Tuesday, August 31, 2010

July and August Monthly Round-Ups

Okay, so I didn't do a July round up. As you could probably tell, around the end of July I was a little busy doing inconsequential things like travelling 3000 miles and visiting publishing booksignings, and in August I was busy jobhunting and interviewing and job training. And once September rolled around, I had more things to be busy for.

Awesome Busy Thing the First:
I made the shortlist for the Best Romance Book Blog Award for Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Yay! I'm currently in the running with the lovely Smexy Books and Fiction Vixen. It's such an honour! So be sure to vote for your favourite between September 13-17th!

Awesome Busy Thing the Second:

Someone on the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapter of RWA mailing list posted a link to the Casablanca Authors Blogspot, where Sourcebooks editor Deb Werksman was hosting a pitching practice session. People could post their novel's pitch and a little about themselves in the comments and Ms. Werksman would offer feedback. I thought, "Why not?" and posted my pitch for The Duke of Snow and Apples.

Her response (quoted from the blog): "AnimeJune--sounds like enormous fun, please send a full submission to Leah Hultenschmidt who just joined us--she read your pitch on Dear Author and really liked it."

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! An editor asked for a FULL! A real editor! One who read my first page from when it was posted on Dear Author and remembered the title! So yeah, that's another part of the reason why I've been slow on posting. I've been spending the time polishing my entire manuscript and making sure it's properly formatted and fits with Sourcebooks' guidelines. As per my author friends' advice, I also e-mailed the agent I submitted a partial to, to let her know where else I'd submitted.

I just submitted it yesterday so, until I receive a response, I am no longer working on The Duke of Snow and Apples. Done. Finito. Now I'm going to spend my writing time focusing on writing the sequel, Lord of Dreams. So excited!

Awesome (Not So Busy) Thing the Third:

Finally passed my driver's test. Third time's the charm, it seems - I failed twice before for "committing an unsafe act" but the streets were clear this time around, so now I'm free free FREE to drive (and, er, commit more unsafe acts) on a road near you!

It's odd to think that only three months ago, I had no job, no boyfriend, no license, no publisher interest in Duke, and now I have all of this. When it rains, it pours, I guess. God works in mysterious ways.

But hey - now that those things are behind me, I can go back to finishing up on my blogging backlog.

For heroines in August and July, we got:
  • 1 Motherless Journalist
  • 1 Guilt-Wracked Lawyer
  • 1 Cross-Dressing Pastry Chef
  • 1 Cross-Dressing Sailor
  • 1 Swimteam Star
  • 1 Abused Ex-Wife
  • 1 Would-Be Concubine
  • 1 Unethical Archaeologist
  • 1 Wary Widow
  • 1 Flaming Bitch
  • 1 Fake Mom
For Heroes, we got:
  • 1 Creepy Concubine Judge
  • 1 Roofie-Using Art Thief
  • 1 Underage Priest
  • 1 Gentleman Dragon Rider
  • 1 Vengeful Aristocrat
  • 1 Duke of Asshat
  • 1 Orphaned Bar Owner
  • 1 Vegetarian Veterinarian
  • 1 Gay Superhero
  • 1 Seasick Lawyer
  • 1 Convicted Murderer
  • 1 Half-Asian Bad Boy
For Plot Obstacles, we got:
  • "I can't love him! He won me in a card game!"
  • "I can't love him! I'm deeply in love with and committed to the boy I slept with and talked to only once!"
  • "I can't love her! I literally killed a man - albeit not with a trident."
  • "I can't love him! I must become Empress of all China!"
  • "I can't ride a dragon! My gentlemanly clothes will get all wrinkled!"
  • "I can't get my ship back! My dad gave it to my idiot sister!"
  • "I can't get my ship back. Again. Because now some sexy evil pirate has it!"
  • "I can't love her! She - she date-married me!"
  • "I can't love her! She smiles and expresses emotion like a normal person! How vulgar!"
  • "I can't love him! He drugged me and stole the MacGuffin that I, in turn, stole from the nation of Jamaica!"
  • "I can't be a superhero! My anti-super dad learning I'm gay will be bad enough!"
  • "I can't love him! I'm too busy bending over backwards for my neglected kids!"
  • "I can't love him! His mother killed my mother!"
For Miscellaneous, we got:
  • 3 Stolen National Treasures
  • Several Uses of Roofies
  • 1 Piece of Dragon Bling
  • 7 Quizzing Glasses
  • 1 Sarcastic Charm Bracelet
  • 1 Superhero Porn Site
  • 1 Poisoned Dessert

