Interview with Amber Lough (Author of THE FIRE WISH)

Hello Readers :D Happy Saturday!! Today I have the talented Amber Lough for another amazing author interview!

amber_dawn_lough_color

Hello! I’m Amber, and I wrote THE FIRE WISH, a fantasy set in both Baghdad and a jinni cavern, in the 9th century.

You’ve created such a rich and magnificent world in THE FIRE WISH…the setting is basically a character. How did you come up with the idea for the world? What kinds of resources did you use to create the world?

16123804The Baghdad setting was based on the real place, palace, and time period, but the jinni cavern was completely made up. I pulled in ideas from mythology, and included a Lake of Fire, tunnels, wells, and the like, but the idea for the gigantic geode cavern came from my love of crystals. (When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with crystals, and spent more money on them than on CDs.) When I began “building” the cavern, I visited caves, caverns, and museums as well as did a lot of research online regarding which crystals are best for certain things. I learned a lot about drywall, for example, that I didn’t know before—it’s mostly made up of crushed gypsum, which is fire-retardant. I took that idea when I came up with the selenite ball.

Wow. Sounds like you had a lot of fun worldbuilding! Many of my blog followers are writers, so I was wondering what is one thing you learned that has helped you along your journey to be a published author?

One of the best things I learned is to keep going. For me, it was a long, hard journey full of many soul-searching nights and days.

Great advice, Amber! Okay so, as a reader and a writer I’ve found Dual POV can be really tricky to nail down well, but you did it so well and I love how each character has her own romance (*swoon*), how did you balance of the story lines? Did you find it challenging at first or did both characters just come to you?

I’m glad you thought I did well with the dual POV! I had not wanted to write dual POV, actually. In the first draft, the story was solely from Najwa’s side, and I had left Zayele when she made the wish. It wasn’t until I was done with the first draft and my critique partner asked me, “So what happened to the princess?” when I had to face the hard truth: this book was going to be harder to write than I’d thought. It was very hard, at first, to keep Zayele’s voice from sounding too much like Najwa’s. I had to push their personalities a little harder just to keep them straight. There are times when they are similar, but I wanted there to be a crossover at a certain point, when they start to really take on the others’ life. And of course there would be similarities, but…I can’t say more than that now, can I? ;-)

That’s so interesting… I’ll talk more about this during my review (ahem, gushing session) of THE FIRE WISH tomorrow, but Najwa is hands down my favorite character although I think having Zayele’s POV adds A LOT to the story! Now for the (really) fun questions… What’s your patronous?

This is the coolest question I’ve been asked so far. A cat, for many, many reasons.

Hehe, great choice & thank you!! Speaking of cool settings, if there was any place you could travel to right now where would it be?

Iceland. Without a doubt.

Nice, I feel like everyone keeps talking about traveling to Iceland. I’ll have to make sure to add it to the bucket list… Okay. Fun Fact about yourself most people don’t know or wouldn’t expect?

You might not expect this because I’m not an avid blogger anymore, but I started blogging in 2001, and I blogged throughout my entire deployment to Iraq in 2004-2005.

That is AWESOME! I’ve only had this blog for a little over 2 years, but wow that’s dedication. Alright, next question: What was your favorite childhood book/author?

That is SUCH a hard question to answer, so I will go with who was my favorite when I was….12 (to pick a random age): Susan Cooper, for her DARK IS RISING series.

Haven’t read that one yet & I’ve heard so many great things about it (I know, I know, I’m getting there). Name a recently released book (or two as I know it can be hard to pick one) that you wish you could’ve written?

SERAPHINA, by Rachel Hartman

Another much talked about book I need to read… What other projects are you working on/any closing words about THE FIRE WISH, etc…?

Thank you for hosting me today and thank you so much for reading THE FIRE WISH! The next thing up is the sequel, THE BLIND WISH, which we be out next year. (It could also, possibly, be called RETURN OF THE BROTHERS, although that’s not the real title. Just a hint.)

Thank you, Amber. I enjoyed having you stop by! And, um, thanks for the hint, hehe, of course it’s only going to make the pain of waiting (until next year!!!) more unbearable ;)
Have a nice day!

