Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Liebster Blog Award


A Blogging Award!


I have been gifted a Liebster Blog Award by Carrie Sorensen of Chasing Revery. How exciting to post this and the images below! Thanks Carrie!




Liebster means "dearest" in German and Google says it means "favorite"…put it all together and it's an award for a dearest or favorite blog. That is mighty nice!

The broader idea behind receiving a Liebster Blog Award is to pick about 5 other bloggers who are up and coming with less than 200 followers and pass the award on to them…a little networking to draw attention to everyone's blog!

**My thoughts (free to share): People are super busy with their lives including any writing/marketing projects. I understand 100% and respect this. So no one should feel obligated to do this and no one should get upset if someone they send this to doesn't participate. Personally, I am happy to recommend other great blogs by a variety of authors plus this makes an interesting post for my own blog!** J

These are the "original rules":

1. Thank the giver who gave the award to you and link back to their blog.
2. Reveal your top five picks for bloggers and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog with your posting similar to this.

Hopefully the people you’ve sent the award to will forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!


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My top blog picks are further down the page…

**If you have won this award already, that's awesome! I'm still keeping you as a blog to check out!**
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NOTE: ABOVE, I posted what I believe to be (after researching online) the original rules for the Liebster Blog Award and found an additional image. But when Carrie sent ME the award, the rules had several (fun) changes added to them, which she was simply following the suggestions from the person who sent HER the award. I have that alternate version BELOW. My suggestion for those I give the Liebster Blog Award to (if you are interested in participating), is to choose whichever option you have time to work on.

So, you have either the original/short version posted above or the longer version below with the additional steps (which do take much more time). If you are short on time but like the concept, just follow the original rules above and do not worry about the extra steps below!! If you want to get more elaborate, like I did, then choose the following:

These are the "alternate rules" (longer option):

1. Thank the giver who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
2. Reveal your top 11 picks for blogs/bloggers (this version--no limits on how many followers they have).
3. Copy and paste the award image on your blog with your own posting similar to this, making your own changes as necessary.
4. Share 11 facts about yourself.
5. Answer the 11 questions sent to you.
6. Come up with your own 11 questions for the next round of people who you give the award to…and they can choose to answer if they wish.
7. Then pass on the award to those 11 bloggers you've picked by leaving a comment on their blog about the award you're giving them. Include your link back to your blog…so they can see what this is all about.

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Passed Award to These 11 Bloggers –

1) Nighthawk Short Fiction  - A BLOG dedicated to the art of short story writing in the areas of surreal and imaginative fiction in the tradition of The Twilight Zone.
2) Dana's Blah Blah Blog - Fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal writing, paranormal investigations, travel and desert musings.
3) SK Yule – Paranormal Romance Writer - a little bit of everything from writing/author links, paranormal, erotica and contemporary romance excerpts to random thoughts on many different subjects.
4) Beth Fehlbaum Books - a writer, teacher, survivor of childhood sexual abuse, manager of an eating disorder, and advocate of those who have not yet found their voices. I write contemporary YA fiction and interview other authors.
5) CHASTITY'S PLACE -Erotic and Romantic interviews, reviews, and blog posts by author Chastity Bush.
6) Nicole Zoltack - writes fantasy, paranormal, horror, romance, historical (medieval), contemporary; for adults, YA, MG, and PBs; novels, short stories, and flash pieces.
7) Cheryl Bradshaw Books - A Place to Embrace our Love of Books...where Cheryl blogs about books and all things Cheryl.
8) Aric Mitchell - horror genre--slashers, monster movies, twist endings, and anything else that goes bump in the night.
9) Karly Kirkpatrick - Young Adult Author in a Paranormal World.
10) Self Publish or Die - Create Your Dreams, Emily Walker.
11) Writing with Kristine Cayne - Twisted secrets, extreme passions, and deadly desires.

