Friday, July 30, 2010

Apparently I'm not one to throw things away

I'm not talking about the disturbing tower of diet coke cans piling up around my desk (though that exists at the moment -- I'm revising, everyone knows that revisions are fueled by diet coke).  Instead I'm talking about other things... clothes, electronics, bottles of lotion (I'll be explaining that last one, never fear).

As it turns out, I'm someone who is apparently afraid of throwing something away that might, some distant day in the future, be useful.  Of course, because I'm also not the most organized person, I tend to not be able to find said thing and usually end up buying a new one.  This is why we have at least a dozen three-to-two prong plug converters (in our house you can never really have enough) and why I have a laptop from 1997 in my attic (complete with stacks of floppies brimming with old papers and short stories).  In the attic at my dad's house I have every paper I wrote in college, including the drafts (which, now that I think about it, probably has print outs of what's on those floppies like my old short stories - score!).  In my own attic I have clothes I bought with my first pay check as a summer associate at a law firm in 2003 (not only do those clothes not fit any more, why would I ever need them in my current profession of sitting around the house in PJs?)

Half the things I keep around are broken: all of the ethernet cables I've hoarded are missing the little clip at the end that keeps them plugged in so I'm constantly having to shove the suckers back into their ports -- but they work so why replace them?  We have three couches in our living room currently because I can't bear to throw out a comfortable, yet raggedy, old couch that still works.   In the attic I think I have every pair of shoe I've ever owned since college... even though most of them have the nails worn through on the heel but maybe I'll get them fixed one day (unlikely, we all know I'll just buy new ones).  And OMG I just realized I still have Halloween candy from two years ago (JP wouldn't let me hand it out last year) and Valentine candy hearts from when I was in law school which is over five years ago now!   Yet when I go to throw them away I think "They've stuck around this long..."

Sometimes saving things works out.  I still have my original rejection letters from when I queried my first book in 2001.  What's pretty cool is that I eventually got an offer from one of the people who initially rejected me way back when.  I'm super glad I have that stuff to look back over and remind me of my journey to where I am now.   I just found not only my first blue-tooth headset but also the charger (let me tell you how many times I almost threw away the charger but hung on to it JUST IN CASE I found the headset).  I bought both in 2006.  I don't think either works.  Sigh.

So what made me think about all of this?  The lotion bottles on my bedside table.  There are fourteen of them.  All of them (except one, the current bottle) in that stage of "almost empty but not quite and yet annoying to get lotion out so I should pick up a new one at the store to have on hand for when it runs out" stage.  There are also five canisters of Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme which I use as chapstick -- they're empty except for probably one "emergency if you scrape your nail under the rim you might just get enough" dose.  Also, two tubes of chapstick, one of them has been floating in an empty vase for probably two years.   Oh, and I think there are two more almost empty bottles of lotion in the hall closet "just in case."

Seriously, am I preparing for the apocalypse here?  An apocalypse in which I'll apparently be eating dusty candy hearts and scraping lotion from old bottles?  And yet, there is still some value to those lotion bottles -- I feel wasteful throwing them away.   Fourteen is a little much which is why I was laughing hysterically when I went to bed last night after having counted them all.  Fourteen! *shakes head*

What's funny is that this story will surprise no one in my family.  My Psych 101 prof said on the first day that everyone exhibits some form of obsessive behavior to which most people disagreed until he started asking people to recite random habits: one person could only go to sleep if the last time they saw on the clock was an even number, another person could only set their alarm to go off on a 3 or a 7, someone else always counted stairs, another flicked a light switch on then off then on again.   Apparently I hoard lotion bottles, shoes, and rejection letters just in case they'll become useful again.

When the apocalypse hits you're all invited to my house: we'll run away dressed as fancy lawyers with busted shoes, our skin won't be dry and our bellies will be full of old candy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reminder: Spartanburg, SC on Monday!

Just wanted to remind y'all that on Monday I'll be speaking at the Spartanburg County Library and then doing a reading and Q&A with Holly Black at the Hub City Bookshop.  Details are here.  Hope to see y'all there!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where do ideas come from?

