Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jolly Jack-O-Lantern Day!

Couldn't just say happy halloween, could I?

I don't like it being on a Wednesday. I almost forgot to carve the pumpkins! Had to do last minute preps on the costumes, running to the store, finding the candy I hid a month ago, and why does it have to rain/snow this year! Ah well. It's also a full moon, or close - ooooo! That's why I'm cranky. Yeah, let's blame the moon.

At least I have Sensational Haiku Wednesday to look forward to...

Spooky!

What's that tingling
up your arm? Jump and brush off
Hope not a spider

Did you see movement
From the corner of your eye?
But aren't you alone?

The house creaks and cracks
Louder late at night, can't sleep
It's unsettling

And to send off you nano-ers right, here are my top ten excuses reasons I'm NOT doing NANO this year...
  1. I just did Camp Nano!
  2. Which means I have editing to do...
  3. November 1st is shot because I'll be coming down from Halloween candy sugar buzz!
  4. Not to mention November is already a short month
  5. Thanksgiving takes up at least 4 days with travel and relatives!
  6. Which also leaves my brain mushy from food overload and kids off school...
  7. And HELLO! Xmas shopping needs to be done at some point!
  8. Crazy chaos and quirky relatives always spark shiny new ideas too!
  9. Someone usually gets sick this month too...
  10. And lastly, it's my bday month! Can't stress about making the 2000 word count on my bday!
So good luck in your writing, best wishes for meeting your goals, and I hope to hear about your progress and results! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TT Talks to Partners in ParanormYA

Hey Y’all! So it’s finally my turn to spotlight Gwen Gardner and Angela Brown of Partners in ParanormYA! And you know I can’t just ask some easy questions – it’s been done! So I have shaken the Fall Fairy and her dust transformed us into animals that match our personalities! (ie, we took a personality/animal quiz!)

Angela is a Bear, Gwen is a Wolf, and I am a Wild Dog – Arrooooooo!
So this interview will be conducted doggie style (ha ha, sorry)

Me: Ruff, ruff.
I mean, Thanks so much for playing along with my silly surprise, Ladies! I know that fur might start to itch, so I’ll get right to the questions! How did you two animals "meet?"

A: We met as all other online buds meet. Online lol!. Okay, okay :-) Seriously, I came across Gwen's blog shortly after I started blogging in the summer of 2011. Her blog was about running and YA fiction. I enjoyed stopping by her blog and sharing comments and found she was a frequent comment bud at my blog. We became great bloggy buds and are now Partners in ParanormYA :-)

G: We’ve known each other for a while, but I recall Angela saying recently that we met at Rach Harries Platform Building Campaign. Then I stopped by Angela’s blog a lot during the A-Z last April and really enjoyed her blog-opera-now-turned-Neverlove novel. We became critique partners and formed Partners in ParanormYA, and “talk” nearly every day. We’ve even spoken on the phone a few times - it’s not often bloggy friends get to hear each other’s voices.

Me: I know, isn’t that a sign of the times! Aww, you guys were made for each other!

Me: Now I have a question for Angela. Have you ever/would you ever base a character on Chipmunk? What traits of hers stand out? I love this picture of the two of you!

A: Yes. Yes I would. Chipmunk is a bit of a tomboy and so I hope to take some of that stand out trait of hers, along with her beautiful eyes, pouty lips, and witty brain power, to make one or two enjoyable MG stories.

Me: She sounds like a loveable, intelligent character! I bet she could solve many MG dilemmas! Now Gwen, you went from a VP to a mountain woman writer? Could you tell me a couple of pros  cons from that drastic change? This is a great shot of you howling at the moon!

G: Cons: The first victim was Money. I miss Andrew, Benjamin and even George. *sigh* And  Happy Hour was the second victim. Bye-bye Jose Cuervo. *double sigh* Pros: I get to write in a gorgeous setting! And I’m my own boss, so I don’t have to get up and put on a suit or make-up in the morning.

Me: Ha! Great Pros & Cons can be made up for later, right? So, Ladies, Partners in ParanormYA is off to a beautiful start! What do you think each other contributes to this partnership?

G: It’d be impossible to just tell you one thing! Angela’s warm, kind, giving, talented, creative, smart, reliable, and funny. What I like the most is how we laugh together about some of the posts we write for our PIP blog and blog tour.  We both have a quirky sense of humor.

A: Gwen has a sweetness about her that shows through her blog. Having had a chance to partner with her in marketing our self-published novels, Neverlove and Givin' Up the Ghost, I can confirm that all her sweetness is genuinely real. She's the best organizer you could hope for and her heart is like gold. She can take the bull by the horns and live life to the fullest. She's also a great listener. Like really listens! Seriously. Okay. I suppose I better stop before I end up having someone wanting to sweep her off her feet (Sorry fellows. She's taken.)

Me: Awwww! A match made in blog heaven! Looking forward to more ParanormYA books from you two! Any in the works? Sequels?

A: I do see a sequel for Neverlove, but right now I only see one. If the sequel begs for a third...I'll work that out. As for right now, I'm working on a sekrit project that has finally gotten more body in my brain lol!!

G: I’m working on the second book in the Indigo Eady Paranormal Mystery Series, called A Guilty Ghost Surprised.

Me: Awesome! It will probably be nice to get back to writing after all this crazy tour stuff – then you can do it all over again! How about sharing a final quote?

G: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Albert Einstein.

A: A writing quote...hmmm...the one that I can't help thinking of is the one EJ Wesley shows at his blog: "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." ~ W. Red Smith

Me: Perfect!

A: Thanks again for having us and I can't wait to be a part of your "show" :-)

Me: Sounds like a date! Thanks!

And here are the deets on their awesome YA Paranormal Novels and PRIZES!!!



Purchase
Gwen Gardner’s Givin’ Up The Ghost at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

And there are two giveaways! Visit
Partners in ParanormYA for the Big Swag Giveaway and for the Week Three Giveaway


  
Week 3 Giveaway Rafflecopter Code:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MmEzYzc2MTJlMDY3YmE3NjE4MzkwMWRjNjVjYjFjOjEw/
Big Swag Giveaway Code:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MmEzYzc2MTJlMDY3YmE3NjE4MzkwMWRjNjVjYjFjOjI=/

Monday, October 29, 2012

KSM - Hippity Hoppity


image.jpeg
Time for Jeremy's Halloween Hop!
I have a new favorite Halloween movie - Hotel Transylvania! My all time favorite will always be Young Frankenstein! "Nice hopping." And my costume this year is a mad scientist! Bwahaha! *cue lightening flash & thunder*

What's your favorite Halloween book or movie? Are you dressing up this year?

Okay, I'm tackling this Next Big Thing challenge, so buckle up!
Thanks, Brinda for passing it to me! I will keep it brief!

What is your working title of your book?
Broken Branch Falls

Where did the idea come from for the book? 
Watching my boys at football practice and subbing

What genre does your book fall under?
MG Fantasy, I thought it was young adult, but it wasn't adult enough!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I am out of the young actors and actresses loop. I picture this as more of a cartoon movie anyway...

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Gabe Goblin tries new things, like dating another species, but breaking the Rules brings the destruction of his town and to save it he must gather reps from all the species to join him in a quest for the truth to change the Rules.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will submit to my publisher (I can't believe I have a publisher!), Curiosity Quills.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
One month at camp nano this August. Must do again! *** GOOD LUCK NANO-ERS! ***

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Not to be cheeky, but The Hobbit? Only way less intense and younger audience.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The kids I sub for. Teens still have those hurtful clicks. Hard to change who you've been labeled to become. Would love to see more kids look past appearances and stereotypes.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It's actually a dystopian, far in the future, where fantasy creatures are the result of humankind distorting and destroying themselves with chemical and biological warfare. And the quest is like Survivor with challenge after challenge!

Speaking of challenge, I now bestow the Next Big Thing on...


And a couple last bits of news...

Tomorrow I finally get to host my friends Gwen & Angela! It's going to be a special interview you really can't miss! It'll be a real howl! ha ha.

Then on Hallowednesday I will send off Nano-ers with my top ten excuses that I'm not doing it! Proud of all you guys venturing into the beginnings of a new novel! Good luck!

Though November is a busy time, I hope you can make time to join the blogfest hosted by Andrew Leon, Matthew MacNish, and Alex the Great coming up on 11/16, "Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest"

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone who has signed up for Vikki and I's "I'm Thankful For..." bloghop! That's coming up soon, November 5-8!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Warring Witches

When the air turns crisp
And the trees change their coats
And the spiders seek warmth inside,
You know it’s October
In Fearnot, Pennsylvania
Where the Warring Witches reside.

Halloween on Dare-to-tread Lane is legendary.

Walking past the stately, Victorian homes of the infamous Warring Witches thrills my heart and chills my bones. Though both wear ageless faces, they are direct opposites. Madame Marjorie struts on high heels from her brilliant black abode boasting eggplant shutters, matching her violet-streaked, midnight hair. Tending daffodils, Lady Adelaide’s red, wavy locks kissed by sunny highlights demand notice as does her home, with fiery red shingles, a screaming yellow door, and a creaking porch swing that never seems to rest.

Daytime is dull, but evening brings light flashes, booming explosions, and wafts of sulfur seeping from triangular-silhouetted windows. The odd overtures epitomize as autumn blows in, culminating in the great revelation on Halloween night for all to judge which sister can frighten the children most.

Five years ago, Mme Marjorie’s silky cobweb laced over razor sharp blades of grass earned the victory. I’d swear the animated spiders and creatures caught in it were real.

