Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WRITER WEDNESDAY: the interview

(Picture take during 3rd photo shoot for the BROKEN trailer)

So, you're active in the YA world. You're a reader, a blogger, a writer. Heck, maybe an agent or editor out scoping the Net for info on an author you're considering. (I've heard they do that...) Someone posts a link to an interview. Do you go check it out? Do you even like interviews?

Having done two interviews for various sources in the past week, I'm curious how much play these things really get in our world. Are interviews just people talking about things you aren't interested in? Are they page-fillers people skim on their way down to the almost always coinciding giveaway? Do readers actually care enough about the authors/interviewees to read the interview? and, if so, what kind of questions do you like to see asked and answered? Do you prefer them short, or long? If you go to a blog and find a looong interview, do you stay to read it all?

This could help us tailor how we do interviews, and maybe give readers more of what they want to see. Let's talk about this!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Does FAKING IT Look Like To A YAer?

A special treat has arrived for all you Oasis Seekers. To honor our TBR Tuesday post, I'm highlighting a fabulous book by a dear cyber friend. Okay, yeah I'm cheating. I've read it. Yes and I loved it! But it's a story so different from what I normally read, I wanted to share it with all of you.

Anyone heard of Janet Gurtler, author of the YA contemporary novels I'm Not Her and If I Tell? Well, this book reminds me of those.

the Truth about Faking by Leigh T. Moore

Jason just wants a date with Harley. 
Harley just wants a date with Trent. 
Trent's still getting over Stephanie.

When Harley and Jason decide to fake date, they uncover a school of deceptions. Trent's got a secret, but so does Jason. And the more time Harley spends secretly kissing her fake boyfriend, the further she gets from her dreams with Trent. 

Worst of all, Harley's mom is getting cozy with her hot massage therapy student, and even Harley's Reverend Dad can't fake not being bothered by it. But when the masks finally come off, can everyone handle the real truth?

Now available on Amazon, B&N Nook, Kobo, & Smashwords!

I'll be releasing my official review soon over on Writer's Alley. 

Seriously, if you're looking for a true contemporary novel, not over-played by too much of today's moral, political, or social issues, then this is your book.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

First 250 Words Critique Contest

It's another Whoseywhatsit critique contest!! For you brave souls in search of pulls-no-punches feedback and willing and let us share your first 250 words on the blog, this is the contest for you. It can be the first 250 of a short story, novel, whatever you feel like.

Four of the Oasis Sisters - Judy, Larissa, Nikki and Jessie - are going to sit down with the winning entry and have a stab at it.  It will be like having ALL four of us as your bestest critique buddies.  We will be nice, I promise!!

  • Contest closes Monday, October 29th.  
  • We will email the winner, who needs to send us the first 250 words by Thursday, November 1st.
  • On November 8th all of the comments will be sent back to the winner, and a sampling will be posted here (so others can learn from the feedback).
Leave your name and e-mail address in the comments. Tell us if you follow us on the blog, Facebook or twitter and we'll give you an extra entry for each.  Winner will be selected using  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, we will select a new winner (as you can see from the timeline, we're under a tight deadline).

In the meantime, good luck to all who enter and happy writing!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Writer Wednesday: How Do You Do It? Part 2

After reading A.E.'s great post last Wednesday, I ran into a couple of nuggets in the blogosphere that sort of fit what she was talking about in a perfect way.

I was reading the lovely Nikki Loftin's blog on a presentation she did in Texas, and she mentioned the Save the Cat beat sheet, and linked to it here.  I'm in the middle of Save the Cat, so I was immediately intrigued and clicked around on @lizwritesbooks's site.

And that's where I found this gem:

Liz had linked to it in reference to a shorter version of the Save the Cat beat sheet involving 7-point plotting.  It's a 5-part video presentation by Dan Wells on plotting, and it's AMAZING.  It takes a little under an hour to view all 5 videos, but it is SO WORTH IT.

I think my favorite thing about it is what relates back to A.E.'s post last week.  Dan talks about how this plotting method works whether you do it before you write (like an outline), or do it after (if you're a pantser).  And he uses awesome examples. He's an entertaining presenter. :)

If you take the time to watch the videos, I'd love to hear what your favorite part was. (Believe me. YOU WANT TO TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THEM.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's On Your Reading List

Oh! I'm so excited. My very first post!!!! 