What did y’all think? Isn’t Amber Lough awesome??? Below is a little more about Amber and be sure to come back Tuesday for my review of THE FIRE WISH, you won’t want to miss it (I’ll be gushing!!!).

Amber_Dawn_Lough_ColorAmber Lough spent much of her childhood in Japan and Bahrain. Later, she returned to the Middle East as an Air Force intelligence officer, deployed for eight months in Baghdad, where the ancient sands still echo the voices lost to wind and time. She currently lives in Syracuse, NY with her husband, their two kids, and their cat, Popcorn. For a pronunciation guide, a cast of characters, and more, please visit amberlough.com. You can also follow Amber on Twitter @amberlough and Tumblr at amberlough.tumblr.

Add THE FIRE WISH to your Goodreads to-reads!

P.S. I’m currently reaching out to authors for interviews this Fall, if you’re interested please feel free to contact me!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Are We There Yet?

On Perseverance & Patience

arewethereyetroad

My dad wrote an ahmazing post on patience and fitness. He’s a wellness coordinator, and his big motto is no gimmicks, only hard work and results (he’s tough but his clients appreciate it). In the post he says this,

If you have taken children on a road trip, you have probably heard them say “are we there yet.” I hear it a lot, not just from my children but also adults. Adults who are looking for quick results and don’t want to do the work.

He goes on to say:

“What’s your hurry…focus on enjoying the ride. Do the daily work; don’t worry about how long, because it will take as long as it takes.”

Now if that’s not advice that’s applicable to many areas of one’s life, I don’t know what is…

Yesterday, I read a post by the always hilarious Claire Legrand “On Creativity and Perseverance.” In it she has an analogy between being a writer and cooking that explains “all the feels” exactly. You’ll have to read the post, but here’s a snippet:

Meanwhile I grow hungrier and hungrier, and the people next door are chopping faster than I am, showing off their perfect golden-brown pie crusts when mine keep falling apart and I have to start over from scratch again and again…I’m happy for them, and yet I hurt too.

I did so much work last year, and so much of it is still cooking.

She goes on to say that it’s worth it. And, along with what my dad said, those are my messages to you (and myself).

It can take years to get where you want to. Beth Revis often speaks about how she wrote ten manuscripts, before she wrote the one that became a NYT Bestseller, Across the Universe. If you’re constantly asking yourself am I there yet, you’re not taking the time to work on your craft, to build yourself up as a writer. I once read a guest post by Tahereh Mafi in which she said each one of her trunked manuscripts taught her something about the writing process.

I hear all the time that once you’re published, you have less time to practice, to experiment with the art and craft of writing… people expect you to produce and not just your publisher but your readers. Best to learn how fast you can write a book, what you need to be happy as a writer, and so forth now. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, remember I’m still learning and working on getting published, but I try to remind myself (often) that it’s best to use this time to meet other writers, support them, learn from them, and challenge myself (instead of sulking about what I don’t have/can’t control).

We’re the one part of this crazy industry we control, so enjoy the ride! Before you know it your time will be here :)

Oh, and here are the links to the posts I mentioned:

“Are We There Yet?” – Jawanza Sankofa
“On Creativity and Perseverance” - Claire Legrand
“Don’t Give Up” – Beth Revis
“On Making Mistakes” – Tahereh Mafi

And if you still need more inspiration (heck, why not?) you can check out the Wrinspiration section of my “Writer Resources” page.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Judging a Book by its Cover: My Favorite 2014 Covers (January-June)*

Middle Grade Madness

MGpt1bookcoversMGAction

I love each of these covers for different reasons. By the Grace of Todd‘s cover has a great contrast between the black & white and the color. I also like the sense of wonder you get as Todd looks down. With Caminar‘s cover it’s how different it is from most MG covers I see, which have kids on them, and the eyes plus the leaves that decorate the cover’s front. With Steering Toward Normal, it’s hands down the brother relationship you see…I can already tell it’s going to be hilarious (love the cow sticking out it’s tongue). I really like how the children, in Almost Super, are in the middle of these two, angry, opposing sides, and I like the urban feel of The Eighth Day, you don’t see that often on covers period, even though most kids live in cities. Last but not least there’s The Lost Planet, my favorite MG cover, I love all the scenes going on. It really conveys the fast-paced action of the book. The only thing I love more than this cover, it its sequel’s.

