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Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 146

Whew, I had a super busy weekend of YA awesomeness! Saturday was the 4th annual YALLFest. They always do such a terrific job, and it was another amazing line-up including: Veronica Roth, James Dashner, Sarah Dessen, Rainbow Rowell, and many other talented authors (check out the list!). 
Kami Garcia, Veronica Roth, Gayle Forman, James Dashner, Melissa de la Cruz, Ann Brashares, Kathy Reichs
Then Sunday was the last stop of the Compelling Reads tour at the Charleston County library. My friend Martina Boone organized the tour and this stop also included S.E. Green, Kimberley Griffiths Little, and Tracy Clark. They played a fun dating game with their books, served sweet tea and whoopie pies, and gave away a lot of great prizes. 
Compelling Reads Tour
Kimberly Griffiths Little, Tracy Clark, Martina Boone, S.E. Green
And lucky me – I got to have dinner with these four lovely ladies on both nights! I love meeting new writers, and it’s always helpful to hear stories from authors further along their journey than I am, so I very much appreciated them including me in their Charleston adventure.
And now for my 15 Minute Tweet Tales from the past week:
11/5 - When he gets on stage to sing, the mocking laughter of classmates gorgonizes him. Unlike in the movies, he doesn't eventually wow them.
11/6 - When he warns she's been a bugbear on the project, she's happy, saying it means she's been cute and supportive. He fires her immediately.
11/7 - Every day she saves half of her sandwich for the clochard near her school. Tho filthy & raving, she still sees the loving dad he used to be.
11/8 - She grins at his stem-winder. He'll make a great politician. But now he's inciting classmates to riot until they get pizza. Detention.

15 Minute Tweet Tales

11/9 - Check engine light comes on...car shakes...engine whines. But loyal ride of 20 years makes it to driveway before going kaput for good.
11/10 - She dissembles that everything's fine, although the tumor will kill her in six months. She wants her kids to be kids as long as they can.
11/11 - The pinnacle of her crappy day was a man brushing her arm on the subway ride home. Even accidental human contact eased her loneliness.
Did you have a chance to attend YALLFest? Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 145

15 Minute Tweet TalesI was pretty ‘meh’ about voting today because I’m so frustrated by the rampant corruption and ridiculousness in both parties and most of the candidates disgust me. But then in last night’s episode of Sleepy Hollow, they had a great opening with Ichabod experiencing his first modern election and being appalled at the low voter turnout. It pretty much shamed me into going to vote today as a form of respect for all the people who fought and sacrificed for my right to vote for the least awful person. Luckily, my polling place is within walking distance and it was a beautiful day outside, so that made the experience a bit more pleasant. 
And now for my 15 Minute Tweet Tales:
10/29 - Sick of wife's saponaceous cooking, he left. But he's the dummy who never rinsed the dishes after washing them in a sink full of suds.
10/30 - Time for 1st kiss. Lips draw closer. Mawkish song starts playing. They collapse in giggles. No kiss then but leads to 1000s over the years.
10/31 - He made a killing every Halloween. No one believed he could eat all the candy in one night, but his eupeptic ability always won the bets.
11/1 - "Lots of pretty words but no agon makes this the most boring book ever." Author approaches critic. "You want conflict, huh?" Punches him.
11/2 - Dog acts sequacious so they won't crate him during work. He then devours shoes and murders pillows. Humans: so easily fooled by puppy eyes.
11/3 - He was pococurante to allowed forms of discipline and kept raising hell, so teacher resurrected paddle. She got fired but left smiling.
11/4 - She couldn't afford bolt of fabric, so kind cashier gave her leftover scraps. She made a dress of imbricate diamonds that wowed at prom.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 144 + Books Excitement

