Thursday, December 5, 2013

Newsflash

I'm still on hiatus, but I said I might pop in for something important. A friend's book release qualifies. And in this case, three!

Julie Flanders and Lexa Cain both have new releases this week, and they are hosting a blog hop together to celebrate. Julie's The Ghosts of Aquinnah releases today, and Lexa's Soul Cutter releases tomorrow!


You can add 'Ghosts' to your Goodreads here and Soul Cutter here.

There's a giveaway, too, so be sure to check their blogs.


Today is also release day for Loni Townsend's debut fantasy, Thanmir War

Loni is one of my critique partners. Unfortunately, I met her too late in the process to finish Thanmir War, but from what I *have* seen, I can assure you it's worth your time. Loni is a talented writer, and I'm blessed to have her as a CP.





The Earth Clan has declared war and a landscaper is at the dead center of it.

Derek thinks his chronic headaches are the worst of his problems.

He's wrong.

He wakes up in the middle of an unknown forest, surrounded by a couple dozen dead men he has no memory of killing. His only way back to society as he knows it is MaTisha, an amnesic woman with the power to transcend world boundaries.

But going home isn't as easy as he had hoped, not when MaTisha is sought by two opposing armies prepared to do anything to keep her from the other side.

Derek finds himself caught in the center, mixed up with mercenaries and guardians. And now, he's been possessed by a murderous alter ego with a personal mission to keep MaTisha safe. He wants nothing more to return to the life and family he loves.

But his alter ego has other plans.



Add it to your Goodreads and get it free on Amazon today! 

###

Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel. 

By day, she writes code. By predawn darkness, she writes fantasies. All other times, she writes in her head.

People call her peculiar with a twisted sense of fashion, but don't let those understatements fool you. Her behavior is perfectly normal for a squirrel disguised as a human. That's part of being an epic ninja—blending in.

She makes her home in Idaho with her sadistically clever—yet often thwarted—husband, two frighteningly brilliant children, and three sneaky little shibas.

Thanmir War is her debut novel.


Here's where she hides...

 
###

Congratulations, Ladies!!! :D


And Happy Birthday, Carrie Butler. :) 



To celebrate her special day, Carrie has put both
Strength and Courage (Mark of Nexus 1 & 2) 
on sale for 99c TODAY ONLY
If you haven't gotten your copies, now's your chance!

To tweet about this post, click here.


*scurries back into hiatus hidey-hole*


Monday, December 2, 2013

Taking A Break



Two announcements...

Mark Koopmans is hosting an event on Dec. 24th called 50 States of Pray. You can find more information on his blog. You can also follow on Twitter with the hashtag #50StatesOfPray.

I'm taking a break for a while, both to spend time with my family over Christmas and to get some writing done. Save popping in for an important announcement, I'll see you sometime next year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 
:)



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Something Fun

I had an idea for a meme months ago. I stuck it on my list of things to do and finally got it put together when the kids went back to school. With the holidays coming up, I figured this was the perfect time to unveil my idea.



Gah. Not another meme.

*frowns* I heard that.


Untwist your Fruit-of-the-Looms and stop aggravating your TMJ. It's not what you think. I won't ask you to answer 1,011 questions or hyperlink 250,000,000 of your closest friends. This meme is simple. It knows you don't have a lot of time. *smile*


Really?

Yes.


May I present the...



The rules are:
  1. Copy these rules and include them in your post.
  2. Display the blog button, link the person who tagged you, and answer the three questions they asked.
  3. Come up with three new questions of your own; one serious question, one fun question, and one sentimental questionor just use the same ones. We're all busy, right?
  4. Tag three other bloggers and pass on the meme.
See? I told you it would be easy.  :)

I'll start it off...

Question #1 (The serious one)
What's your best piece of advice for surviving the holidays?

Question #2 (The fun one)
If you could be one of Santa's elves, what would your workshop talent be?

Question #3 (The sentimental one)
What's your favorite holiday-related family tradition?


