Monday, December 31, 2012

Guest Post: Author Juliana Haygert

Today I am excited to have Juliana Haygert, author of "Her Heart's Secret Wish", stop by the blog to tell us a bit about her writing process! 

Like most writers, I started writing at an early age. But then it was just a hobby. During college, I stopped writing. Not sure why, though. Too busy? Even though I wasn’t writing anymore, my mind never stopped creating stories and making observations “ah, this would be an awesome detail for a story” and things like that.

Around 2008, the urge to write again was overwhelming. I started writing again, and I started thinking about it as more than a hobby. For the first time, I thought about trying to get published. While I wasn’t writing my first real manuscript, as I call it, I researched about the process, the agents, the editors, the wants and wishes, all of that dance.

Early into 2010, I finish my first real manuscript and submitted to agents. I’m serious. Man, I hope they don’t remember me. The writing was horrible. Horrible! Yes, the story was good and I have plans of rewriting it, but the writing … oh, gosh.

But I learned.

I created a blog, I became active on twitter (where the writing community is fantastic!), I read blogs about writing and other writers, I bought several craft books and devoured them, I learned more about the process, the dos and don’ts …

But, there was a big problem I had not foreseen: I write New Adult (if you don’t know what New Adult is, you can read about it here). Back in 2010, nobody wanted New Adult. Because of that, I almost gave up on New Adult. I started YA or adult stories, but they didn’t sound good to me. My voice wasn’t true. So I stuck with NA, even if I never got published because of it.

I found out small presses were more likely to accept New Adult. So I subbed to them. And I got contract for two novellas—one that was just released a few days ago, and another that will come out in February.

Today, New Adult is very popular and, because of many self-published NA books that hit the NYT bestseller list, several agents and editors are now accepting New Adult. Some friends and I created a blog dedicated to New Adult, called NA Alley—if you want to know which agents and editors are accepting NA, or get recommendation on which NA books to read, check our blog out!

I have plans to self-publish a NA Paranormal Romance novel in April, and a NA Contemporary Romance in June, but I think about querying agents again with another project.

The great thing about writing today is that we have options. We just need to stick with it ;)

Thanks, Avery, for having me here today!

From Goodreads: "With a renowned reputation as a player, she had everything figured out...

Twenty-year-old college student, Natasha is the life of every party and the reason behind many celebrations. The easiest girl on campus has all guys at her feet and more than a few in her bed.

…until he came into the game…

Having entered the academic world by chance, Professor Jason Stone is surprised to find one of his young students a huge temptation. The infamous Natasha has caught his attention. But is there more to her than meets the eye?

…and changed the rules.

As their unexpected friendship grows, so does their attraction to each other. When Jason’s Christmas plans are canceled and he ends up at the same party as Natasha, sparks flare, destroying the safe zone around them. Will they figure out how to break through their self-imposed barriers to be together, or lose one another forever?"

About the Author: New Adult author. Contributor at NA Alley blog.

Lover of: coffee, chocolate, wine, dancing, World of Warcraft, books, jeans, high heels, friends + family.

She would love to be Wonder Woman, Cheetara, Elektra, Buffy, Phoebe, She-ra, Rose, Korra, Cornelia, a blood elf shadow priest, and other various kick-ass female from comics, TV series, movies, books and games, but she settles for—the less exciting but equally gratifying life—a wife, mother, friend and a writer. Her heroines are like the ones cited above and she also writes about the heroes who drive them crazy—and occasionally hot.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2013

Today is the last week of one of my most favourite weeks in the book blogging community- the Top Ten lists of 2012! This year's Top Ten of 2012 is hosted by Lisa from A Life Bound By BooksJessica from Confessions of a BookaholicJaime from Two Chicks on BooksMindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Rachel from Fiktshun!

*In no particular order. Because... Seriously I don't know which I want more than the others*

(Images property of owners)
1) "Isla and the Happily Ever After" by Stephanie Perkins: I love Stephanie Perkins, like, LOVE LOVE. I think that it's safe to say that I have a girl crush on her. Why? BECAUSE SHE CREATED BOTH CRICKET AND ETIENNE! So admittedly I have little idea what this book is about (and there is still no cover), but Ashley and I have BIG ideas (basically the above image- plus robots and each of the previous characters putting all of their various talents to use).