The following year, Lady Adelaide answered with glorious, glowing jack-o-lanterns sitting atop her hedges whose taunting faces sneered and rose on scarecrow bodies that reached out to grab passing children.

The most astounding year ended in a draw. While Mme Marjorie ladled brew from a bubbling cauldron, causing hallucinations of her guardian, garden gargoyles chasing the children, Lady Adelaide grew ghosts from a ghoulish graveyard, rising from crypts and flying through them.

Each year, more children drag their parents to Dare-to-tread Lane anxious to be scared by the Warring Witches. And when they’re grown, parents like me drag their children. And the sisters never disappoint.


This story is brought to you for the Spooktober blogfest. Thanks Dani & Jackie for hosting! Happy Spooky Writing!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

sweet pressure

I thrive working under pressure. I usually take on more than I should, thinking I can handle it. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it blows up. The hardest part is the little bugs of trouble and mishap invading my perfect plans, pushing me over the edge - a new computer to get used to, traffic, kids fighting, prescription isn't ready, forgot the milk, it's raining! ah! Wouldn't have it any other way - do I have adult ADD? Probably, but I make it work! Bring it! (Friendship and praying help!)

And so, I give you this week's Sensational Haiku Wednesday, Pressure...

As I scurry by,
forgetting, losing, dropping,
I reach lofty goals.

Desire to do all.
More, more, more! Must stay busy!
Don't slow down, until...

Crash, loss of power,
steam, energy. Must slow down.
Smell roses sometimes.

Technology is
who I blame, the bane and crutch
of my existence.

Now to the sweet side! I have some thank yous and an award to hand out!!!

Thank you so much, Rachel S, for the pleasant package! I won a copy of "Foreign Affairs" - an anthology of romantic encounters of the exotic/european kind! Rachel's pen name is Georgia St. Mane and she signed the copy =) plus added tea and chocolate to make the experience even tastier!!!

I also can't believe I won a digital copy of Gwen Gardner's book, "Givin Up the Ghost!" Gwen and Angela's PIP tour is so creative! Hope you've seen their fabulous interviews and posts!

And finally, the Sweet Award! I need some chocolate after all this carrying on!!

Thank you so much, Livia! She gave me this a week or so ago just before I guest posted over there. Such a sensational suprise!

For this award, we get to answer salivatingly sweet questions. Beware, your hunger will be roused!

1. Cookies or cake? Cookies
2. Chocolate or vanilla? Depends on the item, but I have to say, Chocolate.
3. What is your favorite sweet treat? Brownies
4. When do you crave sweet things most? After a meal or salty snack
5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be? Pumpkin

I’m passing on this award to…


I told you this was a heck of a month! Talk about pressure to keep up! I just finished visiting everyone who congratulated me on Friday - I feel like I'm missing stuff! I will catch up today!

Monday, October 22, 2012

KSM - I'm Bewildered

It's been one heck of an October!!!
So many good things happening in the blogosphere! Here are a just a few...

First, I am astounded and overwhelmed by all the support from you guys! I am teary in happiness! Thanks for making me feel so special!

And I hate to keep talking about myself, but my short fantasy story The Guardian Tree is being published in this week's issue of Bewildering Stories! Total coincidence!

Now on to others with wonderful news!

Today, Kyra has invited us to a Goodreads event to celebrate the release of her New Adult novella, "If I Let You Go!" The ebook will be free on Amazon US and UK for 24 hours on October 22nd, coinciding with the "Letting Go" bloghop! Go check it all out!


Christine's cute Cowgirl story is out for y'all to read "Li'l Gal Al"

The feisty spirits and characters are still stirring up trouble at Partners in ParanormYA while Gwen & Angela continue their blog tour...stop by for a peek! And I'll have them here next week!


Also today, Dani and Jackie host a weekly Express Yourself MeMe, this week's topic is "List 5 favorite monsters throughout history."

Speaking of monsters! Two fun Halloween blogfests are coming up...Spooktoberfest (also hosted by Dani & Jackie!) and Halloween Hop hosted by Jeremy Bates! Share a story and seasonal fun!
image.jpeg

Then soon after in November a bunch of you guys are doing NANOWRIMO!
May your mind ne'er block and your computer ne'er crash! 
Save often and good luck!

Since Thanksgiving rushes up as the sometimes overlooked holiday between Halloween and Xmas, Vikki and I are hosting the "I'm Thankful for..." blog hop. And don't forget Alex's monthly Insecure Writers Support Group meeting on Nov 7th!

I know there's more, but I can't remember it all! Are you doing NANO? Got something special coming up? I'd love to share it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Big Sweet Deal!

I have a CONTRACT!!!!!!
with


I cannot believe it! I actually fulfilled my new year's resolution! I have to thank Unicorn Bell for introducing me to Andrew Buckley at Curiosity Quills. He is the awesome editor that sparked to my sci fi/adventure/thriller, POP TRAVEL! I am still in shock - doesn't seem real! Cartwheels happy!!!!

