Tuesday, December 31, 2013
When I think back on 2013, I can see struggles and successes. My husband and I have had financial hardships for almost our entire marriage, but this last year was especially difficult. We had job disasters, unexpected troubles with home and cars, increasing health insurance payments that we pay ourselves, and other personal things that I won't get into. However, the good things have a way of outshining the bad, at least when I let them. Our second nephew was born in Jan. I can't believe he'll be a year old in a few weeks! My youngest brother got married to a great girl. I've self-published three books and have been able to put many hours into writing, I got a new job that, despite being terribly monotonous, allows me to work from home. I'm not sad to say goodbye the 2013. I have high hopes for the coming year and can't wait to get started. I don't really like to use the words "new year's resolutions". They are often associated with failure. I do, however, like the word goals.
Today's Topic: Goals for 2014
10. Make stuff to sell on my etsy shop. I still have my hourglass pendants that I plan to add, but I think I want to do crocheted scarves too. And maybe headbands.
9. Try something new. This isn't a specific thing. Just something I've never done before.
8. Experiment with new and unique recipes. I love to cook and my husband is adventurous when it comes to food. I think I can put those two things together. It might be a disaster, but trying could be fun.
7. Get in better shape. I'm not overweight, but I'm not super healthy either. Exercising has not been high on my priority list in a long time. We have a treadmill that needs to see more action. I can do it.
6. Paint and draw more. I love to art. It is second only to writing on my list of favorite activities. But I haven't sat down with my oil paints in a long time.
5. Play the piano more often. Like #6, playing the piano is another activity I love, but have neglected. My parents gave me their piano when I got married. I used to play everyday. Now I go months without touching it. If I want to keep the talent I've worked so hard for, I need to keep working on it.
4. Keep my home cleaner. I have never been a tidy or organized person. And since I'm home most of the time, I have no excuses. (though I try to blame Pinterest and Netflix)
3. Have family/friends over for dinner once in a while. Our condo is not large and, as I mentioned in #4, not very tidy. But I think it would be fun to do some dinner parties.
2. Be nicer. That's not to say I'm not already a nice person. I like to think I'm very nice. But I don't normally go out of my way to go the extra mile. We've lived in our condo for 4 years and I don't know very many of our neighbors. People move in and out all the time, so it's hard to keep track, but I've never gone to door of a new family/person and welcomed them to the neighborhood. That's something I think I can work on.
1. Finish writing at least two more books throughout the year. I'm hoping to have book 2 of my Vessel series done and ready for April. I'm not sure what the other book will be at the moment. Something awesome, probably.
I want to thank all of you who have purchased my books, who have let me know how much you like them, and those who keep coming back for more. Have a safe New Year's Eve and a great New Year!!
Feel free to add any of your goals for the new year in the comments.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
I have some cash from Christmas and I'm about to go on a hunt for some cute new boots. I really like boots. I have about 6 pairs already, but I think I can fit a few more in my closet. I have a coupon for Burlington Coat Factory for 20% off one item. (Wahoo!) They usually have some nice boots. I'm crossing my fingers. I also plan to stop at a local thrift store for some tops. I adore thrift stores. We have a ton of them in Utah. Seriously, who could pass up decent clothing at such cheap prices? If you couldn't tell, this is a rambling post. I didn't plan anything because all I'm thinking about is new boots.
My giveaway is over and I've sent emails to the winners. I was planning to pick three winners, but since only four people entered, they all get to be winners. I'm just nice like that. Thanks for entering!
There are only a few more days to use the discount code for my paperbacks on createspace.com. The individual links can be found here. And the ebook of Soulless will soon be enrolled in Kindle's Select program which will include some free download days in the future.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
It's over already. How does it go by so fast? Nevertheless, we had a great Christmas. I love giving gifts to loved ones. My husband really liked the shirts I made and I also gave him a Tardis towel (the Tardis is from Doctor Who) and some treats. He gave me some lovely scarves, wordsearch/puzzle books, and some adorable penguin slipper socks. From other family members I got more lovely scarves (I love scarves, by the way), dark chocolate, gift cards, a homemade tote bag, Despicable Me 2, a book, and a bit of cash that will hopefully result in some new boots. The best part was, of course, spending time with family.
Now comes the fun task of putting all the decorations away. We don't have much. Since we live in a condo, we don't do Christmas lights outside. Our tree is small and easy to take down. The few decorations are mostly stuffed penguins that normally reside in one of the spare bedrooms. It shouldn't take too long, but I might wait a couple more days. I like looking at them all.
So, I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to make bread. Well, I did, and it was delicious! Everyone loved it. I got the recipe on Pinterest. I was kind of nervous about making it, especially since I'd never made this particular recipe before. But it was so easy and so tasty. Here's the link.
The giveaway ends Friday night. Please enter!
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
It's Christmas Eve. No top ten list today. I have a bunch of stuff to do before tomorrow. (Finish a couple of presents, make bread, drink hot chocolate, go to a party at Grandma's house, eat yummy food, etc.) I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! I would very much appreciate it if you would return the favor by entering my giveaway. It would be an awesome gift from you to me, and hopefully you will be one of the winners! Have fun and be safe!
(If you can't see the giveaway because you're on your phone, scroll to the bottom and see if there's an option to view the web version, otherwise come back on a computer.)
Saturday, December 21, 2013
My husband is not a fan of surprises. Which is funny, because he loves being the surpriser for other people. He just doesn't like being on the receiving end. Christmas time is hard for him. When he was growing up, he would "snoop" as much as possible to find out what he was getting or else it would cause him stressful anxiety. He says he's much better now, but still doesn't like the stress of not knowing. I put a sign on one of our extra rooms informing him that he could not enter because I was working on some gifts for him. He grumbled and I knew he was stressing. So I gave him a hint. I'm customizing a couple of t-shirts with hand-painted pictures, but I won't tell him what the pictures will be. I finished them yesterday and got them wrapped up. I hope he likes them, but I hope even more that he'll survive until Christmas morning!
I'm starting my Christmas Week Giveaway a day early. It starts at midnight tonight and ends Friday at midnight. The prizes are digital copies of my books. The three winners can pick either The Bride, Taela, or Soulless. Someday I will do a giveaway for signed paperbacks, but with the craziness of the holidays, I decided not to do it this time around. (And I need more participation before I go through the extra work and expense of mailing.) If you already own all my ebooks, you can always spread the word to your friends. :)
FYI: If you can't see the giveaway entry thing on your phone, scroll to the bottom to see if there is an option to view the web version. Otherwise you'll have to enter from a computer/laptop.
Here's an update about the discount code for my paperbacks. I just learned that the code is only usable on my createspace sites. I'm sorry that I said before that it could be used on amazon. The clarification was not very clear. Click on the book title for each book's individual site. The Bride. Taela. Soulless. The discount is available until the end of the year! XVQSED3A
Thursday, December 19, 2013
I love Christmas! I may have mentioned that already. Since getting married, we've traded off which family we spend the major holidays with. This year, my husband's family gets Christmas Day. We'll spend Christmas Eve at my grandma's. We usually eat dinner and play some games, sometimes a movie gets thrown in. We'll open our gifts from grandma and let her open gifts from us. Afterward, my immediate family will go to my parents' house to exchange sibling gifts. Since we won't be there on a Christmas we'll give my parents their gifts as well.
In the morning, husband and I will exchange gifts and eat breakfast. Husband requested crepes. I'm also bringing homemade bread to the in-law's, so I'll be finishing that up as well. At the big party, we will have lunch and open more gifts and play some games. It looks to be a fun-filled couple of days! Luckily all my family lives fairly close, so I get to see them almost as much as I want. I hope all of you have a great Christmas, or a fun whatever holiday you celebrate. Remember to enter my giveaway starting Sunday night at midnight!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Is Christmas really next week?! There's still a few things I need to get done, which would be easier if I had a car. In the meantime, I'll probably watch a few holiday movies...
Today's Topic: My Favorite Christmas-Related Movies
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas- 1993. Mostly because it reminds me of Disneyland during Christmas time.
9. Mickey's Christmas Carol- 1983. Classic story with my favorite Disney characters? Yes, please!
8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- 1964 (stop motion animation) I've loved this one since I was little.