2) "The Indigo Spell" by Richelle Mead: With an ending like that of "The Golden Lily" I NEED this book (Ummmm.... Have you read the second chapter of this yet? NO! DO IT! You can find it HERE).

3) "Unravel Me" by Tahereh Mafi: I have no words for this book. Basically "Shatter Me" is one of my most favourite books of all time and I need this book. STAT. Especially with the knowledge that Warner plays an even larger role in it (I don't know about y'all but I am oddly drawn to Warner).

4) "Detergent" by Veronica Roth: With "Insurgent's" ending, which rivals that of one of M. Night Shyamalan's films, this is another book that I NEED- I NEED to better understand how and why the Chicago of this world came to be how it is. Also, I need a Four fix.

5) "Clockwork Princess" by Cassie Clare: With Cassie being my favourite author of all time there is no question why this is one of my most highly anticipated books of 2013. Jem or Will? JEM OR WILL? Or *gasp* neither?

6) "Dead Silence" by Kimberly Derting: Gawd. Now when I look over these books I realize that SO MANY of my favourite book series are drawing to a close. While I'm excited for this installment of Jay and Vi I'm also sad because it means no more Jay and Vi.

7) "The Rising" by Kelley Armstrong: While I do like Maya, Rafe, and the gang, I am most excited for this book because Chloe and Derek will be making an appearance in it!

8) "With All My Soul" by Rachel Vincent: This ending to this series has been a long time coming- I can remember way back when when I ran out on the release date of the first to purchase it! Like with my Four Fix I need a Tod fix!

9) "The Elite" by Kiera Cass: I loved "The Selection" I thought that it was so lighthearted and fun, but I'm looking forward to this book where I hope that all of the palace's secrets are revealed.

10) "Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer: Admittedly I have had an ARC of this book sitting on my shelves untouched for the past couple of months. Why? Because I am waiting til closer to its release date to read it! I can't wait until I can finally dig in and meet both Scarlet and Wolf!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top Ten Best Book Boyfriends of 2012

Today is day three of my most favourite week of the book blogging community- the Top Ten lists of 2012! This year's Top Ten of 2012 is hosted by Lisa from A Life Bound By BooksJessica from Confessions of a BookaholicJaime from Two Chicks on BooksMindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Rachel from Fiktshun!

*In no particular order*

1. Jace Wayland from Cassie Clare's "City of Lost Souls": This is a given. I don't think that Jace will ever not top my list of book boyfriends. He is the epitome of YA book boys IMO.

2. Adrian Ivashkov from "The Golden Lily" by Richelle Mead: I have been a Dimitri fan through and through, however, I have felt myself becoming more and more drawn to Adrian as Richelle's "Bloodlines" series develops more and more. Adrian made my heart a complete puddle with his confession in "The Golden Lily".

3. R from "Warm Bodies" by Isaac Marion: Move aside vampires and werewolves! Zombies are quickly raising in ranks as the most swoon-worthy YA book boys!

4. Lucas from "Easy" by Tammara Webber: While most of the boys on this are on it because they are super strong characters Lucas is on this list because he makes Jacqueline super strong in body, mind  and soul.

5. Chris from "Storm" by Brigid Kemmerer: While I love all of the Merrick brothers I especially love Chris with him being the "original".

6. Daemon from "Onyx" by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Daemon said my most favourite quote of 2012- "I've thought about the repercussions- it's all I've thought about" (pg. 139). 'Nuff said!

7. Darius from "Soulbound" by Heather Brewer: Forget the "right" or "proper" boy for Kara- Darius is so much more interesting!

8. Adam from "Where She Went": While I was only iffy on "If I Stay" I LOVED this book. Why? Almost entirely because of Adam. Nobody does swoon and angst quite like Adam does.