I was talking to my brother in law down at the beach last week about ideas.  He's a fourth grade teacher and one of the things he teaches his kids is creative writing.  I always find talking to him fascinating because he so often has to get at the origin of things.  It's one thing to talk to a teenager or an adult about writing a story because they've been exposed to them so much -- they know the basics -- but he often has to start at the very beginning and I'm not sure I'd know how to do that.

So we ended up talking about ideas -- how to find ideas to write about which is something he talks to his kids about.  It got me thinking, how do you find ideas?  It's a question a lot of writers get asked and the answers vary from "Walmart" to "my dreams" to "who the heck knows?"

I think my ideas come from wanting to know more.  I see or read or hear or feel something and it doesn't leave my head -- it tugs at me for a bit like a little string unravelling and I have to follow it.  Sometimes the string is short and sometimes long but I never know in the beginning.

For example, I don't even remember what kind of research I was doing when I stumbled upon a link for "brazen bull" on wikipedia.  I realized I didn't know what a brazen bull was and that if it had it's own wiki page, there had to be something there.  So I clicked.  Turns out it's a horrific torture device.  Like crazy crazy cruel (don't click that link unless you have a strong stomach!)

The first thing I did was email the link to my husband, JP, saying "There's a story there. I don't know what it is, but it's there."  I couldn't describe why I felt that way, it was just that when I read that article I could see the whole of things; I could see more than just the object, I could see the people who created it and feared it and died in it.

What I find interesting is when something that sparks my imagination clearly sparks someone else's.  The other night JP and I were talking about the brazen bull when he brought up something else he hadn't know the origin of.  Once he told me what it meant an entire book unfolded in my head.  I'm talking from title through the setting, the climax, the end.

I've never had a book so powerfully come together in my head that fast.  I started to get excited and then JP said "Er, I think there's already a book about that," but I wasn't to be deterred.  Just in case, though, I looked to see if there was a book and yep, sure enough.  Not just a book but one with a Newbery nod.  Sigh.  Clearly I'm not the only person who'd been sparked by that idea (I'm still hoping I can find a way to make that idea work down the road).

Sometimes these little sparks of ideas fizzle out -- there's not enough there to sustain interest or to hold up the plot of a book.  Sometimes they spark other ideas and steamroll into something totally unexpected.  The Forest of Hands and Teeth all started with the idea of what it would be like trapped in a village where zombies were the norm, not the new horror.

Sometimes the sparks just add flavor to a current project -- I found a working title for a new project when I was following interesting sounding links doing research and I came upon a definition of something that just perfectly fit the book (and no, not sharing - sorry!).

So if you're casting about for a new idea try to pay attention to those little things that grab at you.  The little things that make you wonder "who" or "why" or "how."  Maybe they won't turn into the perfect new idea you're looking for but they could lead you in the right direction :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Upcoming events!

Just wanted to let y'all know about some upcoming events! Hope to see y'all there!

Saturday, November 8, 2014 
YALLFest Book Festival in Charleston, SC
Blue Bicycle Books, 420 Kings Street
Join 60 of the country’s top YA authors, including 25 New York Times bestsellers for panels, presentations and signings on three stages on Upper King Street, as well as the infamous YA Smackdown! Click here for more info!

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 2:00pm
Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
Join JP and I as we celebrate the launch of The Map to Everywhere! For more info, click here.

UPCOMING in 2015 (subject to change):

May 15-16: South Carolina Book Festival


Monday, July 26, 2010, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Spartanburg Public Library Headquarters - Barrett Room
151 South Church Street, Spartanburg SC

Monday, July 26, 2010, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Reading and signing with Holly Black
Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg, SC

July 28-29
Romance Divas Not Going to Conference Conference (NGTCC)
Online YA Workshop Panel
Link to come!

