Monthly Archives: August 2012

RTW: Best Book of August

Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway‘s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This week’s topic:

What was the best book you read in August?


Without a doubt, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

From GoodReads


After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. 


I gotta say though, I prefer the UK cover:

From GoodReads


I write UF and PNR and contemporary fantasy and plain contemporary, but my dream is to write high fantasy. I love Kristin Cashore’s books and now I’m in love with Sarah J. Maas’ books too. One of my best friends, my “Megan”, has read everything I wrote. EVERYTHING! Even my very first manuscript (poor girl, I know). Once, I wrote a high fantasy. Accordingly to my “Megan” it is my most creative book so far, the one with a very different story and twists.

Anyway, if you haven’t read Throne of Glass yet, YOU HAVE TO!

What was the best book YOU read in August?


Maybe I Shouldn’t Apologize, But I Can’t Help It

Most of you know English is my Second Language. It’s my preferred language.

I came to live in the USA back in 2004 and I knew English very well, but not nearly as well as I know now. Of course, practice and going through college here and speaking with other English speakers made (and still makes) my English better and better.

I’m proud of being bilingual, but it’s a pain in the @$$ sometimes. For one, I’m getting worse with Portuguese. I keep forgetting words when talking to my family, and Portuguese went through a huge orthographic change a couple of years ago, while I was already living in the US, so I didn’t follow the change, not completely. And second, my English will never be perfect. I know this. In ten years—and I’ll have several books out by then I hope ;)—my English won’t be perfect still. I try to comfort myself saying that it’s impossible even for an American to know all words in the English language.

So sometimes it feels like I’m losing Portuguese and not gaining any English …

After all, what triggered this post, you may ask. Well, I just participated of a few contests and online critiques and people always commented about some preposition problems (oh, I hate prepositions! They are evil!) and awkward phrasing. People have no idea English is my second language when they comment like that, and, obviously, they are going to critique what they see. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate people showing me where my mistakes are. (you can read my short story here or here by the way and see the mistakes for yourself).

I know this, but honestly, I don’t know how to fix. I don’t even spot these “errors”, not alone at least. That’s why, a couple of times, I paid freelance editors for line-edits and copy-edits, because they can fix those “errors” … but, they are expensive, and, if I pay them for every draft I write, I’m gonna have to sell my house. Can you imagine? I finish a draft, then hire an editor. Then, along the way, the opening changes or something in the middle changes, or a subplot is cut or enhanced … and I have to send it back to the editor to do their magic again.

Other thing about freelance editors is that some of them have a full schedule. Right now, the ones I like to work with are scheduling for December/January … so, besides having a lot of money, you have to have time … to wait.

So, what am I to do?

Not enter contests because I’m ashamed of not having a perfect English? If I do that, then I have to stop writing on my blog and my group blog, NA Alley, because I’m sure that all my posts have awkward phrasing and a few grammar errors. I can’t help it. I can’t SEE them … Sorry my NA Sisters for making errors on our beautiful blog.

And I should stop tweeting too. Since tweewing is “automatic” and spontaneous, I just write what comes to mind and only after it’s posted and way down my feed I realized there was a typo, or a concordance error, or a wrong preposition. Ugh!

But I can’t expect to be forgiven. I don’t expect to be forgiven. I mean, what the agents I send my manuscripts to care if I’m ESL? They want perfect grammar (or almost perfect) and beautiful writing. They won’t pat my head and consider me with a different eye/mind because I’m an ESL. And I really don’t expect them too, don’t want them to. That would make me feel worse, as if they were selecting me for pity.

Still, I have to say, I’m sorry. I wish English was my first language and that I had studied it all my life. I wish my grammar was perfect and that none of my phrases were awkward.

Moments like these, reading the comments on contests and critiques, make me want to give up writing. Not of writing in English, because honestly, I can’t imagine writing in Portuguese (and let’s not talk about the industry, because books in Brazil is a whole different thing). I’ve been writing in English since 2008. The ideas come and flower in my mind in English. I dream in English, I think in English. Though I make mistakes, English is my official language. And because I make mistakes, the idea of giving up of writing crossed my mind. Though I assure you it’s nothing serious, because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I didn’t write. I don’t want to do anything else.

