From Imagination To Publication

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vacation Time...See You In August!

Hi All...I'll be back in August. I'm taking an internet break while I visit my family :) See you soon!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Live.Laugh.Love...Getting My Baby Fix

Being an aunt is one of the most awesome things I can think of. I truly love my nieces as if they were my own...mostly because they are so darn cute. Sadly, they don't live close by, so I Facebook stalk my sister every day, hoping to get a glimpse of how much they've grown. Next weekend I'll forgo the Facebook stalking for actual stalking and fly out to get a real glimpse of these little munchkins. YAY! Hooray for summer vacation. It's perfect timing too, because baby fever is at an all time high.

Sigh...if only I could be 2 again. Naked painting in the summer heat...what's better than that? Even 8 months would be fun...I mean, look at little squishy's hair. When else can girls rock the fohawk?

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Writing World: Uprising Edits

It feels VERY good to say that I'm finally done with Uprising content edits (or at least this first round)...okay maybe not DONE done, but, done-ish. There's something about the first time you print out your manuscript to read on paper. That thick stack of words just isn't the same when it's a number on your computer screen. Now that I'm done with all the content changes, I'm doing my read-throughs, and I've officially got the red pen out to mark it up. Of course I'm finding small changes as I read, but I don't expect anything big to pop up (though you never know).

One of my writing ticks is repeating words or character actions (nods, looks, laughs, etc.) I catch most of those kinds of things on paper. As I was reading through Uprising this morning I was finding them (of course) how does my brain react? Hmmm...I better watch an episode of Vampire Diaries and analyze what characters do with their hands, their facial expressions, how they know, so I can fill in those repeats with other detail. Any girl's logical reaction to character analysis, right? No? Just me?

Okay, so maybe it was an excuse to watch cute guys and give my eyes a break, but it actually helped! As I was watching I was making my list. I don't was pretty fun.

I know you're all here to find out the good stuff, though, so I'll stop ranting about TVD and get to the cover. Lots and lots of you are getting anxious about the cover :) I too. I'll be revealing it shortly. Sometime in August I believe. I've seen a few drafts, but nothing final yet. When I do release it, I hope some of you will help me spread the word! I'll probably do a sign up form a little later for anyone who wants to participate in the reveal. You can also email me if you want to be involved as well.

What are your writing ticks and how do you deal with them?

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Buzz: Catching Fire Movie

Yeah yeah...I know I'm a little behind in the news. This image was released a while ago, but for the sake of those who are just as behind as I am. Here is the latest on the Hunger Games movies.

People are saying she looks too skinny, but come on. It's always, she's too this or too that... I think it looks awesome. I'm pretty excited about it.

Let's talk dates. So, the Hunger Games DVD has yet to be released, which is why I'm probably still pumped about the movie stuff. I want to watch it again. It's scheduled to be available on August 18, 2012.

Movie release dates:




What movies are you excited about in the meantime? While we wait...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday Bonus: Doomed Cover Reveal (by Tracy Deebs)

Don't you just love cover reveals? :) I can't wait to show you the Uprising (Children of the Gods #2) cover, but that probably won't be for another month.

In the meantime, fellow author Tracy Deebs has a book coming out. I met Tracy at a book event here in San Diego. We were on a panel together talking to readers and signing books. Tracy is also the author of the Tempest series (Tempest Rising & Tempest Unleashed).

Her new book is titled Doomed. Ready for the cover?

Drum roll........






Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: January 8, 2013

Beat the Game, Save the World.

One Stuxnet type worm,
One Greek-themed MMO,
One real world scavenger hunt,
Three teenagers on the run
And a ten-day countdown to total nuclear annihilation.
Pandora’s Box isn’t just a myth anymore …

When seventeen-year-old Pandora Walker opens an email attachment, she uploads the most frightening worm ever invented—and in doing so, brings about total technological Armageddon. Everything from the internet to communications to utilities collapses and suddenly Pandora finds herself on the run from Homeland Security, the FBI and every police department in the country, all of whom blame her for the technological wasteland sweeping across the U.S..  With the help of stepbrothers Eli and Theo, her neighbors and the two hottest guys in school-- plus codes encrypted in a world famous MMO--  she sets out on a real life scavenger hunt that only she can solve.  A scavenger hunt that pits her against one of the most brilliant men in the world—the maker of the Pandora worm.  Her father.  Only by unraveling the clues left by him in the MMO, and in real-world places around the U.S., can they hope to beat the clock ticking the days off until the entire planet is Doomed. 


