Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm so lame...

I can't believe we are five months into 2013! It's amazing how well I started out. Exercising, eating better, sleeping more... And as the months came and went, I slowly slacked off. The past few weeks have been the worst!

But I am determined not to give in! Yes, I wanted to get my edits done, so I chose to sit at the computer rather than jump on the treadmill. And with my boys' baseball schedules combined with a jillion other activities, we have been eating so much CRAP! I am making a real meal tonight for the first time in ages!

This is a perfect hop to get support from my bloggie friends to get back into a routine or make time for exercise. I have joined a PIYO class at our community center, a combination of Pilates and Yoga, and it kicks my butt! I just hope they continue the class into the summer. If not, I vow to find some way to exercise on a regular basis. And to eat more fruits and veggies too!

Thank you so much, Stephen Tremp, Alex (again!), Michael Di Gesu, and L. Diane Wolfe for inspiring us to get back to healthy! Talking about it helps. I needed this!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Eww! Awards! Part 1

I mean, Yay! Awards!
During the A to Z challenge last month, I received some fun awards. I am finally getting around to thanking the bestowers and passing them on... (This post got to be too long so I only got half of the awards done and will continue the award ceremony in another post. Good grief, there were a lot of questions!)

=======================================
But first, let me pause. It's Memorial Day. Please remember that freedom is not free. Many have sacrificed for us to have what we have. Thank you, Military!
=====================================
And now, on with the show!
Eww was my reaction to this first award from Mark and Heather - the Zombie Rabbit... It's cool and hip, but Eww! Thanks, guys!

For this award, we are supposed to list our top ten blogs from the A to Z challenge (or now that it's over, I'm resurrecting the award and pronouncing that you can promote any ten or so favorites!)

I met some great new bloggers during A to Z and this is the perfect time to highlight those I clicked with most (and was able to find again, some disappeared or didn't link back to their blogs...)

Carol Z          Connie B Dowell          Ayjay
Barbara White Daille       Hannah Brooker       Rob-Bear
Lady Jai        Clarissa Draper - daily puzzles
(and these last two are long time friends that had great themes, hard to pick just 2!)
J.A. Bennett - blogging tips           Elizabeth Seckman - easy, fun trivia!
     
Picture
The Next Big Thing was passed on to me by Brinda. Thanks, lady! I am going to answer questions about my next big WIP!
  1. what is the working title? SIMULATION
  2. where did the idea come from? An offshoot of POP TRAVEL
  3. what genre is it? techno thriller
  4. what actors would you pick for a movie rendition? I think I'm changing from Leonardo DiCaprio to Chris Hemsworth...
  5. what's a one sentence synopsis? Cooper must stop an infamous, crazed campaign manager and his clone android candidate from taking over with their army of droids.
  6. how long did it take to write the first draft? TBD, outline is done, hopefully will write first draft during camp nano...
  7. will it be self-published or represented? hoping Curiosity Quills will keep me going!
  8. what other books would you compare it to in your genre? I don't compare in quality, but in genre, with I, Robot and in this case, the movie Trading Places
And I'm tagging Julie Flanders, Cassie Mae, Donna Weaver, David P King, and Candilynn Fite - I'm curious what they are working on next!


Lastly today, thanks to sweet Jenn for giving me the Happy Tag. I am to list 5 things that make me happy (other than the given family & friends):
1) It didn't have a button to go with it. Making one made me happy!
2) Having so many friends volunteer to help me with my blog tour - Ecstatic!
3) My little guy's team won some games this weekend after a long losing streak - Incredible!
4) Finishing my edits! Wahoo!
5) School is out in a week. Happy, for the most part =)

I am tagging five bloggers who always make me happy (there are so many, it was hard to pick!)
Dana          Rhonda          Madeline          Laura M          LD Masterson

So one more award post coming soon...
And don't forget to sign up for Heather's & my
The Thrill of It All blogfest!
It's good practice to write a thrilling hook or capture a thrilling scene
or tell us about a thrilling adventure you've been on so we can live vicariously through you!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Authors R Us - part 2


Celebration time again! Vikki hosts this wonderful hop every Friday.

Today I am continuing my celebration of being a part of Curiosity Quills Publishing! During the A to Z challenge, I shared some of the editing tips I gathered from CQ. They put out some crazy good books and I wanted to introduce you to three more fabulous authors...
Presenting: Eliza Tilton!
Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull.

