Sunday, March 27, 2011

Celebrating Cassie Clare! - on the Nightstand #25 City of Bones, #26 City of Ashes and #27 City of Glass

 City of Fallen Angels is almost here!!
Pins and needles, that's what I'm on as I wait for 4-5-11 to roll around. I just completed a re-read for all Cassie's books in anticipation of this new one then Son #1 took them over, I like to keep it in the family cause that's how I roll. After reading that juicy yet angsty and bitter tid-bit from the Seelie Court last night in Jace's POV the waiting is getting even worse! Thanks Cassie :)
    What an great series this is! Each installment has been a true experience of escapism for me and that's the highest compliment I can ever give any book. Even better, I'm blown away on a personal level by Cassie Clare's generosity to her fans daily so hopefully this blog will honor her tireless efforts to answer, answer again and then re-answer all those questions in some small way.
    The web is an amazing thing. Twitter, Facebook and all the others have opened the world up in a way I never thought I'd see in my lifetime and reading this series has expanded my horizons in more ways than I ever expected.  Best of all, since reading the MI and TID books I've been introduced to some other wonderful authors through Cassie's web and twitter, Holly Black and Carrie Ryan just to name a few. Their work is wonderful and I've enjoyed each one immensely.  So if for some reason you've been living under a rock and haven't read all of Cassie's books, Holly's or Carrie's, well first of all get out from under your rock, that ain't natural. Then go pick these up and get to reading!
Till then,

You can follow Cassie and what's happening with the series on her twitter @cassieclare or visit her website

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Flavors of Love

view details    Yeah, yeah I thieved that title from a reality show. My creativity is a bit distracted this week so sue me. Wait a minute, I was just kidding please don't anyone sue me. You wouldn't be successful anyway unless you've miraculously become the inventor of a machine that extracts blood from turnips.
     As you can see, I've been in a weird mood post-vaca and there's a couple of different things that have struck me in odd ways during my writing that wouldn't normally pick at my curiosity. For example, can you name all the different types of affection? At first I couldn't. Now I'm not talking about physical love although that one has it's place for sure (bow-chicka-wow-wow). More specifically, I'm thinking of the different flavors of love one might feel, and as a writer, put on paper.
Girl kissing pregnant belly    True to form, I started to make a list. So far I have twenty different types of affection on my list. While working on said list, I found there were a few surprises. For example, let's ponder on the complexities of unconditional love. There is the unconditional love of a spouse. This is a very special and powerful kind of love. Then, there's the unconditional parental love or love for a child. While both are unconditional, they're very different too. Both are capable of destroying someone if they are lost. Both are a gift if freely given but one can be completely lost while the other cannot. It's exactly this kind of thing that challenges me as a writer. How to convey the power in these two types of love with words when in life there's so many other things a person uses to show this type of love. Touch, actions, words, facial expressions, it's all these things that convey that affection we feel for the people we love the most. Trust me, even sixteen years later my hubs has an expression that melts my socks every single time. Which, now that I think about it, is oddly the same one that allows me to tolerate some of his more idiotic crap on a daily basis. See what I mean? So many flavors! 
    In writing, conveying all these levels of emotion with words is supremely difficult! M has told me multiple times I spend too much time telling, hanging out in my characters heads and not showing with the words. Bad Katie, no cookie. But hey it ain't easy! (I whine to myself) What in life worth having ever is though? And it's that one thought that propels me forward.
view details     At the other end of the spectrum there's hate. Strangely enough, hate is easier to write for me. Yikes, what does that say about my brain? Well, since you asked I'll tell you. It just means that I have a firm gasp on how the two things work. In my life, I try very hard not to say that word simply because I don't want my children to use it flippantly. There's so much potential for nasty things attached to it. If you ever read something I've written and see that word know the ca-ca has hit the fan because I don't use it lightly. But I digress. 
Yin yang symbol    Unfortunately for love, hate is quite necessary because they're the yin and yang of life. How can that be you ask? Well, let's think it through. Say you live in a bubble and never know anything but swimming in rainbows of gooshy love and ride unicorns that poo sunshine. If that's all you know, how would you ever be able to appreciate all that mush and reciprocate it? That's my point, you wouldn't because you couldn't. That right there dear friends is the whole enchilada.
    As I create love and loss for my characters tonight, I'll reflect on this one thought which sums all this up for me as a writer.
    You have to love something before you can hate it.
- Nicholas Sparks
So spread the love people! But remember what's lurking just on the other side of it.
Till Then,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daddy's Girls Weekend with the lovely Ms. Carolyn Haines

