Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Calling All Fellow Fans: #However Long It Takes!

Greetings, Bookies!

If you don't know now you know ... I love The Originals and The Vampire Diaries. But let me be a tad more specific:


Whichever you prefer. Having said that, although I hate Klaus for the evil man he is, I absolutely love Caroline and Klaus together. And now that Klaus is doing his own thing on The Originals -- trying to conquer the world whilst killing everyone and everything in his way without a single bat of his eyes and his daughter baking in werewolf Hayley's stomach -- I panicked when he visiting Mystic Falls to gloat over Katherine's seemingly impending death. why? Because of what he promised Caroline. Although I am overwhelmingly ecstatic that Klaus and Caroline finally did the deed ... he promised her he would never return.

Bittersweet Klaus' farewell was. On the one side, it proves how much Klaus is in love with Caroline (he totally pulled a stupid Dear John!). And on the other, bitter, side, it was a smack in the face. Because, like WTF?! He's never coming back for Caroline? Does that means they are never going to be a thing ... a permanent thing as fate wrote it to be? Or could it mean not right now -- for a long while -- but rather when everything settles and Caroline finds her way to him?
NONONONONONO! I refuse to believe Klaroline is over!
Julie will never convince me that "He is your first love,
I intend to be your last, however long it takes" will end
like this. Nope, call it denial but there will be more of
- MaaiaMrsSunshine, YouTube

Depressed, I found myself scouring YouTube for videos of Klaroline and low and behold what I found:

We, or at the very least, I, know that the petition will not change anything in the immediate future. however, if signing this petition means that CW knows how us Klaroline Shippers feel and stands as a reminder not to forget the merging fate of Klaroline then I am okay with that. So ...


Absolutely. This was not casual sex. Klaus let's
Caroline love him on her terms. He's patient. That's
powerful stuff. Tyler loves Caroline when it's
convenient for him. Loser.
- Malteseheart, YouTube
Let us start a revolution! Spread the word! We must fight for Klaroline


Happy Reading!
Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spotlight Saturday: Agents

Hey Bookies!

For this week's Spotlight Saturday, since I am doing a Spotlight miniseries on what I am learning during my journey to getting published, I will be talking about literary agents. And for those of you who have not already heard, I recently finished my #WIP2, titled CRIMSON which I plan to make the first in a series, The Grimm Chronicles, of fairy tale retellings.

What I have learned about those who are also on the path of getting published often ask "Do I really need an agent?" Well . . . In my personal opinion, ABSOLUTELY. Literary agents are literary agents for a reason: They know what the hell they are doing. Whereas, us amateurs as just that, amateurs. The publishing business is stormy waters and literary agents are the captains that can navigate and get us where we need to be so that our beautiful bundle of manuscript gets into the right publishing hands.

Or into any publishing hands for that matter!

In case you did not already know, a literary agent is:

a professional agent who acts on behalf of an author in dealing with publishers and others involved in promoting the author's work; represent writers and negotiate the writer's contract with a publishing house.
- Google
The Need to Know about Literary Agents:
1. Common Interest: Find an agent who has an affinity for what you wrote; YA? Thriller? Romance? All three?
2. The Hook: Your query letter should get the literary agent hooked; they read hundreds of queries each week so you want to stand out.
3. Listen: No two agents are the same; each agent has their own preferences so remember #1 and pay attention to what they want to see in your query letter (going back to #2, submission guidelines)
4. Polish: Just as you would polish yourself up for a job interview expect to do the same for your manuscript even before you land an agent. *Think about passing your manuscript through Critique Partners and Beta Readers before you begin the querying literary agents.

5. Hope: DO NOT LOSE HOPE! Even the greatest writers in history got shot down so keep your head up. There is always room for improvement so improve and keep the hope alive.

Having said all of that, keeping tracking of the agents you queried and what they want when you query them is no small feat. Luckily, I stumbled upon a site where you can do just that. And so more! Check it out: QueryTracker

Anything you would like to add? Advice when querying agents? Any secrets that would boost chances of landing an agent? ;)

Happy Reading!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Prepping for BEA 2014!


B-E-A! B-E-A! B-E-A!

Yeah, yeah I know it's only February and BEA isn't until the end of May but what  can I say? I. AM. SO. AMPED! So much so that I dreamt of being at BEA the other night. Need I say more? No ... well, I am going to anyway ;). I spend 362 days a year waiting for BEA. I cannot help it. BEA is all about books! Booksbooksbooks. What more can a woman ask for?

*Awkwardly steps up to the podium* My name is Haysel, and I am a Bookworm. I love big books and I cannot lie. Okay, okay, I'll have mercy on you and calm down on the babble.

Anywho, for those of you new Bookies on the block, BEA stand for Book Expo America. It is an annual #1 book and author event (basically one big book feast!), hosted at Jacob Jacitz Center in my hometown, New York City, in the recent years (Bea 2016 will be hosted in Chicago, no! I shall find a way, I will). BEA is like Cheers ... but a million times better. Everyone knows your name (courtesy of the professional name tags that allow us permittance onto the show floor) and the names of books! Hundreds of books! Books we get to have for, get this, FREE!


