Monday, January 27, 2014

Ask Me Monday Fail

Hi everyone!

Apologies for not putting up an Ask Me Monday post.  I just returned from YAK fest in Texas, and had some last minute edits to finish today, so I was unable to write a post.  Will return to it next Monday.

Instead, here are a few of my favorite things:

What are a few of YOUR favorite things?


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cover reveal: THE FOREVER SONG plus teaser


The cover for Blood of Eden #3, THE FOREVER SONG:

Ready for the pretties?







Pretty, isn't it?  I love the infinity symbol in the center.  Also, do you see what that little black circle says?  So if you do get a hold of this, there is a sneak peek of TALON inside.  Yay, dragons!

I know, waiting is hard, I get it.  ;-)  How about a teaser as to what's inside NOW?

              The smell of blood grew thicker once we were past the wall, though nothing moved on the narrow path that snaked between houses.  The flimsy wood and tin shanties were silent, dark, as we ventured deeper, passing snow covered porches and empty chairs.  Everything looked intact, undisturbed.  There were no bodies.  No corpses mutilated in their beds, no blood spattered over the walls of the few homes we ducked into.  There weren't even any dead animals in the tiny, trampled pasture past the main strip.  Just snow, and dark, and emptiness.    
            And yet, the smell of blood soaked this place, hanging thick on the air, making my stomach ache and the Hunger roar to life.  I bit it down, clenching my jaw to keep from snarling in frustration.  It had been too long.  I needed food.  The scent of blood was driving me crazy, and the fact that there were no humans here made me furious.  Where were they?  It wasn't possible that an entire outpost of mortals would up and disappear without a trace.
            And then, as we followed the path around the pasture and up to the huge barn at the top of the rise, we found the townspeople.
            A massive, barren tree stood beside the barn, twisted branches clawing at the sky.  They creaked and swayed beneath the weight of dozens of bodies, hanging upside down from ropes tied to the limbs.  Men, women, even a few kids, swinging in the breeze, dangling arms stiff and white.  Their throats had been cut, and the base of the tree was stained black, the blood spilled and wasted in the snow.  But the smell nearly knocked me over regardless, and I clenched my fists, the Hunger raking my insides with fiery talons.  
            "Well," Jackal muttered, crossing his arms and gazing up at the tree, "isn't that festive."  His voice was tight, as if he too, was on the edge of losing it.  "I'm guessing this is the reason we haven't found a single bloodbag from here all the way back to New Covington."  He growled, shaking his head, lips curling back from his fangs.  "This guy is really starting to piss me off."
            I swallowed the Hunger, trying to focus through the gnawing ache.  "Why James, don't tell me you feel sorry for the walking meatsacks," I taunted, because sometimes, goading Jackal was the only thing that kept my mind off everything else.  He snorted and rolled his eyes.
            "No, sister, I'm annoyed because they don't have the decency to be alive so I can eat them."

P.S. "I" cried while writing parts of this book.  Especially...well, you'll know it when you read it. #EvilAuthor #YourTearsFeedMyMuse


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

YAK fest

Hi everyone!

So, this Saturday (January 25) I will be in Texas for the annual Young Adult Keller Book Festival.  Better known as:


This is a Yak, if you're wondering.

Also this.

I'll be on several panels with fellow YA authors Mari Mancusi (Scorched), Cassandra Rose Clarke (The Assassin's Curse), Tracy Deebs (Tempest Rising), and Sophie Jordon (Firelight).  We'll be talking dragons, faeries, magic, and all things fantasy.  There will be other panels with other YA authors, as well as a period where you can go and just hang out with your favorite author in the Escape Hatch.

For a full list of attending authors, times, location, and the itinerary, check out the YAK fest site here.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ask Me Monday: Life Questions

Happy Monday everyone!

Today's Ask Me Monday question is this:

Dear Julie, have you ever questioned why you have become the way you are now? (by this I mean where your life has taken you) and would you change anything about your life?

Hm.  Where my life has taken me.

Well, I wanted to be an author for years and years, ever since high school I believe. Originally, my Life Goal was to "be a veterinarian when I grew up," but around 7th grade, I discovered the amount of MATH and SCIENCE you had to study to be a vet.  Two subjects that I, 1). barely eeked by in, and 2.) hated with a passion.  So, after that, my focus shifted, and I decided that I wanted to write books for a living.

From then on, I knew I was going to be a writer.  My family couldn't afford a computer when I was growing up, so I wrote longhand in 5-Star notebooks.  Everyday.  All the time.  These notebooks went everywhere with me so I could write wherever I was (even in Math class, which did not make my teachers happy.).

