What’s Up Wednesday!

Good morning, everyone! This is my first What’s Up Wednesday post in over a month (Junior Spring has not been kind…) so I’m excited to share what’s up!

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  If you want to participate you should link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog so that we can all stop by and say, “Hi!” It’s a great way to connect with other writers!

What I’m Reading

 the lost planetYesterday, I received this absolutely beautiful signed hardback of THE LOST PLANET by Rachel Searles (MG Sci-Fi Thriller) (that I won in a YA Buccaneers giveaway). I didn’t get a chance to start reading it yesterday, but since I’m “home sick” I’ll be reading, likely all of it, today!

Also, I recently finished UNINVITED by Sophie Jordan (YA Dystopian), which has two amazing + accurate comp titles, Minority Report meets The Scarlett Letter. I LOVED it. Full review to come!

Oh, and I’m reading a couple MSs for friends & CPs, but that’s been on hold as I don’t want to critique people’s work when I’m sleepy & sick.

What I’m Writing

I’m finishing revising BLOOD OF ISIS (YA Contemporary Fantasy)…yes, again but I have a pretty good feeling this is going to be the final one as everything is clicking beautifully.

Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:

The sharp smell of spices, meats, and perfumes collided as I walked through the Khan El-Khalili bazaar. People zoomed in and out like cars on a highway, touching trinkets, jingling jewelry, and clinging to cloth. French, English, and Arabic’s many dialects intertwined throughout the aisles while I stood in the middle of the madness, fighting for my sanity.

A car honked and a radio blared reminding me that though the bazaar harkened of a distant time, it was grounded in the twenty-first century. Beside me was a group of tourists, ooing and ahing at the pretty silks hanging from a beam in front of them. The vendor lied to one of the women, telling her in his broken English how one such scarf would complement her fiery hair. On my other side were several children, deep in a game of tag. My eyes flitted over them to the mob of people behind them whose faces blurred until they resembled the Monet landscapes at my favorite museum, the Musee d’Orsay. I sighed as my left hand grazed over the frayed edges of my passport. Hollywood had it all wrong. There was nothing glamorous about having an Egyptologist for a mom. Rarely was there a familiar face anywhere we went.

I pushed through the knotted isles and came out on the other side. I held out my arms as warmth rippled through my skin, encasing me in a golden glow. I smiled. Cairo might not be home, but at least it wasn’t London.

This MS has gone from 1st person to 3rd back to 1st, but I think that’s what made the writing  so much richer. Also, I love how diverse and alive the world and characters are 🙂

In addition, I received some phenomenal critique from an agent and an editor, at the SCBWI Winter Conference this pat weekend (more on that later) that enabled me to make a few tiny yet amazing changes to the beginning of ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX, MG Sci-Fi Thriller (link goes to new beginning).

What Else I’ve Been Doing

Running around everywhere, which has been both good and bad, yet is probably the cause of my sick state (that & the fluctuating Boston weather).

photo 1 (3)However, I won the SCBWI Student Writer Scholarship and got the chance to go to NYC for the Winter Conference!! I couldn’t stay the entire time (started feeling feverish), but I did receive some amazing feedback, met some twitterpeeps (unfortunately left before pictures were taken), and got to eat at my favorite Parisian themed restaurant, outside of Paris, Cafe Lalo.

photo 2 (3)

..more to come in a full post either tomorrow or Friday 🙂

I restarted querying ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX thanks to my now fixed beginning. The full/partial was/is out with a few agents, and I had this feeling that something about the query just wasn’t working for me, but all has been improved so I’m ready to jump through the ring(s) of fire once more!

The literary society I’m in (it’s kind of like a sorority, but with a heavy focus on literature in addition to social events) got ten new ZAbabies (the society is called Zeta Alpha). They’re super amazing, most of them being sophomores & first-years, and I can’t wait to share the traditions of the club with them 🙂

What Inspires Me Right Now

photo (1)I decorated my room (adding a couple quote posters, some decorated with owls <3).

<– This quote stands above the rest and is directly above my desk so when I sit down to write I am eye level with it.

It’s so interesting because the black student org, Ethos, that I’m the president of had a speaker yesterday who during a Q&A session said those exact words (she, Joan Morgan, is a writer). It was like fate. So yeah, that is what inspires me right now.

Whimsically Yours,



BEFORE YOU BREAK Blog Tour: Author Interview

blog tour before you break

Good morning!

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Christina Lee, one of my favorite authors, and author of The Between Breaths Series (ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK, WHISPER TO ME) for the BEFORE YOU BREAK Blog Tour (Enjoy!!) 🙂 …Also, there’s a giveaway, don’t forget to enter!

