Saturday, August 31, 2013
Had to skip J and K because I could not think of any books I've read that begin with those letters. I'm currently reading Jane Eyre, but wasn't able to finish it before today. So, here's some L books.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis. I've read most of the Narnia books and this one is my favorite. Such a great fantasy story with a great message of hope and good overcoming evil. And I've always wanted to taste a Turkish Delight.
The Lost Symbol- Dan Brown. Another of Mr. Brown's. I enjoyed this one, though not as much as the first two in the Robert Langdon series. It's got the excitement and mystery, but I don't know if any of them will come close to the Da Vinci Code. I have Inferno on hold at my local library and am excited to read it.
The Looking Glass Wars trilogy- Frank Beddor. This is a fun take on the Alice in Wonderland story. I really liked the first two, but the third fell a little short. Still enjoyable, though. I recommend them all.
Little Women- Louisa May Alcott. Classic story of the March sisters. Every girl should read this.
The giveaway for The Bride has been extended yet again, till September 7. Please take the opportunity to enter! Five winners, open to all.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
I'm married to the most wonderful man ever, and today is our four year anniversary. Here's a little bit of our story.
I've always been a shy person and dating was very difficult. My older brother tried online dating and eventually met and married his wife. I decided to give online dating try. It took a while, because even though I could write to guys instead of talk, there was still going to be a point where I'd have to actually meet someone face to face. Then came Garett. We shared our first messages on March 15, 2009. We got to know each for about a month, found out we had a lot in common, and then went on our first date. I planned to take it nice and slow, but I soon realized that he was my perfect match. We got married about four and a half months later. Best decision I ever made!
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
One of the greatest shows to ever grace a TV screen is Avatar: the Last Airbender. If you've never seen the show, you are missing out big time. Yes, I know it's a cartoon and, yes, I am an adult, but it is so much more than a cartoon from a children's network. This may contain minor spoilers/inside jokes.
Today's Topic: Reasons Why Avatar is Awesome.
10. Strong sense of friendship. From start to finish, these characters are there for each other no matter what.
9. The animals. Everything from cow-hippo to owl-cat. If I remember right, there is only one "normal" animal in the series. The Earth King's pet bear, Bosco.
8. King Bumi. This dude is crazy. Like a fox. He's old, a bit off his rocker, and totally ripped. Lettuce leaf?
7. Aang never kills anyone. Okay, Firelord Ozai is an evil dude and probably should have been terminated, but Aang is just a kid. No kid should have to end someone's life. Thank goodness for that lion-turtle.
6. Bending. Such a cool power over the elements. I would totally want to be an Airbender.
5. Zuko's redemption. I figured that it would happen at some point. He's a lost young man searching for something that will please his psychotic father instead of himself. By the end of the series, he's definitely one of the best characters.
4. The continuous, unlucky, misadventures of Sokka. Anything and everything that can go wrong will probably happen to Sokka. With hilarious results.
3. Toph. A little blind girl who can kick anyone's butt. I love the first time she metalbends.
2. Uncle Iroh's wisdom and compassion. Everyone needs an Uncle Iroh.
1. Kataang. I rooted for Aang and Katara the entire series. They are one of my top favorite TV couples of all time. (See top ten list #2)
Monday, August 26, 2013
I haven't done too many art projects for Taela. Well, not many that I'm ready to show. But here is one I did a little while ago. This was done before the cover art, so the crystal looks different. It started as a photo (actually two photos. The background was added later). I then edited it with one of my artsy iPad apps. I even made a crystal out of paper to use in the original photo. It turned out pretty well. At least I think so.
You can get your copy of the ebook on all of amazon's sites and lulu.com. It should be available at Barnes and Noble and iBookstore any day now. The discounted price won't be there forever, so take the chance now!
It looks like the giveaway for The Bride has been extended for a few more days. It's international, so anyone from anywhere can enter! Go enter to win!
Saturday, August 24, 2013
I wasn't sure I'd remember many "I" books, but I have three!
Ivanhoe- Sir Walter Scott. I'm always telling myself that I should read more classics. I don't always follow through, because I like my usual genres. I read Ivanhoe several years ago during one of my classics phases and enjoyed it. There's adventure, romance, a medieval setting (which I adore), and some characters most people have heard of (Robin Hood, King Richard, Prince John) though the story mainly focuses on Wilfred of Ivanhoe. I recommend it for anyone looking for a classic.
Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison. Here's yet another I read in high school. I have mixed feelings about this one. It's full of racial tension and inequality and violence and intolerance and everything about America's past (and sometimes present) that makes me ill. But, the insight you can get into the lives of the narrator and those around him is profound and probably necessary.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret- Brian Selznick. I read this soon after it was published. It was not what I expected, actually. I was thinking it would be more of a fantasy, but it's not. The story is fine, the characters are engaging, but I was kind of disappointed at the end. I'm kind of a picky reader. The movie version fine as well.