To show I'm a good sport, I'll answer the questions.
  1. My best holiday advice is: Open a special savings account and have a little money taken out of your paycheck every two weeks for a year. Come December, you'll be able to pay cash for Christmas. 
  2. My workshop talent would be: Putting the glitches in the video games. :P
  3. My favorite tradition is: Going to a tree farm, riding on a tractor-pulled trailer, and cutting down a live Christmas tree, then coming home, sipping hot chocolate, and decorating it.

Now it's your turn.
For the first three victims, I tag:


and anyone else who wishes to participate.

 ###


Thanks for stopping by. :)


Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving More Than Thanks

I wasn't going to post again until after Thanksgiving, but a woman always has the prerogative to change her mind, so I did. ;)

Two years ago, my daughter cut eleven inches off her hair and donated it in honor of a family member who was dying of cancer.

This past summer, it had grown to below her shoulders again. I asked her if she'd like to get it cut, citing a shorter style would be cooler in our sweltering Houston climate. She declined, saying she wanted to grow it out and donate it again this November.

Like mothers do, I nodded and agreed, figuring she'd forget or change her mind by fall.
I was wrong.

Last week, we went down to the local salon at daughter's insistence and had her well-past-shoulder-length hair cut to just below her chin. She mailed it off to Locks of Love, an organization that makes hairpieces for children with long-term hair loss from things like alopecia, brain stem radiation, and burns.

Donating is easy ($$ or hair). You just go to the website, print a donation form, fill it out, and mail it in with the hair. (We put the hair in a large zipper baggie, then place that with the form inside a mailer.) The hair must be rubber-banded into ponytails and cannot be bleached or color treated. If the hair is at least ten inches long, they can use it. Pieces less than ten inches and donations of gray hair are sold to offset costs.

My fifteen-year-old can be, well, fifteen. But sometimes she shows me a thing or two about character, selflessness, and generosity.




###

I hope this finds you all having a great
holiday week with your families. 

Happy Thanksgiving. :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Speed Writing (Eleventh hour help for all you NaNo people)

A few weeks ago, I tried something new, and it really sped up my drafting. 

After reading about how--doing basically the same thing--Ava Jae over at Writability Won NaNoWriMo In 9 Days, I thought I'd post this for my writer friends who are struggling to make their word count.


I typically write very clean, meaning I'm a picky polisher in my initial draft. It's closer to publish-ready than most, but it takes me forever.

Besides research, the main thing that slows me down is coming up with fresh ways to describe emotion, movement, facial expression, etc.  I decided to try something different if I found myself really stuck. (You know....when you sit there for twenty minutes, debating about a single phrase or word, and draw nothing but an icky cliche or a total mental blank. :P)  

I started putting a note-to-self (e.g. Show Harrison's outrage.) or a cliched/bad version of what I was aiming for in brackets, and then letting go and moving on. I've left blanks and notes in my WIPs before, but never to this extent. 

You know what? It worked! 

It helped me keep the momentum of the scene, which was good, especially since dialogue and flow of events come pretty easily to me. Now, when I go back to polish, I can open up my emotion thesaurus and other writing helpers and fix all that stuff at once. I think, in the long run, it will save time.


Don't give up. There are still 12 days left. 
You can do it! 
Go forth and NaNo!!! :D 


To tweet about this post, click here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Someone Thinks I'm Sweet

Al Diaz, better known as Father Dragon, bestowed upon me The Sweetest Blogger Award. In fact, he nearly made me cry with the kind things he said.

The truth is, Al has left quite an impression on me. I was thrilled to find his blog and surprised to discover that 'Mother Dragon' was his mother and not his wife. Father Dragon exhibits talent and wisdom far beyond that of most young men. If you don't already follow his blog, you are missing out. Truly.

Abrazos para ti, mi adorable dragon. :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sad news on the blogosphere tonight

Author and editor Nick Wilford lost his stepson Andrew over the weekend. Those of us who know Nick and contributed to the anthology for Andrew are especially feeling the loss.

Kyra Lennon is taking donations for the family via Paypal (kyralennon [at] gmail [dot] com).

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Nick. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG November - The Me I Don't Let You See

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for November.  
For more information about the group, see the bottom of this post.

Alex's awesome co-hosts for November are:

CD Coffelt, Tina Downey, Isis Rushdan, 
and Michelle Wallace!

Please stop by their blogs and say thank you.




I sometimes dislike the tone of my blog, and I've been pondering how I can change it. Other bloggers post encouraging, lighthearted content that makes me laugh and smile...and makes me envious.

If I could stay positive and look at things from a different perspective, I could be like them, too. Problem is, it's hard to have an upbeat attitude when fate keeps throwing you curve balls and you're largely unhappy with your life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Grammar Police Monday - Seize Control of English Usage


Overtake vs Take over
To overtake means to catch up with and outrun, such as in a race.

To take over means to seize power, usually of a business or government.


Oversee vs Overlook
To oversee means to control and manage a process or activity.

To overlook means to forget about something entirely. 


###

Thanks for visiting. :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged in a meme by J. E. Oneil over at Still Writing.

The Questions

What are you working on right now?
A historical romance set in 1850's America, titled Come Back.

How does it differ from other works in its genre?
Hm. Well, both of the leads are virgins, not just the heroine. 

Also, they don't meet in chapter one. The delay was necessary for the story.

How does your writing process work?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Commas Are Not The Antichrist

I feel like ranting about commas, so I'm doing that for Grammar Police today.

Commas give lots of writers fits. I know this. The rules governing some commas make their use optional. I also know this. The problem is, I've seen a trend in fiction of eliminating commas as a way to streamline the proseto the point it breaks rules and stumbles readers.

Not a good idea.

I agree that writers should avoid using unnecessary commas, especially in fast-paced scenes; but, for Pete's sake, don't take an indiscriminate hatchet to them!

The English language needs commas.

Let me repeat: The English language needs commas.

Why?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Calling All Authors

I have a favor to ask.

One of my kids is in theater arts. At a parent meeting this week, the teacher informed us one of the ways we could help was to donate books--used or otherwise. Apparently, they have the kids turn stories into plays for an assignment.

For what it's worth, I don't think they act these out on stage. They just do the writing part to study how to make scripts.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

3:00 AM Musings


Some patients just stick with you.

As I sit, holding one of my four-pound charges, I can't help but wonder about her future. She just finished eating. Her head is resting in the crook of my arm and her eyes are closed. A milk-drunk smile curves her rosy lips. One of her hands pushes free of the blanket and her slender fingers splay open, then clasp reflexively around my thumb.

"You're destined for greatness," I whisper. 

She must be.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Book Tour - COURAGE by Carrie Butler


To celebrate the release of her second book, Courage, Carrie Butler is visiting my blog today with a guest post on interpreting CP comments.

*thinks back over critiques I've sent to Carrie
0_0 
Gulp.  I'm not sure I want to do this. 

Um. Carrie? I know you've been working day and night on guest posts for your tour and all, but can we change the topic to something else...?


*Carrie glares at me with bloodshot eyes and snarls*

Never mind.  
Here's Carrie...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Release Announcements Times Two! - Courage by Carrie Butler & The Vanished Knight by M. Gerrick


As I mentioned yesterday, Carrie Butler's book Courage, book 2 in the Mark of Nexus series, releases today!

Congratulations, Carrie!!! :D

You can find out more about Courage and add it to Goodreads here.

And you can buy Courage here:

Carrie is currently touring with Grapevine Book Tours. She will be visiting my blog on Friday with a fun guest post on the subject of interpreting CP feedback.

Gah! None of my comments are safe!  0_0

**In celebration of Courage's release, Strength (book one of the Mark of Nexus series) is FREE October 15th-18th!**




Monday, October 14, 2013

Grammar Police Monday - Pure Gold


Before I get started, I have to comment on the drawing. 

My daughter is currently taking German. She had to complete a project listing all her family members, including a few details about them (in German, of course). She drew pictures of us, too.

You guessed it. This is me...complete with glasses. 

