Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Bad Boy versus The Boy Next Door

Someone mentioned that Rafe (from DEAD SILENCE) is the hot bad-boy she just can't get enough of. It made me think of this guest post I did for Bewitched Books about Bad Boys v. Boys Next Door (like Jay!), and I thought I'd share that post here to see which you guys prefer, hot-and-broody or sweet-and-nerdy:
Boys...gotta love ‘em. And there’s no shortage of different kinds of boys. Tall boys, short boys, nerdy boys, athletic ones, and those who like kittens and volunteer in soup kitchens.

And then there are the bad ones, you know these guys—the kind who roll up on their Harley’s, unshaven—maybe without a shirt—who can make your jaw drop with just the wiggle of an eyebrow.

Then there are the other ones, too. That boy you’ve known most of your life. The one who actually gets your inside jokes, remembers your birthday, and carries your books. He sneaks in under the radar, wiggling his way into your heart when you don’t see him coming, until, before you know it, you can’t remember what it’s like to live without him.

Now, let’s break this down, shall we? We’ll call today’s lesson…The Weird Science of Boys:

Bad Boys:

He drinks extra-black coffee from Styrofoam cups and most definitely does not recycle.

He wears Levi 501s and whatever t-shirt that is laying on the floor next to his bed (which is most definitely not made).

He’s cocky, arrogant, and has abs of steel, but never has to work out!

He lives by his own rules and to hell with the consequences! 

He says what he wants, when he wants, and it still makes your heart race.

He shows the world his bad attitude but only shows you his heart of gold. 

The Boy Next Door:

He drinks a double-shot mocha, but also brings you your favorite drink, which he always remembers.

He letters in track/baseball/football and wears his Varsity jacket everywhere. He’ll give it to you, though, if you’re cold.

He’s sweet and attentive and also has abs of steel. (He should take off his shirt more often!)

He’s a stickler for the rules and is most definitely someone who recycles.

He has a hard time finding the right thing to say—especially when it comes to you. It took him forever to tell you how he feels!

He wears his heart on his sleeve but when he finally gives it to you, you won’t ever want to give it back.

So there you have it...the good, the bad, and the Boy Next Door.

Which boy would you choose? I’m guessing there are a few of you out there who would like one of each, am I right???

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Is Dead Silence REALLY the last book in the Body Finder series?

I put this post together a couple of weeks ago, but have decided not to put the whole thing up here on my blog, just in case someone wanders across it by mistake and it ruins EVERYTHING for them! If you haven't read the rest of the Body Finder series, I'm warning you in advance, the answer contains spoilers, so if you click the link, be prepared to be...well, spoiler-ed.  

So, if you really want to know whether DEAD SILENCE is the last book in the Body Finder series,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

THE PLEDGE: The Ultimate Beach Read?

Deadly secrets, check.

Revolution and assassinations, check and check again.

Diabolical queen who would stop at nothing to remain on the throne, check and mate.

I mean, why wouldn't you want to curl up by the pool or on the beach and read about all the tyranny and oppression of Charlie's world in THE PLEDGE? And hey, why not share it with your friends too, as in: BOOK CLUB!

Simon & Schuster has posted the ULTIMATE READING GROUP GUIDE for THE PLEDGE, great for schools, libraries, and, you guessed it, Book Clubs. (Editorial note: Book Clubs may want to skip the part about making a collage to inspire others to read the book. Or not. Just sayin'.) (Another editorial note: I added the "Ultimate" to the "Ultimate Reading Group Guide." I think it sounds cooler that way. And way more ultimate.)

Seriously, though, this is a great guide if you're reading the book as a group (any group). And if you happen to be using it in the classroom, it meets the Common Core Curriculum Standards. Again, just sayin'. 

I'll keep the link posted in my sidebar. You know, for when your Book Club is choosing its next fun beach read ;)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Changing the Way I Write...

I’ve been hearing for years about the wonders of Scrivener. In fact, I’ve had it on my computer since 2010. And I’d tried it...a couple of times. With no real success. It was just kind of...meh.

But I kept hearing all these other writers extolling its virtues, telling me how much they loved it and couldn’t live without it. How it had “changed the way they write.”  Finally, in April, Kelley Armstrong (whom I both admire and adore!) told me to take the plunge and start using it, because all those other authors, they were right. And she made a recommendation—she told me to get a book called Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez to help me muddle through the stuff I just wasn’t “getting” about the program.  