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11 Facts About Me

1. I'm an only child. I guess that's what they still call it. No brothers, no sisters. Very bored as a teenager during summer vacations, staying home by myself.
2. I have a sweet tooth. Mmmm…chocolate, pies, cakes, cookies. But I do not bake anything. And try not to buy much of the high-calorie stuff.
3. I have a tortoiseshell cat named Jessie, after Jessica Alba.
4. I don't particularly care for westerns – movies, books, etc.
5. When my hair was cut super short my high school freshman year, I did NOT ask for it. The beautician did "her own thing." I cried.
6. I do not have one single houseplant. And I don't do any gardening.
7. My husband and I would like to move to Montana.
8. I cut my own hair and have for most of my adult life. (I am a licensed beautician, although no longer practicing as of 2 years ago.)
9. I have no idea how to use a sewing machine.
10. I broke my collarbone in 8th grade (or was it 7th?) while playing "keep away" with a ball and several other kids…another girl (my size) rammed into me and I fell to the ground…was unconscious a few seconds…came to and discovered my collarbone was broken.
11. I am a full-time author and writer. No other jobs…at least for now. I've published two young adult, paranormal thrillers. Am also a web writer and prepping to offer desktop marketing.

~~~~~

Carrie's 11 Questions for ME-

1) What is your favorite movie from the 1950's or before?
"The Wizard of Oz"

2) Which band do you most wish would come back after 'disappearing' or retiring?
Journey is the first that came to mind.

3) What is your favorite book that you don't think many people would know?
"Draculas" by Konrath, Crouch, Strand, & Wilson

4) What song is stuck in your head right now? (Because you know I just put one there - sorry.)
"Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey

5) How many animals do you have? How many do you wish you had?
One cat. No more.

6) What is your favorite type of cookie?
Macadamia Nut (but give me any type & I'll devour it).

7) What place do you never want to go back to because it's so perfect in your mind you don't want to ruin it?
Our Kansas road trip. Many interesting places, believe it or not, for Kansas! But no need to return.

8) How many paces from your computer place to the fridge?
8 paces.

9) Did you actually have to count, or did you already know?
Turned, looked at floor and started estimating a foot length at a time to the fridge.

10) How old were you when you no longer believed in Santa Claus?
Young…about 1st grade.

11) Did someone spill the beans or did you figure it out on your own?
The teenage babysitter told me.

~~~~~


My 11 Questions –

1) Coke or Pepsi?
2) Pizza or Chinese Food?
3) Vampires or Werewolves?
4) Have you ever gone to Comic-Con or something similar?
5) Favorite TV shows?
6) Do you prefer paper books or ebooks?
7) Name one pet peeve.
8) Do you like to cook?
9) Do you live in a big city, medium sized city or small town?
10) Do you normally go to the theater to watch movies or wait till they come out on DVD?
11) What's your favorite type of music to listen to?




Whew! This wiped me out, but I feel a huge sense of accomplishment in my networking ability and making connections. Hooray J

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What is a Great Read?


What is a Great Read?

The answer to that question will vary tremendously from one person to another. Of course the phrase, "a great read", refers to an awesome book you loved reading. Most readers have several answers, not simply one reason that makes a book stand out as a winner for them. 


Here is my list of what makes a great read specifically for me. They are in NO particular order.  I'm sure you'll nod your head in agreement with some of my answers. Very likely, your favorite books will come to mind as I trigger memories from those stories. Isn't that cool how certain books will do that to you?!

A great read for me is when/if:

>>I "feel" for the characters, especially the main character (usually the protagonist). 

>>I continue to think about or replay scenes from the book after I've stopped reading and have gone on to do something else. 

>>I worry about the characters. I'm concerned with what is going to happen to them.
  
>>A sad or horrific, emotional scene makes me cry, then thumbs up! I WANT a sad point in the story to make me cry. 

>>A funny moment makes me chuckle or smile.
 
>>A frightening moment makes me tense up, my heart race and I feel like I'm about to explode. 

>>A sexual moment makes me…well, you get the point… 

>>I hate to put the book/ereader down. I want to keep reading (even if I know I must take care of something else: go to bed, eat, pee, etc.). 

>>I get upset when my husband interrupts my reading, and then I have to re-read the last few sentences to get back into the scene. 

>>I usually read two books at once. Never used to do this until about a year ago when I decided to read my ereader while walking on the treadmill. And I have a paper book sitting on the coffee table, but not always. I've really made a switch to ebooks over the last two years. Anyway, during free time (which isn't often) I can choose between the story I'm reading on the ereader or the paper book. Whichever one I choose over and over again, is definitely considered the better (good) read between the two. 

>>I "try" to keep reading during commercial breaks of a show I'm watching. 

>>I fantasize or visualize myself as one of the characters or even just an "extra" who is experiencing whatever is occurring in the story.
 
>>I'm so into completely understanding the story, certain points, whatever, that I re-read sections to make sure everything sinks in (I have ADHD – so I tend to have to do this often anyway). 

>>I can visualize locations, scenery, places as if I've actually been there. But - I do not like when an author overloads you with details about anything. I will skip or skim that part of the page.
 
>>I've finished the book and am filled with delight but at the same time I feel depressed, lonely, empty inside…and it's NOT because the book was bad (obviously – if I also feel happy), but because it was awesome and I will miss reading it, miss the people (characters), and am wishing the story wouldn't end. For the books that are part of a series, I will eagerly seek out the next one (or make a note about a future release), providing I hadn't just finished the last one!



What do you consider a great read? Do you prefer series or stand-alone books? Do you read more than one book at a time? I'd love to hear from you!



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Experience With "A Bad Read"


I've been invited to be a Guest Blogger at Nighthawk Short Fiction today. Click here for the direct link.

Here is a teaser of my article:

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A BAD READ: WRITING LESSONS LEARNED

     It's happened to everyone at some point. We start reading a book and soon discover, something doesn't feel right. It sucks.

     But do we stop reading the tripe or continue on…trudging our way through it, determined to finish it no matter what? At some point you realize, as you whisper to yourself, "I am on a quest. I'm going to get through this thing if it kills me."

~~~~~~~~

Now you'll have to jump over to Russell Huneke's blog - Nighthawk Short Fiction - to finish reading the article! Enjoy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Process of Imagination in Writing - Guest Blog by Russell Huneke


I have a treat for everyone today! The following is a Guest Blog Posting by Russell Huneke. Be sure to hop over to his site for greater details on his writing. Links are at the bottom. Enjoy!


The Process of Imagination in Writing
By Russell Huneke

The process of writing is one of those mystical things that you can try to explain in simple terms, yet always ends up becoming more than the sum of its parts. You have all the tools you need as a writer, that is to say you have the computer and keyboard (or if you're old school the typewriter...or GASP, the pen and paper. Whatever works), the desire, and the most important tool of all (for any fiction writer, at least)-the imagination! That's the engine in the car. That's the guts that makes everything GO. Without that, you're just coasting toward the abyss, my friend. 

So what brings the ideas? What makes that imagination chug like a well oiled machine? The answer is, for me at least, the ability to take a mundane situation and make it exciting. 

I wrote an earlier post on my own Blog about "Mining for Ideas", and I still think it's valid here. We all know that writer's block is that little devil that comes to visit us now and again and steal inspiration away. He can be a royal pain in the you know where.  The best way of averting writers block is to keep information flowing and to keep observant about things. 

One method I use is to take things that are totally different from one another and put them together, for example I was reading something about Goblins one day while I was passing by an elevator and the two aspects came together with the tried and true WHAT IF tool that many writers employ and I wrote a very short story about being stuck in an elevator with a goblin hiding above the ceiling trap. It wasn't any award winner, but it was an amusing idea that I felt a need to write. That method often works for me, because it takes aspects that may normally be prosaic and turns them into something interesting. It also helps very much in breaking the back of writer's block. 

I also believe in blasting out whatever is in my head as fast as I can, so I can at least get it down on paper or out of my mind because I just can't tell you how many good ideas I had and lost because I didn't take the time to write them down.  You can always edit later. 

These are just a few of my techniques on the process of imagination. I would be interested to hear what your thoughts are, and what it takes to get your fingers moving over that keyboard. Hope this was of some value!

Kind Regards,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My (pretend) Comic-Con Schedule of Events


My (pretend) Comic-Con 2012 Schedule
Thursday, July 12 through Sunday, July 15, 2012
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Notice I wrote "PRETEND" schedule of events! This is my fantasy, my fake trip to Comic-Con and which events, panels, signings, etc. I would try to attend. This was fun to go through the full listing/schedule of events and pick out my favorites, check the times and try not to clash with other programs and stuff I was interested in! Boy, if I was actually going, I'd be wiped out by the time it was over but thrilled to death and floating high on a cloud.

What brought this idea up...I watched "Teen Wolf" last night. Something screeched in my brain and I remembered some mention from somewhere about Comic-Con and "Teen Wolf". So, I Googled Comic-Con and went directly to their site (link below) and had a blast reviewing everything offered.

Official Sites:  http://www.comic-con.org/
http://mysched.comic-con.org/

Oh how I wish I could go...*pouty lips*. BUT, you can have fun pretending at the mysched.comic-con site, too, or at least see what's scheduled to go down. Several TV stations are set to air coverage (some live, some previously recorded) from the convention. I believe G4, EW, MTV, and several others will broadcast the exciting news. Here's is my plan of attack if I were going. And seriously, you need to visit the website and see how much stuff is going on there. It's insane! Sometimes there are 20+ things going on all at once...let alone all the booths set up to browse by. Anyway:
The Hobbit


Thursday, July 12

10:15am
 TheOneRing.net: The Truth About The Hobbit

12:45pm
 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2

2:30pm
 MTV's Teen Wolf

3:45pm
 The Walking Dead

6:00pm
 The Science of Science Fiction: Canon Fodder

8:00pm
 Zombies, Vampires, and Werewolves on Trial: The Forensic Psychiatry of the Dead, the Undead, and the Unlucky


Teen Wolf
Friday, July 13

10:00am
 Comic-Con How-To: How to Create a More Realistic Fictitious World

1:45pm
 Bones

3:30pm
 Epic Fantasy War

4:15pm
 Entertainment Weekly: Powerful Women in Pop Culture (aka Women Who Kick Ass!)

7:30pm
 Resident Evil: Damnation Worldwide Trailer Premiere, 7-Minute Sneak Peek, and Filmmaker Q&A


Saturday, July 14

10:30am
 Hot Town: Faeries in the City: Urban Fantasy

1:00pm
 TV Guide Magazine: Fan Favorites

3:00pm
 Being Human

3:30pm
 The Vampire Diaries Screening and Q&A

4:30pm
 True Blood Panel and Q&A session

8:15pm
 Lost Girl


Sunday, July 15

10:00am
 Fringe Screening and Q&A

11:15am
 Supernatural Screening and Q&A

1:30pm
 What's Hot in Young Adult Fiction

2:15pm
 Buffy Turns 20: Celebrating 20 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

2:45pm
 Sons of Anarchy

4:00pm
 15 Years Since Philosopher's Stone: Harry Potter Fandom in 2012

And then I would collapse :)

You know, even though this was a fake trip, it was still fun! *Sigh*...maybe next year the real thing?...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ebook Price Lowered on Unknown Scent

My publisher has lowered the ebook price on my second book in the Werewolf Series - Unknown Scent - to $4.99. The first book - Unknown Touch - already had the ebook price lowered in January to $4.99. The ebooks can be found at Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes and Noble for the Nook. Also, print versions are available at both locations. I have links below.

Unknown Scent - Werewolf Series - Book Two 



Here is the synopsis:

Danger awaits Kara and her friends on unfamiliar territory when their covert operation goes bad. Werewolves, a vampire, psychics and black magic witches face-off in several fast-paced battles of good vs. evil. Time is running out for The Liaison team. They must locate the witches' hideout and prevent a sacrificial ritual before it's too late and all beings suffer the consequences. But major shocks and turmoil cause self-control and aggression issues within Kara's circle of friends. A gift Kara receives proves priceless in a life or death situation. Her psychic powers of mental manipulation and mind-reading are instrumental to the survival of others and herself. New allies are formed; not all are human. Throughout the mayhem, Kara's internal battle remains in limbo over who she truly loves the most: her best friend who is a psychic human or her boyfriend who is a werewolf. A choice needs to be made that could be life-altering. Especially as she continues to delve into the unknown.


Here are the direct links to Unknown Scent ebook format. And of course at both destinations, you'll be offered the choice of the print version if you prefer it and links to the first book.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

So if you've been sitting around, salivating and tapping your fingers for the book price to drop - well, here you go! Time to snatch it up and do a little summer reading!