7. Home Alone- 1990. Makes me think that if I'd been left home at the age of 8, I probably would've hid under my bed and cried the whole time.
6. It's A Wonderful Life- 1946. Sure, it's kind of depressing, but everything turns out all right in the end.
5. While You Were Sleeping- 1995. I love this movie even when it's not Christmas time.
4. You've Got Mail- 1998. Ditto.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas- 1966. A classic, even if it's not really movie length.
2. Elf- 2003. I don't usually like Will Ferrell movies, but this one is so sweet and fun.
1. A Christmas Story- 1983. I watch this one every year, sometimes more than once depending on if a network is doing a marathon of it.
I've mentioned before that I'm going to do another giveaway during the week of Christmas. It will start Sunday night (12/22) at midnight and go till Friday night (12/27). The prizes will either be more digital copies of my books or signed paperbacks. Or both. Still not sure. I hope you'll come back and enter!!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Today's post is my 103rd. It's kind of funny. I created this blog a few years ago just as a way to jot down some thoughts and stuff. I wasn't consistent and after a while I stopped posting. Then this past summer I published my first book and I wanted a way to share my writing experiences. I thought about doing a blog and then remembered I already had one. After revamping it a bit, I've been posting on a regular basis and it's been a lot of fun. Sure, there are days when I have no idea what I want to write, but it's good for me to think on my toes sometimes. I could have used today's post to continue my list of ABC characters, but I'm not really feeling it right now. I'm going to put that on the back burner and use Saturday for something else for a while. For today, I thought I'd reveal some of my more popular posts over the past 6+ months.
Thoughts and Other Mind Spew- Nov. 2. The popularity of this one has surprised me. I actually thought most people would think it was stupid. I guess they could still think that after reading it.
New Book News- Oct. 3. This one was my first tiny glimpse of Soulless, and was pretty short.
Cover Reveal for Taela- July 29. This one was probably the most viewed. The process for choosing the cover was interactive, so maybe that's why more people came back for the reveal.
The Bride, Chapter One- June 5. Pretty obvious, first chance to read a bit of my first book.
Something New- June 5. My very first post.
I have a fairly consistent audience, I think, and I really appreciate those of you who keep coming back, as well as those of you who are here for the first time. Sometimes I ramble, sometimes I complain, but no matter what, I just love to write!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
I had an idea the other day to make a cute ABC book that features all sorts of geeky characters (like from Star Wars, LOTR, video games, Harry Potter, and many others). I doubt I'd be able to publish and distribute this publicly, but I want to make one for our own future children. I've done about 8 so far, simplifying the characters to make them cutesy, and it's been a lot of fun. Here are just a few.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I'll be continuing my Christmas-themed lists for all of December. One of the best parts of the season is the music. There are so many great songs. I've provided links to some because I'm cool like that.
Today's Topic: My Favorite Christmas Music
10. Belleau Wood by Garth Brooks. I am NOT a fan of country music, but the first time I heard this song I bawled like a baby. Here's a YouTube link.
9. Pretty much anything by Mannheim Steamroller. I could probably do a separate list just for these geniuses.
8. Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant. Mary, mother of Jesus, played such an important role and this song about her is beautiful. Link
7. O Holy Night. Probably most versions, though I tend to stay away from pop stars.
6. The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. I adore these pieces, as well as the ballet.
5. Handel's Messiah. My favorite is For Unto Us A Child Is Born
4. Wizards in Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I know it doesn't have much to do with the true spirit of Christmas, but it's just so cool. I've heard it live. Here's a link that includes a fun light show.
3. Pat-a-Pan. I'm not really sure why I like this one so much. I just do. The King's Singers' version is good, as is Mannheim Steamroller's.
2. Christmas Dream by Perry Como. Not well known, I'm sure. And I suppose unless you're me, who has some unique tastes in music, you'll think it's lame. I love it. Link
1. Silent Night. You can never go wrong with this beloved classic.
One honorable mention is It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, though my favorite version comes with a twist. My dad will, at almost any time during the year, start singing "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Cheetos". Usually when he's about to eat some. Love you, Dad!
My giveaway went pretty well, though I'm still not getting as much participation as I'd like. I'm sure it's mostly my own fault for not spreading the word enough. Anyway, the winners have been chosen and their prizes were emailed! I had planned to only have two winners, but since only three people entered, I thought three winners was much better. Congrats to Katrina, Rachael, and Sarah! I want to do another giveaway during the week of Christmas. I hope all of you who read my blog will enter!
Friday, December 6, 2013
Yay for books! In honor of today's release of Soulless, I've done some redecorating. If you haven't guessed, orange is my favorite color. Anyway, welcome to the "party". There's a lovely giveaway going on with several ways to enter, so get going! It ends Sunday night. (Giveaway has ended)
Soulless is available as an ebook and paperback on amazon right now. The discount code is still in effect for all my paperbacks on amazon, so use it while it's here. (
Any and all of my books are great gifts to give your favorite bookworm. Order soon to get them in time for Christmas! I really appreciate the support I've received and hope this next year will bring more books and more eager fans. Keep reading!
**If you're using a phone to view this and can't see the giveaway thing, scroll to the bottom of the blog. There should be an option to view the full web version. If that doesn't work, you'll have to come back on a computer/laptop. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Yeah, so I wasn't really sure what I wanted to write today. My thoughts are on Christmas preparation and getting Soulless ready for Saturday and trying to figure out how I'm going to ship my hourglasses when I don't have a car to get them to the post office and about a dozen other things. The trouble with the hourglasses is that I know how much postage will be and I could buy the stamps I need, but if no one ends up buying them I'll have wasted money on stamps. I could also go to the post office each time an order comes in and pay for postage one at a time, but we only have one car at the moment and Husband uses it to get to work. I don't really want to have to go back and forth to the post office anyway, so I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to make it all work. I know some people buy and print their own postage at home, but our printer is on the fritz. Poor me! I guess another option is to just put the hourglasses on my shop and see what happens.
Husband and I had a spontaneous date night yesterday. I had the car so I could babysit my adorable niece. After I picked Husband up from work, we decided to go out to eat and see Frozen. The movie was good, though Tangled is still my newest favorite.
I'm working hard on the second book in my Vessel series. I'm aiming to be done by the end of December so I can get it to my editor in January.
I ate an apple for breakfast.
I hope my lameness doesn't keep you from coming back on Saturday for Soulless Day!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The Christmas season is in full swing and I love it! It's my favorite holiday with some of my favorite traditions. (Snow is not one of them.)
Today's Topic: My Favorite Things About Christmas
10. Decorations. Nothing outlandish or gaudy, just simple things. I have a small porcelain nativity scene that I inherited from my grandma that I love!
9. Lights on houses and buildings. Again, something simple. I'm not a fan of the people who are apparently trying to guide wayward airplanes home.
8. Christmas music. The classics like Perry Como and Bing Crosby, hymns, Handel's Messiah, instrumental. Nothing ruins a beautiful song like a pop star. There are some exceptions, but not many.
7. Fun holiday movies. This is where I don't mind the commercialism as much. Elf is hilarious.
6. Finding gifts for loved ones. I'm not a fan of going out to stores nowadays so I do most of my shopping online. I enjoy finding the perfect gift for someone special.
5. Treats. I like giving them as much as getting them. Yummy!
4. Helping others. I regularly participate in things like Secret Santa and food drives. There are so many people who are in need and I think everyone deserves some joy during this time of the year.
3. Spending time with family. I like to do this any chance I get, but Christmastime is special.
2. Making new traditions with my husband. This will be our fourth Christmas together and we really haven't come up with traditions yet. We're still in the testing phase. I hope once we have children we'll be able to come up with some fun and memorable things.
1. Remembering the true reason we celebrate. As I've grown up I've tried to separate myself from the commercialism that has taken over Christmas and focus more on the celebration of the birth of my Savior.
