Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest

I want to thank all of you who commented on my entry for Francine's Twisted Christmas Fairytale. Again, I apologize for not getting it done. When I finish, I will post it.

My third blogfest in a week, whew. Thanks to Jen and Melissa for hosting this.

Well, I don't have a certain recipe or drink recipe so I decided to make a list. Did you notice, I do that a lot? Here are things to get into the spirit.

1. Decorate a tree. Yep, this is my tree. Some of the ornaments are concentrated in the front. My daughter likes to "set things up." My son just breaks them.

2. Watch Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer with your kids or by yourself (nothin' wrong with that).
Such a cute little fellow.

3. Listen to Christmas music. "Do they know it's Christmas?" and "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" are my favs, along with some classics--"White Christmas" anyone? 

4. Watch your fav Christmas movie (other than cartoons). Mine-Elf (cause it's hilarious) and Love, Actually (British things make me gush. Yes, I love all things British, and it's a romance--double win).

5. Make cookies. Hey, nothing wrong with these.

Although, these look delicious.

6. Spend time with family and friends. Nothing like catching up with these folks.
This is the cover of a childrens book. My family seems to always be silly.

7. Have a theme dinner. We host Christmas dinner and sometimes put a theme to it. This year--Bavarian Christmas. Since we spent time in Munich, Germany over the summer (yes, fell in love with it), we decided to host a Christmas dinner inspired by Bavaria. Of course, we will be drinking this (see below) with our dinner.

Gluhwein (mulled red wine). Tasty when warm.

8. Don't forget to smush those pets. My two monsters.

Leia (the black and white one) and Chloe (the black one). No, Chloe's eyes do not glow. That would be so cool, though.
9. Drive around and look at houses that are decorated.
Not my house, but lots of lights.

10. Enjoy every moment. Take it all in. A year has gone by. Celebrate, love, hope, and dream. A new year is starting, and so many possibilites await.

My posts will be random over the next two weeks. Guests, presents, kiddos, hubs, family time, see where this is going. It gets busy so posts will not be on schedule. Don't forget, January 2nd is Frankie's 2nd Annual No Kiss Blogfest, I'm signed up for this one. I better get crackin'.

I do plan to start my regular schedule on January 3rd. It turns out it is my first year blogoversary so stay tuned for that, and some other goodies I have up my sleeve--like Writing the Next Line Blogfest. Yeah, you heard me. I also plan to spruce up the old blog. We will see.

What are your plans and holiday traditions?

I want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday. This year has been one that has made me so happy (even though there were a lot of ups and downs). I have found me and my passion and I'm not letting it go.

Enjoy! You guys rock!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Francine's Twisted Christmas Fairytale Blogfest

So, I didn't get too far on my entry. I'm so embarrassed. Please go here for all the other entries. I decided to just post what I have so far. Lame, I know. This may develop into a new idea for me. I took Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast added a YA feel. I hope to finish it, and when I do I'll post it. In the meantime, here is all I got. *hides in the corner*

Blind Beauty

I ran my hands over the buttons, trying to feel for the double lines. The message I received two days ago was the most frightening yet. After adjusting my earbuds, the message started. Static at first, then a deep computerized voice, “You will sleep forever, if your true love doesn’t kiss you by midnight on your 17th birthday.” Chills ran down my spine…today's my 17th birthday. The school bell drowned out the message, indicating the time was three.

Feet shuffling, students whispering, chairs sliding, surrounded me. I reached down for my cane; the only thing to help me see. My lifeline after the ‘accident’, at least that was the ruling. Two years have passed, and Gwen Stuben still roams these halls free. She claims the acid we used for Chem. Lab simply slipped from her fingers, landing on my eyes. If you ask me, she performed some sort of spell because the glass jar seemed to float into the air, almost hovering, before it dumped on my face. I’ve been told the skin looks like craters with cloudy globes for my eyes. Freakish. Needless to say no one would want to ask me out, hence my worry to try and find the love of my life today. If I have not found that person yet, then…I shook my head as the warm air tickled my skin as I made my way through the doors.

I waived my cane back and forth till I hit the bench. Hands grabbed my bag, pullling it off my arms. I twisted around then fell. Wicked cackles stung my ears.

"That's for making him break up with me." Gwen sharp words slapped me.

"I didn't do..." The coarse sidewalk scraped my fingertips as I patted it, looking for my cane. A loud snap made me stop.

"Try and find your way now." A stick hit my face. Gwen's stomps faded. Warm, tears came down my cheeks. What did I do to her?

Another set of footsteps approached.  "Rose, let me help you." Ryland's sweet voice ceased my tears.

Okay, so that's what I got, sorry for the unfinished entry. Please check out the other entries because they will rock.

Thanks Francine.

Have a wonderful weekend! I'll be checking out the other entries.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fun Facts Friday

Thanks again to all of you who participated in The Crazy Holiday Blogfest. Go here to see the awesome entries.

1. Somehow how I got behind with the whole holiday thing. Overwhelmed is how I feel.

2. We started a new tradition in our house. A book and little elf. It's called "Elf on a Shelf". There's a story and the elf watches the kids then reports to santa at night (a little creepy, yes). Each day he is sitting in a new place. Doesn't really work (keeping the kids in line). I need the elf to wrap presents and shop.

3. I'm addicted to Chocolate Cheerios.

4. I'm going to skip Writing the Next Line this month. With the holidays, everyone is busy so I will plan to start it back up in January.

5. It is bitter cold here. Unusual, yes. Do I like it? What do you think? It's warmer in Munich.

6. I'm supposed to be in a blogfest tomorrow. I may not get my entry done (see below for the reason). Check out Francine's Twisted Christmas Fairytale Blogfest.

