Wednesday, February 29, 2012

(I have the sinking feeling this is going to become a regular staple on my blog. Keep it up, friends! Apparently you're hilarious, har harrr.)

The following two posts are from a friend of mine, named Katie, who every now and then offers me a little wiggle room with our conversations. Sometimes they turn terribly dirty. Other times they turn awkwardly funny. Observe.

And when my potato making noises haven't gotten her in giggles, conversations about Wendy's frosties do. Who knew all it took was frosties and a hot tub to get the best of both worlds?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Phew! It's Tuesday already? Why do my weeks keep running away so fast?

I had originally planned to give you all a second sneak peek into Obumbrate, the second book to Illumine, but I get so giddy at the thought of letting any more of it out that I just can't bring myself to post it! But fret not- if you haven't already read the first three segments I've posted, they're available right here! Hopefully the segments have you excited to read it as excited I am to release it this July!

In other totally-out-of-the-blue news, I can officially say I've started on a new dystopian series on the side as well. It's first book, titled Unwanted, is scheduled to come out next summer. It's not that I need an arm and a leg of time to write and fine tune it- it's that I'd like to focus on TIS first and get that well into itself before I start dedicating my mind to a new set of characters and their own insane issues. It could also have to do with the fact that the MC can't make up her mind and tell me if she wants to be called Emily or Rebbekah. Oh, the woes of a writer.

Recently I've picked up onto some of my favorite old pieces of music- specifically when ABC announced they were going to play Alice in Wonderland on TV. You know, the one that completely solidified my thoughts that Alice and the Mad Hatter would make the cutest couple on Earth? It also made me wonder about my birthday... and how very Unhappy it should be. I'm wondering if I can find the time to make an Alice in Wonderland dress to wear on my birthday and go with the cake I'm making. Oh, man, my brain could go on and on like this all day. Especially when you listen to this.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

There was such an overwhelming response to Sh*t My Friends Say, Part One! Who knew my friends were funny and amusing to read? I just thought they've existed solely to drive me borderline insane and manic.

I noticed, though, on my last post that I hadn't shown you any of the conversations I have with one of my closest friends, Steph. I've mentioned her on here a couple of times, but most of you only know her by her name. Let it be known that she isn't my one of my best friends just because she's freaking inhumanly gorgeous- she's one of my favorite people to talk to. Why? Because we can have conversations like these naturally.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Let me just start off by saying that today was, by far, one of the greatest days I've had as an author EVER. Not only did I get to meet tons of new friends, but I hosted a party and it didn't fail! A HUGE thank you goes out to Kymberlee Burks-Miller, author of Compulsion, and Willow Cross, author of Birthright, for stepping in and helping me out, too! You both rocked my world today!!

And now, I know why you're all still awake. You want that sneak peek of Obumbrate! I can totally tell! Well, here's hoping I don't tease you guys too much!! Here's some small segments of book two of The Illumine Series, Obumbrate!
(Ahem. As much as I love my stuff going wild and viral, please do not redistribute these pieces without approval by me or without proper crediting! Or I'll come after you with a rusty spoon. And rabid penguins.)


Once upon a time, on a cold winters night
A young and fair maiden was given a fright
She had awoken to chaos beyond her control
A horrorful sight, a new world to behold
The ocean sealed under a mass of chains
While perched atop, one coffin remains
A circlet of fire wrapped about like a cage
As muffled screams sounded desperate with rage
Yet the only comfort the maiden received
Was watching the white roses burn as she grieved