September 4, 2010, 3:00 pm
The Escape at the Old Courthouse, Decatur, GA
I'll be on the Zombies v. Vampires Smackdown on Saturday Sept 4th at 3PM at The Escape at the Old Courthouse.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 6:00 pm
Encinitas County Library, hosted by Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
Event with Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Pearson, Rachel Caine, Rachel Vincent, Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia

Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 7:00 pm
Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College, hosted by Anderson's Bookshop, Chicago, IL
Event with Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jackson Pearce & Jennifer Barnes
NOTE: for this event, it is free with the purchase on one book by a featured author or $5 without purchase

Friday, September 24, 2010, 5:30 pm
Baltimore, MD
Panel Discussion: Zombies vs. Unicorns debate with Justine Larbalestier, Holly Black, Scott Westerfeld, Diana Peterfreund and Kathleen Duey.

Saturday, October 9, 2010
Novello Festival
 Tribute to Novello Festival of Reading!  Here's the info on my panel, Saturday October 9th:

1:15 p.m. Young Adult
Carrie Ryan: Dead-Tossed Waves, Forest of Hands & Teeth
Karon Luddy: Spelldown
Joyce Hostetter: Comfort, Blue, Healing Waterils to come.

Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 4:30 PM
Neuse Regional Library, Kinston, NC
I'll be speaking at the Kinston-Lenior Public Library.  You can find more information here.

Friday, October 29, 2010 at 6:00 PM
New York, NY
The Princeton Club, 15 West 43rd Street
I'll be speaking at the Williams Club and reading from The Dark and Hollow Places (the first sneak peek!) and signing afterward.  There should be books for sale after the event!   The event is free but reservations are required -- you can email or call 212.596.1261 to reserve.  See below for more details!
click to view full size

Saturday, October 30, 2010
Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Geeks Gala
I'll be the guest judge for the Geeks Got Talent contest!  There is a cost for admission and all proceeds go to Youth Homes, an organization dedicated to providing supportive human services to children and families.  For more information about the event, click 
here.  This is going to be a super fun gala and I can't wait to see y'all there!!
To learn more about the Charlotte Geeks, the Gala and to see me on TV, click here!

November 19-20, 2010
Orlando, FL
Details to come!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 6:00 PM
Miami, FL

Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Chicago, IL
Naperville location:
123 West Jefferson
Naperville, IL 60540
Tel: 630-355-2665

Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 2:00 PM
Chicago, IL
Borders Schaumburg

Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Cincinnati, OH
2692 Madison Road
Cincinnati OH 45208
(513) 396-8960

Monday, March 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Dayton, OH
Books and Co. at the Greene

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City Public Library, Main Library hosted by The King's English
1511 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 7:00 PM
West Jordan, UT

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Phoenix, AZ
6428 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85283
Tel: 480-730-0205

Friday, April 1, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Phoenix, AZ

Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 2:00 PM
San Diego/Los Angeles, CA

Monday, April 4, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Los Angeles, CA
8818 Sunset Blvd.
W. Hollywood CA, 90069
This is a joint signing with other awesome authors I shall reveal shortly :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011 all day
Los Angeles, CA
click image to make bigger so you can read all the fun details!

Monday, April 11, 2011 
from 5:00-6:00PM
Spartanburg, SC
I'll be signing and chatting with readers from 5-6 and then from 7-9 I'll be giving a writing workshop on how to put tension on every page, especially when it comes to writing YA. Space is limited -- click here for more information!  You don't have to be a part of the workshop to come to the signing!

April 12 - April 15, 2011
Austin, TX
TLA (I don't have a schedule of events yet but will post when I do)

April 15 - April 16, 2011
Austin Texas
Writer's League of Texas, YA A to Z Conference

Sunday, May 15th, 3:00 PM
414 Hasty Street
Marshville, NC 28103

September 23-25
SCBWI-Carolinas Conference
Charlotte, NC
I'll be hosting a round table of published authors answering your questions (registration for the conference required).

October 4, 2011, 6 pm
Lansing, Michigan
Another fantastic lineup of YA authors traveling around the country to celebrate books!  Click here for more info.