    While driving down to Ocean Springs Mississippi on Friday to participate in DGW's foolishness, I realized something very interesting. I'm thirty ... ish, (the actual number isn't important) and I ain't never been no where.
    Now, I don't mean I've never traveled, because I have. Some times to places I didn't like so much then to others that were totally cool. The story associated with this redneck thought is told for the truth by "the two sexiest fat men alive" Rick and Bubba from Birmingham, AL and is so funny it's illegal. Several years ago two listeners named Willie and Wanda won a trip with Rick and Bubba to California. Upon arriving to pick them up and go to the airport, Willie informed Rick and Bubba, "I ain't never been nowhere." For poor Rick and Bubba, the trip steadily went into the pooper from there.
    For me, this phrase means I realized it was my first traveling experience where I was totally alone, staying in a hotel and had only met a couple of the people attending online, never in person.
    For other people, that might not seem like such a huge deal but for some one like me it can be quite paralyzing. I'm almost positive that in my twenties I'd have been too chicken to make the trip but instead I was giddy with anticipation. Isn't it strange how a few years can make you different?
    First, if you ever get the chance to visit Gulf Hills Resort and Ocean Springs, MS DO IT! The resort, the staff and surrounding area is gorgeous! I was so impressed that I'm planning another visit very soon. I could feel my debt card quivering with fear while we walked past all the tempting shops lining the downtown streets.
    Ms. Sarah Bewley and our illustrious host the divine Ms. Carolyn Haines, created three days of meeting-greeting and foolishness that was simply awesome. Arriving Friday, I met Ms. Sara, who organized the event, along with Ms. Carolyn and snagged my first photo (left).  They are both just as beautiful and gracious as I'd imagined.
     Before long, the DG's began to pour in and slap on name tags. I found out very quickly just how small a world it is by meeting ladies from my own stomping grounds of Laurel and Hattiesburg. Heck, there were folks from all over! I'm ashamed to say I didn't put nearly enough efforts into my outfits and several ladies put me to shame with their creativity.  
    My most exciting moment came when Michelle and Jeannie arrived. It was so wonderful to finally meet them! (on right and middle) Then Ms. Alexis joined us later (on left). They are all amazing young women and writers. I'm honored to have had the chance to spend time with them.
    Our first session of the afternoon was with Mr. Dean James, a mystery writer from Texas. His session was a great opener because he's such a welcoming and warm person. This being my first experience with writer's and such I was of course nervous and truly unable to put a thought into a coherent sentence when someone asked me a question. Dean helped ease some of that beginning fear for me with his humor and kindness.  
    Of course the foolishness came later. After a nice afternoon chat and coffee with Michelle and Jeannie, we all piled into The Carlise House and began the hilarious task of choosing a candidate for DGW's 2011 Big Daddy. The competition was quite fierce. Politicking, limericks, costumes and lots of laughter ensued.
    Saturday morning started with a bang! While preparing to go downstairs for the morning sessions, I slipped in the bathroom and mutilated my pinkie toe. In honor of the mystery writer's theme, my bathroom should have been roped off with yellow crime scene tape. I had to warn the maids ahead of time that there hadn't actually been a murder in there. Now you would think my first thought would've been to seek first aid for my bleeding toe but it wasn't. All I could think was how I wasn't going to be able to wear the damn cutesy shoes I'd picked out to go with my outfit. They were adorable!
    After patching myself up, I headed downstairs to sit in session with agent Marian Young and Ben LeRoy of Tyrus Books. Michelle, Jeannie and I along with several other lovely ladies enjoyed a very informative session learning about their side of the industry. Everything they told us was so refreshing to hear!
    As we were coming out to meet up for lunch, Mark Holmes drove up in what is by far the cutest car EVER. Jeannie Holmes is the author of BLOOD LAW. She and her husband Mark decided to advertise her work with their car. Snaps go to Jeannie for such a original idea! I can personally attest to its influence because I spotted Mark in traffic on my way to Mobile. 
    Next, we got our turn with Ms. Carolyn. It was a great talk and I learned so much. I think one of the most interesting aspects of this weekend was that it wasn't just for writers. There were ladies there who were just fans of Carolyn's books. The mix made for an unforgettable experience! 
    Last but not least, we sat in session with Mr. David Sheffield, screen writer. This was the only session I wasn't brave enough to speak up in because I was a bit star struck. David is lovely and so funny! He wrote for Saturday Night Live, one of my all time favorite shows, the movie Coming to America and Nutty Professor among other things. Hearing about that side of writing was something I enjoyed because I knew nothing about it before hand. Plus, as you can see he's an extremely snazzy dresser LOL!
    This photo was actually taken at the Crowning of DGW's 2011 Big Daddy. We all dressed up in our fancy duds and enjoyed more laughing than is probably legal. Carolyn gave away copies of her new book coming out this summer Bones of Feather, video and photographic evidence was taken of our silliness and mass quantities of pizza was consumed by all. Finally, Mr. Dean James was crowned Big Daddy. It was an evening I'll never forget.