And it gets to be something great! I get to talk about a book I want to read. YAY!

For my first To-Be-Read Tuesday, I've chosen a book that I can't wait till the release date.

From the first time I read the blurb and saw the cover, I knew this was something for me. It sounds great, and the cover is just creepy. I am a fan of creepy.

So, I would like to recommend DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM  by Mary Gray--expected publication Oct. 8, 2013 by Spencer Hill Press.

I know, a whole year from now. But, I'll wait, impatiently. 

See, it is a creepy cover!

And here's the blurb. 

A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when seventeen-year-old Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields--a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus--she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.
At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.
The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now "Persephone," and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.
If they play it right, then they'll be safe. 
But if they play it wrong, they'll die.

What do you think? Does the blurb sound interesting to you?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Writer Wednesday: "How do you do it?"

That up there is my Note Card Outline of Doom for the book I'm working on now. It stretched from one end of my dining room table to the other. As I stood on the chair with my camera, trying to get the entire thing into frame, I had a wild thought that it kinda looks like a spine...granted, there's a few protrusions... But tell me you can see what I mean?

This plot = story spine equation dovetails into my post today. "How do you do it?" Since I've sold a book to a publisher, I've had this question from starting writers. It's related to everything from as general to writing a book, to plotting/outlining, to editing/revising.

The first thing I tell someone is it's all in the semantics of the word and the writer. How one relates to the other. There are as many right ways to write a book as there are writers to do it. What works for me now didn't work for me at the start, and I certainly can't say it will work for anyone else.

I used to be a pantser with plotitudinal tendencies. I had a general idea of where to start a book and where to end it, and some key scenes in-between, then I cobbled them together and pantsed from point to point. Somehow that all changed. Now I outline viciously, not every scene, but at least every chapter. I speak to writer friends who discovery write, and don't know what their next scene will be because their characters haven't decided yet. And I think, "That used to be me..."

It wasn't until a newbie author, sent to me for a recommendation by my agent, asked the type of question above that it really got me wondering. How do YOU do it? Are our Oasis visitors pantsers? Plotters? Do you write from a "What if" question? Do you know your endings? Have you changed your game like me?

Let's chat about this. Maybe we can help each other, and someone else, too. Put lots of "How I do it" answers or people to see, maybe give a test drive, even.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What's On Your Reading List?

For today's To-Be-Read Tuesday, I've chosen a book that has recently come to my attention. I knew the moment I read the blurb I just had to have it.

Meet Jane.

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. 

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin. 

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help. 

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey. 

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

Title: Ironskin
Author: Tina Connolly
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: October 9, 2012
Pages: 304

Purchase: Macmillian site, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. Add to your Goodreads list.

What do you think is most intriguing about this blurb? Or what's missing?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Whoseywhatsit Thursday: Fall Writing Prompt

It's time for another Whoseywhatsit writing prompt, from yours truly. This week's topic ...


It's finally cooling off in southern Cali (although I fear it won't last) - so I'm all about wearing jeans and boots, watching our palm trees change color (just kidding!) and prepping for Halloween and all the fun fall activities.

You have up to 250 words to get your character in a fall state of mind - develop a flashback, write a poem, try something new, whatever you want. Post those words below and then comment on at least one other person's writing. (You don't need to necessarily critique it, this isn't polished writing people!)

Ready. Set. Go!

(And here's mine ...)

The candles flickered in the hallway, casting dancing shadows along the walls as we raced past. Maria grabbed my hand and pulled me along, both of us giggling behind our masks. My pulse still raced from the dance we'd completed mere minutes ago. A standing ovation had ushered us out of the room so we could change into our costumes and join the throng of people milling about the estate.

"Did you see him?" I asked, ducking my head toward hers so Bianca and the other girls wouldn't hear.

"Who?" Maria asked, leading me over to the table of sweets.

"The boy. Over by the fountain. With the dark hair?" How could she not have noticed him. It was all I could do not to stare and trip over my own feet.

She shook her head. "Is he still here?"