Small reminder that Saturday is the release day of Soulless! If you haven't taken the opportunity to read the prologue and chapter one, go to the link on my previous post. I've also changed my mind about waiting till Sat. to give out the discount code. I'm going to give it NOW! You can use this when you buy the paperbacks of The Bride and Taela (and Soulless on Sat.) on amazon. It should also work on all the European amazon sites as well. It will be available to use till the end of December. Here it is- XVQSED3A
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Here is your first chance to read the prologue and chapter one of Soulless! I'm excited for this book to be released next week. I'd love to hear what you think of it. Also, I've posted artwork of two key characters on my flickr page. You'll meet both of them if you buy the book! :)
I will be offering an amazon.com discount on the paperback copies of all three of my books starting next Sat. (Dec. 7) until the end of December to go along with the release of Soulless. These books will be great gifts to give this holiday season.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
This list is in honor of Thanksgiving. There are so many things I'm thankful for in my life, too many to count, but these are most important. I think it's important to stop at least once everyday and appreciate all you have, even if it might not seem like a lot.
Today's Topic: Things I'm Thankful For
10. Technology. Not just computers and cell phones. Medical advancements, transportation, buildings, innovative ways that improve our lives.
9. My home. Sometimes I complain about things like our noisy neighbors, but I'm grateful to have a warm place sleep.
8. Jobs. I work part time at the moment and my husband is working 2 jobs. We're hoping to find something better for him soon, something that pays more and will hopefully be something he enjoys. But I'm glad we have a means of earning the money to take care of our needs.
7. My creativity. I love being able to take ideas from my head and bring them to life on paper. This includes writing as well as art.
6. Nature. I'm not very outdoorsy, but I love a sunset or autumn-colored trees or a reflective blue lake surrounded by mountains. Our earth is beautiful.
5. My health. I've never had any serious illnesses or injuries. I'm not in the best shape of my life, but I'm healthy.
4. Friends. I don't make new friends easily, but the ones I have are awesome. We have some great memories and I'm glad we are able to stay in touch.
3. My family. I have the best parents, siblings, extended family, and in-laws.
2. My husband. There was a time when I thought I might never get married. Dating and trying to meet new people were always difficult for me. We found each other in the perfect way at the perfect time. I love him so much!
1. My religion. This includes a lot of things and people. Though I don't intend to use my blog to preach, I am not ashamed of the things I believe in. I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ. They have made it possible for me to have everything on this list.
Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, please remember to be thankful for what you have!
There is one more thing that needs to be done before my hourglasses are ready for my etsy shop. Thanks for your patience!
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I had a hard time thinking of more than these three names. Not true. I thought of some others but I didn't really have anything to say about them. I'm starting to think keeping up with this list will be harder than I thought.
Bellatrix Lestrange. Harry Potter series. She's evil. And, in my opinion, she was more dangerous than Voldemort. She lived to serve him, yet he couldn't care less about her. Everything she did was in the hopes that he'd finally acknowledge or praise her. He never would. She must have thought, "maybe this time . . . if I do this one thing, then he'll . . ." Someone whose very existence is to impress the unimpressed will do anything.
Bella Swan. The Twilight Saga. I know her name is Isabella, but she's more known as Bella. I've admitted in the past that I liked the Twilight books. But my least favorite of the four is New Moon. I had to roll my eyes at Bella's childish moodiness. Sure, she's a teenager and she "lost" the love of her life, but seriously? I suppose she's fine in the other books, but this one stands out for me where she is concerned.
Buttercup. The Princess Bride. I love her character in the movie version, but in the book I was disappointed to find out that she's kind of dumb. The men of the book are besotted by her beauty, but she doesn't seem to have many other redeeming qualities. It's been a while since I've read it, so maybe I'm being too harsh.
So, in my previous post I introduced an item that will soon be available on my etsy shop. I had hoped to have everything ready today, but I still need a couple of things for the packaging. As for pricing, I think I have it settled. $5 for just the hourglass, $6 for hourglass and ribbon necklace. This may or may not change between now and when I actually have them available. Shipping will probably be between $1-1.50. I will also be including with each purchase a discount code you can use if you buy the paperback version of The Bride on amazon.
Reminder than next Saturday is sample day for Soulless! Prologue and chapter one. Be there.
Now I'm counting down the minutes until it's time to watch the 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
A while ago I mentioned that I wanted to add some book-related merchandise to my etsy shop. I have some items that are (almost) ready. There's a few things I need to finish up. They could be available on my shop by Saturday. Here is what I have.
Now, if you've read The Bride, you'll know the significance of the hourglass. If you haven't read it you can still enjoy how adorable these are. I purchased the empty hourglasses from another etsy shop and the tiny glass beads from an online craft store. I have thin white ribbon with a real clasp that can be added to make a necklace (it's about 18 inches), like the picture, or they can be used on a keychain or whatever else you can think of. I will have the option to just purchase the hourglass or get one with the ribbon.
Now, I only have ten. I didn't want to make a whole bunch until I knew if people wanted to buy them. I will ship them to anywhere in the 48 contiguous US. I may branch out to other places at some point. The prices are not yet determined. I would LOVE to know what you think and if anyone is interested already, because if enough people are I will order more parts. I will let you know when they're ready to go on my shop!
The Bride paperback is now on amazon, and it looks like amazon has lowered the price for it and Taela. Here's a link.
One more thing. Yesterday I opened a flickr account where I will post pictures, art, and other photos about my books. Though some of the pictures are also on my blog, I will be adding unique pictures that will only be found on my flickr page. For instance, right now there are some photo excerpts from The Bride and Taela. Check them out and feel free to follow me!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
If you didn't already know, I've recently become a huge Doctor Who fan. (I mean the reboot. I haven't watched any of the originals) This weekend is the grand Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. I'm pretty excited, mostly because David Tennant and Billie Piper are in it. So in honor of Doctor Who I've compiled TWO top ten lists. That's right. TWO. **May contain spoilers**
First Topic: My Favorite Doctor Who Characters
10. Strax. He's hilarious. And he looks like a potato.
9. Mickey Smith. Though he's kind of an idiot (he has earned the nickname Mickey the Idiot), he has his moments.
8. Martha Jones. I felt bad for her and her unrequited love for Ten. She was one tough cookie.
7. Donna Noble. She's pretty funny. Best scene is when she and Ten see each other through the windows in the episode Partners in Crime.
6. The Ponds. Amy and Rory are the perfect couple. He waited 2000 years for her, she pulled time apart for him. *sigh*
5. Eleven. He started out so goofy, but as time went on he became darker, which is understandable, especially after The Angels Take Manhattan. I miss the goofy.
4. Nine. I was kind of surprised by how much I liked Nine. I've heard/read that a lot of fans don't really like him, but I think he was great.
3. Clara Oswald. She's adorable and a great companion for Eleven during his darker times.
2. Rose Tyler. Love love love her!! Such a bittersweet storyline. I don't think I'll ever be able to watch Doomsday again.
1. Ten. Perfection.
Let me preface this by saying I am easily frightened by frightening stuff, and even not-so-frightening stuff. It's a wonder I get through some of these episodes.
Second Topic: Most Frightening/Disturbing Episodes
10.Night Terrors. Creepy looking dolls that roam around, giggling like creepy children.
9. Hide. Haunted house, pocket universe, scary creature in the woods.
8. The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People. Expendable doppelgangers made from white goo who just want a chance to live, even if that means killing their human counterparts.
7. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. Vashta Nerada. Two shadows. Skeletons in space suits.
6. The Waters of Mars. Virus in the water, makes those infected spew water and develop a nasty skin condition and creepy eyes.
5. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. Little boy with a gas mask fused to his face wanders around asking everyone, "Are you my mummy?" If he touches someone they grow a gas mask face of their own.
4. Blink. The Weeping Angels cometh. *shiver* If you'd like a taste of a Weeping Angel, click here.
3. The Angels Take Manhattan. More Weeping Angels.
2. The Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone. Seeing a theme here? The Weeping Angels totally creep me out.
1. Midnight. As scared as I am of the Weeping Angels, no episode is more disturbing than Midnight. An alien takes over the mind of a lady, making her repeat everything anyone says. It causes panic and mob mentality sets in. It doesn't sound that bad, but if you watch it . . . This is another episode I don't think I'll ever watch again.
Sorry if these lists made no sense or were boring, but maybe it will entice some of you to give Doctor Who a try. It's hard to pick the best episode to start with. Some say skip Nine at first, but I don't really see why. You can find series 1-7 on Netflix and Hulu plus. It might take a couple episodes to get used to the bizarreness. It took me almost three and a half years.