Author: Christina Lee
Genre: New Adult/Romance
Publishing Company: Penguin
Expected Publication Date:  February 18, 2014 (ebook), October 14th, 2014 (trade paperback)

Book Blurb

A sexy, emotional New Adult romance about a bad boy on the edge and a good girl about to lose control…

A college baseball star isn’t supposed to have skeletons in his closet. But Daniel Quinn is hiding a guilty past so dark he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about gorgeous, studious Ella Abrams that goes beyond the electric attraction between them–something that makes him want to open up.

Ella has suffered enough heartache and guilt to fill one of her psychology textbooks, but she keeps that part of herself hidden behind a bubbly exterior. Until she receives an anonymous call while working a suicide helpline and the voice on the other end touches something inside of her that she can’t ignore.

Soon Ella and Quinn’s physical connection heats up, even as their deep and revealing hotline talks intensify. But by the time Ella realizes that her seductive jock and her sensitive caller are the same guy, it might be too late to save him–or to stop herself from falling too far…

Add BEFORE YOU BREAK to Goodreads

Buy Links

Raves for Christina Lee’s All of You

“Hot, sweet, emotional, page-turner, awesome.” —New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy

“This is one New Adult you don’t want to miss.” —New York Times and USA Today bestselling author A. L. Jackson

“Steamy, honest, and full of heart.” —Roni Loren, national bestselling author

Interview with the Author

christina lee phototHi! I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’m addicted to lip-gloss and salted caramel everything. I’m the author of The Between Breaths Series, New Adult contemporary romances including: ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME from Penguin/InterMix. I also owns my own jewelry business, called Tags-n-Stones (dot com), where I hand-stamps meaningful words or letters onto silver for my customers.

What is your favorite place to write?

I only write in my home office on my Mac desktop. My office has lots of natural light, so I can ponder plot issues while I’m staring out one of the windows.

What is the first story you remember writing?

I wrote my first book in 2008. It was a YA/NA Zombie novel believe it or not—and thankfully will never see the light of day. 🙂

Coffee or tea?

Coffee all the way. But sometimes I’ll drink a good chai tea latte.

Fun Fact about yourself most people don’t know or wouldn’t expect?

I used to live and work in NYC as a wardrobe stylist, and have been on the set of many magazine shoots as well as a couple of popular TV shows. <–Ooo, that’s cool!

If you had a Patronus what would it be?

I love the Harry Potter series and am currently reading them with my son—we’re on book five. My Patronus would either be a dog (after my dear chocolate Lab who passed away last year) or a dragonfly (love watching them buzz around on the lake in the summer).

What is your favorite childhood book and/or author?

I vividly remember reading Judy Blume books. <–me too!

What is the next book you want to write?

I’ve already written book three in this series called Whisper To Me. It releases in May and I’m currently doing copy edits for my publisher. Hopefully there will be more books in this series.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Christina! I hope there will be more books in the series, too and I can’t wait to read WHISPER TO ME 😀

Connect with Christina!

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway*

*Click link for more details

Many thanks to The SubClub Books for allowing me to be the first stop on the tour. My review of BEFORE YOU BREAK will be up soon!
Whimsically Yours,


A (public) note to myself on the “eve” of my 21st birthday


As I sit in this chair I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come. I’m about to turn 21, officially in less than thirty minutes, and I’m already almost in tears. A friend just brought me a gift, a beautifully decorated container (pictured above…it has an owl!!!) and a card. In the card, along with her well wishes for my birthday was this sentence:

I know it seems like an empty little box, but believing in the obscure and unseen is what faith is all about.

My childhood was filled with adventure, hope, and endless possibilities…it wasn’t perfect, yet I had full faith I could achieve anything. My teens were filled with a lack of faith in myself, others, constant anxiety, and fear that I wouldn’t be prepared or good enough. My 20s, thus far, have also been filled with anxiety but of a different kind. The anxiety that comes with “stepping out on a limb” and creating a life for myself, one that does/will bring me joy and one I’ve been striving for regardless of how afraid of failure I am. In fact, I might argue that it’s my fears that have pushed me to once again have faith in myself.

I’m proud of myself, yet even more importantly I know my younger self, the girl who believed she could be anything she wanted if she worked hard at it, would be proud of me, too. That is something I don’t know I could’ve said and believed a few years ago.

Life is like writing a book. You should choose the life you want/have always wanted to live just like you should write the book you want/have always wanted to read. As I’ve come to realize, the beginning will always seem brighter and happier and easier while the middle is a murky swamp. However, in the end, it’ll be worth it. I have faith in that and in myself just as I have faith that my characters will iron out their problems and “get their shit together.” Maybe not the first time around and maybe not the fifth, as I’m also learning, but eventually I’ll get there and will forget about that murky swam. At that point, I’ll probably want to start all over so for now, I’ll just keep smelling the nonexistent roses.

