Thursday, February 27, 2014
I think my next free day for Soulless will be March 27, which happens to be my mom's birthday. It will only be one day this time. A countdown thingy will soon appear on the right.
I have high hopes for March. My book Sources will be in the hands of my editor. (It's sooo almost done!) My husband is supposed to be getting a bonus from work. I'll be teaching piano lessons. I hope to finally get my hourglass pendants on my etsy shop. I'll be working on my next book project. I will exercise more. And Spring makes everything nicer.
I watched the movie Austenland last night. I read the book a year or so ago and really liked it. The movie was fun too. If you've never heard of it, it's about a 30 something woman who is obsessed with all things Jane Austen, especially Mr. Darcy. She learns about a retreat in England that lets the guests live out an Austen-themed vacation, which I think might be fun.
Don't forget to leave reviews for Soulless on amazon/Goodreads!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
We're supposed to be getting a decent tax return his year. That doesn't happen often at our house. Don't get me started down that road. Anyway, all the money will be used to pay for bills and other nonfun things. I could easily make a list of all the things that require payment or repairs around here, but I won't. If I could use the extra money for anything else, namely anything other than bills, it might go something like this...
Today's Topic: Funner Ways To Spend My Tax Return Money
10. Cool cooking appliances and tools. I love to cook. I'm thinking meat grinder...
9. New board games. My family enjoys playing board games at our little gatherings.
8. Shopping spree at our local thrift store. I know, if I have a bunch of money, why not go to a real store? Because I love a good deal on clothes that are perfectly wearable.
7. New boots. Maybe even some fun colors, like blue or purple.
6. Eating out. We usually only do this when we have coupons or gift cards.
5. Add to our DVD/Bluray collection.
4. Add to my book collection. This would include ebooks.
3. New laptop and iPad. Mine are a little out of date.
2. Something for my hubby. Probably video games.
1. A trip somewhere. We might even be able to pull off a visit to Disneyland. *sigh*
Sadly, the money is already spoken for. Sometimes being a grown-up is hard.
In case you were wondering, the total number of downloads for Soulless during the two free days is 1,304. I'm pretty happy with that. I'm going to do another round of freeness during March, so watch out for that if you missed this past round. And now that a bunch of people have a copy of my book, I would really appreciate some reviews on amazon. I've already gotten a very positive five star review. Made me smile.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
My free days for Soulless have been awesome! I don't really have anything to compare it to, but I think it's going well. By the end of Friday, the number of downloads broke 1000, and last time I checked this morning, it was at 1200. This includes downloads from around the globe. I'm quite pleased. Big thanks to all of you who have gotten your free copy and have helped spread the word. It's not over yet, so keep the good mojo going! Here's the link again for your convenience. CLICK!
**this promotion has ended**
Hubby and I are FINALLY going to go see the second Hobbit movie. Our lateness is partly due to hubby's busy schedule and partly due to our empty wallets. When we mentioned this to my in-laws a couple of weeks ago, my brother-in-law whipped out a $20 bill and insisted we go see it pronto. Well, here we go! I'm excited. I've loved all of the Tolkien movies thus far. I can't wait to hear Smaug speak! Benedict Cumberbatch has the most amazing voice! Now I want to watch Sherlock...
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I've seriously been slacking off in my writing lately and I don't have any good excuses. I only have a few chapters left to write for The Vessel Book Two. I hope to be done by the end of the month. I can do it!! The cover is already done, which is good because it's a lot of work. Any guesses on what will be featured? The title is Sources, which is pretty self explanatory if you've read Taela.
My husband is a talented singer. Our church group/neighborhood area is holding a talent show next weekend and hubby decided he wanted to participate. Actually, we get to participate since I will be his piano accompanist. After looking over many choices, we settled on The Song of the Lonely Mountain from the first Hobbit movie (the song during the end credits). It was a pain in the butt to find a good arrangement, but we finally figured it out. I'm going to start practicing it today. I hope it goes well. I might try to record it on one of our phones and share some of it. We'll see.
The free days for Soulless start tomorrow (Feb 21-22)!! I'm excited to see how this works out. Please please please, if you like me at all, tell anyone you know who might be interested in getting a free book!! No Kindle is necessary! I've mentioned before that if you have an amazon account, you should have access to your Kindle cloud which lets you read Kindle books on your computer! Help me make this a success!! Since I don't write posts on Fridays, I'll share a link today. You can pop on back over here on Friday and click on it! Yay for free books!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I've been watching many episodes of the Amazing Race on Netflix. I enjoy seeing the beautiful places the teams get to go to. I would love to travel. (See list #14) I could never do the Amazing Race, though.