7. I enjoy getting comments and email. I'm addicted to checking both constantly.

8. One blinker on my car is palpitating super fast while the other one is normal. Weather perhaps?

9. Reason my entry for the blogfest tomorrow may not be done. We are having renovations done to our house. Last week new windows, this week new front door. This is not the whole problem. Yesterday, the condinsate pump froze in our heater, leaving me with a nice surprise of water in my basement. To top it all off, the presents I just wrapped for the kiddos were down there. Some boxes are water warped. I've come up with the idea that Santa dropped them in snow. I'm a writer, I make stuff up.

10. Illustrator, Kaitlyn McCane, recently had one of her awesome illustrations put on the food network's recipe a day blog. Check it out here and give her a high five.

11. Whoever came up with chocolate chip cookies is a god.

Any weekend plans?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The middle of patience

If you didn't get a chance to check out the entries for the Crazy Holiday Blogfest, please go here. A big Thank You to all of you who participated, and all of you who commented. The entries were awesome. Great job everyone!!

So, I'm in the middle of WiP #1 revisions. It's not that I'm stuck, just wanting to move on. I think because I basically re-wrote the whole story so I'm ready to finish it. I've thought about putting it on the shelf, but that sounds criminal. It's like I'm sending it to jail because it's being bad. The MCs do talk to me, quite often, but WiP#3 is tempting me with chocolate. Lots of battles here. Plus, it's testing my patience.

I'm trying not to rush revisions though, considering this is my first finished story. I'm just nudging them a little. I'm learning there are no shortcuts, no ways to make it painless, no way to hurry my creative process, only practice and time. I will admit, I'm slow at a lot of things, but I tend to try and rush them. This makes things careless and messy, not to mention life just goes by in flash as it is, so why push it. Only time will tell, and like I said, practice and time.

In the meantime, I continue to listen to my inspiration music, eyeing every detail, listening for each word as it's spoken (in my head), twisting and wracking my brain on how to make this story the best it can be. So thank you to all the musicians out there. You inspire my whole creative process and without it, life would be boring.

How about you?  Let me know your progress or inspirations.

I will leave you today with lyrics, that's right, lyrics. I read a lot, but I listen to music even more. So, when I quote it's usually from song lyrics. I may start to do this on a daily basis, if it bothers you, well, just let me know. Today, I leave you with this:

Best you've got to be the best
you've got to change the world
and use this chance to be heard
your time is now

From: "Butterflies And Hurricanes" by Muse

And this:
When you think you've tried
Every road, every avenue
Take one more look at what you found old
And in it you'll find something new

From: "One Caress" by Depeche Mode
Have a great day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crazy Holiday Blogfest.

So here it is, my first blogfest. Yikes. Please excuse the roughness of my entry. I know I'm not the best with tenses and this is not in revisions yet. Anywho, I will be checking out all the cool entries.

My entry is from my WiP#3, working title: Wrapping Paper. Sorry, I did go over the 250 limit. I know I'm a bad hostess.

The deep rumble of the ocean thundered in my ears, drowning out the music that blasted behind me. Cool sand squished between my toes as I stepped off the boardwalk. I found a spot to sit, and inhaled the salt infested air, invigorating my lungs. The stares and whispers of the others, especially Lacey, made me leave the party. So far, Auntie Claire didn’t notice. Was I really that different? Would I ever fit in?

“Hey,” a soft male voice whispered. “Can I?” Will stood there in his baggy plaid shorts and navy blue T-shirt, pointing to the empty spot next to me.

A slight tingle ran up my spine. “Yeah, sure.” Not having a lot of contact with teenage boys, left me with waves of odd sensations in my stomach.

Will sat, propping his elbows on his knees. “Not into parties?” The light breeze sent ripples across his shirt. He dangled the neck of his beer bottle between his fingers.

“I…feel a little out of place.” I wrapped the front of my sweater around me, directing my attention towards the water. The moonlight swam on the waves, as each ripple of water slithered towards the beach.

He looked over his shoulder. “Claire knows how to take advantage of a holiday…well…she finds any excuse to throw a party.”

“She sure does. Christmas on the Fourth of July? That takes some planning.” I brought my knees to my chest.

Will smiled, and shook his head. “Not into Santa hats?”
I heard my Aunt’s flirtatious giggle and hugged my knees even tighter. She knew how to be social. I should learn from her, but it wasn’t me.

“I just don’t know that many people.”

“You’ll get to know them. We all have one year left.” He elbowed my arm. “And I’ll protect you from Lacey and her piranhas.”

“She’s seems…” I bit my lip.

“Like a b****?”

“Yeah.” I swirled my fingers in the sand, trying to calm the nerves that rose in my chest.

“But my brother likes her so I’ve got to put up with her.” Will kept his eyes on me.


“Nothing.” He sipped his beer, it made a popping sound as it left his lips. “I’m sorry did you want some?”

“No thanks.” I squinted.

“So you don’t drink beer, either? Boy, you must think I’m…”

“Oh, god no. I just never… really… drank it before.” Even though the air held a slight chill, a layer of dew formed on my skin from the embarrassing heat rising in my body.

“Ever?” He raised his eyebrows.

“Never?” My mouth went dry. “God, you must think I’m a...”

“No. you’re just way different than your aunt.”

“What do mean?”

“I just thought you would be more like her. Parties, super social, and doesn’t care if…we drink underage.” His smile curled up his cheek.

“I should go.” I stood up, brushing the excess sand off my back pockets. Me and this conversation were sinking deep into the depths of the raging sea.

“Livie. Wait. Let me start over. I …”

I turned away from him. “It’s okay. I get this a lot. Moving here was a mistake, I should’ve gone to Wisconsin with my cousin.”

“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m trying to... Please, sit, the fireworks are about to start.” I jumped as a loud pop burst in the sky. A red glow cast on the side of his face and highlighted the tips of his hair. “See.” He pointed to the sky. “You’re not going leave me here to watch this by myself, are you?”

I shifted my weight to my back foot, watching his sweet chocolate brown eyes plead with me. He was the only person trying to reach out to me, not like that other girl, Lacey, who just squinted and stared. I licked my lips, swallowed every nerve, and sat back down next to him.

*Nerves twisting in my stomach* Sweat is forming under my arms. I think I will go eat some chocolate. Can't wait to read the others. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Writing The Next Line Recap

Yeah. I'm behind. I should've posted this a couple of weeks ago. I'm not even going to give you an excuse.
Great job, as always. I did do this Writing the Next Line a little different. I took the ending from the last session and let you guys continue the story (instead of me coming up with something new).
So without further babbling. Here is the recap.

Authors: Alesa Warcan, SA Larsen, Anne GallagherMatthew Rush, Talli Roland, The Golden Eagle, Christine H, and MS Hatch.

Behind me I heard a whuff of breath and I spun around, but there was nothing. The scratching started again, this time to my right. I suppressed the urge to look when something grabbed me and covered my mouth. The hand reeked of petrol and smoke, and I chocked as I tried to breathe. I felt hot breath curl its way around my ear and leave it cold in the frosty air. i tried to scream, but only muffled sounds came from my deep in my throat. I gathered all my strength and with all my might, I broke the person's hold around me. I turned sharply to see who this was.

"Oh my God!" I shouted. "I thought you were dead!"

"Jesus Abby, chill for a minute," he said "I'm not trying to hurt you."

Hurting me was no longer my concern, why I was seeing & talking to my dead boyfriend was.

"I'll explain in a minute," he said, his voice low and tight with panic, "but first we need to get out of here."

And so we logged out of the game and I called Mark. He had told me his avatar had been permanently killed. He had certainly better have a good explanation for this! I had been counting on him to help me get through the quest of remembrance at Aldebran.

His hand laced around mine, that safety I'd always felt with him returning. We scurried around downed tree boughs and ducked under drooping limbs. That is until my boy boot snagged a lazy piece of brush and I fell...into nothingness.

I didn't have time to scream, the blackness enveloped my senses and then I landed with a thump on my bum. My hands caressed feathers.

Where was I? I felt like Alice in Wonderland.

It turned out I had landed in the nest of a Giant Roc, which was just now waking, stirred by my impact.

The Roc stared at me, yellow eyes unblinking. I backed away as quietly as I could.
I backed up against the side of the nest, and grabbed a rock as defense; the Roc let out a screech that put my hair on end and I shivered from its malevolence.

I realized that it was screeching because the rock I had grabbed was actually an egg, and it was hatching!
A bedraggled baby roc emerged from the cracked shell and jumped onto my shoulder, wobbling until its sharp little talons dug into my flesh.

Awesome job guys!! Next, Writing the Next Line, December 20th. Mark your calenders.

Don't forget, Monday, December 13th, Crazy Holiday Blogfest. Yes, this Monday. Any genre. I said to try and keep it to 250 words, but if you go over don't fret. I think I may be over that amount. *blushes*

Have a great day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fun Facts Friday

Fun Facts Friday. Friday. Already. Holy cow! I'd better get shopping, Christmas is creeping up.This week I did get some writing done. I revised some chapters in WiP#1, and wrote some things for WiP #3. So let me list my week. It may be short.

1. Don't forget  My first blogfest as hostess will be happening right here on Monday, December 13. The Crazy Holiday Blogfest. Now, I have stated 250 words or less. I'm not holding you to that. If you have more, post it, because my post will be longer. Sorry, I didn't realize how many words I pumped out.

2. I will be posting Writing the Next Line Recap on Sunday. Sorry for the delay. A new Writing the Next Line will be posted December 20th.

3. Frankie (Frankie Writes) is holding a contest for Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy Last Sacrifice. Signed. Yes, I want it. I love this series.Winner to be  announced December 17th. Also, check out her 2nd Annual No Kiss blogfest January 2nd.

4. Shannon's Arc giveaway of Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting. Yes, I want this one too. Winner to be announced December 22nd.

5. That was a lot of announcements this morning. Please check my sidebar for other news.

6. This week, I had new windows installed in my house. Pretty painless. Thank god. Now I need to clean. **cringes** Don't run in horror. I have company coming tonight.

7. Unless, I'm alone and writing or reading, I don't like being confined to my house. With the whole window thing, I felt like I had to be here. Not to mention, the temperature outside is like living in the freakin' tundra. It's going to be 29 degrees on Tuesday. Yes, the high. Did I mention I hate don't like the cold?

8. Last Friday, we took the kids to our town's Christmas parade. Now, this parade has grown over the years. It was an hour and forty five minutes long. It feels like forever when you are trying to keep warm. The kids did good though. We stayed till the end to see Santa, of course.  This year, there was an American Idol runner up. The guy with dreads who plays the guitar. I don't watch the show, but this was one of the main attractions.

9. Another attraction, Phil and April Margera. I think a lot of people come to see if their son, Bam Margera shows, but I didn't see him. He is a professional skateboarder/local celeb. If you watched the show, Jackass, you would know who he is. I do see him here a lot, and, well, despite his antics, has brought some publicity to the town, which equals more visitors, which equals--you know where I'm going with this.

10. Wow, I actually made it to number 10. My brain is mush so I will go. What are your plans this weekend?

Don't forget Monday, people, right here. It may take me a while to read all the entries, so don't get mad at me if it takes me a couple of days.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hello new blogger buddies. I will be visiting your blog soon.

Well, I read it. Yes, I did. In two days. I have kids, people.  Plus, I'm a slow reader. I became a big fan of Becca Fitzpatrick after I read Hush,Hush, so yeah, I had some big expectations. Here is my review.
Title: Crescendo
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages: 432 pages

The blurb:
Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.
The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

My review:
First, the cover. She has some of the most beautiful/amazing covers. Love this. If I knew nothing about the book, I probably would be inclined to just buy it because of the cover (I'm a interior designer, I like the way things look).

The story: Becca Fitzpatrick did not disappoint. The twists and turns keep me turning the page. Yeah, one of those 'do not put me down books'.  In other words, the pacing is fantastic. The writing is amazing and the story is like a rollercoaster ride that I did not want get off.

I love Nora's best friend, Vee. She is awesome. The dialogue between her and Nora was done well. It flowed so well. I love writing dialogue and love to see it done well. It helps the flow.

Patch, to me, is even more dreamy than in the first. Okay I'm shallow, sorry guys. I did get a little giddy when he showed up on the page ( I think my cheeks turned red). I know I sound ridiculous, but hey I love YA, we girls can get this way.

Now, I'm not one to point out too many bad things (it's the whole Karma thing, it will come back at me). There were a couple of times when the 'talking to the reader' sort of slowed me down, but that could be me. I'm having issues with this. Also in some spots, I wanted to slap Nora, but I don't want to say too much. I don't like to reveal any spoilers. These little measly points did not sway me from this most excellent book. They were simply minor, and like I said, my opinion.

The end: I don't even want to go there. Brilliant, I think. I actually wanted to throw the book--I would never do this, but I wanted to. It wasn't because it was bad, oh no, because it left me-- Ha! You thought I would reveal. No spoilers remember. Let's just say, I can't wait for Tempest (the last book), which Ms. Fitzpatrick better hurry up and write (I think it's due out Fall 2011, arrgh). No pressure.

Summing up: I loved this. No book can be perfect, can it? It was fast, comfortable (by this I mean the characters were comfortable to me), hot, edge of your seat, wild ride of pleasure.

Recommendation: Oh yeah, go get it now.

If you read this, what are your thoughts?

I will post the Recap of Writing the Next Line soon. Sorry for the delay. I will be posting a new Writing the Next Line on December 20th. So mark your calenders. This month is going a little too fast for me.
Don't forget Monday, Crazy holiday blogfest (December 13th).
Have a great day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

News flash

Just a quick news flash --go here (Check out the interview by SA Larsen, The Writer's Alley) to check out the amazing contest for Lisa and Laura's new book, The Liar Society. Winner to be announced December 20th. You know they rock, and if you don't, get your butt over to their blog or one of the many pages they have (they are everywhere) . There is also a new website for the book where you can go and vote for which cover you would like to see on the bookshelves.
They are sweet.

In other news, I received this lovely award from Michelle Gregory.

Kristie Cook is starting her Purpose Virtual Release Party with a blog award. She says, "It's the brand-spanking-new 'Living My Purpose Blog Award,' because I believe we are all living our purposes in one way or another."
To accept the award, all you have to do is:
Right-click the picture to save and post on your blog.
Share one way you are living your purpose.
Share three other things about yourself.
Give the award to at least three other people, including links so we can check out their blogs.

This is a new one for me. So sweet.

One way I am living my purpose. hmmm. That's a toughy. I'm not like a scientist curing cancer or anything. I guess my purpose is to help others. I'm not expert at writing, but I love reaching out to others when they need a shoulder or a celebration. I love sharing stories of encouragement. Whew! That was a tough question. I probably sound a little silly or lame.

Three things about myself:

1. I still can't believe that I'm writing openly. I used to hide it, and was so scared when someone read it. Well, I'm still scared, but I'm more comfortable with the fact that it is what I love to do, and I'm not afraid to tell anyone.

2. I'm scared of failure. I'm sure everyone is, but I'm afraid I'll let my kids, hubs and myself down.

3. I can't be without music. It's always playing somewhere near me.

So the rules say to choose three people for the award. I, of course, would love to chose everyone, but the post would be super long. Here are a few folks to check out.

Kelly Lyman (Kelly's Compositions)

Crystal Cook (write because you must)

SA Larsen (Writer's Alley)

So for the rest of you, go up there and take the award because you all deserve it.

Have a great day!

Are they speaking to you?

This post is more about looking to you guys for your advice,opinion or both. I'm sort of confused about a certain topic. You know, when your reading a book and a character seems to ask you a question. When they seem to be talking to you. I've been told this is 'talking to the reader'.

I have to admit my first so-called draft had a lot of this, along with a ton of backstory. Seriously, my MC was having a one on one conversation with the reader. As I have grown (I admit, just a little), my brain is starting to recognize this. Many of my CPs have told me to take it out, which I get. Since I've been reading a lot more, it's been easier to pick it up in other critiques that I've done.

Here is where I get confused, and this may be a matter of opinion. It may be that if it fits the story, then it's allowed.  I dunno, but lately in a few popular novels, I've seen it and seen it a lot. Is this something that is okay in publishing? In my opinion, it does slow the story down a lot. In fact, I'm beginning to cut as much out of my MS as possible. Like I said, maybe it's just me, but the less of this, the better. For me.

So, I want to know from you.
What is your opinion on this?

Do you like it?

And when is it best to use it?

The weekend was busy, but Friday, I wrote some new stuff for WiP#3 and revised a chapter for WiP#1 (yeah, I'm excited). I plan to continue revising, plus work on my piece for my blogfest. See over there, on my sidebar. It's on Monday, so spread the word.

How was your weekend?

Any goals?

I'm full of questions today. Have a great day!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fun Facts Friday

I hope you all had a great week. Things were up and down for me, but not boring, that's for sure.

1. I'm having a hard time getting fully into the holiday spirit. I don't know why. I'm usually gushing while I listen to "Do they know it's Christmas?" and I get a warm, fuzzy, but this year it's weird. Maybe because Christmas trees have been up in the stores since September. Who knows? I'm not scrooge, though.

2. One of my cats is a tuxedo cat. Basically, a mix breed that is black and white. I googled it, and it seems my little monster is 200% smarter than the average cat, and could drive a car in an emergency. No lie. Google it. The other characteristics were dead on.

3. I want to find the wizard behind the green curtain that controls my kids. Seriously dude, shut them off at four in the afternoon. Do not push the super turbo button that makes them scream and run out of control. It's like they ate six Pixie Sticks (candy that's basically flavored sugar in a straw), and slurped down a pot of caffeinated coffee. I swear one of their heads started spinning.

4. One of the treats in this house is McDonald's. I know super bad for you, but great for a quick lunch. I don't get much, small fries and a wrap, but I look forward to those fries and when the batch is not good--it's such a disappointment.

5. I sometimes think some kids toys are a little crazy. For example, I saw a commercial for a stuffed pig that lives in a tea cup. Yeah, I was speechless, too. I have to hand it to imagination, though.

6. Once December 1st hits, I think the term crazy driver applies. Yesterday, I ran to the store (not literally, I was driving). Four cars ran a red light, and I was cut off twice. Yes, I do live in the northeast, and some say we are the hurried type, but this is beyond that. Can Christmas give you the crazies?

7. Met up with a CP, and got some brainstorming done (thanks Kelly). I have a whole bunch of stuff to think about. I'm ready to take it on. :) I will give it a few days to process (really, who am I kidding. The first chance I get, I'm working on it).

8. After I came back from our meeting, WiP#3 presented itself in HD quality, in my visions. I may have to do some quick scenes today. Wait, when does that happen (alone time for me)?

Yeah, I would love to be doing this. Artwork by Kaitlyn McCane

9. I remember when I was young I would receive a letter in the mail from Santa. Nowadays, kids can receive a video e-mail message tailored to your child. I did this with my kids, and, well, mouths dropped. If you are a parent, check out this site on how to get Santa's message to your kiddo.

10. I will have a book review next week. Yes, a certain guy named Patch is involved. *sigh*

How was your week?

Any weekend plans?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Three things Thursday

Good morning. I'm eating breakfast (which my table doesn't look as cute as it does in the picture) while typing this. If you like chocolate Cheerios, I'll pour you a bowl. Sorry, I don't have coffee on, but I'll make you a cup if you like. Take a seat and relax.   
I don't normally post on Thursdays, but today I felt like it. Amie McCracken (i AM alive) hosts three things Thursdays. Yes,every Thursday, and it's really cool. She gives a topic and you post three things about it. So this week the topic is Family.

Three things about my family:
1. I love them dearly. They are home, even though there's a lot of craziness and usually some sort of drama.
2. They know how to lift me up when I'm down. Most of the time, I get the best support from them, even though they don't fully don't understand me.
3. The best memories I have are when I'm with my family.

I'm sort of short with words today. Sorry. I'm still waking up and trying to figure out a time to revise because my MCs are yelling at me.

How is your day going?

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Talli Roland's Blogsplash

If you don't know this sweet gal, get on over to her blog. She is taking over Amazon today. See the details below.

Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at and by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other reader.

No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.
Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at

When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?

Sounds good, right? I can't wait to read it. :)

So go and check it out.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

If you own a passionate writer--a guide.

Here is a small guide for the owner of a passionate writer.

1. If your passionate writer zones out in the middle of a conversation, don't be alarmed or offended, simply allow them to run to their journal or laptop. When they return, they will be more coherent and may be able to contribute to the conversation in an intelligent manner.

2. Same goes for when they zone out during a song. Please allow your passionate writer to do the steps above.

3. If you do not allow the passionate writer to have "writing time", they may do one or all of the following:
cry, pout, squint, cheeks may turn red, they may throw things, have a fit, just act frustrated--really, just allow them to have their time.

4. Do not, I repeat, do not call their passion a hobby. This only furthers the frustrated fit that is described above.

5. Do not tell them to be aware of their priorities. Again, see the frustrated fit characteristics above.

6. When they are writing, do not ask questions, interrupt, tell them to "not be long", or hog their laptop. This may lead to more drastic behavior. Things definitely will fly.

7. Do not point out what needs to be cleaned. The passionate writer is aware of what is going on, just allow the space. These chores will get done.

8. Be aware that the passionate writer has enough feeling of guilt (of not spending time with their loved ones)when they take time for themselves. Be happy for them, and show that you support them. If they want to talk about their passion, at least look interested. They harbor a ton of self doubt, looking interested may boost their self esteem.

9. If the passionate writer speaks to themselves, do not call the local mental institution. They are working out scenes. It sounds better to them when they speak aloud.

10.  Love your passionate writer. They love you. They just have a lot going on in their head.

Did I miss anything?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving/weekend. I ate too much, but that's okay. How was your weekend?

If you missed Writing the Next Line go here. I will post the final draft next week. BTW--great job guys.

Also, on Wednesday--Talli Roland's Take over Amazon Blogsplash. I will be posting about it on December 1st. December--yikes.

Picture has nothing to do with the rest of the post. It's just cute. Plus, winter is coming.
Artwork by Kaitlyn McCane
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Writing the Next Line

This post will be up for a few days. It will be Thanksgiving here, and I will be spending time with the family. I've also decided to try something different with this session. Thanks to Jen's suggestion--I decided to continue the last session. Everyone was left hanging, and I thought it might be neat to see where this would go. Plus, my head couldn't come up with something new (I was sick, but I'm better now. Medicine makes my brain a little foggy). So I'm starting where the last authors left off (you may want to read it from the beginning to get what has happened). Here's the last session--click here. Here's the recap--click here.