Here is me signing the contract...

I couldn't have done this without the support and encouragement of all my friends - THANK YOU!!! 

I will post updates as they come and you know I will want help with a tour. Me! A tour? Never thought! So crazy! Pinch me! And if I can do it, you can do it - just keep at it! 

More thanks will be bestowed to my super awesome critiquers during Vikki's and my "I'm Thankful For..." blog hop! Join us in giving thanks to our readers and supporters!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DKNY

Oops, I mean DINYB! Gotcha!
Knights & Ninjas Unite!
DID I NOTICE YOUR BOOK?!
the blog hop

Thanks to the unification of the Ninja's, represented by Captain Alex, and the Knights, represented by Ciara Knight, we get to share books that deserve a shout that some of us may not know about! I have three...

My friend Carol R. Ward wrote a weekly series on her blog that had me hooked, but I fell behind. Then I saw that she turned the first completed story into a book! Yay! And then she wrote another one and is currently writing a third! I'd say it's sci fi/romance - it has it all! The first one is called, AN ELEMENTAL FIRE. It's an adventure with good chemistry!



Another friend, Nicki Elson, wrote a totally killer NA retro romance (ie, 80s chick lit!). Some of you might have heard of it, but many have not. THREE DAVES is an in depth look at one spunky young woman's journey through college dating, and it has some steamy scenarios!



Finally, I don't know if this is on the NYT best seller list, but I have to give it a shout because my boys and I loved it and are currently reading the sequel. Robison Wells is adept at keeping the reader immersed in the thrilling action of his YA Sci Fi novels VARIANT and now FEEDBACK - two shocking, twisty, gut wrenching tales. If you know a young person looking for something to read, they must try these!


And I must write for Sensational Haiku Wednesday...

BRIDGE

to cross into the
next phase, to reach another
level, to move on

to learn, to explore
to grow, to engage, to seek
and to discover

if only I could
master this darn new system,
switching computers

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Have you seen...

...this awesome new cover for

THE SECOND SIGN 
by Elizabeth Arroyo

Isn't it gorgeous!

Here is some more info -
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Dark Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

Release Date: February 07, 2013

Synopsis:
Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn't expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.

Doesn't that sound enticing! And Elizabeth knows how to keep you turning pages! Can't wait for it to come out!

You can find her here:

Website: www.elizabetharroyo.com
Blog: http://chandarawrites.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EArroyo5
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/elizabetharroyo.author

Monday, October 15, 2012

In the beginning


Before I get to the blog hop, may I direct your attention to Livia who asked me to do a guest post for her - Are you an Innie or an Outie? I will just say that after this weekend seeing Hotel Transylvania with seven wild boys, I'm a confirmed Innie! (Movie was great, though!)

As for here, today we are sharing What Writing Looks Like, thanks to Sarah's fun blog hop! So I scanned the beginnings of my current WIP, Broken Branch Falls...



My stories usually start on my little note pad in my purse. This story came to me while watching football practice last year.



Next comes the outline, very rough!
Here is how I write dialog - the letters are the characters. I was advised by a crit partner not to name main characters with the same first letter - they can get confusing. And it helps with my abbreviated dialogs, too!

My favorite things to create are the maps! They help keep me straight on where and how far and which direction, etc!

Thanks again, Sarah for this totally fun blog hop! I look forward to reading the others!

And I wanted to mention Sheena's blogaversary blog hop on October 25th. She is getting input from her friends on the 4th book in her series.
Yay for Sheena!

Friday, October 12, 2012

AAAACHOO! Gesundheit!

Gotten your flu shot yet? I am getting my kids done next week (little do they know). Tell me: how do you feel about flu shots? Ever had the flu? Blech! I'd rather have a stomach flu than the actual achy, week long miserable influenza flu. No, I'd rather have neither!

Ah, but here in the US, we are in the beginnings of cold & flu season, the only drawback to Fall =) Don't fret, Friday 4 U brings you some lovely LHW tips for October, to help stave off infections of all kinds! Plus a few Halloween ideas...

