Monday, September 27, 2010

The Novel Graveyard

Novel Graveyard time, which sounds completely appropriate because it's from my long forgotten zombie book THE RULES FOR DATING A TEENAGE ZOMBIE. This is a finished book that never made it off my desktop, but each chapter was a new rule and included such gems as:

Rule 1: Don’t cross paths with a zombie. Especially if it’s two weeks before prom. That's just tacky.

Rule 3: When finding the zombie slut who bit your boyfriend, DO NOT attempt to slap her. Zombies are freakishly strong.

Rule 4: A zombie boyfriend can still get jealous. Even if he’s the one that started the whole mess by going to his stupid ex-girlfriend’s funeral in the first place.

Rule 6: When your boyfriend is a zombie, becoming allies with a zombie hunter is a bad idea. Especially if he has a crush on you.

And it goes on from there. As you can see it's very tongue in cheek. Here is a quick excerpt from the second chapter. Hopefully it's not too out of context. Please keep in mind that this is my original work and it is unedited. Hope it doesn't scare you away from my blog. haha

RULES FOR DATING A TEENAGE ZOMBIE

In the middle of the night, Sawyer got up twice to throw up. He was being brave, pretending that his dropping body temperature was normal. Like he had the flu or something. He wouldn’t let me call anyone, saying that they wouldn’t understand. Well, neither did I. When Sawyer came back in my room, he crawled in next to me. I shivered when he touched my skin.

“Mm,” he said, wrapping his arms and legs around me. “You’re so warm.”

I snuggled in closer and began to rub at his arms. “Sawyer,” I whispered. “I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but I’m pretty sure this is abnormal.” He needed a doctor.

He cleared his throat and began to play with my hair. Uh, oh. That was his guilty tick. He did that whenever he was trying to distract me.

I paused. “Do you know what’s wrong with you?” My heart raced. His heart…didn’t. In fact, as my face pressed into his chest, I didn’t hear one damn thing. Not a peep. I hitched in a breath.

“Victoria did mention something--”

I sat up. “You talked to her?” I balled my hands into fists. Exactly what else had he left out? I couldn’t believe Victoria was still alive. What sort of person faked her own death for a guy? She was truly desperate.

Sawyer cracked his neck. “It wasn’t like that, Emmie. After she bit me I--”

“So now you’re spending time alone with her, letting her nuzzle your neck and then you have a conversation with her? Did you take her out to dinner, too?” I had every reason to be angry. He was right. He shouldn’t have gone to the funeral.

“Baby, I was her dinner. She was trying to eat me, remember?”

“I’m sure she was.”

Sawyer took my hand and pulled me back down to him. “Just let me talk for a minute.”

“Why should--”

He put his cold hand over my mouth and held me until I stopped wiggling. Fine. He wanted to give a little speech? I wasn’t above listening. I might not understand why he kept indulging Victoria’s craziness, but…

“Can I finish?” he asked. I nodded my head. He withdrew his hand and began to play with my hair again.

I closed my eyes, trying to hear his heartbeat and yet, there was still nothing. Maybe I was suffering from the delusion, too. I missed the steady sound of him.

Sawyer adjusted himself in the pillows. “Right after Victoria bit me, I fell back and I was holding my neck. My skin burned, like really freaking hurt. Then, she sat up in the coffin and looked right at me. Her eyes were reflecting the light or something because I couldn’t look away.”

I groaned. This was not the type of conversation I wanted to sit though. I didn’t want to know how beautiful his ex-girlfriend looked at her funeral. Sawyer touched my chin and turned my face to his. “Just listen,” he whispered.

I rolled my eyes, but lay back down on his chest.

He continued. “She was climbing out of the casket, pointing her finger at me, talking about joining her for lunch--”

“She asked you out?” I sat up again and glared at him. “At her funeral, she asked you on a date? She is so tacky.”

Sawyer pursed his lips. “That’s not the worst part,” he said. “She gets out of the coffin, right? And she smiles at me and says, ‘And Emelia will be our dessert.’”

“Ew. She mentioned me?”

“Baby, she wants to eat you.”

“As if I’d let that bitch within ten feet of me. She is truly pathetic. She couldn’t get you in life, so she attacks you when she’s supposed to be dead. Pa-the-tic. I hate her.”

“Emmie. She’s dead.”

“Good.”

“No. I mean she’s undead.”

I stared at him. He looked completely serious. “That’s not possible,” I said.

He closed his eyes. “Then how do you explain me?”

That made my stomach twist in knots. “You’re…sick. You’ve got some weird virus or something. We’ll--”

“I’m dead, Emmie.” He stared at me, his eyes burning with green light. I shook my head.

“Don’t say that,” I whispered.

He looked away. “I’m sorry. But she did something to me. Whatever is wrong with her, I assure you, she’s dead. But not really. I don’t know. She’s like a freaking zombie or something.”

My breath was coming out in jagged gasps. This was like a bad dream. This couldn’t be real. “Zombie?” I asked, my voice squeaking. “So what does that mean? Does she have to eat people’s brains?” No way.

“I think so. But I don’t know. She bit me.”

She had bitten him. That bitch. That sneaky, undead, brain-eating bitch! “Just wait until I see her,” I said, adrenaline overtaking my body. “She had no right to put her mouth on you.”

“Hey.” Sawyer ran his fingers down the length of my bare arm. It sent tingles over my body and I met his glowing gaze, letting it draw me in again. “We’re going to stay away from her,” he said. “She wants to kill you.”

But I was over this. Okay, yes. Something really flipping unusual was going on, but it didn’t mean I didn’t fight for what was mine. And Sawyer was mine. “Well if she wants you,” I said. “It’ll be over my dead body anyway, so she can have at it.”

“And what are we going to do about me?” he asked, sounding self-conscious.

