Monday, September 15, 2014

A WINNER!!! and other good things to share...

I warned all of you lovely people that a random commenter from my post with Charlie Holmberg would be chosen to win a paperback copy of The Paper Magician, and the winner has been found.
*drum roll*
And the WINNER is.... PATRICIA T.
Pat, if you can email Charlie at she will get the book to you!
Congratulations Pat! You're going to love it!

Also, I just wanted to share that I get to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary this week! This is a pretty exciting milestone. Part of it feels like a great accomplishment while another part feels like it really hasn't been that long. Kind of funny how situations can make you feel many different ways. So Happy 10 Years to Mr. LC.

AND... I've got my tickets bought for The Maze Runner! WHOOT!!! I'm totally stoked for this movie. It looks like they've done a great job with it. I hope it's true. I hope it's true!

What's new with you? Any exciting news to share? Are you a Maze Runner fan?

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Paper Magician ~ Ready for Your Reading Pleasure!

I am uber excited to have Charlie Holmberg visiting with us today so we can share the release of her novel, The Paper Magician. *squeals!*

I'm sure most of you know Charlie, but in case you don't - I've asked her 4 fun questions to show you how incredibly fun and awesome she is. Ahem...

1. A penguin walks through your door, right now, wearing a sombrero. What does he say, and why is he here?
Well, after I’m done screaming, scrambling onto my desk, and trying to figure out what on earth is going on, I imagine he’d ask me directions for Bear World and mumble something about me being “specist.” XD

2. What do you think about when you are alone in your car? *I hear Jaws music playing* but this shouldn't be too scary for an author to admit, right?

Uh… honestly, most often it’s probably singing techniques. XD I’m not a singer, but the best time to practice is alone in the car, driving 70 mph so you know no one can hear you, ha!

Unless I have news radio playing, then I’m probably thinking about government problems. Out loud. With the occasional dirty thought toward people driving while on their phones…

3. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why did you pick them?
Oh man, I suck at celebrities. I can’t put names with faces to save my life…


Ellen DeGeneres as my mom and Jim Gaffigan as my dad. Everyone should know who these people are. XD I’d pick them because our household would be filled with hilarity, but still have a strong value-base. Ellen is always inspiring others to be kind to one another, and Jim Gaffigan is a family-man with Christian roots. Done and done.

4. And last but not least... what kind of motivation keeps you writing? Do you have a favorite inspirational thought or quote?

You know, I’m not one to ask for inspirational quotes. I’m a red personality, which means I’m super anal and bossy, so I honestly just keep myself writing. I’m fortunate in that I’m not very good at procrastinating.

But one quote that I can definitely share in regards to writing is from Galaxy Quest: “Never give up, never surrender!”

Ahh! Such phenomenal answers. Thank you so much for joining in the fun!

And onto the blurb...
Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she's bonded to paper, that will be her only magic... forever.

 Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous that she could have ever imagined - animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner - a practicioner of dark, flesh magic - invades the cottage and rips Thane's heart from his chest. To save her teacher's life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane's still-beating heart - and reveal the very soul of the man.

Um... tell me that doesn't sound FREAKING PHENOMENAL!!!??!!!

Probably as phenomenal as the writer...
Homegrown is Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie with three sisters who also have boy names. She writes fantasy novels and does freelance editing on the side. She's a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukelele, and owns too many pairs of glasses.

Find her...

Also... one random commenter will WIN a PAPERBACK copy of The Paper Magician from Charlie!!! WHOOT!
 A HUGE CONGRATS and THANK YOU to Charlie!!! Anyone else love books that have magic?  Do you hate when people drive while they're on the phone? - cause I totally do!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Productivity & Organization - Friends or Foes?

_0_ days spent writing.
_0_ words added to my MS.
_6_ days reading a good book. 
No writing for me this week. I was down after having a minor surgery so I tried to get caught up on some critique work! Critiquing can be such a fun job. I love reading new books that you know will be on the shelf some day, and you think to yourself... I read that before it was even published! Kind of a neat feeling. 
This week I will be finishing up the second book I'm critiquing, running to soccer games for another tournament, getting family pictures taken with my husbands side of the fam, doing homework, running around fundraiser items, going to cheer and gymnastics lessons, and writing! My goal is to write at least one day this week cause it's a pretty jam packed week.