About her exciting YA Fantasy, BROKEN FOREST:
Hopeless he'll never be more than the boy who didn't save his brother, 17-year-old Avikar accepts his life as the family stable boy, trying to forget the past. But when his sister, Jeslyn, is kidnapped, the thought of losing another sibling catapults him on a desperate quest. With his best friend by his side, and using the tracking skills he learned from his father, he discovers Jeslyn has been taken, kidnapped by one Lucino, the young lord of Daath, a mystical place thought only to exist in fables.

And Lucino has plans for Jeslyn.

Praise for BROKEN FOREST:
"The premise and story were incredibly unique, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and romance." ~Jessa Russo, author of EVER

How to get BROKEN FOREST:

Eliza's Links:

Eliza's Advice: Write the bones and fill in the meat later.


Next we have James Wymore, he's a newbie, so he didn't have an author pic for me and his sci fi thriller, THEOCRACIDE, doesn't have a cover yet, but we'd still like to tell you about it!

At a time when everybody lives isolated lives behind computer glasses showing them whatever they want to see, Jason must abandon his idyllic life.  Just as things are coming together with his new girlfriend, his father drags him into a plot to assassinate the Undying Emperor.  With aliens invading the world and his sister dying of an incurable flu they brought, he plunges into a dark game of intrigue and conspiracy against the most powerful people in the world.  Is there any way to keep the girl he loves after committing Theocracide?

An ARC review:
“Wymore weaves a fantastic tale while taking a good hard look at religion, politics, immortality, entertainment, and technological advancement.  If you're looking for a thrilling sci-fi adventure that beautifully mirrors current real-world issues and advancements then this is the book for you.”  -Andrew Buckley (Acquisitions Manager and Author; Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish)

James's Links:

A piece of advice from James: Unplug sometimes.  Life is what happens outside.



And finally we have the cheeky Andrew Buckley!
We had a lovely interview a couple of months ago so I won't repeat his bio. But I will tell you he has some wild, innovative marketing ideas for his humorous paranormal, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH! Check out these hilarious videos:


MicroBlurb: In case of emergency, ask the Goldfish.



Well-chosen words about DEATH, THE DEVIL, AND THE GOLDFISH:
"Andrew Buckley's style and humour follows comfortably on and sits confidently next to the titans of the genre: Dogulas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Doug Naylor etc." - Jon Cross, The Podcast from the After Movie Diner

Andrew's Links:
WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Amazon Author | Amazon

Hope you enjoyed that glimpse into the talented and twisted minds of some fellow Curiosity Quills authors - of which group I am very happy to be a part!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yay for Heather!

I just bought this, because I can!
So excited for Heather!
She barely had time to come to grips with her book being picked up by a publisher and now it's out!!

MAGUIRE'S CORNER in one sentence -
Maggie finds herself in a murder case that lands her in the arms of the handsome, new Police Chief, Jack, who must find the killer before the killer finds them.

Here's how!

Amazon, Goodreads, and paperbacks soon to follow! But I couldn't wait!

Spread the news, would ya!


PS - the THRILL OF IT ALL BLOGFEST does NOT have to be sci fi - it's any thrills you want to talk about! Sorry if that was unclear! We love thrills of ALL KINDS!! And don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

The Thrill of it All!

Hey all you thrilling people! Are you bored? Listless? In an endless loop of editing and waiting?

Then this is a perfect time to join our blogfest!

To celebrate reaching the end a long, tiring journey to be published - and embarking on the next long, tiring journey of marketing and writing more, Heather and I want to invite you to participate in...

from  Love to Sci Fi ...
The Thrill of it All blogfest!

Thrills come in all genres. Heather has some intense love scene thrills in MAGUIRE'S CORNER and I have some cool chase scene thrills in POP TRAVEL. And some people do thrilling things, like mountain climbing.

On June 24th, share a big thrill with us to be entered into The Thrill of it All blogfest contest! We will judge the biggest thrills and give out some thrilling prizes. Entries may be real or fiction. All we ask is that you keep them to a paragraph or so.

Here's my example:
In POP TRAVEL, everyone loves to pop. Not Cooper. Though he won't admit it, Cooper was afraid of it even before he found evidence of a disintegrated traveler. Now he's terrified and he must face his fear, popping all over the world to escape those trying to keep him from exposing pop travel's deadly flaw.

Prizes? Did I say prizes? Why yes, there will be prizes... And they will be super, fantastic prizes -
1) A copy of MAGUIRE'S CORNER, ebook
2) An ARC copy of POP TRAVEL
3) A $20 Amazon GC
4) A banner or caricature by moi (or substitute if the winner has another need)

So mark us on your calendar, sign up on the linky list below, and grab our button... THRILL US! I dare you!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bleah!

I saw a couple of doozies recently, but then I couldn't think of any more. Leave it to Wikipedia to have an extensive list! And I found some really good remakes too! So they aren't all bad!

Here are my top worst remakes:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers - original rocks
War of the Worlds - sorry, it was only ok.
Footloose - really? unnecessary
Godzilla - needed to leave well enough alone, terrible job
The Karate Kid - Ralph Macchio cannot be replaced
Miracle on 34th Street - neither can Natalie Wood
Money Pit - didn't know it was a remake, should not have been made

Total Recall - GONG!
Snow White and the Huntsman - just too much dramatics, so much about it was wrong

Stop with the Spidermans already

So there you go! My favorite remakes I love to hate!

And the remakes I love is a shorter list...
Oceans 11
You've Got Mail
and
The Longest Yard

This blogfest was brought to you by
AlexStephen TrempLivia Peterson, and Al DiazThanks, guys!


And I also wanted to give a shout to Christine!
Her latest 13th floor novella was released on Monday. If you haven't tried her series, you really must! Quick, thrilling reads, full of paranormal romantic goodness!

Harriet and Kiral's story is here! A fierce romance!
You can buy THE ORACLE & THE VAMPIRE at:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Party Time!

Wait! Look! Listen!
We are celebrating... 
My wonderful friend swooped in and snagged a publisher! And her book, 
MAGUIRE'S CORNER, comes out NEXT WEEK!! 
I am so proud to be chosen to reveal her COVER!


Here is a little taste of MAGUIRE'S CORNER by Heather M. Gardner...

Coffee shop owner Maggie Maguire doesn’t trust the new police chief her father hired to protect Maguire’s Corner. He’s a stranger, cold, bossy, and annoyingly handsome. But Maggie’s witnessed a serious crime and now someone’s trying to kill her. The man that aggravates her most might be the only one that can help her.

Police Chief Jack Munro likes his new job and his new town, and unfortunately he also likes the stubborn but beautiful town sweetheart. His self-imposed, hands-off Maggie policy is about to be put to the ultimate test when he must keep her close to protect her while he tracks down a ruthless killer.

Determined to ignore Jack’s charms, Maggie attempts to help him unravel the mystery but when their lives hang in the balance she must decide how much she’s willing to risk to save the man she suddenly can’t resist.

So teasingly delicious, I guarantee you will gobble up this sweet murder mystery romance in two bites! Yay for Heather! And you don't have to wait long to get it - Available 5/21/13!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Trumpets Blare!

It's here!!!!
I am so happy to share the cover of POP TRAVEL!!!
The artist did such a fabulous job. Everyone I've shown gets the futuristic, thriller vibe from it. I'm just so excited!!!

available July 7, 2013!
Now you may have seen it on some other sweet blogs - I appreciate this community so much! But I have an extra special surprise that I just got this weekend.
Drum roll.........

My book trailer! Which I won in perfect timing from Brinda Berry. It's so totally wicked!!!
Check it out!!
===>   Pop Travel book trailer   <===

And I apologize in advance for making you sick of me and my book. I have been PT crazy, thinking of promotion ideas, meeting with people, planning my launch party and future signings, etc. It's happening and I can't believe it! But to keep my friends interested in being my friends, I intend to blog about my progress and help others with my experiences - because I know so many who are here with me - and soon will be. It's very overwhelming!

Here are just a few things I've learned so far:
  • Ask and ye shall receive! When I ask questions or ask for help, people are coming out of the woodwork. Blog friends are invaluable, but my IRL friends are stepping up too! I never knew I was so connected! Even a stranger at a local radio station I asked about advertising, I was going to give up because it's so expensive, but the rep was so excited to help me anyway! It's incredible!
  • Don't be intimidated - try anything! I am asking bookstores, book fairs, libraries, etc, if they would consider me for a book signing. The worst that can happen is they say no, and after that first daunting step of opening up and talking to someone - hearing yourself say you're the author, telling them about your book - when that is out of the way, you will see it wasn't so bad and will have more courage to try again, and again.
  • Start early! And don't overdo. It didn't set in for real until I had my cover to show people and get their reactions. When you see the realization in their eyes that they are talking to a published author, that impressed approval, then it's really real. And there is so much I want to do, I feel like I should have started planning earlier... But everything is working out, I will be fine. It doesn't all have to be done before it comes out.
  • Get all the info you can! Ask friends with experience and read up on marketing. Whatever you are looking for, someone else has done it and written about it. Search and you will find it! Some of my best sources are you guys - Donna Weaver, Brinda Berry, L. Diane Wolfe, Carrie Butler, and more!
Well, that does it. There it is. Thanks for coming to have a peek at it! And I'd love to hear where you are in your writing/publishing journey!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Authors R Us - part 1

Time to pay it forward...
I am so excited to be a part of Curiosity Quills Publishing! And I am in some impressive company. So this Friday and again in two weeks, I am Celebrating (thanks for the hop, Vikki!)  my publisher and my new found author buddies at CQ. I have gained a ton of info on marketing and what to expect, just by reading their facebook posts! And their books are unique and exciting!