The Bride is now in paperback! It is available on the createspace estore and will soon be on amazon!
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Are you excited?! I know I am! Now, the cover for the ebook and the cover for the paperback will be slightly different, mostly because of sizing. I'm posting the ebook cover for now. Hope you like it!
I took the photo and did some editing with some apps on my iPad. I love the way it turned out!
Here is the map that will be included in the paperback. It will also be on my blog's Soulless page. The link is located on the right.
And now for the blurb . . .
Monsters exist, monsters who hunt for the one thing they lack. A soul. Though they were once human, they have no memory of who they were, no identity. They live without conscience or compassion.
All of them except one.
He is determined to fight against what he has become. But what happens when he finds a soul so bright, so pure, that he cannot resist? Will the monster within him win or will he become something he never thought possible? A great evil hides in the shadows and, Soulless or not, he might be the only one who can stop it.
Any thoughts? Comments? I'd love to hear from you.
In two weeks, on November 30, I will be adding a link that will let you read the prologue and chapter one for free. And then Dec. 7 is release day! Both the ebook and paperback are on schedule.
FYI, paperback Taela is now available on amazon!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Since I started the self-publishing process, I've used both lulu.com (which connects me to Barnes and Noble and iBookstore) and amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing. I've noticed that most of my sales are coming through amazon. Because of this, I've been thinking about using an option through KDP called KDP Select, which would require me to sell exclusively through amazon for 90 day increments. There are some great benefits that come with doing this, like higher royalties, the ability to let people borrow the ebook for free and still get paid, and other promotional incentives. Doing this also means I cannot sell/distribute that particular book anywhere else for that 90 day period, though that doesn't limit the print version. Does that make sense? With my next book, Soulless, I'm going to give this KDP Select a try. Before I enroll it, however, I'm thinking of making it available on my etsy shop during its first week of release so those of you who don't have Kindle can still have a chance to purchase it. My other books will not be involved and will still be available where they are now.
Speaking of Soulless, the cover reveal is nearly here! I know I've been kind of secretive about it, though I've given a hint or two along the way (here). The cover was, once again, designed by me. I know it's risky to do it myself since I'm not a professional cover maker, but I do consider myself to be an artist. And I enjoy doing it. Anyway, I hope you'll come back on Saturday for the reveal.
One more thing. I think some people might be reluctant to buy my Taela paperback from the createspace estore (where it's available now) but I want to make you aware, if you didn't already know, that createspace is owned by amazon. The only difference is that the createspace estore only sells books created by createspace. You can wait till it's available on the actual amazon sites if you want, but I just want you to know that createspace isn't just some third-party nobody. And if you wait, you might lose your chance to use the discount code (found in my previous post). Just saying.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Back to The Beatles
Today's Topic: Favorite Beatles Songs Sung By George Harrison
10.You Like Me Too Much
9. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
6. Here Comes the Sun
5. Think For Yourself
4. I Need You
3. I'm Happy Just to Dance With You
1. Do You Want to Know a Secret?
Now for a few bits of news. The Bride ebook is now updated to include the new epilogue on amazon and all international amazon sites, as well as my etsy shop. (The etsy shop includes an epub file, which should be compatible with most non-Kindle ebook reading devices) I just ordered a print proof copy to make sure it looks good. If so, it should be ready sometime next week.
Last, but not least . . .
Taela is now in paperback! At the moment, it is only available on the createspace estore (here) but should be available on amazon and the European amazon sites within 5-7 days. And from now until Saturday, Nov. 16, I will have a discount code activated for 10% off! Use this code at checkout. XVQSED3A.
Having my books in ebook form has been great, but my dream has always been to see them in print. Now that's actually happening! I'm so excited!
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Before I start with my intended post I want to remind you that next week is COVER REVEAL DAY!! You will get your first look at my upcoming book Soulless and read the blurb. I hope you're excited. I am!!
Now here's is the first of my new Saturday ABC lists. Though there are many characters that could be included, I decided only to pick ones that I actually have something to say about, whether it's something positive or negative. So the lists could be long or short, much like my ABC books were. Here we go!
Albus Dumbledore. From the utterly magnificent Harry Potter books. This man is amazing. I know Harry had a huge and difficult burden to deal with, but I think Dumbledore did as well. He knew what the boy would have to go through. I can't imagine how hard it would be to mentor and befriend someone while knowing they were on their way to a possible death sentence. One of his best, and most heart breaking, scenes is in book 6 in the cave when Dumbledore drinks the water to get to the locket. Great stuff.
Anne Shirley. From the Anne of Green Gables series. Odd, outspoken, and wonderfully imaginative. I know her story is a bit old-fashioned, but I don't think any young girl could go wrong emulating this character. She's a great role model. She was not ashamed to be herself, even thought the people around her were probably wondering what she was talking about most of the time. And Gil . . . . I'll get to him later. :)
Atticus Finch. From To Kill A Mockingbird. This is one brave man. The lawyer for a black man accused of assaulting a white woman in a time and place where racism was the norm. Not only did he defend his client, but he actually knew he was innocent and did his best to prove it (though the outcome was less than fair, it was expected). His family was threatened because of this, but he stayed true to his convictions. Talk about integrity.
Well, what did you think? Not too shabby. I think I'll keep it going.
I received my second proof of Taela. It looks good, but I think the cover colors are coming across as too dark, so I'm fixing that. I'm also going to fix a few minor layout things. Here are some pictures.
|Map and Chapter One|
I also have the print versions of The Bride and Soulless in the works. I must say formatting for print is HARD, or rather a PAIN. I'm getting better at it, but it's not exactly fun.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Awhile ago, I proclaimed that I was going to add an epilogue to The Bride for the print version. (I'm also going to update the ebook so it will have the epilogue as well. Those of you who have the Kindle version should be able to update your copy at some point.) I've been pondering on it since, trying to decide where to go with it. Frankly, it was harder than I thought it would be. Well, yesterday, I finally finished what I think is a sweet little conclusion to the book. I sent it to my editor for a quick look through. I plan to submit it to createspace over the weekend and order a proof on Monday. Things are moving along nicely. Now, for those of you who already have The Bride without the epilogue, don't fret! Of course you can always purchase the print version, but you may not want to. If that's the case, I will have a link on my blog in the future so you can at least read the epilogue. I may think of another way to help you out, but for now that's my plan.
My second proof of Taela should be here tomorrow. :) I will take a picture of it in all it's glory and post it on Saturday.
For fun, I thought I would share the playlist I'm listening to at this exact moment.
Tears in Heaven- Eric Clapton
The Final Countdown- Europe
Still Alive- Portal soundtrack
We Belong- Pat Benatar
Everlasting Love- Howard Jones
Requiem for a Tower- Escala
Bye Bye Love- The Everly Brothers
Carmen Suite- Georges Bizet
Waterfall- John Schmidt
Dancing Queen- ABBA
The Golden Ratio- Ace of Base
I Will Rise- Alex Boye
The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)- Betty Everett
Till There Was You- The Beatles
Dreams- The Cranberries
Bad Moon Rising- CCR
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)- Dead or Alive
It's Gonna Be Me- 'NSYNC
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
I would consider myself to be a geeky sort of person. Probably not as geeky as my husband (love you, Garett) but I certainly have the geek gene. This list will be in random order, since I don't think I can quantify how much geekier one thing is over another.
Today's Topic: Why I Think I'm a Geek
10. I watch more cartoons now than when I was a kid. One of my favorite all-time cartoons will always be Avatar: The Last Airbender. The first time I watched an episode was when I was in my twenties.
9. My book genre of choice is fantasy. (Harry Potter for life!) If it has magic, creatures, princesses, sorcerers, wizards, spells, curses, etc. there's a good chance I'll like it. It's also my genre of choice for writing.
8. Like #9, I enjoy TV shows and movies that are fantasy, with science fiction close behind. That list might include Fringe, Once Upon a Time, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Labyrinth,
7. Anime. This is similar to #10, but I think anime is a whole new level of geek. Especially since I don't understand Japanese. I choose to watch the English dubbed version of some shows, but usually the subtitled ones are better. Here's a few I like: Inu Yasha, Kaichou Maid Sama, Kimi Ni Todoke, Special A, Zakuro, Fairy Tail, Lovely Complex. I could go on.