One more reminder for you to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a free digital copy of The Bride. I think it ends this Sunday at midnight Pacific time.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
I usually post something on Thursdays, but I wasn't entirely sure what to write today. Here's a few things I'm working on right now and some things I'm thinking about.
The next book I plan to publish is called Soulless. It is with my editor right now. I hope to have it out in early December. I'll share more about it in the coming months. I'm also working on the second book in my Vessel series. I may have mentioned before that books 2 and 3 are mostly written, but both need a lot of fine tuning and a few (dozen) changes. I plan to release both in 2014. (I'm looking at April and December, with something else in between) So you can see I'm busy busy with big plans. I believe the more books I have out there the more chances there will be for people to find them.
I check the stats of my blog often, seeing the number of people who visit. It also shows me the countries where the visitors originate. It's pretty cool to see that I get people from all over the world. Russia, Poland, South Korea, Brazil, and Ireland to name a few. My blog is equipped with a translator and I hope that the things I write translate well enough for those who don't speak English. I'm interested to know, so if you are one of my foreign visitors who uses the translator, let me know if it works! You can leave a comment in your own language and I'll use the translator myself!
No matter where you're from, thanks for coming!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Music is awesome. No matter what I'm doing, I usually have something playing in the background. I have a wide, and perhaps unusual, range of favorite genres. I may give examples for some so you can check them out on YouTube or something.
Today's Topic: Favorite Genres of Music
10. Polka. The sound of an accordion and tuba make me giddy. It's just happy music.
9. Bluegrass. Just instrumental. Banjos and mandolins rock! Tony Rice is a great example.
8. Hymns. I'm a very religious person and this music is essential. See Alex Boye's I Will Rise. Fun side note. My brother-in-law is in this video.
7. 80's pop. Tears for Fears, Bangles, Michael Jackson...
6. Yodeling. Yes, yodeling. Mostly German, though I don't understand a word. It goes well with polka. I own a CD called Yodeling Songs of the Alps. De Gumpesel is awesome.
5. Classic Rock. Boston, Journey, Queen, Pink Floyd.
4. New Age. 2002, David Lanz, E.S. Posthumus
3. Classical. Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Rachmaninoff, Mozart, Verdi, Vivaldi... I could go on.
2. Oldies. From the 60's, even though Oldies stations are now playing 80's songs. The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkle, The Everly Brothers, Beach Boys
1. Irish/Celtic. My absolute favorite of all time is Enya. She could sing a phone book and I'd be enthralled. Also Lunasa, Flook, and The Chieftains
There you go! My strange variety of favorites. I dare you to listen to De Gumpesel right now. I actually found it on YouTube. Here's the link. It's at about 2:05.
Monday, August 19, 2013
I'm being spotlighted today by Jill Marie on her blog littlehyuts.com. I've answered some questions about my writing process and such. There's also a giveway going on for five people to win a free digital copy of The Bride! Head to this link to read and enter!
Now for the free chapters. Sales for Taela have been . . . slow. Not sure why, but I'm hoping to utilize as many ways as I can to get more people interested. I've already posted an excerpt, but now I'm going to post a link for the first two full chapters. Enjoy!
Taela chapters 1 and 2
Saturday, August 17, 2013
It's been a couple of weeks since my last ABC book post and I'm coming back with a letter that has two of the greatest series ever written. I'll start with two others, though.
Holes- Louis Sachar. I've read this a couple of times, both because of my job as a Special Ed. paraeducator over the years. It's a fun book with interesting characters. It's geared towards a young male audience, but I enjoyed it as well.
The Host- Stephenie Meyer. Now, I'm going to admit that I liked the Twilight series. Let's just get that out there. When I heard about the premise for The Host, I wasn't all that interested. It sounded more Sci Fi than fantasy and I prefer fantasy. I gave it a try anyway and enjoyed it. Though the love rectangle was a bit much. I haven't seen the movie version yet, but will probably end up renting it one of these days.
The Hunger Games trilogy- Suzanne Collins. Love it love it love! If you haven't read these books, do it right now before anyone finds out. These books are wonderfully intense and exciting. The only problem I had was that I thought the ending felt a bit rushed. Can't wait for the Catching Fire movie to come out!
Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling. What can be said about this series that hasn't already been said by millions of people? I read the first book after my mom got it from the library. She had heard about it from a talk show. I wasn't too sure at first, but once I read the first few chapters, I was HOOKED! I got the next two from the library soon after, but had to wait for the fourth to be released. I found out about some local midnight sales/parties that would be happening for its release and I convinced my dad to drive me around so I could get a copy. (thanks Dad!) I resisted reading it until the next morning. For the last three books, I decided to order them online from amazon and each one arrived on the day of its release, so I didn't have to wait. Sigh. I've read most of them 10+ times, some only 7 or 8 times. And I have the audio versions on my iPod. (I'm in the middle of listening to Prisoner of Azkaban right now) I will read this series again and again because it is just THAT GOOD!
Friday, August 16, 2013
The revised version of The Bride is now live on all amazon sites, still at the reduced price. If you've already purchased the ebook through amazon, you should be getting an email from them. They said it could take a few weeks to get the emails out. If you don't want to wait that long, you might try going to your amazon account. They have some steps you can take to get automatic book updates. I couldn't get it to work for my account, or perhaps it just hasn't updated yet. I'm kind of impatient sometimes. Here are the steps I took. See if it works for you. (these steps are only for those who have previously purchased the book)
Go to The Bride's amazon page. Above the book title, click on the link where it says "view this order". On the far right of the next screen where it says Manage Your Digital Items, pick Kindle. The top of the page should say Automatic Book Update is Now Available. Click on "learn more" Scroll down a bit and turn on "whispersync". This should get you the update without having to wait for the email from amazon I mentioned above. Like I said, my update hasn't happened yet, but I use a Kindle app on my iPad, so I don't know if it works faster for actual Kindles. I wish this was easier and I appreciate your patience. Good luck!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
My husband loves Doctor Who. I have tolerated the show, watching occasionally when he wants to. I think the first time I saw an episode, I thought, "This is dumb." Which is saying something for me, because I watch many a show that other people would consider dumb. Well, we recently watched season two of the reboot, with Ten and Rose. If there ever was a Doctor and a companion to watch, it's these two. They were magical together. I already knew enough about the show to know what was coming at the end. (thank you, Pinterest) I didn't want to watch it. But I did and bawled my eyes out. WHY DIDN'T HE TELL HER!?!? My husband reassured me that everything would be fine a little later on, which I also know about, but I still tear up when I think about their last episode.
How is it that characters from a fictional, and often bizarre, story are able to make such an impact? Why do we care so much? As a writer, I think about this all the time.
I'll continue to watch episodes here and there, but I will never forget Ten and Rose. And the "happy ending" coming up better be good.
On a different note, I hope to have the new version of The Bride available tomorrow. Or Saturday. My husband is helping me revamp the cover, but he's sick today. I'm sure some Doctor Who would cheer him up. :)
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I enjoy watching movies, but there have been some that turn out to be a waste of time. I'm sure this list won't cover even a fraction of the crappy movies I've see. Thankfully, I can't remember them all. My mind must have blocked some of them out. These are the ones that I still recall, the ones that make me shake my head with regret.
Today's Topic: Worst Movies I've Ever Seen--
10. Spider-Man 3. Shame on you, Toby MaGuire, for acting so badly.
9. City of Angels. I hated the ending.
8. Galaxy Quest. Wasn't a Tim Allen fan before, definitely not one after.
7. Last Airbender. I adore the cartoon series. If I ever see M. Night, I might run him over with my car.
6. Knowing. Oh, look, another Nicolas Cage movie.
5. The Ernest Movies. All of them. Especially Ernest Scared Stupid.
4. Scrooged. Not even sure what to say about this one.
3. Raising Arizona. Nic Cage, I never realized how many of your movies were such crap.
2. Mars Attacks. I REALLY wanted the aliens to win.
1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Speaking of aliens . . . I remember leaving the theater after this monstrosity thinking not only did I want my money back, but that Hitler must've come back from the dead, taken himself and his Nazi buddies out of the script and replaced them with something so horrible that it would be the perfect revenge for all the times Dr. Jones thwarted him on previous occasions.
I'd love to read about the crappy movies any of you have regretted seeing!
Monday, August 12, 2013
I am almost ready to release the improved version of The Bride. For you kindle users who have already purchased the book, you should get an email from amazon letting you know about the new version with a link to get it for free. For everyone else who bought it from lulu.com, Barnes and Noble, or iBookstore, they DO NOT offer new versions for free automatically for previous customers. (This is because lulu is in charge of my distribution to the other two, and lulu doesn't do it) I am trying to think of a way around this. Here's my plan. I will create the new version on lulu.com and price it at "free" for a short period of time, allowing you to get it the same way as the kindle people. I know this will also let other people get it for free, but I'm willing to lose a few royalties in order to make my original readers happy. I hope to get this done by the end of this week.
Remember, if you have a Nook or Apple product, you can download from lulu.
And get your copy of Taela while it's still at its reduced price! Find the page link for The Vessel series on the right side of the blog and it will lead to purchase links.
I mentioned that I was going to make a cake a few posts ago. The fondant didn't work as well as I hoped, but overall it turned out pretty well. Especially for a first try. Most importantly, it was delicious.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
It's finally here! I'm super excited to have this book ready for the world. Right now, it is available on lulu.com. It will be available on amazon later today (hopefully). Barnes and Noble and iBookstore will come later. Get it for only $2.99, for a limited time.
To help get you excited, you can read the first two chapters for free here!
I really wanted to include a map in the ebook, but could not get it to work when I converted the file. So, until the print version comes out, you can see the map here. The map is not crucial, but I always like to get an idea of where things are happening in a story, especially a fantasy.
And in case you're wondering, the second book in The Vessel series should be available first quarter 2014.
***YAY! You can now purchase Taela on amazon! Click here to buy now***
Thursday, August 8, 2013
The release day for Taela is almost here and I'm frantically making last minute changes and corrections. It's kind of funny how you can find little mistakes even after reading through the story a hundred times. Luckily I have a great editor who catches things I miss. I'm not saying it's perfect, because I'm not perfect, but I'm trying to get it as close to perfect as I can.
Speaking of trying...
I've looked over The Bride a few times since I've published it and, low and behold, there are a few mistakes that I've found. (and some that other people have noticed) I believe I can resubmit it to the Kindle publishing site and anyone who has purchased it on amazon will be notified and allowed to get the new version at no additional cost. I'm not sure about lulu.com, Barnes and Noble, or iBookstore, though. I will find out what their process is and let you know. I want my books to be the best I can make them so they're worth the money you spend. I apologize for the mistakes and hope you're understanding enough to know how much work I've put into my writing. I hope to only get better with time and experience.
I'm also in the process of getting The Bride ready for print. This takes a bit more effort and right now my focus is on getting Taela ready, so I don't think the print version of either book will be ready until September.
Oh, and my goal to finish reading Pride and Prejudice by September probably won't happen. I WILL finish it, though. Someday.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Today's list is once again about the Beatles. I spent a good deal of the evening yesterday listening to most of their albums.
Today's Topic: Favorite Beatles' Albums
10. Abbey Road
9. Tie- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour
8. Please Please Me
7. With the Beatles
6. Beatles for Sale
5. Rubber Soul
3. A Hard Day's Night
1. White Album Disc One-- I used to have a cassette of this and I'd listen to it almost every day as I drove to and from work.
Monday, August 5, 2013
My editor finished her second run through of Taela and sent it back to me over the weekend. I will definitely be publishing August 10. Just like with The Bride, I will start with lulu.com and all the amazon sites. Barnes and Noble and iBookstore will come later in the month. (But remember lulu.com can work with Nook and Apple devices as well) I'm planning to price Taela at $2.99 for about a month before raising it to its long term price of $3.99. Don't forget that The Bride is also at a discounted price for a limited time.
I'm going to start looking into the process for making print books. I'd love to see all my books in this format someday. I can use lulu.com for this, but I don't get much say in the pricing. There are other self-publishing sites out there, so I just need to do more research.
In other news, my niece's birthday is coming up (she's turning two!) and I've volunteered to make the cake. I've made hundreds of cakes, but never anything fancy. This one will have layers and filling and fondant and decorations, all in the shape if a cute little puppy. If it turns out well, I might post a picture here. If it doesn't, we'll never speak of it again.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
I'm going to skip my ABC books today and just post about the sale. Sale price for The Bride is now available on all amazon sites and lulu.com. Barnes and Noble and iBookstore are slower to update changes (they say it can take up to 30 days), so they are still showing the original price. HOWEVER, lulu.com supports many ereading devices, including Nook and Apple products. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this sale price is for a limited time. Get your copy of The Bride now! And hopefully about this time next week you'll be ready and willing to purchase Taela!
Thursday, August 1, 2013
I was going to wait till the release of Taela for this, but I thought starting a week early might help sales in the long run. This Saturday, I will be dropping the price of The Bride from $3.99 to $1.99. This will be a limited time offer, so if you've been waiting for a deal, now's your chance! I will make another post on Saturday to let you know exactly when the new price is available. I'm hoping you'll take the opportunity to get to know my writing style. Then you might be more willing to read my future books (which is every author's dream).
One of the most helpful things for an author, especially one who is self-published, is word of mouth. If you like The Bride, please tell any of your friends and family who might be interested in the genre. Let them know about the upcoming sale! I will be forever grateful!