Friday, December 2, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things



Whoops! I totally skipped last week in the midst of Thanksgiving stoof. Stuff. Too much stuffing. Hopefully you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it). I'm thankful for our wonderful host, Lexa Cain, and her co-hosts, L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

 So here's what's new:


Image: scrapkat1 (Not our village, but you get the idea.)


1. We got our Christmas tree up and the other holiday decorations out. Many years ago we started a collection of little houses (you stick a light bulb in the back to illuminate them). Now we have so many, getting them out of the basement, up the stairs, and out of their styrofoam boxes is a huge pain in the gluteal region. But the kids like them. And if I stare at them long enough, I get the strange urge to write a story set in our "village". Some day.




2. Last CTST, I mentioned our new stray kitty. Last night Mr. M and Pretty Kitty got into a huge brawl on our back deck. In the pitch, black dark. Sounded like the image above. Benches knocked over. Green tomatoes everywhere. Mr. M's ears are torn up, but I'm hoping that's the only thing wrong. I have no idea how Pretty Kitty is doing. Why in the world am I celebrating this? Okay, I'm not. But speaking of my last CTST, my daughter did make it into Mary Poppins (ensemble), so yay!


Image: benyclark


3. After years of using a 2G flip phone, the AT&T takeover has forced me and my husband to update our cell phones. Now I've got a . . . 3G flip phone! Bah-dum-dump. Okay, stop laughing. It takes pictures. Really. 

Do you go all out decorating for the holidays? Are you and your smart phone permanently attached?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things and Piper Morgan Book Blast



It's Friday. Are you ready to celebrate? Let's give a big shout-out to our host, Lexa Cain, who would swim through a tsunami to get internet service, and her co-hosts, L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker!

Here we go!


Image: Vassilis


1. On Thursday, my older daughter auditioned for her middle school play. She had separate song and dance try-outs for Mary Poppins. I've never seen Mary Poppins, but I now have the song "Anything Can Happen" stuck in my head on permanent replay. It's insidious. Really. But I wish my girl all the luck and I'm super impressed with all the hard work she put into this audition. Now, please dear Lord, get this tune out of my head. Gahhh!!!


The fabulous Mr. Mistoffelees


2. We're a little cat crazy here. When a beautiful stray started coming around when we moved in, we first built him an outdoor house and eventually got him to come inside. Now Mr. M sleeps on my chest. (Can't breathe...)


Image: Martin Kleppe (not our new stray, but close)


This summer, another beautiful stray started showing up and so we did what any responsible pet owner would--we built another house. I spied the new kitty exiting it this week. So yeah. The word is out. We're a cat-HAirbnb! Possums and raccoons allowed. Dinner served around the clock. Severe finger shaking if found fighting.



Image: Kevin Baird


3. This was my last full week of blissful writing days. The kidlets will have most of next week off for Thanksgiving, and the week after that there are days off for parent-teacher conferences. Despite the interruptions in my work schedule, I'm celebrating the fact I don't have to travel for this particular holiday. No airport lines until Christmas!

________

And now for Stephanie Faris's newest Piper Morgan book!


Piper Morgan To The Rescue




Blurb:

Piper helps some four-legged friends find the perfect home in the third book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series.

Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter in town. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs all day? And when Piper sees Taffy, the cutest dog she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home. But it won’t be easy—especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family, too!



Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.



Stephanie also has a Rafflecopter giveaway if you'd like to win a copy of Piper Morgan To The Rescue.

___________

Have you seen Mary Poppins? Love cats? Have big plans for Thanksgiving?


Monday, November 14, 2016

Crystal Collier Gets Medieval On Our Funny Bones


Welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her new book and some medieval funnies!

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?


BUY: Amazon | B&N

GUEST POST

Thank you Tamara for having me here today!

"Good, clean fun." What comes to mind when you hear that? One of the many things that makes me think about is "clean reads." I admit, I'm a bit of a wuss. I want limited language, palpable abuses, and PG-13 (or less) love scenes in my reading. The brain is a funny thing and it tends to cling to everything we put in it. It also sputters out what we put in it at the most inconvenient times. Warning to us all, eh? Best to put the kinds of things in your brain you'd like to see regurgitated. (Yikes. That sounds a little gross eh?)

So being a mom, my goal is to write books I wouldn't be embarrassed having my daughters (or sons) read. TIMELESS, despite having a good deal of romance, is like that. (As are the first two books in the Maiden of Time series.) (Knights, battles, time travel, an epic love story, and special powers...WHAT?!) So what do you say to some good clean fun?

The chore that never ends.


And what did Snow White ALWAYS do? (Ahem, the answer is clean.)


All else fails, throw the trash in the closet.


Cleaning really isn't torture, I promise.


I hope you laughed or at least smiled. And now while you're in a good mood, go buy my books!

And have a nice day.

What is your favorite/least favorite chore? Do you like clean reads? Don't care?



Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her online HERE.

(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things



It's time to once again celebrate the small victories and accomplishments for the week with our host, Lexa Cain, and her co-hosts, L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker!


Image: Tony Fischer


1. I voted. My candidate lost, but I did exercise my constitutional rights. I live in Rochester, NY and you may have heard that there was a long line to place your "I voted" sticker on the grave of Susan B. Anthony, which is kind of cool and kind of sad at the same time. Like many people, I'm still in shock, a little scared, and wondering if a dystopian future like those so popular in fiction these days might come to pass. Hopefully not.




On the brighter side, I think someone should install several cats throughout the White House this coming January, just in case you-know-who gets grabby. Cough, cough. I mean crabby. There's nothing like a purring kitten to calm you down. What did you think I meant?



Image: Clintus


2. My younger daughter hurt her ankle and foot at a trampoline park and has been limping since Sunday. Why celebrate? Because the x-ray we got on Tuesday shows it's not fractured. Since she hurt her back at the same place a few months earlier, I want to ban her from ever going back. Unfortunately, it seems to be the go-to venue for birthday parties this year. Ironically, her class read an article about the growing number of injuries resulting from visits to these places about a month ago.




3. I've been rereading my historical novel in what will hopefully be the final edit. Of course, the idea of getting back on the query train is about as appealing as eating a bowl full of mealworms. 

How are you handling the election results? Do you let your kids play on trampolines? 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

IWSG and CTST (Nov. 2 and 4)



Good morning, insecure writers! Are you having a candy hangover from Halloween? Are you frantically typing to meet your NaNo word count yet? Well, it's time to vent our frustrations and/or accomplishments with our illustrious host, Ninja El Capitan, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his industrious co-hosts: Joylene Novell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaard, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, and Christine Rains!

This month's question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

I like being lost in my writing, particularly a long novel where I have to think carefully about how to make a character come alive or how to incorporate symbolism or how to create an shocking plot twist. The art of creating is the best part. 

So that's what I hope to get back to this month. So far, 2016 has been a blur of getting Heart Stopper and Other Stories published and the blog tour. The help I received from other author/bloggers inspired me to give back by reading their work, writing reviews (but I have a list of 14 still to go), and hosting their cover reveals and guest blogs. I finally set up my KDP five freebie days to run Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 to coincide with Halloween and The Day of the Dead, both of which are prominent features in Heart Stopper's plot. (Click here if you'd like a copy.)

It's time to cut back on blogging (maybe post once a week) so I can get back into the creative process. (Whoops. I'd better find a huge block of wood to knock, because whenever I think I'm about to have time to write, someone gets sick.)

_____________



Since it's an IWSG week in which I'm co-hosting, I'm going to go ahead and post this now. Big shout out to the amazing author of Bloodwalker, Lexa Cain, and her cohosts, L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

This week, it was all about Halloween, so here's some pictures:



First, the pumpkin carving. We have (clockwise) a wolf, a scary scarecrow, an owl, and a drooly face.




Bunnicula statue




Once scary, but incredibly fluffy wolf. Best tail ever!




The Cheshire Cat from the updated Alice in Wonderland. Love those stumpy legs.




Here's the back.





The cutest little pumpkin's goggling each other.




Our ghouly, ghosty friends and/or yard decorations.


Hope you had a wonderful Halloween and enjoy the November IWSG! (I can finally put my sewing kit away! Whew. No more homemade costumes for me.)


Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick or Treat! Free Book! Happy Halloween!




Click here for your free Kindle download from Amazon.com.

It's called Heart Stopper and Other Stories. See right sidebar for cover image and book trailer.

Happy reading! (It is free through Friday, November 4.)

Thank you Patricia, for organizing this blog hop--you rock! Check out the other freebies, y'all.

Author Sign ups for Trick-or-Treat Reads Book Blog Hop
1. Patricia Lynne  8. Marie Landry  15. Tyrean Martinson  
2. HR Sinclair  9. Deb Atwood  16. Tamara Narayan  
3. L.G. Keltner  10. Jennifer Ellision  17. K.S. Marsden  
4. Heather M. Gardner  11. Tui Snider  18. Anna Tan  
5. C.D. Gallant-King  12. Natasha Duncan-Drake  19. Angeline Trevena  
6. Nicole R. Locker  13. Sophie Duncan  20. Cassandra Giovanni  
7. Amanda N. Butler  14. Wittegen Press  


Friday, October 28, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things



Ah, the Friday before Halloween. I'm still not done with the kid's costumes, sew I know what I'll be doing this weekend. But first, a celebration with our host, Lexa Cain and her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

1. Snow. We woke up Thursday to a quarter-inch. (Sadly the rain that followed pounded it into a memory.)

2. Birthday. Also on Thursday, Dove-a-love-a-ly celebrated her first with catnip, a new tunnel, and a tuna cake.

3. Fellow bloggers! Today I'm presenting an author's guide to Halloween and Day of the Dead over at Chrys Fey's Write With Fey, the last stop on my blog tour for Heart Stopper and Other Stories. And I'm also getting a mention on Foxy's Friday Freebies. 

Anything surprise you this week?