What I'm working on right now is becoming productive! In order to do that, I have to get myself ORGANIZED!!! I feel like this entire summer has been CHAOS! It's horrible! I am really looking forward to the kids going back to school because it will give me time to accomplish some things. However, I can't blame it all on them. Productivity is still possible when the kids are home... especially if you organize your time! 

A few tips for improved productivity:
  1. Make a schedule
  2. Declutter
  3. Set goals
  4. Reward yourself
  5. Use your time wisely - even moments spent at gymnastics practice and cheer can be spent writing!
  6. Be flexible - if something pops up, don't let it get you down. Roll with it, then get back on track.
What are you working on this week? What are some tips or ideas that help you be more productive?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Following Dreams...

_2_ days spent writing. This is moving up for me!
_1941_ words added to my MS. Not too shabby. I won't complain.
_3_ moments of euphoria. Not only did I find time to write but I finished finals for my class and got to throw my daughter a princess birthday party. Whoot!
_0_ moment of frustration.
_3_ days reading a good book. LOVE my reading time! Have you ever noticed how reading good books not only helps you write better, but it's motivating! I love that!

What a week this has been. I finished up finals for my class, found a little spare time to write, time to read a bit, and I even watched a movie. Mostly, I put together a princess party for my little one. It was fantastic. Elsa and Anna came from Arendelle just for us! What could be better? It was absolutely magical.
Today, I get to spend celebrating my daughters "actual" birthday, not just her party. It will be an interesting day, but probably wonderful too. Kids are fantastic. Our plan was to go swimming, but I don't think the weather will be cooperating, so we'll see what Plan B ends up being.

I finally took time to watch the movie, Noah. Worst.Movie.EVER! Okay, maybe not ever, but it was pretty bad. I tried to ignore the bad reviews because I thought it really had potential. The storyline was awful. I highly recommend you don't waste your time. You won't like Noah, and you won't like the story. I won't say it didn't have a couple good moments, but it's not worth it at all. I swear, when the movie ended, my jaw hung open as I tried to comprehend how ridiculous and horrible the movie was.

In other news... I have a new job! I turned in my notice at the school, and I'm now doing books for our farm. I did this before, but they are putting more responsibility on me and I will be working from home and doubling up on some of my school classes. This was an extremely difficult decision for me. I love my job at the elementary school. I love teaching and working with students. But, when I finally complete my degree I'll have a full time job with benefits and my own "official" classroom! Dreams, right! This is one of mine and working from home will help me accomplish it faster. Also, it helps that I will have more time with my kiddos and should find more time to write. Then I might be able to accomplish another dream... publishing a novel!

So HIP HIP HOORAY for having dreams and the hard work and sacrifice it takes to make them a reality!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Playing Catch Up

I have to apologize for not posting yesterday. I didn't even do my Monday Milestones - so I'll make it quick. No writing this past week. Sad, yes. I did, however, manage a lot of walking while carrying chairs, umbrellas, soccer bags, and water bottles. As well as a lot of cheering and a bit of heckling referees. (It had to be done.)

Now I am so excited to have a week home. I absolutely love soccer tournaments, but we've had 3 in a row and I'm ready for a small break before the next one. I have time to catch up on writing, laundry, house cleaning, homework, and over-all sanity. I do have finals due the next two weeks so they'll require some focus, but I should still be able to find some writing time.

Also... a HUGE shout out to two fabulous people - David Powers King and Michael Jensen! They just revealed the cover for their debut novel, WOVEN, and it's absolutely fantastic!
Congrats Gentlemen!

Also, I decided I would go see The Fault in Our Stars. I wasn't going to go see it. Not that I didn't think it would be good, but because I didn't want to cry. Well, I decided I shouldn't pass it up and I'm glad I didn't. Fantastic movie. I bawled like a baby and had a headache afterward, but it was worth it. I also almost had to yell at the teenagers sitting behind us who somehow thought it appropriate to talk through the entire thing and kick our chairs. GRRR. It's almost as bad as making out in Schinder's List!!! O-well, it's over and no teenagers were harmed (even verbally) in the process.

What have you been up to?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Souless by Crystal Collier ... Amazing Cover Reveal

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! I'm sure you've been seeing this fabulous cover popping up around the blogosphere, but just in case, check this out...

Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.

SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

What people are saying about this series: 

"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer

"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX

"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend†(a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

COMING October 13, 2014

PREORDER your print copy
Sign up for Crystal Collier's newsletter to receive release news and freebies.

FANTASTIC, right? I'm so excited for this. Hopefully you've had a chance to read Crystal's book, Moonless. WOW. I had no idea it would be so spooky. What a fun, creepy, and thrilling ride it takes you on. Congrats Crystal! I can't wait to read Soulless!

Monday, July 14, 2014

No Title From Me Today... I'll Let You Pick It!

Have you ever opened your post and thought, "What in the heck should I title this thing?" That's how I'm feeling right now. Everything seems bland. It could have something to do with the migraine I'm fighting, but who knows. 

This past week was full of soccer tournament fun. My son was a guest player for a team and they won first place! It was awesome! He even scored when taking a penalty kick. We were so excited. He usually plays defense, so it was fun to see him put one in the net.
On top of that, we were pretty stoked that Germany won the World Cup! WHOOT! Yep, if it couldn't be the U.S., we wanted it to be Germany! This girl has German blood! It was an awesome game, and a bit intense. Not to mention, that I love looking at HOT soccer players. *fans self* It was an awesome goal by Goetze that won the game in double over time! GO GERMANY!!!
And as for my Monday Milestones:
1_ day spent writing. I know... I know! But it was a holiday!
_1600_ words added to my MS. Made a couple small tweaks to add to the plot.
_4_ moments of euphoria, because soccer ROCKS!
_1_ moment of frustration - totally outside of the writing biz. Let's just say I'll be having surgery soon.
_2_ days reading a good book. This is sad. I love my reading time!

So, what would you title this post? What are your writing goals for this week? Who were you cheering for in the World Cup?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Supa-Fab post featuring SIDELINED, by Kyra Lennon - Oh YEAH!

I'm thinking that all of you are Kyra fans, because well... you're all smart and awesome like that. Plus, once you've read one of Kyra's books, you just can't help yourself ~ you're HOOKED! And honestly, if you give me soccer and sexy men, I'm good to go! Two of my all-time favorite things and lets face it - they always come packaged together.
Today I have a brief flash-interview for Kyra and then we'll show you all the fabulousness of her book, SIDELINED!
I've given Kyra a word and she has been asked to respond with the first word that pops in her mind. Here we go:

SOAP - Wash
TRICK - Treat
HOT - Steamy ;)
YUM - Cupcakes!
RED - Wine (lol)
SWEAT - Shower
SOCCER - Balls

Yep, I got her to say "balls" in such a short amount of time! Impressive, right?
Now, I've asked her to give us three characters from her book (her choice), and give us ONE word to describe that character! Here's what she shared:

Hee hee, this was a little more challenging than I expected!

Bree Collinson - Sunny
Radleigh McCoy - Sexy (this one was easy!)
Miguel Vega - Dependable

I LOVE IT! And I totally agree with McCoy being "sexy"... and yummy... and my favorite!
Oh goodness, my thoughts have run away with me. I will continue in my dream world while you guys get acquainted with Kyra and Sidelined.
Blurb: At the age of twenty-one, Bree Collinson has more than she ever dreamed of. A handsome husband, a fancy house, and more shoes than Carrie Bradshaw and Imelda Marcos combined. But having everything handed to her isn’t the way Bree wants to live the rest of her life. When an idea to better herself pops into her head, she doesn’t expect her husband to question her, and keep her tied by her apron strings to the kitchen.

Isolated and unsure who to turn to, Bree finds herself falling back into a dangerous friendship, and developing feelings for the only person who really listens to her. Torn between her loyalty to her husband and her attraction to a man who has the perfect family she always wanted, she has some tough choices to make.

While Bree tries to figure out what she wants, a tragedy rocks the Westberg Warriors, triggering some dark memories, and pushing her to take a look at what’s really important.

About the Author:

Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she's not reading, you'll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.

Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 7, 2014

Please Come Kidnap my Inner Editor

Last Monday I had to vent my frustrations, so today we're all about the "POSITIVE!" And my happy moment from this week was getting my Google Friend Connect to work again! Wahoo! I've had some people emailing me that they couldn't get it to work and allow them to follow me so I'm excited to have it up and running... I think! 
_1_ day spent writing. I know... I know! But it was a holiday!
_1600_ words added to my MS. Not a ton, but I finally feel like I've got a grasp on this story and the characters. That always makes me happy.
_3_ moments of euphoria, because I think fireworks should count!
_1_ moment of frustration.
_3_ days reading a good book. I won't count the days I've fallen asleep after one sentence. Gosh, this has been a LONG week!

I have to say, life is looking up. I'm feeling more motivated that I'm MOVING FORWARD! Yes, it's a slow pace, but it sure beats standing still. Sometimes I still feel a little bit like this though...
But who can help it. Plus, I had awesome things like my sons soccer tournament, parades, BBQ's, and fireworks to keep me distracted. I'm okay with that. Fireworks are totally worth it. The 4th of July is easily my favorite holiday.
And this week, I'm hoping to be a little more focused because I had a harder time doing my homework than I did finding time to write. I finished it and everything, but it was all crammed in at the last minute. Not the best approach for a successful grade. And by successful I mean an A!

And that should give you a little insight to part of my writing troubles. Too high of expectations for a FIRST DRAFT! I have the hardest time turning off the inner-editor and just getting the story on the page. It's ridiculous. It's like I want to critique and edit as I go and I don't think that's the best approach for me. Right now I'm working hard to just get the story out and reminding myself that I can and WILL edit LATER!
So, how was your holiday - for those of you who celebrate the 4th? Do you have trouble turning off your inner editor?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Frustration SUCKS!

I don't even want to post today because I feel too frustrated with my writing. Ugh. Do you ever feel like you just... suck? That's kind of where I'm at for the moment, and I don't really love it. I swear, I have writers ADD! However, as time has passed I've learned a couple things, and one of those things is that these frustrating days will pass. DON'T GIVE UP! Right?

So here are this weeks stats:
2- days I found time to write this week!
2180 - words written. (Not huge, but not too bad.)
1 - moment of euphoria.
too many- moments of frustration (which I explained above).
6 - days reading a good book, AND critiquing a good book! 
I have come to realize that being accountable keeps me going. My numbers and progress may not be huge, but it keeps me from not getting anything done, and I like that. It's always good to move forward, right?
 Also, if you noticed I am suddenly "following" your blog... AGAIN, blame it on the new email. I switched my blogger info to a new email and now I have to re-follow all of you! I'm trying to get caught up, but it takes time. Just don't want you thinking I "un-followed" you at some point. That wouldn't be cool and I love you too much to do that!

And, I am currently reading Moonless, by Crystal Collier, which is a very creeptastically, cool book that makes me sleep with a nightlight on. Yes, I am rockin' the nightlight these days and it's totally worth it!

What are you reading? How do you overcome frustration?

Monday, June 23, 2014

WINNER, Milestones, & Other Stuff

I've had a pretty decent week for myself as far as milestones go. At least, it's been much more productive than my last few weeks have been, which makes me happy.
4 - days I found time to write this week! (small miracle for me!)
2600 - words written. (Not huge, but not too bad.)
1 - moment of euphoria. (I'm excited about this book & the characters.)
1 - moment of frustration. (Sometimes I still feel so far behind.)
6 - days reading good books! (Yes, that's plural! I love finally finding time to read, and good books inspire me to write!)

Also, the WINNER of a paperback copy of Michelle Merrill's book, Changing Fate, goes to Rachel Schieffelbein!!!
Congrats Rachel!
I will be emailing you soon so I can put your book in the mail! You'll love it!