The rules:In your comment you must continue the story, so whoever is first to comment must continue from where I left off, and the next person to comment must pick up from where the last comment left off, and so on. Please keep each comment 1-2 lines, but come back as often as you like. This post will be up for a couple of days so keep the story going. When I return, I will put the whole thing together and post it. Should be fun! The story starts below:

Behind me I heard a whuff of breath and I spun around, but there was nothing. The scratching started again, this time to my right. I suppressed the urge to look when something grabbed me and covered my mouth. The hand reeked of petrol and smoke, and I chocked as I tried to breathe. I felt hot breath curl its way around my ear and leave it cold in the frosty air. i tried to scream, but only muffled sounds came from my deep in my throat. I gathered all my strength and with all my might, I broke the person's hold around me. I turned sharply to see who this was.
"Oh my God!" I shouted. "I thought you were dead!"

"Jesus Abby, chill for a minute," he said "I'm not trying to hurt you."

Hurting me was no longer my concern, why I was seeing & talking to my dead boyfriend was.

"I'll explain in a minute," he said, his voice low and tight with panic, "but first we need to get out of here."

If you are in the states, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Candor by Pam Bachorz

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Today I'm reviewing Candor by Pam Bachorz. I won this lovely book from that super talented/fabulous author, Elana Johnson. You may have heard of her. (BTW-her book, Possession, is to be released June 7, 2011. If you are smart you will go and get it.) I knew nothing about this book, but I'm so glad I've been introduced to it.

Title: Candor
Author: Pam Bachorz
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pages: 250

Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape Candor, Florida before they're transformed into cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.

My Review:
Where do I begin? First, the cover. It fits the whole story and if Oscar Banks looks like that--Heellloo. I loved the pace of this book. It was quick which for me is good (mainly because I like a lot of things that are fast--cars, shortcuts, movies, etc.). I wanted to keep turning the pages, wanting to know more and more. The sentence structure was interesting, too. Short and to the point= perfect. It didn't lack in visual description. I could totally visualize everything even though the sentences were lacking length (excess adverbs and adjectives--it can be done.) There was a little telling which didn't slow it down at all.

The story itself was fantastic. A 'what if'scenario that could possibly happen (you never know.) Written from a male POV (done brilliantly) and first person perspective (always a plus in my book, because that is what I like to write).This story will keep you guessing and wanting to just read on (really, I couldn't put it down). Also, the end will leave you speechless (I hope she comes out with a sequel. I'm just sayin'--yes that's a hint, hint). The YA stuff isn't in your face either. It's not typical YA (at least in my mind, you may have a different opinion).If you are looking for a great, fast, entertaining book, look no further (guys, you might like it too). 

So a must read. Go and take a peek (I'm not responsible if my little messages are considered brainwashing, totally not my intention. He he). :)

Pam Bachorz has another book, Drought, to be released on January 25, 2011. I will be checking it out.

How was your weekend?

Have a great day and don't forget Wednesday, November 24th, Writing the Next Line.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fun Facts Friday

This week was a blur. The crazy holiday season is in full bloom and, well, writing is the only thing that keeps me sane. So here is how this week went--

1. I did start my shopping, but I'm trying to ease into it. Why do we have black friday when all the "best sales" are going on now? Does anyone go to the stores at midnight?

2. My daughter brought her Lego catalog with her to see Santa. Way too funny.

3. My son didn't want to talk to Santa. So we had a repeat of last year. Lots of tears.

4. Did some critiquing for a CP this week, and  started another critique for another. It felt good.

5. If you are looking for some cool gifts, check out these websites. See below.

Happy Cakes Creations--cool stuff for little girls. Yes, I'm best friends with the owner/creative genius. :)

Kaitlyn McCane Illustration--adorable cards and artwork. Yes, I also put her work on my blog. A lot.

6. Hi to all my new blogging buddies. I hope to visit you soon.

7. Got this in the mail yesterday
I can't wait to read it. Sigh.

8. Despite my cold, I did finally do a little revising and brainstorming which is good. Thanks for all your comments. You guys always know how to rock it. I also want to thank my inspiration songs (yeah you--silversun pickups, civil twilight, muse). They woke my MCs up.

9. I watched more TV than usual this week. I don't like too because most of it may be shrinking some brain cells, hey it's possible. Anyway, I watched 19 Kids and Counting (don't ask) and Little Couple (yeah, I know I have issues.) I swear I couldn't stop watching it, but yet I kept wanting to shut it off. Some sort of mind control...maybe.

10. I finally made my first button for Writing the Next Line November 24th--right here on this blog. See it up there. I need to work on it though. Hey, it's my first button and I'm technically challenged.

11. I found these links this week:
Querytracker --The lovely Stina Lindenblatt did a great post on edgy YA. 

Kelly's Compositions-This post made me think about keepin' it real for teens in YA.

Wish me luck--my daughter's birthday party is this weekend. Lots of cake, candy, toys and kids. Yikes.

Any weekend plans?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sticking to my gut

Well, with the holidays approaching 'sticking to my gut' could mean a number of things. I'm sure a lot will be sticking to my gut, along with my hips, from now until the new year, but I'm talking about another meaning. Lately, I've been sort of lost and scared. My creativity has gone through spurts. It will flow one minute, and be totally dry the next. This is uncommon for me, but I guess it can happen. I think that with all that goes on in our daily lives, our mind gets distracted, and in my case, creativity takes a back seat. 

I did get to do some revising yesterday, and I thought I was going to cut a whole bunch of stuff, when I realized, I wanted it that way. It's hard especially being a newcomer to really, truly stick to your vision. You want to learn, grow, be accepted, and ultimately win the hearts of agents and publishers, along with readers. This can distract you from your original vision. Things may need to change sentence structure, those gosh darn adjectives, dreaded -ing words, wacky 'was' and so on, but the story-- how do we stay true? 

I have to admit my original vision did need tweaking/tightening, but no matter how much I change it, certain things stay the same. They have to, otherwise it's not my work. In a world full of opportunities for advice and suggestion, it's hard not to get caught up in a tizzy. I know when I started, I craved to know how my story was-- Does it have a chance, how could it improve, and so on.  I got great advice, but also got overwhelmed and confused. I never went through one full revision because I kept changing things to the advice I was given. Now don't get me wrong, advice is priceless, and for me it's my classroom, but too much can make you feel like you're drowning. Never moving forward. You watch others complete manuscripts in record time, land agents, and get published while you're still deciding where to go. How to change it to make it shine while your two year old keeps repeating the word mustang till you say mustang, can bring you down-- make you feel that you'll never be able to be 'in the game', wondering why you started this in the first place. 

I have felt this way, but I have moved on. Everyone's path is different, and things will come to us at different times when we least expect it. Keeping our eye on our prize can fuel the fire, making it hard not to give up. It's hard to 'stick to our gut', but just remember it's yours, it's a part of you that the world may get to see. If you give yourself a chance, you may be surprised. I have a long way to go, but as my one year blogoversary approaches, I realize how far I've come. I know what I want, and how I want my story to be. The awesome advice I get now, I use with a twist of my vision. I take it, and apply it to help my story, not change it. I try not to get caught up in the frenzy, and keep my own pace. It's been a struggle, but I'm getting there.

How do you handle advice?

How do you 'stick to your gut'?

Has your creativity ever taken a back seat?

 Have a great day!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let's hear from you.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I didn't get much done, but I'm also fighting a cold so that's slowing me down. I've also realized my trouble--too much going on and my brain doesn't have time to just think. So everything gets jumbled. I will get there. I decided today to try something. Let's hear from you. I talk to much about my WiP. Let's hear about your works in progress. You can post on your blog and give us the link below or just post your answers in the comments.

For your current work in progress:

What inspired you to write it?

What stage are you at (developing, research, outline, first draft, revisions, etc.)?

How long have you been working on it?

Any word counts you would like to share?

Are you having fun with it?

Anything else you would like to add?

So there. A little questionaire about your work in progress. I thought it might be nice to maybe encourage each other if we need it. You guys sure encourage me so I would love to encourage you.

How was your weekend?

Have a great day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fun Facts Friday

Wow, I posted a lot this week. Whew! Here was my week.

1. The store was out of the normal brand of chicken nuggets I normally buy for my kids so I found another brand. After heating them up, and giving them to my kiddos, my daughter made one of her priceless comments. I asked, "How are the nuggets?" My daughter said, "They taste like chicken." I had nothing to say after that.

2. I have been battling with my WiP this week. I wrote some new chapters for it, and one of my CPs said the new chapters set the pace for my story. I agree. The problem is, I keep looking at all the other stuff I wrote before, and I'm trying to figure out how to proceed. If I keep what I have, it drags so I now have to re-write a lot. Bleh.

3. My daughter actually had homework, yes, homework. She's in preschool.

4. When will the hubs understand that I love him dearly and I want to spend time with him, but I need some mommy time to do my own thing (writing).

5. My other ideas are pounding on my door, screaming to be written, but when I sit at the computer I can only think about my current WiP.

6. I need advice on shutting one WiP off, and writing another.

7. Don't forget about my blogfest (December 13th). See the awesome button up there on my sidebar. There are a whole bunch of other blogfests, too.

8. Don't forget about Writing the Next Line--November 24th.  Jen, I need a button for that. :)

9. I'm reading Candor by Pam Bachorz, and it's awesome. It's giving me a few ideas on how to up the pace in my book. Giving the reader just enough information, but not too much.

10. I'm trying to keep my cats from throwing up hairballs on my dining room floor (it's hardwood). Two more steps they would be on vinyl, seriously. I know, gross, but it comes with cat ownership.

11. You have to love family. My schedule has been crazy so my productive writing time has been limited. My aunt and uncle came over yesterday, and took the kids for a couple of hours. So awesome.

Any weekend plans?

How was your week?

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Perilous by Tamara Hart Heiner

I am honored to be part of Tamara Hart Heiner's blog tour. I'm also a little nervous. How do I do this again? What if I mess it up? Keeps running through my head.  Anyway, here it is. My review.
Here is the information:

Title: Perilous
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Release date: November 16th (the e book is already available).

Brief summary:
Jaci Rivera has plans for her sophomore year: go to regionals with the track team, make the honor roll, and eat too much pizza with her best friends, Callie and Sara. Her biggest concern is Amanda, the pushy girl who moved in a few months ago.
What she doesn't plan for is catching a robber red-handed, or being kidnapped. The desperate thief drags her and her friends 2,000 miles across the Canadian border. They escape from his lair, only to find that he has spies and agents watching their path home, waiting to intercept them and take them back.
Then Jaci finds something out about her family. Something which irrevocably connects her to their kidnapper, and makes her question their chances of escape.

My take:
Perilous is a Young Adult thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It made my heart pound, and my breath seize. A fast paced page turner that will keep you guessing till the end. This book is written in third person, which usually takes me a while to get into, but Heiner's writing made the transition easy for me. I enjoyed the view not only from the teenage girls, but also from the cop that was on their case. Also, don't be scared with the mention of teenage girls/young adult genre. Even if you don't normally read young adult, it's not a book that screams it.

There were some parts towards the end where I got confused, and I also wanted to know a little more about Jaci. Especially, her thoughts after these horrible events happened to her, but these little things did not slow me down. They were minor.

Summing up:
If you are looking for a fast paced thriller, then this is a book for you. It is a must read. I couldn't put it down.

Tamara is also holding some awesome contests (the information below is directly from Tamara's blog):

1) There will be two book giveaways. Signed copies of Perilous, of course. All you have to do to get in on that action is make a comment anywhere in the blog tour. The drawing will be completely random. Of course, the more comments you make, the more chances you have of winning.