Buckle your seatbelts, y’all, this is going to be a long post! It seems like all my writing friends have some type of book-related excitement happening today. Okay, maybe not all of them, but a lot of them. It’s actually kind of weird that there are so many releases and cover reveals today. Something in the air? Halloween magic? I don’t know why, I’m just happy great things are happening for writers I adore, and that I can share the news here.
First up (in alphabetical order) is Martina Boone, who is an online friend who became a real-life friend and is now kinda sorta my boss. Her YA Southern Gothic Compulsion releases today and has been getting fantastic advance reviews. And since it’s set in Charleston, I can’t wait to read it.
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.
All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt's South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn't what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
Next up is my local writing friend S.K. Falls with a bit of a déjà vu cover reveal. I shared a cover reveal and release post for a previous version of this novel when S.K. indie published it. Then an agent found it, read it, loved it, and offered representation, and now it’s going to be traditionally published on January 13th, 2015! So it has a new title and cover to go with the revamped story. It’s now called One Last Song, and you can find it on Goodreads.
One Last SongI was seven when I swallowed my first needle.
My mom freaked out and rushed me to the emergency room.
She stayed by my side all night.
I never wanted it to end. When you spend your whole life feeling invisible-when your parents care more about deals and deadlines than they do about you-you find ways of making people take notice. Little things at first. Then bigger. It's scary how fast it grows. Then one day something happens that makes you want to stop. To get better. To be better. And for the first time, you understand what it's like to feel whole, happy . . . loved. For the first time, you love someone back.
For me, that someone was Drew.
The next novel release is from Jessie Humphries, who is my Pitch Wars mentor. I read her first YA mystery Killing Ruby Rose at the suggestion of a friend who knew I was having trouble in my own WIP balancing a humorous voice with dark events. Jessie does a great job handling that balance, so I was excited when I saw she was a Pitch Wars mentor, and I entered hoping for the best. I couldn’t believe it when she picked me as her alternate – there was lots of happy dancing. She’s really helped me identify the places where I took the funny too far when it should be more serious. Now the second book in her series is being released today called Resisting Ruby Rose
FYI - there are some spoilers from the first book in this description.
Resisting Ruby Rose
Still reeling from the heartbreaking events that unfolded on Grissom Island, Ruby Rose is trying to come to terms with the fact that she’s gone from a vigilante in killer shoes to a stone-cold killer. Everyone from her therapist to her smoking-hot boyfriend keeps trying to convince her that she hasn’t crossed over to the dark side, but Ruby isn’t so sure. It doesn’t help that her nemesis, Detective “Mastermind” Martinez, is still out there, waiting for another chance to take her down.
When an alleged CIA agent named Skryker shows up and asks for a meeting, Ruby figures it just means more questions about her case. But he has information of an entirely different nature and a job offer: join an elite force of young assassins, including Skryker’s right-hand guy, Quinn Donovan. Quinn is distractingly charming, handsome—and deadly. Ruby resists becoming a killer again, but as she becomes more ensnared in a web of deceit, no one around her is safe.
Leah Rhyne is another local writing friend who has made past appearances on my blog for the release of her zombie novels. Today is the cover reveal for the third and final book in the Undead America series called Jenna’s War. The book will actually be released this Friday because a story this scary must be unleashed on the world on Halloween.
Jenna's WarJenna Price knows how to survive in Undead America:
Kill zombies;
Find food; 
Most importantly, don’t trust strangers.
It’s a bleak, meagre existence in the Nebraska countryside, but Jenna Price is willing to make it work. That is, until her feud with Michael explodes. Only then will she risk everything with Sam, Will, and Rosie, leaving Nebraska behind in search of a pipe dream: a cure to the zombie virus that plagues them.
So begins their journey east. East is where the old cities lay, sleepy relics of a world long gone. Controlled by a power-hungry warlord from Sam’s past, it seethes with zombies, alive and undead. East is where the future may lay, but it’s also where the worst things can happen.
For war is coming to Undead America. When her time comes, and the survival of her beloved family depends on her trusting a strange man with an ominous name, will Jenna Price be ready to fight?  
And finally there’s my online friend Emma Scott. We met through the forums for the NYC Midnight Madness writing competitions, and her stories were always amazing and her critiques helpful and supportive. Since she lives on the West coast, we’ve never met, but we’ve kept in touch via Facebook, cheering each other on in our writing journeys. Her main project is an epic fantasy she wants to get traditionally published, but in the meantime, she’s written a fun side novel she’s decided to self-publish in order to explore the process. So today she’s releasing her new adult romance Love Beyond Words
Love Beyond Words
She thought the best love affairs only happened in books…
Traumatized by the deaths of her parents three years earlier, Natalie Hewitt lives an introverted life, going to school during the day and working as a barista in a small coffee shop at night. Natalie uses the writing of world-famous, reclusive author Rafael Melendez Mendón to assuage her grief. His words are her refuge, his characters better company than anyone she could meet in real life… until Julian Kovač walks into the café one summer evening. A handsome, wealthy, quiet young man, Natalie feels an immediate connection. 
But Julian has a secret that is both the most wonderful revelation she could possibly imagine…and the very thing that could tear them apart.
Whew, I told you it was a lot! Now go check out the books by all these lovely ladies. But before you leave, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
10/22 - After a steady diet of MacGyver reruns as a kid, Bob's ability to extemporize helps him survive the zombie apocalypse. TV IS good for you.
10/23 - Coach didn't homologate harassment of the girl on team but didn't stop it. She transfers to rival school. Leads them to state championship.
10/24 - The director's a demiurge because he wants all the acclaim when his movie wins an Oscar. Satisfyingly, he gets all the blame when it flops.
10/25 - As the light left her eyes, an enigmatic "Oh!" whispered past her lips. He obsessed over what she'd seen until it was his turn to go.

