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Friday, January 30, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things

The amazing Lexa Cain now hosts this weekly meme along with her co-hosts:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Thank you, gals, for helping us remember that it's the small things in life which are really worth celebrating!

This week, I'm celebrating:

1) Brownies! Yep, last time it was cookies, but now, my daughter baked two wonderful pans of brownies. So I'll celebrate those.

2) Cardinals. I love watching those beautiful, red birds dart between the tree branches.

3) Scotch Tape! This one might be a bit surprising, but according to the kids, there's never enough of this in the house for all their cute projects. Where would we be without this simple thing? So, I'm going to celebrate it this week.

What about you? What wonderful little things put a smile on your face this week?

Cover Reveal for Adamant by Emma Adams

I'm a book cover junky. Few things are better than a beautiful, gleaming picture on the front of the door to a new world. Even better when it's a blogger buddy who's bringing it out. Congratulations, Emma!

Today is the cover reveal for Adamant (The Alliance series #1) by Emma L. Adams. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

ADAMANT final front coverAdamant (The Alliance Series #1)
By Emma L. Adams
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 11 March 2015

On an alternative 21st-century Earth in which our world is one of many in the Multiverse, the Inter-World Alliance exists to keep the peace between the worlds, and keep the monsters out.

Ada Fletcher is twenty-one, keeps a collection of knives in her room, and is more interested in fighting than her day job as a cashier. She also risks her life on a daily basis, helping refugees from a devastating magical war on her homeworld hide on the low-magic Earth. But when she’s taken into custody by the Alliance, her unusual magic makes her a prime suspect for a supervisor’s suspicious death.

For Kay Walker, whose family founded the organization, there has never been any doubt that his future is with the Alliance – even if it means dealing with sarcastic centaurs and dangerous monsters in the dark Passages between worlds. But when his supervisor is murdered, Kay discovers that a research project might have been the reason, and faces the choice of whether to ignore his instincts or risk becoming the next target, not to mention digging into the Alliance’s history and memories he’d rather keep buried. And there’s something not quite right about the strange, fierce girl he arrested as a suspect.

The last thing Ada wants is to help the infuriating Alliance guard who arrested her, but it soon becomes clear that the Alliance knows too much about Ada’s offworld origins. More, in fact, than she knows herself. Now she has to choose between loyalty to her family, and helping the Alliance save the Earth – and the Multiverse – from a deadly enemy.

You can find Adamant on Goodreads

You can pre-order Adamant here:
- Amazon
- Kobo
- B&N
- iBooks

Adamant Teaser

Adamant promo

Emma AdamsAbout the Author:
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing speculative fiction. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions and writing fantasy novels, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an improbable number of books. Emma is currently working on the Alliance series, a multiple-universe adult fantasy featuring magic, monsters, cool gadgets and sarcasm. Her upper-YA urban fantasy Darkworld series is published by Curiosity Quills Press.

You can find and contact Emma here:
- Website
- Blog
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Google+
- Goodreads
- Newsletter

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Adamant. These are the prizes you can win:
- a 10$ Amazon gift card

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What's Up Wednesday!

It's time again for that wonderful weekly meme sponsored by the two just as wonderful ladies, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. This hop allows us writerly/readerly folks the chance to keep in touch with each other (and heavens knows I need all the help I can get in this area!). So thank you, gals!  And if anyone else wants to join in on the fun, just head on over to their sites and join the linky.

What I've Been Reading. . .

Not much. I started THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater but just couldn't get into those first pages. I've really been looking forward to reading this one and everyone claims it's amazing, so it might just have been my mood during those days. I'm going to have to give it another go soon.

What I've Been Writing. . .

I'm revising and revising!

What Works For Me. . .

Printing out the entire MS. Although most writing and revising work is done on my computer screen, there comes a point during revisions that I just have to print the entire thing out on paper and hit it with a red pen and pencil. The story reads differently on paper (sounds illogical, but it does). Next step will be to read the entire thing aloud and revise again. It's amazing how some phrases look okay on paper, but when spoken, sound unnatural.

What Else I've Been Up To. . .

Another cold! Seriously. What is up with these viruses? This time my hubs was the culprit (brought it home from work).

Otherwise, things have been quiet. That's two weeks in a row. Kind of makes me nervous. Do I see a hurricane brewing somewhere in the distance? Yep, I'm a true believer of stillness before storms. (And that's fine; I'll just have to dig out my raincoat and rubber boots)

Know what's great for storms?  BOOKS!
The talented Michael Miller just happens to be giving away one set of his TWISTED OAKS DETECTIVE SERIES in paperback form!

I read these a while back and really enjoyed them - perfect for middle grade readers who love a great mystery.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So what about you? Read any amazing books this last week? Tons of my writing buddies have brought some out, so I know there's good ones out there! Fighting a snow storm? Know of a good printer which does need a constant refilling on the ink? And doesn't cost an ink fortune either? Do you read your MSs out loud? What's Up with you?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things

It's Friday and time again for celebrating those small things in life. Thanks to Lexa Cain for sponsoring this wonderful hop and to her great helpers,
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom !

This week, I'm celebrating...

1) Chocolate chip cookies. These are always worth celebrating.

2) Two new calves. At the cattle auction this week, I picked up some really, sweet baby ones... only 300 pound. Teddy bears.

3) Sunshine. We've had a couple warm days and this weekend should bring a couple more.

And what about you? What are you celebrating???

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

18 Thoughts and What's Up Wednesday

Yay! The amazing Jamie Ayres 's final book of her My So-Called Afterlife trilogy is coming out soon, and to celebrate, she's sponsoring a blog hop.   18 THOUGHTS is the title (after 18 THINGS and 18 TRUTHS) and what could be more fitting than listing thoughts that inspire our lives?

For those who follow me regularly, you probably can guess that most of my life inspiring quotes and thoughts originate from the Bible -
Psalm 23 - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (love this one since I was a kid.)
Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the Good of those who love Him...
of course, the ever good Gospel in a nutshell - John 3:16

and there are so, so many more ('cause life bends in so many ways).

BUT the 'thought' I think of most (and I believe I have mentioned it on here at one point) is something my father told me right before I packed my bags and headed off to Europe to start a new life.

There are dreamers,
There are doers,
And then, there are the rarest and most precious of all,
dreamers that do.

Onward bound!
Here's Jamie's book. I've read the first two in the series and can't wait to get my hands on this one! Plus, I love Olga's name. Seriously, who can't love an Olga Worontzoff!

Olga Gay Worontzoff left the Underworld anxious to return to normal, but fate had other plans.
Now she’s caught in a world that’s a mix of familiar and supernatural, torn between past and present. All sorts of bizarre events has her senior year of high school becoming increasingly odd with every passing hour. Things like the new hottie at school reading her thoughts but nobody else’s and her best friend waking up from his coma acting like a completely different person. Now she must confront what she will—or won’t—do to save the lost soul her childhood friend has become and stare down her own perceived inadequacies to face a couple of tenacious demons, figurative and literal.
Everything she thought she knew about reality will require suspension of her disbelief as she walks the line between fear and faith, love and loyalty.
In the end, she’ll realize “normal” in the conventional sense of the word is the one thing she could never achieve.

And here's Jaime!!!

Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches young adults as a Language Arts middle school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. Although she spent her youthful summers around Lake Michigan, she now lives in Florida with her prince charming, two children (sometimes three based on how Mr. Ayres is acting), and a basset hound. She really does have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike her heroine, she’s thankfully not named after either one of them. She loves lazy pajama days, the first page of a good book, stupid funny movies, and sharing stories with fantastic people like you. Her books include18 Things and 18 Truths. The last installment of her trilogy, 18 Thoughts, will be available January 27, 2015. Visit her online via Twitter, Facebook, or at www.jamieayres.com.

Today should really be named 'Awesome Jaime Day!' because another awesome Jaime (Jaime Morrow) and the just as amazing Erin L. Funk sponsor another weekly hop to help us writerly/readerly folk keep in touch with each other. 

What I'm Reading. . .
This last week, I blasted my way through the rest of the SECRET CIRCLE series by L.J. Smith. And I've now...finally!. . .started THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater.
What I'm Writing. . .
I got back notes on the next chapters from my CPs, so I'm going to go through those and do some serious MS editing this week. I'm determined. See if my muse feels the same way.
What Works For Me. . .
Knowing someone is waiting to see the MS done, so I have to finish up the edits and get it out the door. Whining and staring at that screen just won't help anymore. 
What Else I've Been Up To. . .
I got hit with another bug this last week, fever and all. It's really time to hit the orange juice or something because Mr. Virus, I've had enough! (Think he'll listen???)
Otherwise, it's been quiet. Nothing out of the ordinary.The still before the storm? Probably.

And what about you? Any quotes that have changed your life? What have you read lately? Getting any serious writing done? How's life treating you? 
In other words, what's up?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's Up Wednesday!

It's time for another What's Up Wednesday! This is a weekly meme for readers and writers, which allows us booky folks to touch base with each other and say 'What's up!' Thanks to Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk (our amazing and never tiring hosts). Of course, you're more than welcome to join in the fun. Just head on over to their blogs and sign up on the linky.

What I'm Reading. . .

