Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zara White

Strong-willed Zara is sent to live with her grandmother in Maine. Too bad her new town is full of pixies with an evil pixie king to boot. Of course there's more to her family, friends, and hunky new love interest than meets the eye. Turns out she might be part-pixie as well. It's a paranormal lover's dream...filled with lots of gold dust.

"I'm not a damsel and there is no distress."

Do you like Zara? Tell me some of your favorite Z characters.

We made it to the end of the A to Z challenge! Thanks to all those who kept coming back day after day to read my posts. You rock! Whew. Time to collapse and take a really long nap. Zzzz...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yelena

Yelena is sentenced to hang by the noose for killing--it doesn't matter WHY she did it. Is it a miracle she is offered the job of food taster for the Commander instead, or just a slower, more painful death in the end? Yelena's character is the extreme example of scraping yourself off the floor, making the best of your crappy situation, and finding a way to trust, love, and live again.

"I peered deeper and found my soul. A little tattered and with some holes, but there all the same. It had always been there."

Do you like Yelena? Tell me some of your favorite Y characters.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Mrs. Maxim de Winter

The reader never finds out the name or age of the protagonist in Daphne du Maurier's REBECCA, which is why I chose her for the letter X. Most fans think of her as eighteen or so, so I'm rolling with it for my YA girl characters. I love this book because of the mixed reactions readers get toward our nameless narrator, her secretive husband Maxim, and the long dead but ever present in our narrator's mind Rebecca--Max's first wife. Even their home, Manderley, is a complex character itself. It is romantic suspense at its finest and a book I never get tired of discussing.

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

Do you like the second Mrs. de Winter? Tell me some of your favorite X characters.

Friday, April 26, 2013

W is for Winnie Foster

When Winnie finds and falls in love with Jesse Tuck, he tells her of his family's immortal secret. Will she drink the magic water that makes you live forever, or grow old and die in peace? Read TUCK EVERLASTING, a wonderful and magical book that has become a children's classic, to find out.

"It'd be nice to have a new name, one that's not all worn out from being called so much."

Do you like Winnie? Tell me some of your favorite W characters.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Valentine Wiggin

Valentine is Ender's loving older sister in Orson Scott Card's ENDER'S GAME, one of my favorite books of all time. She protected Ender from their older brother Peter, manipulated the political landscape by writing under the pseudonym of Demosthenes, and developed the infamous Hierarchy of Foreignness. So basically, she's made of all the awesome.

"Ender, it really is true. We may be young, but we're not powerless. We play by their rules long enough, and it becomes our game."

Do you like Valentine? Tell me your favorite V characters.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is for Uhura

Did you know there is a new Star Trek book series geared toward teens? It follows the new alternate Star Trek timeline based on the recent movies and focuses on the Starfleet Academy. I haven't read any of them, but Uhura plays a lead role in the first of the series--THE DELTA ANOMALY--which claims to be filled with romance and adventure.

"As he approached Uhura, Kirk was disappointed to see that his fun had been compromised: She looked to be already uncomfortable, and it wasn't because of him."

Do you like Uhura? Tell me some of your favorite U characters.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for Tris Prior

DIVERGENT's narrator is a strong-willed teen who doesn't like to show weakness. Born in one faction, she chooses another, but soon learns initiation isn't easy. But falling in love with one of your instructors does have some benefits. Will she conquer her fears? How many tattoos will she get? Will she be named Dauntless? Dive into Veronica Roth's best-selling series to find out...or just wait for the movie.

"I am proud. It will get me into trouble someday, but today it makes me brave."

Do you like Tris? Tell me some of your favorite "T" characters.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Scout Finch

Does anyone besides me think having your book banned would be super cool? If only so it could be listed alongside TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, still one of my favorite books of all time. It's warm and humorous yet delves into rape and racial inequality...all through the eyes of a six-year-old girl. I wouldn't even know how to start a novel like that. Bravo, Harper Lee.

"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."

Do you like Scout? Tell me some of your favorite "S" characters.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Raisa ana'Mariana

Also known as Rebecca Morley, Raisa isn't your ordinary princess. From Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms novels, Raisa is not one to do what she's told. Intelligent and stubborn, she's willing to work hard. Her ill-temper is matched with a kind heart...all the makings of a great queen.