  • "Wear a hat or you'll catch cold!" - debunked. You cannot catch a cold by being cold. However! When we are cold, we are more susceptible to invasion by germs. And heat leaves our body easiest from the head. So it is a good idea to wear a hat in cold weather!
  • To keep germs away... You know to wash your hands/use sanitizer (which I overdid one year and now my skin is extra dry, peels all the time) Here are a few more sickness stoppers:
    • When doing laundry, spray the dirty clothes baskets with disinfectant (Lysol) before putting clean clothes into them
    • Sneeze or cough into the elbow, not the hand
    • Keep sanitizer/wet ones handy - I have some in my purse and in the car
    • Use rubber gloves for laundry and cleaning - this is age old, but it keeps me from having to wash my hands so much and keeps them from drying out so badly
    • Sickie supplies - I try to have these items on hand all sick season long - crackers, bananas, Coke (the real thing!), tissues, tylenol and ibuprofen, Lysol or Oust and
    • Coldeeze!!! I swear by this, take it as soon as you feel a cold coming on and it lasts less time and symptoms are milder.
    • And when someone does get sick, quarantine them to one "sick" chair that can be sanitized when they get better - Clorox wipes and Lysol are awesome for that (with gloves!)
  • Halloween!
    • I transform the scarecrows in the yard into scary creatures with old masks and capes
    • I love my skeleton - he gets dressed up or posed in precarious positions every year - this year he's hanging in a lighted web!
    • Window clings and gels are so cute! In addition to windows, they can decorate mirrors, too! (they stick best to clean flat surfaces, but be careful, some gels can stain, esp red!)
    • Been Boo'd yet? I always buy some cute things on sale after the holiday for next year's Boo-ing!
    • Morph suits are the big thing this year - single color, full body suits to wear alone or with a costume, for more anonymity?...strange, but whatever.
As for exercise - nada besides work and housework. This week I was preparing for my little guy's big bday sleepover and some company coming...I'm pooped! Sorry, guys. I'll do better next week!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm late!

I got these two awards a couple of weeks ago and haven't properly thanked the givers. Shame on me! Well now I have made time.

Thank you, Carrie Anne Brownian for the Lovely Blog award!
       
And thank you, Laura at My Baffling Brain for the Reader Appreciation Award!

Each of these has the standard, name seven things about yourself and you know I can't just be normal like that, so I am listing seven Lovely and Appreciative things:
  1. Lovely Tip: To avoid static electricity when brushing dry hair, give the brush a squirt of hair spray first.
  2. Lovely Tip: If you use undereye concealer like me, let it sit on your skin for one minute before blending so it can sink in and last longer (it works! from Bobby Brown at Prevention mag)
  3. Be Lovely: yoga pants are best worn to yoga (they're also comfy around the house!)
  4. Lovely is - admirable, adorable, alluring, amiable, attractive, bewitching, captivating, dainty, delectable, delightful, enchanting, engaging, enjoyable, fair, gorgeous, graceful, handsome, knockout, nice, pleasant, pretty, pulchritudinous!, rare, scrumptious, stunning, sweet, winning
  5. Appreciative Tip: Say thanks to an "invisible" hero, a garbage worker, janitor, stock person, event organizer, mail person, etc.
  6. Appreciative Tip: the best gift is something you want but wouldn't get for yourself.
  7. Appreciative is - beholden, content, grateful, gratified, indebted, obliged, overwhelmed, pleased, relieved, satisfied, thankful!
I would like to pass these awards on thusly:

        The Lovely Blog Award           The Reader Appreciation Award
   Laura - My Baffling Brain!                     Rena - Dr Faerie Godmother
    Samantha May                                             MJ Fifield
Talynn - Ink in the Book                              Christine Rains
     Laura Marcella                                        Heather Gardner
Angela & Gwen @ Partners in Paranormya       Carrie Anne Brownian

And I would be lovingly appreciative if you joined us in our I'M THANKFUL FOR MY READERS blog hop!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fresh as a

dryer sheet!
Did you think daisy? Well, that's me. I like to keep it fresh. Ha!

So it's Sensational Haiku Wednesday and it's fresh...

Wake up feeling fresh
New day brings new ideas
Changing perspectives

These days it's the girls
being fresh and flirty with
clueless, aloof boys

Crisp apples to pluck
Perfect pumpkins for picking
Harvest time at farm


And just for fun, I wrote another poem...

Queen Dragonfly

Transform me to dragonfly
Grant my wish to hover high
Above the earth up in the sky

On strong, sleek wings, aloft will I
Soar and dip and dive and climb
Slender, green, and blue sublime

Viewing life through magic eyes
Great big world, all surprise
Investigating makes me wise

Bliss to leave my woes behind
Responsibilities confined
Banished deep within my mind

So when a dragonfly you find
Along the shore or backyard line
Please be sure to treat it kind

Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm Thankful for...

Yes, I know it isn't November yet, but I'm still thankful! Vikki, my wonderful friend from across the pond, came up with a fantastic idea to share our thanks in a blog hop and asked me to co-host. AWESOME! So here it is:


We are getting a jump on the November blogfest season! Some of you are doing Nanowrimo, but this could be a nice break and it doesn't take much! Just a thank you to your readers! And readers can be crit partners, betas, blog readers, published book readers, library patrons, or just the reading public in general! We thought it would be awesome if we all gave thanks at the same time and hopped around to revel in the love! Not to mention, Thanksgiving will be in the air at that time!

