Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolutions? What Resolutions?...

Hmm, I resolve for 2012 to blog every day. I resolve to write 2,000 words a day. Perhaps even do yoga twice a week and ...

Who am I kidding? I sound like a politician, making promises I don't intend to keep. Or can't keep due to extenuating circumstances.

Hehe, see I can even use legal jargon. Maybe I should have been a lawyer?

Okay, so you. Resolutions or no resolutions? Do you keep 'em or do you chuck them aside after the first week like your trash?

Have a happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Internet Presence...

There is something pretty spectacular when you read a blog and the person is very professional, light hearted and funny at times.

No, I'm not talking about me. Professional? Me?? *Snorts*Anyway, I've come across some blogs where the people aren't anywhere near decent. If you're trying to get somewhere in the publishing industry or you are somewhere, don't be negative. All. The. Time. Seriously.

Being positive, offering up advice, sharing your experiences... those are important. Make people want to read your blog and keep reading and commenting. I've sort of stopped following or commenting on some blogs because the people are kvetching about not being accepted or how other people are being "mean" in their reviews or comments.

All. The. Time.

I know I have ranted on this blog, but I don't keep gnawing at the same bone every time I post. I do try to move on and look for the positive in things. I've worked hard to get my internet presence and I don't want to lose it by always being pissy.

I dread the day I get the bad review. I'll get more than one and I'll have to suffer through each one. I'll have to focus on the good reviews. I'll need help with it, I'm sure. I can't rise to the bait of the bad reviews. The trolls, they can be tricky and they will make me want to explode all over the internet and all over them. I'm gonna want to find their house, ring the bell and break their knee caps when they answer the door.

But I can't and I won't. No one else would. It isn't professional. Give me five minutes to whine about it and tell me to get over it. It's all good, we're cool like that.

So get out there, make your internet presence a GOOD one and put the negativity outside in the cold, without food and water, where it belongs. Follow people on Twitter, get on Facebook, blog and be positive in your blogs. Don't be a whiner. If you want people to read your work and like you, be selective about what you put out there. Yeah, you're gonna have bad days. Doesn't everyone?

So tell me, do you continue to follow people who are constantly negative or do you put them to the wayside?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: Flash Gold...

I'm very, very new to reading Steampunk. Let me just say, I've liked the Steampunk genre... or at least liked hearing about it and was intrigued. I've read my first novella of Steampunk and I'm hooked!

This is one of the first pieces I have read and enjoyed, so here's the review!

Flash Gold, Lindsey Buroker
Available: Amazon, Smashwords

Product Description:

Eighteen-year-old Kali McAlister enters her steam-powered "dogless sled" in a race, intending to win the thousand-dollar prize and escape remote Moose Hollow forever. The problem? Fortune seekers and airship pirates are after her for the secret to flash gold, her late father's alchemical masterpiece.

With her modified rifle and a pocketful of home-made smoke bombs, Kali wouldn't normally hide from a confrontation, but taking on a whole airship single-handedly is a daunting task. Unfortunately, the other racers won't assist her--they're too busy scheming ways to sabotage her unorthodox sled.

When a sword-slinging stranger shows up, wanting to hire on as her protector, she's sure he has ulterior motives, but he's the only one interested in helping her. The question is...why?

An 18,000-word (80 page) novella

My thoughts:

This was a really fast read for me. Which sometimes doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, since I tend to be a fast reader to begin with. But when I state it was a fast read for me, that simply means the overall flow of this story was spot on. Lots of action, lots of fun dialogue and an interesting setting. It has its fair share of typos and errors, but nothing so much as to slow down your reading enjoyment.

I'm new to Steampunk, at least reading it. This is one of the first books I have read and I really enjoyed it. I like the era, I like the concept of steam powered stuff and including magic in the mix just makes it that much cooler.

Kali is a spunky (yes, I used the word spunky) girl with some serious trust issues, but for good reason. I really like some of her inventions, but don't want to give too much away! The fact that there are bounty hunters and even pirates (Pirates!!) make this story even more enjoyable. I really got hooked on this first book and look forward to the rest in the series.

I give this novella 4 out of 5 skull and crossbones.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holidays Are Over...

Well Christmas is over and we're almost into the New Year! I had an awesome holiday so far and expect to have some fun on New Years. Maybe I'll get totally outrageous and play with my new World of Warcraft Miniatures game!


Nerd. I know. We've had this discussion before.

More than likely it will be a night spent with the family, of course. I'm usually not that fond of driving around on New Years. There's some pretty stupid drunk drivers.