"I need to go to parties so I don't think so much."

Do you like Raisa? Tell me some of your favorite "R" characters.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quinn MacPherson

To be honest, I read this book because I really needed a Q character for my A to Z posts, lol. Eighteen-year-old Quinn is truly messed up: drugs, stealing, low self-esteem. With a cheating father and psychotic mother, it's no surprise. Good thing Ben sees past all that and is willing to love her as she is, faults and all.

"My insides feel like they are crumbling like a towering JENGA game. I lose."

Do you like Quinn? Tell me some of your favorite Q characters.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Pia

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory in the Amazon rainforest. Raised by scientists, she is the first in a new immortal race. Too bad these scientists don't realize how much a cute boy can really shake things up in a YA novel, especially a native jungle boy from a nearby village.

"I want someone who will look into my eyes and understand everything behind them."

Do you like Pia? Tell me some of your favorite "P" characters.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Olivia Marx

Olivia is Grace's best friend in SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater. She was just trying to help Jack phase into his human form when he bit her, thus making her a werewolf. She's a quiet and shy photographer who, because of her fear of needles and "the cure", fully embraces her wolf-self.

"I think I'm turning into one of those girls who likes uniformed types."

Do you like Olivia? Tell me some of your favorite "O" characters.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N is for Nine

I'm cheating again. Nine is the MC in one of my novels, REMAKE. She can't wait to get rid of her red hair and freckles when she's Remade in a few days on her 17th birthday. If there was only a way to get rid of her cowardice as well. Maybe if she's Remade into a boy, it might help. Will that make her brave? I don't know. You'll have to read it to find out. Mwahahaha. I've always thought Saoirse Ronan would make a good Nine.

"I am ready to be who I'm going to be. I'm just not sure what that is yet."

Do you like Nine? I promise, you will. :) Tell me some of your favorite "N" characters.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Minli

I've read WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON so many times, I should just marry it already. It's filled with stories within stories that come together so beautifully in the end. Minli is a poor girl who sets off on a quest to obtain a fortune to save her family. Probably the best read-aloud book our family has ever read. Grace Lin is a genius. Also, there are dragons. *win*

"If there is a secret to happiness, I should have it."

Do you like Minli? Tell me your favorite "M" characters.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Lola Nolan

Lola, the quirky character from Stephanie Perkin's LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, doesn't believe in fashion, she believes in costume. Her sparkly personality is hard to resist, but even harder to resist? --Cricket, the yummy boy next door. *sigh* Just read it, that is all.

"Life is too short to be the same person every day."

Do you like Lola? Tell me some of your favorite "L" characters.

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Katniss Everdeen

With a past filled with hardship, Katniss has become a survivor. She's independent, lethal, and thinks outside the box. She's a reluctant hero, but if you mess with those she loves, watch out. I just love butt-kicking heroines and Katniss is the queen of them all.

"No one will forget me. Not my look, not my name. Katniss. The girl who was on fire."

Do you like Katniss? Tell me some of your favorite "K" characters.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for Jo March

Creative, strong-minded, independent--Jo was the sister I wanted to be. When I reread Louisa May Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN as an adult, I questioned the ideal life of this perfect family, but there's no doubt it impacted me as a child. Jo made me want to believe in myself and do something great.

"If I weren't going to be a writer I'd go to New York and pursue the stage. Are you shocked?"

Do you like Jo? Tell me some of your favorite "J" characters.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fraction of Stone and I is for Ilima Todd

I'm so excited to spotlight Kelley Lynn's new book FRACTION OF STONE on my blog today. Kelley is one of my favorite writers and I'm so excited for her!

Fraction of Stone by Kelley Lynn
Release Date: March 21st, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:

Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.

Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving. 

About the Author:

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Kelley Lynn's Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats, Kelley! And now for my A to Z post for the letter "I". I'm kinda cheating today, lol.

Ilima. She can frequently be found eating avocados and quoting Jayne from Firefly. When she does get around to writing, she cries over her characters then complains to her CP's 'cause writing is too dang hard. She likes listening to music really loud and will do ANYTHING to avoid washing the dishes.