I leaned in, pressing my lips softly to his. It didn’t matter what happened. I adored him. His health status made no difference. My father was gone and I still loved him. I wouldn’t abandon Sawyer. I never would.

“I don’t care if you are dead,” I whispered. “But if you talk to that bitch again, I will sever your head.”

He chuckled. “I won’t.” His hand slid onto my leg. “Come here,” he breathed. Well not really. He mouthed it mostly.

“We’ll need to find out how to fix this,” I said, closing my eyes, enjoying his cool touch.

“I know.” He kissed at my ear.

“And now that you’re dead, things might not…work like they used to.” Hooking up might have to get more creative.

“Oh, things are working,” he mumbled into my hair. “I sure as hell don’t feel dead right now.”

I smiled. As long as he was with me, we’d be okay. We’d figure out the rules for dating a teenage zombie.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The shape of love...

I'm very happy to have my regular guest poster Kari from A Good Addiction stop by. And today, she's bringing the laughs about one of my favorite subjects:

THE LOVE TRIANGLE.

Take it away Kari....

We all get into them when they happen in books. We choose sides, and argue to the death for our pick. They are a great plot device, and quite possibly far more fun than they should be. That’s right. The dreaded (but much adored) love triangle. My definition, however, isn’t just two people liking the same person. If that mutually liked person only has feelings for one, it isn’t much of a triangle, is it? So for the purposes of this post, I’m going with ones where the mutually liked person really has a choice to make.

5. Derek/Chloe/Simon (Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong):

Derek has crappy people skills. He’s intimidating, imposing and brash. He isn’t the best on the looks scale, but hey, he’s loyal like a dog (bad pun intended). Simon is attractive, nice, and has a smooth way with words. And honestly? There really isn’t that much against him. But there is something about the slightly wild nature in Derek that makes him more appealing. So even if Chloe has to struggle between liking the boys in the midst of everything else going on, I sided early with Derek.

4. Graves/Dru/Christophe (Strange Angels by Lili St Crow):

Graves is emo, shy, quiet and has pretty much no game. Christophe is suave, sexy, surprisingly reliable, and smells like apple pie. Dru is kickass and headstrong, but she has her moments of weakness. So when she really needs someone to rely on, which boy can save the day? I don’t know that one yet, but I am rooting for Graves. Who wants to make out with apple pie, anyhow?

3. Abe/Emmi/Sam (Change of Heart by Shari Maurer):

Abe has been through the heart transplant thing. He is funny, sweet and understanding. Sam is there when Emmi is dealing with needing a new heart. He fills her afternoons, distracts her, and cares for her. But he is far from perfect and makes some pretty big mistakes. And Emmi is dealing with being a teenager. Dealing with a heart transplant. Dealing with liking two boys, for different reasons. But if I were her, I’d totally pick Abe.

2. Jem/Tessa/Will (Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare):


Jem is nice, a great fighter, and sensitive. Will is a better fighter, a bigger jerk, and in the negatives on the sensitivity scale. But let’s add in the fact that they’re best friends because that pretty much kicks the love triangle drama up a few notches. Then comes Tessa. Thrown into a new world, still holding views of how a man should treat a woman, and torn between the two. My pick? Jem.

1. Adrian/Rose/Dimitri (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead):

Adrian is sweet and nice and a total playboy. Dimitri is a badass, intense, and controlled to the point of hot damn sexy. And stuck in the middle between both worthy boys’ affection is Rose. Badass, sarcastic, and devoted. She has a fiery chemistry with both boys, and one heck of a decision to make. I, however, am Team Adrian. Sardonic playboy for the win.


Thanks, Kari! Another fantastic post. And I'm with you on the #1 choice.

Friday, September 10, 2010

How Lois Duncan made me cry...

Before becoming a writer, I used to teach 7th and 8th grade language arts and literature. It was the highlight of my time in Arizona because I adored my students. ADORED. It was difficult at first because their reading levels posed a challenge, but one thing changed the course of the year--Lois Duncan's books. I'm not sure if you've read Summer of Fear, Down a Dark Hall, I Know What you Did Last Summer, but Duncan's books are pure fun. Mysterious. Awesome.

When I ordered a class set for my 8th graders, we started reading, students taking turns. A lot of them never considered reading for fun (this was before Twilight days). By the end of the week, they were riveted, asking me to read to them, actually stealing the books so they could finish it at home because they didn't want to wait to find out what happened. The minute we finished, they wanted the next book. Then the next. It was amazing to watch.

So when a few months ago an editor asked if any authors would like to contribute a blurb for the re-release of Lois Duncan's books, I jumped at it. I didn't ACTUALLY expect to make it in there, I mean... she's Lois Freaking Duncan!

And then yesterday I received a package and inside were the three titles, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Killing Mr. Griffin, and Don't Look Behind You, with their shiny new covers. I thought it was insanely sweet that the editors at Little,Brown would send them since the books don't come out until next month. That was enough to make my day.

I looked inside at the blurbs on the inside page and saw greats like: Walter Dean Myers, R. L. Stine, JUDY BLUME!, Jenny Han, Chris Crutcher, and more... and then.... I saw ME! Let me be overly dramatic for a second...

I gasped, tears springing to my eyes. "Oh my God!" I grabbed the next book and looked inside, ME AGAIN! I laughed like a crazy person. Checked the third one-Yes!! Tears rolled down my cheeks, not just because my name was there... but because my name was in LOIS DUNCAN'S book, and that meant so much to me. It was like my life had come full circle!!

My blurb?

"Haunting and suspenseful--Duncan's writing captures everything fun about reading!" -Suzanne Young, author of The Naughty List series and A Need so Beautiful

And that is why Lois Duncan made me cry....


Lois Duncan's books will be re-released October 5th, 2010.