From Left to Right (& top-down): By the Grace of Todd | Caminar | Steering Toward Normal | Almost Super | The Eighth Day | The Lost Planet

Edit (7/21/14): The cover for The Inquisitor’s Mark (Eighth Day #2) is AMAZING!!! Thanks to the new follower who mentioned this to me (it’s out 1/27/15).

Pretty Fluffy 

FluffyCovers

I love how both The One by Kiera Cass and All that Glows by Ryan Graudin have covers that have this fluffiness & prettiness to them. They both seem light, and the font adds to that effect. And though I haven’t read The One (or the one before it…I wanted to wait until The One was out), I loved The Selection and from what I’ve heard the entire Selection Trilogy and Graudin’s All That Glows (which I really liked) have a light air even though the books have dark undertones. I think their covers convey that well. And boy can these two authors write beautifully; I look forward to reading whatever they produce.

From Left to Right: The One | All that Glows

The (White) Girls with Flowing Hair

Okay, now this is a trend I don’t like (for various reasons that could take up a separate post, possibly a book), but as is the thing with, well, things you don’t like there are always exceptions. These are it:

black flowing hair purple flowing hair

I love the black background + white font with the blonde hair in Panic and Uninvited, and I love the purple tones (my favorite color) in Salt and Sing Sweet Nightingale (along with the hair)! I should add I’ve read all of these books, and they live up to their covers.

From Left to Right (& top-down): Panic | Uninvited | Salt | Sing Sweet Nightingale

Black, Red, & Mysterious

BlackRedDiverse

I love how these covers have this ominous black background intermixed with a startling red font, the “Die” in Paige’s book especially draws me in. And having read Pointe, the darkness of the cover is spot on. This is not some “catty girl” ballet book, you will be blown away. Speaking of being blown away, I’ve heard Dorothy Must Die is equally amazing. I pretty much bought this book for its cover and title (yeah those are important too)… I mean who wouldn’t buy a book about Oz AND killing Dorothy? I knew there was something off about that girl, she was a little too sweet. Oh, and both of these women are authors who happen to be black. I mention their race as a side note because it is. It’s not what their books are about (and I don’t want to categorize them as “multicultural books or authors”). However, if you’re looking for some Diverse YA, here ya go. (I also have a bookshelf.)

From Left to Right: Dorothy Must Die | Pointe

Run, Forest, Run

Ive Been Running

I LOVE thrillers, so when thrillers became the thing of 2014 (or tried to) I was like, hell yeah. These covers do a great job at conveying what the book is about (which is what a good cover should do). The wet hair plus the sweat on the upper lip of Nearly Gones cover model hints that the book is a thriller. And if there wasn’t a tagline, you might guess, from the “4″ in the title that it’s a thriller that has to do with numbers. As for Fake ID the black border seems to be eating up the bright, greenish yellow background, hinting at the grittiness of the book. Then there’s the guy running, again hinting at the thriller element, and, if that wasn’t enough to sell me, he looks, well, hot… I, um, have a thing for men with strong chins.

From Left to Right: Nearly Gone | Fake ID

Welcome to Dystopia

WelcomeToDystopia

Great Books. Amazing Covers. I love how all three of these books foreshadow what the book is about, what’s going to happen. And I really like the taglines they have. Aside from the fact that these authors are amazing, I pretty much bought these books because of their covers (technically I bought Dualed and Stung for their covers since they were the 1st books) and I was not disappointed.

From Left to Right: The Murder Complex | Divided | Cured

(Adult) Urban Fantasy Central

UrbanFantasy

I have a *bit* of an obsession with Urban Fantasy. I guess that’s what happens when you starting reading Anne Rice at age nine and Anita Blake at age thirteen (I understood nothing, but I fell in love). These covers are some of my favorites of the genre. And I arranged them in a special way, from Affliction, a “close up” cover to Slightly Spellbound (a series I just discovered), a full body, far away cover. They all look equally badass, although The Immortal Crown’s cover is slightly more contemplative, and, well, they’re awesome. (True confession: I like the cover of Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead (1st book in series) and the early Mercy Thompson covers better than the newer one(s) (but I do like how Night Broken seems to be returning to the style of the original covers rather than the more sexed up covers of the latter books).

