Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Release Week!

Wow! What a wonderful week for Ashes and Ice. It was released a few hours early on Sunday afternoon. Within 24 hours it was on three Top 100 lists on Amazon: Teen--Horror (#15), Teen--Fantasy and Magic (#33), and Spine-Chilling Horror (#4). It is still #1 Hot New Release in Spine-Chilling Horror :)
Ashes and Ice #4 after 3 Percy Jackson books :)

Ashes and Ice hanging out with 2 Twilight books and a Vampire Diaries book :)

Still #1 Hot New Release :)
I got a few great messages on Release Day :)
I also got some amazing reviews...
Some Highlights :)
"Holy cow! I was not expecting that! This book blew my mind. It was beyond amazing.
The author has a magical way with words. The words flow effortlessly, with a lyrical quality to them. Every emotion is portrayed with such force and beauty that you can't help but get choked up on more than one occasion. I got so caught up in the story, I didn't want to put it down. 
I can't tell you any more about the story because you need to experience it for yourself. But I will tell you this. This story will rock you to your core. It will stay with you long after you've finished. So be prepared to be amazed. And don't forget the tissues!" --The Shadow Realm
"I WANT MORE! This! This!! This book was freaking’ awesome!! How am I supposed to breathe normally and not yell from the top of my lungs that I cannot believe IT! I am seriously considering fast-forwarding the time so I can put my hands on the second book! It is not nice, really not nice to leave a reader like this! It is bad! Deliciously bad!"--Shattering Words (This review has those cool gifs!)
"I am completely blown away and amazed by Ashes & Ice. Once I started, I was in a trance, I couldn't put it down. I know with each page something else was coming. Rochelle filled Ashes & Ice full of loss, love, and excitement. This is one book I wouldn't mind reading over and over again. Epic is the best word I can use to describe Ashes & Ice." Lady Amber Reviews
"In the end, I found myself loving this book just because of it's uniqueness and deep emotions portrayed throughout the book. When I finished it, I just didn't know how to feel... and that's normally how I know when I have read a truly extraordinary book. Congratulations Rochelle, you definitely took me off guard on this one. This is a stunning debut that I would recommend to anyone looking for something unique in the young adult world."--Owlnestly Reviews
I'll share more in another post :)
Finally, Ashes and Ice is in the Top 10 Best YA Covers of 2013!
That's all for now :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ehem, Epic Fail x 2?

Yes, I know! I see you rolling your eyes at me! Don't believe me? Cover up that CAM on your computer? There you go! See, much better. Now you can make funny faces at me and I'll never know. (BTW, I am not a creeper... and have no freaking clue how to do anything more technologically advanced than commenting on sites, so don't go crazy trying to tape your CAM. LOL).

So, here we meet again.

And, no. No blog posts... no weight loss... no book. 2012 went out with a whimper, but I must say, even with the blah-ness of my 2012 checklist, I feel INSANELY blessed and ever grateful of every little blessing 2012 offered me.

But let's get down to business. Because I have every intention of rockin' 2013's socks off.

Ready for it? You sure?

Blog 1x per week. 52 blog posts by 2014. Focus on publishing, weight, motivation, cool stuff :)
Read, read, read. 52 books by 2014.
Write/Publish/Market. Ashes and Ice release in February. Start writing another book and prep to publish at the end of 2013 or start of 2014.
Work less. Stay-at-home or work part-time by 2014 (Be able to focus on Family and Writing).
Lose 45lbs. No starvation allowed. I need to be healthy and strong.
Do 5 things I have not done before.
Strengthen and establish new friendships.
Go to at least one Writing/Author conference.
Save money.

And overall, be happy and healthy.

What do you want to do this year??

Monday, October 15, 2012

Libba Bray's List of Things She Has Learned...

I love this woman. Libba Bray was at the Austin Teen Book Festival (I MUST GO NEXT YEAR, btw). I was browsing their website and came across this list. LOVE IT. Prepare for enlightenment.

