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Friday, July 31, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things!

Hello, Friday! Yep, another week has passed on by, leaving us with only one thing to do: look back on it and see what small things we can celebrate. 

It's time to Celebrate The Small Things!!!

This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself.  The purpose: to help us remember all those wonderful, little things that put a smile on our faces this past week. (and big ones too.)

You can sign-up on the linky below!

This week, I'm celebrating. . .

1) A couple wonderful afternoons with my kids at the creeks. With all the hot, humid weather, we're in water mode, and there are so many fun swimming holes around--with ropes one can swing out over the water on, rocks to climb and dive off of, and pathways waiting to be floated down. My favorite part--it's cool!

2) Ice cream. We've been eating tons of this.

3) Cave tours! My son's been wanting to go to the Fantastic Caverns and ride a jeep through the caves. It was on the pricey side and not one of the best caves I've seen, but he loved it, and that's all that counts.

4) Library Summer Reading Program Prize Day! The kids look SO forward to this, and with the prizes our library gives out, who can blame them. Wow. They received free tickets for ice cream, french fries, books, another cave tour, zoo, a Walmart GC, more books and even toy prizes. Our library might be small, but they know how to lure those kids in.

5) College course sign-up! My oldest got his schedule worked out, so he's basically ready to go.

What about you? What put a smile on your face? Did you feel a refreshing breeze? Take a wrong turn which ended up being more than right? Discover something interesting in the back of one of your cabinets? What small (or big) things are you celebrating?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Elodie Nowodazkij's A Summer Like No Other

Yay! A great blogger buddy and very talented author, Elodie Nowodazkij, has released a new book. I'm so excited to be a part of her Blitz and help her flash the pretty thing around. Plus, she has a video of herself speaking about the book, a free excerpt and a giveaway!
All kinds of awesomeness going on today. . .

by Elodie Nowodazkij
A Broken Dreams Novella
YA Romance
118 pages

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s the biggest player of them all.
They shouldn’t be together. But this summer’s just too tempting.
Sixteen-year-old Emilia Moretti’s goal for the summer is simple: forget her brother’s best friend—Nick Grawsky—ever existed. It should be easy: He’s spending his summer in the Hamptons, adding girls in tiny bikinis to his list of broken hearts. Guarantee he won’t be telling them they’re like his little sisters. This summer, Emilia won’t stay awake at night thinking about him. She’ll need flawless ballet movements to have a shot at next year’s showcase, and she’s finally ready to search for her birth parents. But when Nick decides to stay in the city, Emilia’s resolve disappears in a pirouette. Maybe it’s the spin they needed to be together. As long as she doesn’t get stuck believing in happily ever after…
Nick is tired of pretending to be the happy, let’s-have-fun guy. His father wants him to change his career from professional dancer to…lawyer. He needs to put all of his focus on dancing to prove to Daddy Dearest he’s good enough to make it big. And he may have a case of the bluest balls in history courtesy of Emilia. She’s off-limits: The bro code with Roberto even forbids the dirty thoughts he has about her. Besides, he’s not boyfriend material. He only has time for flings, for girls who don’t expect much, for girls he doesn’t want to kiss goodnight. He knows he should resist her, but he’s not sure he wants to…
At least for this summer.
It’s going to be a summer like no other.

Buy it now :) (Special price of $0.99 ends on Sunday August 2nd)

And here's a wonderful excerpt to enjoy!

[Excerpt from Chapter 6 – Nick]