Sorry about the long rant. I’m not expecting pats on the head or compassion or whatever. I just … I needed to take this off my chest, because it was really bringing me down and I was tired of feeling blue because of it.

And to finish this, I want you guys to know I’m taking yet another grammar workshop that started last Thursday.


JH signature_small

Cover Love: NATURALS

Welcome Tiffany Truitt and the cover of her new novel NATURALS, coming April 2013 from Entangled Publishing.

Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.
NATURALS is the second book in The Lost Souls trilogy, and follows the dystopian hit CHOSEN ONES.


About Tiffany:  Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner.
She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of  one McDonald’s and Banana Rats (don’t ask) she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).
Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman(5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”
Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom. She currently teaches the following novels: The OutsidersSpeakNight, Dystopian Literature Circles: The Hunger GamesThe GiverThe Uglies, and Matched.



#ROW80 and NTS checkin 08/26

Hello friends! Here we are for another ROW80 and NTS update.

My goals for last week and how it went:

  1. Writing: actually, this is going to be revising, instead of writing. I’m back to Amber Energy and gave myself until Sep 15th to finish it. Monday = wrote over 2000 (an entire new scene), and revised a dozen of pages. Tues and Wed = revising, but lost count. And on Thu and Fri I did nothing writing related as my MIL is here and wanted me to drive her around to see the city.
  2. Reading: read book #49. Done.
  3. Social media: blog at least twice and hop on Twitter from time to time. Done
  4. Exercise: 3x at least. 5 times.

I’m one of those blessed girls whose MIL is a nice, fun person and I actually like to spend time with her and talk to her. She’s just awesome. But that means I’m spending a lot of time with her and not writing … But that’s okay. She’ll be gone by next weekend and then I’ll only see her again next year, so I gotta enjoy these moments.

My daughter starts kindergarten on Wednesday and I’m super nervous about it lol I try not to be, but I am overprotective. Being extroverted and very sociable, I know she’ll be fine.

Guys, Lauren is doing a giveaway dedicated to me. Her words: “Just to remind everyone, there is still a giveaway going on! Stop by and leave a comment on Juliana’s short story, INTO THE DARKEST FIRE, and you’ll be entered to win a $5 gift certificate to a coffee place of your choice. THE INTERNET GIVES YOU COFFEE. <–I would say civilization is progressing.” And I say DO IT! ;)


My goals for next week:

  1. Writing: since my MIL will still be here, I’ll try to squeeze writing when I can, though I’m not sure how that’s gonna go.
  2. Reading: read book #50.
  3. Social media: blog at least twice and hop on Twitter from time to time.
  4. Exercise: 3x at least.


If you can, please support the other ROWers! Have a great week!


RTW: My Love List

Road Trip Wednesday is a “Blog Carnival,” where YA Highway‘s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This week’s topic:

Inspired by Stephanie Perkins’ post on Natalie Whipple’s blog, what is your novel’s “Love List”? (link here)

In Stephanie Perkins’ words:

Whenever I begin a new project, I also begin a list called “What I Love About This Story.” I start by writing down those first ideas that sparked the fires of my mind, and then I add more ideas to it as I discover them during my push through early drafts.

My current WIP, Amber Energy, is told from two POVs. First, we have a girl from a realm called Sitara, who was a fugitive. She was captured and to regain her freedom she needs to complete a mission first: go to Earth and train the new Warden. Then we have the human guy who is the Warden and really doesn’t want to get mixed up with things and issues from other realms since his life is already complicated enough.

Here’s my love list for Amber Energy:

  • kickass heroine with purple streaks on her hair
  • hot and cocky hero
  • ninja bike (heroine’s!)
  • violet scent
  • powers
  • portals
  • crystals
  • other realms
  • homemade food
  • family issues (not that it’s good to have one, personally, but it does make a novel more interesting, don’t you think?)
  • friendship
  • trust
  • team work
  • villains with busy agendas
  • betrayal
  • sacrifices


Also, you can see my Pinterest board for Amber Energy—though it’s still under construction ;)

Now tell me, what’s your WIP’s love list?


The Incredibles in 15 Beats

Blake Snyder’s beatsheet is my new blog feature. I’ll try to have posts like this every two weeks or so, Name of movie or book in 15 Beats, and I hope this helps you too.