"Miss Hanley."
I jolted against my plastic-backed chair, muscles clenched. The pencil in my hand froze mid-stroke as my mind went blank. I dared the chance to look up. Mr. Whitley, my Biology teacher, gave me a disapproving stare, lips pulled tightly across his aged face. Behind him, my classmates all stared at me, stone-cold silence filling the room.
Instantly I relaxed. A man like Whitley was about as threatening as a newborn hamster. I kept a cool face as I asked, "Was there something you needed?"
Behind him, I heard some of the kids snicker. He did his best to appear intimidating, but only succeeded in looking like a moth-eaten teddy bear. "I was going to commend you on your excellent note-taking for the final next week. Thankfully, I held my tongue." His hand rested lightly on the edge of my desk, tapping it twice to the paper on my desk. "It is good to know though, that you won't be failing your art final."
I glanced down at the paper in front of me. A large human eye encompassed the whole sheet from corner to corner, dark lashes framing a detailed interior sketch of chains settling over ocean waves, a sole hand reaching out from under the surface. Above the chains rested a coffin with several white roses on top, fire licking around the base. It was a scene straight from a macabre book.
"Uh, thanks? The idea sort of stemmed from a poem." I half-shrugged. Whitley didn't seem to notice.
"I'd put the drawings away and lay off the Edgar Allen Poe, Miss Hanley. You missed a lot while daydreaming away. Unless your wish is to have my class again next year, while all your peers are off at college," he straightened and moved his hand off my desk, returning up to the white board up front to continue mapping out the portions of our upcoming final.
Tugging the sleeves of my cream sweater over my hands, I tried to focus on the board in front of me. My eyes however, had another plan. They continued to drift down to the drawing laid out before me. It was one of dozens I had completed in the last two weeks, each one more detailed than the last. It always started with the same eye shape; same curve of the pencil under my hand, same smudging and detailing, everything perfectly identical, save for one thing. Some of the eyes told stories of black birds and blood, others told stories of sunlight and fire. The aching part was that each had been created while I revisited Leo's death in my mind.
Leo... he was gone. Everything had happened so fast, my head was still trying to collect itself from that night. I let out an involuntary shiver as scattered fragments from that night played over in my head. One minute it had been all about dressing up and having fun at a circus event for the ages. Then it had turned to blood, so much blood. Blood in my hands, the dark red staining the cracks of my palms and cuticles. Blood on my white dress, on Leo's button-up, sticky and slick as it clung to his pale skin, two lifeless eyes staring blankly at the ceiling-
I snapped my notebook shut, hiding the drawings from sight, shoulders bunched together. I made sure to pay extreme attention to the white board, writing down as much as I could before the bell rang ten minutes later. Whitley seemed pleased when I passed by him to leave, apparently taking my sudden interest in last-minute note-taking was on his accord. Maybe he thought I'd fail, like the notion of having to repeat a year in a public education system terrified me.
Hah. If only he knew.
I drew out time at my locker, pretending to debate on what books would be most important to take home with me for studying. Not like it mattered much to me. What Whitley and the other teachers didn't know was that in theory I could fail every one of my finals and still graduate with low C's. I had to give a hand to my grandparents, for if it hadn't been for them pushing me into one of NYC's select private schools I wouldn't have the luxury of slacking off like I had been. Again, it still didn't matter much. The idea of even seeing graduation rested on the assumption  that I'd live long enough to actually need my schooling. Seeing as they didn't teach the ins and outs of being half of a mythical creature, I was betting that would be a no.
Nothing had gone right since I set foot in Belfast. Only a couple of weeks had passed before I had learned a bitter truth, that every part of my life had been a sick, crafted lie. From the second I came into existence, I had been shuffled and shoved, picked on by a lunatic mother, abandoned by an unimaginable father. I had learned the hard way that running from your past only brings it front and center with a vengeance. Life felt like a tragic painting. A sparrow with clipped wings, still thinking it could fly. 


