Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z - Zip-a-dee-do-dah

Today, In honor the April being the Nation Poetry Month
And being the A-Z challenge
I am going to write an epic poem about the things I enjoy :)

Here we go:

Zip-a-dee-do-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay
Here's a list of things that I'd like to say
I love to sing song and used to dance ballet
When there is sunshine we can play crochet

A hike in the mountains on a bright sunny day
but I don't like when people use too much Cliche
I love it when my hubby brings me a bouquet
It makes me think of France when we went to the chalet

So since it's epic poem month I'd just like to say
Everyone start rhyming and come and play today!
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!

Tada!



Well that's about as talented as I get with poetry - not my forte but entertaining (at least to me) anyway!
Ok so everyone, give me your best rhyme ..... (anybody want a peanut?)

Happy April!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y - yabbering

You know what I love? I love learning new words that make me laugh.

I love the word giggle, for example, because it is completely different from chuckle or laugh. And it's fun to say!



I also like saying giblet, samoflange, cinnamon, sunshine, befuddled, snuggle, and raindrops. These are some of my favorite words.

But today's word is Yabbering!

Definition of Yabber: Chatter

It's fun to say though :)

What are some of your favorite words to say?



Monday, April 28, 2014

X - xtraordinary

We are almost to the end of our challenge! But we have a couple more days, so bear with me!

Today we have X and I'm cheating and using the word Extraordinary (without the E)

Also, today is my Monday about Me Post

Here goes:

This last weekend I went to LDStorymakers and I loved it! It was such an extraordinary writing conference!

I had so many extraordinary teachers and topics and I left with my brain feeling extremely overloaded with great information that is going to make me an exemplary writer (if I can only manage to implement all the things I learn - and I do mean ALL  of them)

But when I come come with my brain exploding with this information, that is when I do my best writing! That's my secret of the day. Although I want to sleep for about 2 days I also have a strong desire to write and to write well! Maybe I need more of this type of feeling and maybe I'm be more inclined to write more than I do!

Anyway, I'm sure you all want to see the extraordinary weekend I had, and all the extraordinary people I met. so here it is ...

Tara Mayoros, Courtney Millecam, Christine Walter, Lydia Taggart, Lauri Schoenfeld,
Me, Cindy Hogan, and Jen Gamboa

I found Wendy Knight!!

And met McKelle George!!

And totally discovered how cool Chantele Sedgwick is in person!!

And hung out with Sara Eden and Janette Rallison!!

Met Orson Scott Card and took his class!!

Reconnected with Jennie Bennett who I haven't seen in almost 11 years!!

Took an amazing class from Brandon Sanderson!!

Became a new fan of Stephanie Fowers and Amanda Sowards!!

Laughed and talked with Michelle Wilson and Chad Morris
(Then went shopping with Michelle Wilson's credit card! She's super trusting .... ;) )

Made a new friend - Terri Ferran!!

Finally met the amazing Peggy Eddleman!! She rocks!! (Also we were partners for the November Challenge
and basically she totally made me live up to my goals and make it through!)

Julie Wright (I also took an incredible class from her!) and
Heather Moore (who constantly makes me feel in awe cause of her awesomeness!)

Ran into Rebecca Rode, Marcia Mickelson, Wendy Knight, and Jaclyn Weist at the book signing!!

Laughed so hard I cried with Cindy Hogan!!

Encountered the amazing Donna Hatch many times through the two days and
ended up at the Whitney Awards with her (Isn't she so lovely?)

And enjoyed the Whitney Awards with Lauri, Tara, Christine, and Donna Weaver!
I met so many people and took so many classes and I can't even begin to explain it! You must all come next year and see for yourself!

Extremely Amazing
Extraordinary classes and teachers
Exciting in every way
And I'm excessively tired

This was an exquisite weekend guys and I hope you all enjoy see the fun people I encountered, and I hope that with the knowledge I acquired I can create some fabulous stories for you all to enjoy!

Oh and did I mention I made off with quite the haul of books?



Happy Monday!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

W - Wishing

I am at the LDStorymakers conference right now and I love it! LOVE IT!!

There is so much to learn and so many classes offered, and I wish, oh so much, that I could take them all.

And while I'm wishing ... I'd like a pony ;)


I love wishes. Blowing dandelion fuzz for wishes (am I the only one that does that?), eyelashes for wishes, throwing pennies into wells, closing your eyes over railroad tracks, etc, etc, etc. I have used them all.

As of right now I have had some of my wishes my come true (either I'm awesome or I just wish for really practical things) but certainly not all of my wishes. And yet, I still believe in wishes.

If I had 3 wishes I would wish for - enough money to pay off debts and live in relative comfort for the rest of my life; the ability to have children; and world peace (even though people think it's cliche, it would really be so very nice)

those are just off the top of my head .... I'd have to think a bit more :)

What would your wishes be?


Friday, April 25, 2014

V - Visible

I have learned that sometimes you have to make yourself visible, even when you don't want to be seen.

I am not a shy person .... or so most people think :)



Here is the truth. I actually am very nervous when I have to get in front of groups of people. One on one I'm probably ok, but the more people there are, the more I shake and sweat and panic.

So what do I do? I fake it! I make myself as visible as possible, pretend I totally have myself under control, get out there, get loud, get talkative, and make everyone thing I'm super confident.

It works every time!

Now you might ask why I do this - why I wouldn't just duck to the back and revel in my nervousness? Well, the answer is clear. The more I fake confidence, the more confidence I actually find in myself.

The more visible I am: the more friends I make, the more I can pitch my book, the more I can network and share interests, and the more I get known.

If I want to do well in my writing, networking, publicist work, and also in life, I have to make myself visible and put myself out there to get to know others and get known.

What do you do to become more visible?


Thursday, April 24, 2014

U - undertaking a new project

Today I am undertaking a new project!

I am determined to find people who want to form a critique group, and actually keep it going :)



Today I got the publication primer at LDStorymaker's conference and I'm excited to interact with talented people and hear honest critiques and feedback. I'm excited to meet new authors, mingle with creative minds, and see who I might just click with!

I have many people willing to critique my stories, and I have the most amazing group of ANWA sister in our fun little chapter. I also have the 100 day challenge, the Author's Think Tank, 8 times up, and other wonderful supportive groups! And don't get me wrong, I love you all! Every one of you!

But sometimes I feel the need to have a small group I can always depend on and who depends on me too. So instead of just asking at random, I know I have a group to turn to. And instead of people asking me at random, I am obligated to return critiques to the same group of people who are critiquing for me. (Besides having accountability like that not only keeps me on track with my own writing, but keeps me on track helping others and learning from them)



I want to have a small, tight knit group, where the different people and their viewpoints and opinions make me a better writer. And where hopefully I can in return make them better as well. Where the different genres don't hold us apart, but rather pull us closer because our story gets to be read with new eyes and different perspectives.

Is that too much to ask for?

I think not!

Now how do I find these people ..... ?

What is it you look for in critique partners or groups?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T – Taxiing down the runway

Many people hate to fly – and that’s ok by me. I love it. I adore the take off, the landing, the turbulence, the view from so high in the air. In fact, one of the top items on my bucket list is to go sky diving. Seriously, I want to jump out of a plane J

But, something few people know about me is that flying is a thinking and inspiration time for me. I get some of my best plotting and story planning done while looking at the world from some 37,000 feet in the air.
It just seems to me that being able to do something as amazing as flying (which by the way is definitely top on my superpower list) opens up a world of possibilities and allows my creative mind to flow freely. It takes me to places where I can look down at forests and imagine the mythical creatures living there, or see the view as though from the back of a dragon (because who doesn’t want to ride on a dragon, right?)

Seeing fluffy clouds makes me imagine what it would  be like to walk on them like an angel might, and sometimes I just imagine they are the ground and what is not covered in clouds – the gap between them, would be made of glass to look down at the world below.

By the way, have you ever taken time to notice that at certain times and with specific clouds the sun will actually reflect off of the cloud tops? It’s not often I’ve seen this, but I have! And it’s incredible and beautiful!