1.) Always make an utterly awesome entrance whenever possible
2.) “Let’s get pizza” is probably the right answer. “The zombie apocalypse has started? Let’s get pizza”
3.) Never give yourself a home perm 2 days before prom. Only one side will actually get permed. You will regret it.
4.) When someone says no offense, the next thing they say will probably be the most offensive thing you have heard. You will want to punch that person in the lungs.
5.) Don’t punch people in the lungs
6.) Testing is bad (she didn’t actually say “bad” but this is a public website that children will see). Intelligence shouldn’t be based on a standardized test because there is no standard person in this world. -You can imagine that most of the teenagers there were very inclined to agree. For you teachers out there, we respect you and adore all you do for your students.
7.) Farts are always funny
8.) It is the human condition to feel awkward and weird. Everyone goes through it. I should write the shortest self help book with an awkward but hopeful panda on the cover giving a thumbs up.
9.) There are no girl books, there are no guy books, there are only books. Books do not have genders! Read all books.
10.) When in doubt, be kind
11.) Challenge you status quo. Get out of your comfort zone.
12.) Writing is revision. Books are about human experiences and putting all the gut wrenching heartache on the page for everyone to read like a psychopath. For me, the right way to write a book is to write it wrong first. When I was writing the last book in the Gemma Doyle series, I sent the book in to my editor, and she asked me “Are you okay? Were you high when you wrote this?”. That’s okay though, because that’s what writing is about, and with writing comes revision. Revision is like my sassy best friend that will question everything I write and force me to be the best I can be.
13.) Don’t drop acid and go see aliens
14.) There are many things you should do at least once:
  • Dye your hair
  • Get your heart broken
  • Sing in public
  • Boldly declare to someone that you love them
  • Protest
  • Mix every flavor of slurpee and just drink it up
15.) There are many things in life that you should definitely do more than once:
  • Fail and get back up
  • Tell someone how you really feel
  • Travel
  • Redefine everything you thought was real
  • Change your underwear more than once
16.) Pay attention to what is going on around in the world around you and what has happened in history. For example, when I was researching for The Diviners, I found out quite a few things. Back then, they thought that radiation was a good thing; they literally had a drink that contained radium and was supposed to make you feel better and live longer. Another disturbing thing I learned was that the American Eugenics movement was really big at the time. This movement was about a pseudoscience that projected the idea that all things bad about humanity like mental illness, deformities, and allergies could be removed if we breed only the people with wanted traits (which were basically Nordic traits) and created a sort of superhuman race. The worst thing about this though is that it’s basically racism packaged and sold as fact and science.
17.) Serial killers are always interesting. Is there a lull in the story? Just throw in a serial killer. Winnie the Pooh and serial killers; “Piglet, what are you doing with that knife? Nooooo!” And this is why they won’t let me write children’s books.
18.)Don’t be a meanie (once again, she didn’t actually say meanie, but let’s just say it rhymes grass troll)
19.) There may be a time when you feel broken; when you feel as if you’re separated from all the good things in life and all those who are happy and that life isn’t worth living, but that isn’t true. Life will get better. 3 weeks after I graduated high school, I was in an awful accident (my face was crushed and I lost my left eye). When the summer was over, I went to college. While there, I felt more and more despair, until I hit rock bottom. I reached for my bottle of Demerol, but I also grabbed my notebook and I started to write. And I kept writing every day. It was writing that saved my life.
20.) It’s important to pay attention.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Errrrr, Epic Fail.



‘Tis true, my grand plan for conquering the world and blogging about it has fallen a bit short. In fact, I didn’t even think about my little blogspot more than once or twice in the past 10 months. The guilt was vague and fleeting.


Could I have ignored my blog and its one lonely post because it was too weighty a thing to deal with? Perhaps I was side-tracked by life. Maybe purple midgets came and dismantled my blog and sprinkled gold chocolate flavored glitter on me and made me forget the super-charged, gun-ho me from January that was bent on world domination (and weight loss, and you know less aggressive things).


I really can’t pin down what it was that tore me away from my blog. Life was busy, but it always is so really, I don’t want to make that excuse. Here we are just a few months away from 2013 and I am finally brave enough to revisit this blog and be brutally honest with myself.


Let’s go through the list shall we?


Weight loss (lose 25 pounds):


*Laughs out loud with milk squirting out my nose* Yeah, my gut—which I didn’t have even with my 25lbs to lose—is jiggling with laughter. Silly me. What was I thinking? String bikinis? Mini skirt? By Summer?? Hmm, well now I have to lose 40 pounds. Sad, right?


But wait, additional chubbiness aside, I have made changes in the past few weeks that have cut roughly 7 pounds off my body. I am going to the gym 4-5 times a week. I am eating lean protein and vegetables. I don’t drink alcohol more than 1x per week. I eat a certain amount of calories during the week and don’t drink juices or soda. These are new changes… but changes I made before looking at this blog this past weekend. So even though I fell deeper into the hole, I am slowly clawing my way back out.


Have fun/do stuff/family time:


My husband, daughter, and I went on our first family vacation this summer. We went to Florida and loved it! We also stopped by New Orleans for a night for a quick visit with family. We have been trying to either relax or do fun things on the weekends. Sure, we would like to do more… and we are focusing on that. Otherwise though, I really have enjoyed our family time. I do feel  like our time together is becoming more quality time. My daughter is growing up and is learning English, Spanish and Portuguese. My husband and I are talking about a trip to NYC this holiday season. We are also thinking about trying to snowboard this winter. Fun times =)


Novel Writing:


This, by far, has been coming along splendidly. Awesomeness. Total fabulousness. And if you recall, this was the big one—my dream mixed with starlight—I did finish my rough draft by my sister’s birthday. I stepped away from it and then added scenes/plot elements in August. I found and fell in love with an editor. My novel has a beautiful book cover done by amazingly talented people. I am expecting to publish my first novel in Winter 2012.


W.O.W. What an incredible process! What amazing people! What fun and headaches! I hope that things continue to go smoothly… but so far this is one of my biggest successes for this year. I am just lucky it was my most treasured one.