I shrugged and brushed off her question. I was in no mood to deal with any kind of mind games she might try to enact on me. "Did you need something? Or do you just enjoy taking afternoon strolls in the mortal realm?"
The Queen appeared unfazed by my cold shoulder. "Kayden said you were brash. I can see he was right." She smiled. "Do you speak to him like this as well?"
"You answer my question, and I'll answer yours."
Her smile faltered by a fraction before she recovered with poised grace. "Very well, then. I came to see you. You had left in such haste after the... incident. I was worried for your well being."
Her lies lingered in the air like bitter puffs of sulfur, strong enough to taste, strong enough to gag on. "Two weeks is an awfully long time to wait. You could have just been honest and said you wanted to see if I was dead yet."
She opened her mouth slightly to speak, only to close it. Rich honey brown eyes narrowed at me. "You haven't answered my question, Nephilim."
"Essallie. It's Essallie," I corrected with a snap.
"Essallie it is, then. You haven't answered my question."
I turned my eyes back to the drawing on my lap. With a jerk of the paper, I ripped it from the sketchbook, crumbled it into a wad and chucked over my shoulder. "Only those who smell to high heavens of bullshit and ulterior motives." I rose to my feet and faced her, heat lancing through my veins like spears ready for the fight. "Spit it out. You didn't come here to check on me. So why are you here?"
Her eyes widened in surprise as I stood there, waiting. After today's nonsense with Abigail and Kayden, I had heard enough bullshit to span my lifetime six times over. Queen or no Queen, I didn't owe her anything. If anything, she owed me her life. It had been my hands covered in Chase's blood, not hers. For sacrificing my own lifespan to a torture of burning veins so her and all her little supernatural freaks could continue on in their meaningless existence.
Finally, she spoke. "You're smart. Smart enough to know not to trust me." Brushing past me, I watched as the shadows moved with her, forming a small pool around the hem of her dress. "I am, however, surprised to see you trust a demon of all things. Especially someone like Kayden."
It was bait, I knew it. She was testing to see if I'd wait to see the shoe drop off the other foot. Fire  spread from my fingers and washed over my hands. I pointed an emblazoned finger at her. "Your simple mind tricks won't work on me. I'm not interested in playing your petty game."
She laughed, a horrid smile spreading so far across her face I thought it might split in half. She stepped closer, until all I could see was the kohl lining the rims of her narrowed eyes. "Oh, you'll play my game whether you like it or not."
God, she sounded like a freaking cartoon villain. I started to turn and leave, my hands still engulfed in the angelic flame. "Sure thing, Queenie."
Shadows erupted from the ground, bursting skyward in sharp, jagged spikes. They spiraled together until a thick black cocoon sealed around the graveyard. I pushed a burst of flame through my veins to light up the inside when I saw a glimmering black spear launch into my hand. I screamed and the shadows launched into a fury, dozens of them stabbing at my hands, my arms, anywhere the fire pulsed from my body.
As I screamed and thrashed, the Queen spoke. "You see, Essallie, there isn't an option to ignore my voice. When you control the dark and all its splendor, you'll find many are willing to listen if it means their lives will be spared, if but for a moment."
Pressure crushed my chest as I fought to breathe. Breathy whispers spoke to me, like wind whistling through barren tree tops. My fire was gone, swallowed by the stabbing shadows that sunk into every inch of me. Emptiness seeped into my pores and filled me with a hollow sensation. Everything was so dark, so empty, so lost.
The shadows retreated, and I collapsed onto the ground. I watched through watery eyes as they took their place just under the Queen, shifting and swirling. She reached down and ran her hand across the shadows in a loving gesture. Some of them had spun up and into the fabric of her gown, forming swirls of deep violet against the black. "Now, let's chat."
I unsteadily rose to my feet, every inch of my body shaking. I felt like a leaf in the wind- powerless, frail, empty. The burn inside of my veins was gone, cooled to an bitter icy sensation that spread throughout my body. I reached deep inside to trigger the fire only to find a cold hollow instead. My fire was gone.
"What," my voice cracked. "What did you do to me?"


