Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SCBWI's On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award!!!

Right.  So.  Remember that secret sort-of contest that I entered?  The one that I didn't want to talk about, or mention by name because it was Voldemort I didn't want to jinx anything?  Even if you don't remember that blog post at all, hang with me for a second.

I already posted about one contest that I won the YA Category for - the Windy City RWA's Four Seasons Contest - and although I'm super stoked (and grateful) that ASTRAL won that, I now have another thing to be grateful for...

You ready?!?



 I did this.  In a Chili's.  The floor was clean.

There were over 100 entries, and 3 winners were picked - the folks from SCBWI that I talked to were so excited about my story, which made me really excited, and I just don't even know how to express how wonderful this whole thing is!

Actually, when I found out I won, I'm pretty sure I spent all of dinner doing this:
I might still be doing this, actually...

And then there was a little of this, 'cause I was meeting friends for dinner:

Also, trying this over the phone is reeeeeeeeeeeeally difficult.

There's always that little hope when you enter contests that you'll win, but when it happens...well, let's just say I was not prepared! The wonderful, amazing, generous people at SCBWI (and Martin and Sue Schmitt, my Grant-givers) will pay for my conference tuition, my hotel, and my flight to New York City in February because...oh, that's right...


Yeah, we're getting to the super gushy part of this post. Also, if Julie Andrews walks by me in New York, this is what will happen.  Actually, this is what will happen during the WHOLE CONFERENCE.

I am so, so, so proud of my story (and also still in shock)!  I'll definitely have more updates as they develop, including something about who my SCBWI mentor (AH! I get a mentor!!!) is, how the conference goes, and how I will most-likely fangirl if I spot Julie Andrews (she's one of the speakers! AH!) from a distance.

Here's the link to the description of the On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award!!!!!!  Once the actual announcement is out, I'll probably faint, and then print it out and frame it, and write another blog post about it :)

STILL can't believe it! A million thanks to Jeannette, my first CP, who read ASTRAL as I was writing it, loved it from the start, and who has an amazing critiquing super power! Also, shout-out to my Lit Reactor Peeps:Jen (we're also Sorority sisters which is totally awesome!), Jamie, Elodie, and Christine, who have all given me some awesome direction and feedback for my story, too!  I seriously have the best writer friends ever, and I would not be able to make it through this roller coaster of emotions if you weren't here to DM me on Twitter or respond to my angsty emails :)  Oh, and a thankful shout-out to Sus, who has pretty much made my day today with her enthusiasm for my story and her tweets and emails :P

Seriously. If I ever meet any of you in person, this is what's happening.

I'm almost done, I promise!  I just wanted to make a quick plug for taking a chance and putting yourself out there - I would not, WOULD NOT have won this amazing thing if I hadn't taken the scariest risk ever and entered myself in this contest.  Sometimes you just have to close your eyes, hit the send button, and hope for the best! So go out there and take those risks!  You won't regret it!!!

Or, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing every day that scares you."

In totally unrelated news, I saw "The Hobbit" (in 48 FPS) this weekend!  It was good, but at times I felt like I was in a History Channel/BBC Documentary/Miniseries?  Did anyone else get that feeling?

I'll let you know when they post the actual, formal announcement :) :) :)


All of my lovely .gifs came from the best Tumblr for authors ever!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

*breathes into paper bag* THE ODDS WERE EVER IN MY FAVOR...AGAIN!

So, back in September, I entered the Windy City Chapter of the Romance Writers of America's Four Seasons Contest (phew, say that five times fast!).

Anyways, I entered this contest on whim, because I wanted to get some feedback on my first 30 pages.

Then, in October, I found out I had advanced to the finals!!!!!!! YAY!

So I then proceeded to freak out for two months, waiting to hear back about the results.  I missed a call today, listened to the voicemail, and promptly started to scream my head off in the car (figuratively, not literally, of course).  I guess you can see where I'm going with this - 




Ahem, ok, I'm still pretty freaked out and excited and I SERIOUSLY CAN'T BELIEVE I WON, Y'ALL!

I made it past the first-round judges (who left fabulous comments), and then an editor and agent thought enough of my story to rate me high enough to win in my category (and also leave me fabulous, thoughtful comments!)!

I am SO PROUD of ASTRAL, my sometimes brain-killing YA Sci-fi story!  So, so, so proud that I could write something that was able to win a contest and get awesome, encouraging, and constructive feedback!

Once the contest results page goes up, I'll link to it in this post.  Until then, I'll be victory dancing around my apartment :) :) :)

Much love and many thanks to Jeannette, the best CP ever, who had to deal with all of my angsty contest emails and is a pretty legit cheerleader - and to Sara, my BFF, for screaming at me on the phone and telling me that she almost peed herself when I sent her the news (you already called yourself out on Facebook, so I think I can call you out on my blog hahaha).  I almost did too, and I promise that I'm not as calm as I sounded on the phone :)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've been soooooooo MIA from the blogging world, but I'm making up for it by posting a cover reveal for a pretty sweet book!  Wooooooooo!

Wow. I can't believe the day is here! Time for the FRACTION OF STONE cover reveal.