15 Minute Tweet Tales10/26 - He mocks her remodeling ideas, so she drugs him and immures him in the dividing wall she wanted. He only criticizes it a few more days.

10/27 - Whenever her stepmom mutters something, Suzy thinks it's a malison. Dad says she's read too many fairy tales. Until Suzy wakes up a frog.
10/28 - Knowing her grades wouldn't get her in, she took an ad hominem approach to college essay. Google told Admissions her sad story was lies.
Do you look forward to reading any of these books? Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 143

I’ve been a big fan of the Adventures in YA Publishing website for several years. It has inspiring and informative posts about all aspects of writing and is a great resource for learning more about the latest and greatest YA novels. A while back, I was fortunate to strike up an online friendship with Martina Boone, the lovely writer who runs the AYAP website. I was even luckier when I got to have lunch with her after last year’s YALLFest. She’s just as sweet and inspiring in person as she is online.
So imagine my surprise and excitement when I got an email from Martina the other day asking if I was interested in joining Adventures in YA Publishing. What!? There was an opening for the interview coordinator, and she wanted to know if I was up for the challenge. I was initially nervous because I can barely keep up with my own blog, but this was a chance to be a part of a website I’ve long admired. So I said yes, and I’m thrilled to now be a part of the AYAP team!
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
10/15 - She envisaged life as a writer: hobnobbing with fascinating people sipping wine. Reality? Hunched over keyboard swilling coffee in her PJs.
10/16 - After the toilet paper debacle of '09 caused him to clean his bum in a way that still haunts him,he keeps a surfeit of rolls in the cabinet.
10/17 - Their mutual hatred of people undergirds their relationship. They don't particularly like each other either, but it beats being lonely.
10/18 - Tired of being lied to and cheated on, she dates a rectitudinous man. But to him, honesty is saying EVERY thing he thinks, so she dumps him.

15 Minute Tweet Tales

10/19 - She wants her in-laws to like her, so she hews her beliefs until there's nothing left of her. Now they like her, but he misses who she was.
10/20 - When the first spaceship landed, people were relieved by the bonhomie of the aliens. But some thought it was a ruse. We should've listened.
10/21 - "Missy, you'll abide by my rules-" Instead of protesting her grounding, she whips out phone and shows Dad pic she took of him with neighbor.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Cover Reveal + Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 142

Before I get to the tweet tales, let’s do a cover reveal! Medeia Sharif is one of the most prolific writers I know. She released a book earlier this summer, and now she has another one coming out in December. I’m honored to be participating in the reveal of this haunting cover:


YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014
Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.
Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.
Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.
Find Medeia
Whew, that definitely sounds like some heavy stuff poor Deidra must deal with – I can’t wait to read what happens!
And now for my 15 Minute Tweet Tales:
10/8 - Magician's illustrious career ends with slip of assistant's knife. Sleight of hand is tough when down 3 fingers. Now assistant is the star.
10/9 - She chokes down dog food, imagining it's viands from before the bombs. After 4 months of surviving, it's not even worst thing she's eaten.
10/10 - Ty's tomfoolery in class gets him in trouble, but it always makes Jen smile. From the shouting he hears next door, he knows she needs it.
10/11 - His rejection is a shard of glass to her heart. Wanting him to feel the same pain, she breaks a window and shoves a piece through his chest.