Today's Topic: Why I Could Not Be On The Amazing Race.
10. Poor sense of direction. I have to use mapquest or google maps anytime I go somewhere. And even then, there's no guarentee I'll get to my destination.
9. I speak only English. I know other teams manage to get around without knowing the language of the country they're in, but it's always a detriment. I took Spanish in Jr. High, but the only thing we really did was play Uno.
8. I don't like crowds and busy atmospheres.
7. I don't have the right kind of patience. I don't do well with waiting or time wasting.
6. I'm not physically fit. I would probably die from exertion.
5. I don't sleep well. I have a hard time getting decent sleep at home in my own bed.
4. I complain a lot.
3. I'm more lazy than I'd like to admit.
2. I'm not adventurous. I like being at home.
1. I could not handle the pressure. I like to plan things out and take my time. Rushing around like a crazy person would make me crazy.
Wow, I sound like a real loser.
Only a few more days till you can get Soulless for free on amazon!
Saturday, February 15, 2014
I mentioned briefly last post that hubby and I were going to make our own version of sushi for Valentine's Day dinner. Since it was our first attempt, we decided not to use fish. That may happen sometime in the future. I got all the veggies chopped all nice and julienne-like (carrots, zucchini, sweet potato, broccoli, and red bell pepper) and prepared the rice. I had some calrose rice on hand, which isn't sushi rice, but it worked pretty well anyway. I had some chicken, bacon, and sausage for the meats. For dipping sauces, I like sweet and sour, so I made a bit using some pineapple apricot preserves. Hubby requested a creamy teriyaki, which I made with teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and plain yogurt. Earlier in the day, I watched some videos to learn how to roll properly. It didn't look super hard, so I was excited ready to try. I rolled the first one while hubby watched. He made the next two. We both used a bit too much rice, which made them on the ginormous side, but they looked fairly decent. But what matters most is that they tasted great! We stuffed ourselves and now have leftovers. We have plans to make sushi more often, venturing into more traditional ingredients as we go. Here's some pictures of what we did.
We also shared a steamed pork bun we got from a local Asian market. Hubby would like me to try making some from scratch someday. I think that's doable. And hubby had a bowl of miso soup. I'm not a huge fan of miso. All the room in my tummy was for sushi. It was a fun experience and I look forward to doing it again. Probably in a few days. :)
One week till Soulless free days on amazon! It will be next Friday and Saturday. Remember that you don't have to own a Kindle in order to read a Kindle book. You can read it from your Kindle cloud, which is connected to your amazon account. I hope you'll take the opportunity to give my book a try!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
I seem to write a lot of posts about cake. Not that it's a bad thing. Cake is delicious. This time, the cake is for Valentine's Day. I made it yesterday. I figure, why wait for the actual holiday to eat a sweet treat when we can enjoy it now? Here's a picture.
It's a vanilla pudding poke cake with a layer of coconut and a cream cheese, coconut cream frosting. My hubby loves coconut. Pretty yummy! For dinner on Valentine's day, we're going to attempt to make sushi. It won't be traditional sushi. We'll be using chicken, sausage, and bacon for the protein, as well as our favorite veggies. It should be fun!
As for the piano part of the post, I've decided to start teaching piano lessons again. I did so for a few years before I got married. The time has come to do it again. Not only do we need the extra money, but I enjoy helping kids build a new and enjoyable skill. I've been playing for over twenty years and couldn't imagine my life without it.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The 2014 Winter Olympics are happening as we speak. I enjoy the Olympics. It's times like this that I wish I had cable so could watch some of the events. I'll try to catch clips and highlights here and there. It was cool when the 2002 games were held in a Salt Lake City, mostly because my family took a trip to Disneyland during the first week :) Anyway...
Today's Topic: My Favorite Winter Olympic Events
5. Freestyle Skiing
4. Speed Skating
3. Short Track Speed Skating
2. Ski Jumping
1. Figure Skating. Short story. When my sister and I were younger, we watched figure skating during the Olympics and became enamored with a woman from Japan named Midori Ito. I can't remember if she medaled or not. I don't even remember why we liked her so much, though I think that's when I really started liking figure skating.
Good luck to all the participants! Although I want the US to do well in every event, I do enjoy hearing about the countries who grab a surprise victory, especially the countries who rarely, if ever, win a medal. Go teams!
Not long until my free Kindle days for Soulless! It's a great chance to read one of my books at no cost, which will hopefully encourage you to read my other books!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
We don't have cable at our house at the moment. Instead we have Netflix and Hulu+. Both are good for watching TV shows, but neither offer a very good selection of movies, Hulu being the worst of the two. While browsing Netflix last night for something to watch, my husband noticed a little movie called Ramen Girl. We'd never heard of it, but, being obsessed with all things Japanese, my husband was interested in watching it. It stars Brittany Murphy, probably one of her last movies, and is about an American girl living in Japan with her Amercican boyfriend who works there. The dude suddenly breaks up with her and leaves her stranded. Seeking some sort of direction, she visits a ramen shop across the street from her apartment and gets the idea to become a ramen chef. It's kinda corny, but had some seriously hilarious parts, mostly from the ramen sensei. We both enjoyed it. Later, it got me thinking about incorporating Japanese legend/mythology into a future book. That's what I do. Anything I watch can become inspiration for a book. So, now I'm forming a new idea, all thanks to a silly little movie about ramen.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
I've been in a reading slump for a long time. Like, a year or more. I've had a really hard time getting into anything. I'll start something and not finish it, or buy something and not start it. The hardest part is that I don't know why. I used to be a voracious reader. I would visit the library near my home at least once a week. Now, the last time I was at a library was months ago. Anyway, I've recently been collecting some ebooks from the Kindle store and iBookstore that sound interesting, hoping at least one will help me get out of this slump. I started reading one called Heartless, which is the first book in the series Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I'm not very far into it, but I'm enjoying it! It's about a princess who has recently come of age and a prince who wishes to marry her. But because he's not the dashing, romantic vision she's always imagined, she rejects him for another. Her choice, however, may put everyone in danger.
If anyone would like to recommend something they've enjoyed in the genre of YA fiction, fantasy being my favorite, please feel free to leave me a comment.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
So, last Sunday was a big day. Lots of people eagerly watched that super-thing on TV. I had an enjoyable day as well. And it had nothing to do with football.
Today's Topic: What I Liked About "Super Bowl" Sunday
10. It was Sunday. I like Sundays. No worrying about work or other nonessential things.
9. Nap time. Even though my naps aren't usually very successful, it's still nice to try.
8. A trip to my parents' house. I love visiting my family. They are awesome!
7. Beef Stroganoff for dinner. This meal is a family favorite.
6. Yummy treats afterward. My family always has an abundance of goodies for our gatherings.
5. My brothers. No offense to the girls in my family, but my brothers are hilarious.
4. My sisters. No offense to the boys, but the girls don't need to be hilarious to be awesome.
3. My niece and nephews. It's so much fun to watch them run around and play. They're so adorable!
2. My parents. I could write a book about how great they are.
1. Going to church. Because, in my opinion, that's what Sundays are all about!
I'll admit I glanced at the TV now and then. I know Seattle kicked butt. But I really couldn't care less about the Big Game or the lame commercials. For me, it's just a good excuse to be with my family.
If you read my previous post, you know I tried to make mayo for the first time. Here's an update: it was a disaster. I plan to try again some day, so I'll let you know when I hit success.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Here's a bit of boasting. I'm a pretty good cook. I don't possess many technical skills, but I don't think you need them to make tasty food. And I enjoy cooking. I especially like taking an idea from a recipe and tweaking it to my personal preference or budget. Sometimes I can't afford a certain ingredient, so I substitute. Sometimes I'm worried that my experiment will flop, but that's one way to learn. I also like making things healthier without compromising taste. For example, when I'm baking, I use yogurt instead of oil or butter as often as I can. One of my favorites is a coconut cranberry oat bread. I use a zucchini bread recipe as a base and then do my tweaking. My husband has often told me that I should create a cookbook. There's one problem. I don't really measure ingredients when I'm experimenting, so writing it down as a recipe won't be easy. It's a good idea, though. It's something I should seriously consider.
Today, I'm going to make mayo for the first time. I'm a little nervous.