From Left to Right: Affliction | The Immortal Crown | Skin Game | Night Broken | Slightly Spellbound

Bonus: Looking Backward and Forward

forwardbackwardcover

The first three of these books were released in 2013, and the last three books will be released in the second half of 2014. I love them all, for the diversity and richness that’s displayed on the covers of The Summer Prince and Orleans, to the sense of mystery and wonder on the covers of The Archived and Ticker, to simplicity intermixed with the Physics formulas/map on the covers of Falling into Place and No Place to Fall. Also, I’ve read the first three and I HIGHLY recommend them. As for the last three I’m looking forward to reading my first steampunk book and some contemporary YA (I’m a big Sci-Fi/Fantasy gal).

From Left to Right: The Summer Prince | Orleans | The Archived | Ticker | Falling into Place | No Place to Fall

Do you judge books by their covers (be honest)? If so, which recent covers have you loved?

*P.S. This is just a smattering…there were so many I wanted to add and many I thought of as soon as I posted it. A cover isn’t everything, but sometimes it can be the deciding factor, especially since I get a lot of book recs from fellow writers.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Exploring Austin — Finding New Places to Write!

photo (15)

I have many places I like to write. The above picture is one of my favorite spots, on the porch of my dad’s house/farm. But of course there’s the heat. As as one of my characters, Bria, would say, Texas in July is no place for wusses. So, I like to change where I write. I write in my bed and I often write at the kitchen table or on the couch, like the picture + tweet below:

However I’m in Austin for the summer, so I figured when in Austin, do what the Austians do. Ya know? With the help of my BFF, Google, I found this nifty article, 5 Best Coffee Shops in Austin for Writing, via PR by the Book, an Austin based book PR firm, who I would totally hire if I needed a publicist (since I can’t hire myself, LOL).

And so one free afternoon, well, let’s just say one afternoon where I wasn’t doing what I should’ve been doing and had some free time…I picked one of the cafes (the first one of course) and went to it. It’s this super-awesome cafe called Mozart’s Coffee Roasters. Here are a few of the pictures I took:

photo 3 (1)lake austin mozarts

photo 1 (5)

I found a table near the railing. Not pictured is the bird that joined me, by my feet. I said it was my writing companion…probably just wanted me to drop some crumbs though, haha.

Gorgeous, right? Truthfully I can write anywhere, but the more breathtaking the view the better. All artists had their ways of gettting inspiration, and being close to the beauty of nature is mine. I didn’t get much writing done (it was sweltering hot), but it was totally worth it…a very calming experience.

I look forward to going back sometime and sitting in the half-indoor, half-outdoor portion (which is not pictured and was to my right), where I still get the great view, minus the heat. Oh, and, it should probably be on an afternoon when I’m actually free ;)

tumblr_ln4vm9ZGmU1qzamioo1_500

As Tigger likes to say, T-T-F-N: ta-ta for now!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

P.S. I’d love to hear some cool places you like to write. Ya know, in case I’m ever in town :D

Confessions & Changes: On Doing What You Love to Do

Do what you love Love what you do - art - art poster - philosophy - quote via pinterest

 

I have a confession to make.

…I no longer love blogging.

However that confession isn’t the true (or full) story.

The truth is this: When I started this blog, 2 years ago, I knew, in my heart of hearts, I had begun something special. I am, or I was, what they call a serial hobbier. Meaning, I pick up hobbies like a fashionista collects shoes. And like that fashonista, I when the shoes are out of season (or hobbies in my case) I drop them like it’s hot. But I’ve had this blog for TWO years. And I’ve been calling myself a writer for almost the same amount of time. It has been a whirlwind, absolutely amazing, a dream. But like all dreams, some things must come to an end. You’re probably thinking this is when I’m going to tell you I’m done with blogging. Well…think again.

You see, it’s not that I don’t love blogging. That’s an oversimplification. I don’t like blogging the way I’ve been doing, I’ve been approaching it this past year. I used to blog about EVERYTHING. Fashion. Politics. Movies. Books. Baking. Whatever suited my mood at the time. But, I guess, over time I thought I had to write a certain way. I thought I had to make my blog fit into a niche, if you will. And by structuring my book reviews like other book blogger’s reviews, and by writing more about writing and writing less (the irony is not lost on me), I took the life from my blog…sucked it dry like how Edward wanted to suck Bella dry when he first met her (#horriblesimiles).