Here’s the rules, folks:
  1. Sign up on the Linky List below.
  2. Post thanks to your readers on your blog between Monday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 7 by 1700 UK/1200 noon EST US time.
  3. And if you don’t have a CP and you would like to find one, go ahead and post a ‘personals’ ad. 
  4. Be CREATIVE. Write a letter, a piece of flash fiction, a haiku, a poem, or a vlog. It can take whatever form you like. We’d like it if you kept it under 300 words but won’t be counting. 
  5. Naming your reader(s) is up to you and feel free to link to them. 
  6. Hop around and comment on other people’s!
Please grab a button! And it would be lovely if you'd spread the word! Oh yes, of course there will be PRIZES!

Vikki and I will each pick a winner, and jointly choose another overall winner, to be announced on Thursday November 8 on our blogs. They win:

  • Vikki’s Winner: A Reader’s Report style full MS Critique, chosen for Most Heartfelt Post
  • Tara’s Winner: A Banner for their blog (or other graphic), chosen for Most Creative Post
  • Overall Winner: Both of the above prizes, for Best Overall Post!

Since Vikki is also my crit partner, I know her critique is a valuable prize! And I can't wait to give my thankful gift to her!

Lastly - for anyone on twitter, Vikki thought it would be fun if during the same period we tweeted thanks using the hashtag #thankstomyreaders for additional fun. She is vixatthemovies there.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Writing a book - constantly learning


For this Friday 4 U, I'm sharing a Writing a Book entry:

Reference books are great for advice and examples and motivation. I am so excited to have my library of writing craft books grow! Now when I have questions, I have more places to turn and learn! Here is what I've got (thanks mostly to contests!):
  • HOOKED by Les Edgerton,
  • THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by William Strunk Jr & EB White, and
  • THE WRITER'S DIGEST GUIDE TO QUERY LETTERS by Wendy Burt-Thomas
and on my ipad I have picked up a few freebies:
  • 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer
  • Deep Secrets of Successful Blogging by Chitika (30 experts)
  • Ghost Writers in the Sky by Roland Yeomans
  • Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker
I need to get the Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

I also love when I get to sub for an English class. I have to share what I learned this week...Inspirations from a High School Language Arts class:
  • THE LIVELY ART OF WRITING by Lucile Vaughn Payne - I found a class set of this awesome book which gives great pointers for writing papers, but also how to grab a reader and make your writing stand out. Here are two of the sections I particularly connected with in my current phase of editing:
    • "Picture Frame Paragraphs" - we should visualize how we would paint a scene and describe it with vivid words and details, show not tell (heard that before?) In the first sentence of a paragraph it's okay to tell as long as the rest of the paragraph describes the scene, making the reader feel it and keeping their interest.
    • "Making the Subject Perform" - have the subject, whether human or not, do something, make sound or movement into action verbs. action brings the reader a more direct experience.
Always looking for ways to improve my writing. Especially when receiving a rejection or two...

I think exercise helps to deal with the stress of rejection as well. I haven't submitted in a while so no rejections here lately, but I read some IWSG posts of others getting a few. Rejections are like burrs, they prick at first, but then you pick em off, throw em away, and move on!

As for my exercise update this week, I slacked off a little and only exercised a couple of times. But I'm going to go vacuum my basement so I am counting that as a calorie burner!

What craft books do you recommend? And did you get your butt out of the chair to exercise this week?
Whatever you're working on have an inspirational weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Give me a little credit!

Dear Fellow Insecure Writers,
     We all have pros and cons for writing. Areas of strength and areas of weakness. The problem I am concentrating on this month is my need for speed. I've been in a hurry all my life. Speed walker, short cutter, multi tasker. This is probably why I like haiku so much!
     Zipping through life is not great for writing. I can whip up a first draft in no time. What I need to do is slow down and immerse the reader in a setting and make them feel like they are there. But when I write a scene, I concentrate on character movement, action and emotion and dialog. Then I have to go back and add the details to incorporate the senses. I don't want to dwell, but I need to develop the entire scene.
     So that's what I'm working on now. Editing and pumping up the experience so it's juuuust right.
                                                                   Thanks for the listening ears!
                                                                   Speedy Sally

What are you working on?

And for Sensational Haiku Wednesday, some fun credit haiku...

Artists earn credit
giving of themselves products
from the heart, not free

Credit, I love, hate
thee, with thy tempting tripes of
buy now, pay later.



The government should
be denied further credit
until debts are paid.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mini Kick Start Tuesday

Well, Hello October!
I wanted to mention a couple of items you should know about!

==>Don't forget about our monthly Insecure Writers Support Group meeting - TOMORROW!

==> On Oct 17th the Knights and Ninjas are joining forces - Ciara Knight and Ninja Captain Alex are co-hosting the DINYB blog hop!
Post about a book you’ve noticed, but DON’T tell the author that their book has been noticed. Wait for the author finds his/her book then leave a comment at Ninja Captain Alex or Ciara Knight’s blog when the author finds their book.
Only two rules:
1)You can’t post about your own book.
2)The book shouldn’t be on the New York Times or USA Today bestseller list.