9. Four from "Divergent" by Veronica Roth: I don't think that you could get much better than bad-ass incarnate.

10. Tristan from "Anew" by Chelsea Fine: Can you notice a trend? If he is all angsty and broken I am ALL OVER HIM.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top Ten Best Couples of 2012

Today is day three of my most favourite week of the book blogging community- the Top Ten lists of 2012! This year's Top Ten of 2012 is hosted by Lisa from A Life Bound By BooksJessica from Confessions of a BookaholicJaime from Two Chicks on BooksMindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Rachel from Fiktshun!

*In no particular order*

1) Adrian and Sydney from "The Golden Lily" by Richelle Mead: I never thought it possible for me to love characters from Richelle Mead more than I love Dimitri and Rose, however, with each installment of this series I am realizing that it is entirely possible.

2) Noah and Echo from "Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry: Broken girl and bad-boy. Could it get any more perfect than that?

3) Four and Tris from "Insurgent" by Veronica Roth: Bad-ass and bad-assier (and what is perhaps best about this coupling is that Tris, the female, is the bad-assier one).

4) Tamani and Laurel from "Destined" by Aprilynne Pike: I had waited FOUR BOOKS for this to happen! So I was obviously excited when it finally did.

5) Daemon and Katy from "Onyx" and "Opal" by Jennifer L. Armentrout: What can I say about these two, expect for that they are obviously the hottest couple in YA?

6) Samm and Kira from "Partials" by Dan Wells: Okay, so they aren't technically a couple but.... THEY TOTALLY SHOULD BE!

7) Every Couple from "13" by Kelley Armstrong: There isn't a couple in this series that I don't like- from Clay and Elena, to Jamie and Jeremy, to Hope and Karl, and beyond!

8) Noah and Mara from "The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin: As I said in my review their love is totally dysfunctional, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

9) Maggie and Andrew from "Lucid" by Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass: I can't remember a time when I rooted for two characters to be together as much as I did with these two. 

10) Nastya and Josh from "The Sea of Tranquility"   by Katja Millay: A broken girl and the boy who, despite the force field of death around him, puts her back together. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Top Ten Best Book Covers of 2012

Today is day two of my most favourite week of the book blogging community- the Top Ten lists of 2012! This year's Top Ten of 2012 is hosted by Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Jaime from Two Chicks on Books, Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Rachel from Fiktshun!

Admittedly I had a lot of trouble coming up with what I consider to be the Top Ten Book Covers of 2012 (for some reason I can't think of a single cover that has really BLOWN me away, unlike in previous years)- therefore I decided to change things up a bit and make today's topic The Top Ten Book Covers of Books I've Read in 2012.

*In no particular order*

1. "Easy" by Tammara Webber: If anyone knows this cover model or a guy like him feel free to send him my way!

2. "Fated" by Alyson Noel: While I wasn't an uber fan of this book I will keep it on my shelf solely for the cover.

3. "Illuminate" by Aimee Agresti: I am a sucker for anything fallen angel related, therefore this is right up my alley!

4. "The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa: I don't know what it is about this cover, but I just really like it. I'm sad to see that it has had a cover update.

5. "The Pledge" by Kimberly Derting: Two words. Lady Gaga-ish. That is all.

6. "The Friday Society" by Adrienne Kress: This is perhaps the most applicable cover I have ever seen before. Aside from that I love how fun and lighthearted it is!

7. "Angelfall" by Susan Ee: See comment for book 3. I legitimately want a gigantic poster of this cover.  Oh, hell. Maybe even a tattoo. 

8. "Defiance" by C.J. Redwine: It was almost entirely the cover of this book that convinced me to request it to review. This cover is full of WIN. 

9. "Revived" by Cat Patrick: In all honesty I have little to no idea how this cover relates to the book, but I really don't care! I just really love the seafoam-ish colour and the colour variations. 

10. "The Diviners" by Libba Bray: I love that this cover is quite like anything else in the world of YA. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Top Ten Best Books I’ve Read in 2012

Today is one of my most favourite days of the book blogging community- the beginning of Top Ten lists of 2012! This year's Top Ten of 2012 is hosted by  Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Jaime from Two Chicks on BooksMindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Rachel from Fiktshun!