“That’s not the really puzzling part,” Agent Lessing finally continues.  “Especially if you insist on your innocence in this matter, how is it that starting at seven-fifteen this morning, someone from this IP address opened the twelve different sections of code that make up this worm and uploaded them onto the internet, one by one?”
Emily gasps and I want to protest.  I want to tell the FBI agent that she’s crazy.  That I have no idea what she’s talking about.  But the truth of the matter is that suddenly I do.  I know exactly what I was doing at seven-fifteen this morning.
The tentative fairy tale I’ve been building in my head all day—the one I wasn’t even aware of until right now—collapses.  I swear, I feel it shatter and my stomach, though close to empty, chooses that moment to revolt.
 I spring up from my chair.
“Hey, you can’t go anywhere.  Sit back down!”  Lessing tells me firmly, reaching into her jacket and pulling out her gun.
I don’t stop; I can’t.  Even so, I barely make it to the trash can in time.  I don’t know how long I sit there, puking my guts up, but by the time I finish, Lessing has put away her gun.  Emily is looking at me in dismay, while Mackaray and Lundstrom—who rushed in at Lessing’s alarmed shout—are wearing identical expressions of smug triumph.  Even Lessing seems satisfied, and I know it’s because I’ve blown it big time.
            It’s pretty hard to protest your innocence when you get so upset by what they’re telling you that you hurl.
I don’t get up right away.  Instead, I stay on the floor, my head resting against the cool wood of a cabinet.  I think about my laptop, stuffed in my backpack, with all the incriminating evidence on it.  I think about what else is in the bag—namely the pictures from my father that I’d shoved in there at the last minute.  All twelve of them.
            I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to figure out why me, and the answer has been there all along.  The psychopath who did this, the one who chose me as this harbinger of destruction, is my father. 
            He did this to me.  Used my curiosity against me—and the world—and turned me into a modern-day Pandora.  Like my namesake before me, I’ve brought a new kind of evil into the world and there’s no going back.  Maybe Emily’s dad and the others can fix it.  Maybe they can’t.  But either way, I have a feeling that deep, dark hole they want to throw me in just got a lot deeper and darker.
            Every writing campaign I’ve ever partaken in for Amnesty International flashes through my head.  Letter after letter about Guantanamo Bay.  Sierra Leon.  Somalia.  Story after story of Americans taken to foreign countries and tortured because they’re suspected of terrorism. 
Even as I tell myself I’m being silly, I hear the president saying the United States doesn’t tolerate terrorists.  That’s what I am, what my father has turned me into with a few strokes of my keyboard, a few picture downloads that I thought were to celebrate my seventeenth birthday.
            A cyber terrorist.
            I reach for the trash can again as dry heaves shake my entire body. 
What am I going to do?  What am I going to do?        What. Am. I. Going. To. Do?
            Behind me, I hear movement and brace myself to be yanked to my feet.  But that doesn’t happen.  Instead, Emily settles on the ground next to me and hands me a bottle of water.  I rinse my mouth out, drink a few sips.  Then she’s hugging me, stroking my hair.  “It’s going to be okay, Pandora,” she whispers to me.  “I promise. It’s going to be okay.”
            I open my mouth, plan on telling them everything and begging for mercy.  Instead, only four words come out.  Four words I never thought I’d say.  “I want a lawyer.”
            “A lawyer?”  Mackaray’s eyes gleam with triumph as he crouches down next to me.  “Pandora, where you’re going, lawyers rank right up there with fairies and unicorns as mythical creatures.”
            “You can’t do that!” Emily protests.  “She didn’t do anything wrong!  My father—“
            “Your father is one of an elite few who could pull off something of this magnitude, Ms. Wood.”  Lundstrom speaks up for the first time in a long while.  “So I suggest you close your mouth unless you want to bring a lot of trouble down on him as well.”
            Emily shuts up then, her eyes wide and frightened as she presses her back against the cabinet, almost like she wants to shrink inside.  The arms wrapped around me start to tremble, but I barely notice since I’m shaking just as hard.
            “She didn’t do anything,” I tell them, wondering if I should just tell them everything? 
If I should send them next door to retrieve my laptop from Eli and Theo and get them involved in this? 
Do I admit that my father is behind this and let them arrest him, lock him up and throw away the key like they’re threatening to do to me?  But if I admit I had an unwitting part in this, are they going to believe me?  The looks on their faces say no, that they’ve already made up their minds about my guilt.  My best bet, then, is to wait for Mr. Wood.  He’s one of the best computer security guys in the country.  He’ll know what to do.
I shut down then, refuse to say anything else.  They keep asking me questions, but I ignore them.  Even when Mackaray grabs onto my arms and lifts me into a standing position, I don’t protest.  I’ll wait for Mr. Wood, I tell myself.  He’ll be able to fix this.
As we wait, the house grows quiet around me.  The front door opens and closes numerous times and I hear the slam of car doors outside.  The rev of engines that mark the end of the search.  Everyone else has done their jobs and now I’m left alone with these three.
