Blog Archives

Bookish Style Christmas Decorations

Don’t know what to get book lovers, other than a Kindle gift card? How about this:

ornament good

I made these myself using clear ornaments, Epsom salt, and cut and curled pages from my favorite book. I asked the recipients what reading means to them, and included the word as part of the ornament. This has led to some great ornament ideas for my own Akasha Series; but next year!

Things don’t always come together this easily for me. I started out with the idea of pasting strips of pages around an ornament. Didn’t turn out quite right, but it is nothing a dash of glitter won’t solve, right? Wrong:

 ornament bad

Epic failure, considering how it was supposed to turn out:

 book ornament

Anyway, on to some sweet stuff. Last year I was left with an extra gingerbread house, and plenty of extra frosting. So I do what I do most – I got creative:

 gingerbread enter gingerbread water gingerbread air gingerbread fire2

I’ve been holding onto these pics for a year, and now that I look at them – they aren’t as good as I remember.  But, what they hey, I am not one to waste frosting. Maybe I’ll do ‘Earth’ with the extra gingerbread houses this year, or maybe I should quit while I’m only slightly behind…

 Hope everyone has a great holiday season and a very happy new year!

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It’s August!

Photograph by James Larkin

It’s August, my absolute favorite month! This year August means hot days, afternoon thunderstorms, and the Olympics. I woke up this morning, anxious to get started on another month of 50k words to finish out Earth, Book Four of the Akasha Series. Granted, I fell back asleep almost immediately, but I am not deterred. I am excited, because did you hear? It’s August!

Besides the fact that it is my birth month, it is also my first child’s birth month – so lots of birthday cake to go around. Plus, we have a fun month planned; a trip to the beach and the awesome Orangeberry Summer Splash Mini Book Tour Marathon. A feature of 100 authors and 500 blog stops. With interviews, guest posts, music playlists, giveaways, and much more – there is something for everyone. Please check it out!

Water, Book One of the Akasha Series‘ will be featured. Here is the schedule:

2nd August – Author Interview at Grady Hendrix’s blog
5th August – Twitter Blast with Pandora Poikilos
10th August – Guest Post & Book Feature at Krazy Book Lady
11th August – Twitter View with Pandora Poikilos: follow @harmonygirlit to see
12th August – Book Feature at Peace from Pieces
17th August – Guest Post & Book Review at Christopher Starr’s blog
18th August – Ford 99 at Mommy Adventures: read page 99 of ‘Water’

Can’t wait? Here is a teaser; part of my interview:

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
Slow down, already!

What is your guilty pleasure?
Vampires.

Favorite places to travel?
Anywhere without the kids…sorry guys, but sometimes mommy needs a break.

Of course, there will be reminders throughout August to check everything out, and I will be perusing to let you know my favorite blog stops. In the meantime – I want to know how you would answer the questions above! Leave a comment with your guilty pleasure and/or your favorite place to travel. Also, if someone wrote a book about your life, what would be the title?

Amazon – I love you, man. But you make no sense.

Thanks to everyone who helped price-match ‘Water’. My novel is now free to the masses! In other news, the print version will soon be available (it’s been a long learning process – print formatting is way more complex than e-book formatting).

I’m not exactly sure when the price-match occurred, but ‘Water’ already has over 1,000 downloads. And that is without a lick of advertising (until I hit ‘post’ on this article, that is).  I’ve even sold three copies of the next in the series, ‘Air’, today.  That is more than all of last month. 🙂

Anyway, ‘Water’ now ranks #2 under the ‘family saga’ bestsellers list. Not sure how it ended up there. I don’t really think it belongs there, and I’m not sure I can change it. I’m hoping it hits a few other bestseller lists. Speaking of, over 20 people have tagged ‘Water’ as young adult.

Not cool, Amazon. Not. Cool. Anyone reading the novel expecting young adult will be severely disappointed, possibly offended, and most likely ticked off. Ratings could very well suffer.

But we’ll see what happens. Let’s just hope this little experiment doesn’t run me out of the business. Until then – tell all your friends!

 

Be My First Chapter Beta Reader

I am currently undertaking the daunting task of reading my entire novel out loud to myself.  As I’ve discovered with my vampire short story series, and even the second book to the Akasha Series, ‘Air’, this method works wonders for catching hard to spot grammar/spelling mistakes and awkward sentences.  Although ‘Water’ has been on the market since September 2011, I haven’t yet put it through this process.  I have vowed to have this done by the time we go to Canada for our kid’s spring break trip (better get a move on because that is next week). Anyway, by the time I finished reading the first chapter out loud, I decided it needed a complete rework.

