Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Very Special HUGE Announcement!



Dear Honest Readers,

Lorie and Carey here!

The day has finally come when we can share our dream-come-true news with you all!!!! We are bursting to spill the details, but first, if you’ll indulge her, Lorie would like to go back to the beginning. The very beginning... 

Once upon a time, when I was sixteen years old, my great-uncle took me to see my very first Broadway-style production—Brigadoon! As the curtain lifted, I was swept away to a world of magic, beauty and gorgeous boys in kilts. It would be easy to say I fell head over heels in love with the story, but one issue bothered me for the next twenty years: The portal to Brigadoon opened once every hundred years and when the portal closed, all its inhabitants…slept. Really? What a dull existence in an otherwise enchanting kingdom! One cold winter day, I was discussing this gap between childhood expectations and reality with Carey—critique partner extraordinaire and diehard theater aficionado—and we decide to create the story the way we wished it had been; thus DOON, a reimagining of the musical Brigadoon, with permission from the Lerner and Loewe estates, was born. 

 DOON…

A mysterious letter and a set of magical rings lead two best friends to an enchanted bridge and a thriving land existing outside of time and place. The Scottish Kingdom of Doon is quite possibly the answer to everything missing in the girls’ lives—excitement, a sense of belonging, purpose and love—including two handsome princes. However when a vengeful witch bent on destruction threatens Doon’s very existence, the girls must find a way to save the kingdom and its people before they disappear forever into the mists.
~Destiny awaits!

We are humbled and thrilled beyond words to announce that all four books of the DOON series will be published by Zondervan/Harper Collins in hardcover, the first to release in September 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are grateful for the privilege to be able to celebrate first with all of you here at Honestly YA. Thank you for sharing in our miraculous journey! 

Hugs,
Carey and Lorie






Follow the Journey on FACEBOOK: http://bitylink.info/DOON
*Hit “Like” and hover over the button, select “Get Notification” to receive the latest DOON news, character profiles, speak peaks, and bonus content.


Share our “DOONspiration” on PINTEREST: http://bitylink.info/DOON963

Add DOON to your GOODREADS TBR (please, please, please): http://bitylink.info/DOON613


Our official DOON website: Coming Soon!

Holy Hammerstein! Visit the official DOON Zazzle store (coming soon): http://www.zazzle.com/DoonSeries

Get your official DOONspiration limited edition/collector's merchandise before it's cool!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Citrus Kind of Christmas

In light of recent events, I've been trying to embrace the present and celebrate the small moments in life.

This weekend, I went shopping for a live Christmas tree for the very first time.



We made some interesting discoveries along the way. Did you know, for example, that when you break the pine needles of a Douglas Fir, they smell like citrus?

We also learned that our Christmas tree is fifteen years old.




After we got home and set up the tree, I unpacked the ornaments and gave them to my kids to hang.

A little while later, I looked up and saw this:



"Where are all the ornaments?" I asked.

Turned out, my kids had hung the bulk of them on a corner of the tree facing the wall. This was their special hide-out, they explained. In order to get back there, I had to squeeze through a space that was perfect for a child. Not so comfortable for an adult.

But it was worth it. The view was magnificent.




So magnificent, in fact, I'm going to leave the ornaments where they are. After all, it is the small things -- the secret hideouts, the pretty ornaments, the citrus Christmas tree -- that matter in life.

What about you, dear reader? What small moments have you been celebrating this holiday season?

Happy Holidays!

-- Pintip

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Year's Eve: A resolution revolution!

It’s that most wonderful time of the year… NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS TIME!

I’m very excited to be joining the wonderful team here at Honestly YA, even if this first post will probably seem hopelessly, well, starry-eyed. But with most of my Christmas shopping completed, some of my gifts even given, I can now turn to the true “reason for the season” (for me): preparing for the New Year.

It’s true. New Year’s Eve has long been one of my favorite holidays, if not my most favorite. And not because of the partying and celebration. I am party-challenged, actually—I’m one of those people who gets completely drained standing in a room talking to perfectly delightful friends and acquaintances. I’m the girl who insists on driving herself to every get together, just so that I have getaway wheels. I’m the girl who looks at going to crowded concerts like an exercise in self-discipline (“I will not leave early, I will not leave early, I will not leave early.”)

But there’s something about New Year’s Eve that’s always captured my imagination. It’s the time of blue and white starlight, of saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new, of brushing away all of the clutter and trouble of the past and boldly stepping into the future. There have been some years that I haven’t even put up a tree until after Christmas—and then it was decorated specifically for New Year’s Eve. (It should be noted, I do NOT have children.  I don’t think I could pull that off with a family gathered round!) My ornaments sometimes are sparkling lights and bulbs—and sometimes small wisps of papers with wishes and dreams written on them. New Year’s Eve is about everything the glimmers – hopes, dreams, stars, the future, renewal and possibilities.

Over the years, I’ve attempted my share of New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve tried the diet (that… worked well), giving up red wine (see diet, above) and being a better person (almost impossible if you're also dieting and giving up wine, in case anyone's wondering). But I’ve learned that for me, New Year’s isn’t about what I need to cut out of my life, it’s about what positive things I can add to my life—the new goals, dreams, and possibilities that I am willing to open myself to, at the bright shiny start of a New Year.