"Ten percent of nuthin' is...let me do the math here...nuthin' into nuthin'...carry the nuthin'..."

Do you like Ilima? (careful) Who are your favorite "I" characters? (Yeah, I know I'm reaching here using myself for the letter I, but this one was hard...and DPK *is* planning on turning me into a zombie in his book, so I'm good :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Hermoine Granger

This girl needs no introduction. With her quick wit, deft recall, and endless knowledge, this girl is a welcome player on any aspiring wizard's team. Who says Muggle-borns can't kick butt--not me. :) A perfect strong female character for everyone's favorite Dark Lord-fighting trio.

"I hope you're pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed--or worse, expelled."

Do you like Hermoine? Who are your favorite H characters?

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Gemma Toombs

STOLEN is a letter written from Gemma to her kidnapper. With a unique second person narrative and raw, psychotic, yet sympathetic characters, Gemma's story is un-put-downable. Combined with the gorgeous Australian outback setting, it is one of my favorite YA novels.

"And it's hard to hate someone once you understand them."

Do you like Gemma? What are some of your favorite G characters?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Fire

A powerful monster in the form of a beautiful woman, Fire is one of my favorite characters. She's not tough like Graceling's Katsa, but I feel like I can relate to her and her emotional journey a lot more. Also, Brigan's in this story, only my favorite literary love interest of all time. :) Bravo Kristin Cashore.

“I don't want to love you if you're only going to die.” 

Do you like Fire? Tell me some of your favorite F characters.

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Elizabeth Bennet

Oh, Lizzie. Finding a suitable husband isn't easy, is it? Good thing Mr. Darcy turns out to be the hunk of the century, because if you didn't claim him, I might have. *sigh* Also, it is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is a goddess. 

“I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”

Do you like Elizabeth Bennet? What are your favorite E characters?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Deanna Lambert

Who is Deanna Lambert you say? She's the main protagonist in Sara Zarr's STORY OF A GIRL. Getting caught in the back seat of a car at 13 doing you-know-what with a boy, by her dad no less, causes all kinds of grief for Deanna. :( Will she overcome the demons of her past, or end up working with him at the crappy pizza shop in town. You'll have to read it to find out...

“That's how you know you really trust someone, I think; when you don't have to talk all the time to make sure they still like you or prove that you have interesting stuff to say.” 

Do you like Deanna? What are your favorite D characters?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Clary Fray and I.W.S.G.

Clary Fray. Human. Nephilim. Confused in love...along with the rest of us as we devoured the City of Bones series, am I right? I know I'm highlighting girl characters this month, but can we just have a moment of silence for my favorite literary character of all time who happens to by from this same series...Magnus Bane. *sighs* Man, I love that character.

"My name is not 'Little Girl'."

Do you like Clary? Tell me some of your favorite "C" characters.

Today is also the first Wednesday of the month which means Insecure Writer's Support Group time. This past month has probably been the most challenging for me since I began writing a few years ago. I've been feeling All The Pressure of having to write something amazing as a follow-up to another one of my novels and not knowing if I can do it. I keep starting this new book over and over again because I'm not happy with it. The voice isn't as good, this opening scene is too boring, it feels sooo cliche, there's no spark here, etc. 

I know we writers tend to be a jealous and insecure lot and compare ourselves to other writers/books way too much, but I've taken it to the next level and am comparing against myself! Ugh. How do I crawl my way out of this one?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Bella Swan

She may not be everyone's favorite YA character starting with B, but she's arguably the most famous. Did you read and devour the Twilight series books? What am I saying...of course you did. The real question is, do you admit that you did? :) *raises hand, guilty*

"Why am I covered in feathers?"

Do you like Bella? Tell me some of your favorite B characters.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Anne Shirley

What happens when an aging pair of siblings decide to adopt a boy to help out on the farm? Why, they get the ever bright, talkative, eager to please, and extremely imaginative Anne Shirley...the girl who stars in her own book series beginning with Anne of Green Gables.

"I wouldn't mind my misfortunes so much if they were romantic, but they are always simply ridiculous."

Do you like Anne Shirley? Tell me some of your favorite A characters.

*And a HUGE thanks to Arlee Bird for starting the A to Z challenge!!!