And so blogging became a chore. I mean look at my recent posts, there barely are any. I had to set reminders about posts. Like what? If you can remember, if there’s no nagging sensation that’s probably a sign it’s something you don’t enjoy and don’t want to remember.

But…today, when I should’ve been listening to my Art History Prof talk about whether some Renaissance painting had Byzantine influences or not (Dear Lord, save me from this summer class) but was on Twitter, I was inspired to make a change (cue Michael Jackson).

Thank you, Tahereh Mafi for the wakeup call.

From here on out, I’ll be going back to the old Whimsically Yours. Not sure what that means? Watch and find out ;)

I just wanna have fun with this again. I miss all the interviews I used to do (so if you’re an author or writer reading this (who I haven’t interviewed), feel free to contact me…  I want to get back to talking about real shit, forgive my french. I want to gush about books I love, F*** structure, I want rant about I’m sick and tired of whitewashing, I want this to be MY blog again. I write the books I want to read knowing fully well that it might be a challenge to get the published (*cough, cough Urban Fantasy…*writer tears*). It’s about time I started applying that to my blogging.

I share all of this, because I want to, and because there is no better time than now, with the market (especially for YA books) being more crowded than ever, with more people blogging than ever, etc…to say, you HAVE to do what you LOVE doing. Don’t bother doing if you don’t. One day (or v. boring afternoon in class) you’ll wake up and realize, you’re living a lie. And that, my friends, hurts.

Follow your passions. That’s how I’ve met so many amazing writers and readers. I look forward to connecting with even more fantabulous people with Whimsically Yours 3.0: taking from the past & moving forward (how cheesy, right? don’t worry it’s not my actual title).

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Time to get down to business…yes, I’m a cheeseball.

YA Buccaneers Sumer Reading Challenge

downloadI’ve decided to join the YA Buccaneers Summer Reading Challenge! And for my first read I’ll be re-reading an old favorite (old favorite author), this can be my Freebie too!

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Paperback, 246 pages
Published: January 5th 2010 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Blurb:

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard—falling from it is even harder.  Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around.  Now Regina’s been “frozen out” and her ex-best friends are out for revenge.  If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.  She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully.  Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend… if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first.

Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be

I loved Cracked Up to Be and I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. Lately I’ve been trying to read books that received a lot of buzz, authors that are super popular, but to be honest, I kept putting a lot of them done and if a book doesn’t pull me in enough, I’d rather read a book by an author I know will. I was going to read THIS IS NOT A TEST next but I’m in an unlikable protag mood (TBH, that’s mostly what I read).

I’ll be updating my progress via Twitter!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

New Tumblr!

brai foreshadowing

I have a new, fun tumblr for THE DAUPHINE FILES. I’m really trying to dig into the world and I love how tumblr allows me to do that. Also since a lot of my favorite fandoms inspired some of my characters/part of the world, there’s a lot of The Vampire Diaries, Originals, Supernatural, Buffy, American Horror Story: Coven…basically all the good stuff’s there (including beautiful pictures of New Orleans).

patricecaldwell.tumblr.com

It’s addicting and I’m in love with it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you ;)

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

What’s Up Wednesday!

wuwspring

Good afternoon, everyone! This is my first What’s Up Wednesday post in over two months, so I’m excited to share what’s up!

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  If you want to participate you should link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog so that we can all stop by and say, “Hi!” It’s a great way to connect with other writers!

What I’m Reading

71GXQFa+RRL

Shatter Me by Taheri Mafi. It’s pretty good, I’m only at the beginning but her writing is so easy to read. It’s beautiful, actually, but a different beautiful from Laini Taylor’s writing. It’s kind of hard to explain without reading it, but I like it a lot. I was afraid I wouldn’t, because of the heavy romantic element, but it’s good.

I’m hoping to finish it today and then move on to reading The Body Finder, the first of three books (Paranormalcy & The Nightmare Affair) I’m reading as comp titles for my own YA teen sleuth book with a speculative twist (The Dauphine Files) and because I’ve heard they’re great books!