15 Minute Tweet Tales

10/12 - He often practices his gormless expression. People are more likely to talk around a slow janitor, so he's made millions selling secrets.
10/13 - Her doctor said she's sterile. Now all she does is watch episodes of the fecund Duggar family, crying and screaming about the injustice.
10/14 - The red garnitures look like blood splashed around the waiting room,making him extra nervous since the dentist is about to murder his mouth.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 141

15 Minute Tweet TalesI’ve been so busy outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather that I almost forgot to post my 15 Minute Tweet Tales today, but here they are: 
10/1 - Left inside too long, dog has an accident. Owner excoriates her with his belt. Once he sleeps, she has another accident - on his face.
10/2 - She wears wedding band to forfend skeevy guys hitting on her. Then meets prince charming. He spots ring and refuses to listen to her excuse.
10/3 - When her dad rants about her poor life choices, she knows she only has to placate him a few minutes before he forgets who she is again.
10/4 - The meeting to discuss saving the river and surrounding wildlife took a seriocomic turn when the chairman giggled every time he said beaver.
10/5 – Son screams as Mom throws away his rocks and sticks. They might seem like trumpery but actually ward off the boogeyman. A shadow looms.
10/6 - She hadn't seen the t-shirt in years, but when she finds the memento in a drawer she bursts into tears. He'd worn it the night he died.
10/7 - Furtive phone calls. Evasive answers. He conjectures she's having affair; brings home hooker to retaliate. Friends jump out, yell SURPRISE!
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 140

15 Minute Tweet TalesWe have blue skies here for the first time in what feels like ages, so since I didn’t need an ark to run errands, I was out and about today. And since it’s now officially fall and the pumpkin spice lattes have landed, I treated myself to one of those spicy-sweet cups of awesomeness. I know it makes me one of those girls people on facebook and twitter enjoy making fun of, but I just love me some pumpkin-spice coffee. Yum!!
So while I’m slurping down my coffee, you can read my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
9/24 - His house is decorated with kitsch. She subtly tries to find out if it's ironic because otherwise she can't date someone w/ such bad taste.
9/25 - Arthritis gnarls his hands, but he pushes through the pain to perform acts of prestidigitation to make granddaughter squeal with delight.
9/26 - Reviews call his film a pastiche of ideas stolen from better movies. His next project? An in-depth documentary about murdered movie critics.
9/27 - He offers a ring & asseverates he'll love her forever. Then his eyes drift to a busty waitress. But the diamond's so big she still says YES.
9/28 - They land on the planet meant to be their salvation but find a dearth of water. Bad intel from satellites means the death of the human race.
9/29 - Eva makes her minions paint SLUT on Kim's locker. Kim must stop flirting with Eva's boyfriend, but Eva doesn't want paint on her hands.
9/30 - Conversations bombinate around her but don't disturb her. It's silence that makes her look up. Cafe empty. Coffees still steam on tables.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 139

15 Minute Tweet TalesThis past weekend was the SCBWI-Carolinas conference, and it was AMAZING! I’m going to try to get myself organized enough to post about it later in the week, but in the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales from the past week:
9/17 - He decides to ski the couloir instead of official trail. Then breaks leg. True horror starts when ski patrol guy isn't what he claims.
9/18 - Their volatile love triangle ended sadly for Tim when Ivy and Liz grew tired of his waffling and realized they liked each other better.
9/19 - Granny complained of yet another stomachache and grabbed her tincture, but we knew she was actually a teetotaler who enjoyed a nice buzz.
9/20 - He's so handsome but looks like the type who'd rebuff her attempts at flirting, so she grabs her duct tape and syringe and waits for him.
9/21 - He read about a guy's cyst actually being a spider nidus. Stops sleeping. Starts seeing spiders everywhere. Now screams in a padded cell.
9/22 - Enraged linguistic professor gives polyglot rant. His confused students must cooperate to understand source of his ire. Lesson learned.
9/23 - Forsooth, it is scandalous to bare one's ankles, but Mary is desperate to attract a husband, so she sews her hems two inches higher.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 138

