Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Vassa in the Night

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that focuses on the yet-to-be released books we're waiting for. It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm talking about a retelling based on a Russian fairy tale!

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Genre: YA Retelling
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Add to Goodreads

Goodreads summary:

Amber the Blonde Writer: Waiting on Wednesday: Vassa in the NightIn the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.

Why I'm Waiting:

Russian retelling? I am all over that! I love the influx of Russian stories this year.
What books are you waiting on?
Other posts you may like:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: This Savage Song

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that focuses on the yet-to-be released books we're waiting for. It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm talking about a new novel by a super talented author!

Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Add to Goodreads

Goodreads summary:

Amber the Blonde Writer: Waiting on Wednesday: This Savage Song by Victoria SchwabThere’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Why I'm waiting:

I love Schwab's writing style and character development. Not only that, but this novel sounds so haunting when I read about monsters versus humans because so many humans have demonstrated monstrous qualities. I'm so ready to see how Schwab dissects that!

What books are you waiting on?

Other posts you may like:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Mirror in the Sky

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that focuses on the yet-to-be released books we're waiting for. It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm talking about a novel that hits me right in the feels!

Title: Mirror in the Sky
Author: Aditi Khorana
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Add to Goodreads

Goodreads summary:

Amber the Blonde Writer: Waiting on Wednesday: Mirror in the SkyFor Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices.

As the world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it.

As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara's life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth--and for Tara--will ever be the same again.

Why I'm waiting:

I read this novel early last year and it's the first manuscript I'd ever read that was published this largely. I am so excited to finally be able to see it on the shelves!

What books are you waiting on?

Other posts you may like:

Friday, June 3, 2016

#WritersLife: Beautiful moments

Life is full of beautiful moments. Sometimes those moments involve people, events, or places. Sometimes they involve beliefs, emotions, and magic. And sometimes, those beautiful moments are all we have left after change.

I don't know who will be in my life 1 year from now. I don't know who will be by my side in 5 years or who I will enjoy dinner with in 20 years. I don't know if I'll even be around in 20 years, or in 5 years, or even this time next year.

But being grounded is what will stop me from relying too much on the who's in my life. I know what I want to be: an author, a Christian, a good friend. I know how I can get there: writing, believing, listening, laughing. I know why: because these are the things that have always been inside me, even before I knew what they were.

I don't know when certain things will happen, but timing is always out of our control. If we spend our entire lives planning, we will never get it right, because just like we can't control the when, we never have control over the people around us.

Sometimes we trust people who only know how to hurt us. Sometimes we love people who can't love us back. Sometimes we share our soul with someone who changes their mind. Sometimes, we wake up and realize that we're facing the world alone, and while we don't understand why we are, it's important to remember that these people don't have to control your life. That's all on you.

I know love is simple, it always has been. If you love someone, you care for them, protect them, listen to them, and spend as much time as you can with them. Love is never complex, but the people are. Just because someone says they don't love you back, it doesn't mean the love was wrong, just that they are the wrong person to be in your life.

I've spent a lot of time in prayer since January. Something I've learned from God is that even when He doesn't intend for someone to be permanent in our lives, He does intend for us to grow from the experience. He won't send someone you believe is wonderful just to hurt you later when they choose someone or something else. He does it to show you that as wonderful as you thought they were, you're even more so because you loved unconditionally and are still able to see the beautiful world around you.

Pain doesn't go away overnight, or in a week, or even in years. There may always be someone you think of and feel a pang of sadness, and that's okay. You can't control the who's that come into your life, but you can control who you will be and how others will view you. You know the phrase: if you want a friend, be a friend. If you want to be surrounded by great, caring people, be someone who is great and caring.

Do I think some people are stupid for making choices that take me out of their lives? Certainly. I know my worth, but I'm also grateful to know how they feel now rather than after I've invested 5 years in them. My time is valuable because I'm not guaranteed tomorrow. And if someone doesn't see how beautiful you are, be grateful you were able to see some beauty in them before they walked away.

I have a lot of stress in my life right now. I have health issues, an unemployment status, bills to pay, and family problems like everyone else, but not everyone will be able to walk your path with you even if you helped them walk their own. It hurts. I know. But you know what? Keep on helping people with their stresses because as badly as you need it right now, you'll come across someone who will be willing to help you too, and that one will be the one who chose to love unconditionally just like you.

Love others. Love yourself. Love life.

And above all, know that so many people already love you right now.

#WritersLife: Meeting Author Jenny Martin

#WritersLife - Amber the Blonde Writer

#WritersLife, where I talk writing in real life.

Last month I met the wonderful Jenny Martin in Irving, Texas and it was one of the most magical moments in my life!

Amber the Blonde Writer: #WritersLife: Meeting Author Jenny Martin at Irving Public Library
Irving Library's awesome technical display for Jenny Martin.

The Irving Public Library is an amazing place and its staff is some of the sweetest people I've ever met. If you're in the DFW area of Texas, I highly recommend following them to know what their author series are because they have a ton!

They started off this event very similar to the Marissa Meyer event I attended in February. Super yummy cupcakes, Marked nail art, book cover rings (my favorite!), and book pins were available before Jenny Martin started speaking. I bought both of my copies of Tracked and Marked at the event and those covers are gorgeous!

We listened to Jenny and her partner-in-crime, Julie Murphy, discuss the questions we had over the ending of Tracked and what the next book meant for Jenny. She said that the sequel focuses on staying strong after adversity. It's a message that I desperately need to hear right now, and for that reason I am terrified of starting this novel.

Amber the Blonde Writer: #WritersLife: Meeting Jenny Martin and hearing her speak about Marked
Jenny Martin signing a fan's copy of Marked.
Jenny did not divulge which of the men will be around in the end, but I know in my heart Cash is the
only logical option here.

I waited in line to speak with her after the Q&A, and I suffered some serious speechlessness when I reached the table.

I walked up with my books, and I'm not sure I even formed the word 'hi' before Jenny said that she knew me. I said, "Yeah, we talk on Twitter." She responded with she remembered me from Twitter, but hadn't we met in person yet? When I said no, she said that she was so excited to meet me and that she wanted to give me a hug.

Jenny Martin. Wanted to give me. A hug.

I still haven't accepted that as a reality and continue to believe this was a huge elaborate daydream.

Jenny signed my books and we talked about Tracked and Marked and other car books and she said she loved my review of Tracked and I think I blacked out but can't remember. I do know I called my mom immediately after to cry and tell her how amazing this experience was.

I am so glad I was able to meet Jenny. I've haven't been working on the rewrite, but I'm hoping this night will encourage and push me to get back into it because writing has always been my passion, and I cannot let other people discourage me from doing something I've loved for so long.

If you ever get the chance to meet Jenny Martin, jump on that train! You need this series in your life!

Jenny Martin:

Have you read Tracked? What's your favorite racing novel?

Other posts you may like:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Three Dark Crowns

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that focuses on the yet-to-be released books we're waiting for. It's hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm talking about a fantasy novel about triplet queens!

Title: Three Dark Crowns
Author: Kendare Blake
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Add to Goodreads

Goodreads summary:

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry
flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.  

Why I'm waiting:

I love reading novels about royalty, whether it's fantasy or historical. I can't wait to see how the fantasy elements play into this story!
What books are you waiting on?
Other posts you may like: