Blogme MAYbe, writing

First loves…

Today I am combining Blogme MAYbe (brainchild of SaraMcClung) with the First Loves Blogfest organized by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Here are the first loves of Natalja…Natalja had a promising career as a ballet dancer until her knee decided to give up on her. Now, she´s back in New Jersey with a broken dream, a broken mother and with no idea who she is without her pointes.

Her first movie crush: She remembers a night of watching dance movies with her friends from the ballet school, laughing so hard her stomach hurt but the very first movie she loved was at a pajama party with Beverley when she was 6 years old: Cinderella from Walt Disney – Since then she has always wanted to dance the part.

Loving music: Chopin. Anything by the man. That´s what her parents used to play on the piano. That´s what she first learned with them when they let her touch the keyboard. She can remember her dad playing this particular piece with her mother waiting for him, all dressed up before a date. A broad smile, the kind she no longer has and he was looking directly at her…Lost times.

A book is more than words on paper: Again, funny how happy memories can resurface so easily if you let them…Her mother reading to her at night, reassuring her that Baba Yaga would not come after her and that Vasilisa the Beautiful was safe.

                                             Source: via NoelandNicole on Pinterest




Falling in love for the first time: Natalja gave ballet her heart, her body and her soul...She wonders if she will love someone the same way, with all that passion. She’ll have to wait and see.


So tell me, what/who were your first loves? or your character’s first loves?


It’s a small world after all….

WordPress started to show statistics of visitors per country…and I am so happy to see how many people from so many different areas of the world stumble upon my blog.

Some of them undeniably came across my posts thanks to their searches…Here are some terms which bring wanderers to my site…

The “popular” ones

  • Happy Friday: yep people love looking for everything related to Happy Friday (usually as of Wednesday) – Happy Friday smile, Happy Friday pic, Happy Friday images, Have a happy Friday. The ones which personally turns my lips upwards is Happy Friday hubby, Happy Friday sunshine and smile, it’s Friday.
  • Books: I hope people can find interesting posts by googling this term
  • Santa Claus: including Santa Claus in trouble, Santa coming late
  • Mike Delfino: I agree I mean he´s quite good looking

The writing-related ones

  • Writer, inspiration, imagination: related searches including writer’s imagination and the tripe I of writers. I’m sorry I don’t have the magical recipe for it but I know it’s important!
  • Aspiring young authors: And since I am an aspiring young author of young adult novels, this fits 😀 (30 is still young, right?)
  • Beauty of words: Words are indeed beautiful!
  • write, my super powers are: This one really made me smile 😀 We all have super powers when it comes to our writing.

The reading-related ones

  • Anna and The French Kiss: I must talk a lot about this book on my blog cos’ people also search for Anna & The French Kiss query, Anna & The French Kiss rights sold (while I don’t think I actually wrote about this before…)
  • Hunger Games, The Scorpio Races and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight: Yep those are great books too!
  • Funny books on commuting: Hmm sorry I don’t know any!
  • Is Shatter Me worth reading: I would say yes! I really loved it but I know not everybody did. I think it’s definitely worth giving it a try and see where the magic of words can take you…
  • Did you cry during the fault in our stars: I did.

These also make me smile, wonder or ponder….

  • Valentine’s Day: Essay about Valentine´s Day, Valentine’s Day French Toast (hope somebody made his/her special someone some yummy French toast on that day)
  • never asked myself the big questions: I do on a regular basis though…
  • tada goodbye: 😀
  • what are a lifetime of memories: Such a thought-pondering moment…
  • french toast kiss: Yes if your special someone made you French Toast you should kiss them…
  • “don’t take it personally” “it’s not you it’s me”: This search could make me smile or sad…depending on the mood of the person looking
  • guy looking at the moon and wolf looking at the moon: Hope they enjoyed my moon picture!
  • magic words for daughter: This search made me go awwwwwwwww cos I can picture a mom or a dad wanting to write a special card/letter/email for their daughter and looking for inspiration cos’ they’re afraid to get them wrong. The special words are: “I am proud of you” and “I love you” combined with “always”.

And there are even some with my name 😀 (maybe it’s an agent looking for me!)

  • Elodie writer
  • Elodie falling into you
  • Elodie poetry

And while I am very thankful to see how so so many countries of the world are represented, I am secretely hoping that one of my visitors from the Ukraine (or the US or Germany) is that guy right there…(if you don’t know the Klitchko brothers in particular Wladimir Klitchko, just click on his picture for more info).

(Disclaimer: My hubby is fully aware of my fan-girling attitude towards this gentleman :D)

Tell me, are there any search terms which really made you smile or wonder?

or do you wish one of your unknown blog visitors to be someone specific?

Book Review, Books, YA Book Club

YA Book Club: Loving WANDERLOVE…

This month, the YA Book Club (brainchild of the wonderful Tracey) is discussing WANDERLOVE by Kirsten Hubbard. I´ll try not be too spoilery (yes, I´m making up words – I´m all for creativity!)  for those of you who may not have read it.

WANDERLOVE: It all begins with a stupid question: Are you a Global Vagabond? 
No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path. 

I immersed myself in the story quite fast, after a few pages I was already “in” and I really enjoyed reading Bria´s adventure. The swoony elements were…well…SWOONY 😀 and I could feel her emotions. Always a wonderful plus in my book!

I re-read the ending several times and there are certain passages which made me react this way:

Mean Girls nodI did try to look a tad more inspired when I nodded though (promise), especially at this excerpt (and what better way to have the author actually read it for us – thanks for the magic of the internet and youtube):

This excerpt resonated in me. I left France when I just turned 19. Left my country, my family for an entire year to live with an American family and to take care of children. I thought I could maybe “reinvent” myself.  Nobody knew me there, I could be whoever I wanted to be. I ended up pretty much staying who I already was but I did grow up a lot during that year…

The main reason why I truly enjoyed this story (apart from the swoony bits) is the self-discovery part and for me it could have happened anywhere in the world. She could have been in a resort instead of backpacking and still go through the same emotions.

Having said that, I did really like how Kirsten enabled us to “see” the places Bria went to…I could visualize them and “feel” the water. I virtually traveled with all of them and for that I´m very grateful!

So tell me: what did you think of WANDERLOVE?

 How important is the setting of a story for you in general?

Books, Kisses, Road Trip Wednesday

Best Books of the Month…

Today is Road Trip Wednesday 🙂 RTW is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. 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 March?

This month, I’ve read less books than in the previous ones. I’ve been immersing myself in revising, beta-reading and Stephen King’s ON WRITING…but luckily, all the ones I’ve read brought me a little something something…


WANDERLOVE by Kirsten Hubbard : more on this story on Friday (keeping the suspense for Tracey’s YA Book club)

AMY AND ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson: I really really enjoyed this novel. The setting was great and made me think of my upcoming honeymoon so definitely a winner for this month! I thought both characters were  well developed and I got lost in their story. And there are definitely a lot of swoon-worthy moments…and those which squeezed my heart. Always a plus! I am definitely adding SECOND CHANCE SUMMER to my TBR list. Thanks again Jaime for pointing this book out to me!

GETTING OVER GARRETT DELANEY by Abby McDonald: A cute one and I liked the premises of the story. I also think the author did very well at portraying the different relationships. I enjoyed the developing and rekindling of friendships.


RIPPLE by Mandy Hubbart: I’ve been meaning to read more mermaid books and this one had a different twist to it. While I wish I could have been immersed more in the curse itself, I still wanted to know what would happen to Lexi 😀

INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows: Honestly, I was unsure about this book before started it. I was afraid I’d be disappointed. I’m glad I wasn’t. It took me a few pages to really get into it and once I was, there was no turning back for me. Plus, the swoony moments involved a piano and gosh how I missed mine while reading those lines!

TRAFFICKED by Kim Purcell: Difficult. Heart-wrenching. Some reviewers mentioned that they thought Hannah was too naive and I don’t think she was. Of course, she knew the dangers but she was going for what she thought to be a better life, for her grandmother. I felt for her. I cringe and I wanted to scream at some of the things happening during the book.

So, tell me what was your favorite book(s) of the month?


Dear Writing Community: Would you be my Valentine?

The ladies at YA Highway had the wonderful idea to celebrate Valentine´s Day by organizing a Blog LovefestThe Valentine blog posts can be a love note to anything–another blogger, a book, an author, a character, a bookstore, your beta readers…anything and anyone! And right when I read the little prompt, I knew I wanted to write to all of you. I thanked the wonderful community several times already but it´s times for an official Valentine´s Day letter and here, help yourselves to some candy…Oh and if you´re looking for my That´s YAmore post (where I share not one but two excerpts from my WIP), you can see it here 🙂

Dear Writing Community,

Happy Valentine´s Day to you. Feel yourself hugged. We don´t go way back but you´re already very important to me. I met you while looking for answers, for other people going through the same hoops as me. 

I ended up on AbsoluteWrite and from there, I hopped from blogs to other forums…I made connections, I read, I lurked, I smiled and I cheered. Then, I decided to create this blog. I started participating in the Road Trip Wednesdays from YA Highway and got to find even more wonderful people. Then, I gave in to Twitter and I don´t regret a single second of it. It made me realize that the writing community can be creative with only a small amount of characters at hand 🙂

You´re a welcoming bunch! And you don´t think my love of books is out of control, thanks for being so accepting!