I’m so deep in thought I almost run into a gorgeous girl pushing a little boy.
“Sorry,” I mutter.
And she smiles. “It’s okay.” She’s got an accent. German, maybe? She must be a nanny—she’s with two other girls, and they continue their conversation as I walk past them. They’re bitching about the families they’re working for.
My nanny probably did the same while I was growing up. She probably told all the other nannies how awful I was. According to the psychologist we all saw as a family, I was only trying to get attention.
Maybe I should tell those nannies that the moment will pass. Kids only try to get attention from one source for so long before they get their fix somewhere else. My chosen method is pretty healthy:  no drugs, no drinking…only all eyes on me while I dance. And girls.
Girls, girls, girls.
Actually, Nanny One is pretty hot, especially with the accent. She has short light brown hair, and her big boobs are almost spilling out of her blouse.
She must feel me staring at her, because she turns around. But before I can work the charm I notice Em carrying a box into a moving truck, all by herself. The box is almost bigger than her and her face contorts under the effort. She’s going to trip and hurt herself. If she hurts herself, she won’t be able to dance. If she can’t dance, she’s going to be depressed. If she can’t dance, I won’t see her as often and I’ll be miserable.  
“Are you trying to prove something to someone?” I ask her as I relieve her of the heavy box.
She breathes heavily. “Are you trying to get it on with Katrin because Jen is out of town?”
“Katrin?” I slide the box on top of another one and turn back to her.
She points to the girls I was admiring a few seconds ago. “The nanny you were about to hit on.”
“Katrin. Is she American or…?” I waggle my eyebrows.
“She’s German.” She raises one finger at a time as she enunciates the rest super slowly. “She’s here for the summer. She loves going to Central Park and she doesn’t understand why she has to work fifteen hours a day while the mom is a stay-at-home mom. Oh, and she likes girls. So, nice try.”
“Did she hit on you? Oh please, tell me she did. I am getting the best girl-on-girl images in my mind. You. That girl, Katrin. A ballet studio. With all the mirrors. A kiss. Or two. Or more...”
She punches my shoulder. “You’re so dumb. No, she didn’t hit on me, I met her at Starbucks the other day and we started talking.”
“You’re talking to people now, not just hitting them?”
“And you’re losing your mojo. First, Jen who escapes to France before your hot date, and then you almost hit on poor Katrin, who doesn’t want anything to do with you.”
She’s kidding me. Me, losing my mojo? I don’t think so. I stare at Em, at her long legs, her full lips, and I gently tuck a strand of her wild brown hair behind her ear, my finger slowly caressing her cheek.
She sucks in a breath and I bend down, until my lips are at her ears. “Do you want to test that theory?”
“What theory?” She doesn’t move, and I’m not even sure she breathes. My entire body reacts to hers, and I can’t remember what I wanted to prove. I’m under her spell.
“Hey bro!” Roberto yells from the stairs. “Thanks for coming!”
Em retreats at her brother’s voice, muttering something I can’t hear, but the slouch of her shoulders is a tell that she’s disappointed. My hand automatically reaches for hers, wanting to comfort her, maybe even wanting to see if she’ll take the risk of her brother seeing us, wanting to test myself too. It’s nothing but a brief touch, a brief brush of our fingers, a brief hurricane of feelings.

And a special treat. . .
Elodie herself!!!


To celebrate the release of A Summer Like No Other, I have set up a giveaway with pretty special prizes
(including a leather bracelet from Chloe + Isabel)
You have mannnnny ways to enter and you have an entire month to do so!
Link to participate: http://smarturl.it/ASLNOgiveaway  Open internationally.
Thank you SO MUCH!!!
Other books by the author:

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat. She's also a serial smiley user.
Connect with the author
Facebook reader group (chat with the author, early excerpts, ARCs opportunities, giveaways…) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/954159761294820/
Newsletter (Exclusive bonus scenes, regular updates, videos, giveaways…) – http://elodienowodazkij.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=4fe2ebb3f95df52e0954e0044&id=f404024751

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ready. Set. Write!

Another week is over, and that means it's also time for another update of Ready.Set.Write! What's that? Well, it is a super summer writing intensive sponsored by AlisonKatyErinElodie and Jamiewhich helps us writers not to fall into complete summer laziness and actually get some writing done. We cheer each other on, strive for goals and write whatever we can while eating ice cream, swimming in the sun and simply enjoying summer. 

How did I do on last week's goals?

Write two chapters .....Nope, crash burn on this one! 

After spending last week with intensive editing to get a MS out the door, I let tons of regular life things slide. This week, I ended up playing catch-up on life. But I did read 5 books for reviews and discussed my WiP with my family. But writing itself? Not a word.

Goals for this week?

Blblblblblbblb....   Let's say, write 500 words. Lame? Perhaps, but school starts up again soon and there's still a fairly big list of things my kids want to do this summer. So I'm concentrating on that and keep my writing goals low.

A favorite phrase/line from my story that sums up what I wrote/revised. . .

Idea composing. 

The biggest challenge I faced . . .

Catching up with the rest of life!

Something I love about my MS. . .

The possibilities. Oh, and the wonderful image my daughter put in my head about one of my characters during our discussions. I have a six foot, very solid, dark man who I lovingly deem in my conversations as the Fairy God-Bro. My daughter wants me to put a tiny pair of pink, fairy wings on his back. Now, wouldn't that be an odd sight for a burger flipper?

