Saturday, May 31, 2014

Summer Reading

School is out. Kids are free. Hopefully they will do smart, responsible things during their break. Like read books. If you are a "kid" or know one, I know of some great books to pick up for some fun summer reading. Of course I'm talking about my books. The prices are low ($.99 or less) and they're clean, so you don't have to worry about filling their heads with garbage.

I have a bunch of books on my iPad that I'm planning to read sometime during my life. Once I get going, I might start doing some book reviews. Probably not by request, though. I have too many things going on to go that route. I finished all the art for my first page of my web comic, Samurai Penguin. I still need to do the wording, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. I mentioned before that I will post some examples in the future. I'm pretty excited about it. Now I just need to finish Sources... Yes, I'm still working on the last chapters. I've been a bit distracted by my web comic, but now that I have some done, I will focus on Sources. My editor is more than half way done with the part she has, so I have to finish! Oh, and we're moving, so there's that can of worms too.

Busy busy!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Few More Days

Quick reminder that the winner of my giveaway will be chosen and announced in one week. I've gotten more participation for this giveaway than any of my others, which is awesome. Enter now if you haven't already.

This time last year, hubby and I were melting in Arizona. Though we met some great people down there, I wouldn't want to be there during the summer again. A winter visit? No problem. I am amazed at the people who can tolerate the heat. I was also working hard on preparing The Bride for publishing. I was very new to the whole process and it took a few tries to get all the formatting right. I'm so glad that little nobodies like me have the opportunity and ability to share our writings with the world instead of waiting for a publisher to decide whether or not we're good enough. Sure, the big publishers have their good points, but I think it's important for people to have a hand in their own fate. I choose to be an author.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #48

Sorry this is later than usual. I had to work this morning, and then I got sidetracked by Facebook. Ah, Facebook. It is a double-edged sword. The good cometh with the bad, as in most things. Let's focus on the good for now, shall we?

Today's Topic: Why I Enjoy Facebook (no particular order)

10. Keeping in touch with friends. With friends and family living all over the country, it's a great way to remain a part of their lives.
9. Letting people know what's happening in my life. Sure, I'm not all that interesting, but there has to be a few people who read what I post.
8. The comments. Sometimes reading peoples' comments is like watching a movie, sometimes hilarious, sometimes dramatic, sometimes frightening.
7. News/updates. I "like" certain pages to keep up with what's happening, whether it's a TV show (Doctor Who) or a certain favorite vacation spot (Disneyland).
6. Contests/sweepstakes. I enter many.
5. Using it as a tool for promoting my books. I'm still trying to improve this aspect.
4. Pictures. Like #1, it's great to see pictures of friends and family. Some more than others :)
3. Real news. I don't watch news on TV, so I usually rely on the internet to learn about what's happening in the world. I follow some local news pages for this reason.
2. Some games. There are only a few I play that use my FB login info.
1. This might sound lame, but FB was one if the ways that hubby and I communicated while we were dating. I still have all our "conversations". It's fun to be able to back and read them.

I've been working on my web comic for the past few days. The artwork is going surprisingly well, so far. Though I don't plan to have it up and running until September or so, I'm determined to have a bunch of pages ready in advance, otherwise I won't be able to keep up. I'm not sure how often I'll post a page. There are many things that need to be figured out. I hope you'll come check it out, though. I might even share some teaser pics in the near future...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer Dates

I've been looking at Ye Olde Calendar and have chosen some dates for things. They are subject to change, so don't send out invitations for your parties just yet.

June 28- cover reveal for Sources 
July 12- free sample chapters for Sources
July 26- release of Sources in paperback and ebook

The first two are pretty much a guarantee, but the actual release date depends a lot on my editor's editing and my revisions. And not only are my hubby and I moving in the next month or so, my editor and her hubby are planning on moving too! Hopefully these super-fun transitions will not screw stuff up too much. It shall be a busy summer no matter what.

What else can you do in the meantime...?

Enter my giveaway
Play the Name Game
Read my books, write glowing reviews on amazon

Just a suggestion :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Story Begins

Besides finishing up Sources, I've started developing the outline for my web comic, Samurai Penguin. It's going well so far. This will be a huge endeavor, though. Not necessarily the story part, but the art part. I'm a pretty good artist, but I have no experience with comics. The background stuff will definitely be the hardest. I've been trying to get inspiration and helpful tips from the internet. One person suggested a certain book that could be helpful. Hopefully it's at my local library. Mostly I just need to practice until I get better. I'll update you on this as I go along.

My hubby got me all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender for Mother's Day. They just arrived yesterday. He used the slow, but free, shipping method, which is one of the reasons I love him. Anytime we save some money, I am happy. Anyway, ATLA is one of my most favoritest shows. I've mentioned it in a few posts. (Particularly this one) and recommend it to everyone. And I can't stress this enough-- the movie version by M. Night is AWFUL! Stay away!

Thanks to all who have entered my giveaway! It's probably the most participation I've ever gotten. There is still plenty of time to enter. Choose one or all of the entry methods. The more you use, the better your chances of winning.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Learn Something New

No top ten list today. I accidentally slept in a bit and am too lazy to think one up. Instead, I'll toot my own horn by telling you I figured out how to display my giveaway thingy on the text part of my blog! I'm not very tech savvy and certainly green when it comes to HTML stuff, but after some thought and a "duh" moment, I got it. See, I'll show you...

**this promo has ended**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yay! Now I'm certain more people will see it, even on their phones. If you missed it before, now's your chance to enter.

FYI, over the weekend I sent most of Sources to my editor. I'm still grappling with the last few chapters. I know what I want to happen, but I'm testing out different sequences and such. Now that things are actually moving forward, I'm looking at the end-ish of July for release. I also still plan to release one more book this year. Most likely December.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Anniversary Giveaway!

It has almost been one year since I started this blog AND published my first book, The Bride. It's been an exciting year of events and I can't wait to bring you more books! To celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway! The prize will be one of my very lovely hourglass pendants.

This giveaway is for residents of the contiguous 48 US states only. It will start tonight at midnight US mountain time (May 18) and go till 12:00 am of June 4. The winner will be selected and announced June 5, which is the anniversary date. There are many ways to enter, so get going! If you have questions, feel free to email me. 

**update: I've been so pleased with the participation that I've decided to choose two winners!

***this promo has ended***
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Something About a Website

Sometime in the near future, not sure exactly when, I will have a new website. Well, it will actually be for both me and my hubby, who also writes. We have some ideas on how to handle the distribution of our work that we hope will generate a growing audience. I will most likely be moving all my blog stuff there as well. Don't worry, I'll let you know more details in advance so you don't miss all my wonderful ramblings :)  I have an idea for a web comic that might be featured there as well. I've mentioned the main character in another post. (You can find him here) My hubby will be creating the website, so the timeframe depends a lot on the time he has to work on it. We're hoping to have it up and running before the end of the year.

In the meantime, I'm still accepting names for my Name Game. It's been such a slow process that I envision the email submission portion of the game will continue for awhile. In some ways this is good because more people will eventually read Soulless and be eligible to participate. Not so good because of my eagerness to move forward. I can wait, though. I waited nearly 13 years to publish my first book. I think I can wait a few more months for this.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #47

Last week's list was about summer. Today's will be as well. I don't usually make many plans during the summer, mostly because we don't have a lot money and because my hubby still works normal hours. However, there are things I'm going to do this summer and things I'd like to do. This list is in no particular order.

Today's Topic: Things I Will Do or Want to Do This Summer

10. Camping. My family used to go every year when I was growing up. I'm not a huge fan of it now because I have a hard time sleeping, but we're going in July!
9. Water park. This is a maybe. If you remember from my previous list, I can't swim.
8. Amusement park. We have one in Utah--Lagoon. I haven't been there in many years. We'll see...
7. Festival of some kind. There are several throughout the summer around where I live, so there's a good chance we'll hit at least one.
6. Be crafty. I love making stuff and I have a bunch of ideas from Pinterest just waiting for me.
5. Visit a garage sale, flea market, swap meet. It's fun to find unexpected treasures.
4. See some summer movies. Uh, what's coming out soon?
3. Not get sunburned!
2. Make improvements to our condo...
1. Because we're moving! That's right. There's a whole big story for this, so I'll try to be brief. Some family members need some extra help with day to day chores and yard work so hubby and I are moving into the basement to help out. We, in turn, will be able to live there at low cost so we can start saving more money. (Yay!) Long term plan is for us to eventually buy the place. We'll move this summer and fix up our condo real nice in the meantime and hopefully sell it around September. It's exciting and a little nerve wracking, but we think it will be good for everyone involved.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Best of the Best

I'm not going to lie. I have the BEST mother in the world. With tomorrow being Mother's Day, I thought I would lavish her with well-deserved praise. She is smart, beautiful, caring, funny, supportive, talented, and my bestest friend. I couldn't have asked for anyone better. There are other great mothers in my life. My mother-in-law is a wonderful woman. My grandmothers and aunts are very important, as well as my sister and sisters-in-law. I also have many friends who great mothers. I know there are women out there who hate Mother's Day for various reasons, one being infertility. I know the feeling. Without going into detail, my hubby and I have been unable to start our family for unknown medical reasons. It has been a huge emotional trial. I have always wanted to be a mother and now I don't know when or if that will happen. I have religious beliefs that offer comfort, but it is still a hard thing to deal with. Anyway, even those women who are not mothers can still be grateful for their own. I know I am!