The people I met through the webs are smart, witty, honest, funny and they´re reaching for the stars. It´s not easy every day for any of you and I really admire your strength and your dedication.  Writing can be a lonesome business. I do not have any writing groups close by nor any English book clubs and thanks to you, I now have a little bit of both.

Happy Valentine´s Day!


Kisses, writing

That’s YAmore: Kiss, kisses and French Toast…

Are you ready for some romantic, swoon-worthy scenes?

I joined the “That´s YAmore” Blogfest organized by Oasis for YA…The description: Starting the Saturday before Valentine’s Day (that’s February 11th), we invite you to post 250 romantic, swoon-worthy words from your YA WIP.  Then check out the entries from some of the other participants.  (Just be sure you have a fan and/or a cold glass of water on hand.)  We know your Valentine will appreciate you getting yourself in a romantic state of mind…And, as an added bonus, this year we will select one lucky participant to win a swoon-worthy YA read, shipped direct from the Book Depository (meaning the contest is open internationally, so long as TBD ships to your country).

I chose two short swoon-worthy moments from my YA paranormal romance Falling into you: a kiss (because who does not like these tingly feelings before an awaited kiss?) and…a scene where Aleksi shows his sweet self to Erin.

Excerpt 1

“Let me help you.” His mouth almost touches my ear. I shiver and my heart forgets to beat.  I tilt my head and move a bit closer to him. I can’t help it. His lips find mine. The fire melts the ice and as I lose myself in his arms, I find a home I did not know I had been looking for.


Excerpt 2

When Aleksi gets up, I turn to him: “I guess you have to go too.” I hug my knees, looking at the floor.

“No I don´t. I took the day off, remember? I think I am running a fever according to what my dear grandmother told the school office this morning.”

He takes my face in his hands and gently brushes my lips.

“I´m going to make some coffee. Maybe some French toast.”

“Don´t tell me you can cook”  A pang of guilt grasps my heart as a smile forms on my lips.

Aleksi’s arm embraces my shoulders.

“Not much but my mother always told me that a man should know the basics. French toast. Basic.” I smile again, more easily. Before I can speak, he continues. “How about you go lay down while I do this and I´ll call you when it´s done” He searches my eyes. “You really could not have done anything, Erin.”

“But maybe now I can.” My voice breaks a little. I pause, looking for words.  “Thank you for trying to help, it…it means a lot.”

He kisses me again, this time more deeply. “Don´t mention it”.

I cannot wait to start reading what others came up with 😀 (you can check their entries here)

And as always, I´m curious: what is your favorite swoon-worthy, romantic, steamy scene from novels you read?

Happy Friday, reading, revising

Happy Friday #5: Reading, Revising and Rollers…

It’s already the 5th week of “Happy Friday”.  Yay!

Ok I have to admit there will be no rollers in this post…I was just looking for another word starting with the letter “R” 😀

* Happy for Christa: I started following Christa a few weeks ago and I am happy I did  ( I found another Center Stage fan). In case you have not seen Christa´s news, she announced on Wednesday her book deal with SimonPulse. The story of Ani and Ben  is not the kind that will make your heart flutter with happiness, actually it might tear up and break but it seems to be powerful, gut-wrenching. It’s a story which needed to be sent to the world.

* Revising: Chapter 4 and I had a date. We fought. We made up.

* Reading: I am in the middle of a Daughter of Smoke and Bone and wow, Laini Taylor has a magical way with words. I love all the references of men with moustache (for some reasons, this reminds me of one of the short stories from Gogol)

I did a little happy dance yesterday as I joined NetGalley to receive ARCs on my Kindle (thanks to Tarah who posted about currently reading Goddess Interrupted) As you may have guessed from my January books post, I have a lot of time to read…so that will be great to get my fingertips on some not-yet-released-look-at-me-I’m-so-cool-books… And I already got approved for some. (more on them soon…ta ta ta da *that was me building up suspense*)

* On InstaLove by Jaimee: If you have not yet seen Jaimee’s post on InstaLove, go ahead, I’ll wait here.

waits, waits, waits.

Cool, you’re back 🙂 While I do enjoy Valentine’s Day a tad more than Jaimee apparently, I wholeheartedly agree with her take on InstaLove. My heart beats a bit faster when I can see the sparks between people as they first lay eyes on each other call it InstaYummfactor) and then the fireworks when they first interact with one another (call it InstaConnection). I do need the connection though, the laughing or the long discussions. I need something. If there are no explanations or if the love is just based on the looks or does not seem reciprocated (the guy is a jerk, stalker, ignores her completely…) then it can become more of an InstaObsession. While the story can still work if the main character conveys this to the reader (and not just the I am so happy, we’re in love), it needs to develop.

