Thursday, May 22, 2014

Seven Things

I cannot say enough cool stuff about Margo Bond Collins.  She's an author I discovered via the Rave Reviews Book Club who writes paranormal and who just plain rocks.  Her new book, Legally Undead, is coming out on May 27th and she has several more titles on the way. Margo is a gracious and generous writer who is definitely Very Inspiring.  She just tagged me on the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.   
Check out her blog HERE.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is given by bloggers to bloggers.  Here are the rules:  

1.Link back to the person nominating you for the award
2.Display the Very Inspiring Blogger logo
3.Reveal seven things about yourself
4.Nominate seven others to receive the award

Okay.  So seven things about me that you won't find on my profile:

1. I was reading YA as an adult way before it was considered cool.  I started off reading Lois Duncan (love her love her -- her stuff inspired Untethered) when I was a teen, but continued reading all things teen all the way through my twenties, thirties and, uh, beyond.  It didn't take Twilight to turn me on to what YA has to offer.  It took Stranger with My Face.
2. I cannot write with music on.  And I really don't understand those people who can.  I need either silence or white noise in order to work.  Same thing to sleep.  Hmmmm.....Which may be why I often fall asleep on the keyboard.

3. If I ever become a millionaire, the very first thing I'm doing is hiring a chef.  I adore eating but I loathe cooking.  Baking? Fine.  Cooking? Absolute torture.  For me and for those at the table. 

4. I'm a home makeover show addict.  Maybe one day if we can get out of our rented apartment and buy a place, I'll get my fix by making over my own home.  *sighs*  I can always dream.

5. I'm becoming an amateur expert on living with someone with minor brain trauma. My husband had a ruptured brain aneurysm two years ago and we're still dealing with the fallout.  Who knows, I may just write a book on it.

6. It's not a party if there is no dancing involved, IMO.

7. I speak fluent French (I need to here in Geneva), but my accent is cringe-worthy. My kids have to "translate" my French words into better enunciated French words for their friends all the time.

So there you go, seven things about me.  Now here are seven writer/ bloggers who inspire me. Maybe they will inspire you, too:

Wendy Storer, author
Daniela Norris, author
Sarah Lyons Fleming, author
Toni, My Book Addiction
Lexxie, (Un)conventional Bookviews
Kindle Ninja, Kindle Ninja Reviews
Darcie and Rudi, Slush Heap

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mean Girls

When I finished obligatory schooling, I thought I'd finished dealing with "mean girls" forever.  I breezed through university and most of adult life without coming face to face with those vile beasts.   I focused on feminism and the ever-present enemy of misogyny and inequality rather than railing against girls taking down other girls for no good reason.

And then I had children.  Two girls with gentle hearts and naive ideas. Not angels, no.  But NICE. Then I put these two in school with other kids.  And low and behold...those base creatures called mean girls were there -- claws out, teeth bared, sniffing for prey.  Right now, they're making a meal of my eldest.

Forget feminism.  Forget female empowerment.  Forget girl power. We're back in the dark ages.  A part of me wants to see these kids burned at the stake for ruining my own daughter's love of life.  Another part of me wants shake their eyes open so they can see they aren't helping anyone.  Not even themselves.

But most of me doesn't understand why being mean is just so... prevalent.

It's a question that pops up in my writing -- whether it be Untethered or The Mask Between Us (that will hopefully be published soon).  What makes us act evil?  Does it come from our own fears and weaknesses, or does it run deeper?

Why are there so many people out there who take pleasure in hurting others?  I'm talking from small emotional barbs to bigger issues of abuse all the way to taking a life.  My mother, a devout Catholic, would say it's the devil.  My good friend, an atheist, would say it's a degree of mental illness.  I don't know what I believe, but either way, it scares me. 

Yes, the mean girls are only a minute drop in the bucket.  Among the horrors in the world, calling someone "stupid" or "fat" or throwing things at her may be insubstantial by comparison. It's a nearly invisible fissure in the dam that holds back evil.  But enough fissures weaken the dam and evil dribbles in through the cracks.

Girls taking down other girls for no good reason cripples feminism.  Girls taking down other girls for no good reason cripples our sense of worth.  Mean girls cripple their victims socially and they even cripple themselves when it comes to learning how to love. 

Unfortunately, I now have to arm my daughters against the mean girl attacks.  I have to train them for a warfare of words and hope their emotional defenses hold off any lasting damage.  Thing is, I'm not very skilled at that.

So my goal will be this:  Get them through alive.  And get them through knowing not all girls are mean girls. 

There are plenty who are kick-ass awesome.  My girls are two of them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New book by Sarah Dalton

Several authors are coming together to publish short stories in an anthology later this year, and I'm one of them.  So is Sarah Dalton.  Sarah has just released a new YA horror novel and it looks deliciously creepy.  You may want to check it out.  I know I will.

Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager.

Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite…

Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement.

Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken?

The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single My Daylight Monsters. A spine-tingling tale with romance, readers will be shocked and entertained in equal measure. 

Buy Links for Mary Hades