(Short side story: My dad was talking with one of my old high school teachers the other day, and the subject of my books came up.  I went to school in Hawaii, and it seems someone had seen my books in one of the stores in my old town.  My teacher's response?  "Yeah. She wrote all of her books in my class."  XD)

Anyway, even after I (barely) graduated high school, I continued to work on my writing.  I wanted to be an author, and I wasn't going to stop until I got a book published.  I never went to college.  Again, my family couldn't afford it, but really, it never crossed my mind to get a degree.  I didn't want to be anything else; I wanted to be a writer.  I didn't need a college education to write books.

Looking back, this was probably not the wisest career choice.  I absolutely recommend everyone get the best education they can, and have a backup plan in mind, because the road to author-dom is long and hard, and you still need to make a living.  But for me, for my path, I wouldn't go back and change it, even if I could.  One of the best decisions of my life was to attend an annual writing workshop, even though I could barely afford it (one of the downsides to not having a degree; you have to get by on minimum wage), because that's where I learned a great deal about writing, and its also where I met my agent.

Of course, there are things in my past that didn't work out so well.  We all make stupid mistakes when we're young and don't know any better (and even when we're older, and should).  But I do know one thing: I wouldn't go back and change any of it.  Mistakes are a part of life, but they don't have to define you.  And some of those mistakes led to where I am, now: blissfully married, in my dream career, doing what I love every day of my life.  If things went differently, who knows where I'd be?

So no, there is nothing I would change about my past, my choices, or my life.  If you want something, you have to go for it.  There will be setbacks, and roadblocks, and rough patches that you'll have to weather through.  But it you keep slogging forward and keep your eye on the prize, eventually, you'll get to where you were always meant to be.

Thoughts? Comments? Feel free to discuss below.  And if you'd like a question answered, ask me in the comments, and I will answer another next Monday.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Universal Pictures hires Jay Basu to adapt TALON

So, BIG news.  Big big news.

Wanna hear the big news?

TALON, the dragon series that was optioned by Universal Pictures, now has a screenwriter.

Full story here.

So, what does this mean?

It means that TALON is one step closer to actually becoming a movie.  Lots more steps to go, but this is a giant one.  Fingers crossed that someday soon we could see modern day dragons soaring across the silver screen.

Are you as excited as me?  What would you want to see in a dragon movie?


Monday, January 13, 2014

Ask me Monday: Silver streaks and birthmarks

Hey guys!

Welcome to the first Ask me Monday. Also, I apologize for the formatting. Blogger is acting up again, it seems, not letting me post pictures and formatting everything wrong.  Hopefully it will go back to normal soon but today it looks like you'll just have to do some scrolling. ;)

So, today's question chosen, by a random number generator, is (totally not kidding):

"No offence - but why is your hair grey???"


Lol, well this is an easy first question.  Though I like to think of it as silver and not gray; it sounds more distinguished and mythical.  Like Rouge.  Or Morgan LeFey.  ;-P 

Anyway, it's actually a birthmark.  I've never dyed my hair.  I was born with a white spot on my head, a patch of skin with no pigmentation, and I've had a silver-gray streak my whole life.  People tell me its cool now, but trust me, in junior high and high school, I heard every nickname in the book: Skunk, Elvira, Cruella DeVille, I could go on.  One time, a grown woman asked me, being completely serious, if I was a witch.  (Not to my knowledge. Or, at least, I couldn't turn all the bullies in my life into frogs.) 

People ask why I've never dyed it.  There are a couple reasons.  One, it makes me easy to find; all I have to say when meeting someone for the first time is: Just look for the short Asian with the white streak in her hair, ya really can't miss me. 

Second, even in high school when I was being called all those obnoxious names, I was never ashamed of it. I had something no one else did.   It made me unique.  So, if anyone reading this has ever been teased because of their appearance, never be ashamed.  You are different, and people think different is bad, but it's not.  People can be cruel, and people can be critical, but don't ever let go of what makes you unique. 

So, that's a little bit about me you might not have known.  Keep the questions coming, and next Monday I will answer another one.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Ask Me Monday

Hey guys!

I know I haven't been around much lately, on Twitter or online.  This last month I was in the middle of Deadline Panic Mode and so things like socializing, sleep, and sanity kinda went out the window until now.

However, I've decided that I'd like to talk and share more with my readers, but Twitter doesn't allow for long conversations and I'm awful at Facebook.  So I decided to come up with a new weekly post called Ask Me Monday.  How it works is this: I will take one random question from the comments every Monday and post an answer here, so if you have something you've been dying to ask me, now is your chance.

Things I will not talk about:

1. Religion
2. Politics
3. Spoilers for my upcoming books.
4. What I think of other author's books.
5 I also cannot read your story/refer you to my agent or editor.

Most anything else, though, is fair game.  This is just a way for me to talk to my readers, to have a conversation that is more than 140 characters.  So go ahead, ask me stuff.  About writing, about Kung Fu and Kali (lovingly referred to as Hit People With Sticks class), about my chickens, about dog training (I used to be a professional dog trainer before I was an author), about favorite foods/manga/video games, anything. 

So let's get to know each other.  Go ahead: ask me Monday.