* Honeymoon: And because I just talked about love, I am happy to report that hubby and I have finally booked our flights for our honeymoon (we got married in August). We’re going to the US for 3 weeks. Road Trip. Mustang. Leaving the work Blackberry at home. We’re going to visit dear friends in many States  and spend some time in a Bed and Breakfast in Cape Cod…and I will get to roam the streets of Manchester-By-The-Sea (that is where my WIP takes place…I talked about it in my Dreaming of a Writing Retreat post)…

I wish you all a wonderful week-end and I am looking forward to know what made YOU smile this week 🙂 

reading, revising, writing

Dear Book…It’s not you, it’s me

I need to apologize to the book I am currently reading. 

It’s just not the relationship it used to be and it is all my fault.

Dear Book,

I am sorry that I am not paying attention to you as I should, or that it is taking me longer to care about the characters. It’s not your fault, it’s mine.

I know you don’t believe me. I see you looking at me with your big dark words. You think I’m just saying it to make you feel better. But it’s true.  I am not ready for a committed relationship  at the moment.

It sounds cliché you say. Please don’t cry. I know you want my fingers on your pages. I promise to come back to you when I feel less distracted. I know I should not be looking at that other book this way but we grew older together. The words on its paper are mine, you see and I recognize their potential. The characters are in my head and they won’t rest until I give them more time.

You are truly a wonderful book and I do love you. I just don’t love you that way yet. Maybe we’ll get there if I give you a try. Maybe you will help me get the voice in my own draft even stronger.

I guess time will tell but in the meantime, please don’t take it personally. I am sure somebody else somewhere already loves you the way you deserve to be loved.

Take care


Now tell me 🙂

Do you sometimes get too distracted to really engage in a book ? or how do you deal with revising/reading?


How I fell in love with a Bronze Horseman…

Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are.  Ask: What do believe in? What do you hope for? What do you love?”

When I first bought a book by Paullina Simons, I was strolling through the sales rack of Barnes and Nobles (I was a student at the time and trying by any way possible to appease my thirst for novels). I saw The Bronze Horseman, read the little blurb, it was about love and war and family and did I mention love? I went home with it and never regretted that decision once. It is one of those epic love stories which stay with you long after you turned off the lights.

The Bronze Horseman: From the author of the international bestseller Tully comes an epic tale of passion, betrayal, and survival in World War II Russia. Leningrad, 1941: The European war seems far away in this city of fallen grandeur, where splendid palaces and stately boulevards speak of a different age, when the city was known as St. Petersburg. Now two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanov, live in a cramped apartment, sharing one room with their brother and parents. Such are the harsh realities of Stalin’s Russia, but when Hitler invades the country, the siege of its cities makes the previous severe conditions seem luxurious. Against this backdrop of danger and uncertainty, Tatiana meets Alexander, an officer in the Red Army whose self-confidence sets him apart from most Russian men and helps to conceal a mysterious and troubled past. (Picture and summary from

I fell hard for this book and for its characters. I mean, Alexander, is one of the most attractive character I got to know. Maybe I am bias because my husband´s family comes originally from Russia (yes we are international) and some of the nicknames used are ones I hear from times to times. The numerous references to Puschkin and her love for literature probably helped as well.

Diving into the story, we are transported in a time of terror but through which hope emerges. Tatiana is strong and stubborn. She grows up fast because she has to, her relationship with her grandparents and her sister shine through the book. It is not an easy situation and yes the moral may not come unhurt but the passion and its denyal are there. She holds her ground against him, she tries to stay true to her values and herself, growing up too fast in a changing world.

Of course, nothing can always be perfect and sometimes, I did feel like history was simplified and that there was a strong US vs Russia type of situation: Russian men bad, American men good (a little stereotypical but luckily the love of Tatiana for her grandfather and the honor, respect and good nature of some Russian soldiers do save the situation from times to times). There may be other things one could maybe complain about, but honestly I did not care because I jumped into the story head first.

Why? Because I rooted for Tatiana and Alexander, because one can feel like you are at home with her when she is starting to cook blinis for him and her family…

The Bronze Horseman is followed by Tatiana and Alexander and The Summer Garden. While I enjoyed Tatiana and Alexander, I was not able to immerse myself in the story as I did with The Bronze Horseman. The Summer Garden is different but it teaches us that even the most powerful of love can take awhile to heal the scars and the importance of not drifting apart. It took my breath away, in a different manner than The Bronze Horseman.

Oh and if you end up falling in love with The Bronze Horseman as much as I did, you can even get the recipes from the books (food plays such an important role in it). I have to admit, I only did one dish so far. My husband keeps on telling me the ones I want to make take too long and that his mom can cook them for us (she does and it is indeed yummy…). One day though, I will make piroshki.

Now I´m hungry, off to eat…but before I do a little question for you: is there an epic love story you could not put down and read several times? Or what, according to you, makes a story a beautiful love story? Feel free to let me know if you hate love stories 🙂