Friday, October 21, 2011 at 6:00 PM
Melbourne, FL
Barnes & Noble

Details here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011
Teen Read Week, Palm Bay and Satellite Beach Florida.
Satellite Beach Library at 11 a.m.  Details here.
Franklin T DeGroodt Memorial Library at 2 p.m. Details here and below (talk followed by a Zombie self-defense class)!

Friday, October 28, 2011 
Wingate University, Wingate, NC
Ethel K. Smith Library
Zombie walk at 6pm, hors d'oeurves at 6:30pm, talk at 7pm with signing to follow!  Click here for more info.

November 11-12, 2011
YALLFest: Charleston Young Adult Book Festival
Charleston, SC
I'm so excited to be a part of such a wonderful list of authors at this year's YALLFest!  For more information click here and I'll update my schedule as I get more details!

December 13, 2011
Writing Workshop at Myers Park library
Charlotte, NC
I'll be giving a writing workshop at my local library.  Click here for more details!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 7:00 pm
Fireside Books and Gifts, Forest City, NC
Join author Stephanie Perkins and me as we help Beth Revis celebrate the launch of A MILLION SUNS!  Book talk, discussion, signing and just generally hanging out :)  There will also be a virtual component of this event, click here for more details!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Books of Wonder, NYC
Discussion and signing featuring me, Beth Revis, Julie Cross, Megan Miranda and Maureen Lipinski.  For more info, click here!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, 5 pm
Mint Hill branch of the Mecklenburg Co. Library, Charlotte, NC
I'll be talking about the process and craft of writing and answering questions!
Details here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012, 7pm
Malaprops Bookstore, Asheville, NC
Southern Kidlit Writers Cabal
Join nine of the south's best authors of middle grade and young adult fiction as they descend on Malaprop's for one crazy night of writer revelry. With more than two dozen critically-acclaimed and New York Times bestselling books between them, the kidlit cabal runs the gamut of historical, fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary novels. Come and see your favorite authors and meet new favorites you haven't read yet as they answer your burning questions about writing, editing, publishing, and the zombie apocalypse: Alan Gratz, Gwenda Bond, Carrie Ryan, Beth Revis, Megan Shepherd, Megan Miranda, Tiffany Trent, Laurel Snyder, and Kristin Tubb!
Details here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 5:30-7:30
Tulsa City-County Library - Peggy Helmerich Library, Tulsa, OK
Come celebrate Teen Read week with me! The theme this year is "It Came From the Library" and what better way to celebrate than with all things zombie? Here's the official description and poster for the event (click poster for larger version): 
Zombies love prom almost as much as brains! Help us celebrate Teen Read Month with a zombie costume and walk-off contest, an apocalypse survival box challenge, zombie peg doll crafts, and a zombie prom photo station! Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of zombie series The Forest of Hands and Teeth, will be on hand to dish about zombies, writing and her novels. A book signing will follow.

Saturday, November 10, 2012, all day
Charleston, SC

Who’s coming: 44 (and counting) of the country’s top YA authors, including 25 New York Times bestsellers

What: Panels, presentations and signings on more than three stages on Upper King Street, as well as the infamous YA Smackdown!

When: Sat., Nov. 10, 2012, 10 am to 6 pm. 

Where: Blue Bicycle Books & The American Theatre, King Street, Charleston, SC 
Cost: FREE!

Monday, November 19, 2012, 7:00 pm - ?
Park Road Books, Charlotte NC (4139 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28209 Tel: 704-525-9239)

What: The signing is officially in honor of the release of My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop but I'll also be signing anything else I've written (booksshort stories, etc).  I typically like to chat for a bit and then take Q&A so if the store is amenable, I'll be starting that at 7:00 and signing directly after (I'll make a note here if that plan changes).  If you can't make it but would still like signed and/or personalized books, you can also contact the store and pre-order one and I'll sign it that night.  Actually, you can always order signed and/or personalized books of mine from Park Road Books at any time (info here) --  they've always been incredibly supportive and gracious in facilitating that!
More Details here!