Sunday morning brunch marked the end of our weekend together. Even though it was time to go home, great friends were made over those three days so the foolishness can continue. I had a lovely time swaping stories over mimosa's and bloody mary's with the wonderful ladies. Even saying our farewells, I felt energized by the time I'd had the privilege to spend with them all. Lastly, I asked Ms. Carolyn to sign my copies of her Sarah Booth Delaney series and we took a photo together. Because when it's all said and done, I'm most of all a lover of books and the people who create them. 
 Till Then,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Official!

    WELCOME! I'm very proud of today's post (and more than a little bit nervous) because it marks the first official introduction to the book.  Another little treat too, I will actually be telling you all the title for the first time.   
My Photo    Over the last year of working on this novel, I have struggled with one question most of all: "What's it about?" Sounds like a simple enough question right? Na-uh, it ain't. Remember how I told you most people stop listening after five sentences? Well this question is a perfect example of how those five little sentences can either gain you a reader or push one away. Now I bet you can see why I'm thinking of biting my nails. Naw, not really cause that's just vile. Too many days spent with my fingers in other people's mouths completely eliminates the idea of biting one's nails for me. But I digress, thanks to dental hygiene. :)
    Unfortunately, because of my wretched five sentence phobia, there's no other way for me to tell you about this book. So without anymore nerve-induced babbling, I'm proud to introduce you to a short paragraph about Neely's story and my novel.

by Katie Wood Ruffin

     Nestled in picturesque Laurel, Mississippi, between the silt and sand banks of the Leaf River and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, what should’ve been an evening of celebration for eighteen year old Neely McIntire, suddenly turns into a full-blown nightmare. A mysterious accident at her graduation party ignites the fuse, connected to a nefarious plan cooked up by a handsome stranger, Andrew Huckley, which threatens to shatter the lives of everyone Neely loves. After having her world thrown into chaos, not only will Neely’s tragedy change the lives of everyone she cares about forever, but thanks to Andrew, it could quite possibly destroy her.
See full size image there you go. *whew*
If you could have been a fly on the wall while I freaked out over this dang paragraph you'd have met your laugh quota for the day. I'll admit there was a lot of grimacing, a few choice swear words and more than one moment of deciding to delete the whole thing.
    I sincerely hope this tiny tid-bit peaks your interest in Neely's story. Even better, the things that will be posted on April 1st will be actual sentences and or paragraphs from the manuscript. I haven't decided exactly which one's yet but there are several candidates. So keep a sharp eye out, there are more cool things to come!
Till Then,

p.s if you're wondering about the photo's, well they are clues to parts of the book :)  