Mr. Wood finally arrives, with a police escort.  He’s all outrage and concern as he wraps his arms around us, but it becomes clear very quickly that he won’t be able to help me.  He’s not my parent or guardian and no matter how much he argues with the agents—he knows two of them personally—they aren’t budging.  But at least Emily seems safe, and that’s something.
“I have to go to the bathroom,” I say, after Mr. Wood’s been here about an hour.  They’ve told him both he and Emily are free to go, but he hasn’t budged.  I know it’s because he doesn’t want to leave me alone with them.
“Tough,” Lundstrom tells me.  “You’re not going anywhere.”
“Jesus, Mike, she’s just a kid!”  Mr. Wood exclaims. 
“She unleashed cyber Armageddon—computer genius trumps kid every day of the week.”
“Please,” I say.  “I really need to use the restroom.”  Even though I don’t.  I just want a couple of minutes alone to think, a couple of minutes where they aren’t staring at me like a bug under a microscope.
“I’ll take her,” Mackaray finally says, and I almost change my mind.  I don’t want to be alone with him, even for as long as it takes to walk to my bathroom.  But it’s not like I have a choice now, not after I made such a big deal of having to go.
We leave the kitchen together and when I try to head upstairs to my bathroom, he grabs my elbow and directs me to the half-bath down the hall.  The one without any windows.  I shake my head in disbelief.  They already think I’m some kind of genius hacker-- now they think I can mastermind an escape from federal custody as well?  Who the hell do these people think I am?
“Leave the door open,” Mackaray tells me when we get there.
“What?” I stare at him incredulously.
“You heard me.”  The face staring back at me is implacable.
“Where am I going to go?  There’s no other way out of the bathroom!”
“Take it or leave it.”  Something moves in his eyes and I know he’s waiting for me to leave it.  But I won’t give him the satisfaction.
“Does your wife know you get your kicks by listening to teenage girls pee?”
The hand on my elbow gets tighter, his fingers digging into my flesh until I start to see stars.  He pulls me towards him and whispers, “You don’t want to play games with me, little girl.  I win every time.”
I’m straining so hard in the other direction that when he finally lets me go, I stumble, crack my funny bone hard against the door frame.  He laughs, at me and at the helpless tears of pain that spring to my eyes.
I go into the bathroom, leaving the door partially ajar.  I turn on the faucet, splash water on my face, blink back the tears.
“Hurry up!” he says after a minute.  “We don’t have all night.”
Before I can respond, the lights blink once, twice, then go out completely.  My entire house is plunged into an inky blackness.
“What the hell!”  Mackaray says, slamming the bathroom door open all the way.  “Either get it done or not, kid.  You’ve got one minute and then I’m taking you back to the kitchen.”
I barely hear him over the pounding of my own heart and the panic clawing through me, trumping everything else.  Even my fear of going to jail.  I hate the dark, hate it, hate it, hate it.  Ever since I was five and ended up getting trapped in my uncle’s storage shed, under a pile of heavy boxes that fell when I was looking for my Christmas presents.  There’d been no lights, or windows, and I’d laid there in the dark for hours, crying, convinced that no one was ever going to find me.
Curiosity had been my downfall then as well.
“Tom?”  Lessing’s voice drifts through the hall.
“Just checking.  It looks like the whole grid just went down.”
“I can see that.”  Lessing must catch the sarcasm in his voice because she shuts up quickly.
“Pandora—“  In his voice is a warning and I know my time is up.  But he stops abruptly and there’s a muffled thump, followed by a slithering sound that has me imagining a bunch of snakes sliding down my hallway.  I press myself back against the wall and try not to scream.
Something large moves in front of the doorway.  “Pandora?”
“Theo?” I whisper incredulously.
He leans forward, until his face is only centimeters from mine.  “Let’s go.”  His voice is pitched so low that I have to strain to hear it even this close.
“Go where?”
“Out of here.  Come on, we’ve only got a couple of minutes before they come looking for you.”
“Looking for—you want me to break out of federal custody?”
“Would you rather I leave you here?”
“I don’t know.  I—“ My head is spinning.  Of all the ways I envisioned tonight ending, this wasn’t even in the top thousand.  “Where’s Mackaray?”
“I hit him.  He’s out, but I don’t know for how long.  Now are you coming or not?”
Am I?  I look back at the kitchen, where Emily and her father wait with the other agents.  I can’t leave her—
It’s like Theo can read my thoughts, because he says, “Emily will be fine.  She’s not the one in trouble here.”
He’s right; I know he is.  But still.  Can I do this?  Bad enough to be a federal suspect—but to be a fugitive?  How is it even possible?  They’ll find us in minutes.
Except, the electricity just went out.  Communications are gone.  No cameras to catch us running by.  No way to get out word of a widespread manhunt (or in this case womanhunt).  No way for them to track me when they’re basically blind, deaf and dumb. It could work.
But still, do I really want to do this?  Do I really want to go down this road?
Hell, yes, I do.
I slip my hand into Theo’s, not bothering to ask how he knew I was in trouble, and we glide as silently as possible through the hallway into the living room.  He seems to know exactly where he’s going and I wonder how long he’s been here, prowling around the house, without anyone knowing. 
He slides open the glass door that leads to the deck just enough that we can slip out.  As he silently closes the door behind us, I realize this is it. 
I really have reached the point of no return.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Writing World: In Deep