So what are my New Year’s "Resolutions" for 2013?

1. Write Full Time

I am lucky enough to be a debut author in 2013, with my historical YA novel, MAID OF SECRETS, coming out in May. (Go, Meg!) But one sale alone does not a full-time author make. I’m also a freelancer who is blessed with as much work as I can handle (and, apparently, I can handle a lot). In 2013, I make the shift to writing full time.

2. Become a Better Author

If I’ve learned nothing else this past year, it’s that I have so much more to learn about writing—the craft, marketing, managing time, all of it. In order to succeed in this venture, I have to become savvier about how I spend my time… and how I choose to improve. This means that in 2013, I read more good books, watch more good movies, and write more good stories.

3. Dream Bigger

Like many women and girls who were successful early in a world that wasn’t always supportive of that accomplishment, I learned to be quiet about my dreams and goals, to not shout them from the rooftops or dance with them around a crowded room. Along the way, I gradually became quiet about my goals on the inside as well, until they became barely a whisper in my own heart. Now that I’m all grown up, I’ve learned that I can shine forth through my actions, and proclaim my goals fiercely even if I never say a word. In 2013, I dream without boundaries, and remember to live those dreams every day.

4. Love more

Love is one of those unique gems—the more you share it, the more brilliantly it glows. So much of the “have tos” and “musts” in life come down to just trying to love others a tiny bit more, or even to love myself more. Everyone can use a touch more caring, it seems, particularly in today’s stressful world. So in 2013, I love a little more—and express that love in creative and meaningful ways.

Well, that’s me—but what about you?? Do you love New Year’s Eve or is it your most hated holiday… or does it fall somewhere in between? Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions that you’d like to share?

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's a Doomsday Christmas!


Usually at the beginning of December, I’m watching all those sappy Christmas movies that make my heart flutter and break and feel all happy inside simultaneously.

Not this year.  I’ve become addicted to the Doomsday shows on National Geographic.  I just found out the other day about the Mayan calendar ending on December 21, 2012, and many people believe that will be the end of the word.  Apparently, I’m the last to know.
 
I called my mom because I wanted to let her know about my significant discovery only to find out she’s been going to “prepper” meetings to make sure she’ll survive in her little town in Ohio.  Granted, people have called my mom “Doom and Gloom” for years.  She freaked out when I didn’t get ready for Y2K.  My husband and I bought some extra wine and hoped for the best here in Virginia.   I think my mom still has Dinty Moore beef stew left over from 2000.

Doom and Gloom told me about this other show called “Doomsday Preppers” where families are building bunkers and teaching their young children about survival techniques and how to siphon gas from other people’s cars if the need arises.

I only had one pen-sized flashlight for the recent hurricane that rocked our area.  At the last minute I filled up a bathtub with water in case we lost electricity and couldn’t get water, and I scrambled to find some candles.  That’s about as prepared as I get for a disaster.

Imagine my husband’s surprise when I told him that I bought survival items for Christmas gifts this year.  My boys are getting headlamps.  The girls are getting reusable handwarmers.   My husband is getting a crank radio and flashlight combo.  I bought other stuff too, but I’m too embarrassed to admit to the rest.  But, respiratory masks and Mylar blankets wouldn’t be out of the running.  Or fire starters and emergency tents. 
  
So, this got me thinking about YA books and the dystopian stuff that kids eat up these days.  I wonder if there’s a connection between adult paranoia and what teens are reading today.  Are we making our kids crazy?  Do they read these apocalypse and zombie books because they want to escape to a world that’s complete fantasy or because they’re trying to become preppers through osmosis? 

My kids have read many of these dystopian and apocalypse books, and I know for sure that they wouldn’t have a clue how to make it out there in a disastrous situation.  If they need to straighten their hair with a flat iron to avoid the zombies, they’re good. Fire a gun?  Not so much.  Figure out how to hunt game like Katniss?  Nope.  We’d starve. 
 
We put our tree up today, and tomorrow we string up the lights and hang the ornaments and deck the halls.  I still have my Christmas music on in the kitchen while I’m googling survival items on my computer.  I’ll still be baking my favorite cookies while waiting for the UPS man to deliver my water purification tablets and portable stove. 

Then I start to wonder…am I becoming my mother?!?  There’s a part of me that’s horrified at that idea and another part of me that’s kinda proud to be following in her crazy footsteps. 

I have purchased other fun gifts like sleds and games in the event that Christmas does actually arrive this December 25th.  My kids are downstairs dancing and laughing, and they have no clue that their mother is upstairs writing a blog about a Doomsday Christmas.

They can be kept in the dark.  If the time comes when I have to bring out the crank flashlight, I’ll clue them in.  Otherwise, it will be another Merry, Merry Christmas in our home. 
Just like next year’s.             
I’m hoping…

Kimberly MacCarron

Are you preparing for Christmas or for the end of the world as we know it?  Tell me I'm not the only crazy one who's prepping for both!