"Don't talk to me about Abby." I sat down on the middle of my bed with my arms on my knees, hands splayed palms up toward the ceiling. My eyes lingered on Kayden's hands, and I instinctively wished he'd take my hands into his and tell me everything would be okay. That the rampant chaos running my reality was all a terrible, horrible nightmare.
His voice brought me back from my wishful thinking. I watched as he ran a hand through his hair repeatedly. "She was just trying to help. It's in her blood." He came over to sit next to me, careful that we didn't touch in case we set the bed on fire. "Would you preferred being undefended?"
"I wasn't undefended. You were there," I pointed out.
"Yes, I was. But I was no where near you, Essie. If Abigail hadn't been there, you'd be dead. Would you rather she let you die?"
Yes, yes I would. My death could have been the end of all of this. A war everyone believes is coming now, all because of me. The countless deaths that could and would occur. Kayden had said Leo was just the beginning. Who else would I lose that meant everything to me?
I changed subject. "The Queen came to see me today."
Shoulders bunched, his body tensed at the mention of her. When he looked at me, I noticed his eyes had returned to the color of coal. I could barely make the words through his tightened jaw. "What did she want?"
"To warn me of people who may hurt me," I said carefully. His body tensed tighter, wound like a metal coil prepared to spring at the slightest snap. Cords of black smoke rose from his skin, as if he were barbecuing alive on my bed. I did my best to keep my lips pressed tight as I watched him. The Queen's words repeated in my head with a growing force.
You don't seem to be easily manipulated. Then again, I didn't kiss you like he had.
"You don't like her." The words slipped from off my tongue faster than I could catch them.
Kayden's eyes locked onto mine. His shoulders slowly deflated, the tendrils of smoke dissipating into thin air. When he spoke, his voice sounded calm, but I could still hear the pressure it took him to keep his tone in check.
"Annabelle," he began with a barely contained sneer, "is like the Queen piece on a chess board. She has every move available in her arsenal, and any piece could be hers."
In that moment I wished I could see into his mind and understand the tumbling of emotions lying under his mask. Someone with such a level of dislike for a person had to have a reason for it.
"She mentioned you. I was told that you were distrustful. Dangerous, even."
"Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black to me."
I leaned in closer to him, looked at him curiously. Ever since the kiss he'd been aloof, distant. It was almost as if he'd reverted back to the Kayden I'd met in New York, not the Kayden who'd helped me understand what I was. Not the Kayden who'd encouraged me, pushed me to better myself, to prepare for the inevitable I still wasn't ready to accept.
I decided to act on impulse. "Kiss me, Kayden."

Hi everyone! 
Okay, so, two things I have to post about real quick! 


If you haven't joined in on the fun on Facebook right now for the Launch Party- don't fret - it's still going on right now!

Meet The Facebook Shenanigans Here!


Remember the second vlog I promised?! Here you are! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

So right now it's 6:40PM EST. That means there's only... 5 hours and 20 minutes until the Official Launch Party for Illumine starts. Ummmm, WHERE DID MY WEEK GO? 

As of right now, there's just under 100 people signed up to partake in the Facebook event. I'm going to make sure that this is going to be one of those things that whoever comes to it, is never going to forget it. I've already promised cake, sneak peek book info for OBUMBRATE, a couple super-personal giveaways, some promos for other authors, the whole nine yards! One of my friends once said that when I do something, I either put no effort into it at all, or I go balls to the wall. 

This would be the latter, not the former. 

So what should these invitees expect to see throughout the day? 

I'm going to be posting videos on and off all throughout the day and answering YOUR questions. It could be questions about Illumine, Obumbrate, myself, random declarations of love, anything. No stone shall be left unturned! 

There is also a tiny rumor running around that I will be hosting the end part of the party/vlogging at the Barnes & Noble in The Promenade Shops of Saucon Valley. This isn't 100% BUT there is a big possibility. I will tell you all for certain if I am going to be there by tomorrow morning around 12PM EST, so keep your eyes peeled! 

Aside from that, I do have another funny post for you guys coming up on Wednesday that's friend related. Let's just say I might make it a habit to start posting more Sh*t My Friends Say segments, since my friends are never-ending buckets of ridiculousness when we're paired together. 

That's it for me for now! I've got a cake to go bake and some vlogs to prepare for. Zoinks. I'll see you all on Facebook tomorrow! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I originally had planned a Valentine's Day blog post on the ups of red hot smokin' love and compare it to broken-hearted/anti-Valentine's day blues, but life sort of got in the way. So to try and keep up with updating my blog on a regular basis I figured I'd show you guys just what I've been up to since my last post!