And when I look down and see deep crevices making cliffs with rivers at the bottom I wonder what it would be like to have to jump off one as I run from the enemy, perhaps with a parachute, or a really awesome ability to dive safely into the water below.

I always think I will read or write while on a plane, but I spend 90% of the time staring out the window, daydreaming and letting my muse run wild.

As we come in to land I love to watch the ground rushing toward us and imagine what it would be like to be a spy who has to dive in behind enemy lines with nothing but a glide suit on, or repelling from a tall building while running away carrying the bomb I just disarmed.

The irony of all this is that I neither write fantasy nor adventure :) but I think I could if I tried, or if I spent enough time flying. And heaven knows I’ve spent a good deal of time traveling, so who knows.

But there it is. As I taxi down a runway, waiting for that moment when we lift off and I feel the world and reality fall away, my mind begins to race, my creativity goes wild – winding up for the whirlwind of imagination about to overtake me, and I love it.


Where do you do some of your best creative work?


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S – Super Powers

With great power comes great responsibility

A saying we have heard many times, from many different super hero mentors, on many movies.

But still, we dream of Super Powers! I mean, who doesn't?

So what would my super power be? Honestly it’s not so easy to choose.

I would love to fly, but how would that help the world?

Maybe I would like to read minds, but then I’d actually know what people were saying – so yeah, strike that one. I’d rather not know that!

Perhaps I could have super strength? Super speed? Super awesomeness?

But then again, I guess most people don’t get to choose their superpowers (although Captain America kind of did – he knew what the serum was supposed to do before hand and knew what he would end up like in theory.  However, as my husband was quick to point out, he isn’t a super hero, he is super human (which is apparently different))

Anyway, back to the point. If you could have a super power, what would it be and what would be your main use for it?


Me? Well, I still think I’d like to fly. But I would definitely like to do something awesome for humanity. So I guess I will need to double team with my husband because he wants the power of time. Ergo, when we see danger, he will stop time and I will fly in and save people, and then he can start time again! Woot – catastrophe avoided! Go us!


Monday, April 21, 2014

R – Reading and Reviews

Monday’s about Me

I read – a lot. There are a lot of my childhood pictures that depict me reading curled up in a chair or laying across the couch with my feet hanging over the arm, or sprawled on my stomach on the floor. I have always loved reading and always won the awards for reading the most in my classes at school. In fact, I loved reading so much that I often neglected to get other work done because I had to finish a book.
Don’t worry, I still got great grades in school and graduated with honors.

Then college came and I’m not sure I enjoyed reading as much because instead of being allowed to choose what I read, they would assign me these ridiculous books that I had no interest in reading. Not like classics (I love those) but more like obscure, weird books that left a bitter taste in my mouth or made me wonder what in the world the professor was hoping I would get from the book …. Other than “this is a lame book – why do you want me to read it?”

But I managed to get past that too, and still graduated with an awesome GPA.

So now we come to today where I enjoy reading but have very little time to do so. And then comes my dilemma:

I am always happy to read and review books. I love it. I love to critique and give feedback before the book is out, and I love to do reviews after books are published. I really enjoy it.



The problem comes when people begin to ask if I will review their book and I keep saying “Yes” (Because as we read in Letter F blog, I have a hard time saying no). Then I realize that I suddenly have a list of 20+ books that I have promised to review for people and no time to read them.

Then, because I feel bad I haven’t gotten to those books, I decide I should write reviews for books I have read so at least I’m helping out the authors I have enjoyed reading up until now. However, this then poses the problem of adding to my list of books to write reviews for rather than eliminating the guilt of not getting to the ones I’ve promised.

Yup, It’s a problem!

But never fear, I will get to them all …. Eventually, because I think every author has the right to have good reviews if I loved their book.

Now comes the issue …. What if I don’t like the book? Do I leave a negative review or not leave a review at all because they are a friend and they asked me to review their book with the high hopes of getting another good review (which I cannot provide). Now what do I do?


Help me out here - What do you do in this situation?