So what about you? I bet you got more writing done than I! Attack those words or did they attack you? Heading into some last goals before the end of the summer? 

How's your writing moving along?

Cover Reveal for Tara Tyler's Simulation!

To go with the cover reveal, here's a bit of writerly advice from Tara Tyler...

Friends are invaluable. True friends tell it like it is. If they have time to read your book, they'll tell you. If they don't want to, they'll tell you. But if they want to and they feel up to critiquing it, you've found gold! Hearing input from an honest beta reader gives an author necessary information. Try to get one or more!

It's finally here!! I give you the taunting cover of SIMULATION!

SIMULATION by Tara Tyler
Release Date: September 14, 2015

In 2082, androids are an essential part of daily life. Some are helpful, some would make better toasters, and some are so human-like they're creepy. Back in Atlanta, Detective Cooper's latest client has him searching for her boyfriend who she thinks was replaced by a simulation, an illegal clone android. The guy also happens to be a popular new congressman.

To make matters more frustrating, Cooper keeps crossing paths with his ex, FBI Agent Geri Harper who is looking for the same guy. As Cooper closes in, Geri is kidnapped. But when she resurfaces in Washington and goes on a killing spree, he knows it isn't her. Now under suspicion himself, Cooper must find the real Geri to prove her innocence, not to mention hunt down the powerful villain behind it all. Never a dull moment.

Re-released July 1, 2015

In 2080, Detective J.L. Cooper thought he could avoid pop, until he stumbles onto a video of a traveler who turns to dust. With help from the neurotic, genius “Creator” and a beautiful Southern charmer, Cooper has to expose the deadly glitch and shut it down or die trying. No problem.

Available now!
Amazon ~~~ B&N ~~~ Goodreads

Tara Tyler has a loud voice, loves to help others, and is ever forgetful. That's why she always writes things down, sings, and teaches. She has no idea how she became a writer, but as long as the characters and stories are flowing, she'll never stop! Tara is also the Lazy Housewife, one of the Really Real Housewives of America - a new blog dedicated to doling out tips and advice on how to economize time and money for a happier life.

Twitter ~~~ Facebook ~~~ Blog ~~~ RRH

Also by Tara Tyler, MG/YA Fantasy series, Beast World,

Only a few days left for the POP TRAVEL giveaway!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things

Yes! Yes! It's Friday! What a week. Whew!
And now, it's time to look back on it with another episode of Celebrate The Small Things!!!

This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by the amazing Lexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself.  The purpose: to help us remember all those wonderful, little things that put a smile on our faces this past week. (and big ones too.)

You can sign-up on the linky below!

This week, I'm celebrating:

1) Getting my MS out the door! This one dragged with edits and rewrites. . .probably because I had a TON of rewrites. But now, it's gone and I'm doing a huge happy dance.

2) Going out to dinner! To celebrate that MS (this one really was a relief), we went out to dinner. Usually, that means Pizza Hut or McDs--we don't have a huge selection in our small town. . .or the surrounding next 45 minutes. . .but there is a touristy place that we hadn't tried and hubs wanted to go there. It was yummy! And wow, were those portions monstrous.

3) Butterflies! All over the ground are small butterflies. Red and brown ones, light blue ones, yellow ones, and every now and then there are big black ones with bright blue spots on their wings. They dance around the feet where ever one goes.

4) My daughter's cheerleading squad is going to State! They took 1st at divisions on Monday. It was the first time I'd seen such a competition (my daughter just joined the squad beg. June) and wow. Just wow. Those kids flip and jump and twist...three...four back handsprings after another and a twist on top of it. And the coed teams are amazing. Those girls fly! Actually, I'm glad my daughter is too tall to be a 'flyer', It'd make me nervous to watch her plummet back to the Earth from such heights.

And those are my happy moments this week. What about you? Ready for Fall to march in? Find a new swimsuit? Buy some new shoes? See a pretty, little bird? Jump in a rain puddle? What wonderful things put a smile on your face this past week?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ready. Set. Write!

Weekend's over. . .so sad, but that also mean it's time for another update of Ready.Set.Write! This is a super summer writing intensive sponsored by AlisonKatyErinElodie and Jamiewhich helps us writers not to fall into complete summer laziness. And this summer seems to really be tough on the writing end.