==> Sarah is hosting the "What Writing Looks Like Blog Hop" Oct 15th!
A pic and a blurb!
All you'll need is a picture or print screen image of a part of a first draft you have written. You can even post a before and after of something you worked on. Be sure to write a little bit about what you were writing, why you chose to write on the particular media you were writing on (napkin, sticky note), etc. 


==> And LOOK AT THIS! Charity Bradford is about to go public!
The Magic Wakes

Talia has a secret that will save her world while ripping it apart. Only she can decide if the price is worth it.

Scientist Talia Zaryn has recurring visions of an alien invasion and her own death. She’s kept it a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when her face in the mirror matches that of her dreams, she fears the dreams are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond their planet, Sendek; perhaps then people will prepare to fight.

But that won't be easy when a complicated love interest and Talia's growing magic culminate as the invasion commences. Talia must trust her magic and uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past to defeat these terrifying creatures and save her world.


The Magic Wakes is due out on February 19, 2013 from WiDo Publishing
Goodreads
Facebook
Website
Twitter-@charitybradford

Monday, October 1, 2012

GUTGAA Small Press Pitches!!!


Welcome, Pitchers!!! Welcome, Judges!!! Welcome, One and All!!!

Wish I had a trumpet fanfare for you!
Today my blog is honored to co-host the GUTGAA Small Press Pitch Contest! The entries in the ADULT category are conveniently listed on my sidebar. 101 pitches made their way through the emailing round on Friday and the hardworking, never failing Deana Barnhart sorted them all out into four categories. The other blogs co-hosting this week are Deana, Juliana Brandt and Ink In The Book. Due to the imbalance of entries, there will be a proportionate number of winners per category:

Adult: 31 (8 finalists will be picked)
YA Contemporary/YA Historical: 22 (5 finalists will be picked)
Other YA: 36 (9 finalists will be picked)
NA & MG: 12 (3 finalists will be picked)

The finalists will be narrowed down by wonderful mystery judges who will indicate their votes in the comments. Here are the mystery judges' names for the Adult entries on my blog:

Rose Cardinal
Slave to the Muse
Kinderella
Manchee

NOTES: Ties will be broken by other judges in the contest. Winners will be announced on Friday. Next Monday, Deana will post the 25 finalists on her site for the final round of judging. And if you have any questions, I will try to answer, but Deana is the most knowledgeable. This is so exciting! There are so many great books-to-be out there! GOOD LUCK!!!

GUTGAA SPP #32 - Bound and Broken


Bound and Broken
Paranormal Romance (Adult)
96,000 words

For years, Grey suppressed her psychic abilities with medication, but when she meets Sergei, a broody vampire, she decides she wants more out of life. Sergei makes her feel and shows her that even with emotions from strangers bombarding her, life is worth feeling if she can gain control over her abilities.

After more than a century, Sergei’s maker, the controlling vampire queen Mara comes back into his life. And she brought her sociopathic blood addicted companion, Tyr with her. Mara is still angry that Sergei walked out on her over a century ago. She decides that she will have him, body and soul.  
Mara beats and starves Sergei for a week, and when he is freed, Grey’s strong psychic blood is the only thing that can save him. The life-saving blood donation inadvertently leaves them soul-bound, and fighting two ancient vampires determined to torment them both.


Chapter 1 
BANG. BANG. BANG. 
Grey squinted against the blazing hall light and tried not to stumble down the stairs. The haze of sleep grew dimmer with each thud of a fist against her front door. Who would be knocking in the middle of the night? 
“Open the goddamn door.” The sound of her drunken ex-husband’s voice brought back memories of his false accusations and blame. She hesitated with her hand cradling the knob, staring at the peeling white paint of the door. Another project Jim had never finished. His fist pounded again. 
Stealing herself against his anger, she jerked the door open and shivered when a blast of cool fall air hit her. “What the hell are you doing here?” 
It must have been well after midnight. Not a soul stirred in Grey’s quiet, suburban neighborhood. The street lamp down the block cast enough light to allow her see Jim’s bloodshot eyes.

GUTGAA SPP #31 - Finders Keepers

Title: FINDERS KEEPERS
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 82,000

Query

After a near-miss with a nervous breakdown, Brenna Moriarity gave up magic, and her life has been much easier without it, thank you very much. And it's not like she's wanting for things to keep her busy. Between her duties as an on-air radio personality, hitting up Seattle’s clubs with her friends, avoiding a tyrannical coven leader, and keeping away from her delicious boss, there’s no time for practicing the craft.

But her gift won’t let her go so easily. See, Brenna can find things when no one else can. Things that may be better off lost.

