Thursday, December 29, 2011

Author Guest Post by PJ Sharon: Diaries, Journals, or Blogs?

Hi everyone! Today we have PJ Sharon on the blog. She's the author of Heaven Is For heroes, On Thin Ice, and her upcoming novel Savage Cinderella will be released in Spring 2012. Welcome Ms. Sharon!! 

Hello Dea and Teen Readers' Diary. Thank you all for hosting me today. Since your blog is all about teen readers and diaries, I thought I would talk about how teens decide about their mode of written communication.

I was about ten years old when I got my first diary. Of course, that was back in the dinosaur age before PC’s, e-readers, or even cell phones! A few of my friends had diaries too, but none were as committed to writing every night like I was. My diary had a lock and key which I thought was just the coolest thing—especially because it kept my brother from reading about my most embarrassing moments. I filled the pages with scribbles, doodles, and drawings, as well as sharing my deepest thoughts and emotions with my pen and paper. My mother never said anything, but I think she must have appreciated my persistence in filling those pages, because every Christmas, I got another diary to start my new year off. I still have those diaries and can’t believe the drivel, the secrets, the drama, and the stories I wrote between those pages.

Later, in my twenties, I got back to writing, but by then I called my little notebooks Journals. This was way cooler than keeping a childish “diary”. And “journaling” was all the rage. It turned out to be a really helpful way for me to express myself through some very difficult times. I wrote heart-wrenching poetry to help me through a few bad break-ups, and I wrote some short stories which later prepared me for writing full length novels and publishing.

 Now that computer technology has evolved, my time is spent blogging and writing Young Adult fiction rather than keeping personal journals. But I felt so strongly about my journal writing experience, that I made my character in ON THIN ICE keep a journal. I have Penny write in her journal sporadically throughout the book because I wanted to show that the thoughts she shared with her journal were much deeper than even the thoughts that she acknowledged as the narrator of the story. Penny’s first journal entry is where the book starts.
Journal Entry,
May 15th

I’m a liar. I know it, I hate it, and I can’t seem to help myself.  I feel the lies piling up as if I’m being buried, each one a stone that keeps me pinned in a shallow grave.

God knows I have my reasons for hiding from the truth. Truth is hard and ugly. The lies are easier. As Mom gets sicker, my world grows smaller and the lies grow bigger. The uneven ground beneath my feet leaves me unsteady, and I’m waiting for the earthquake that will disrupt my life and change it forever.

At school, I’m expected to get all A’s. On the ice, I’m expected to pass tests, compete, and win. At home…well, I’m expected to be strong, help out, take charge, and be an inspiration—like one of Mom’s Celine Dion slit-my-wrists songs. If I am “Perfect Penny,” maybe everything will be okay, but I know that I’m lying, even to myself. Because no matter how hard I try, I will never be good enough to change the truth.

Writing down our thoughts lets us express the deepest parts of ourselves, even the parts we don’t recognize in ourselves. I’m always surprised by the profound words that come out of my head and onto the page when usually, what comes out of my mouth is so much less so.

Whether you blog in a public forum as I do, or if you keep journals or diaries like Penny, writing down your thoughts is a way of immortalizing yourself in the moment. The written word is so powerful that it can change the world—like the Bible, America’s Declaration of Independence, or even the birthday card you write to your mother that brings her to tears. When we write, we make our thoughts and ideas a permanent record in the world—a record that we were here.

So tell me, teen readers, do you keep a diary? A journal? Or do you blog?

About the Author: PJ Sharon is author of contemporary young adult novels, including HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, a finalist in the Denver Heart of Romance Molly contest. Her stories have garnered several contest finals, including two awards for ON THIN ICE, and a place in the prestigious Valley Forge Romance writer’s contest for SAVAGE CINDERELLA coming out in the spring of 2012.
On the road to publication, PJ decided that indie-publishing was the best fit for her books. Although the themes are mature, evoking plenty of drama and teen angst, PJ writes with a positive outlook and promises a hopefully ever after end to all of her books. She believes in strong heroines empowered by learning valuable life lessons. Because of this, readers of all ages will be captivated by the emotional and romantic journeys of her characters.
Writing romantic fiction for the past six years, and following her destiny to write Extraordinary stories of an average teenage life, PJ has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 2007 and is an active member of the Young Adult chapter of RWA. She is mother to two grown sons and lives with her husband and her dog in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA.
Visit PJ Sharon on these sites:
On her Website:
Follow PJ on Twitter: @pjsharon
Follow PJ on Facebook: PJ Sharon Author Fan Page
Follow PJ’s Promotional blog @
Follow PJ’s Tuesday blog @
Follow PJ’s Friday Healthy Teen Tips blog @ 

On Thin Ice  

Buy it on these sites:
Amazon ││Smashwords ││ Barnes & Noble││CreateSpace
Summary: Seventeen year old figure skater Penny Trudeau has secrets. She’s not perfect, as hard as she tries to be. With a mother who is dying and a father who treats her like she’s invisible, Penny has every reason to lie. To escape the life that is spinning out of control, she falls into the arms of an older boy. But when she lies about her age and he finds out the truth, Penny loses the one good thing that has happened in a long time.

Carter McCray is the hockey hunk she falls for, but Carter has his own family drama, and he’s not looking for trouble. Penny proves to be the exception, until the truth comes out and he can’t get past the betrayal—or her father’s threats.
Can Penny find her way back into Carter’s heart, or will she have to face the harsh realities of life on her own? Penny’s choices lead her down a dangerous road and the secrets she’s keeping will change her world forever.

Top Ten Week: Top 10 Characters in 2011

Top Ten of 2011 hosted by Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books and Rachel from Fiktshun, Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound by Books. It's the fourth day of Top Ten Week! This time it's about Top 10 Characters. It can be any character in books (villains, heroines, etc.) Now in no particular order, here's my list:

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Warner and Juliette (Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi) - Tahereh Mafi is so awesome in creating her characters. Warner is my favorite Villain of 2011 while Juliette is one of the top heroines I truly admire.

Flat-Out Love

Julie Seagal (Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park) - Julie is one of the most intelligent and hilarious female characters I know. Her Facebook statuses were way too fun to read I wish she was real.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Tris (Divergent by Veronica Roth) - I highly regard this girl's determination and resilience. From being weak, she transformed into a very strong character who stood up for what she believes in.

The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)

Grimalkin (Iron fey by Julie Kagawa) - The cat who disappears during fights and appears when we least expect it to save everyone's butt. 

Between Shades of Gray

Lina (Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys) - From a naive fifteen year-old girl, Lina has grown up while living the life the hard way. Never once did she even consider of giving up.

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)

Manchee and Mayor Prentiss (Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness) - oh, Machee.. :'( I tear up a little whenever I see his name in reviews. Such a loyal dog. 
I hate Mayor Prentiss like I hate President Snow. He's malicious and awful to the core. 

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

Magnus Bane (The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare) - I don't feel the need to explain why I love this Warlock.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Vera Dietz (Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King) - She's unique and peculiar and simply awesome. Like Charlie said, she's effortlessly classy.

Who are your favorite characters this year? 

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