10 Things: Books, Baking, Beaches…and Giveaways!

  1. SALE! All eBooks on Evernight Teen are on sale! 25% off, today through Monday. Also, all Evernight and Evernight Teen eBooks will be on sale at AllRomance eBooks for Black Friday (25% off). Great time to grab FOLLOWING CHELSEA if you’ve been meaning to pick it up! :)
  2. Signing: Tonight I’m doing my first official book-signing! I’ll be at Coho Books in Campbell River from 7-8pm. book-signing
  3. Baking: I took advantage of the rainy weather coinciding with days off this week to start my Christmas baking – earlier than usual, but nice to get a few things in the freezer ahead of time.baking-collage
  4. Beach! We did get some breaks in the rain, though, and I took advantage of them… To the beach! fading light
  5. Thanks! I want to give a big shout-out to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Campbell River chapter, and to the awesome volunteer who vetted the manuscript of my verse novel for CF accuracy. Thank you!!
  6. Read more…it’s good for your brain. “Fiction is not just a simulator of a social experience, it is a social experience.” Interesting article about what reading fiction does to the brain.
  7. Giveaway: Enter to win a paperback copy of FOLLOWING CHELSEA. (Closes Sunday!) :)
  8. And another giveaway: Denise Jaden is giving away a copy of Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents on her blog. It looks like an excellent resource for writers! (U.S. only…but Denise will give away a copy of her e-book FOREIGN EXCHANGE to an international winner.)
  9. beach-todayIf you’d like a peek at my “beachy book” — a novel in verse I’m hoping will find a home — the first page is up online for the “Baker’s Dozen” contest. Comments/feedback very much welcome and appreciated! (Anyone can comment between now and Monday. Then Tuesday is for agent bids only.) Mine is entry #56. You can read it HERE.
  10. And finally, Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

[ETA: Bonus #11…Hey, writers! Scrivener is on sale for $20 this weekend! Available for Windows or Mac. If you’ve been thinking of giving it a try, now might be the time!]

Peace… :)


Strong Women: Guest post by Meradeth Houston

Today, I’m delighted to welcome fellow Evernight Teen author, Meradeth Houston, to my blog. Meradeth is the author of AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT (scroll down for info about her book!). Meradeth and I have been chatting about strong female characters. Thanks for joining us, Meradeth!

Thanks so much for hosting me, and agreeing to swap blogs, Shari!! I love getting to wander around the web a bit and talk about book stuff. :)

So, we’re talking strong female characters, something that is near and dear to me. I will admit that I’ve put books aside when the main character comes across as too passive or weak. I don’t enjoy reading about someone who sits around waiting for someone else to save them, or who only manages to accomplish everything due to sheer dumb luck (something I sometimes call TDTSS: ‘too dumb to survive syndrome’—it’s deadly for a character!).

What makes a character, especially a female character, strong then? Well, honestly, I think that can vary a whole lot depending on the book and setting. There are some awesome examples of leading ladies who are completely capable of leading a revolution, fighting the enemy tooth and nail, and otherwise being strong physically and mentally.

But that’s not the only kind of strength.

Sometimes strength comes in the form of relying on other people, and I don’t have a problem with a character needing to do that (just maybe not all the time). Other times, strength comes in the form of kindness and forgiveness, especially when there’s been some serious harm done. And there are plenty of other ways to demonstrate strength without a gun/sword/ninja skills/fists of steel.

What I’m trying to say is that strength comes in many forms. We are rather familiar with the “kick butt and take names” form that we often see, but it’s not all that there is to strength. In order to form a really well balanced character, I think it’s important to express strength in a variety of forms. It lends humanity and makes the character identifiable for the reader, which is definitely something that you want. This is definitely something that I worked toward with Leah, the main character in An Absence of Light: while she’s able to kill the Shadows with the best of them, and has a brain to figure out new methods, she also has the strength to be flexible when she needs to. And oh does she need to in Absence! For me, that’s one of my favorite things about Leah and what I hope my readers enjoy, too!

What about you? What makes a character strong? Ever come across TDTSS?

the-absence-of-light3Blurb for AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT:

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.

MeradethHoustonBio:  Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:

  • She’s a Northern California girl. And now is braving the cold winters in Montana.
  • When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
  • She’s also an anthropology professor and loves getting people interested in studying humans.
  • If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.


Find Meradeth Houston online at: www.MeradethHouston.com

FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblr, Amazon, Goodreads, and of course her blog!

Find AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT on Amazon or Evernight Teen.

The Theme from Pitch Wars

No, not a revised version of the theme from Star Wars, although you know how much we writers like revising! ;) Nope, this theme song, created by Pitch Wars mentee Susan Gray Foster, is to the tune of Queen’s WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. I figured it works well for most writers, not only those in Pitch Wars, so I’m re-posting for your reading singing pleasure.

I’ve paid my dues
I’ve done my time
I’ve worked for years
Never making a dime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve told instead of shown and I’ve used lots of filter words too
(And I need to just write on and on and on and on)

We are Pitch Warriors, my friend
And we’ll keep on writing till the end
We are Pitch Warriors
We are Pitch Warriors
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the writers of the words!

I’ve been rejected
I’ve rewritten it all
But I’ve had CPs and my awesome mentor
I thank you all
Still it’s been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before the whole publishing world
And I ain’t gonna lose
(And I need to just write on and on and on and on)

We are Pitch Warriors, my friend
And we’ll keep on writing till the end
We are Pitch Warriors
We are Pitch Warriors
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the writers of the words!

Rock on, Warriors! Or…write on, at least.

Thanks so much for this, Susan!


Monday Miscellany: SiWC, books, & a call to CREATE

blog-MondayMiscellanyWow! What a weekend! I spent the last three & a half days at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (near Vancouver, BC). So much learning, inspiration, visiting, fangirling, and fun packed into one weekend! If you’re a writer and you’ve never been to this conference, definitely put it on your calendar for next year and try to attend.

Here are some Random Moments of SiWC Awesomeness (very random, compiled by yours truly during a time of significant sleep-deprivation…but you might still enjoy them!).

Yesterday, I shared my all-time favourite books (as well as some recent great reads) over on The Book Lover blog. Check it out if you’re curious.

Winner! The coffee-and-a-book giveaway winner is Chrissy M. Congrats, Chrissy! Check your email… ebooksbux giveaway winner

And finally, I love this call to create:create

Have a great week!

Peace… :)