How did I do on last week's goals?

- write second chapter, maybe a third on my WiP. - Nope, not done. My beta got back to me (yay!) and it's been a writing frenzy on those edits! I'm almost done and this thing will be out the door tonight. . .or tomorrow morning. So yep, count those goals met!

Goals for this next week?

With my manuscript off to agent hands (and crossing my fingers she'll like it), I'm finally going to attack my Fast Food Princess WiP head on!

- Write two chapters

A favorite line from my story or phrase/word that sums up what I wrote/revised. . .

More emotion, smoothing things out. . .Lol! Rewrites never end. That's one thing I've learned.

The biggest challenge I faced. . .

The same as always - time! This week I spent 4 days on the road, driving here and there and everywhere. A small part of me is actually not sad that school starts again in a few weeks.

Something I love about my MS. . .

My characters have grown on me. After several comments from readers and lots of contemplation, I decided to take something away from one of my bigger characters, a toy of hers. And part of me felt sorry for her. I know she's pouting that I did it, but I had to for moral compass sake. 

I wish I could give her a lollipop instead.

And what about you? How did your writing go?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Celebrate the Small Things!

Yep, it's Friday, and time for another episode of Celebrate The Small Things!!!

This is a weekly blog hop sponsored by the amazingLexa Cain, and co-hosted by L.G. Keltner from Writing Off the Edge and myself.  The purpose: to help us remember all those wonderful, little things that put a smile on our faces this past week. (and big ones too.)

You can sign-up on the linky below!

This week has been a crazy-sauce week. . .you know, those weeks where one spends most of the time driving from one spot to the other and isn't sure what one got accomplished? But here's what I'm celebrating:

1)  A cute, 50's cafe! We went to a small town near here named Ava, where they have an old fashioned cafe. It was fun to jet back in time, especially with the prices. Scoop of ice cream is 25 cents (with 15 flavors to choose from). Large soft drink is 25 cents. And hot tea is 5 cents.  Although in the video, everything was still 5 cents...yeah, you heard the right...now, its 25 cents. Inflation ;) But my pocket book still did a happy dance!

2) (FB followers will have seen this one ;) ). A hawk landed on my patio to enjoy a mid-day snack but got his foot stuck in the process. It took me an hour or so to free him (not an easy bird to mess with). He was beautiful.

3) Evenings! Now, with the weather really heating up--gosh, I hate sweating all of the time--it's so nice to go outside in the evenings and simply sit there a few minutes with a iced drink and enjoy whatever cooler temperatures drift by. Lol! Okay, usually these 'sit' sessions are lucky to last more than 5-10 minutes, but I take what I can get.

And what about you? What wonderful things put a smile on your face? A rainbow in an unexpected place? Find a super book? Get a kind word from a stranger? What are you celebrating?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ready. Set. Write! Update

Oh my! It's Monday again and time for another update for Ready.Set.Write! This is a super summer writing intensive sponsored by AlisonKatyErinElodie and Jamiewhich helps us writers not to fall into a complete summer laziness. Plus, it's a ton of fun.

Did I meet last week's goals?

- finish WIP outline - Sort of.  I was working on it and realized that with the basic frame already set, I want to wing the rest of the details. So we'll call the basic skeleton quits for now.

- rework several chapters - reworked the first and am rewriting from there, since the story is going to be a little different than first planned.

- finish that garden furniture - it's painted. And I started sewing the cloth part, but my sewing machine broke!!! Until I get the spare part, it's done with that goal. So I painted fence posts and did weeding instead. Grrr.

Goals for this next week. . .

If beta notes come back, the completion of changes and sending that MS out the door is this week's goal. If not. . .

- write second chapter, maybe a third on my WiP.

A favorite line from my story or a phrase/word which sums up what I wrote. . .

In a flawless wave of motion, I stuffed the burger into the bag, glided by the heat lamps for a lovely French fry toss and snatched up the waiting cola inclusive straw and lid. If packing an order could be scored, this one earned a perfect ten.

The biggest challenge I faced. . .

Getting my mind into tweeny Princess mode and out of scifi clones. Disney is my netflix friend right now. (And Daredevil, but that isn't very princessy....or?)

Something I love about my MS. . .

It's tweeny, carefree and sweet fairy taley, while hitting a real historical twist that's been long forgotten by most. So there is some fun research involved - yippee!

What about you? How's your summer writing moving along?