"I don't know." I grabbed a pastry and nibbled at a piece. "But I intend to find out."

Just then, the feather-soft touch of fingers raced up my bare arm and a voice spoke in my ear. "Care to dance?"

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

TBR Tuesday: Time Between Us

Not only do I love books with elements of the paranormal, but I LOVE a heart-wrenching love story.  So when I read the description for this book and saw all the advance praise it's getting, I knew it had to go on my TBR list.  And lucky for me, it comes out TODAY!

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Fresh, exciting, and deeply romantic, Time Between Us is a stunning, spellbinding debut from an extraordinary new voice in YA fiction.

"A beautifully written, unique love story." -- Melissa Marr, New York Times best-selling author of The Wicked Lovely series 

“A warm, time-bending romance… [that] will have readers rooting for the couple that keeps daring fate.” -- Publishers Weekly

"Time Between Us is the very best kind of love story -- heart-pounding, intense, and unputdownable!" -- Elizabeth Scott, author of Bloom and Perfect You

"The story will hold readers with its twists and turns, present and future; its love, sadness, and anger; and especially, its surprising secrets." -- Booklist

Anyone else adding it to their must-read list??

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Whoseywhatsit Thursday: NEW OASIS SISTER

Yes, we call each other sisters. Heck, I talk to/email/tweet/FB my Oasis sisters more than I do my own. I like the theory that we can choose our own family, and I'm lucky to have these girls in mine.

Since the Oasis' first post, we've had a regular visitor to this blog, to our personal blogs, and an all around cheerleader and helper-outer. (It IS a word. Hush up, it is too! :-P ) She's beta read for a few of us, too. When it comes to the Oasis for YA, and us Sisters, the first person that comes to mind as being in our extended online family, its J.L. Spelbring. 

So, this Fall, we're bringing her into the Oasis family!!

For those of you who don't know her, J.L. Spelbring has a very active blog. She has a spring 2013 release with Spencer Hill Press, too. According to her official bio, J.L. lives in Texas, where she wanders out in the middle of the night to look at the big and bright stars. Besides knocking imaginary bad guys in the head with a keyboard, she enjoys being swept away between the pages of a book, running amuck inside in her own head, pretending she is into running, and hanging out with her kids, who are way too cool for her. Her novel, Perfection, will be released in May, 2013
What about Perfection? Well, here's the blurb:

The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.

Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.

Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.

But he does.

His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.

You can find J.L. here at the Oasis, on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and her SHP author page. And you can find out more about her upcoming dystopian release on Perfection's page on Goodreads.

Please give Judy a big welcome to the Oasis for YA family!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Out of the DARKNESS: Suicide Prevention

Causes unite people. And bloggers are no different. We write or explore what excites and inspires us, and sometimes about what troubles our world.

This week we come together to UNITE FOR A CAUSE in conjunction with the annual suicide prevention walk to be held on October 15th. The fabulous Justine Dell and amazing Sarah Fine (who's debut YA novel deals with teenage suicide), have joined forces to spread awareness for this wonderful cause. They have organized a fabulous event for you to win awesome prizes and donate to a wonderful charity!

Justine's debut was released on Sept. 18th. Her publisher has graciously agreed to put together some wonderful prize packs to giveaway, plus over 40 donations from writers and literary agents, including a query critique from ME, have collected for you. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Suicide Prevention Walk. 

The giveaway runs until Friday!!

For every $1 dollar you donate, you will be given ONE entry into the Donation Giveaway. If you donate $50, that's 50 entries for each giveaway. Just enter with an easy entry on the Rafflecopter, donate, then email your receipt to Justine and we'll manually enter your entries! You only have to donate once and you will be entered into both giveaways.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The online auction starts October 6th @ noon, EST!! I hope you'll attend and spread the word!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

TBR Tuesday: MILA 2.0

I'm so excited to get my hands on MILA 2.0 - especially since Debra Driza is a very good friend of mine. And no, she hasn't let me read it yet.  GRRR .... But the cover is beautiful and the premise is SO good. Definitely check it out spring of next year!

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 12, 2013

Goodreads Synopsis:
Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.
You can follow Debra on Twitter and her blog - and join her Facebook page too :)
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