I've been an enormous bookworm this last week. I've read:
Secret Circle by L.J. Smith. After seeing some of the series on TV, I was curious how the book was. It's okay...an easy read and SO much different than the show.
Then, I hit The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell, which is a fun mixture of the dancing princesses and the Hades/Persephone's myth.
Then I read the entire Splintered series from A.G Howard. The world descriptions are amazing! Book 1 (Splintered) was fantastic; Book 2 (Unhinged) was fine, but I missed the other world; Book 3 (Entangled) was dark and so packed full of plots and sub-plots that I'm going to have to hit it again just to weave out the last details; and the little novella that goes along with this all was soso - not necessarily worth reading.
AND THEN I hit Unnatural Selection by Victoria Escobar, an enjoyable science fiction story about a genetically engineered girl, who decides she wants a life outside of the lab and escapes. It dives into tension and chase scenes but eases up as the book goes on.

*takes a deep breath*

What I'm Writing. . .

A little here...a little there... With school just getting back into swing (and all that reading), it's been  kind of slow, but I'm tweaking a MG Sci-fi that's been in and out with betas and CPs. I've also redone the first chapter of a tween fairy tale retelling, and I started another MG story that fits nicely along with the one out on sub.

What Works for Me. . .

If I only knew! This last week, it's been more of a 'force myself to sit down and write'. Once I get typing, I love it and hate to break away (which always comes too soon because life calls!) But getting myself to open the file and attack those words has been somewhat of a battle.

What Else I've Been Up To. . .

We had a lovely ice storm this past weekend, which meant an indoor party for all. I have a gigantic blanket tent in my living room and another blanket fortress around a space heater in my dining area. It's been a constant diplomatic struggle to be allowed to have our chairs back just for meal time.

I packed away most Christmas decorations. The bare tree is still standing though. My hubs always has a difficult time letting it go. He just loves the holiday season.

So what about you? What books have you read lately? Get any writing done? Have you ever seen the world after an ice storm (gorgeous!)? 'What's up' with you???

Friday, January 9, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things

The wonderful Vikki over at Viklit has sponsored this weekly meme with the sole purpose of reminding us that it's the small things in life which make the difference. But after 2 years, she's retiring (THANKS FOR THE LOVELY TIME!!!) Now, the just as wonderful Lexa Cain is stepping in. YAY! So the celebration goes on!

Thanks to her co-hosts!

LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge
Katie @ TheCyborg Mom

This week, I'm celebrating. . . (I know we're supposed to put 1 thing...but this week, I still have a few. Great week?)

1) Several books from my TBR list were at the library! So, I've been in reading heaven this week....The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Splintered by Howard. Luckily, my hubs found a book he can't let go of this week too, so I've been able to bury myself in my reading chair every evening.

2) The fireplace! Gosh, it's been cold outside. What would I do without this wonderful source of warmth???

3) My son bought his first car. A 1994 Camero (for anyone out there who knows what that is). It's black and spiffy looking but needs some TLC. He was hoping to start on it this week, but the cold scared him away...can't say I blame him.

4) IWSG! I love that time of month...but if you take a peek, you'll notice I'm still behind. My internet is so slow lately! My comments are coming, they just take a while *sighs*

And what about you? What wonderful things happened this week? Find a left over candy cane stuffed below a ornament? Dig out a terrific, wool scarf? Maybe you found something warm to snuggle to???????
What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


I am a writer, and I am insecure.

I just had to say that...

Today, it's time for the monthly meeting of one of the most awesome support groups ever! This is the brain-child of the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh, and has long since spread from a simple bloghop into a group with many possibilities! Go ahead and check out the webpage if you haven't yet (especially if you're a writer) because you won't regret it.

Thanks also goes to Alex's wonderful co-hosts: Elizabeth Seckman, Lisa Buie-Collard, Chrys Fey, and Michelle Wallace!

I used to make writing goals every January, ones that involved not only finishing up a certain amount of manuscripts but usually determined to reach a certain number of publications that year too. Guess what? I never reached those goals. I was lucky to even get one item crossed off. And usually, I'd sit here feeling stressed and guilty that nothing turned out the way I'd hoped.

So, away with that! (Here's where I throw a pile of papers out the window and watch them flatter away in the wind...dramatic!) This year, I'm heading for one single goal.

Yep, one. I can reach this one as easy as touching my toes....*ahm* Well, touching my toes has always been a thing. Let's just say I know I can fly over this goal's finish line blindfolded.

Ready???  *drum roll*

To write.

That's it. No specific word counts. No specific amount of MSs. Just words. Pure and simple.

And as for a publication...*coughcough*. . .we all know how uncooperative that end of things can be.

So, where's the drive in simply writing? Shouldn't we strive to reach beyond our bounds? Sure. And secretly, there's a wonderful list of stories I'd love to get done this year. But finishing them or not isn't the main purpose because life tends to bend and play and twist in it's own unexpected ways making it maybe impossible or pointless to get specific stories (or even a specific number of them) done.

The joy of writing. That's why us writers write. That's why we start, and it's something so easy to lose track of.  That's why, this year, I'm determined to stick to the plain, simple goal.

I'm going to write.

(Maybe I should make that into a T-shirt...
        ....and a banner.....
             .....and a poster....
                ......and a coffee mug...)