6. I tend to be socially awkward. I know not all geeks are this way, but I think the desire to stay home in my bubble means I find things to entertain myself. I find geeky things.
5. I love RPG video games, especially Final Fantasy. I can't choose a favorite, but if I had to, it would be out of 6, 7, 8 , 9, 10, or 10-2. I'm actually in the middle of playing 6 right now. LOVE Sabin! (and Tifa, and Cloud and Zell and Bahamut and Knights of the Round and Chocobos, and ....)
4. I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty smart.
3. I suppose some of the music I listen to would be considered geeky. See Top Ten List #11
2. I draw and paint fantasy stuff. I have a plan to one day paint a large dragon to hang on my living room wall. I have the canvasses and a rough sketch, but I just haven't had time to do it yet. It will be awesome.
1. I can play the theme to Super Mario Brothers on the piano. Oh, and one of the Tetris themes. And songs from Final Fantasy.
One day, Husband and I would love to go to comicon in San Diego. Or any of the others around the country. They had one in Salt Lake City in September, but we weren't able to make it. Some day!
FYI, I opened an Etsy shop yesterday because I discovered they allow the selling of digital items. So, now you can start buying my books from there as well. Right now, I only have the ebook version of Taela (in mobi and epub) available, but I plan to include all my ebooks, merchandise, and print books. The print books will be signed copies! As for the merchandise, I bought some supplies yesterday and hope to have my first item ready next week! The prices for ebooks/books will be lower in my Etsy shop than on amazon, barnesandnoble.com, and iBookstore because those big companies take a larger percent of the purchase price. With Etsy, I can lower the price and still earn more than I do from the Big Guys. I'm not saying I'm in this for the money (though that would be helpful) but I hope you would rather have more of the money you spend go to me so I can spend more time creating books than for your money to go into the pockets of million dollar companies. Just a thought.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
I'm going to start my new ABC Characters next Saturday. If you don't mind, I just need to write down some thoughts.
Writing is hard. Whether it's trying to come up with the next scene or making the dialogue sound realistic, I've hit all the bumps along the way. I received my proof copy of Taela a few days ago and it looks great. The cover is beautiful, the cream colored pages are just what I wanted. There are a few things that need adjusting, like the alignment on the spine and line spacing. Then I decided to go ahead and read through the entire book one more time, just to see if I need to catch any more minor mistakes. With a red pen and a stack of small sticky notes, I got to work.
There are more sticky notes than I anticipated.
Some are for actual mistakes, which is supremely annoying since I was sure I caught them all last time I read through it, before I published the ebook version. Some of the sticky notes are for cosmetic reasons, meaning I didn't like a word choice or a particular sentence needed to be reworded. Nothing serious. My husband warned me that I shouldn't make any serious changes, since it would make it different from the ebook, but I think what I've done is so minor, and necessary, that it will be fine. I figure that since the print version will cost more to make and purchase, I want it to be near perfect. Husband said, "No book is perfect." While I agree that mistakes can be found in practically any book out there, I hate the thought of people spending their money on something I've worked so hard on only to find simple mistakes that a ten year old would notice. It's embarrassing. And I think I, as a self-published author, need to work that much harder to prove I'm worth your time and money. I love to write and I love the stories that are swirling around in my head. So, I apologize for mistakes you may see. I'm trying really hard to make my books the best that I can. And thank you for the support you give me, whether is buying my books or simply reading my blog.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
I'm expecting my proof of Taela to arrive sometime today. I'm pretty excited to see how it looks.Hopefully I'll be able to give a report on Saturday's post.
I didn't buy very much candy for tonight. No one came to our condo last year. Our neighborhood does a trunk or treat each year at a nearby church parking lot. That happened last night, so I'm thinking most kids got their fill of candy already. I won't mind terribly if no one comes. My husband has to work tonight, so my wild plan is to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and watch a movie or something.
I hope everyone has a spooky, but safe, Halloween!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Yesterday was the annual Halloween party at my grandma's house. We eat dinner, sometimes play games, eat sugary treats, and beat up a pinata. When the grandkids were younger, we'd always wear our costume as well. Now that we're older, that doesn't happen as much. But, the great grandkids dress up and they are adorable! My niece was a puppy with my sister and bro-in-law as dog catchers. One nephew was a bee. Other nephew was a bag of money with my bro and sister-in-law as robbers. Fun stuff!
Anyway, this list is about costumes I remember wearing over the years.
Today's Topic: Favorite Halloween Costumes I've Worn
8. Dark Fairy (I wore this one in Disneyland for Mickey's Halloween Party)
6. Hermione Granger. With official wand and Gryffindor robe and scarf.
5. 50's girl with poodle skirt.
4. Rogue. This is the one I wore yesterday. She's my favorite from X-Men
1. Old Lady. This one was fun. I think I was in 3rd grade. I got some old lady-looking clothes at a thrift store, complete with plastic jewelry, hat, and purse.
Final reminder that the discount prices for my books will be ending at the end of this week. Save a bit of money and get them now!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
This has been a fun way to reminisce about the books I've read over the years. I know for a fact that I've missed a ton just because I couldn't remember them all. Since this list will finish up the alphabet, I will be starting something new next week. It will be something similar, but instead of book titles, the ABC lists will focus on literary characters. I think it will be interesting. Anyway, here's U, V, and W.
Unwind- Neal Shusterman. A thrilling dystopia about parents' decisions to keep their children or, if their child is a troublemaker, let them be "unwound". Essentially, killing them. It's a series, but I've only read this first book. I plan to read more.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader- C. S. Lewis. Probably my least favorite of the Narnia books. Seriously, the cousin, Eustice or Useless, whatever his name is, is by far one of the most annoying characters ever! I get that he's supposed to be annoying, but I wanted him to die. He's even worse in the movie version, if that's possible. The rest of the characters are fine.
A Walk in Wolf Wood- Mary Stewart. Fun fantasy about magic and a bit of time travel. Two kids travel to 14th century England and help a werewolf.
Wait Till Helen Comes- Mary Downing Hahn. I alluded to this book in last week's ABC books when I wrote about another of Hahn's books (The Time of the Witch). For many years, this book was my favorite. It's kind of a scary story, which is strange for me to like since I'm a wuss when it comes to ghost stories. It's about two stepsisters who don't get along. The younger befriends the ghost of another young girl who died in a fire. They cause some mischief together, mostly to get back at her step-family. The older sister soon realizes that the ghost wants her new friend to stay with her forever. Excellent book.
Wings- Aprilynne Pike. A teenage girl grows petal-like wings and befriends a mysterious boy who lives in the woods. I liked this one, but the second book in the series was kind of blah.
The Witches- Roald Dahl. Great story from a great author. I'll admit parts of the movie version creeped me out.
The Warrior Heir- Cinda Williams Chima. Another series I haven't finished. This first book was really good, so I need to read the others. If you like modern/urban fantasy, give this one a try.
My giveaway ended last night and it was fun to do. I had hoped to get more entries, but I suppose since I'm still a new author, I can't expect too much at this point. I really appreciate all those who entered. The winners have been selected. I'll give you a hint- since there were so few entries, everyone who entered is a winner! Check your email for further info/instructions. Congratulations!
One more thing. In my previous post, I mentioned that the print version for Taela was under review. It has since been accepted, but I've decided to order a copy for myself before making it available for purchase, just to make sure everything looks good. If I like what I see, it should be available sometime during the first week of November.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
For the past two days I've been working hard on getting Taela ready for print. I had a heck of a time with the cover design. The program I like to use is on my iPad and lately it's been acting like a two year old having a tantrum. Every time I tried to use certain parts it would kick me off. Grrr! So yesterday I had my husband give me a crash course on photoshop to get the last parts of the cover finished. Luckily, everything turned out really well. The book is now in review with createspace, which is amazon's printed book creator thingy. I should hear back from them today. The book could be ready later today, in fact. It will be available on amazon.com as well as European amazon sites. I'm still working on the epilogue for The Bride, but I hope to have the print version up and going soon. I'm also considering having both the ebook and print versions for Soulless ready for its December release date. No promises, but I like the idea. We'll see if it happens.