2) There will be a Kindle giveaway. This WON'T be random. Kindles are kind of a big thing, so I'm going to make you work for it. The giveaway will be point based, in other words, whoever has the most points at the end of the blog tour wins the Kindle. The contest will run until Dec. 15, at which point all hopeful winners will email me at tamara at tamarahartheiner dot com with their points and their proofs.
Here's how you get points:

+1 for each comment on the blog tour

+1 be a follower on my blog (old or new)

+1 retweet

+2 blog about the blog tour

(You prove all of those by emailing Tamara the links.)

+5 purchase the book; ebook or paperback, doesn't matter

(Email Tamara the confirmation number of your purchase.)

Don't forget the e book is out now, and the release date for paperback is November 16th. You can get it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Tamara's website.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Crazy Holiday Blogfest.

I've been itching for a blogfest, and,well, I've decided to host one. That's right, my first time as hostess--yikes.
Since the holiday time is all around us, and it gets a little crazy, I thought I would host a blogfest about the holidays. Any holiday. It could take place in Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. It could be a scene from a WiP, a new piece you may have started, something totally random, but it should include a holiday (any one holiday, remember).

Since this is my first blogfest as hostess, I'm not sure how long it should be --Let's keep it to 250 words or less if you can. I hope the linky thing works. **fingers crossed**

 So here's is your official invitation:

You're invited to a Crazy Holiday Blogfest.

When: December 13, 2010

Where: Your blog

Time: Anytime on December 13th

RSVP : See below and don't forget to tell your friends. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Review 101

Go to Candyland's blog she is holding a great contest for a good cause because she rocks like that. ON Thanksgiving she will be drawing names of (3) winners (November 25th).

Reviews we love and hate them. I've given reviews in the past and this week I will be giving another. I will be reviewing the book, Perilous by Tamara Hart Heiner and it got me thinkin' on how to write a review. I'm not expert at this, but I have some little ideas on what I like to do.

1. I introduce the book and author then the blurb. I like to read reviews with this info so I know what it's about.

2.  I don't like to give too much away (like spoilers), but just enough so the reader can get the point. I decided to read some reviews on for books I liked and didn't like. Now, I'm sure it's not the best place to learn how to write a review, but I did get some idea of what not to do. Some people are harsh.
3. When I write a review, I put myself in the author's shoes. How would you want your review to read? Obviously, we all want it to praise our novel, that our characters are awesome, five stars, and so on. But let's be real, we can't please everyone so someone will not be happy. So how would you want it to read if the person didn't really like your novel? For me, I would want honesty, crazy right? I'm sure I would cry maybe have a drink or two (wait that would be for a good review too) and it would hurt like hell, but I would want it to be professional vs. bashing. If someone didn't like the voice, or the style of writing--fine, but say it in a professional manner no need to say that the author has no business writing, they are ugly, characters suck, etc. Why? Well, the way I look at it, that person is published and I'm not. Most likely they had what it took to get there. Plus, it makes you the writer of the review look bad.

4. Another thing I try not to do is compare it to other novels (basically saying the book is just like___ or it's a rip off of___ with this twist). This is done enough when you go through the process of writing a book. Trust me with only so many plots, you will be compared to something and it sucks. You think about it constantly and strain your brain on how to get away from it. I'm sure you know of a few books off the top of your head and trust me those books were probably compared to something before them. If anything, suggest books that the reader may like or that compliment the book you're reviewing.

Like I said, I'm no expert at writing reviews. These are just a few points that I have learned and like to see when reading/writing a review.

Any other points you would like to add when you read /write a review?

How was your weekend? (Mine was good, but not much writing got done).

Don't forget Writing the Next Line November 24th.

I did decide to hold a blogfest The Crazy Holiday Blogfest. December 13th. I will write a post about it on Wednesday. Post a scene that takes place on any holiday (can happen in the spring, summer, fall, or winter).  Mark your calenders. :) I'm sure this has been done before, but with Christmas trees out in September well the holidays are all around us. Thought you may want to write about it.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fun Facts Friday

I have a couple of contests:
The lovely Jessica Bell has reached 400 followers and she is having an awesome contest. Go check it out Ends December 2nd.

The fab Kimberly Franklin is giving away a signed copy of The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney. Ends December 1st.

1. My week did start out slow. I get scared when that happens because I'm afraid I've lost all creativity and it will not return. A common daymare of mine (instead of a nightmare). I think about it a lot and it scares me.

2. My daughter thinks Smarties (a hard candy) make you smarter if you eat them everyday. It really is her just using manipulating skills.
3. On the other hand, my son keeps mentioning a wheel store. I finally figured it out. A chain here, known as Target, their logo is a bullseye and apparently makes him think of a wheel. Boys only have cars on the brain.

4. To make my week better, I looked back at how much I have revised on WiP #1 since August-- 35,000 words. I did feel a little better. It shows me how far I've come in a year and a half. Trust me, it's much better than it was when I started. I know these 35,000 words will have to be revised again before line edits, but I'm heading in the right direction.
5. It made me feel so good that I wrote 2,000 words yesterday (a new chapter) and revised 1,000 more.

6. I plan to do Writing the Next Line on November 24th. Mark your calenders.

7. Tune in next Thursday November 11th. I'll be reviewing Perilous by Tamara Hart Heitner.

8. Even when you feel alone on this journey, you're not. Blogging buddies and CPs will always pick you up and make you feel awesome. Thanks guys.

9. I need to catch up on 30 Rock. I love DVR.

10. The worst chore for me is ironing. I really, really dislike it. I hold out as long as I can. Which is bad because the pile is huge.

11. Kids really do love boxes that the toys come in. They also tend to love catalogs. My kids have Lego catalogs from the Lego store in Munich. They continue to look through  them even though pages are missing and the edges are torn. We got them back in July. Why I think buying toys is silly.

Not much went on folks. How was your week? Any weekend plans?

Have a great weekend!!