First, I am pleased to introduce Katie Teller!

Katie hails from Australia and now lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter, and their dog. Working, traveling, and going to school for English and Creative Writing, she takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Katie's first book, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, is an NA historical romance and was just released last month. Here is a blurb about it:

When her sisters are snatched up to be added to the harem of the erratic Pharaoh, Naomi knows they won’t survive, so offers herself in their place. Impressed by her courage, the fearsome Commander Horemheb knows she's exactly what he is looking for…

But the Great Queen Nefertiti despises Naomi, stripping her of her Hebrew lineage, and changes her name to Kiya. With support from Horemheb, Kiya makes the Pharaoh fall in love with her, gaining his favor to conceive an heir, infuriating Nefertiti, who schemes to destroy Kiya. In an intense struggle for the future crown, if Kiya does bear a son, she will need to fight to protect him, as well as herself, from Nefertiti who is out for blood.

Kiya has received many rave reviews. Here is one:

"I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful this book is. 

The female lead, Naomi, is strong and powerful, and doesn't back down. She's exactly what we all want to see in fiction, but didn't feel anything like the author was forcing her to be someone she wasn't. Her actions were always believable and fitting. 

The love in this book isn't limited to one couple - in fact, love is shown to us in so many different people throughout KIYA. Different people, different types of love, different degrees of love; yet all of them powerful, well thought-out, and gripping."  - Jessa Russo, Author of EVER

Here are Katie's links:

And a parting piece of advice from Katie:
Never give up, never compromise your voice. You are what makes the story unique so don't let anyone drag you down. 

And our second CQ author today is:
Matthew Graybosch, author of upcoming science fantasy, Without Bloodshed, Part One of Starbreaker which is set to release July 4th! According to official records maintained by the state of New York, Matthew was born on Long Island in 1978. Questions have been raised as to whether he is, in fact, Rosemary’s Baby, the result of top-secret DOD attempts to continue Nazi experiments combining human technology and black magic, or that he sprang fully grown from his father’s forehead with a sledgehammer in one hand and a copy of The C Programming Language in the other — and he's been giving the poor man headaches ever since!
(Now that's speculative!)

Here is a blurb for Without Bloodshed:
Morgan Stormrider spent a decade killing tyrants, and he wants out. When a dictator’s public accusations make Morgan a liability to his organization, his duty is clear: he must depose Alexander Liebenthal without bloodshed, at any cost.

He just got that cool cover! Love it!
Here are Matthew's Links:
Author website   |   Starbreaker Series website

And a parting piece of advice: Read outside your chosen genre.

Have a terrific weekend! And hug your mother if you can! (virtual hugs, Mom!! Love ya!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hmm... Reflecting on A to Z 2013

Congratulations to all who participated to any extent! A to Z 2013 was like a party! I had a great time and me met a bunch of new bloggers. But now that I'm older, I can't party like I used to. I should have gone to bed earlier... I'm worn out! But we made it so here's to us!
I tackled the list as I did last year, visiting as many blogs on the letter of the day as I could, winding my way through the list, starting each day where I left off and doubling, tripling, even 5x-ing up letters. With life so crazy, I visited less people this year than last, but still 715 (not counting my weekly Sunday visits to my good friends who visited me almost daily! see list below - thanks guys!) Here is a pic of my notebook. And I compiled my journey into numbers...

My A to Z 2013 Stats:
I visited 715 blogs and commented on 405, 57%
Out of those 405,
I really liked 110, which is 27%
85 commented back, 21%
26 new friends follow me, 6%
and I followed 19 (working on visiting back and following more!), 5%

Reasons I didn't comment:
  • no A to Z post for several days
  • too long (I mean, tooooooo long) and no white space...
  • not my taste or interest, couldn't relate
  • too racy or gross for me
  • technical difficulties, kicked me out after a couple of tries
Those reasons vary from person to person, commenting is very subjective. I did make it a point to comment on those with fewer responses, to encourage them to stick with it! If you didn't get very many comments, see #1, 2, and 5 above. But the main reason I believe one would have low numbers is:
  • You must make the first move and go visit! Look at my numbers above, only 21% of the people I commented on commented back, but wouldn't have if I didn't visit them first
Also, I was hesitant to follow if I couldn't find the person's name. I understand those new to this might be shy and not want to shout out their name, but if you want followers, you have to put yourself out there. As a writer, you want your author name to be well known so you can sell your book(s)! And I want to know a little bit about someone before I follow.