Big things first! There's a giveaway running on Goodreads right now for a chance to win one of four signed paperbacks of Illumine. And I'm SUPER proud to say that the giveaway has only been up for two days (after them confirming it and all) and at the current moment of this post has 323 people requesting it! Umm, excuse me while I scream bloody murderous glee over that.


If you haven't entered in it yet, there's still time! Here's the widget.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Illumine by Alivia Anders


by Alivia Anders

Giveaway ends March 02, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Next! Kelly from Reading The Paranormal did a review of Illumine and was nice enough to post it on Goodreads! Very nice, thank you Kelly!

Illumine also went up on iTunes and Kobo (FINALLY).

I did an author interview for Megan McDade over at Reading Away The Days! Thank you, Megan!

Alexa over at Pages of Forbidden Love was sweet enough to feature Illumine this past week! Thank you too, Alexa! (PS- Kayden didn't have a Valentine... he did think about bringing you a flower, though!)

And, to save the best for last... I'm hosting an all-day Facebook event in honor of the paperback release of Illumine! If you've never been to one of these before, it's super easy.

Step One- Log on Facebook. RSVP to link.
Step Two- Log on Facebook on day of event, pop in, say hi, participate in games, win prizes and have fun, and do it in whatever you want to! Pjs, costume, birthday suit... (maybe not the birthday suit) but you get the point! RVSPing to the event and showing up the day of is highly recommended. Why? Well, let's just say everyone who shows up will get a beautifully exclusive sneak peek at Obumbrate and its cover!

Well, what are you waiting for?!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Talk about late- sorry everyone! YouTube was having a formatting fest with my video. Hope you like it, and good luck in the 'challenge'!

Oh! For the interview mentioned in the vlog, check it out on Janina's book blog site, Synchronized Reading!

Yep, the title is true. I'm going to spill something super-secret with you guys today. But shhhh, try not to tell anyone else. Or tell them and spread the laughter!

First things first, though! I had planned this blog post originally with the intention of semi-spamming Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else each day for the whole week. This past Saturday, February 4th, had been a little bit of a monumental day for me spiritually. And I'll explain why.

Without going into layers of detail, I lost a sibling years ago. His name was Holden, and he passed in 1999 at the age of four months. At the time I had been in second grade, just a child, but being a curious creature who knew too much for her own good at too young an age, it hit me. Hard. I missed weeks of school from the grief, and when I did return all I did was take out his picture from my pocket, stare at it and cry. It had been a breaking point for our family, but in the same breath it taught me to cherish life and to keep those who meant the world to me as close as they'd allow me.

February 3rd marks the day of his death. Every year we go to his grave and leave flowers, sometimes send balloons, leave toys, anything for a small smile in the face of something so heart-crushing. Last year was one of the more humorous years. Ice had collected so thick over the roads and layers of packed snow beneath it that we couldn't get the car up to his grave. We ended up spending about an hour breaking ice and gripping onto each other as we pulled ourselves uphill.

Every year, his death affects me. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him and the life he should have had, but in the same breath I know he's our little angel, and he shows it. One of the first times I had considered writing for a career I experienced a 'paranormal experience'. I know some believe in it and some don't. I never did until that day. Now I look for specific signs, like when a certain set of words appear to me or music specifically dedicated to him that's beyond outdated comes over the radio for no reason.

The experience I had in the middle of work a day his date of passing this past weekend reminded me that I was slacking in writing my draft for Obumbrate, and that he was watching. I'm onto you, little brother. Stop scaring me at work! That was a little something I wanted to share with all of you.

Now, that was only one part of my huge post! Part two is a round up of all the blogs I've recently found who's posted reviews on Illumine!

First is Opinionated Mama with her 4-star review!

Second is Nat & Dee's Book Nook with their 4-star review!

Third is BookStacksOnDeck with her review!

And lastly is Hopelessly Devoted Bibilophile with her review, too!

I encourage all of you to check out the blogs I've mentioned, each one is pretty unique. They all do share one thing in common, though; they're all friendly and love books! (Whoops, that was two, wasn't it?)