Unbeknownst to Brenna, her best friend and fellow witch, Jared, steals Merwyn's Ruby, a gem so powerful that in the hands of a lesser witch, it can control the user, instead of the other way around. Brenna's on the verge of having to leave town to avoid joining the local coven, and he thinks if she can wield the ruby, the coven leader will have to leave her alone and she won't have to move. His plan dies a quick death when someone steals it from him. Now he’s desperate to get it back, and Brenna’s the only one who can help him.

Having a gem as dangerous and seductive as Merwyn's Ruby loose in the city is bad enough. Having it fall into the wrong hands would be even worse. Trapped by love and loyalty to her friend, Brenna agrees to help, even though the search may rip her sanity to shreds.

First 150

“No.”

“Brenna, come on. When have I ever led you wrong?”

I scowled at the wall, wishing Jared was in front of me instead of on the other end of the phone. I wanted him to see my face. “How about more often than not?”

“Look, just because there was that one time the spirit got loose and wrecked your mom’s pantry--”

“And the time where I had to go searching through your ex-girlfriend’s bedroom. And the time we had to break into the school. And the time you lost your keys at that party, only to remember you’d lent them to your brother, leading him to get in the accident...” Shit. Should not have gone there. “Jer, I’m sorry.”

The line was quiet except for the faint background noises on Jared’s end of the phone. “‘S okay, Bren. That was pure stupidity on my part.”

GUTGAA SPP #30 - Lies of the Ball

Lies Of The Ball
Historical Fiction
87,000

Query:

She’s a runaway slave.
The man she loves is the one who could destroy her.

Southern beauty Mercedes Albright lives in the prettiest plantation house Mississippi has to offer. She hosts the most beautiful parties in the entire South, and dances as though she were the belle of the ball. Mercedes is the most eligible bachelorette in town. And she has a secret that if ever found out, it would ruin her for the rest of her life.

Careful laid plans put Mercedes in good standing with the wealthy socialites of Vicksburg. To her downfall, the man she falls desperately in love with is the man whose father sold her mother years before at the slave market. Mercedes was bought by another man and sent to live in another town.

Returning to the place of her birth, Mercedes has only one thing on her mind: revenge on the family who stole her childhood and ripped her mother from her arms. She never intended to fall in love with her enemy. She never expected he would learn her true identity. Now, she’s on the run again, but this time, it’s for a different reason.

Lies Of The Ball is an 87,000 word historical fiction set during the Civil War era.

First 150 Words:

Tangled undergrowth and briars scraped at Mercedes' leg and snagged her dress. The woods closed in on her, twisting and turning the overhead branches into ghostly silhouettes. Climbing vines wrapped around the swamp dogwoods creating a canopy above her, blocking even the smallest slivers of moonlight. Something slimy brushed against her arm and she clamped her hand over her mouth to muffle a scream.

Wood smoke filled the damp air and squinting her eyes, Mercedes made out the flames of a small fire sputtering through the thick brush. She began to run away but tripped on a half-rotted log and fell into a clearing. The men on the other side stood in a circle, spewing filthy words.

“He won’t run no more,” one man said, throwing his head back in dark laughter.

Shadows danced across the ground and looking up, Mercedes froze in fright. A slave hung from a rope.

GUTGAA SPP #29 - A Place to Call Their Own

A Place to Call Their Own
Adult LGBT/Historical Fiction
54,000 Words

Query

The year is 1865.  Frank Greerson and Gregory Young have been discharged from the Army and are headed to their childhood homes..  They defied their parents in 1861 when they joined the Army.  After battling southern rebels and preserving the Union of the United States of America, the two men set out to battle the Kansas Prairie and build a life together.  Once they find their claim, they encounter common obstacles to life on the Kansas Prairie in 1866:  Native Americans, tornadoes, wild animals, and weather.  They help neighbors build shelters and harvest crops.

When a prairie fire destroys their crops and takes their neighbor’s lives, Frank and Gregory are instructed to find their son’s aunt.  Faced with leaving a destroyed claim, the railroad coming through their land, and dwindling funds, Frank and Gregory must decide whether to leave the place they've worked hard to make their own or fulfill their friends' dying wish.


First 150

Frank Greerson figured his words would clear his parent's dining room that morning, and they did.  His mother herded her grandchildren and their dishes into the kitchen.  His sister-in-law cleared the adults' dishes and escorted his sister out of the room.  All it took was a glare from his father for Frank's brother to take the two adult men with them.  As Gregory Young stood up, he glanced across the table at Frank.  Frank nodded his head slightly to indicate to Gregory it was all right for him to leave the room with everybody. Frank had to do this on his own.

Frank’s father, Paul Greerson, took a deep breath before he spoke.  “Son, I know I can’t stop you from leaving, but I am going to do everything in my power to talk you out of this.”

Frank didn’t look up from his plate.  “Sir, I’m going to Kansas and you can’t stop me."