So if you are still following this blog, then you have managed to do something I have not! And that is stick with this blog. I have been busy with graduation, a new job, and writing things for people, and also contributing to YA Highway and in the end, I am not motivated enough to post here on the regular. :(

BUT. I have noticed that I am motivated enough to post on my tumblr on the regular (without capitalization perhaps and while abusing the English language to a frightening extent, but I am posting). So I invite you to follow me on my tumblr (here!). If you do not have a tumblr I urge you to make one because they are fun! But if you would like to save yourself from another avenue of procrastination, I understand and you can always follow me via Feedburner (though this is not an avenue I would recommend? Mostly because tumblr also involves a lot of reblogging and on a good [or bad?] day I can reblog up to fifty things and your feed will be filled with all fifty of those things, in addition to any unique/original content) here. I am also, of course, on twitter and goodreads and you can always shoot me an email!

Thank you guys for sticking with me despite the silences and whatnot. And hopefully I will see many of you on tumblr.


I...have avoided writing this post. I know. It's completely weird! I've been secretly composing this post in my head for the last three years, ever since I started taking this writing thing seriously, and I always knew it would be long and contain so much thanks and gratitude and excitement. I think, though, at some point I stopped believing I'd get to write it. I mean, I'm writing it now and my thoughts sound something like is this actually happening? Is this post actually getting written?

But apparently it is. So.

I keep staring at that little blurb thinking, that's me, that's my book, that's my editor and agent and it all means I have a book that will be on shelves! And the list of people I have to thank for this is so long. Joan, my agent, for taking me on as a client and then believing on me when we went on sub. Julie for seeing something in my manuscript and taking it on. My sisters who made me promise them pets when I signed with Joan and when I didn't deliver, told me I would have to get one when I got a deal (I will, I promise! There will be a cat at chez Daud eventually!). All my beta readers, and the YAH girls and everyone who listened to me cry and be crazy.

I'm so, so blessed in this and I'm still reeling. I am overwhelmed by the amount of support and congratulations -- thank you guys so much! And I'll let you know when this finally sinks in!



It's the last day of the Best of '11 Circus, and we're rounding out with our most anticipated reads of 2012. Yay! I actually almost didn't get to make this post because of reasons. BUT HERE I AM. My most anticipated reads for 2012 are:

5) Cinder:  I've always been a big fan of fairy tales (their original forms, not the sugared up Disney versions)(really, how surprised are you by that, guys?) - and I have a super love for cyber punk. So putting the two together? Yes please. It certainly doesn't hurt that the cover is gorgeous. The jacket copy reads:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
4) Isla and the Happily Ever After: I've been a staunch Stepahnie Perkins fan since I got a hold of Anna and the French Kiss (quite by chance, mind you - I had no idea what I was picking up when I snatched a copy at ALA all those years ago). Naturally, I'm sitting on tenterhooks for her next release!

3) Insurgent: I got to read a very early copy of Divergent way back when, and then the published version when it hit shelves. My love for this series (and its author) are limitless, and I am so looking forward to the next book in the trilogy!

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

2) Born Wicked: I think if you know anything about my love for the series Charmed you won't be at all surprised that I have been waiting for this book forever! Witches, historical fiction and scandal. Yes, please!

Blessed with a gift...cursed with a secret.

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood - not even from each other.
1) Winds of Winter: Technically, this book isn't even scheduled for release, but I really hope since the show has been signed on for another season that there's going to be lots and lots of pressure on George Martin to finish it up and put it to press! I've been putting off reading A Feast for Crows just so that I don't finish the series before there's a release date!

So those are my most anticipated reads! What are yours? And don't forget to check out the rest of the circus:



Strangely enough (or perhaps not so strange) this is the year I've been both recommending and loaning out books the most to my friends, which makes writing this list pretty easy! So my most recommended books for 2011 have been:

5) A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: I actually loaned my copy of this book out (and still haven't gotten it back, for shame), but barring A Song of Ice and Fire, this series has been my favorite. It's complex, brilliant, and not at all what you'd expect from a fantasy series. The cast is diverse in the best possible way and I love this series enough to reread it, which I never ever do.
4) A Song of Ice and Fire: You may or may not have noticed I kind of have a George Martin situation. I also seem to enjoy getting my heart ripped out of my chest repeatedly. And sharing that feeling with all my friends. Martin's work definitely has problems, but there's also a lot of brilliance  and it's the brilliance that has me shoving both the book and the show (which, guys, littered with issues) onto my friends.
3) The Hunger Games: I read The Hunger Games trilogy the weekend Mockingjay came out, and with the trailer out just this past month, have had the very lovely opportunity to push it on my friends. I have lent my lovely, autographed hardcovers out to friends so they can enjoy and weep over Finnick and Annie.
2) Jellicoe Road: I read this book at the very end of 2010 and haven't been able to stop recommending it since.
1) Anna and the French Kiss: So I may have ended up starting a St. Claire's club. And that club may be heading to Paris this summer. Because, well, that's just what you do when you fall in love with Etienne. I've loaned this book out this year more times than I can count, and without fail, every single person has loved it. Because this book is the best book.

