Saturday, February 25, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things

Happy Friday (oops) Saturday y'all! Up here in the wilds of the north, schools are out this week for this crazy thing called Winter Break. Why would anyone want to be out of school in February instead of extending summer break during the best weather of the year is beyond me. Anyway, let's all thank our extraordinary host, Lexa Cain and her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

1. We took a mini-vacation up to Canada to enjoy a night a Great Wolf Lodge. The roller coaster water slide was a fave.

2. The next day we went to see the always magnificent Niagara Falls. The color of the water at the edge is so gorgeous (pun intended) that I could stare at it for hours (if my kids would let me, which they wouldn't. It was raining.)

Image: Lima Pix

3. At the end of our walk along the Canadian and American falls, we wandered into the tourist-y area and had an early dinner with elephants trumpeting into our ears every fifteen minutes at the Rainforest Cafe.

Image: Yortw

Have you done any traveling lately? Any place you like to visit?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Over at Parallels...

Over at the Parallels: Felix Was Here blog, I've posted an article about virtual reality crime. Click on over to check it out.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things

Good Friday morning, everyone. Are you ready to celebrate something? Thanks to our host Lexa Cain and her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker, this is the venue to do just that. So here we go, multiple choice-style:

1. While I took my daughter to her last elementary Sweetheart's dance last Friday, my husband stayed home with our older daughter and made this:

In case you are scratching your head, this is a sculpture of me in my kayak, which led me to ponder which of the following:

(a) my husband has waay too much time on his hands

(b) does my hair really look this bad? 

(c) what happened to my legs?

(d) all of the above

2. We went to see our local high school's production of Les Miserables on Saturday. It was so stunning that...

Image: Javi Cebrian

(a) the audience couldn't even clap after some songs, because they were so moving

(b) both of my daughters proclaimed it was the best play they ever saw

(c) we'd lie, cheat, or steal to get a DVD of this production (but unfortunately such things are only offered to families with children in the thing, dang it!)

(d) all of the above

3. We went to our favorite restaurant, the Melting Pot, on Sunday to

Image: Lauren

(a) stuff ourselves on cheese fondue, possibly the most perfect food ever created

(b) time the wait staff on their ketchup-finding skills (they have to run down to the food court of the mall this restaurant is in to get it.)

(c) celebrate the 11 years since my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer (and he is okay!)

(d) all of the above

What a weekend! Did you celebrate Valentine's this week? Ever seen Les Miserables? Love cheese fondue?

(And if there's any doubt on the answer key, it's all ds. Like, duh.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Alien Vampires are Real - Patricia Josephine Guestpost

Today, I am hosting Patricia Josephine as she releases her new novel: Abducted Life. I mean, what says Valentine's more than sucking face with an alien vampire? Pucker up!

The dream I had that inspired Abducted Life was about a vampire trying to escape aliens. He had the cliché vampire traits like fangs, but for Abducted Life I wanted Savannah and Evan's looks to reflect the fact that aliens messed with their genetics to make them less human––especially in Evan's case. Not so much for Savannah. I had some ideas in mind and there were a couple real life creatures that really inspired me.

When it came to Evan and alien vampires, I had one specific animal in mind: a sea lampray. Specifically, it's mouth. I wanted Evan's changes to be something he had to cover and in doing so would make him stand out in a crowd. It also had to be horrifying. He shrugs it off in the story, but it's not an easy change to cope with as he makes it seem.

As for the alien creature, what I had in mind was something aquatic. I imagined something like the opposite of whales which breathe oxygen, but can spend hours under water. These creatures can spend hours on land, but only breathe underwater and hold their breath when out of the water. But since Evan is human and breathes oxygen, he can't breathe underwater. If he had been a fish spliced with this creature that'd be a different story. ;) Also, imagine something with a body like a crocodile, but the scaly skin isn't as rough.

Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no memory of what happened to her. Savannah struggles to move forward as strange, new abilities manifest.

Evan Sullivan never gave extra-terrestrials much thought until the night he and Savannah were abducted. While Savannah’s memory was wiped clean, he remembers every horrific detail. Constantly reminded of the experiments that made him less than human, Evan hides in the shadows and watches Savannah rebuild her life without him. But neither can let the other go.

When their paths cross, Savannah and Evan finally see a glimmer of their old lives return. As they face what happened to them, they soon discover they aren’t safe. There’s more to fear than what’s hiding in the stars.

Available for 99 cents at Amazon.

About the Author

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

You can find her lurking on Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Wattpad. Find the latest news at her website or sign up for her newsletter. A link to all her books can be found here.

Does the introductory image remind anyone else of Dune? If you could alter your DNA, what would you change?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things

The weeks are just flying by, aren't they? It's Friday again. Time to think back and find the little things that gave our week a boost. Hosted by the amazing Lexa Cain along with her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

1. Woke up to this:

I even got to shovel off the driveway for a few minutes. Good times. What do you think, Dove?

She thinks the birds look good in snow. Tasty, even.

2. Speaking of tasty things, my husband brought home a wonderful treat yesterday from BJ's (which is like Costco). As much as I adore snow, munching on these was like snacking on summer. So good.

Image: Emily Carlin

3. I'm still tweaking my historical novel. Unfortunately, my working pace is like this: 

I'll get there, eventually. 

How are things in your corner of the world? Have a chore you love that most would hate? A favorite berry?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG and Celebrate the Small Things

It's time once again to lift the covers on our beds of insecurity and reveal what monsters lurk underneath, gnashing their teeth. Or, if you'd rather, answer the following question:

How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Sometimes I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, watching as Toto runs over to that curtain and drags it back, revealing the "Wiz" pulling levers and punching buttons. I notice the author laying the groundwork for a conflict. I spot the romantic interest the moment that character is introduced. My mind leaps ahead of the narrative, guessing at what surprise twists are coming chapters before they unfold. 

This can be annoying, or it can make me feel smart. Most of the time I'd rather get lost in the narrative and not identify the elements as they come into play. On the other hand, after years of working on my own stories, I recognize the beauty of great writing and relish it. 

Thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh for leading this wonderful group and to this month's co-hosts for all their hard work: Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christyand Joylene Buter!


In order to spend more time visiting other blogs, I'll go ahead and post this a bit early this week. Do you have some accomplishments to celebrate? Pop on over to see Lexa Cain and join us for this Friday blog hop. Her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonya Drecker.

1. My younger daughter, a violin player, participated in a solo-fest last Saturday. Here's the deal. The kids learn and practice a solo and scales. They play these, along with a never-seen-before piece (a.k.a. sight-reading), in front of a judge, by themselves, with no parent or music teacher in the room. Then they get a score. Sounds terrifying to me, but she did great, earning a high score. She was the only one from her elementary school to participate and I am super proud. She's ten.

2. There's still some snow on the ground, like an inch maybe. But I want more!

Image: Zenspa1

3. I got a massage yesterday and had so many knots in my neck the therapist had to give up because of time limits. So that means I should go back, like, really soon, right? (Thanks, Mom, for the gift certificate--you rock!)

Okay, time to see how writing affects the reading habits of others. Do you or your kids play an instrument? Any snow where you live? Ever gotten a massage?