My mom read my last post (Top Ten Tuesday #20) and informed me that she has a pasta roller that belonged to my grandma. She's going to let me have it to fulfill that birthday wish! Thanks, Mom!!
For my birthday tomorrow, (besides hoping to see more entries in my giveaway) I'm going to make my own cake. My husband offered to make one for me, but I decided to do it myself. It will be a chocolate cake with a caramel cream cheese frosting. I've never made frosting like that before, so it could be a complete disaster. When Husband gets home from work, we'll go out to dinner. I'm still not sure where I want to go. Probably somewhere tasty. And then we're going to watch college football and eat cake. Sounds like a great birthday to me!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
With my birthday coming in a few days, I thought I'd make a list of things on my wish list. I don't want to sound greedy. This is just for fun, especially since I won't be getting most of these things.
Today's Topic: Things I'd Like for My Birthday
10. A pasta maker/roller thing. I'm not the kind of person who would be upset with a kitchen appliance or gadget as a gift, as long as it's something I need.
9. New Celtic/Irish music. Preferably instrumental, but anything soothing would work.
8. Dove Dark Chocolate. My favorite!
7. New slippers.
6. A tasty dinner with my husband. I still haven't decided where I want to go.
5. New sweater or cardigan. I tend to get neutral colors, so maybe something more vibrant.
4. Scarves. I love scarves.
3. Knee high boots. I love boots.
2. Upstairs and downstairs neighbors who aren't so noisy. Stompy kids upstairs, music-blasting bachelors downstairs. I guess what I really want is a house of our own instead of a condo.
1. A trip to Disneyland. Maybe next year.
There's one more thing I'd like. Enter the giveaway above this post!! It's the perfect way for you to help me celebrate!
Monday, October 21, 2013
*this promotion has ended*
It has begun! Come enter to win a free digital copy of one of my books using any, or all, of the entry methods. This is in honor of my birthday, which is on Friday, Oct. 25. I'm hoping to do more giveaways in the future, but it will be hard to do if no one enters. Who doesn't like free stuff? This is an international giveaway, so everyone can participate. See the Terms and Conditions on the giveaway gadget above.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Get ready for a list. This will be my longest ABC post, which is not surprising. Lots of good books, and some not so good.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles- Thomas Hardy. One from high school English. It was okay. I think most of the books I read in high school were somewhat depressing. This is one of them.
To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee. Great book. Everyone should read this at come point in their lives. Classic.
The Twilight Saga- Stephenie Myer. I've already admitted once before that I liked these books. I'm not saying their masterpieces, but for a love story about vampires, it's good. The movies, however . . .
The Time of the Witch- Mary Downing Hahn. Very good. She wrote another book that will be on the list soon that was my favorite for years, but this one is still good.
A Tale of Two Cities- Charles Dickens. This was a Jr. high book. I hope to not ruffle any feathers when I say I hated this book. In fact, I'm pretty sure I couldn't even finish it. I was bored out of my skull. I'm sure Dickens was a fine author. I'm just not a fan.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing- Judy Blume. I know I read this during elementary, but I don't remember much about it. But Judy Blume's books are almost always good, so I'm sure I liked it.
Tiger Eyes- Judy Blume. Same as above.
The Throne of Fire- Rick Riordan. The second book in his Kane Chronicles series. Very good. I still need to finish this series.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle- Avi. As with the Judy Blume books, I read this in elementary. I know I liked it, but don't remember much about it.
Their Eyes Were Watching God- Zora Neale Hurston. Another high school book. Not as depressing as some, but still has that running through it. It was okay.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard- J. K. Rowling. Great companion book to the Harry Potter series. Strange little stories, but they fit so perfectly.
I hope you'll all come back on Monday when my giveaway starts!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I've made myself a schedule for upcoming posts concerning my next book Soulless and a couple of other subjects. I thought I'd let you know what's coming in the hopes that you'll be excited as I am. Or at least interested. Here are the dates for specific posts.
October 21-25: Giveaway for a free digital copy of either The Bride or Taela for five winners.
October 31: End of bargain prices for The Bride and Taela. (get your copies now!)
November 16: Cover reveal for Soulless
November 30: Sample chapters for Soulless
December 7: Soulless release.
At some point in the next month or so I will be releasing the print versions of The Bride and Taela. It's taking me longer than I expected, mostly because I've been working at my new job and also trying to get things ready for Soulless. And sometimes I actually do housework.
I have a couple of Beta Readers I like to utilize in addition to my fantastic editor before releasing a new book. They are awesome, though perhaps a tiny bit biased. My mom and my sister. They're both avid readers and I value their opinions. My mom finished Soulless yesterday and I'm happy to say that she enjoyed it. A seal of approval from her is like winning an award. I probably should branch out and find betas who aren't related to me, but there's always that small fear of someone not liking my work. Constructive criticism can be valuable and I shouldn't be afraid of it. That's how we get better! I'll give it some more thought and perhaps branch out in the future.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I had a pretty awesome childhood and one thing I remember most is watching certain movies with my family. Now, a lot of movies from the 80's were and are lamer than lame, but some were so fantastic that I believe they're better now than when I first watched them.
Today's Topic: Movies From My Childhood That Are Still Awesome
10. The Chipmunk Adventure. NOT the recent CGI nonsense. I have no plan to watch those. This is the one where Alvin and the gang, including the Chipettes, travel around the world by hot air balloon delivering dolls. Great music.
9. The Neverending Story. Let's be honest. I had a little crush on Atreyu. But the whole movie is fantasy fun.
8. Ladyhawke. Perhaps not as well-known. It stars Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Matthew Broderick. Two lovers are cursed by a jealous bishop: the girl is a hawk by day and the guy is a wolf by night. They break the curse and the evil dude dies. YAY!!
7. Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea. I adore this TV movie series with Megan Follows. The books are good too, but I'll always prefer the movie version because I've seen it so many times.
6. Willow. Great fantasy adventure. One of my favorite parts is when a bird poops on Burglekutt's face. I cheer every time.
5. Labyrinth. I've often wondered how many people tried to send their annoying brothers or sisters to the Goblin King after seeing this movie for the first time. Love everything about this movie.
4. Star Wars IV-VI. Who doesn't like these movies? Return of the Jedi is my favorite. I have mixed feelings about the upcoming continuation. Hopefully J. J. Abrams will do a good job.
3. Indiana Jones. Fun adventures with great characters and stories. This does not include Kingdom of the Awful Alien Skulls of Awfulness. Bleh.
2. The Princess Bride. I don't need to explain why this movie is still awesome. It just is.
1. Older Disney Movies. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, The Sword in the Stone, The Rescuers, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, etc.
Have I missed any? Let me know some of your favorites!
Saturday, October 12, 2013
A diverse group of books. I expected a longer list for this letter, but these were all I could think of.
A Separate Peace- John Knowles. I picked this one to read in high school because it was one of the shortest choices. I think I ended up liking it, but I don't really remember much about it. One of the character's names is Phineas, which I've always thought was a cool name.
A Series of Unfortunate Events- Lemony Snicket. I enjoyed this series for most of the books. They were fun and the Baudelaire children were great characters, but towards the end I started to feel disappointed. The adults in these books are sooooo stupid! It made me want to reach into the pages and strangle them!
The Scarlet Letter- Nathaniel Hawthorne. Meh. Not a favorite. Too depressing.
A Study in Scarlet- Arthur Conan Doyle. I've been interested in reading the Sherlock Holmes books, since the recent BBC show is so awesome. My husband told me to skip this book, but I decided to read it anyway. I wish I had listened to him. This one started off just fine, but then it shifted to Utah and the Doyle's skewed, prejudiced take on Mormons. Let's just say his information and interpretations were so ridiculous that I laughed through most of that part. We'll see if his other books are better.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
My birthday is coming up later this month and I'd like to do something to celebrate with all of you! The idea I have is to do a giveaway (using Rafflecoptor) here on my blog. So, in honor of my glorious birth, I will be offering free digital copies of my books starting Oct. 21 and ending on Oct. 25 (which is my birthday). Five winners will be able to choose one copy of either The Bride or Taela. The digital formats I have available are PDF, mobi, and epub. If you don't have a device that works with these, but still want to enter, I'm sure we can figure something out. I hope you'll all come celebrate with me!
Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but I do think it's still fun to dress up. In recent years, I've dressed up as a ladybug, Hermione (with official wand and robe), and a fairy princess. My husband has been The Doctor (with official sonic screwdriver) and Wolverine. This year we're planning to get X-Men t-shirts. Mine will look like Rogue's uniform and husband's will look like Gambit's. I'd love to know what your plans are!
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
If you haven't noticed by now, I am a fan of Disneyland. (see Top Ten lists #1 and #8) Just thinking about that place makes me smile. I've been lucky enough to have been there several times. I always had a dream of going to Disney World someday, and that dream came true when my husband and I went on our honeymoon. It was magical. There are many rides there that are the same as Disneyland. Others are completely different. Can you see where I'm going with this?
Today's Topic: Favorite Disney World Rides that are Different from Disneyland/California Adventure Rides
10. Maelstrom. This one was kind of a surprise. It's located in Epcot in the Norway Pavilion. We had no idea it was there until we got to the end of the walkthrough. Not super exciting, but fun.
9. Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Magic Kingdom. It's a lot like Dumbo. I like it.
8. The Great Movie Ride. Hollywood Studios. Takes you through recreated sets of famous movies, like Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Wizard of Oz.
7. DINOSAUR. Animal Kingdom. Again, not super exciting, but fun.
6. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Hollywood Studios. I was really looking forward to this one, but was slightly disappointed. It might have been because I had a headache at the time, so it wasn't as fun as I was hoping. I'll give it another try if I'm ever there again.
5. Kilimanjaro Safaris. Animal Kingdom. A jeep ride through African-like wilderness where you get to see real African animals. We took lots of pictures, though many of the animals were far away or sleeping.
4. Mission: SPACE. Epcot. I really enjoyed this one, but my husband, who gets motion sickness, didn't enjoy it at all. He managed to not puke, but his face was white and he had to take it easy for a while afterward.
3. Tower of Terror. Okay, this is the exception to the description above. California Adventure has a Tower of Terror, but the one in DW is different. The elevator car doesn't just move up and down. It travels horizontally as well. So it counts.
2. Fast Track. Epcot. LOVED IT!! The line was uber long, but worth it. We got a Fast Pass for our second go. The new Cars ride in California Adventure is very similar.
1. Expedition Everest. Animal Kingdom. This one doesn't last very long, but it's sooooo fun! It goes forward AND backward. And the Yeti is awesome-looking. I think we went on this one the most times.
I hope to go back someday. We stayed in a resort hotel (The music themed one), which I highly recommend for the airport shuttle service and shuttles to each park. We ate Mickey shaped waffles for breakfast almost every morning. We got to try some authentic cuisine in a couple of the World Pavilions in Epcot. The only real complaint is that Space Mountain was closed while we were there. That is my ultimate favorite ride. I must admit that Disneyland will always be my go-to choice for a fun vacation, but DW is awesome! Now I just need to visit the other Disney parks throughout the world.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
I was sure I'd remember more "R" books, but, alas, only a few.
The Red Pyramid- Rick Riordan. The first in the Kane Chronicles. I love mythology and it was fun to get into the Egyptian side. Not quite as good as the Percy Jackson books, but still great. I've read the second one as well. Fun series so far.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead- Tom Stoppard. A retelling of Hamlet from the point of view of the two friends of the prince. Humorous, but still tragic like the original. The movie version is pretty good too.
Romeo and Juliet- Shakespeare. Not really a book, but whatever. I used to think this was a very romantic story, but now that I'm older, I think it's kind of ridiculous. Besides, I rarely like tragic endings.
My book club meeting this past week was not very successful. Only a few people were able to show up. Luckily, I wasn't the only one who didn't finish the book. I think if I had more time (like several months) I might be able to get through it, mostly because it didn't hold my interest all that well, though I'd rather just forget about it. If you enjoy poetry, journal-type entries, and short stories from various women authors, give Women Write a try. Our next book is A Wizard of Earthsea. This is much more my style. Fantasy. Yay!
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I've gone over the first round of editing notes for my next book and will soon be sending it back to my editor for round two. I haven't shared much about this book yet, except that the main character and point of view is male. It's going to be a bit darker than my other two books, though it's still suitable for younger readers (ages 12+). The title is Soulless. I would describe it as a redemption story with an unlikely hero. There is magic, romance, sacrifice, revenge, liberation, and hope. I've had a lot of fun writing this and I think the characters are pretty special. I will be posting more stuff about it in the future, including an official blub, cover reveal, and eventually some sample chapters. The release date will probably be the first weekend of December.
The time is soon coming for the bargain prices for The Bride and Taela to come to an end. They will both be set at their normal prices at the end of October. I suggest you buy them now :)
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Being the first day of October, with Halloween approaching, I decided to do a list about fears. My fears. Things that scare me, make me nervous, give me nightmares. OooooooOOOOOoooo!!
Today's Topic: Things That Scare Me
10. Going to the dentist. It's a silly fear, and usually ends up not being as bad as I envision, but I don't like having fingers and various tools crammed in my mouth.
9. Water. I can't swim and I've had a couple childhood experiences that have put a bit of fear in my head.
8. Ghost stories. Yes, really. My imagination will often go nuts and the result is nightmares. Fun.
7. Horror movies. Same reason as #8. Plus, I'm very squeamish.
6. Haunted venues. I've only been to one (a haunted corn maze) and hated every second of it. My little brother was there too and I pretty much clung to his arm the whole time.
5. Pain. Mostly the anticipation of pain. This kind of goes with my fear of the dentist.
4. Bears. People say they're more scared of us than we are of them, but I beg to differ.
3. Bugs. Pretty much all of them, especially grasshoppers. When I was a kid a grasshopper jumped onto my shirt and pooped on me. Traumatizing.
2. Large crowds, talking to new people, talking on the phone. I'm shy and people make me nervous. No offense.
1. Spiders. Me= panicking, squealing, some screaming, running, hiding.
My editor finished her first round of editing for my next book and I'm currently doing the fixing thing. December release is looking good. I'm also working on the epilogue for print version of The Bride and I'll soon be trying some merchandise ideas. Busy, busy!
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Here's a bunch of titles for "P".
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series- Rick Riordan. Mr. Riordan's first series about our favorite demigod is awesome. I love mythology, so this series was perfect for me. I haven't finished the second series yet, but I plan to.
Prince Caspian- C. S. Lewis. I've mentioned before that I haven't read all the Narnia books, but this one is probably one of the best after TLTWATW. Good story.
Peter and the Starcatchers- Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. This is the first in a series of a cool retelling of Peter Pan. I've read the first three, I think, and they're pretty fun. Plus, Dave Barry is one of my favorite humorists. I used to read some of his stuff in Reader's Digest all the time.
The Princess Bride- William Goldman. I didn't read this until after the movie was a huge favorite of mine. I was kind of surprised by how vastly different the book was, but it's still great. I love that we get more back story on the characters, and Goldman's random inserts are hilarious.
The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey)- Richard Paul Evans. This probably should have been on my "M" list, but I forgot about it. This is the first in the Michael Vey series, about a boy with electric powers and the crazies who want the use him. It's pretty good. I think there are 3 books out now. I've read 1 and 2.
If you didn't already notice, there's a shiny new badge on the right side of my blog. The Bride was nominated and won Indie Book of the Day for September 27 from indiebookoftheday.com. Though it's a relatively small recognition, I'm very pleased about it and don't feel bad about tooting my own horn. Toot toot.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Short and sweet today.
My next book club meeting is next week and I haven't finished the book yet (Women Write). I'm having a hard time with it. It feels a lot like a school assignment. The women whose writing has been included in this compilation are great writers, I'm sure, but it's so far from my realm of interest. I know I should broaden my genres and so forth, but I like what I like. Does that mean I'm missing out on some great books? Perhaps. Will my life go on if I stick to what I like? Pretty sure. I am willing to try different things, but that's no guarantee I'll finish them. Any thoughts?
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
I enjoy cooking and consider myself to be a good cook. There are some foods I try to make from scratch, or at least as close to "from scratch" as I can. This list won't necessarily be in order of favorites, just a list of foods in general. Some come from recipes I got from my mom, others I've made up myself or found online. I also like to tweak recipes to fit my personal tastes.