Now let's play catch up:
  1. I have been trying desperately to get my house put back together after trying to put my daughters in separate rooms. It's much more peaceful, but a freaking mess! We should get the last bed on Tuesday, so I'm looking forward to that. Now I just need to find a desk so I can get the new "office area" organized. One of the girls moved into my office.
  2. I spent more days writing than I did on homework. I'm just not motivated with homework right now. I'm still doing good and getting things done, but I'd like to be a little more on the ball. However, I'm excited about my writing progress.
  3. I learned that when visiting someone in prison you should NOT wear an under wire bra. It will set off the metal detector and you'll have to go find a pocket knife in your car to cut out the under wire before you can be allowed to enter (assuming you get through the metal detector without any other issues - be sure to keep the mini pocket knife in the car. That wouldn't go over well). That or find a store in a timely manner and buy a new bra. 
  4. Something FUNNY - One of the guards during "visiting hours" was reading a Tom Clancy book. It was awesome. I couldn't help but laugh. 
So, how is your writing progress coming? What are you up to? Learned any weird life lessons lately?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Torn Canvas Blog Tour with Donna K. Weaver

I am so excited to be part of Donna's blog tour. She is amazingly talented and a fantastic friend. I wanted to do a quick highlight of her newest book, Torn Canvas, and follow up with a fun little interview.
Here's the Blurb:
Modern-day pirates took more than Jori Virtanen's friends; they stole his face. Not only does twenty-four-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Jori struggles to make a new life for himself as an artist while evading the press. They expect a hero, but he knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast.

Olivia Howard's given up a normal life for her job, and the sacrifices are finally paying off. The twenty-six-year-old talk show host's ratings are heading to the top of the charts. Her dream is to make a difference in people's lives, but the studio wants mind fluff - like interviewing hot model Jori Virtanen. When Olivia learns the guy helped rescue passengers on a cruise excursion from kidnappers, she knows this is the story she needs to make her case. The only problem is the hero was injured, and now he's disappeared.

The more Olivia learns about the man behind the scar, the more intrigued she becomes. But Jori is no girl's happily ever after. Once she finds him, Olivia has to free his heart and help heal the beast.

Find Torn Canvas:

Now for a quick interview with Donna:

1. How about a quick flash interview to get warmed up? I give you a word, and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind.

ROCK - Wizard
Harry Potter geek, here. This is my favorite Wizard Rock group and one of my favorite songs: 

CUT - Words
WHITE - Space
LAKE - Powell
SMILE - Don't worry, be happy
BOOK - baby
EAT - healthy
2. And I'm always curious about authors when they have multiple books out. Do you find it hard to keep up or do you find yourself more motivated? How do you keep yourself going and doing such a great job?
Keep up, as in my reading of those books? I've decided to accept what I am: a slow writer. I have some author friends who put out five to seven books last year. I can't do that. It takes time for the story to simmer, even once I have the first draft written. My books do tend to involve a lot more inner conflict than some of these others, and they are in different genres. I also work full time. That day job is a real time suck. lol
3. What do you have in store for your readers next? Anything you can tell us about, yet?
I am currently working on the third book in the Safe Harbors series. It will star Marc, the brother of Lyn (the main character in the first book A Change of Plans). Marc becomes friends of Jori from Torn Canvas. The working title for Marc's story is Swing Vote. While ACoP and TC are very much companion novels, happening during generally the same span of time (though TC takes the reader beyond where ACoP ended), Swing Vote takes place a few years later. Confused yet?

Hope's Watch is a novelette that bridges A Change of Plans and Torn Canvas. Anyone who's read either of those books will know who Elle is (Lyn's best friend), and it tells how she met the man she eventually marries. 

There was an epilogue that my editor thought I should cut, so it is the beginning of what will be a short story bridging Torn Canvas and Swing Vote. My goal is to have it ready for release late this year or early next year.

I did slip a Safe Harbors character into my Ripple Effect Romance Novella book, Second Chances 101. There's a character, Samantha, who is demanding her own story, and her life will merge into the lives of the Safe Harbors folks.

I've also written a YA portal fantasy I hope to get back to editing. And that SciFi trilogy I have nearly a third done ...

About the Author:
Author of the Safe Harbors series and Second Chances 101, Book 5 in the Ripple Effects series. A wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, and karate black belt.

Find Donna on: 
Blog | Amazon Author Page Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Google+

Thank you for sharing with us today, Donna, and congratulations on your book!

And... for those of you haven't had a chance to enter the GIVEAWAY to win a copy of Changing Fate, by Michelle Merrill, you can do so HERE!