Monday, December 21, 2015

#Tips for Surviving the #Holidays


Don't you just love this whole concept? I do!

And I'm happy to have Rena over during her blog tour for a guest post. The poor thing is sick, but she's such a trooper, she wrote me a post anyway. Here's Rena!


Thanks for hosting me on my debut book’s blog tour, Tara!

How to Survive the Holidays: A Practical Guide

As you may or may not know, my debut novel, Acne, Asthma,And Other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon released the Monday before Thanksgiving. I haven’t recovered yet, which got me to thinking about how people always go about the holidays sort of grumpy and crazy, so here’s a post on how to survive the hype without pulling your hair out (You’ll want that hair for the pictures they take at the office party).

Tip one: Be flexible. Look around at everything that everyone is trying to do for the holidays and pick ONE thing. Pick the one thing that really makes you happy, and let all the other things be flexible. Now if you’re part of a family, everyone is going to have a different thing, but even so, that might take your crazy schedule down a couple notches as everyone prioritizes their hopes for the Holidays.

Tip two: Don’t hold yourself to the same standard as your neighbor/sister/friend/Martha Stewart who has been planning for the holidays since June. Those people have a lot invested in this time of year, and if you’re the type to survive the holiday, don’t feel bad that your stuff isn’t as awesome. If you’re looking around this year and feeling left out because those people have organized their family into the perfect carol choir, maybe you should consider building up a bit for next year. Which leads me to…

Tip three: Take notes. If you see someone doing something for the holidays that looks awesome and fun, but you can’t manage to do it this year, try planning for it next year.

Tip four: Smile. If you’re in a crabby line at the store, try to remember that the people who are crabby are having a bad day for a ton of different reasons. Maybe someone lost a job. Maybe their dog died, but they still have to put on Christmas. Maybe their heart is made of coal. Hey, it’s legit, that could totally happen.

Okay, there's more, but you don't have time for that! It's the holidays! Good Luck! 

These are my kinda tips, Rena! Thanks for stopping by!
And here's the info on Rena's fabulous debut...

ACNE, ASTHMA, and OTHER SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE HALF DRAGON
Find it: Amazon  |  Goodreads

Allyson fights acne, not trolls. As an inhaler-carrying member of the asthma society, she just wants to meet the father who turned her mother into a paranoid, move-across-the-nation freak. Now she’s trying to fit in at yet another school, but for the first time in her life, she has a best friend, Beth. When Allyson accidentally spits fire at kidnappers in the mall, she realizes why her father isn’t in the picture: she’s half dragon. Her acne? Emerging scales. Her asthma? The side effects of her dragon’s fire breath. Instead of freaking out, unflappable Beth reveals her own troll heritage and explains how things work with the supernatural creatures hiding within the modern world of smartphones and skyscrapers.

When trolls kidnap a unicorn, Beth gets blamed. Allyson is determined to prove Beth’s innocence and keep her friend off the unicorn chopping block. When they start looking for the kidnappers, they get a call from the last person they expect: Allyson’s father. He tries to warn them off, but he’s been put under a spell by the kidnappers to keep the victims from escaping. Nothing short of death can stop him. Now Allyson must choose between killing the father she’s always dreamed of, or letting her best friend die for a crime she didn’t commit.

About the Author:
Living as a muggle has brought Rena some levels of success such as completing her master’s degree, but always the stories returned, calling her to the keyboard in the dark of night. Now, having built armies from words, Rena has set her sights on world domination, one book at a time.
From her secret base in the wine country, Rena has enlisted the help of her cats, her loyal dogs, and her family―who can be relied upon to hide the launch codes at a moment’s notice. You can find Rena at her blog, follow her on TwitterGoodreads, or find her on Facebook.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Long Road to Ruin

As we enter the final days before Christmas (12 to be exact!) I offer you this game to take a break from all the madness. I found it at J. Lenni Dorner's blog. I had fun doing it and thought you all might too, tho I shortened it for those of us who have less time for games!

It's worth a few minutes and easy, I promise! If you like, post it on your blog to share and pass around. I haven't played a good game of tag in a while. This is how to play:

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag friends who might enjoy doing this as well as the person you got this from.

IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
These Days by Foo Fighters

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Been Caught Stealing by Jane's Addiction

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Let's Get it Started by the Black Eye Peas

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Hammerhead by the Offspring

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Paralyzer by Finger Eleven

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Burn by Ellie Goulding

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Mysterious Ways by U2

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
The Walker by Fitz & the Tantrums

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Paradise by Cold Play

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Not Your Fault by AWOLNATION

HOW WILL YOU DIE?
No More Love by God Lives Underwater

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
The Fixer by Pearl Jam

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
The Great Escape by Boys Like Girls

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Problem by Arianna Grande

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Welcome to Paradise by Green Day

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Price Tag by Jessie J

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Long Road to Ruin by Foo Fighters

I had a few minutes and got a few laughs at the answers - and now I pass it on to anyone who has time and inclination. Make sure you let me know if you do it!

This is also my week to post at the REALLY REAL HOUSEWIVES - Reasons for loving the Season (Mon), Party picks (Wed), and What to do with the kids for two weeks (Fri)

And lastly, I'm excited to say I won 2nd place in a speculative fiction Christmas short story contest. My story was published at Geekdom House with a really cool picture. Here's the link if you'd like to be uplifted by A SUPER CHRISTMAS! Joy to you!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tis the Season for Wishes

Are you keeping up with everything this season?

You'd think after so many Christmases I'd have this stuff down. But no, it always seems to creep up on me. But part of that is because I refuse to start doing most of my Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving. I rebel against trampling my November holiday! And I'm happy to say I finally got my decorations up this weekend - can you believe I was the last one on the block!

I also had a very festive event this weekend. The Hamilton Christmas Gift Show - it was a blast! I got to meet some very sweet people and I sold a bunch of books. But my favorite part was meeting a new fan. A girl from one of the other booths bought BBF for her twelve-year-old brother on Friday. Then on Saturday the boy and his dad came to the event and stopped by to tell me how much he was enjoying the book. And before we packed up, they came back and bought Pop Travel too! It was awesome! Such a warm fuzzy feeling!! I just wish I'd remembered to take some pics...

Now here's some more exciting news and A Writer's Wish List by Tyrean Martinson!

The Battle 
May Be Lost
Because of a Family Secret.

With distracting attention from a prince and her mentors both in harm's way, will Clara be able to trust her team with her family secret as they race to fight the Dark Sisterhood on their terms?

CHAMPION'S DESTINY is the third book in The Champion Trilogy by Tyrean Martinson, a Christian Fantasy series with a strong female heroine and an epic cast of allies and villains.

Clara’s destiny is more complicated than she imagined.


NOW AVAILABLE for PRE-ORDER

Author Links:
Blog - Twitter - Facebook - Amazon - Pinterest

And here is
A Writer’s Wish(ful Thinking) List by Tyrean Martinson


I wish:
  1. My friends and family network would have all I need for proofreaders, every time I need proofreaders.
  2. These teachers, semi-professional editors, and extremely dedicated family fans were readily available - but it doesn’t work when they are all busy, sick, or overwhelmed with other projects.
  3. My proofreading family and friends will work for gift cards, dinner, and a bottle of wine. Again, this worked the first few times around, but won’t work always, in all circumstances.
  4. My book would be so perfectly awesome after three content edits and a simple proofread that it wouldn’t need any more changes. You can laugh with me, now. I don’t think I’ve ever received this wish.
  5. One of my proofreaders would find any timeline issues between books 1, 2, and 3. SCORE! An unexpected proofreader - my dad who reads three to four books a week – found a timeline error. It didn’t feel like a score at the time. I mean, it was late in the game. I expected to have my book out soon. He found a timeline error that no one else saw. So, I delayed my release date to give my book a thorough run-through one more time.
  6. My book will be fun and meaningful to read. The referee is still out on this last wishful thinking wish, but I can still hope.
I think we're all with you on these, Tyrean! Beta readers, Critique Partners and Proofreaders are the best people in the world! Congrats to Tyrean - I hope her series reaches many young readers because I know they will love it!


What would you add to your publishing Wish List?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Where has the time gone? And book #giftideas

I can't believe it's December!
Welcome to this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group. Everyone is welcome!

December usually brings reflection on the past year as the next year waits around the corner. So I'm going to see how I did with my January IWSG "resolutions" post...
  1. Be Shrewd - I think I've done well with this one, sneaking in as much writing and reading as I could this year! How about you? Feel good about how much writing you produced?
  2. Be Definitive - I made some "live healthier" goals for the year.
    • No snacks after 9pm - I believe I did this for the majority of 2015!
    • Eat at least 3 fruits/vegetables each day - need more work on this, but I did better this year than last year
    • At least one form of exercise each day (and I count housework - so win-win) - eh. Have to keep trying!
    • Walk dog at least once a week - a big fail. I think this is doable, I need to focus on it next year! We both need it.
  3. Be Flexible - I've been okay with this, but I need to have a better attitude about it - another thing to work on. Noted!
  4. Be Positive - I started a little page on Facebook for writers to post their writing accomplishments or setbacks. Feel free to join in on it!
  5. Be Content with yourself! I'm content, but I also want to do more, hence the goals.
How did you all do with your goals/resolutions from way back in January 2015? I'd love to hear about something you're proud of from this year!


Today I also volunteered to help out my publisher, Curiosity Quills, by writing an article of book recommendations... In addition, here's are some books I read this year that I highly recommend (sorry there's not more, I'm a slow reader...)
OF BLOOD AND SORROW by Christine Rains
ONE GOOD CATCH by Heather M. Gardner
EFFIGY by MJ Fifield
BELLA'S POINTE by Elizabeth Seckman

And here are some recommendations from my currently reading/TBR list:

POLAR NIGHT & POLAR DAY by Julie Flanders
THE DRAGONFLY WARRIOR by Jay Noel
ACNE, ASTHMA, AND OTHER SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE HALF DRAGON by Rena Rocford

Do you have any books you'd like to recommend as gifts you've read this year?