I hope you all had a great holiday as well. Have a safe New Years and keep an eye out for another book review of a new author I found. Half the time, these authors are new to me, but maybe not to you. I'd still like for you all to drop by and leave a comment.

The rest of the week will be spent working and doing some housework, maybe do some writing. If I don't post anything else this week, I'll get back on it next week. Have a great week just in case!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: The Book of Deacon...

My reviews these days are few and far between. But when I find a book I like, especially by a self-pubbed author, I like reviewing it simply to help that author gain exposure.

So here we go!

The Book of Deacon, Joseph Lallo
Available: Amazon, Smashwords

Book Description:

Myranda is a young woman more interested in staying alive than being a hero. Orphaned by a continent-spanning war that has gone on for decades too long and shunned for failing to support it, she has been on the move since she was only a child. One can hardly blame her when she thinks that the chance discovery of a fallen soldier's priceless cargo is the moment that will change her life. No one could predict just how great that change would be. It will lead her through an adventure of rebels and generals, of wizards and warriors, and of beasts both noble and monstrous. Each step of the way will take her closer to the truth of her potential, of the war, and of the fate of her world.

My thoughts:

I've said it before and I will say it again... I'm a sucker for fantasy. I liked this book. Joseph Lallo has a nice writing style and the story flows really well. I do have to admit, I saw a lot of typos, grammatical errors and repetitiveness. Those are probably the worst comments you'll see from me about this book. However, these are critiquing comments.

The story of Myranda and her faithful reptilian companion is a very good one. It is the first in a series and I am looking forward to the next two books. There are some interesting creatures in this story, different views on magic and how the characters utilize it. I also have to say, that while this is fantasy, the story may be long, but it keeps going and only slows down ever so slightly. Not enough to bore you, though. I've read some books that you just wish they would get on with it, but this story is one that delivers just the right amount of information as it goes along. The information given paints the picture of the world that Myranda lives in and even though it is in some pretty heavy turmoil, there are areas I would love to see in real life, of course.

I would definitely suggest this book to other fantasy readers. I give it 3 and a half Skull and Crossbones out of 5.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Taking A Break...

I want to wish you all a Happy Holidays!

I'll be taking this week off due to work and of course the holidays. If I am able, you'll see me the week after Christmas, otherwise, I will see you all in the New Year!

I've had a wonderful 2011.

Moved into a new place, got a job, had surgery (which has made me feel SO MUCH better), spent time with my mom, had my son move up to Alaska and was accepted by Hellfire Publishing.


So I am off. But will leave you with some Christmas/New Year's funnies.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Christmas is creeping up on me so fast! I don't even have my tree up yet. I'm sort of sad about this as Christmas is one of my most favorite holidays. Ranks right up there with Halloween, usually.

For some reason, I just don't feel much in the Christmas spirit. The day after Thanksgiving, Christmas music was already on the radio at my work. Black Friday, well that is always a joke. I can't imagine people mauling others for the latest deal on a DVD release or new video game.

Is that truly the "Reason for the Season"? I certainly hope not.

These last couple of months have been stressful. We moved, we had to put our oldest kitty, Colby, down. Our family unit has been split up and work has been increasing for me gradually. Seems like every time I asked my boss for more hours, I got them and something would happen. She's been a very understanding, kind boss and I am thankful for her and my supportive co-workers.

Things just still seem 'off' for me. Probably because my daughter is out on her own and my son is living with us. All sorts of changes and adjustments that I am still not used to. Don't get me wrong, I am happy about having both my kids here with me finally. But all of this has been a hard change. I'm feeling more of an "empty nest" syndrome than I thought I would. I'm dwelling on the fact that my son will be 18 in February and well, he'll be next to move out.

Sometimes the holidays get to me. I don't mean for this post to be all doom and gloom. I look forward to spending time with my family and perhaps we can get that tree up this weekend. Then it will feel more like Christmas and I can focus on having a happier New Year.

If I don't post much this week, I want to wish all of you a safe and happy holiday!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Revealed: What Am I...

Alright! You've had a day to post your comments to my little writing prompt from yesterday. If you didn't get a chance to read it, go ahead and do so now.

If you did read it and left a comment, I'm going to reveal to you what point of view I was writing from.


Are you sure?

Okay, okay, I'll stop.

I was writing from the point of view of a glass sitting too close to the edge of a table. How's that for a writing prompt, eh? You guys were awesome with your guesses and practically spot on! Way to go!

Prompts are usually a good way for me to break out of a writing funk. I have a couple of short stories I wrote for the Writing Dot Com "Writer's Cramp" contest. You have to write 1,000 words in a day with the prompt they give you. I had one win and another got awesome reviews. They were so close in proximity of posting, I couldn't be greedy and win both, could I?

Would have been nice, but no. So I took the comments to heart. Lots of people wanted me to expand both stories. So I am working on that and perhaps I can place them all up for you to see. I've hit the 3,000 word mark out of 10,000 on my short, "The Wicked One" and will hopefully have that up soon as well.

Have a great day and see you all tomorrow!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Am I...

Yesterday, my blogger's block kicked in. So I went over to my favorite prompt sites and I have a little something for you. Try to guess the point of view I'm writing from if you'd like a bit of fun.

Here goes...

"I'm going to fall," I say to no one in particular. "I've never been quite this close to the edge before. What if a good stiff breeze comes along? Will I shatter? Will everything inside of me spill out to be exposed?"

"I've seen it happen before, you know. Perhaps I will survive the fall, but if I hit just right I may break. I can't believe how close to the edge I am. I have never been in this position before and quite frankly, I'm scared."

"In all of my existence, I have been on more stable ground. I have always known my place, how far from the edge I've been. Sure I have come close to the precipice, forgotten a few times, even. Once, I stood upon a pedestal for days on end. But I've always come down. Secure in a firm grasp."

"I don't know what will happen this time. Perhaps the dog will walk by, his tail wagging carelessly and I'll be done for. Once I have gained any sort of momentum, there will be no stopping my fall. Even if someone were to see me and dive under me, I may very well break. Perhaps I will hurt that person as well, cutting into them like that, should I crack. What am I to do? I've never been taken advantage of like this in the past. People just think they can place me anywhere, not giving a second thought to my surroundings. They all think that I'll be all right. That nothing can happen to me. Perhaps I should just push it from my mind. If I fall, that will teach them to be more cautious of anothers fragile state. Would they learn the lesson? Or will they be just as careless with others as they have been with me?"

Okay. Think about what I have just written and tell me if you can guess what I am. I look forward to hearing your guesses! Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One Of Those Days...

I'm sitting here watching Twitter scroll on by and put up a Tweet myself.

"What to blog about... What to blog about..."

I get a response from Tahlia Newland: "Blog about not knowing what to blog about. Staring at the blank page, etc."

Good idea! There are days I just don't know what to blog about. I will scan through the other blogs and most times an idea will trigger or I will expand (hijack) someones topic.

There are days when I am on a roll and can blog several different things and then schedule them in advance.

However, yesterday was a bit of an emotional strain. Today, I'm tired and drained. My daughter was driving to school, hit black ice and went off the road. She is fine, banged up, bruised and shook up, but fine. She wasn't wearing her seat belt. After a look at the scene, she's lucky to be alive.

She'll be spending the next few days with us. Then we need to determine what to do about her car.

So yeah, today is an off day for me. I can't conjure up much to blog about but feel the need to blog.

What triggers non-blogging days for you? Do you force through it or do you just wait until something inspires you to post?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Best E-Mail Ever...

Okay, well, second best email ever! I got a notice from Publish America yesterday that my book has not sold a single copy in over a year.


I know, strange thing to be happy about. But seriously, I have been waiting for this day for some time now. They are releasing my rights back to me two years early!!!!

OMG!!! I'm so happy and excited and it couldn't have come at a better time.

I no longer have that Damocles Sword hanging over my head.

I just had to share! Woohoo! ::Does the happy dance::

Monday, December 12, 2011

What's Worse Than A Query...

Getting endorsements!! *Gasp!*

I spent a few minutes before work yesterday looking over some blogs. As you all know, my sister-in-law, Cheri Chesley, published her first book last year with Cedar Fort.

I've been following the blog ever since. Their authors all contribute their shared knowledge and experience on the blog site. That is where I stumbled upon this little tidbit. Getting Celebrity Endorsements.

If you can brave querying, submitting or even... yes, even self publishing... do you think you have the guts to ask for an endorsement? From an author you love and admire?? Can you? Can you really!?

Yeah. You can. Silly. What did you think I was going to say? That you can't?? Pssh. You should know by now that I have absolute faith in all of you and you can do whatever you put your mind to. Especially asking for an endorsement.

So, I certainly did not mean to hijack the blog subject from Trina Boice, but I took it to heart. So I figured it might help any of you out who may be looking into something along these lines as well.

Did I email anyone? Actually, I did. Two of my most favorite (well technically three) authors/artists out there. Sorry, I couldn't get that appointment to hold a seance to contact Tolkien from the other side. Who knew mediums were so booked up this time of year?

Hope you all have a super Monday! I'll see you all later this week.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

Wheee! It's Friday again! My work Christmas party is tomorrow. Should be fun. Doubt it will be the kind of raucous affair you see in movies, lol!

Anyway, on to the topic of Friday!

Favorite books/authors: K. C. May has remained in my mind as a favorite. I'm beginning to like Joseph Lallo as well as a shameless plug for my friend Carol Marrs Phipps. What can I say? I'm a sucker for Fantasy.

Favorite movie: This is an oldie but a goodie! Well, old for me anyway. When I listed my top 10 favorite movie quotes, it reminded me of it. Near Dark. One of the funny, campy things about the movie is how the vampires are a bunch of cowboy-like misfits. Okay, well vampires are misfits anyway... lol! But these guys are just... well can't explain it very well. Have to see the movie.

Favorite music: I'm going to go with the Pogues and add to it, Flogging Molly as well as The Tossers. I love the music! Rowdy, fun, Irish!

Fantasy art:

And the funny:

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Day After...

I want to thank everyone for all your comments yesterday. And a huge welcome to my new followers!

I love all the topics that come up during IWSG, the comments, the discussions. Alex, you've come across something wonderful and thanks for thinking of the idea!

Everyone seems to have Mr. King in their sights, wanting to knock him off his "lofty perch", someone said. I find that rather amusing, actually.

King was big in his day and it just seems to me that when he fell to the wayside it hurt his feelings. He tried too hard to get his glory back without just letting it go and accept it gracefully and tastefully.

Now, you all know I am not much of a Meyers fan, but King takes it a bit too far, trying to rub Rowling's success in Meyers' face. I saw a couple of minutes of a YouTube video where a fan of Meyers was telling King where to go. That's putting it nicely. But I couldn't watch the whole thing. Why?

Weeeellll.... to be honest, I sort of agreed with one of King's comments about Meyers. I don't want to get into details, I know some of my followers like the 'Twilight' series.

While having a fan like that could be flattering, I don't know that I would want anyone that fanatical about any of my books broadcasting their opinion of me like that. Honestly, it was sort of creepy. It felt like this person was, while sticking up for Meyers, acting as if it was her job to put King in his place. Will King ever watch it? Maybe. Maybe not. But the fan seemed to be trying a bit too hard to use large words, but when her temper got the best of her, she faltered. Maybe it was just me. Either way, I don't usually watch those sort of things on YouTube. I prefer watching episodes of "The Guild".

King just needs to step out of the limelight and let the others in his field have their moment of glory. I like his books, don't get me wrong. But it did get to a point where I did get bored with a couple of his books. Sadly, I haven't picked up a new one since. I guess I am an Old School King Fan. We'll just leave it at that.

What about you? Did you have a successful IWSG day? If you ever make it big (or not so big) will you know when its time to bow out and just let your books speak for you?

Have a great rest of the week everyone!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group...

Wow, is it the first Wednesday of the month already? I almost forgot!! Glad I didn't.

If you don't know what the IWSG is by now, you can still find the information over at our Ninja Captain's blog. Click here.

I'm torn between two topics this time around. So I think I will go with the one I have seen the most about these days.

As authors and writers, published or unpublished, we all have an inner secret desire. We look great on paper. We answer the repetitive questions over and over with rehearsed answers. We don't want to look like we're desperate, greedy or vain. We don't want to seem as if we might be jealous or envious of our successful colleagues. We don't want to lose a possible fan or a good review.

So what is this inner desire I speak of? We all want to be SOMEONE. We want to stick out of the crowd. We want our stories to be told, yes. Of course we love to write for the sake of writing! We are absolutely addicted to the written word. We put ourselves through so much to become published and we're totally devastated when we aren't.

But what happens after we get published?

Some books seem to just pop right out at you and have TONS of rave reviews. You go to the author's blog and they have a couple thousand followers, they're talking about all the fan mail they get and their website. Woo! To die for. We friend them on FaceBook and stalk them on Twitter. They're on the bestseller list.

But doesn't a small part of you wish that your book was that successful? Don't you want that kind of fame?

Who doesn't?

I have to admit, I have visions of fame dance in my head now and then. It is a basic human desire to want to become immortalized. Why do you think women strive to look younger as they get older? The fascination with vampires and wanting to BE a vampire. (There are people out there who state they are vampires in real life...) All the cosmetic surgery and scientific breakthroughs to live forever, what's it all about? It is about individualization, immortality.

We all want our books to be popular, overnight sensations and yes, even best sellers. We dream of them being turned into movies and making millions.

And you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Everyone dreams.

But when you find yourself unhappy with second best... stop. Breathe. Take a look back down that road you just traveled. What really is more important?

Becoming famous?


Getting your story out there and having it be loved by a total stranger as much as you love it and loved writing it?

Depending on what you have written, don't you want your story to help someone? To change a small part of their life? Because, quite frankly, it is the people you have affected in your life that immortalizes you. They pass your story on to their friends and family and so on and THAT is how you live forever.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Help A Fellow Author!!...

I was browsing through my blogs that I follow and happened upon Anne Bradshaw's recent blog. I will copy and paste the post here but I want you all to go over to her blog for links and details.

Click here for links (Just in case they don't work) and read below. From Anne's blog directly:

Danyelle Leafty, author of the Fairy Godmother Dilemma series, has become really sick, and it would be great to help her out. Here is a message from her husband about what happened:

Danyelle had been working very hard to get her series up before Christmas.Then "IT" hit. Some kind of pain was there all day and by 10:45pm, she started experiencing unbearable pain that went until 12:15am when I got home. I got our four kids out of bed and loaded up, then helped Danyelle into the car and drove her to the ER.

As soon as we pulled into the hospital parking lot around 1:00am, our
six-year-old autistic son flipped out. He hates doctors. He didn't want to
be there, and I didn't want to leave my wife. I contacted someone from our church who volunteered to sit with our kids at home so I could stay with Danyelle.

Turned out to be a kidney stone. We got Danyelle home around 4:00am.
Luckily, during the last two days a great lady has filled in for me at work, so I could wait on Danyelle hand and foot, and tomorrow my mom is coming.

Having Danyelle get sick right when she was working on releasing her books has been very stressful. We'd appreciate any assistance anyone has to offer to help us get the word out before Christmas.

Three of Danyelle's books are available as eBooks, and she has five total for this series. Here are the three on Kindle: The Fairy Godmother Dilemma: Catspell, The Fairy Godmother Dilemma: Firespell, and The Fairy Godmother Dilemma: Applespell.

Her website.
Her blog.
Her Facebook account.
Her Facebook Author Page.
Her Twitter Account.

Thanks everyone for showing her some support!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Promised Pics...

So I promised you all some pics awhile back. I wanted to finally post them up here and share, so here you go!

To the left you'll see the cool hourglass my kids got me for my birthday.

In the middle here is the view from my new house. I took this pic while standing in the sun room and looking out the window. Notice the moose if you look closely! Sadly, he has Christmas lights tangled in his antlers. Didn't seem to bother him, but maybe the other moose were making fun of him...

And the next one here is the cool little niche in my house where my bookcase resides at the moment. (Ignore the mess!)It will soon be my cool little writing area. My husband is going to build me a desk and then to make sure company doesn't see my huge mess, we're going to build a nice folding screen that I can decorate. That way my area will be hidden from sight and private enough for me to hide behind and write!

And finally, the one on the left I took while the leaves were changing color. We were driving by the lake in town where all the float planes land and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity. Especially seeing the way the clouds were reflected in the water.

So there are the pics I promised. I like to share Alaska when I can. Oh! And I will share one last one. This one is of my kitty, Gir, acting like a bibliocat and perching on my bookcase as if she were the Queen of the Paperbacks. She's so cute!

Hope you all had a great weekend and have an awesome Monday.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Writing Work...

It's funny. Since my announcement of signing my first book contract, I've found myself still browsing blogs with writing advice.

Do all authors still work at trying to be better? Do they work at making the next book better than the last?

Yes. They do.

At least that is my sincere hope. I would hate to think that they just keep writing and cranking out their work without giving it a second thought after getting the first one published.

I have taken a bit of a break since signing my contract. My next project is going to be a short, 10,000 word piece called "The Wicked One". It is one that I am going to self publish on Smashwords when it is done. Then back to work on revising "Veritas". In between, I have a couple of other short stories I want to expand on and put up on Smashwords as well.

I've got a friend that is willing to do artwork for me. In the meantime, is there a way to work on cover art for myself? I don't have Photoshop.

So do you still work at being a better writer or do you just let it all fall where it may?