A note: I don't know what Park Road Books' policy is on bringing outside books or limits and as soon as I find out I'll update this post.  If you have questions before I can update, you can contact them directly. However, I would really love it if you would purchase a book (or more!) from Park Road while you're there (even if it's not one of mine).  Park Road Books is a really fantastic indie bookstore and they put their heart and soul into what they do -- we as a community need to support them!

On a more personal note, Park Road Books has supported me from day one and I feel incredibly lucky to live so close to such a wonderful store and honored that they chose me to represent them in the book My Bookstore.  I'm awed to be in the company of so many other amazing authors and am thrilled we could all come together to celebrate Independent Bookstores!

Oh... and a final note that signed books make for excellent holiday gifts... :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 3pm

City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC
Signing and discussion with me, Beth Revis, and Megan Shepherd!
More info here!

Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 2pm
Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, TX
Signing and discussion with me, Beth Revis, and Victoria Schwab!
More info here!

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 7pm
Birkdale Barnes & Noble in Huntersville (outside of Charlotte)
Signing and discussion with me, Beth Revis, and Aprilynne Pike!
More info here!

Less Than Three anti-bullying conference, October 19, 2013
NINC Conference, October 24-27, 2013
YALLFest, November 9, 2013

January 17-19, 2014
Williamsburg, VA
MarsCon Guest of Honor

Monday, March 3, 2014
Charlotte, NC
Celebration of Read Across America Day at Whitewater Academy

Wednesday, March 26
Kennesay, GA
Kennesaw State University Conference on Literature for Children and YA.
More info here.

Saturday May 3, 2014
Concord, NC
Presentation to the Carolina Romance Writers.
More info here!

May 14-17, 2014
RT Booklovers Convention - New Orleans
SIGNING: Saturday, May 17, 11:00-2:00: Giant Book Fair, YA Alley (more info here
Here's my panel schedule (also available here):
Wed, May 14, 2:30-3:30: eBooks in Bookstores/Libraries: New Opportunities for Success
Friday, May 16, 1:30-2:30: YA: “What a Wonderful World”: YA High Fantasy
Friday, May 16, 2:45-3:45: YA: “Take a Chance on Me”: Money Matters
Saturday, May 17, 5:00-6:00: “Stone Crazy”: Liars Panel

May 30-June 1, 2014
ConCarolinas - Charlotte, NC
With Guest of Honor George RR Martin!
More information here.

June 29, 2014, 3-4PM
ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas
My co-writer (and husband) JP and I will be attending the ALA conference in Las Vegas! We'll be signing galleys for the first book in our middle grade fantasy adventure series, THE MAP TO EVERYWHERE in the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Booth (Booth #422) on Sunday from 3-4PM! Come grab an ARC and say hi!
For more details, click here!

Friday, October 3, 2014 at 7:00PM
Qual Ridge Books: 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh, NC 27607 
I'll be interviewing Kami Garcia about her latest release, answering questions, and signing!
For more details, click here!

September 19-21: SCBWI-C Annual Conference
October 9-11: NC SLMA Conference, Winston Salem, NC

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gollancz Cover for The Dark and Hollow Places

Just last week I posted a collection of the foreign covers for my books and I have a new on to add to the collection!  As I said before, I feel so lucky to have gotten such beautiful covers and that means that to a certain extent, I now open cover related emails with one hand over my eyes because I'm just not sure how much longer my luck can hold out.

As it turns out, my lucky streak continues!  This is the cover Gollancz designed and it will be released in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  If you read the flap copy for The Dark and Hollow Places you'll understand the significance barbed wire plays in the story.  I couldn't be more thrilled with how this cover turned out!!!

Yep, I love everything about this cover: the ominous sounding tag line, "The worst secrets are about the future," the smeared blood, the dirty concrete, the barbed wire heart, even the font (and yes, I also love the descriptor "International Bestselling Sensation" - squee!)