And I did.

And guess what?  I sort of get it, the whole Scrivener thing. Not just because of the book, but I did some research, too.  I watched videos and tutorials. I learned what the program could do for me. And here’s the thing, it’s takes everything I love and puts it all in one place.  It’s like having Pinterest and all my research and my clunky character profiles and my outlines and my little sticky notes (that are usually jumbled all over my desk) with any random thought that pops into my head AND MY MANUSCRIPT all formatted into one ginormous electronic file...where I can find any of the info whenever I need it. It’s revolutionary.

And just downright cool.

If you haven’t tried Scrivener yet, and if you’re as terrified as change as I am, here’s how I got started:

First of all, there’s a free 30-day trial over at Literature & Latte (the site that designs and sells the program). This way you can try Scrivener with zero risk! One of the things I like about the program, too, is that I work on two separate Macs, and even though I bought the program WAY BACK in 2010, I was able to not only upgrade the program I bought to the most current version for free, but I was also able to use THAT SAME license for my second Mac at no additional cost. AWESOME!!!

Second, these are the tutorials and videos I recommend starting with:

Introduction to Scrivener

Scrivener In-depth (Very similar to the intro, but a little more info)

Character Outlines by Erin Bowman (This is a MUST for writers, created by the author of TAKEN) (Not to be confused by my upcoming THE TAKING—although because of the titles, it totally will be!)

Using Scrivener for Outlining by Erin Bowman (Another great one for writers)

I haven’t gone through them all, but here are some more links to tutorials.

Third, if you need a book to refer to, definitely pick up Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez. This is a great guide for beginners!

All-in-all, I’m loving Scrivener so far! Life changing? Well, we’ll see about that, but I honestly can’t thank Kelley enough for pushing me to make the switch!!

What about you guys, any Scrivener thoughts???

Saturday, June 1, 2013


I generally don't listen to music WHILE I'm writing, otherwise I'm not writing, I'm singing. Badly.

Instead, I use music as a tool. To think things out. I like to crank up the radio in the car and let my mind drift while I'm driving. And to sing...badly. Sometimes that's where I get my best ideas. (From the driving, not the singing.)

But I also like playlists that are tailored to each book. Sometimes, like the one I did for Violet a couple of years ago, or even before that, the song Possom Kingdom for the serial killer in The Body Finder, I even like to tailor them for each character.

I shared my playlist for DEAD SILENCE with Harper's Pitch Dark site, but realized I hadn't shared it with you guys, so here it is:

CLOSER by Kings of Leon. This is actually a song I had on the DESIRES OF THE DEAD playlist, but I loved it so much I just had to list it here as well. With its sharp-edge and haunting lyrics, it just screams serial killer. Literally.

BONES by Ms Mr. Another song with great lyrics: “Dig up her bones, but leave her soul alone.” Dark, mysterious, and lyrical. Everything a good playlist begs for.

Piano Sonata #14 (aka. MOONLIGHT SONATA) by Beethoven. This was sort of a no brainer, and when you read the book, you’ll know why.

WHAT I’VE DONE by Linkin Park. Okay, so Linkin Park meant for this song to be all about regret for what we’ve done to our planet, but, to me, the lyrics, and the music, are still a great backdrop for a killer’s regrets. It’s hopeful but in a really dark way.

MONSTER by Paramore. I just love this one. It captures that desire we all have to protect those we care about most.

STAND IN THE RAIN by Superchick. This is a great song about finding the strength that exists within us all. Violet’s anthem for this final book.

 SEVEN DEVILS by Florence and the Machine. Fierce and relentless, this song elicits the kind of powerful imagery in line with a book about evil, anguish, and tortured souls. I can’t get  enough of Florence and the Machine!

TIME OF DYING by Three Days Grace. Another song that’s great for interpretation. It’s really about surviving against the odds. But with its melody and ferocious delivery, it has a heavy metal vibe that is perfect for this book.

SHE TALKS TO ANGELS by The Black Crowes. Drug use and loss whisper through the lyrics of this gorgeous oldie, making it an ideal addition to this playlist. I can listen to this song on repeat and hear different nuances each and every time it plays.

HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by The Fray. This song makes me think of a specific scene in the book, but it also makes me wonder just how much influence we really have over the decisions others make. I think of life and loss and what happens after people are gone.

So, what do you think? Are there any songs you would add to this playlist???