As my husband said about his drawing, "I wish I was that skinny." :P

So what do you think? Should this become my new Grammar Police avatar?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Blog Tour - Secrets of the Ash Tree by Siv Maria Ottem

To Celebrate the release of her book, Secrets of the Ash Tree, Siv Maria Ottem is taking the Norse Gods with her on a blog tour from October 7th - 14th. Make sure to stop by her blog and see what kind of Birthday Giveaways she is raffling off!

Today, Norse goddess Freya is visiting. This is quite meaningful, actually, because the day Friday is named after her. She is the goddess of love, fertility, and sexual desire. (We'll do our best to keep this PG-13. *grin*)

 
Mouth slightly open in awe, I half walk, half stumble into the most opulent bedchamber I’ve ever seen. Thick velvet draperies frame stained-glass windows, and rich fabrics sweep down from a stately canopy bed and cover its lofty mattress. “What happened to my blog?”

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Does Writing Fiction Make You Talk Funny?


I've been writing fiction for three years, and
I've noticed something.
I talk funny.
Not funny-ha-ha,
funny-different.

In those early days, I wrote the way I always had, then edited later. (Not that it improved my writing much, but humor me here. :P)

As I learned more about fiction writing and honed my craft, I began to self-edit as I write. Now, that lingual self-awareness comes so naturally, it has altered the way I speak.

Has this happened to you?


###

Thanks for visiting. :) 

I'll be hosting Siv Ottem with a special post on Friday. 
Hope you can make it. 


Does writing fiction make you talk funny?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IWSG October - Gone Fishin'


Or something like that. If you're here for  
Insecure Writers Support Group, sorry I missed you. I'm taking a break from IWSG this month. 

See you in November. :)
 

IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list. 




Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

And The Winners Are...

I'd like to thank all of you who took part in Follow Fest - my first blogfest to host, ever. The hop went better than I ever expected, and the response was overwhelming! Not in an unmanageable sort of way, but in an unexpected-number-of-participants sort of way.

Once word got out, people just kept signing up!

There were some speed bumps: the Linky Tools site went down for a while the very first day (*gasp!* I about died. LOL), and a few posts were hindered by technical difficulties, family emergencies, and newbornsboth human and feline. But, all in all, things went swimmingly well.

And that's thanks to YOU.
I wish I could give you all prizes. You're all winners, that's for sure.

It was a fun, busy week and I'm exhausted, but I'm already toying with the idea of doing a repeat next year. So if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. :)

Ready to find out who the prize winners are?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Follow Fest - Day 5 LAST DAY!

Welcome to Follow Fest! 
Today is Day 5, the last day of a 5-day blogfest!!!

I don't know whether to be sad or relieved! :P

Each day, I've posted the Linky list for the current and previous days, so today you'll have THE ENTIRE LIST. (The deadline for entering was midnight last night.

Did you make it in time? 
If not, don't worry. You can still visit blogs on the Linkies.

Now on to the fun...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Follow Fest - Day 4

Welcome to Follow Fest! 

Today is Day 4 of a 5-day blogfest. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time, but not much!  

The deadline for the last Linky is tonight at 11:59 PM CDT.

Each day, I'm posting the Linky lists for the current day and the previous days. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Follow Fest - Day 3

Welcome to Follow Fest! 
Today is Day 3 of a 5-day blogfest. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. :)

Each day, I'm going to post the Linky list for the current day and any previous days. Need to sign up for a day not shown? No problem! 
All the Linky lists are available on the Follow Fest information page. Just click, scroll down, and sign up.

Now on to the fun...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Follow Fest - Day 2

Welcome to Follow Fest! 
Today is Day 2 of a 5-day blogfest. Don't worry. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. :)

Each day, I'll post the Linky list for the current day and any previous days. Need to sign up for a day not shown? No problem! 
All the Linky lists are available on the Follow Fest information page. Just click, scroll down, and sign up.

We had a frustrating couple of hours yesterday when the Linky Tools site went down. Hopefully, all that is behind us. Whew.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Follow Fest - Day 1

Welcome to Follow Fest! 
Today is Day 1 of a 5-day blogfest. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. :)

Each day, I'm going to post the Linky list for the current day and any previous days. Need to sign up for a day not shown? No problem! 
All the Linky lists are available on the Follow Fest information page. Just click, scroll down, and sign up.