Two things to keep in mind: I watch most of these with my kid and that means most of the movies will be kids’ movies and I’m not paying 100% attention to the movie. Second, I’m sorta new to the method and still struggle with the Theme, the All is Lost and Dark Night of the Soul beats. In case you have better suggestions, please do so on the comments. We can discuss the points and, if I end up agreeing with you, I’ll change my beats. Deal?

 The Incredibles in 15 Beats

1. Opening Image: The Superheroes on top of their games, saving the city and being recognized by such accomplishments.

2. Theme Stated (4.5%): Have to be more flexible? (help here!) I know the movie is about reconciling their family and finding themselves, but I can’t come up with a pretty line for that ;)

3. Set-Up (1-9%): We follow Mr. Incredible crime saving routine, Buddy (a fan) pursuing him, and his marriage to Elastigirl.

4. Catalyst (10%): Mr. Incredible saved someone who was trying to commit suicide–law suit.

5. Debate (10-22.5%): Fastforward. Bob wants to be Mr. Incredible again, but can’t. He wished he was super still. Family going down the drain.

6. Break Into Two (22.5%): He’s fired and received the package from Mirage with the mission–he accepts it.

7. B Story (27%): Bob and being okay with himself again? Bob and his career?

8. Fun and Games (27-50%): Bob is fighting robots, training, buying nice things, playing with family. He goes to Edna for a new suit.

9. Midpoint (50%): Helen (Elastigirl) thinks he’s cheating on her. Bob goes to another “secret” mission.

10. Bad Guys Close In (50-68%): Helen finds Bob’s teared suit. Bob’s mission is a trap and he’s attacked by Buddy, now called Syndrome. Bob finds out other supers have been killed.

11. All Is Lost (68%): He’s captured and now his wife and his kids were killed by Syndrome.

12. Dark Night of the Soul (68-77%): Later, the four of them are captured.

13. Break Into Three (77%): Mirage helps them escape.

14: Finale (77-100%): Attack on the city. Battle. are supers again, saving the day!

15. Final Image (100%): They get ready to save the world as a family.

*Note that the percentages are approximate. 


Cover Love: CONJURE

Welcome Lea Nolan and the cover of her upcoming book, CONJURE, from Entangled Publishing.

Be careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends–are lost forever.

CONJURE on Goodreads:

Lea’s website:


a Rafflecopter giveaway



#ROW80 and NTS checkin 8/19

My goals the past week and how it went:

  1. Writing: actually, this is going to be revising, instead of writing. I’ll get back to Amber Energy. I’m giving myself until Sep 15th to finish it. (I won’t be doing much Thur and Fri, though, since hubby will take these days off work). Mon = short story. Tue = 66 pages revised. Wed = 46 pages revised and a lot distracted. Thur and Fri = nothing (hubby was home).
  2. Revise the short story (2000-4000 words) and submit to the Defy the Dark contest. Yup, it’s up here. You can read it online (only 4000 words, so about 20 minutes) and I would love if you commented and, if you like it, give my story a “heart”.
  3. Reading: read book #48. I started one book, went to up 30% then tossed it aside. It was craft but it wasn’t to the point and I was getting tired of going around and around and around … Then I started another (fiction) and finished it ;)
  4. Social media: blog at least twice and hop on Twitter from time to time. Done.
  5. Exercise: 3x at least. Five times.

I’ve been really down this week. Not sure why. There were times when I thought I would never write another manuscript worth reading/querying/selling … and I blame the internet for that. We (I) read some stories on twitter and on blogs that just mess with our (my) focus. I wish I was strong enough to just disconnect the internet during the whole afternoon and evening so I would never be tempted to peek and read and comment and stress myself.

At least hubby got home Thursday morning and he took Friday off to stay with me and daughter =)

My goals for next week:

  1. Writing: actually, this is going to be revising, instead of writing. I’m back to Amber Energy and gave myself until Sep 15th to finish it.
  2. Reading: read book #49.
  3. Social media: blog at least twice and hop on Twitter from time to time.
  4. Exercise: 3x at least.

My mother-in-law arrives Wed evening and will spend 10 days with us. She and I get along pretty well and it’s always good to talk to her, but having her here means a lot less done on the writing and reading front. So be warned: it’s going to be a slow week.

That’s it for now.

Go check out the other ROWers! Have a great week!


Hi! I'm Juliana Haygert,

Author of New Adult fiction.

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