Okay, and now for part three of the super-awesome post! The Teaser Tuesday of Obumbrate is a small excerpt between Essallie and Kayden. Enjoy! (Please note this is from the ARC of Obumbrate, and it may not reflect word-for-word what the final product may be.)

I watched the expression in his eyes turn soft, dim glimmers of something kind shining inside them. He reached out to stroke my cheek, his thumb igniting sparks from my skin, like flicking a lighter on. "You remind me of someone." He paused. "For a second I thought...maybe part of them was reincarnated into you."
I studied him carefully, running my eyes over the cuts and burns that littered his body. He looked like a giant mess of ripped tissue paper. "Who do I remind you of?"
He shook his head, the broken look on his face nearly crippling me. Rising to his feet, he stumbled and gently swore. "Doesn't matter who. What matters is that where this person went, it isn't possible to come back."
"Don't stand up," I started to say. I'd barely made it to my feet when he spilled forward, collapsing into my arms. Adjusting my stance to save us from a spill into broken glass and blood, I muttered under my breath. "You have got to be the heaviest thing made of smoke. Ever."
Leaning off of me, Kayden grinned like a jackal, blood smeared across the bridge of his nose and cheek like blush. If we weren't in the middle of a pile of dead bodies, I might have smiled too. "Admit it," he said. "You like this. You wouldn't know what to do without me."
I ignored his words and the hammering in my chest, doing my best to keep him from dragging us to the ground. "How exactly do you get better? Because there's no way I can carry you like this forever."
For a second his gaze returned to the serious Kayden I was accustomed to. "Do you really want the answer to that?"
I locked eyes, prepared to dish the first retort on my tongue, and stopped. Even with his brooding stare my heart felt like it could explode at any moment. I didn't want to look away from him, because what if that last time I saw him was his last? If he died right now, how far did I really think I could get before I'd break down and sob? I realized that while I told Ari my scars were his to guard, Kayden had the same right, maybe even more. I couldn't see the final picture without him, couldn't stand the thought of letting him go. And yet, if I didn't...
"Essallie?" Kayden tilted his head to the side.
Something screamed inside of me to respond. Something, anything. Anything that didn't involve flinging myself into him and kissing him like I'd never see him again. I had to hate him, hate him to the very core so Ari wouldn't kill him. So my heart would survive the break. Demons and angels didn't mix, they couldn't. No amount of love could fix something like that.

And lastly- part four of the longest post I've ever created, I will be posting a video talking about the paperbacks of Illumine, a little about my terrible addiction to caffeinated beverages, and where I'm going to be this spring for a book signing event! Booyah!  

(P.S.- If you've made it this far, I commend you. Have a cookie, or a cupcake. Just don't touch my coffee.)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

This whole week I have been freaking, hold that word, agonizing over a blog post. My brain is mid way to Obumbrate-land after a day or two to just chill out and network, double-check proof two of Illumine, fend off a rabid clown, the usual mess I go through on any given week. Yes, including the clown.

But I was at a loss at what to write! Karsten Knight and his super-writing fetus genes sort of took a vague idea of what I was initially going to post, and then I got slammed with ideas on book covers for Obumbrate and how I can take photos of smoke and use them because, well HELLO, I'm a graphic artist! I didn't buy Paint Shop Pro just because I thought the box looked cool. Not this time, anyway.

In my supreme desperation to make it look like I wasn't neglecting my blog, I sought out a couple of my closest friends on Facebook for some advice on engaging my followers and bringing more. I did have a theory of doing the whole 'giveaway' thing, but I wanted to hold off on that first and just be me. Maybe post pictures of my pre-brain days when I was RPing, or maybe let you guys in on why I can't say the words 'bakery' and 'muffin' in the same sentence without snickering. (/snicker) But before I could test my theory, I asked my friends for tips and help, stuff awesome friends should have tucked in their back pocket. This is what I got.

(For safety reasons, photos have been heavily blurred and last named blacked out.)