Thank you thank you thank you Gollancz for such a gorgeous cover!!  Of course this does mean I've been doing a lot of staring and not quite as much writing/revising.  Oops!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Dark and Hollow Places

Hurray!  I just saw that the listing for The Dark and Hollow Places is up on Amazon - squee!  It lists the release date as March 22, 2011 - also big yay!  No cover yet, though -- it's not final and as soon as it is and I get permission to post it I'll be shouting from the rooftops :)  However, the flap copy describing the book on Amazon (and elsewhere) is wrong so here's the official description of the book:

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face when she and Elias left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they found their way to the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day and she's been waiting for him to come home ever since. Without him, her life doesn't feel much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Then she meets Catcher and everything feels alive again.

Except, Catcher has his own secrets—dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah's longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah—can she continue to live in a world drenched in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? 
Very exciting!  I tend to think of The Dark and Hollow Places as more of a sequel to The Dead-Tossed Waves than a companion.  I know there's been confusion before about why DTW is called a companion and I'll post more on that decision later this week.  It's not really a huge distinction and it was more for clarification and to establish expectations than anything else.

But for those of you who have emailed, wondering if we get to know what happens to the characters from the end of The Dead-Tossed Waves -- yes :)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Foreign Covers!

I'm not gonna lie, one of the best parts of selling foreign rights is seeing how other countries imagine the covers.  There's really nothing like that first moment you see a cover -- whether it's the first cover for your first book or the third.  It's been really really fascinating to see what other countries have come up with -- how they see the characters and the books and how different they all are from each other.  And I have to say, I've been super super fortunate that all the covers I've seen so far have been amazing -- I really do have some fantastic foreign publishers!!

Here are a few that I've seen so far:

Brazil, Editora Underworld (you can visit the microsite for the book here):

France, Gallimard-Jeunesse:

Greece, Platypus Publication:


UK/Aus/NZ, Gollancz

Germany, Verlagsgruppe Random House

I love all of these so much and am a lucky lucky author!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Random things on a Thursday - beach edition

Yesterday JP and I drove down to his family's house at Pawley's Island for our annual 4th of July vacation.  I have to say, this is one of my favorite times of the year and spots -- our days are filled with playing games, crabbing, picking crabs, eating crabs, kayaking, bocci ball on the beach, sleeping, and one very small town parade that is taken quite seriously.  You know, the usual.  Of course, it's raining today which means lots and lots of game playing.

Cthulu figurines!!
The game of the hour is Graverobbers III: Suburban Slashers from Sunnydale Street where the object of the game is to create a B-horror-movie.  Which is of course quite appropriate for JP and I since we tend to be big fans of B-horror movies.  Last night we played Smallworld (an easier and more fun game similar to Risk but without the inevitable fights Risk always causes) and pretty soon we'll probably transition into A Touch of Evil (with expansions -- similar to Arkham Horror but I think more manageable and a little easier), Unspeakable Words (scrabble with Cthulu figures), Bananagrams (word game) and the old standbys Arkham Horror (with too many expansions to fit on our table) and Dominion (with expansions -- always a favorite).

All the games took up most of the trunk for the drive down here -- clearly we are a family that loves games :)

In the writing world I'm working on revisions for book three (The Dark and Hollow Places), working on a few proposals, working on some short stories, trying to catch up on my reading and trying to catch up on various odds and ends.  Yesterday I jumped for joy when I found Ally Carter's latest installment in her awesome and fun Gallagher Girl series, Only the Good Spy Young.  I LOVE Ally Carter's books and can't wait to dive into this one.

I also brought a bag of other books to read -- more of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series (of which I've already proclaimed my love), a few ARCs and some books I'm reading for my proposal :)  I'd say what space wasn't taken up in our trunk from games was taken up with books.

Is there any other perfect vacation than one that starts with books, games, and a suitcase full of shorts, tank tops and bathing suits?  And of course my wonderful husband and his family!  Going to be a fantastic week!  And when this one is over I'm heading up to Isle of Palms to spend a week with my family -- one mom, two sisters and six kids under the age of seven :)