Before we get into that, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me get this far. All the fine people who are helping with this cover reveal, my CPs/Betas, family and friends. And of course, thank you to Sapphire Star Publishing for helping make my dream a reality. (And also letting me have a huge say in how this cover looks.) I am so, so excited and feel so blessed.

To thank you all, there is a drawing for 2 ARCs of FRACTION OF STONE which you can enter to win at the bottom of this post! You can enter until December 14th at which point the winners will be chosen.

Okay, now that, that has been said. Here we go!

Book information:

Fraction of Stone
 by Kelley Lynn
Release Date: March 21st, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:

Wind tunnels, torrential rains and earthquakes tear apart Casden. The cause of the world’s imbalance is unknown, but the mounting occurrences suggest there’s little time before life ceases to exist.

Rydan Gale and Akara Nazreth are the only humans with the ability to wield magic. The tattoo on their necks and the discovery of an ancient book, dictate they are the key to the world’s survival.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures, extreme betrayals and magic-fearing men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving. 


About the Author:

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.

Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Kelley Lynn's LinksBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Trailer:


Rafflecopter Giveaway: 

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group!

I've been quite behind on doing these posts, which leads directly into my topic this month.

Sometimes I feel like I'm wearing too many hats.

This semester has been pretty tough - I've actually been challenged a bit in classes, leading to an excess in papers that need to be written, pretend departments that had to be created, etc.  I haven't really had time to at all...this semester.  Any free time I've had has gone to writing, since it seems to be the only thing that has kept me sane these past few months.

I know I'm not wearing nearly as many hats as some of you (who are, perhaps, employed full-time, have children and/or a significant other, and wear other hats that I can't think of at the moment), but I'm struggling with the three hats that I have right now, and I'm not really sure how to fix it.

I can't give up any of my three.

I'm here to get my Masters, so I can't really give up grad school (not that I would want to).
My awesome assistantship covers my tuition and gives me a decent stipend to live off of every month (and I would never give that up).
And then there's writing.  Well, if you want to know how much I love writing and will never stop, just read some of my random posts!

So my question, IWSG friends, is how to you manage with all the hats?  Is there some secret trick that I have not yet mastered?

Monday, December 3, 2012

So, my CP re-tagged me in a meme...

...because she thought it'd be a good idea for me to post something from ze novel I am currently query-ing.

Of course, I am more than happy to oblige (and will be figuring out a good way to get revenge soon - bwahaha!).  At some point this week, I'll also have a blog post that doesn't revolve around memes.

But today's not that day.

Without any further ado ('cause I've adone enough...yeah, I didn't think it was funny either), here's an excerpt from ASTRAL, my YA Sci-fi filled with parallel universes, doppelgangers, and swords.  This part is narrated by my male MC, and yes, it's still the "You Got the Look" meme, so "look" is in there somewhere...I promise!

I take a deep breath.  “The - ”
“Well, if it isn’t the mysteriously elusive Miss Sora Walton.  Seeing you outside of your room is a rare treat.”  A blond kid, maybe a year or so older than me, literally steps out of the shadows.
I thought people only did that in movies.
My jerk-o-meter goes off when he looks at Sora the same way that a lion might look at a gazelle.  Her hand tightens around my arm – a pretty clear sign that she doesn’t like this kid either.
She takes a deep breath.  “Kalon, now’s not a good time - ”
“Is it ever a good time with you?  I’ve been looking for you for ages now, you know.  Didn’t you enjoy our time together?”
She squeezes my hand and I glare at this interruption.  I was in the middle of something important.  Who the Hell does this guy think he is?  King of the military compound?


Also, anyone who wants to get tagged, you are now thusly tagged!  So go forth and meme!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"You Got the Look" Meme time :)

Hey all!

So, Allison over at Geek Banter tagged me in the You Got the Look meme and I am powerless to oblige :P  The rules are simple: Search your current WiP and find the word "look" - the post some of the lines around said word.

So, without further ado, here is a small sample of my NaNo winning YA ghost story :) (and this is also me revealing one of my closely guarded WiP secrets...*Danger Will Robinson!!!* this post will be a little Shakespeare-heavy!)

“Nose of a Turk and Tartar’s lips,” alright, these witches seriously had problems, “Finger of birth strangled babe ditch-delivered by a drab, make the gruel thick and slab.”  I don’t even want to go into what my No Fear version says that means.
            “Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron for the ingredients of our cauldron.”  Tiger’s entrails make it into our potion as we join hands again.  Our voices continue to ring out in perfect harmony as we skip around the cauldron.
            “Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
            Cam breaks the circle, moving downstage.  “Cool it with a baboon’s blood, then the charm is firm and good.”
            Trish enters from stage left, somehow walking over to us in a way that mimics floating.  Once the fog machine's running, that’s gonna look so badass.
            “Oh well done!  I commend your pains, and every one shall share i’ th’ gains.  And now about the cauldron sing, like elves and fairies in a ring, enchanting all that you put in.”
            We dance around to non-existent music, laughing.  Cam stops with another creepy giggle.  She holds out left hand, and we all gather around her, stroking her outstretched arm.
            “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.  Open, locks, whoever knocks.”


So, to keep this going, my fabulous CP Jeannette, awesome fellow NaNo-er, Jen, and another frequent Les Mis sing-along-er, Elodie!