Monday, March 7, 2011

What's on the Nightstand? Stacia Kane's Megan Chase series #22, #23 and #24

    Welcome! Thanks for visiting the blog today :) First happy order of business today, I need to give a quick shout out to the most recent visitors from the now 24 countries collected on the blog. A warm southern howdy-do goes out to Thailand and Vietnam, I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading the blog and will visit again soon! The count now sits at 1500 and change so a huge thanks to everyone who has helped push the blog even closer to that next big goal of 2000 :)
     It was a very nice weekend here. I can't believe it but I'm nearly at the first mile stone in my 100 books per year reading goal. Only seventy-five more books to go. Over the past week, lots of productive things were done, writing things have been accomplished, mind-sucking domestic necessary type things were completed and we even had a visit from The BF and her crew from Laurel.
    All the before mentioned busy-ness has been in preparation for our Spring Break trip and I am so ready! We have lots of activities planned and I'm anticipating it being a very fun week for us all. We haven't made a trip down to Laurel since Christmas and I'm especially anxious to see how The Nephew has grown and to hang out with my family. The Sister says his new big words are "Stop it Mama" whether it's actually his mama doing things or not. That doesn't go over real well with the Brother-In-Law as you can imagine. His new best pal is now Double G (the great-grandfather). I'm told in the daily report from The Mom that those two are having big fun every day conspiring to leave S (the great-grandmother) out of their daily mischief. Hilarious!
    I've decided I really like other people being the ones to have the babies these days LoL! My own two boys have been a lot of joy but they are also their own special kind of work too. The Nephew, well he gets to be sent home to his mom at the end of the day haha! That means I get to do all the playing without all the work.
    Now down to some book business. March is firmly upon us and April 1st is right around the corner. Are you ready to get that first peek into the book? I hope so! I'm putting the finishing touches on the sneak peeks and trying to calm my nerves in the process. Wednesday will kick off the beginning of things as I'll be posting a short synopsis on what the book is about. If you're new to the blog you can revisit some of the character interviews from a few weeks back and get to know them a bit. Check blog dates 2/2/11, 1/12/11, 12/29/10 and 12/20/10 for the character interviews.

    Personal DemonsDemon InsideDemon Possed
    Part of that nerve calming process involved getting totally absorbed in some more books of Stacia's that I've been VERY anxious to read. Books A Million wouldn't ever get them in so I ended up having to order my copies. Personally, I think BAM is on a secret mission to irritate me into insanity but that's a blog for another day. Or who knows, it could just be my conspiracy theory affliction acting up.
    The Megan Chase series has proven to remind me exactly why I fell in love with Stacia' writing. All three of these are great! Megan is a very different character from Stacia's Chess Putnam series (Unholy Ghosts, Unholy Magic and City of Ghosts)  I told you all about a few weeks ago. There's a certain feeling of deflation that goes along with finishing a series but thankfully Chess has another installment, SACRIFICIAL MAGIC (Release date TBA) coming soon! I'm so excited! The creativity that had to go into both these character's and their worlds is impressive and tickles the imagination in me as a writer. If you are searching for a new author to fall in love with Stacia won't disappoint!
Till then,

Stacia Kane Stacia Kane is a full time writer who's work includes thirteen published or to be published books. She lives outside Atlanta with her family. For more information on what kind of mischief Stacia is getting into check out her website and follow her on twitter @staciakane.
( - bio)