Whimsically Yours,


P.S. Now it’s three minutes past my “official” time of birth so the title is no longer relevant yet I like the sound of it so it shall stay.


Writer Recharge Challenge 2014

writer-rechargeThis February I’m participating in Writer Recharge hosted by Alison MillerLiz ParkerElodie NowodazkijSara Biren & Katy Upperman!

What’s Writer Recharge?

“It’s a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! What do you want to accomplish this month? Hit a daily word count? Revise a certain number of pages or chapters each week? Complete a draft by the end of the month? Let’s get this party started!”

The Timeline:

  • First week of February: Post your goals for the month on your blog, website, or Twitter. Use the hashtag #WriterRecharge. Link your blog post at Sara Biren’s blog!
  • Every Monday in February: Update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts on myMonday posts.
  • Throughout the month: Use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!
  • February 28: Post your final update via your blog or twitter.
  • Anyone who uses the hashtag or links their blog posts will be entered to win one of five query or 3-chapter critiques.

My goals for February:

  • I have a revision/rewrite to finish of my YA Contemporary Fantasy, BLOOD OF ISIS. I’ve realized me not finishing this rewrite it what’s stopping me from progressing to other novels so it is time.
  • Write every day. No exceptions. Doesn’t matter how much as long as I write.
  • Keep querying my MG Thriller ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX. I’ve been querying it, got some requests, participated in Pitch Wars, many of those early requesters ended up saying no, but I know I’m close I just need to keep going. I received a student writer scholarship for it from SCBWI (yay!!) so I’ll be at the NY Winter Conference & attending the Writers’ Roundtable intensive so here’s to hoping it gets some interest. If not, I’ll go back to the drawing board *fingers crossed*.
  • Read 1 book/week. My TBR is getting ridiculously long and there are a ton of debuts I want to read this year.

I’m really excited to begin/I started a couple days ago and loved it. I love the world of BOI, and if I can just finish this second half I can go back and “sew” everything together and the MS will be ready to send to CPs!

Whew! What a busy month. That’s not even including all the college related events I have going on. Can’t wait to connect with you at #WriterRecharge 🙂

Whimsically Yours,


Blog Tour: Review of ALL THAT GLOWS by Ryan Graudin


Good morning, readers :) Today I’m participating in the blog tour of ALL THAT GLOWS by Ryan Graudin. Enjoy (my review is below & there’s a giveaway)! Also, isn’t the cover gorgeous!!

AllThatGlows pb cTitle: ALL THAT GLOWS

Author: Ryan Graudin

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 480

Pub. Date: February 11, 2014

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

My Review:

Owl Rating

 When I started reading this book, I was immediately drawn in by the author’s rich writing. Graudin is masterful at weaving setting and with a book set in London, mastering the setting is key. Not to mention, it’s a book about faerys and I LOVE faerys. I love the twist Graudin brings to the table. A faery godmother who, while being very old, doesn’t walk around with a magic wand, etc…but is a guardian and looks like a teenager. The worldbuilding is well drawn out, especially when it came to faery lore or instances like spellcasting, I felt like I was in the book wit goosebumps appearing on my arms.

The contrast  between Richard and Emrys is hilarious. From the very beginning she’s unhappy about guarding this party animal of a prince (I would be too) then she starts to like him and that’s when things really get interesting. Not to mention Richard surprised me. I thought he would be this pompous A-hole but he’s sweet and caring and smart, even if he does like to party and drink a little much he wins you over from the beginning.

I was surprised I liked this book as much as I did. I’m not a huge romance person however I think it was because from the beginning, I knew the romance would play a large part. My only thing is I found Emrys’s characterization at times to be a bit irrational, maybe? Because for a thousand year old Faery she sure was overly careless at the beginning nor does she act as mature as I would expect one of her age to however I think that’s mostly because as a reader, you have to remember that while she’s old in human years, she’s a teenager in faery years.

All in all, I’d recommend this to anyone whose a fan of popular fairy tale books like Holly Black’s Tithe but wants something with a bit more romance and a little less dark (writing wise both are amazing).

RyanAbout Ryan:

Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at http://www.ryangraudin.com.

Her work is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.


Giveaway Details:

2 signed copies OF ALL THAT GLOWS and two tins of tea! US/Canada only.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One

2/3/14- Fantasy Book Addict– Review

2/4/2014- Crossroad Reviews– Review

2/5/2014- Whimsically Yours Review

2/6/2014- Step Into Fiction– Interview

2/7/2014- Book Whales– Review

Week Two

2/10/2014- Fiktshun– Guest Post

2/11/2014- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post

2/12/2014- All Things Urban Fantasy– Guest Post

2/13/2014- Kindle and Me– Excerpt

2/14/2014- IceyBooks– Interview


Whimsically Yours,