Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So sad....the only question is "why?"

Found out this morning that a friend passed away...suddenly....major heart attack. He wasn't a good friend of mine, more of an acquaintance for me, friend of my husband and his sisters. He was actually my sister in law's boyfriend's brother. He was a father...his little girl is a year younger than my daughter. And he was only 32......the same age as me.

Death terrifies me more than own and of those close to me.

I try to take care of myself and my kids, my husband, make sure we stay healthy and go for routine check ups. I encourage my kids to be safe and do not allow them to do dangerous things. We try our best to live life but constantly be aware of our safety.

But you could do all these things and it could mean nothing. Any second, any of us could be taken away. What would my kids do without me? I don't want them to live they're lives without a mother. And if I lost them......I can't even think about that.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Critiques by a fellow blogger???

I have come across several bloggers who have offered critiques to their followers. They did the critique, gave their thoughts and posted them on their blog. I think this is awesome for the blogger offering it....any feedback is so helpful. Sometimes we need a fresh eye to read it after our writers group has read it a zillion times. And also very brave for the writer...we all know how hard it is to put yourself out there.

I was wondering if anyone would be interested in doing something like this here on my blog.

Now I don't consider myself a professional editor by any means, but I've been told my by writers group members that I am good at giving feedback for fiction. I've been through the editing process for my book and have learned so so much.

So...what do you guys think???

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why are people so disrespectful??

I grew up middle class, probably the lower end of it. But my dad worked hard and earned everything we had. There was always food to eat and a roof over our heads. We never went on government assistance, accept for once when my dad injured himself and was out of work for over two months. (My parents got food stamps for a little while.) We had a car, albeit, a rusty one. But we still managed to have fun and enjoy life...sometimes even got to go to amusement parks and museums, take day trips, go to festivals. I have many fond memories of my childhood.

We were always taught to respect things and people. If we didn't have something...oh well...we didn't have it. If you wanted something, you earned money to buy it.

I don't understand how people today think it is okay to take things from others.

I am an adult now and I work hard. I have a home and children that I take care of in addition to my writing. My husband works hard and earns the majority of our income. We're not swimming in money but we have enough to pay bills and eat and there is sometimes some extra to treat ourselves.

And nothing makes me lose faith and respect for the human race more than someone else coming and just taking what we've earned through hard work.

Last week someone went into my car and stole my ipod and our navigation system. We bought the ipod ourselves and the GPS was a Christmas gift. Neither item have we had for very long.

Why are there people in this world that have zero respect for others, their property??? Why were these people not taught these lessons as children? What is wrong with our society that people are left to believe that this is the proper way to go through life? Why are people not being taught that hard work is the only way to get what you want??

I am trying so hard to teach my kids that you don't take what's not yours and you work hard and save money to buy things yourself.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Grease is the word!!

I caught Grease on AMC the other night and it is just one of those movies that I can't help but watch whenever it's on! There's love and lust, there's friends and fun. It's the nerdy girl wanting the bad boy and plenty of subplots to round it out. The music is fab...I know every word of every song!


What about you??? What are your favorite feel-good movie that you can't help but watch whenever they're on?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Got some dates for releases!!!!

I am so so excited over here!!!!!!! Back in, oh, like February, my editor at Lyrical, Piper Denna, told me she saw A Bitch Named Karma on the print release schedule for September. I was beyond ecstatic!!! But without hearing it from the owners of Lyrical Press, I tried not to get too excited. And then I did hear it from The Write Stuff conference the end of March. But they said January.

Well, I found out the other day that the official release date for PRINT for A Bitch Named Karma is December 1, 2010!!!!!!

Wooo Hooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! They emailed me the book made me all tingly!!!!

And I have another release date announcement!! Found out my official release date for Paradise Cove, a short novel that is being published by Lyrical as well!! March 21, 2011!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 it but it seems like it's going down hill.

I was not the first of my friends to join Facebook, but was definitely ahead of most. It was the coolest thing ever! I had been on Myspace before and that was cool then...but FB was so much better!! I loved the status updates...little tidbits of my friend's lives. I loved being able to log in and scroll through...maybe 15-20 minutes of my time, and be instantly updated on all my friend's lives.

I reconnected with friends from years ago and even my friends now, and was able to talk with them on a daily basis. And other friends who were merely acquaintances before had now become a friend.

Whenever there was a party or some event, it was always a race to see who could post their pictures on FB first and we'd all tag and comment on the pictures! So so cool!!

But now...seems like FB isn't what it used to be. And that makes me so sad. It was perfect for me. I could get on at 10 am or 10 pm and catch up on everyone's posts and comment on them. Seems people aren't on like they used to...people aren't updating their statuses or commenting on mine. I Twitter, but it's no where near the same.

I started my FB Fanpage a while back and have some fans that aren't people I actually know in real life. that is pretty cool! :) if you're not a fan and would like to be....check me out here!

So what are your thoughts on Facebook??? Love it, hate it.....sad that's it seems to be on the decline??? I know I am :(

Monday, June 21, 2010

My blog is now my official website

I started this blog and it was great. I was really getting into the whole blogging community thing! Loved it! But I still needed a website for general info and such. I used my free webspace that my ISP allows me and used their template. Very blah and boring...very basic. But it was free. No money in the budget for website building these days.

But then Blogger allowed you to have pages on your blog. This was FAB!! I added some pages and the blog now had all the info I why keep a crappy looking site???

I just changed my site forwarding to the blog. So happy about this change. Now everyone will only see my fab looking blog!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Another review!!!!!!! Hooray!!

Please stop by Kristie's blog- Family, Scrapbooks, and Coffee! Great blogger!!!!! She just finished A Bitch Named Karma and wrote a glowing review about it!

Thanks so much, Kristie!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Commenting on blog posts

I try my hardest to read as many blogs as I can...but blog reading time is limited and I just can't read every post written by every blog I follow. I'd love to...but physically, it's impossible. And that fact only makes me appreciate the comments I get even more. I assume most bloggers are like some degree. No one has time to sit and read blog posts all day long. We all have responsibilities- homes, kids, jobs out of the home, writing. So when someone takes the couple minutes to read my post and then comment, means so so much!!!!

And I like to make sure I acknowledge those comments back. But what is the best way???

I am constantly learning about the internet and how things work...I am always picking up something new. Blogging is no exception. It took me a while to figure out I could click a box and have all blog comments emailed to me. That was such a fantastic discovery!! I didn't have to go and check my blog eighty times a day to see if someone commented!! And there was no more mystery to whether or not someone commented on an old post!

So it it easiest to just reply to those emails directly for acknowledgment???

Sometimes when I comment on someone else's blog, I will subscribe...but not all the time. It's not real fun to open my inbox and find fifty new emails- most of them comments on a blog I subscribed to.

What do you guys do in regards to blog post comments???? And bloggers who get 20, 30+ you reply to them all personally???? At this point, I can keep up with my comments...I usually only have a handful. But someday I hope to get more!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So many mixed emotions right now...

And I just don't know what to do with them.

This past Saturday was my big release party for A Bitch Named Karma. My family was here, my close friends were here, my writer's group was here. We had food, we had music, we had fun. It was a great party...I was on such a high! I can you not when you're the center of attention?? LOL! It's so rare that I get that kind of opportunity.

But thank God I did not check my email that morning. Bad news. Rejection for a project I'd had such high hopes for. Life sucks like that. You try to be positive about certain things and sometimes all that positivity does is give you false hope. And it makes the rejection suck so much more.

I'm so torn here..between being ecstatic about my debut being published and the sadness that my second book is going no where.

I tried working on a couple different projects about 800 or so words down on two different stories. But it was forced. I am having a hard time finding inspiration right now.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Still recouperating!

Saturday was my big release party! Lots of fun and it flew by so fast!! It was nice to see so many of my family and friends all together!

Sunday was spent cleaning and resting...the few days leading up to the party were filled with party preparations.

I am still dragging today (but it's more than just tired from the a lot on my mind today)

I will be picking the winner form last Monday's post...the winner of a digital copy of A Bitch Named Karma! Thanks to everyone who entered!!

Hope you're all having a much more productive day than I am!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Party Post #2: More Food!!!!

What is a party without awesome food????

Uh....pretty boring.

Here is what I'm serving to my guests tomorrow:

Cheese 'n Crackers
Taco Dip
Meatballs with a Sweet 'n Savory Sauce
Fruit Salad
Peach Salsa
Rye Bread cubes with Dill Dip
Roast Beef Wraps
Turkey Bacon Ranch Wraps
Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions
Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Tortellini
Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

I'm giving away another food related prize!!! Along with the recipe for THE BEST guac on the planet (which also just happens to be low fat) will be a fun bowl to serve it in!!

All you need to do to enter is #1, be a follower, and #2, answer this question:

Where did I go to college and what was my major????

Gotta do some research to find this answer...but it shouldn't be too hard!!

First poster with the correct answer wins!

And don't forget...enter my contest from Monday to win a digital copy of A Bitch Named Karma!!

Party Post #1!!!!

Welcome to my Blog Party for the release of A Bitch Named Karma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday and today have been filled with party preparations here at my house....things to clean, food to be made!!!!

I did a lot of baking yesterday: double batch of chocolate chip cookies, a batch of chocolate raspberry bars, a batch of lemon squares. Today I made about 150 mini cupcakes.

So for my first mini contest today, I am giving away a baking prize!!! Along with the recipe for one of my favorite desserts, the chocolate raspberry bars, will be some must have baking essentials!!!

You must be a follower to enter the contest!! Leave a comment with your favorite dessert and at the end of today, I'll randomly draw a winner!!!! Please feel free to pass this along...let me know where you have and you'll get an extra entry in the drawing!!! And if my follower list reaches 150, I'll give away an additional digital copy of A Bitch Named Karma!! Don't forget to enter contest for that from Monday's Blog Post!

More party stuff to come today! Check back and check back often!!!

It's party time!!!

What do you do to celebrate?? My big release party for A Bitch Named Karma is tomorrow and I have a zillion things to do! Food to make, things to clean! Prayers to be said for decent weather. I'm not even real concerned with warmth....just PLEASE no rain!!!

I think the ink on my contract had barely been dry when I started thinking about this party! I don't need much of an excuse to throw a party and how often do I get to throw a party for myself??? I love having a fun time with friends and eating and drinking and enjoying all the merriment that goes along!!

It does feel a bit weird...seeing as the book is being released as an ebook. I wish it was print so I could have copies for my guests. (Print release is still TBA) But still...this is my first publication and to me that is a huge step and I am proud and I want to celebrate!!

What have you done to celebrate a book release, print or ebook????

I'll popping in all day today!!! Stop back for lots of fun stuff!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm being interviewed again!!!! YAY!!!

Jamie over at Variety Pages has interviewed me!! Please check it out!!!

And I was also interviewed on Lux Zakari's blog! Check that one out too!!!! So much fun!

And don't forget to check out Monday's post for a chance to win a digital copy of A Bitch Named Karma!

Stop back's party day!!!! There will be ALL kinds of fun stuff going on all day...prizes galore!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Interview with Sandra Sookoo!!!!

Today I have an interview with fellow Lyrical Press author, Sandra Sookoo!! Check her blog here!

First question I always ask, when did you start writing and when did you know you wanted to make it your career?

I “unofficially” started writing at the age of 10. I wrote an “epic” fantasy using all the kids in the neighborhood. 600 pages longhand LOL Thankfully, I matured and the writing got way better. I think sometime in my twenties I knew I wanted to make writing a career. It was either that or be a cake decorator. Even though I’m really good in the kitchen, I can’t bake a cake or decorate it to save my life! Good thing I’m pretty talented in the writing field, huh?

I see you’ve had quite a career so far! How many books have you published? Got a favorite?

How many books? Let’s see. 6 in 2009. And 7 in 2010 so far. I’ve been very lucky and have met some great editors along the way. As for a favorite? Hmm. That would be a toss up. I have too many “favorites” I guess to pick just one. LOL

You’ve been published by several houses. I was once told not to “put all your eggs in one basket” when it comes to publishing. Do you agree with this? Are there pros and cons to having your “eggs” in several baskets?

I totally agree that an author needs to write for a few houses. This gains you readership and showcases your work to different sets of readers. Not to mention that every editor worth their salt will teach you something different so it would behoove a writer to seek a new house every once in awhile.
One of the cons about having multiple houses is the release dates for books. Often they will coincide with other releases you have out and you’ll end up with back to back releases which makes promotions tricky.

I have all of your Holiday Magic books on my “To-Read” folder on Goodreads! What inspired you to write holiday themed books?

Well thank you! I guess you could say I have a “thing” for holiday romances LOL I liked the idea of centering a series, not only around holidays, but also romance and magic. So the Holiday Magic series was born and I’ve been beyond pleased with the results.

Now let’s talk about your newest release, Dead Ruby Slippers, from Lyrical Press! Tell me a little about it!

Dead Ruby Slippers came about because of my excessive love of cozy mysteries. I’ve read tons of them and one day decided to try my hand at writing one. Wow, was that an eye opener! It’s hard work and for me, it confuses my brain trying to drop clues, keep up the mystery, etc. I’m so thankful for my editor on this project because she helped me keep my facts straight.

Blurb: Dancing may be hard…but no one expected it to be murder.

When sexy tap dancer Abigail Carlton, a.k.a. Ruby Slippers, is found dead and arranged in an artistic fashion on her coffee table, it’s up to Special Agent Quentin Banks to solve her murder.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Not only is Quentin a FBI career man, he doubles as an officer for the Institute of Magical Instruction…and the dancer’s death has super natural energy written all over it.

Quentin must find who murdered Abigail, and he only has 24 hours to do it before it’s taken over by his superiors.

Book video: Click here

Buy link: Click here

Will I write another mystery? I want to say no, but who can say what my Muse will want later? LOL

It sounds like an interesting mix of murder, romance and fantasy! Is commingling genres something you do like to do?

It’s one of my passions, I guess you could say. I’m a firm believer that a writer should have a range of things they can write. Try a new genre. If you don’t like it, that’s okay, but at least you spread your wings. I love writing across genres. It keeps my brain engaged and prevents me—the writer—from being bored. And as a reader, I read across genres to prevent boredom. I think this is a key to a long life as a writer.

And lastly, something non-writing related….I see that you love to cook—me too! I’m always on the lookout for tasty, low-cal meals! Got a recipe that qualifies?

I do love to cook. When I’m stuck in a story problem, I’ll head to the kitchen. I do have a recipe to share. It’s one I fussed around with a few times because I had a craving for Chinese food but didn’t want to deal with the heavy breading and high calories of traditional food.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

There will be recipes out there that tell you to marinate your chicken in egg white and corn starch. I’ve done it that way and I can honestly say I don’t buy into that step. So, this is how I do it.

1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" chunks
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 10-ounce can fresh pineapple chunks (reserve juice) If using canned pineapple, make
sure you buy the one marked “juice” not “heavy syrup”
1/4 cup juice from the pineapple
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup (I use Red Gold because it’s an Indiana product)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (or, if you taste the sauce before you cook it, you can add
another tablespoon for a more concentrated sweetness)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil (I use canola oil)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ to 1 teaspoon sambal sauce (or any hot sauce you like) optional

1 Whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, hot sauce, ginger, corn starch and brown sugar.

2 Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. It's important that the pan is very hot. Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer. Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pink in the middle. Remove chicken to a plate, leaving oil in pan.

3 Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Let the oil heat and then add the bell pepper chunks. Fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Timing depends on how thick you've cut your chicken. The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut into it. If it's pink, add another minute to the cooking.

Serves 4. (or two if you’re really hungry) I like to serve over plain white or brown rice.

Sounds tasty! Can't wait to try it!!

Thanks for having me on your blog! As a special gift, one lucky commenter will receive a romance themed pizza cutter and some book swag. Be sure to leave your email address. Winner will be drawn the following day.

Oh how cool! Thanks for being here!! Wishing you all the best in your career and with your newest release, Dead Ruby Slippers!

Ps- Make sure you check out Monday's post and enter to win a copy of my new release, A Bitch Named Karma!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm being interviewed today!!!

One of my first stops on a mini blog tour is Believing is Seeing!! Sandra Sookoo is a fellow Lyrical Press author, and a very talented one at that!! Please stop by and read my interview!!

Also, I was interviewed by Aubrie Dionne over at Flutey Words! Please check her out too! She's another fab Lyrical press author!! I interviewed her a little while back about her newest release, Nebula's Music.

I've decided Friday is gonna be Release party day on my blog! I will be popping in all day! Plan on stopping by for contests and prizes!!!! I'm gonna try for one every hour!

And don't forget....enter my contest to win a digital copy of A Bitch Named Karma!! Leave a comment on yesterday's post!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

RELEASE DAY IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! After years of trying to find a home for a story that I loved....after years of agonizing and wondering why no one else found it special....after making so many changes and edits and wracking my brain trying to find out what was missing....this day has come. My novel is out there...for sale! People will buy it (hopefully) and love it (again, hopefully!) and I am officially an AUTHOR!!!!

When I graduated from college, just over 13 years ago, I was on a much different career path. I thought it was what I wanted...I thought that was what I was meant to do with my life. And for a while I was happy. But it never fulfilled me...not completely, and that was something I never knew until I found something else.

I knew I had lost my drive....the all encompassing joy that I'd once felt. Maybe it was working for myself..the stress of being a business owner was much different than working for someone else. But I liked working for myself.

And then one day I picked up a pen and actually wrote down a story idea that floated into my brain. This had happened many many times...these random thoughts where I said to myself "Hey, that would make a great book or movie!" but then let the thoughts fly away. Until that one day. And that was it.

In case you want to check out my book trailer again, here it is!

Many of you have been here through this entire journey and I am completely thankful! Some of you are newer followers and I offer you a huge "Welcome to my world!" As a thank you, I am giving away a digital copy of A Bitch Named Karma!! You have `til the end of the week to enter, just by leaving a comment here! (Must also be a follower) Please promote and for every place you post this blog post (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, your own blog) you'll get an additional entry! Let me know in the comments section where you've posted it!! If my follower list reaches 150, I'll give away an additional copy!

But if you can't wait to see if you win, here is the link to buy it now!!!

Check back every day this week...I have all kinds of fun things going on!!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This is a MUST READ!!

Is print dead???

I know there are tons of people saying "Hell no!!!" right this very second....but did we ever think there would be homes without phones in them? I don't have a phone in my home...well, that's a lie...I do..I have an alarm clock telephone. But it's not connected to a phone jack. We only have cell phones.

I came across this post on Amanda Young's Blog: Romance Without Inhibition and I just had to share. It's a article she posted by J.A. Konrath and it is absolutely brilliant!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Missing something so much it hurts.

When I was a kid, our family went camping. At first it was just tent camping at various family-type campgrounds. There was water and electric, a store and organized activities, usually mini golf or a basketball court. It was not roughing it by any means. We went with another family and had so much fun. Then one weekend we camped at a new place called Arrowhead, about an hour outside the city where I grew up, and my parents fell in love with it. Before we knew what was happening, my parents had bought a camper and we were official seasonal campers who paid a yearly fee to leave our camper parked on a small plot of land in the campground and we could come and go as we pleased between May and October.

Soon afterward, our fellow camping family joined us and every single weekend was spent there- roasting marshmallows, swimming in the lake, doing whatever we wanted. Us kids were allowed to roam freely and it was so so awesome. This all started the summer before high school.

In time, we met the other "seasonal" kids and spent every minute of every weekend with them. They came from all over the area- I never had friends who lived outside of the city before then. And they came to be some of my closest friends. Every weekend was a never-ending party: music, dancing, shenanigans of all sorts!!! Even made some trouble :)

Many of my camping friends were boys and these were the summers while I was I high school....15 16, 17 years old. Need I say more? ;) I can still remember all the kisses in the dark, holding hands while walking around the lake. These are the years of my life that are so amazingly vivid in my mind and so much of the emotion I write about now is pulled from that time in my life when everything was new and fun and felt so damn good!

I met my husband at this campground and he asked me to marry him around the campfire.

And here I sit, nearly 20 years after that first time we camped there. After college, I moved away for a little while then moved back and had a job and a home and my husband had a job that rarely allowed weekends off. Both of our families gave up their seasonal sites, each for different reasons. We visited a few times after that, but each time it started to feel less like "home" and more like a memory.

I still keep in touch with a few of my friends from Arrowhead...thanks to Facebook. One of them posted pictures today from this past weekend...the holiday weekends there were always the best. I flipped though her pictures and my heart ached. This place used to mean so so much to me. But's been so long that I don't feel like I belong there anymore. So much has changed. I'm an outsider now. We used to call the outsiders "weekenders"...they were nothing to us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

After the first 5 months of this year....

Where are you in your book reading goal for this year????

So many people strive for 100. I know that would be an insane goal for me to make. I have kids and a husband, I write my own stories, I edit those stories, I network and promote myself, I have friends and a social life. There is no way I could read 2 books a week, unless kids' books count. (which in my opinion, for this they don't!)

I gave myself a 30 book goal. That seemed much more doable for me. And so far I'm doing okay, but not as great as I'd hoped by now. The other night I finished book #10. That's two books a month. I'm definitely behind, but considering I only read 16 books all of last year (which I can't believe I am admitting that to all of you!!), that's not too bad.

Here is what I read so far:

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
Triad (Courtland Chronicles, #5) by Cat Grant
The Arrangement (Courtland Chronicles, #4) by Cat Grant
Complications (Courtland Chronicles, #3) by Cat Grant
Strictly Business (Courtland Chronicles, #2) by Cat Grant
By Chance (Courtland Chronicles, #1) by Cat Grant
Once a Cowboy (Harlequin American Romance) by Linda Warren
All Fore Revenge (Paperback) by Piper Denna
Pretties (Uglies, #2) by Scott Westerfeld
Uglies (Uglies, #1) by Scott Westerfeld

Now I am reading Specials by Scott Westerfeld, the last in the Uglies series.