Today's Topic: Foods I Make From Scratch
10. Tomato Sauce. I usually end up using canned tomatoes and tomato paste, but always my own blend of seasonings. I also like to puree other vegetables to add to the sauce. I've done carrots, zucchini, different kinds of squash, and broccoli.
9. Maple Syrup. I don't really like store bought syrup. It's too thick and has a strange after taste.
8. Naan bread. I have two versions. One with yeast, one with baking powder. Both are fairly easy and delicious.
7. Muffins. My favorite kind has whole wheat flour, oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries. I'm planning to make some later today.
6.Tortillas. Homemade tortillas have such a better taste than store bought. I wish I had a tortilla press, though.
5. Waffles. One of my favorite breakfast foods. With homemade syrup :)
4. Soup. Any kind. chicken noodle, clam chowder, vegetable beef, curry, Asian inspired, minestrone ...
3. Gravy. I have never used packaged gravy and never plan to. I used to use canned cream of chicken soup for certain gravies, but now I make my own using chicken stock, flour, cornstarch, and seasoning. So much healthier.
2. Chocolate pudding. So far I've only done the cornstarch version, but it tastes pretty good.
1. Cookies. I love cookies. There aren't many things that are better than fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
A combo of two letters today. I was surprised I couldn't think of more "N" books I've read. Oh well.
Number the Stars- Lois Lowry. I don't remember much about this book except that it takes place during WWII. I can't even remember if I liked it or not. Maybe I should read it again.
The Outsiders- S. E. Hinton. Good book, if somewhat depressing. I always remember the weird nicknames that some of the boys have (Ponyboy, Sodapop, Two-Bit) The movie version is pretty good, and not just because of the actors who portray the characters :)
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish- Dr. Seuss. I had to include this one. Classic Dr. Seuss.
I've recently become obsessed with Doctor Who. I blame my husband. We're trying to catch up on episodes we've missed before the 50th anniversary airs in November. I'm ecstatic that David Tennant and Billie Piper will be among the cast. I've mentioned before how much I adore Ten and Rose. I also rewatched seasons one and two of Sherlock, hoping I might catch some clues as to how Sherlock survived his "fall". Nothing. That's probably why I will never be a good detective. That doesn't stop me from thinking and rethinking about it. I have a brain that won't stop thinking about things, even when I know they don't really matter. Makes for some sleepless nights.
Curse you, BBC!!
Thursday, September 19, 2013
I'm currently working on the epilogue for the print version of The Bride. I've got a nice start to it. When I'm a bit farther along, I just might give some clues as to what it's all about. Because of this, I probably won't have the print version ready for publication until October. That's my new goal.
I'm trying to think of ideas for simple merchandise related to my books, but I don't want to start something if people aren't interested in purchasing. So here's one of my ideas for The Bride. I want to put together an hourglass pendant with colored beads inside. It could be used for a necklace or key chain. I'm also considering printing some of my artwork on canvas. Any thoughts? I'd REALLY appreciate some feed back.
My next book is nearing the end of its first round of editing. I'm pretty excited about this one. My editor has already told she really likes it. I'm hoping it will be of interest to male readers (more so than my other two books) since the main character is a young man. More info to come . . .
This has nothing to do with anything, but I've been listening to Lindsey Stirling's music pretty much nonstop for the past couple of weeks. She's awesome!! If you've never heard any of her stuff (electric, dubstep violin) check her out on YouTube.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
This list is related to the one I did about my favorite genres of music (here). If you recall, I LOVE Enya. I could listen to her for hours. In fact, I've done that numerous times. It all started when I first heard Orinoco Flow on the radio many years ago. I fell in love with her melodies and exquisite harmonies. Each of her songs are magical. I often listen to her while I write. This list was very hard to make because of all the wonderful choices.
Today's Topic: My Favorite Enya Songs
10. To Go Beyond, from The Celts
9. Water Shows the Hidden Heart, from Amarantine
8. Watermark, from Watermark
7. The Celts, from The Celts
6. Only Time, from A Day Without Rain
5. Storms in Africa, from Watermark
4. Orinoco Flow, from Watermark
3. Caribbean Blue, from Shepherd Moons
2. Book of Days, from Shepherd Moons
1. The River Sings, from Amarantine
If you're looking for soft, soothing songs, you can't go wrong with Enya. Her album Paint the Sky With Stars is sort of a "best of" album. It has six of the ten songs on my list. Great stuff!
Saturday, September 14, 2013
I meant to post earlier, but I was busy sleeping in and then watching the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra season 2, and then some Doctor Who. I'm officially a Whovian. Fun stuff!
Thursday evening I was able to attend a book club meeting as a guest author. My sister-in-law invited me after suggesting her group read The Bride. I wasn't too excited by the prospect at first, because I don't like being the center of attention. But I decided I would give it a try, since I hope to someday do book signings and such. The ladies there were all very nice and told me they enjoyed reading my book. We started with a Q&A about my writing in general and some specifically about The Bride. (I took a camera with me, but I totally forgot to use it!) One of the ladies mentioned that she wished there had been an epilogue. I had considered doing this originally, but decided against it. Now I think I've changed my mind. When I publish the print version in the next few weeks, I intend to add an epilogue. I have a few ideas for it already. Hopefully it will tie any loose ends and make the ending even better. So, all in all, it was a good experience!
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Today I thought I'd try promoting something else I enjoy doing, which is t-shirt design. I have a little online shop with spreadshirt.com that features my designs for shirts and accessories. There's a link to the shop on the right side of my blog. For anyone who hasn't clicked on it to see what it's all about, I'm posting some of my designs here to give you a taste of what I have. Also, from now until September 17, you can get free standard shipping when you buy two or more items. Use code FALL2013. I believe this is only for US purchases.
I have a series of these called Grim's Days Off where I put a cute Grim Reaper in everyday situations that might happen when he's not gathering the souls of the dead.
I also have several cute animal designs, all in this simple style. Others include hippo, walrus, duck, T-Rex, turtle, flamingo, and a few more.
This is one of two dragon designs I've done. Still fairly simple, but I think it's cool.
If you can't tell, this says forever, with the letters mirroring each other from the center outward. I'm working on a couple others like this.
He's my favorite. This is Kuroshiro, the Samurai Penguin. I have a whole back story for him and I just might be using him in an upcoming writing project.
All the designs on my shop's website are for preselected shirts and accessories. If you like a design, but want it on something else, you can go HERE to pick one of my designs and then choose a product. Otherwise, go to my shop and take a look!
*all these designs belong to Kacie Taylor and should not be copied or used without permission.*
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I haven't had the pleasure of being able to travel a lot. I've never been out of the US, but I would like to someday. There are many wonderful places out there with amazing things to see, people to meet, and food to eat.
Today's Topic: Countries I'd Like To Visit
10. Spain. I had a pen pal from Spain when I was in elementary and one of the post cards she sent was of the Barcelona Cathedral. I thought it was a beautiful building and have wanted to see it in person ever since.
9. Russia. Another country with awesome architecture. We had a jigsaw puzzle of St. Basil's Cathedral when I was a child and thought it was such a cool looking building. (Fun fact: I have a brother-in-law who lived there for two years and speaks Russian.)
8. Germany. Two of my brothers went to Germany a few years ago for a huge music festival (Wacken) and brought back great pictures and stories of Germany.
7. China. My husband has been there and has great things to say about it.
6. Japan. My husband LOVES everything about Japan. He even speaks some Japanese. We both would love to go there.
5. New Zealand. What can I say, I want to see the Shire.
4. France. Paris. Enough said.
3. Greece. Once again, architecture. I love beautiful buildings.
2. Italy. So many cities with so many cool things to see. (My brothers made a stop in Rome while they were in Germany.) Plus, I just finished reading Dan Brown's Inferno and now I want to see all the places in Florence and Venice mentioned in the book.
1. United Kingdom. I had to put all the UK countries together, because if I ever make it over there, I'm not leaving until I see ALL of them. The reasons for wanting to go here first could be another Top Ten list by itself.
There are so many other countries I'd love to visit, but that would be a Top 100 list instead of ten. These are the ones I'd visit first. If you have reasons/suggestions that might convince me to go somewhere else first, let me know!