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!