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q - Questions and Answers

I am a very inquisitive person. I love to question things, find out why, how, what, when, where, and who!

Yes, one of my favorite games is CLUE.



I love things that make me think. Puzzles, riddles, brain teasers, etc.

I think that's part of why I love reading and writing books. To me they are a puzzle. How do I get the characters from one end of the book to the other while overcoming obstacles, finding/losing important people and things, growing and changing, and making my readers love them as much as I do.

That to me is a puzzle. It's something I have to figure out, piece together, and somehow complete in a manner that makes sense in the end.

So I ask questions. Lots of questions. And I love getting asked questions because then I have the chance to challenge myself and see if I know the answer.

I research things I don't know, make lists of things I'd like to know, and note down words or ideas I've never heard before.

Tell me, in the comments below, what do you do to keep your brain active and always learning?



Friday, April 18, 2014

P - Publishing

I think when we all start out there is this great dream of publication. We are going to write a best seller, and everyone will know and love us, and we will become rich!

It's a perfect plan!


Then we write our book, and we query it, and nothing happens.
Then we find out about critique partners, writing conferences, and other such great resources, and we discover our story idea was great but the execution wasn't so great.
So we rewrite, polish, get feedback, rewrite again, polish again, and then eventually we get to the point that we feel it's perfect!
Then we query again
And we get rejection letters
and we keep querying ........ and keep querying ...... and keep querying ......

So nobody is picking it up - does that mean we are bad authors? that we did something wrong? That it's not polished enough?

Not necessarily!
Publishing is a very competitive business! There are so many amazing stories out there and only so many agents and publishers to go around.

Many people turn to self-publishing and that works great for them! Some people continue to query and that eventually leads to someone taking on their manuscript! And some people just continue to write because they know that one day someone will pick up their book, and love it, and help it shine!

I think if you work hard enough and keep believing in yourself, practicing to get better, and striving for your goals, then everyone will eventually have their dream happen.

What stage are you in?

Me? Well I'm kind of in between stages right now. But I keep writing anyway cause there is no reason for me to stop telling great stories while I wait to see my dream happen!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

O - Oooops (and Organization)

I sometimes get ahead of myself!

A Lot!

For examples, some of you probably saw that this post went live and yet nothing was actually written on it!
I like to be organized, very organized, but I am by nature a very unorganized person


 And I have ADD so sometimes I try to get organized and get distracted

I like to set things up ahead of time so I can stay on top of them - like setting up the posts by letter and putting the date and time they will get published, and then forgetting to actually write the posts.

(It happens a lot more than you think)

I write a to-do list and then misplace it

I line up the things that need to be done first (are most urgent) and then I get a phone call and put a paper on top of my pile to write a message from the call. Then I forget the pile is underneath the message paper.

I leave myself reminders and alarms on my phone, but then when they go off I can't remember why I set them.

and I lose everything that's important while I can tell you exactly where I set the chocolate I only half finished

etc. etc. etc.

You get the point! But seriously, I do love organization - I just can't seem to remember to stay ahead of it ...

How do you organize? Or are you an unorganized person and that seems to work better for you?


(Maybe that's what I should try... un-organization just might be my friend)


N - New!

I love New!

I love new clothes, I love new story ideas, I love new books, I love new furniture, And I especially love my new hair!!

That's right, for those who haven't yet seen it - I cut off my hair!! Over 12 inches of hair! It's gone, it's all gone! And I love it!!

Ok so here goes - what do you guys think?

Before


After



What's new things do you love?
What's new with you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

M - Michelle Bellon

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the amazing and talented Michelle Bellon.


Michelle is the author of the amazing book Rogue Alliance

As I was saying, I had a fun time interviewing Michelle. The answers she gave below and fun and insightful!

Go ahead - enjoy!

      1.  Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Brennan is my favorite because he’s so complex. He is very strong and dangerous due to his instincts to kill, but he’s also vulnerable and kind- a lethal combination. That said, I’ve had a lot of readers say how much they enjoyed the villain, Victor. He’s one that you love to hate.

       2.  What secret talents do you have?
I’m not very talented. I’m still shocked that I’ve managed to write entire novels. Can that be a talent?

      3.  Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Before I began the lengthy, painful process of querying agents and publishers I had no idea how familiar I would become with rejection. With four books published, I’ve obviously had acceptance letters and offers along the way, but before those came there were lots and lot and lots of rejections. It’s not a fun ratio. Then when I did finally get a contract I learned that the remainder of the process would be just as lengthy. I also learned that my book needed a lot of work. That’s when I really began to learn the craft of writing. I didn’t want to just write a book. I wanted to write a well written book. Those first few were good stories but I look back and see their imperfections. The more I write the better I get at it. That’s how it works.

      4.  Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before?
My husband and I desperately want to go to Egypt and visit the pyramids. We are both fascinated by ancient knowledge and civilizations and that’s one of the key places we would love to experience in person.

      5.  If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
That’s a tough question because, as most writers will tell you, they never feel like their work is good enough. There are always things that could be improved. With this story the only thing I sometimes question is why I decided to write the sequel. I had no clue how much pressure I would feel once I committed to that. Needless to say, book two is only about halfway finished.

     6.  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t use any organizational tools, like outlines, chapter layouts, etc. I scribble a couple of lame notes and then I just start writing. Often, I don’t even know what’s going to happen. I just have the characters in my head and a general plot then go. Also, when I’m stuck I stop to play a game of solitaire. It works wonders.

     7.  What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
Wow, some of these are hard hitting questions. I like it. OK. If I’m being brutally honest here, I’d have to say that I just want to feel proud of myself. I want to look back and know that I did the best I could to reach my full potential as a mother, a wife, a friend, a coworker, and as a writer.

     8.  Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Yes, absolutely! People really do judge a book by its cover. It’s the first thing that makes you stop, look, inspect and then decide, “Hey, this looks like something I want to read.”

     9.  Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I always get a little intimidated by this question because I don’t have some wise, laborious answer. I don’t sit and brainstorm and mastermind over plots, generally speaking. The ideas for my stories just POP into my head, often while driving or sometimes I’ll even dream them. Once the idea is there and I decide it’s something I want to write then I’ll do some brainstorming and research but the idea itself is presented to me, like a little gift.

     10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I not only have these amazing stories inside of me but that I can get them onto paper in a logical, systematic fashion that makes sense. Before, I’d read books and I’d be fascinated, amazed how writers were able to synthesize so much information and creativity into a gripping story. I thought it would be overwhelming and I’d give up. That is the case sometimes but eventually it does come out with perseverance and patience.

THANK YOU so much for visiting my blog today Michelle!! It's been so much fun getting to know more about you!

If you enjoyed getting to know Michelle, you can learn more about her at the links below!

http://www.michellebellon.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michelle-Bellon-Author/544448685599147?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/MichelleBellon
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4742393.Michelle_Bellon
http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Bellon/e/B004TZ0CUK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1384468252&sr=8-2


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

L - Let it Go

One of the biggest songs going around right now is the one from Frozen called Let it Go.

Perhaps you love that song, perhaps you hate that song, perhaps you have no feelings whatsoever about this song.

But me, I like it. I like the idea of letting little things go - especially when they are holding us back.

SO my take on this song - and I guess the movie as a whole - is that when the Troll King says fear will be her downfall I think he may have been referring to her own fear more than the people. Elsa's fear of her own powers made it impossible for her to learn to control it.

Which leads me to my point - LET IT GO!!


I think we all to often fear our own power. Now obviously we don't have magic, like Elsa (and if you do, that's freakin' awesome! I'm jealous), but we do fear the power we have. The power to stand up and do something right. The power to make a difference in someones life. And even the power to write an amazing story.

There is so much talent out there and too many people afraid to show it. We fear bad reviews and harsh critiques, we fear exposing out inner selves through our writing and stories, we fear how those closest to us will react when they read our work, etc.

And until we let it go and step out to say, this is me, this is what I do, and I hope you like it (If not, maybe don't tell me :) ), we are not going to be able to unlock our full potential! Don't worry about it anymore. Let it go. Let the stories out, write them down, let your critique partners make them shine, let those close to you read them, polish them, submit them, and see what you can do! See what your full potential is! You can make a difference. You can bring entertainment through words to the world.

For me, I need to let go of the "to-do" list that I always feel like has to get done before I can sit down and write. I don't actually "have" to do most of them before I can write, and that is the thing I need to let go if I want to fulfill my dream

What kind of things do you you need to let go of in order to do what you dream? What is holding you back?

Let it go!!



K - Keeping my wrists straight

I have been typing stories for almost 20 years and never had a problem with my wrists while typing at the keyboard.

However, a little over a year ago my husband got me into his world of gaming and believe it or not that overdid it for me! It was too much and the next thing I knew, my wrists started hurting!

Now let's be clear. I am not a gamer - not a full time gamer, or even a part time gamer - I just enjoy playing games every now and then with my hubby and his friends when they are all online. We're looking at once to twice a week. But for some reason it was just too much!

So I talked to my chiropractor who shook my wrists around, popped a few joints that I didn't know could pop, and told me to try an ergonomic keyboard


Things you should know about an ergonomic keyboard:
1 - after using a regular keyboard for years and years, you are bound to type everything wrong because your fingers are confused.
2 - despite the weird positioning and look, the attachment that lifts your keyboard (as shown in the bottom part of the picture above) actually makes your wrists feel better even though it makes you type worse cause once again, your fingers are even more confused!
3 - they are actually quite comfortable on the wrists! The front part is soft and a bit squishy!

Other things I discovered that may better help all writers out there - While trying to figure out what to do for my wrists, I stumbled across this website which I think is genius!
So take a look at what she has to say about exercises for writers

To sum up - if your wrists hurt while typing, try some of the exercises in the link. If they continue to hurt, an ergonomic keyboard may be a great way to go. And if still in doubt go visit your chiropractor and let him snap your wrists around (it may hurt a bit at first, but it feels great afterward!)

Tell me, what do you do when your wrists hurt at the computer?


Sunday, April 13, 2014

J - Joking around

I really do want my writing to have humor in it, and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. Does that mean I'm not a funny person?

I sure hope not :)
I have known to make people laugh, but it's a lot harder to write humor into books than to be humorous out loud. Or at least it is for me. Sometimes I try to make my characters be funny, but then I feel like all the other characters look at him/her and thing "What is wrong with you?"

So how in the world do I allow a character to joke around, tease, make jokes, or be sarcastic?
Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I have some ideas

1 - find a funny person and watch them - closely
2 - if reading it aloud doesn't make me chuckle, or at least smile, then I missed the spot
3 - time to move on from just smirking, grinning broadly, and adding a lilt to the voice. Clearly there are better methods
4 - read, read, read humorous books.

I'm not saying I want to write a humor book, but I'd like my characters to not always be so very serious!

So we have established that I am not the funniest writer ever. But I want to try and joke around in my books a bit!

What is your advice? How to I write better humor into a novel?


Friday, April 11, 2014

I - Interviewing Emily

Yesterday I failed - I did not get my April A-Z letter I post up!
But I did have a great one! So I am putting it up now!

Several weeks ago I got to interview a fabulous author named Emily Belden


Emily is so fun and wrote the amazing book EIGHTYSIXED

I was able to do a fun interview where I asked her 10 questions. Check out her great answers below!



  • When and why did you begin writing?

    1. I started writing when I was little; it began with letters to the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. It was the best way I knew how to express myself. I once wrote a persuasive essay to my father about why he should not purchase an Oldsmobile. (He was “too young to drive an Oldsmobile” obviously.)

  • How much of the book is real and how much creative liberty did you take?

    1. The book is based entirely off of my experiences. The items that have been changed were things like names and occupations to protect the innocent. (I use the term “innocent” lightly.)

  • What are your current projects?

    1. I am writing my second book, working on adapting Eightysixed to film, and am planning my May 3rd wedding. Wish me luck!

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

    1. Renaming some of the characters at the 11th hour. I had spent 3 years with the book writing it one way and all of the sudden T--y is now “Trent”, “B---e” is now now Borris. Just odd, ya know?

  • What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life? 

    1. Knowing my mom was going to read it! I mean, really...could you write a book about sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll KNOWING your future in-laws are first in line to buy it? Yikes!

  • What was the author's favorite part of the book(s)? 

    1. I love the “Mindy” chapter. It’s just a wild ride and I was so engrossed in it when I reread it, I forgot it was my own. I also love the one-liners. Have to pat myself on the back!

  • Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

    1. Paperbacks for life!

  • List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?

    1. The Dinner - Herman Koch
    2. The Cheese Monkeys - Chip Kidd
    3. Dating Chase Walker - Jillian Conley

  • If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

    1. Emily = Emmy Rossum
    2. Floris = David Beckham
    3. Need I say more?

  • What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

    1. Pour yourself a glass of wine.

    We do wish you the best of luck on your upcoming wedding Emily! Congratulations!! And thank you for being on my blog today and giving us such fun answers to the questions.

    If you would like to learn more about Emily and her book, check out any of the Links Below:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmilyBeldenAuthor
    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Emily-Belden/e/B00I9H7450/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
    Website: http://www.emilybelden.com
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/emilybelden



    Buy Emily's Book Here!


    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    H - Helping Reveal a Book Cover

    I love helping with cover reveals - Especially for my wonderful and talented friends! And that is why, today, I and presenting to you the Cover reveal for Author Laura Johnston!!

    Cover Reveal, About the Author, a Sneak Peek of REWIND TO YOU and Rafflecopter Giveaway


    Genre: Clean Contemporary YA Romance
    Release Date: September 15, 2014; Available for PREORDER now

    One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

    But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

    When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

    About the Author:

    Laura Johnston lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and two children. Growing up in Orem, Utah with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, dancing (deduced to dancing around the kitchen while cooking dinner these days), traveling, writing, writing and more writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU, her debut novel, was inspired by the loss of her father as a teenager.

    A Sneak Peek of REWIND TO YOU:





    Giveaway: Signed Copy of REWIND TO YOU and $25 Amazon Gift Card


    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. The winner, chosen by Rafflecopter, will be announced here on April 29th as well as emailed. The winner will have 5 days to respond at which point a new winner will be chosen. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    G - Getting Back in the Writing Game

    April A-Z Challenge (letter G)

    Well, if you have been following my blog you will know that I already have too much on my plate, and I have learned sometimes to realize that I am doing the best I can and that's all I can expect.

    But today, I am taking on another aspect of this same topic (wonder what's on my mind ... :) )

    Getting back in the writing game is not as easy as it sounds.


    When you get out of practice for writing, it's hard to jump back into and write. If a great idea hits then you are good to go!  But if you fizzle out, or are just writing to keep in practice, it's hard to get back into it once you've "taken a break"

    Here's the reality of writing:


    The worst part of this is that it's so very true! We get distracted, we get discouraged, and we forget why we are doing it. Very little writing actually seems to happen (especially when jumping back in)

    So here are my words of encouragement:

     Seriously! Just write something. Whether it's a blog post, a brief synopsis of what you want to write, a goal for your writing, or a letter to a friend (detailed and full of imagination). Whatever it is, just write something. Make a goal, write for 15 minutes every day just to stay in practice! If you jump in head first, or if you make your way back in slowly, getting back to what you love is not easy when so many other life demands are pulling at you. So make time to fulfill your dream. Put everything else on the back-burner and go for it. Because if you let the little things cloud your vision and fill up your day, eventually you lose what you want most and fall out of practice and forget why it mattered so much to you!

    So get back in the writing game! That's my goal! And I'm going to do it! (yes, writing a blog every day does happen to be my way of getting writing time in right now as I get back into the writing game - thanks for asking :) )

    What is your method for getting back into the game??



    Monday, April 7, 2014

    F - Finding a moment to breathe

    Mondays about me

    and

    April A-Z Challenge (Letter F)

    I tend to stretch myself too far - a lot. The other day I found myself as the "on call" person for two people who needed me to take their children at a moment's notice; was in the middle of finishing a challenge that required me to sew 4 blankets by the end of the day; had several blogs to write; had date night with my hubby; a social event I was required to go to; 2 meetings; Pay all the bills (I do the same day every 2 weeks and it just happened to be that day); 2 Parties to plan; a prize package to put together; 2 gift packages to mail; a 4 page to-do list; and I hadn't even started on cleaning my house, showering, writing on my books, or working out (let alone eating).

    This was a breaking point for me. I realized I can't breathe! I am stretched so thin that I don't have 2 seconds to relax.



    Sadly, this is usual for me and probably for a lot of you! We want to help others, participate in everything, fill every moment of the day, be as productive as possible, and still have time for ourselves.

    News flash - NOT GOING TO HAPPEN

    There are times when we simply need to remember that our world will still keep rotating even if we didn't write 3 chapters in our book, didn't read a critique, didn't save the world, say NO when someone wants help and we simply don't have time, AND didn't somehow do it all without eating or sleeping.

    This is me :) Welcome to my world! I once had a friend say to me "You have to remember that you aren't Super Woman" to which I contemplated replying "But I'm trying to be!" When I realized that I can't try to be super woman without completely running myself into the ground.

    So for me today, I have to remember to Find a moment to breath!

    My favorite ways to remember to have time for myself are by taking a long bath (either with a book in hand or a movie on my laptop so I stay put - away from the demands of the world for longer); I also love reading while laying in bed in the middle of the day; Going on a walk through the park; and/or playing a game.

    So now you know: If you ask me to help with something I will probably say yes. When I do say yes it doesn't mean I actually have time for it but will still manage to get it done. And when I am overburdened and can't breath I will probably still smile at you and pretend I have it all under control (Don't be so easily fooled!)

    Now it's your turn - Tell me, in the comments, what do you do when you need to find a moment to breathe?


    Saturday, April 5, 2014

    E - Emotional Writing

    April A-Z Challenge (Letter E)

    E - Emotional Writing

    A few days ago I posted about how I love to listen to certain types of music because it invokes feelings in me that helps me to write certain scenes in my writing. But sometimes even I am limited to express the feelings and emotions I was my characters to feel.

    I want him to be angry, but how do I express that with more than piercing glares and sharp replies?
    I want her to be determined, how do I show this without just resorting to a set jaw and a fire in her eyes?
    Joy shows in smiles, giggles, bright eyes and happy glow in the face. Sorrow shows through tears, trembling lips, and a lack of desire to talk.

    But how do I show devastation while letting you see that the emotion is more than sorrow? How do I make a reader feel the elation of a character, not just joy? And how do I make my character's retaliation seem legitimate and reasonable?

    Well, I have a friend (3 friends actually) but one specifically I want to discuss.


    These are the books my husband bought me for my birthday! Yes, one of the best gifts ever!

    But my focus today is the emotion Thesaurus (Although there is a good chance one of my other posts will discuss the other two books in the future)

    The Emotion Thesaurus raised my writing to a new level! Seriously! Instead of writing that someone feels Envy, I can explain that he/she is glowering at people, and feels his/her heartbeat quicken, as he/she forces a smile. I can show a reader as my character's gaze drifts to the symbol of envy, while wiping sweaty hands against jeans and thinking unkind thoughts about the person who possesses the object (or person) my character wants.

    Now that was just a small example. Each emotional topic in the book has: a definition of the emotion, a list of physical signals, a list of internal sensations, a list of mental responses, cues of acute or long-term envy, list of more intense emotions this feeling may escalate to, and cues of suppressed feelings for that emotion (plus they add great writer's tops at the bottom of each section).

    This book is amazing! It has helped me realize there is more than smiles and clenched jaws, fire or ice in the eyes, and snippy remarks! Love it! Seriously Love it!

    So now as I listen to the music that inspires me to write certain scenes and I have a better idea of how to invoke feelings in my readers and my characters have more emotions. Am I perfect at writing emotionally? Not anywhere near it - but lots lots closer

    So watch out writing world - I'm about to let loose my emotional writing!