Wow. So it's 8:00 at night and I JUST realized that I completely spaced my Wednesday blog post. I'm normally on top of these things, but I've been editing like crazy. It's amazing how much I can get done when I actually have the TIME to do it! Looking back, it seems a bit insane that I was juggling a full work week, keeping house, cooking meals, and devoting every spare minute to my career as an author. What is that, like 4 jobs? Sheesh.

Now that I have so much time to write and edit (and read...yippeee!) I'm finding myself completely absorbed by it. Get this...I even forgot about the internet today. AND I only turned on the T.V. once during lunch...ONCE! Me...who has a T.V. problem. So, let me just say that I may be a little more spacey these days, but that's because I'm practicing dialogue in my head and making crazy faces as I act out scenes silently to see if they sound good (yeah...I do that). Picture me sitting alone at my kitchen table making a mad face, then surprised eyes. Funny. If my neighbors are spying on me, they must think I've lost it.

In any case, I'm in deep. I'm really excited about Uprising (how cool is that? I actually get to use the book 2 title!).

Are you in deep with anything these days? 

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Buzz: City of Bones THE MOVIE

Hey Blogger World! I just saw this online. I'm not a huge fan of the series, but for those of you who are...TAH DAH! (IMDB Link)

So I stopped reading after book 1...thoughts on whether or not I should continue? Anyone LOVE these books?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Writing World: Children of the Gods #2 NEWS!

HOORAY!! *jumps-flails-happy dance-wiggles* I finally have a release date for Children of the Gods #2! AND...dun dun duhhn...can finally announce THE TITLE.

I've been using this title as the "working title" for the manuscript since I started writing book 2. Thankfully, George Clooney hasn't (as of yet...) come out with another movie with the exact same name. So...are you ready? Are you ready?




Come on...I have to build some suspense here.





February 19, 2013

Here's a little video of the song Uprising by Muse. 
Quite appropriate I'd say, given the title and storyline of the book ;) Enjoy!

Don't forget to add it on GoodReads! :) Thanks for being excited with me!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Buzz: Bethany Lopez & Sheri Fink

Chances are you've already heard of these two amazing authors, but I had the pleasure of going to lunch with these lovely ladies over the weekend. Lucky me!

Bethany is known all over the blogging world for her Stories About Melissa series and Sheri's The Little Rose is the #1 best-selling children's book on amazon. Let's just say I was very excited to sit down with them and pick their brains.

Here's a little more about their books:

Stories About Melissa Series by Bethany Lopez
(Find Bethany here)

Ta Ta For Now!  
Melissa begins her freshman year with one goal in mind, getting Brian Jackson to be her boyfriend. She will soon learn that things don't necessarily turn out the way you plan them, the value of true friendship, and the importance of family.

Melissa has learned a lot since her freshman year began, but it isn’t over yet! Her world is about to change again with the birth of her new sibling, and she has to figure out how she will adjust to being the eldest of five kids. She, Jess, and Jimmy are inseparable, and she is having a fantastic time although she can’t help but miss Brian as she tries to learn how to deal with his relationship with Layla. Everything seems to be happening at once and that is when she is introduced to Ben Campbell, a senior at Dearborn High, who becomes an interesting distraction as he helps her deal with the new developments in her life.

Melissa has had a fantastic summer hanging out with her friends and making new ones. Life as she knows it will change when they all come together to begin their sophomore year at Dearborn High. Connections will be made and friendships will be tested. Will Melissa’s family and friends be able to help her through the challenges she will face in the upcoming months? 

The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink
(Find Sheri here)

The Little Rose
The Little Rose is a timeless, heartwarming story about embracing who you really are. Finely detailed, irresistible illustrations bring to life this endearing story of the Little Rose growing amongst a bed of weeds.

Teased by the ugly weeds around her, the Little Rose nearly gives up but then learns to accept and love herself for what she really is, a beautiful rose.

The Little Gnome
Set in a Victorian garden, The Little Gnome is a heartwarming tale about an adorable garden gnome experiencing the wonder of the four seasons for the first time.

When Summer changes to Fall and then to Winter, the Little Gnome learns to look for the good in change. The enchanting story helps kids of all ages embrace change while learning about the seasons.

Have any authors inspired you with their success lately? Who and how?