1) "Divergent" by Veronica Roth: I know, I know. I know what you are thinking, "Why is "Divergent" included on your 2012 list, Avery, when it was a 2011 book?" BECAUSE I AM A BOOGER- THAT'S WHY! Seriously, I had bought "Divergent" a few days after its release date in Summer 2011 and I didn't get to reading it until the beginning of this year- why? Mainly because I bought it solely because of the hype surrounding it, I literally had no idea what it was about (plus, I don't read synopsis') and I didn't think that it would really up my alley. WAS I EVER WRONG! After reading this book for the first time I reread it almost every week in January and February- this is without a doubt one of my most favourite books of all time.

2) Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Being a HUGE fan of "Obsidian" I admittedly didn't think that JLA could top herself- did she ever! This is one of the most successful sequels I have ever encountered before- it was utter perfection. I literally cannot think of a single complaint- *Well* I suppose that Daemon could have been more swoon-worthy. No wait, I doubt that that is possible.

3) "The Golden Lily" by Richelle Mead: I have been a Dimitri fan through and through, Adrian was nothing but an irritation to me in "Vampire Academy", not unlike an annoying fly that continuously buzzes around your head- but then I read this book and fell head over heels for him. Dimitri better watch his back because Adrian is slowly creeping up behind him as one of the most swoon-worthy YA boys of all time.

4) "Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry: There had only ever been one book in my life where I had felt something physical while reading it (aside from tears, I literally cry at the drop of a hat), "Bridge to Terabithia: by Katherine Paterson (what? Don't judge, I read it in grade 6 and had yet to be introduced to death therefore the death of Leslie caught me totally off guard)- that is, until I read this book. The emotions of this book were so realistic that I literally had a stomach ache the entire time while reading this- this is truly a testament to author Katie McGarry as she has been able to do what any author (aside from Katherine) has been able to do for me (Plus, Noah's hot).

5) "Soulbound" by Heather Brewer: Admittedly when I received this book from the publisher to read and review I knew nothing about it and I totally judged it by its cover (I personally am not a fan) and I am ashamed for having done so. As is evident from this being on this list this book is one of my most favourite reads of 2012- if not ever. It totally blew me away and still, months later, I think about it on an almost daily basis- especially with its ending (I am PRAYING that I can find the time to reread it sometime over the next couple of weeks). "Soulbroken", its sequel, is one of my most highly anticipated books of 2013.

 6) "The Plege" by Kimberly Derting: Like with "Soulbound" I totally formed an opinion of this book prior to reading it- I was determined that there was no way in heck that I would like this book as much as I do Kimberly's "The Body Finder" series (one of my most fav series ever), however, was I wrong. I liked this book just as much, if not more than, her TBF series. Also, I love the fact that the model kinda looks like Lady Gaga.

 7) The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna: In all honesty I'm not too sure what made me request this book, but I did and am I ever glad that I had! This book in my opinion is, without a doubt, is the most under-appreciated YA book of 2012. There are SO MANY books out there that I don't think that are worthy of the hype that the receive and this book deserves ALL THE HYPES. I also love the fact that this book could go either way- as a standalone or as the beginning of a series.

8) "Shine" by Jeri Smith-Ready: While I liked both "Shade" and "Shift" I wouldn't have considered myself to be a bona fide Team Kilt member, that is, until I read this book. This book is one of the best series closing books I have ever had the pleasure of reading before. Everything that I wanted to happen happened and then some. This is a world that I know that I will revisit time and time again.

9) "The Selection" by Kiera Cass: Despite this not being the most unique dystopian of 2012 I couldn't help but not love it. I just found it to be so cute and fun, exactly what I needed at the time that I read it. I love that this is a different sort of love triangle and I can't wait to see what happens in its sequel, "The Elite", due out early 2013! (Oh, and don't be fooled by this book being marketed as "The Hunger Games" meets "The Bachelor"- it is nothing like "THG"- in a good way).

10) The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay: This book. THIS BOOK. If you have yet to read it *FLAILS*. Admittedly when I first read it I was kinda on the fence about it, however, since having read it (more than a month ago) I have thought about it. Everyday. In that time I have come to appreciate it and love it like no other. Read it. OR YOU WILL REGRET IT.

Honorable mentions: It's kinda cheating, I know, but I couldn't not at least mention these books since they were so gosh darn satisfying:

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