Love you, Mom!

If you are still trying to think of a gift for the mothers/women in your life, any of my books would be a great idea! (Hint hint)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Same Old Thing

Hubby and I are homebodies. We prefer to keep to ourselves most of the time. However, we've fallen into a bit of a rut. To entertain ourselves, we usually end up watching TV or a movie while our noses are pressed into our electronic devices. So yesterday, I suggested we think of some things to do that don't necessarily involve technology, or a lot of money. (We're still poor) We made a nice list of activities ranging from karaoke in the living room to making paper airplanes. Some are cheesy, but we are a bit cheesy ourselves. One thing I suggested is that we go to the dollar store and both of use buy a couple of food items without the other seeing. Then we go home and make dinner using the items ala Chopped. I think that sounds super fun, and potentially disgusting. Do any of you have fun activities you've tried or want to try? Please leave a comment!

Our a/c is in, though we haven't had to use it yet. Utah weather is predictable only in its unpredictability. Today's high in my area will be 61 degrees. Sunday is supposed to be in the 40's. Whatever, weather. I'm just glad we won't die of heat stroke in our own home this summer.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #46

I hurt myself. I was helping clear out some old food storage at my husband's grandparents' house on Saturday and while I was lifting a heavy box, my back gave out. I know, you're supposed to lift with your legs, but apparently I wasn't being careful enough. Pinched nerve = no fun. I've been taking it easy since and am feeling better now. My hubby has been taking good care of me.

Summer is nearly here. There are many things I like about summer, and some things I don't like. The heat, for example. Doubly so because our air conditioning has been broken for the past year. We finally have some money to get it replaced. Some cool dudes (get it? Cool?) came this morning to assess our needs and they will be installing a replacement in a few hours! It is cause for celebration. Back to summer . . .

Today's Topic: Things I Like/Don't Like About Summer (five for each)

10. Sunshine
9. Vacations (if we could afford them)
8. Fourth of July parties with family (usually one at my grandma's and one at my parents')
7. Summer TV shows. Looking forward to more Rizzoli and Isles and Major Crimes.
6. Showing off my blindingly white skin. I don't tan. I burn. Sunscreen is a must.
Don't Like
5. Heat
4. Bugs
3. The sound of lawn mowers at 7:00 am
2. Sunburns. See #6. I've had some doozies.
1. Swimming. I can't swim. I have a mild fear of water. Hubby intends to remedy that. Well see.

When I worked at three different schools for 11 years, I longed for summer vacation. Now that I work from home, summer has lost some of its appeal. My work is part time, which means I usually have 2-3 months of downtime between "orders", so I shouldn't complain. You'd think I'd have all sorts of books written with that much time on my hands, but I find new and inventive ways to procrastinate. It's one of my many talents.

Speaking of procrastination, Name Game, anyone? :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cover Reveal Coming...

I was going to wait until Sources was with my editor to do this, but then I thought why not? The cover reveal is forthcoming. I don't have an exact date yet, but it will be sometime this month. I will post the date as soon as I pin one down. And the colors you see in the teaser/announcement are some of the colors you will see on the actual cover. Any guesses on what else might be featured? Feel free to leave your guess in the comments.


Gonna keep plugging my Name Game. Though my list has grown, I'm not going to move to the next phase until I have more participation. That might take longer than I anticipated, but I can be patient. Sometimes. I know there are many of you out there who have downloaded Soulless. If you haven't read it yet, get going! :)  I just know you'll come up with some fabulous names!

I've been listening to Lindsey Stirling's new album. Pretty good stuff! I think Master of Tides is my favorite one so far. You can download it from iTunes or get it at Target. She also has a couple of music videos on YouTube. (here and here)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Maybe Next Time

We didn't quite make it to 100 likes on my Facebook page. But don't worry. I'll be doing a different giveaway in a month or so for the release of Sources. (I'm almost done with it. I promise.)

I'm babysitting my niece again today. My mom usually watches her, but she and my dad are in Disneyland. I'm trying not to be jealous. My niece is about 2 1/2 and she's soooo smart! She has a better vocab and speech ability than most 3 or 4 year olds. We're watching Curious George right now :)