BEA 2014 will be my fourth go! Wow, how time flies. Starting to feel like an old fart lol
Check out my post from my previous years of attendance:
BEA 2011: Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3
Here's the checklist I use in preparation for BEA every year:
- Registration
- Strategy of assault
- Luggage
- Money for luggage check-in
- Oversized totes
- Comfortable shoes
- Phone (don't want to miss a signing)
- Packed lunch
- Water
- Book blogger business cards
Official BEA Links:
- Main site: Book Expo America
- Official news: Book Expo the BEAN blog
A site for readers by BEA: Book Bliss
- Official BEA Librarian Blog
Happy Reading!
Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spotlight Saturday: Critique Partners?


After writing my post on Beta Readers, I decided to do a mini series of what I am learning on my road to publication in hopes of helping out my fellow aspiring authors (it can be a brutal journey and we can use all the friends we can get) or quenching the thirst of those who just have curious minds. And so, today, I am going to talk about critique partners. I felt like this was an appropriate post since we spoke about Beta Readers last week. Having said that, as I was doing my research on Beta Readers I realized that is a common occurrence for writers -- aspiring and published -- to use critique partners.

But then my question was: What is the difference between critique partners and Beta Readers? 

On a NaNoWriMo forum dedicated to experiences writers had with Beta Readers, this is a comment I came across:

This is where the difference between a beta and a crit partner comes in. By the time a book gets to a beta, there shouldn't be anything left to edit. Crit partners come first and they point out major flaws that need fixed. Now, if you mean typos and such, yes, if a reader at any level sees a minor mistake, it should be fixed.


With that, I continued on my merry way to figuring out the whole critique partner realm. From the gist of it here are a few tips to keep in mind when seeking out a critique partner(s):

1. RAWR! vs. Rawr, perhaps?: Be open to constructive criticism
2. Quality not Quantity: be vigilant, get to know your partners well, plagiarism is a real problem
3. Renovations: Be prepare to put in overtime on improving your manuscript
4. Give and Take: Acknowledge that you may have to be a critique partner, yourself
5. Believe in yourself: Never let anyone make you feel inferior

Here is a short list of resources I have compiled for you guys if applicable:
*Proceed at your own risk*

- The Top 10 Worse Types of Critique Partners, thought this was a funny but informative article
- Ladies Who Critique
- YA Writers Reddit
- How About We CP

Are you familiar with critique partners? What are your thoughts?

Happy Reading!
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cover Mania! #12

*Hosted by The Tattered Page, Cover Mania! features covers that compel me*

Being so drawn to this cover, I felt compelled to dedicate a post to it. Take a look:

The One (B&N Signed Edition)


I think it is the most stunning of the three covers for The Selection trilogy. Every time I see the cover for this book, I imagine charming princes and fairy tale wedding! Can you blame me? The One is most definitely in my to-be-read pile. I absolutely loved the first two books in Kiera Cass' The Selection trilogy so I am looking forward to the third and final book without a doubt.


The highly anticipated conclusion to Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is the perfect finale for fans who have followed America's whirlwind romance since it began—and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth's Divergent, Ally Condie's Matched, or Lauren Oliver's Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of IllĂ©a, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

- via Barnes &Noble

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: May 6, 2014
Pages: 336

***BONUS*** Kiera Cass reads from the first chapter of The One: HERE

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Melodious Monday #14

*Melodious Monday is a meme I came up with to share my weekly top picks in music.

Top Five Picks

These are the songs I had on repeated this past week:

1. Saltkin by Purity Ring

4. Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran

Enjoy the tunes!
Saturday, February 1, 2014

Spotlight Saturday: Beta Readers. . .?

Hola Bookies!

As I have mentioned in a previous post, #WIP2, I just finished my second manuscript and now I want try to get it published. Being the amateur I am, I have no idea really where to start in the getting published department. But as I was doing my research, I stumbled across the term Beta Readers. "Beta Readers? What the heck are Beta Readers?" I was so confused so, I decided to dig a little deeper and write a post on the subject.

According to Literary Ramblings, Beta Readers are:

A beta reader is, essentially, someone who reads your work and offers input while it is in draft form.  Generally, they look for typos, grammatical errors, continuity issues, etc. in order to help improve and polish your work before its submitted to a publishing professional or made public.  A lot of beta readers will do more than check for typographical errors, however, and will extend their generosity and time by critiquing and commenting on plot issues, characterization, believability, overall feeling, etc.  Whatever they find that they feel could use improving.  Mostly, it depends on what you want and what you and your beta reader(s) agree to.  If you're particular and/or thin-skinned, the more up front you are regarding the kind of beta reader and feedback you're looking for, the better the experience you'll have.

With that said, I continued on my merry way to figuring out the whole Beta Reader realm. From the gist of it here are a few tips to keep in mind when seeking out a Beta Reader(s):

1. Be open to constructive criticism
2. Quality not Quantity - be vigilant
3. Be specific about what you want 
4. Think about being a Beta Reader, yourself
5. Maybe start with one chapter to get a feel for the Beta Reader
6. Maybe a Beta Reader isn't what your looking for, perhaps a critique partner would be a better fit?

Here is a short list of resources I have compiled for you guys if applicable:
*Proceed at your own risk*

- GoodReads  has a Beta Reader Group
- YouWriteOn.com, good for English and spelling (?)
- ReviewFuse
- Bookcountry, you can post all or parts of your manuscript people will review if they want
- NaNoWriMo has a forum dedicated to experiences writers had with Beta Readers: What Your Experiences?

Are you familiar with Beta Readers? What is your take on them? Any experiences? Are you one? Know of one?
Happy Reading!
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