There are some other things on that old list that are irrelevant to me now. So I have crossed them off. Simplify life people!! Who needs the extra mess? Life is already messy… no need to roll in the mud. I have cut out all that I don’t need or want and have focused in on what really matters to me.


All in all, I am a chubbier, happier, cuddlier me… with my novel well underway.


So, maybe I did epically fail this blog this year, but I did not fail me—which in the end is the only thing that matters.


Hey! Don’t roll your eyes! And don’t click your browser off yet! I still want to do this blogging thing!


Here are my goals for the rest of this 2012:


I will blog at least one time per week.

I will lose 15-20 pounds.

I will go on a trip. For fun!

I will publish my book.


So there you have it! Here I go!  


Sunday, January 8, 2012

It Begins!

So here goes: 2012 is finally here, and if you subscribe to the idea that the Mayan calendar is correct in predicting the end of the world, we are in for the final count. Now just to be clear, I’m not stashing away my end-of-times gear, and I’m also not thinking that I won’t live to see my 27th birthday in 2013 (yikes, 27?!? How did that happen??). But, whenever the joke is brought up in casual conversation after an apocalypse movie or general drunkenness, it makes me think what if the end of the world was approaching. When the question pops into my head, a huge neon sign with flashing lights blinks: THAT TOTALLY SUCKS!

 It’s not that I’m scared of an apocalypse (a statement I may revise if zombies start wondering the streets), but the thought makes me profoundly aware that I’m wasting time. Loads of it. I’ve sputtered to a stop, stalled out in a beat up old truck as unreliable as Bella Swan’s “Rabbit” and instead of checking under the hood and fixing it up, I’ve pushed it to the shoulder and am thumbing my way for a ride. Now, several years ago, I was a part of dozens of school/community committees, bouncing around between honor societies, working and dreaming big.

Then I took a break. Gave my head a breather. Got married to my boyfriend of five years and had a daughter (who is, by the way, the light of my life). Now, I am 25lbs heavier than I ever was in college, working full-time with good people, going to bed too late, attempting to only remember what is absolutely essential for the day (which even so, my husband will tell you, doesn’t always work out), and watching too much bad tv. Now, within all that, I have wonderful times with my family—full of hugs, laughs, day trips, and sometimes too much Sangria. All in all, I am happier than I have ever been. God is good.

But if humanity is on the brink of extinction, then there are a few things I want to do before it’s all over and the fat lady sings. I want to do new things, long-dreamed things, impossible things. I want to kick procrastination’s ass and tackle every big and small dream. Want to see part of the list? Yes? Here goes (Sorry if you said “no”. You should’ve guessed it was a rhetorical question):

First off,  don’t laugh.

Lose Weight. Yeah baby, I want a string bikini this summer. Now this includes many smaller goals, like drinking enough water everyday, working out regularly, eating vegetable (yuck!), etc. If I can do this, I am going SHOPPING. Motivating, yes? Of course J

Write and publish a novel. Yes, I am one of those crazy writing/reading people. I am a YA book junkie. My shelves are stacked with too many books. My husband bought me a nook tablet (Yes, I am in love) and I know he hopes the stockpile of pages I have will disappear or at least will not grow with this electronic gem to store books on. Now, I am loaded up with ideas. I am about ½ through a YA Urban Fantasy book and will be trying to finish it by April 6th. Why April 6th? Well, that is my sister’s birthday and she has announced that if the book is not finished by then, she will not speak to me until it is. My sister is a fun gal and I love her. Not talking to her will not be “bubbly-making” (if you don’t get the reference, run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore to buy the UGLIES series).  Apart from that, I have dreamed of sharing my stories with the world since I was a kid. This is one of those mega-dreams, people. I am holding tight to this one.
Do crap. Fun crap. Yes, I have a fabulously long list of firsts I want to do this year like snowboarding, skydiving, go to Europe, do a cruise, take the GRE (yeah, I know… but doctoral degrees in psychology—which WILL be fun--require them), do an ALL day SPA day, do a writing retreat, learn a song, sing it, and post it (I’m terrified of singing to people… and yeah, those of you who are like, “but you sang in public before!”, I’ll say “yeah”, at the risk of nearly fainting and peeing myself. Ok, maybe not quite. Almost. Very, very close.) AND so many other things. As I check things off the list, I’ll update/review it here J

And finally, just be a better person. Smile more, whine less, pray more, procrastinate less, dream more. AND fight for those dreams. Turn off all electronics when my daughter wants to play, appreciate all the small, sweet things my husband does, when I say I am going to do something, do it FAST, don’t make excuses NOT MATTER WHAT, focus on my small place in the world and love it completely, but never stop reaching toward the stars (not over the bridge where the grass may or may not be greener) and finally never lose sight of what is important: my family and the love that knots us all together.

It is time: 2012, be ready. You are about to have the sense knocked into you as this 25 year old exhausted, working, mother of one angel, wife to one prankster, this young woman with weight to lose, dreams to achieve, and fun crap to do takes it all and manages it in a 24 hour day. Blogosphere: Be ready. I am going to fall on my ass a lot along the way. But, I’m pretty sure that it will be worth the bruises.