Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Guest Post: Keeper of the Lost Cities Author Shannon Messenger

Today, I have Shannon Messenger on the blog thanks to Mundie Moms and their awesome blog tours! Shannon is here discussing three things that every author needs to know.
Make sure to visit the tour page over at Mundie Mom's blog for a special offer and information about the different giveaways for this tour! (One of which you can enter below!)

Thanks for stopping by, Shannon!

 3 Things Every Author Needs

First of all, thank you so much for letting me take over your blog for the day! I promise not to mess things up around here. Too much... :)

Today I've been asked to share three things every author needs. Now, if this were my blog I would probably ramble with lots of parenthetical interruptions and exclamation marks as I tried to cover that topic. But since I'm visiting this lovely blog and TRYING not to spoil it, I'm going to be organized and color coded and FANCY!

(feel free to Oooh and Ahhh!)

Number One: Self Discipline

I know, I know, way to start with a downer... But the thing is, not everything about this job is fun. Plus, once you have deadlines the whole concept of "being in the mood to write" kinda gets trumped by THE DRAFT IS DUE. So the sooner you learn how to write on a schedule, the better. In fact, the sooner you get good at time management the better, because there is a crazy amount of workload that falls on an author's shoulders between writing, revising, marketing, publicity, and yanno... eating and sleeping occasionally. So yes--self discipline is essential!

Number Two: Confidence

Rejection is inevitable in this business--and I know, there I go being a downer again. But it's true! Every writer--even those flukey I-had-50-agents-fighting-over-me people have SOME rejections. And don't even get me started on reviews. So if you don't have confidence to believe that you are good enough and keep going, you are going to have a very hard time in this business. You have to believe in yourself--at least a *little*--if you want other people to believe in you. HOWEVER, there is such a thing as too much confidence, which is why you also need...

Number 3: Humility

Yes, I realize this seems to be a direct contradiction of point number two. But you need both. You need enough confidence to believe in yourself. But you also need enough humility to be able to listen to any critical feedback and learn from it. I have yet to meet a writer who doesn't need some sort of editorial guidance. Of course sometimes you will be right and you will need to stick to your gut. But honestly? Those times are fairly rare. More often than not if someone is commenting on something, it needs work. Maybe their suggestion isn't perfect, but that doesn't mean you won't have to push yourself to come up with another fix.

Really, what all of this is pointing to is that being an author is a job. A crazy awesome job. But still a job. And the best thing you can do for yourself is to start treating it like one. The earlier the better.

Wow--I made it through a blog post with only one parenthetical interruption. That might be a record! So I am going to duck away now before I ruin it.

Thank you so much for letting me stop by! I now happily turn your blog back over to you. *waves* *air kisses*

About the book:

Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit in. She's not comfortable with her family and keeping a secret—she's a telepath. But then she meets Fitz, who tells her the reason she has never felt at home is that, well, she isn't. But Sophie still has secrets, and they're buried deep in her memory for good reason: the answers are in high-demand. The truth could mean life or death, and time is running out.

Published by: Simon & Schuster
To Be Released on: October 2nd, 2012
Purchase from:

About the Author:

SHANNON MESSENGER graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She also regularly eats cupcakes for breakfast, sleeps with a bright blue stuffed elephant named Ella, and occasionally gets caught talking to imaginary people. So it was only natural for her to write stories for children. Keeper of the Lost Cities is her first middle grade novel. Let the Sky Fall, a young adult novel, will follow in Spring 2013. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats.

Follow Shannon: Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | GoodReads | Pinterest

Now for the giveaway!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review with Giveaway: Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Pushing the Limits

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

First off, I have to say that I loved this book. The story was really well written and kept me engaged and guessing, which normally I can see the ending coming from a mile away!
The story follows both Echo and Noah's points of view. It's interesting the way she accomplishes this. She alternates the narrator by chapters. So one chapter you are in Echo's head and the next is Noah's. This could have been distracting if not written well but I feel like it enhanced the story! I loved knowing what both were thinking and feeling!

Echo has secrets. She has scars. She's pretty messed up. The thing that intrigued me so much is that ECHO didn't even know what had happened to her. She knew that it involved her mom but the memories were so bad, her brain blocked it out. We found out what happened with her throughout the story as bits and pieces came back to her through therapy.

Noah, I loved. He was the ultimate bad boy. But he used that as a defense mechanism. Both of his parents had died in a house fire. Him and his 2 brothers were put into foster care. The worst part being that they split them up because his brothers were so much younger. You follow his journey as he figures out who he is, how he develops such an unlikely and beautiful relationship with Echo, and how he figures out, at 17 years old, how to put his family back together again.

This is definitely a book that I would say that needs to be in your "read IMMEDIATELY" pile. I couldn't stop thinking about the story for about a week after I finished and that, for me, is the mark of a great book!

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