*August Pick* Re-Read Review: Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb. A+
Pros: Astounding worldbuilding, layered narrative, well-developed protagonists, thrilling adventure, hot pirate antiheroes.
Cons: Eh. I got nothing.

*August Pick* Re-Read Review: Mad Ship, by Robin Hobb: A+
Pros: New characters, new conflicts, bitchy teens finding redemption, dragons, sea serpents, and crazy emo ships.
Cons: Zip. Really can't come up with any.

Slightly Dangerous, by Mary Balogh. A
Pros: Lives up to character hype. Excellent opposites-attract romance. Sneaky-surprising villain. Good conclusion to a seven-book series.
Cons: Pacing is a wee bit slow. Emotionally liked it but didn't love it.

His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik. A-
Pros: Dragons! Yay! Super-nice hero. Spectacular world-building.
Cons: Hero is a bit too nice. Pacing drags a bit. Passive writing style.

Tangled Up In You, by Rachel Gibson. B+
Pros: Dark, well-handled storyline. Good characterization. Excellent exploration of themes.
Cons: Prequel baggage galore.

Hero, by Perry Moore. B+
Pros: Fantastic characterization. Subversive humour. Great father-son bond.
Cons: Grotesquely violent third act jars with the rest of the novel's tone.

A Not-So-Perfect Past, by Beth Andrews. B+
Pros: Original premise. Well-developed and unique heroine. Hawt convict hero.
Cons: Bit of a rushed ending. Not enough delving into hero's not-so-perfect past.

Tempting Torment, by Jo Goodman. B
Good conflict and use of setting. Lovely writing style.
Cons: Slow pacing. Unnecessary villain. Ridiculous short story at the end.

Forget You, by Jennifer Echols. B
Pros: Good characterization. Nice atmosphere.
Cons: Major romantic obstacle is heroine's flimsy denial. Inconsistent pacing.

Never Resist Temptation, by Miranda Neville. B-
Pros: Smart hero. Interesting Mommy Issues. Legitimately tough situation.
Cons: Poorly-constructed revenge plot. Heroine occasionally TSTL.

Snowfall At Willow Lake, by Susan Wiggs. B-
Pros: Good secondary cast. Interesting story. Good setting.
Cons: Too Perfect To Be True Hero. Weak doormat martyr heroine. Telling over showing.

Stolen Fury, by Elisabeth Naughton. C
Pros: Not-terrible writing. Some decent action.
Cons: Boring storytelling, unethical protagonists.

*August Dud* The Concubine, by Jade Lee. C-
Pros: Original historical setting. Good worldbuilding.
Cons: Lamely-written heroine. Date rape love scene.

Other Things I Read and Reviewed:

Movie Review: Aquamarine. C-
Pros: Sarah Paxton as a mermaid is bright and sparkly.
Cons: The actual story is about two mentally unstable weirdo shut-in teens who stalk an innocent teenage boy.


  1. Wow, what an exciting month for you!

    Hope you will get good news regarding your book.

  2. Anonymous5:29 AM

    Congratulations on the pozitive response to your book. Looks like you had one amazing summer.

  3. Good luck with everything and hope we'll hear another post about your book soon :)

  4. These are awesome things (the shortlist & book going to an editor) - so cool!!! I hope you win your category.. :) And that your book becomes published - I want to read it!!

  5. Congrats on the full submission. I remember reading it at DA as well. The title is definitely memorable.

  6. Vorkosigrrl12:45 PM

    Yes, congrats on all the good stuff!