Whether you have read ‘Water’ yet or not, I would very much appreciate your input on the short 637 word excerpt below.  Does it grab your attention? Do you want to find out more? Does the dragon analogy work? If you have read ‘Water’, should I just stick with what is already there? Please leave your comments and thank you!!!

Chapter 1: Avalanche 

I leaned forward.  The board strapped to my boots responded.  Slicing through the fresh powder, I made a sharp curve to the right.  A quick glance uphill showed the wave of snow had almost tripled in size, and it was about to catch up to me.

More than anything else, it was the noise that pumped me full of adrenaline.  Like the roar of an angry, unrelenting dragon; breath stinking of the earth churned up in its path.  The entire right side of the unmarked backcountry trail was a wall of thick trees, impossible to break through.  I pulled my toes up, arching back to the left side of the trail.  But I wasn’t going to make it.  The dragon’s spittle pelted me on the back of my neck, sending chills down my spine.  Instead, I pointed my snowboard straight downhill and put all my weight on my forward leg, hoping to outrun the beast.

I willed my board to go faster than I ever dared before.  The avalanche was faster.  The dragon opened its mouth wide, closing in on me from both sides and overhead, blocking out the bright blue sky and the trees to the side of me with its gray jaws.  The slope beneath me cracked and slithered forward, like the monster’s forked tongue.  As the force of nature dropped over me, I closed my eyes and threw my arms around my head.  My screams were lost deep inside the creature.

Completely engulfed, I moved with the dragon.  The whole of the trail had transformed into its body; an agitated, unstoppable river of churning snow and debris.  The world became darker and darker, the snow heavier and heavier.  Flashes of light were few and far between.

When I gasped for air, I was sometimes rewarded with a clear breath but more often than not I sucked in a mouthful of snow.  Hacking to rid my throat of the slush, I came to the awful realization that I was drowning on dry land.

My hands, flailing for something solid to hang onto, finally caught hold of a tree.  Small as it was, it held fast against the merciless rush of snow.  I fought against nature, literally holding on for my life.  I wrapped myself around the trunk as two large branches just above me ripped away and disappeared in the churning white waves, along with my screams.  I squeezed so tight the rough bark scratched at my arms and cheek.  The scent of pine was strong, and I inhaled deeply as though the scent alone would keep me tethered to the tree.  I willed the roots to be strong.

They were, but I was not.  My grip started to loosen as my tired muscles and numb fingers were unable to hold on against the rushing snow.  I lost the stable trunk and returned to the tumble of snow.

I came to a halt just like the rest of the debris of the Canadian mountainside.  A small air pocket had formed, allowing me to spit out the coppery taste of blood.  Suffocation couldn’t be too far off, encased in an immobile block of ice as I was.  Feeble attempts at movement proved useless.  Silence settled in on me as I heard the last of the snow come to a halt above me.  Tolerating its crushing weight because I had no choice, I was left as I always was – alone.  Most of the time I preferred it that way; people were nothing but annoying.  But annoying or not, having someone who at least knew of my vacation plans would have been welcome.

As the numbness slowly receded, pain returned to one hand.  I wiggled my fingers.  They were free, possibly above the surface.  I grimaced.  Great – at least the wolves would find me.  Closed casket for me.

A Book Obsession

Time for another awesome book blogger interview! Mindy’s site, Forbidden Book Reviews, was created by team members of Books Complete Me and Page Turners Blog as a way to showcase all things ‘grown up’. Mindy recently reviewed ‘Water’ – see her review here. After sharing such an ecstatic review, I couldn’t help but get just as ecstatic over Mindy! Okay, that sounded weird – let’s just get on with the interview, shall we?

Q: First thing is first – how did you get into book blogging?

I became obsessed with the Twilight series. Seriously obsessed! Through this LOVE of all things Twilight, I met an INCREDIBLE group of gals on a twilight mom site. That is how the name Mindy Fangedmom came about because when I first fell in love with Vampires, they had fangs (the Twilight vamps do not have fangs but I love them anyway)! Fangedmom was my screen name in many forums.

Once my twimom friends started branching out to blogging, I of course, followed them. After following many blogs and being opened up to a WHOLE NEW WORLD of books, I was blown away by the SHEER talent that is all Indie and Self Pub authors!

Cindy, owner of Books Complete Me blog, asked me to join as a blogger. I was so excited. When Forbidden Reviews was created, I jumped on the chance to be part of it too. I am now the main blogger of Forbidden Reviews and LOVE IT!

A dear friend I met online gave me the nickname Brook. As in ‘babbles like a brook’. I love to talk. What a more perfect “job” for me than blogging.

Q: So now I have to ask – Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Team Jacob for sure from the very beginning.

Q: Tell me more about Forbidden Reviews. The creation, the concept, the…wine?

When Books Complete Me started, it was mostly focused on Young Adult reviews. As more and more authors started contacting us, we decided that it was not right to have our YA books being reviewed alongside books of a more adult nature.

We decided to start a sister blog for all adult themed books. We voted on the name Forbidden Reviews. When one of the gals came up with the header (the gal in the bathtub with a glass of wine: SHEER GENIUS) our rating system was born. I personally LOVE a glass (or bottle) of wine!

Q: White wine or red?

White wine and it has to be cold!

Q: What is your favorite part of the ‘job’?

Having someone tell me they read a book because of my review and that they loved it as much as I did!!!

THE AUTHORS…THE BOOKS…THE AUTHORS…THE BOOKS…I am absolutely blown away by authors. I have been since I learned to read. To have these stories, characters, settings and events in your head just blows my mind! I love to read a good book. There is NO better escape for me. Since I started blogging, I have met the most amazing Authors and read the most amazing books! Indie authors and Self Pub are my favorite! There is so much talent out there that once I discover it, I want to share it with the world!

Q: What is your not-so-favorite part?

Sometimes I want to just read. I wish some days I could just put “READ THIS BOOK. It is incredible and just trust me” and move to the next book. I don’t get as much reading done as I want because I cannot always write my reviews and post my reviews in a timely manner. I am a full time working mom, wife and my husband is self-employed. I am a busy gal! I MAKE time for blogging.

Q: How many hours would you say you spend on reading? How many hours on reviews and your blog?

*gets out calculator…* I work 8-10 hours a day, sleep for 5-6 hours, that is approx. 16 hours so that leaves about 8 hours a day that I am “free”. So in those 8 hours a day, I try to devote at least 2 hours to reading and/or blogging. Sometimes those hours all blur together in a reading/blogging marathon. It is nothing for me to start a good book and stay up all night to finish it. I have been known to read all night, sleep for an hour and go to work (I work in an office environment). I can also sit down to blog and say “I will only be a minute” and my husband and kids GROAN because “Mommy minutes” are HOURS long!

Q: What are your favorite genres?

Paranormal and Supernatural. Hands down. If there are mystical creatures, magic, witches, vamps, were’s, wolves etc. I will read it.

I am NOT a fan of what used to be known as Science Fiction. I am not sure if that genre really exists today. The genres have really changed since I was a young reader.

Q: What kind of book is worthy of five wine bottles?

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a good book. I am not an editor and I am not an English teacher. Therefore, if there are a few typos or a few mistakes..BFD…I am just grateful you wrote the book and I get to read it!

To me, a Five Wine bottle review means that I would tell you to read it. STOP what you are doing and read it. I have been told that I have a “fan group” that follows my reviews and reads what I review (talk about the ULTIMATE compliment)! THAT to me means I am doing something right as a blogger.

Q: Who are some of your all-time favorite authors? What about your favorite movies?

OMG there is no way I can answer that question. NONE. Usually if I am asked what my favorite book is, I refer to the book I am currently reading. I cannot pick one. Just like I cannot tell you which of my children is my favorite. They are all special and unique to me. I love a lot of different styles of writing, content…just way too many different ones to pick.

Movies: Another hard one. I just watched the Rebound and LOVED IT! I tend to watch movies over and over when I love them (seeing this obsessed personality much)??? Stargate, Lost Boys, Men in Black, 13 Going on 30, Twilight series, Harry Potter series, Hocus Pocus (again…I ramble…too many to name. These are the ones that just popped in my head).

Q: Coffee or Tea? Coke or Pepsi?

Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening (iced of course) and Pepsi.

Q: What is next for you?

Next? Maybe a bigger house with a built in library for all my books? I would be more than happy to let someone build one for me *giggles*

Seriously…I love to blog and I love to read. I will keep on doing both for as long as I can. Meeting new authors and meeting their “minds” is an incredible experience for me and I am very happy doing it.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the interview, Mindy! Book bloggers are amazing to me and you didn’t disappoint!

Thank you to Terra for my very first interview where I answered the questions instead of asked them. You should REALLY read Terra’s Akasha series. ‘Water’ blew me away and I am getting ready to start ‘Air’!

Check out Mindy’s book and movie reviews at: http://www.forbiddenreviews.com/

 

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