Saturday, July 25, 2015

while I was away: Prague

I mentioned on Twitter that I felt like my trip was the "YA Tour of Europe." For the entire week I was in Scotland, I kept thinking about CODE NAME VERITY. In Prague, it was completely impossible to not be thinking about DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. 
It was every bit as cool as Laini Taylor said. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

baking adventures

Tomorrow is the 24th of July in Utah, which is a state holiday commemorating the day that Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. Tonight the Roommate and I are prepping to bake a series of pies, including blackberry and paprika peach. It's somewhat of an annual tradition -- what summer celebrations have you guys been up to lately?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

While I was away ...

First up, some Scotland pics

Donnottar Castle

On the way up to the highlands

Callanish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis

Some fancy bay, Isle of Harris

The drive back down to Edinburgh

The view from the top of the Wallace Monument. Over my shoulder is where the Battle of Stirling Bridge took place.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cover Reveal: SWAY by Melanie Stanford!

You guys! Remember my CP Melanie? Well, her book Sway comes out this winter and today is her big cover reveal! I've read two versions of Sway in the course of critiquing for Melanie, and trust me, you guys want to get in on this Jane Austen retelling. Add it on Goodreads so you don't forget!

About Sway:

Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have?

Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancĂ© Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.

In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets. 

One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself.

Sounds awesome, right? And now for the cover ...








About Melanie:

Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

weekend plans

1. Catching up on the Hannibal season 3 premiere. This show is so good, you guys. How many times do smart people have to tell you before you give it a shot?

2. Making mini pavlovas for a family BBQ. Not going to lie, I am going to cheat on the lemon curd and just buy some. My grandmother actually had an amazing lemon curd recipe but it's a PRODUCTION. The next time my dad makes her fruit salad, I'll steal some for myself.

3. Writing.

4. Snuggling with the pets.

5. Buying a backpack for my upcoming Europe trip. Hoping this breakneck tour across four countries inspires my next LDS romantic comedy project (it's percolating in my brain now, but taking a backseat to the YA contemp I am working on.)

This summer has been incredible so far, folks. How has yours been treating you?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

reading roundup

I am in the middle of drafting a new project, and (as is my custom) I've gotten a bit stuck sorting out the stakes for my characters. So I've turned to reading, which usually helps unlock the creative side of my brain. Here's what I've been reading this weekend:

1. The Sky Is Everywhere

From Amazon: Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.

Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart.

I read this while visiting my friend's cabin at Fish Lake. The others went off to hike at Bryce and I stayed behind to read and write (I love Bryce, but I was in the mood for solitude.) Good thing, too, since there was some light ugly-crying during a particularly poignant scene. Highly recommended.

2. The Duff

From Amazon: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff--the designated ugly fat friend--of her crew.

But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I won't lie, I was pretty disappointed by the movie. (It was fine, but don't hype something as the next Mean Girls unless it's actually funnier than Mean Girls -- the nostalgia gives MG the edge every time.) And it took me a few different tries to get into the book. But once I cracked the beginning, I was hooked.

Fair warning: If you loved the movie, just know that the only thing it has in common with the book are characters and premise. The plots are wildly different.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

the best date

Last week, Gentleman Caller came over to make me dinner. We realized, though, that his recipe was going to take an hour and a half, so we put all of his groceries in the fridge and walked up to the Middle Eastern restaurant by my house. It was raining so we crowded under one umbrella.

The restaurant was awesome, as always, and filled with golden light. Luckily we were able to be seated right away, even though we didn't have reservations. Afterward, we tried to stop at the bookstore on the way back to the house, but it was already closed. We decided to come back the next day and buy two books -- one for me, one for him, and then we'd swap once we were both done reading.

We went back to my house and watched World War Z with Spencer on the couch.

Oh, and one other thing.

Between Gentleman Caller coming over to my house, and us realizing we were too hungry for a home cooked dinner?

He proposed.

So that was the best date ever.