What have your most recommended books this year been? And don't forget to check out the rest of the circus!


So today the BEST OF '11 Circus is all about the best gals and guys you've run into reading this year. This list kind of made me realize that maybe I've been slacking on my reading? And then I remembered that this summer was the summer of A Song of Ice and Fire all day, every day. It was really very easy to make my list after that. Just a warning, some of these may contain spoilers.

5) Val: Val is the younger sister of Dalla, wife of Mance Rider who is King-Beyond-the-Wall. You don't see her very often, and when you do it's usually through Jon Snow's eyes. But what we do see of her is amazing; she's strong willed, gutsy, enjoys herself and others, and is committed to her family. But what you know the most is that Jon respects her. He respects her will, her determination, her time for grief and her autonomy. When he's given the choice of taking her to wife without her consent he turns it down because he knows Val is stronger and better than that. You come to respect Val because the only person we see her through respects her, and believes through and through that she's deserving of that respect.
4) Catelyn Stark: Catelyn gets so much hate in ASoIaF fandom it isn't even funny. It makes my heart bleed guys, because while Catelyn is not flawless, she's definitely a lot smarter than a lot of the men in Westeros and if one of them would listen a lot of bloody-tear-inducing events that go down in A Storm of Swords would have been avoided. She's a Southron lady who knows how to play the Game of Thrones, it's just that no one actually believes her. Her determination to see her children alive, and the quiet strength she bears when she believes most of them are dead is breathtaking. All I can say to this fandom is: haters to the left.
3) Daenerys Targaryen: Dany was my absolute favorite character in the very first book. Her plot line is one of intense self discovery and growth. She transforms from a terrified child, abused by her brother, friendless and without parents, into a strong and determined Khaleesi, capable of standing up for herself and demanding her birth right. Her introspection is finely wrought and beautifully played out.
2) Cersei Lannister: We cannot talk about the women of Westeros without talking about Cersei Lannister. Oh god, my feelings on Cersei are many and varied and I don't even know where to begin. What I love most about her, and what makes her number two on this list and fabulous women of Westeros is her ability to play the Game of Thrones, play it well, and be totally unabashed and without shame about the way she plays and wins. Cersei hate in the fandom is stronger (and often more terrifying) than hate against Catelyn because one of the things Cersei is unafraid to use as a weapon is her sexuality. But what a lot of people forget is she's living in a society where that is the only tool available to her. Her brothers and her father can use their swords, their gold, and their minds. And while Cersei has both gold and a mind, nothing but her sexuality is ever recognized. She's a woman whose success would have been much more easily achieved had she been a man, and she knows that and hates it. So she plays the game the only way she can to get what should have been hers in the first place. And the more you learn about Cersei, her insecurities and her fears, her transformation from the girl Robert Baratheon married twenty years ago into the woman she is at the start of the series, the more you feel for her. She's the product of a misogynistic society, and a lot of the misdeeds people attribute to her have actually been committed by men around her. I could go on and on but the point is: Cersei, cunning and awful and wonderful. I love her.
1) Sansa Stark: If my feelings on Cersei Lannister are many and varied, my feelings about Sansa are limitless. She's thirteen when the series starts out, innocent, and she's never left Winterfell (the Stark seat). If Daenerys' journey of growth and self discovery are finely wrought, Sansa's is a masterpiece. She is, in my opinion, going to be the only Stark that survives the end of the implosion of Westeros. Much like Cersei, she's learning to play the Game of Thrones the only way a girl in her position can, and she's learning fast. She gets a lot of criticism for being meek and passive, but she's thirteen, she's not Arya, all she wants is to be married to a knight and have children (which is a valid desire, especially given the fact that she's been spoon fed those stories for as long as she knows). Instead she gets slammed with tragedy after tragedy, is betrothed to a boy who is most definitely a sociopath, and she manages to survive in the pursuit of her own happiness. She's not swinging swords or fighting battles or poisoning kings, but that's because she wants to live and she's learning that if she wants to live in the political climate her father helped create, she's going to have to play the game. And she's learning, good god is she learning. Nothing would please me more than if George Martin made Sansa sit the iron throne at the end of the series. Nothing.

So, these are my top five characters for 2011. Do share yours! And don't forget to check out the rest of the blog circus:
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