What I’m Writing

I’m revising THE DAUPHINE FILES. I wanted to give a supporting character a little more pizzaz and that has turned into me rewriting 1/6 of the book. Oh, well.

I just got feedback back from a CP and, wow, spot on! Thanks, Salma :D This afternoon I will *hopefully* make the last major revision to the opening before I query it sometime this summer *hopefully*

What Else I’ve Been Doing

Whew. It’s been a while since I last posted. I went to Chicago for Ch1Con, a writing conference for young writers where I gave a talk on worldbuilding…that was fun. I also participated in a live streamed panel, which was even more fun, with Amy Zhang and Kira Budge, two amazing writers! (Amy’s book comes out this fall!) You can watch all of our silliness here (you should probably skip to a 1:30/2mins for the real panel, LOL).

Oh, and last weekend I visited my mom and my younger siblings for my youngest sister’s 5th birthday! Me, my mom, and my 10-year-old sister (I have 3) went to Six Flags. Here’s a picture I took going up the rollercoster (my sister wasn’t pleased). Bqn3icOCUAE2qCA

 

Bqw1lsyCEAAHOJEHere’s picture of my youngest sister on her birthday! Isn’t she adorable?

 

 

 

 

 

What Inspires Me Right Now

Myself and summer! It’s a beautiful time and I’m happy to be alive (& not in school) and with family, enjoying it!

Hope your summer is off to a great start!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

7 Things J’adore about BEHIND THE SCENES!

BtSAs many of you know, today’s the publication day of BEHIND THE SCENES by Dahlia Adler! And as Dahlia’s publicist I’ve had the honor of working with her since the beginning of this year on her wonderful debut!!

When I was thinking about what to post, what to say about the release of my first Spencer Hill Contemporary client’s book, I thought of a review. But of course since I’m technically paid to promote her book, I figured no one would take the 5 Owl review I was going to give it seriously. So I settled on talking about the 7 things I love about BEHIND THE SCENES. You may take my words as lightly as you wish, but I hope they convince you to give Dahlia’s book a chance. It won me over with it’s first chapter (& I’m not a big contemporary reader), so that must mean something, right?

THE 7 THINGS (in no particular order):

30ac18106c0fb794c53db812e64839041. It’s written by Dahlia Adler. Come on, you know I had to say it. I’ll never forget when I was just an intern at SHC and I saw the announcement of Dahlia’s three book deal. I was overjoyed. I mean, Dahlia’s practically Twitter royalty, LOL. I got promoted to publicist at the end of 2013 just around the time we were assigning books. I’m pretty sure, no, I’m positive I begged to become Dahlia’s publicist. I knew with the way she talks and interacts with people on Twitter than any book written by her was sure to be hilarious, have lots of kissing, hotties, and a great cast. And boy was I right :D

2. Ally. Ally is the protagonist of the book. In order to raise money to attend her dream school, Columbia University, in the wake of her father’s illness, she takes a position as assistant to her famous best friend, Vanessa. Ally is stubborn. She judges people hard. And she pretty much sticks to her opinions about Hollywood until the end. That’s why I love her. She makes mistakes. She’s real & honest. She gets thrown into a world that she knows changes people. So often we see shows or read books where the MC strives to be like the glamourous A-listers, but not Ally and it was nice to see someone who acted more like I thought I would have if put in situations like the ones she undergoes.

3. Liam (*cough, cough Liam’s abs). Alright, seriously, he’s like freaking perfect!!! f8c89ee7676825eecfd5f472367e8bbaWHY??? Hehe, but I love it. –> Matt Lanter (Dahlia’s Liam inspiration)

He’s smart, hot, and he strives to distance himself from the Hollywood crowd even though he’s been in the limelight since he was little. My favorite part (okay. other than the kissy scenes & the ending) was when he takes off his shirt and throws it at Ally (they barely even know each other at that point). I swooned several times, my heart was is flimsy thing.

4. The family dynamic. Too often in YA books family is sacrificed for romance. Dahlia is one of those authors who can deftly blend family, friends, romance, and the other realities of being a teen without sacrificing anything. I have younger siblings so I’m a sucker for sibling relationships. The way Ally stood up for Lucy and interacted with her, touched my heart. And the relationship with her mom & dad reminded me so much of my own. It was one of my favorites parts about the book.