Now on to the fun...

Let's all give a running high five to Carrie Butler.
To celebrate the opening of her new business...

My Follow Fest Post


Blog button designed by Carrie Butler

The purpose of this blogfest is to meet other writers and build our platforms.
It runs thru Friday. There's still time to sign up. :)


Fiction or nonfiction?
99.9% Fiction

What genres do you write?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Follow Fest - Time Is Running out!

This is a friendly reminder that Follow Fest starts Monday.

You officially have until 11:59 PM CDT on Thursday, September 26th to sign up for the last Linky (Friday's); but the way the blogfest works, you'll get more exposure the earlier in the week you sign up.

Why?
Because I plan to list a new Linky each day, and also list the previous days' Linkies.

Like this...


You still haven't signed up?

Aw, c'mon. This is going to be fun!
There'll be lots of neat people to meet, and a giveaway, too.

Excuse #1  
I don't know how to pre-schedule a blog post.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Release day! CassaStorm

Today is release day for CassaStormthe final book in the sci-fi space opera trilogy by Alex J Cavanaugh!

Before we go any further, Alex wants you to know that all it takes is leaving a comment on his blog this week for a chance to win a Cassa mug, mousepad, magnet, and swag! 

Alex offered to answer random questions from bloggers for his tour. 
Mine was...

Monday, September 16, 2013

INDIESTRUCTABLE - Support Indie Authors & Literacy



ONLY 99c TO HELP SUPPORT THE INDIE AUTHOR & AN AMAZING CHARITY!
by Jessica Bell

The day I realized I’d been obsessing over my sales figures way too much was the day I closed my eyes and tried to think about the real reason I am an indie author.

Is my primary goal to make money? No. So why do I keep obsessing over my sales stats? I realized it’s because more sales means more people reading my work. What I really really want is to be read. I want to share the one thing in this world I would cut my fingers off for. I know. If I didn’t have any fingers, I wouldn’t be able to physically write, but you know what I mean.

My passion for writing comes with a perpetual replacement button, attached to my side seam, just in case it becomes unraveled, and falls off, after a day gallivanting through the publishing jungle. It can be tough in there, but in the end, being an indie author is OH SO WORTH IT.

This made me wonder …  what’s everybody else’s story?
Then Indiestructible was born.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blog Tip - Making Post Reminders

I've come across several bloggers who have difficulty remembering to post things on time, so I decided to offer a blogging tip today on organizing yourself and planning ahead for posts. While I recommend having some kind of calendar or notebook to keep track of your blog, this tip adds another layer of organization.

(Caveat: This tip is for Blogger blogs.)

When you have a recurring posts, like Alex J Cavanaugh's IWSG or special posts you need to hold the date for, you can create place-holder reminder posts for yourself and save them for later.

  • Just start a New Post
  • Fill in any text, images, and links you have so far
  • Schedule the date and time you want it to launch
  • Then create some kind of title that lets you know what it is when you see it on your dashboard

Since you're putting the post in draft mode, it doesn't have to be perfect.
You'll have a chance to change it and polish it up before you publish.

Here's what one looks like on the Posts dashboard.
Notice it's marked Draft, not Scheduled.


The way to make this happen is to click Close instead of Publish after you click Save.


Don't worry. If you make a mistake and click Publish, just go back into the post in edit mode and click Revert to draft.

One caution: If a post is in draft mode, it will not automatically fire off on the date and time you have set. You have to go back into it before launch time (edit mode) and click Publish. You can do this any time before the scheduled launch. If you have set a specific date and time, that is when it will become visible on your blog.


Just to be clear, if you have NOT set a specific date and time with the Schedule feature, the post will be launched right away when you click Publish

###


Hope that helps. 

If not knowing how to pre-schedule blog posts was keeping you 
from participating in Follow Fest, you have one less excuse. :P 

Thanks for visiting. :)


To tweet about this post, click here.

To tweet about Follow Fest, click here.