15 Minute Tweet TalesThis weekend is the SCBWI-Carolinas conference in Charlotte, and I’m excited to head up the road on Thursday to energize my mind and spirit with writerly awesomeness. Since Charlotte is about three hours north of me, I checked the weather forecast, and it looks like it’s actually going to be chillier there than here. So now I’m a bit befuddled about what to wear. Do I officially break out the fall wardrobe? Oh, wait a minute, I live in Charleston – we don’t have fall wardrobes because we go from intense summer heat straight to slightly mild winter. We basically skip that whole fall business (but not the pumpkin spice lattes, thank goodness!), so I’ve been staring into my closet with a blank look. 
While I try to figure out what pieces of clothing I have that straddle seasons, you can check out my latest 15 Minute Tweet Tales
9/10 - Paralyzing stroke. 50 years of marriage, so she can still read the nuance of his face. He doesn't want to live like this; she helps him go.
9/11 - She stravaged from school with a grin. Tim kissed her! She didn't care that his friends laughed & paid him $20. She'd felt his Adonis lips.
9/12 - She runs in from the rain. Longs to shed her sodden clothes. But brother-in-law's eyes are too attentive, so a towel won't keep them apart.
9/13 - Her coworkers' disapprobation of her snack choices made her smile widely at the skinny wenches with brownie still stuck in her teeth.
9/14 - Her groans undulate with the rocking of the boat. Her date surprised her with a sailboat ride; she's surprising him with motion sickness.
9/15 - She quails at emailing 1st query letter. 4 years later, at movie premiere of her NYT bestseller, she admits to barfing after pressing Send.
9/16 - One minute she begs me to scratch her chin, the next she bites me. My cat's mercurial spirit makes me determined to win her adoration.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 137

15 Minute Tweet TalesI noticed an odd trend in my 15 Minute Tweet Tales this week – four of them are written in first person. Although all my novels are written in first person, I usually write my tweet tales in third person. I’m not exactly sure why because it would actually save precious tweet characters to write them in first person. I guess some of it has to do with not being sure people reading them realize they are tweet tales rather than random comments about my day. And since so many of mine deal with death, torture, and/or love gone wrong, I don’t want people thinking they’re non-fiction resulting in me having an awkward conversation with the police. Anyway, I have no idea why I choose first person for so many this week, but I did think it was an interesting trend. 
There are also three tweet tales featuring dogs, but that’s not a new trend considering my adoration of sweet, adorable canines! In fact, here’s a picture my sister sent me just as I was typing this post of her two very happy fur-babies, Kali and Molly. 
Molly and Kali
9/3 - She spends every practice enskying her son's skills to other parents. During the first game, he kicks ball into opposing team's net. Twice.
9/4 - The dog's ecstatic when I walk inside. Since I only grabbed the paper, it wasn't long enough to miss me. Still makes me happy every time.
9/5 - She dominates the airwaves due to her inimitable ability to hold high notes, but her songs make my dog howl in pain. I have to agree.
9/6 - His license gainsays his assurance that he's over 21. He slips me a $20. I roll my eyes. He hands me four more. I let him in with a smile.
9/7 - He was drawn to her jocose personality. Exactly as she planned. But now that she knew him, she wasn't sure she could pull the trigger.
9/8 - Though it's social suicide, with a gallant flourish of his arm, he escorts his grandma into his prom. She'd been too poor to attend hers.
9/9 - The dog's lugubrious expression is a ploy to hustle more treats, but we can't help ourselves. We oblige until he's so fat he waddles.
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?