading every second of the book.  Now things you should know going in: it is not a quick read. The story takes place in the 1400's and it's written for the period. There's a lot of world building happening--not only for the mytho and the nuns, but also for the history of the time. It slows it down some, but once all that is developed, the story is unputdownable.

Why should you read it? 

Well, aside from there being NUN ASSASSINS?!!?!? There's a kick-butt female heroine, who knows her way around a poison, a knife, a bow, and how to kill with her pinky. She's like Nikita--only in fancy clothes and timely speech. She's Nikita in disguise as Elizabeth Bennett! Ah! That's totally it. But she's more than just as assassin--she's a girl, devout and yet uncertain. She's willing to bend, to grow, to change and to take a stand at the same time. I like that about her.

Plus, there's a boy. (Of course there's a boy!) Duval is his name...and he's very Mr. Darcy meets Miles from The Pink Carnation books meets Robin from AC Gaughen's Scarlet. He reads like all these boys I already know, only he's very much the best parts of them and that makes him his own. He's smart, loyal and unwaivering, which I like. He's a little aloof, but that's totally because he has to be. I mean, nun assassin girl. I'd be aloof too. But then he's a great gentleman, worthy of all the swooning that takes place on the pages and off, and he too is kick-butt. And unlike a lot of romance, they develop slowly and it was very believable.

Now, this wasn't just a romance story, even though that definitely sticks out as a major component. It's also more. 

The plot was refreshing and even though I already said that, I think it's worth noting again. I'm a huge fan of historical books (when they're done well) and Grave Mercy totally was. In addition to the characters, all of whom seemed to jump off the page for me, and the amazing writing, the whole world was well-researched and utilized. The politics of the time, the war against France, the over-taking of the church, the fight for power and nobility and truth was all encompassed here. It's very much a world in the middle of changing and  trying to hang on to something.  Plus, toss in a little bit of paranormal and I think it's the perfect backdrop for this story. 

The second book is supposed to follow another character from the nunnery--and I'm pretty sure I know the boy involved, which makes me very happy! I can't wait for it. If you're looking for something a little different, with some mystery and romance then you should look no further.

Have any of you read it yet? What did you think??

Check it out on Goodreads ||| Order it on Amazon 

**Also, as an update, right after this review went live, I read THIS from the author.
Check it out. **