Suggestions for A to Z 2014
  • First - Thank you, thank you, thank you, Arlee Bird for hosting this gargantuan blogging event! Hope you are still up for it next year! And all the many helpers who hosted and helped!
  • I loved being a minion! Jeremy was a terrific boss! It was a great idea to break down the list and see who was serious and who was... not. I hope you all do that again next year.
  • The List. The categories were a great idea too. But if there is a way to group bloggers into those categories when they sign up, keeping them separate, it would help those with common interests find each other. We probably wouldn't need that many categories (Writers/Readers, Arts & Crafts, Gamers, Movies, etc) Rachel Harrie did this for her Campaigns.
  • Prizes? I bet regular participants would be willing to offer a prize or two... just a thought =)
Extra shout outs to my wonderful friends who visited on a regular basis:
Fida - Tweeted my posts!       MJ - super star posts!       Heather G - Stormy's bucket list rocked!
Alex - movies & spotlights!       Dana - her artists were inspirational!       Mark - nostalgic comic relief!
Elizabeth S - terrific trivia!       Carrie Anne - fun fonts & flashes!       Christine - another terrific tale!
Carol - Solomon's Compass sweetness!        Sheena - Sacrifice Her teasers!        Julie L - great supporter!
Vikki - total tv mania!       Rhonda - the BEST international travel tips!       Rena - never lets me down!

Congrats again, everyone! Who knows what we'll be doing next year! Still writing, that's for sure!! 
I think my Lazy Housewife needs some videos. Maybe that's my project for next year. I better start now!!

One more note. Here are some events coming up in May!

When Hollywood runs out of ideas, they remake older films. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it fails miserably.Hosted by Alex, Stephen Tremp, Livia Peterson, and Al Diaz.

Rachel Schieffelbein is hosting the Secondary Characters Blogfest on May 22 to support the release of her upcoming book (get it? support?).



Julie L posted about the 30th Annual Colorado Gold Writing Contest of 2013 which is accepting entries from unpublished writers of COMMERCIAL novel-length fiction. Get your novel in the hands of an acquiring agent or editor!

AND LASTLY!


Stephen TrempAlex (again!),  Michael Di Gesu, and L. Diane Wolfe have teamed up for a Blog Hop to remind us of our healthy New Year's resolutions! I need a reboot!




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I'm Exhausted

Welcome to the Insecure Writers Support Group.
I have gotten so much support lately, I shouldn't be insecure about anything. And yet... Seriously. It never seems to end. And the ultimate question for a writer is:

"Will anyone like my work?"

Oh, sure, your mom will like it, or say she does. Same with your friends, even online friends. So you keep sending those query letters, trying to get a bite.

Congrats to those who have! - And - Don't give up if you haven't!

When you do, you should soon have a deal and then the real worrying starts! How am I going to sell this thing? How do I put the word out? What am I supposed to do?

Luckily, we have awesome bloggers, full of knowledge (L. Diane Wolf & Carrie Butler) who dedicated their a to z posts to marketing. I got great tips from them. And Stina is another terrific writing guru source.

My publish date has changed a couple of times, but they say I can announce that Pop Travel is offically going to come out July 7, 2013. Yay! I also have a cover! Can't wait to share it when they say I can! Yippee!!! Excited as I am about these things, my worry this month is figuring out marketing... square one.

And square one is me asking you guys to help me with a blog tour. I didn't want to succumb to the pressure of doing one, but I do believe that's the main reason I started this blog! And I am not doing your everyday blog tour. No Really. I'm not posting every day. My tour will be spread out, maybe last a year. Sound crazy? Maybe. We'll see how it goes. 

I am also planning a live book tour - also spread out. It's expensive! I have already mentioned this to some of my writing friends, now I'm opening it up. If you have recently published or are about to, let me know. I am compiling a list of my writer friends and where they are to see who I can visit and do a book signing event with.

Whoever is interested in either of the above, please email me or put your email address in comments. You all are the best! So so so happy to know you all!

My a to z reflection post will go up on Monday or Tuesday. I'm taking a long weekend! Whew!