5. The friendship. This ties in to #2–it’s rare you see a friendship portrayed where one friend lives glamorously and the other doesn’t where neither of them is jealous of the other. That of course is tested throughout the story, but it’s one of the stories defining features. And Vanessa is such a good friend. It really just goes to show that true friends are there for each other no matter what. It doesn’t matter how big the fight is, being friends with someone means you’re willing to take the time to work things out. I appreciated seeing a YA story that also balanced a strong friendship with a strong romance :)

download6. French. Duh. Je parle français et j’aime que le roman la façon dont le français était dans le roman (highly possible there’s some grammatical errors…I’m a little rusty). But, basically I love French language and culture. I spent half my life in a classroom studying it. My parents said I should’ve learned Spanish (I probably should’ve learned both), but I’m glad books like BEHIND THE SCENES support my love for French, haha. (And, yes, I found Liam speaking it (or trying to) utterly sexy. Sue me.)

7. Last but not least this book challenges its reader(s). By that I mean it challenges popular standards such as how white Hollywood is, teens can’t have sex, do drugs, etc…and be okay. Dahlia presented real teens with very real dreams with no judgement attached (unless it is from other characters or ourselves) I know for me, challenging would be one of the highest compliments I could receive, so when I use it I hope you know, I really do mean it. I appreciate a book that makes you giggle, cry, yell, and rethink your beliefs. Dahlia handled it all so very well.

*Bonus: There is a macaron reference. J’adore les macarons. Especially the ones from Modern Pastry (North End–Boston).

Want to purchase BEHIND THE SCENES? Why of course you do!

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository | Signed Copy from Books of Wonder*

*Dahlia can also autograph copies of BtS using Authorgraph

About the Author

Dahlia Adler is an Assistant Editor of Mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and a YA author and blogger at every spare moment in between. You can find her on Twitter at @MissDahlELama, and blogging at The Daily DahliaYA Misfits, and Barnes & Nobles. She lives in New York City with her husband and their overstuffed bookshelves. Behind the Scenes is her debut novel.

Here’s to Dahlia rocking her publication day & week! She already had an amazing launch party & I can’t wait to see and be a part of the rest of her journey!!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

 

Ready. Set. WRITE! Update 2

RSWgoldpolaroid

Week three, baby! (woohoo!)

How I did on last week’s goal(s).

Hahahaha… riight. In typical Patrice fashion I started off doing as I said I would: working on SSMS & revising Alex, but of course I got distracted.

What did I do?

Um. I started revising THE DAUPHINE FILES, LOL. Call it writer’s intuition. I knew it wasn’t finished. And let me say this, the new version is going to kick ass. (hehe) It’s already much better. I’m not revising the entire MS just the first five chapters, which are the most important ones, especially in terms of an agent requesting pages.

I did read a book (or reread one) POINTE by Brandy Colbert (it was even more memorable & beautiful & heartbreaking than the first time). I started reading SHATTER ME by Taheri Mafi. WOW. That woman knows how to write. I actually didn’t think I’d like the series because of the heavy romantic element I heard it had, but it’s great!

My goal(s) for this week.

  • finish revising THE DAUPHINE FILES & send to CPs for review
  • read 2 books

A favorite line from my project OR a word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised.

“Yeah,” I sigh. “Everything’s fine.” If you ignore the fact that the last time I heard of someone jumping over that bridge it was my mother, on the last day of school. I take one more look at wind-whipped reporter and the bridge behind her before following Chelsea outside. It’s probably nothing. Just a coincidence and me not wanting to believe that Mom chose to end her life and leave me here without the only person who understood, loving a place and wanting to spend your life somewhere can be mutually exclusive.

The biggest challenge I faced this week.

Figuring out my priorities. I have three active projects and as much as I want to work on all three I had to have a real talk with myself and pick one. I’m happier because of my decision.

Something I love about my WiP.

THE DAUPHINE FILES is the MS I want to be my debut novel. I’ve said this before but I’ve never meant it as much and it’s never been that realistic of a statement before. There’s something about this world, these characters that I click with like I haven’t with anything else. I think of promotion ideas in my spare time just for fun, LOL. I love this MS & the world I’ve created.

Happy writing! How was your week?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC