Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

Well today you get two posts from me. This one and the one telling you of my sister in law's book launch blog tour for The Tyrant King. While there are four in one day, that can't be helped with the holidays looming. If you can make all four stops, share the links. If not, do what you can.

Okay so on to the favorites!

Favorite Books/Authors:

I remember reading lots of books when I was a kid and I recently came across one of my favorites. 'The Island of the Blue Dolphins' by Scott O'Dell. I read that book a couple of times as a kid and I'm half tempted to read it again. Those are the kinds of books I liked reading as a kid. I would pick up just about anything that looked interesting, regardless of the genre, even back then.

Favorite Movies:

I just saw Brave the other night and have to add this to my list of favorites. And it has nothing to do with me being half Scottish. Okay, sort of. Heh! No, it was a really good movie. I enjoyed it and am glad I got to see it.

Favorite Music:

This may shock some of you, considering my favorite list in the past and all the bands I listed at one time for the A-Z Blog Challenge, but I'm going to list The Statler Brothers today. I was raised on Country music and while I don't care much for it these days, there are some artists I still enjoy. And look, I'm mentioning it for the whole world to see! I saw the Statler Brothers in concert once when I was a kid. It was at a fairgrounds and it was rainy. My mom and I had on our el cheapo rain slickers that they handed to everyone before the concert. It was fun.

Fantasy Art:

And the funny:

Okay, that's it for this chick. Have a great weekend and see you all on Monday!

The Tyrant King Blog Tour...

Hey all! So my sister in law, Cheri Chesley, has her newest book in her young adult fantasy series out. It is called 'The Tyrant King'. She's been a hoppin' about the blogosphere these days and I bet she's getting kinda tired. That's a lot of hoppin'!

Her latest stop today has her on not one, but THREE blogs. Can you imagine? Well, technically four... Mindy and Sheila are blogging separately and together on their combined blog. You'll find the links below.

Here they are:

Angela Brown
Mindy Holt
Sheila Staley
LDS Women's Book Review 

So stop on by and share the links to all of these wonderful blogs. Help Cheri get the exposure she deserves. We are all authors supporting authors, right? And readers. We're ALL readers!  Thanks everyone!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Wait Is Over...

That's right. And what have we all been waiting for, you ask?

The release date of my book, Adversarius, of course!

After all this time, after a lengthy wait, (Which felt like decades to me because I am Instant Gratification Girl) I have a release date!

Allow me to pause here for a just a moment and say,

OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Okay, I'm done. I'll do my happy dance later because I KNOW you all don't wanna see that. Eek!

Have I drawn it out long enough? Too long?

Yeah, you're right, I better get to this before you leave. :(

OKAY So the release date is...


(Someone's gonna kick me, I can feel it...)

DECEMBER 7, 2012!!!


Virtual book tour will ensue with anyone willing to allow me to hijack their blog for a day being put into a drawing for some super fun swag. Contact me and we'll work out the kinks. For those of you already on board, I'll be sending out an email as soon as possible. I'm also looking for reviewers, so hit me up and I may have a copy of the book to give you soon.


Have a great day, everyone. I know I will!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Monday After...

Hey everyone! I hope those of you who celebrated the Thanksgiving weekend had a safe and happy one. Too much turkey for me, but I also made the best turkey ever. Even though I bought the darn thing FROZEN the NIGHT before turkey day.

One of my Irish friends (bless her heart) patted my turkey in the store and said, "Love, how the eff are ye goin' tae cook dis ting?"

I told her I was going home to give it a bath. And sure enough, that's just what I did.

So today is another tour stop for my sister in law, Cheri Chesley and her NEWEST book, The Tyrant King!

For the latest stop on the tour, click here and head on over to Jamie Gibbs' page, Mithril Wisdom.

But wait! Don't go just yet!

I'll also be participating in 'The Next Big Thing' blog hop and I'm looking for 5 authors to tag. I'll be posting next Monday, so you will post the Monday after.

Okay, now you can go! Have a great week everyone.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

Ruh roh, it's Black Friday. Don't know how many of you are camping out at home and avoiding leaving the house. If you are, cool! You can read this post.

Favorite Books/Authors:

Okay, as usual I am late to the party, but I have finally ... FINALLY ... picked up the first of George R. R. Martin's books, 'Game of Thrones'. I'm halfway through and it is already a favorite!!!  I can't seem to put the damn thing down but I have to. I need to sleep and be able to function the next day. I'm really, truly loving this book, but I am sad I can't pick up the rest in the series just yet. Maybe if someone buys a book trailer from me...


Favorite Movie:

Last Holiday with Queen Latifah is such a cute movie. I figured since the holidays are on the horizon, why not pick something like this. It's a good, clean movie without a lot of gratuitous crap. And I like Queen Latifah. I've liked just about every movie I've seen with her in it. She's one talented lady.

Favorite Music:

Black Eyed Peas. I have to state I like this group. I like all sorts of music, especially music that moves me. There are some groups I don't like, trust me, but you'll be hard pressed to find one.

Fantasy Art:

This is by John Howe just because Michael Offutt got me looking at artwork from LotR, lol!

And the funny, obviously due to it being Black Friday:

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving! Have a great rest of your four day weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Thankful...

Instead of my usual World Building  post, I thought I would post a positive note just before the holiday.

I want to make a list of things I'm thankful for. My Thanksgiving Top Ten, if you like. So here goes!

10) My skills as a writer and the ability to weave a tale.

9) That even after injuries and surgeries, I still have the use of my hands to do all the things I do, not just writing.

8) I'm thankful for all of you, my faithful, fun, witty, smart, supportive friends. I don't know how far I would have gone without you!

7) My health. After having dodged the C bullet and all the surgeries I've gone through, I'm still alive. I still have fluid on my brain but I am thankful that it doesn't affect me like it used to.

6) My pets. When I need some comforting or unconditional love and no one else is around, they are there. And they help me keep my sanity.

5) My family. The love and support they've shown me since I began this writing journey was surprising and overwhelming. I love them all!

4) My husband. I love that he helps me write these books. I can always bounce ideas off of him and he offers up his point of view and opinions freely.

3) My kids. I'm so thankful for them being in my life. Even though sometimes they don't always make the best decisions, I stand behind their choices and help pick them up when they fall. I wouldn't have it any other way.

2) I'm thankful to be alive, to live in America even with all of the hardships we as a country are enduring. I have a home, a job and food. There are places worse off than we are and we can't grow as a country without some difficulties.

1) All of the above! I can't think of anything else, this covers it all. I can't state it enough just how thankful I am for all of you and everyone else in my life that helps me walk this path. Thank you all and have a blessed holiday.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Launch Blog Tour: Cheri Chesley...

It's a bit late for this post, but I will post again next week.

My sister in law, Cheri Chesley, has released her latest book 'The Tyrant King'! I'm so very excited for her. She kicked it off with a contest and now you can see the first stop on the tour over here, with J. A. Bennett.

Next on the tour will be in a few days after our holiday with Jamie Gibbs.

Gotta have time to digest the turkey, you know. I'll add the rest of the tour dates later. Have a great day everyone! And, if you'd like to see a bit of my book trailer work, click to watch Cheri's book trailer.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: House of cards by Juli D. Revezzo...

 Title: House of Cards

Author: Juli D. Revezzo

Publisher: Raven Queen Publications

Pages: 28 (Print), File size: 119 kb


Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords

 Summary from Amazon:

You can't escape Fate....

A young nobleman escapes the Reign of Terror in 18th century France to find himself dragged into an even worse fate--a hellish underworld wherein he is cajoled and put on trial by a demon tribunal for crimes he never committed. Can he answer thwart his fate, one worse than the guillotine?

My thoughts:

This short story was a great read. It packed a solid punch and moved rapidly, but not so much you got lost in the rush. It was just right. It reminded me of Dante's Inferno in the fact it was different levels of hell but were riddles instead. Imagine having to move through the afterlife with just your wits about you. If you went mad, you'd be screwed.
However this story also had some special meaning hidden within, in the form of Tarot cards. How you read the Tarot depends entirely on you and your knowledge of the craft. Not everyone listens to their instincts when it comes to reading Tarot. You simply cannot just glance at the image and judge the card by that image. Deeper meanings abound. So while you read this twisted tale, learn the lesson it tries to teach. And not just the one about avoiding graveyards after dark.

I give it a solid five out of five skull and crossbones.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

It's Friday! These days, I've never been so happy to see a Friday in my life. And sorry for the past couple of goofs. While trying to post and schedule some of these blogs, my fingers got ahead of my brain yet again and jumped the gun. Sorry 'bout that.

On with it!

Favorite Books/Authors:

I have to say, ever since reading 'Build A Man' by Talli Roland, I've been hooked on her books. I have now read 'Construct A Couple' and have the rest of her books sitting in my Kindle, waiting for me to turn the virtual pages. Sometimes, my personal reading list takes a hit when I do reviews, but I don't mind! So Talli, you are now on my favorites list! Woohoo!

Favorite Movies:

One movie I saw with my daughter right about when it came out on DVD is quickly becoming one of our 'chick flick' faves. 'Whip It'. Roller Derby at its finest. I've always thought that I could do roller derby, it'd be fun, but now I'm worried about how it would affect my hands should I fall. I know, I'm a wuss. But I love this movie and really enjoy watching it with my daughter. During one of my mom's summer visits, all three of us watched it together and we all liked it. So there, three generations give it a thumb's up.

Favorite Music:

I'm going with the B-52's today. Rock Lobster! And don't forget about that Chrysler that's as big as a whale. It's about to set sail. (WoooOOOooo!) I have my juke box money. I just need the damn juke box!

Fantasy Art:

I will never tire of watching Lord of the Rings. I watched it again recently because my son had never seen the extended versions. Gah! But I have had this wallpaper on my computer before and thought, what the hell, so here it is!

And the Funny:

Can't recall if I have showed this before, but it is worth repeating anyway!

May the Walnut Force be with you! Have a great weekend! What are your plans?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kicking Off A Blog Tour...

So I finally convinced my sister in law to stop waiting for me and my book. She is going to be having her book launch/blog tour soon. However, to kick it off, she's holding a contest.

"Spread the Word" contest and details are here. So drop on by, read the rules and enter to win. And, oh yeah, spread the word! She needs to feel some book-ly love.

There is still time to be added on to the tour schedule. If you'd like to be a part of it, email me. It's under my contact tab. I'll send you all the info you need. I figured I made her wait this long, the least I can do is manage her tour!

Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World Building Wednesday...

There is no end in sight, when you are a fantasy author and building your own world. There are many things to consider and sometimes, you are constantly changing things. You will find, while you are writing, that some things just don't work.

I lost count on how many times I have had to change something. It happens. And maps are no exception.

I've talked about maps before, yes, but now it is time to talk about map makers. I have my world map drawn out by hand on numerous squares of graph paper all taped together. I roll it up when I have to transport it or move. I hate doing that, though, because it tears and crinkles. I get all OCD over it. But I like to have that huge map up on my wall near my desk for quick, easy reference when writing. I don't want to have to keep swapping windows on my computer. Just a quick glance up and sometimes I spend several moments tracking the movement of my characters.

Not only that, each square on my graph represents a certain distance and so configuring how long it takes them to move about is fairly simple. Because math and I are not on speaking terms, I need simple!

But what do you do when you need that map shrunk down and print ready, for say, the inside cover of your book or for your website? Crap! I can't take that huge thing and scan it. I'd be here for days...

I have my own methods and means of getting my map onto my computer, but it's long and drawn out. Not simple at all. But I did take a pic with my cell phone and now my friend Jennifer is working on it by taking those images and going to this site to take it to that next stage.

Here are some results:

This shows the dashed lines of my kingdom borders. Originally, she made them solid lines, but this looked better.

Next came rivers and lakes placement. Right now, this is only on one continent as we work out details for the others.

This shows some of the icons that can be used as well as mountain range placement.

I think it is coming along nicely. I can't wait until it is done with city names and the rest of the terrain. This has been a huge worry of mine, how I was going to get this map book worthy or even ready for the internet. I'm thankful Jennifer is willing to play around with this. I don't mind being a guinea pig, because when she is done with my map, she will know what to do for hers. It's a win win! There are other map making programs out there and a lot of them are time consuming. However, if you want a map for your books or website, you're going to have to take the time. There is no fast map making program unless you choose to use a pre-made map. And even then, you'll have to worry about copyrights. So choose wisely and make it your own. It will be so worth it in the end, trust me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tips & Tricks...

I've been looking into ways people promote their books these days. I'm gearing up and making notes for myself when the time comes. There are lots of good ideas out there.

Some of the things I notice, though, are lots of authors don't really know or understand how to use Twitter. I never really got into Twitter until recently and I find it fun. I'm learning as I go all the time.

For instance, I'm learning a bit of the lingo. Things like #FF, SO, #Amwriting and the like.

#FF = Follow Friday. This is where you list people you follow and feel like mentioning to help them get followers. I've been mentioned dozens of times and I'm close to reaching the 1,000 followers mark.

SO = Shout Out. I do this when I go under Connections to see who my new followers are. If I am already following them or choose to follow them at that point, I tweet a couple of shout out's to them, listing their user name. It helps a lot, especially when trying to build a follower base.

#Amwriting = just that. You're telling people you are currently writing. Share your word count. With the hashtag there, you're connecting with other people in this thread and more than just your followers can see this. There is also #amreading, #Amediting and similar things.

I've got lots of publishers, reviewers, editors and authors in my list of people who follow me and I follow back. I am just now finding people to follow who play Lord of the Rings Online. Even World of Warcraft. I've been trying to tweet every blog post I read, but sometimes forget. But I am trying to make it part of my routine. Oh, and if you don't know what a hashtag means on Twitter, Google it! I have found lists of definitions.

Other promotions I've seen are banners and book trailers. Two things I am currently gearing up to do. I have a couple of book trailers I've done for people (for free) simply because I'm learning and trying to get a feel of just how much to charge. Sorry, I don't have special equipment to make super spectacular, mini movie book trailers and so I feel $450 is just far too much. Yes, I know about the licensing needed, but again, I'm learning a LOT about this and still think that's too much money for some of the trailers I have watched. Seriously.

I also hear about bookmarks and postcards. I wonder, is this really something that is still a good promotional tool? Bookmarks, maybe. Postcards? Dunno. I would think, not so much. But I am going to do bookmarks and I already have my new author trading card from Word Weavers.

My Word Weavers Author Trading Card

At this stage, finding reviewers for my book is definitely not a problem. But what if you don't know reviewers? There are reviewers everywhere. There are review groups everywhere as well. If you are a reviewer, list where you are willing to post the reviews. When I review a book, I post it everywhere the author needs or wants me to post. The more exposure the better.

So what do you do? What do you think of Twitter? Do you do something out of the ordinary to promote your books?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

It's Friday! Once again. Funny how the closer we get to the end of the year, the faster it seems to go. Elections are out of the way and hopefully most people can get back to being civilized human beings again instead of the rage monkeys they were portraying during campaign.

BUT that's neither here nor there, let's get on with it, shall we?

Favorite Books:

This is a graphic novel, but I still say it counts as a book. Elf Quest. I read all the books in high school and even found a few of them on I got one for Christmas from my husband, I was thrilled! I love the artwork in the books, yes, but I also love the story. I love how one little band of elves, who think they are alone in the world, suddenly find other tribes and grow. Finding the place they all came from. Skywise is my favorite.

Favorite Music:

Enya. Yup, Enya. When I need to relax and get my mind off of things, I sit and listen to Enya. My kids used to fall asleep to it when they were little. They loved the music. They still sort of do. Now, soon, I'll be able to play it for my grand baby. Wow, that sounds weird. lol!

Favorite Movie:

'O Brother Where Art Thou?'  I've watched this recently. I never saw it before this and I'm sad I missed out, but I corrected my error. I love this movie, it's very cute and funny. Well done. Then again, I've always sort of been a Clooney fan. He seems to be a pretty down to earth kind of guy.

Fantasy Art:

And the funny:

That's it folks! Have a super weekend. What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group...

It's the first Wednesday of the month! You know what that means, don't you? That's right. Insecure Writer's Support Group brought to you by our very own Ninja Captain himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh. That is the link you click if you want to be a part of this wonderful, helpful blog hop.

On to the insecurities! And I have a plethora of them.

Mainly, these days, I'm worried about my book. I have to use this time to vent a little bit, guys. I can't help it. But that's what this blog hop is about, right?

I submitted last year. On my birthday to be exact and was accepted right away. Best birthday present ever! I was cautious about things when they mentioned a May release, but I was hopeful. However, it didn't happen and that was cool with me. I know how things can get screwed up.

My release date has been pushed back a few times, through no fault of mine or my publisher. Things happen. Accidents, sickness and deaths in the family all overshadowed book releases. Completely understandable and don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining about my publisher.

So what is my insecurity? My own personal jumping-the-gun, impatience and oh-my-god-people-must-think-I'm-insane-ness. Meaning, I wanted to be as organized as possible for when my book did release. I wanted to have a schedule for everyone involved in the blog tour/book launch. Then, to my dismay, I had to inform those people that the book just wasn't going to be ready. Not once, but twice.


So my apologies to all of those involved. I've been silent the past few weeks simply because I don't want to say, "Hey the book should be out on such and such date!" and then have it not happen. And in all of this, I don't want it to reflect poorly on me for wanting to be prepared. I'm not THAT much of a flake, I don't think. I'm just overly excited and anxious to have my book available to the world.

So that's my insecurity for the month. How do you handle it when you have to push back a release date? Does it hurt your reputation as a writer or do people just not focus on it like I do? Thoughts and encouragement is always welcome! Have a great day and I'll be hopping around to read your posts.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You'll Never Guess...

What I'm using to write this post. Not in a million years, because I never thought I would own one.

A Kindle Fire.

Holy cow! This is like, the coolest thing I have ever done. Thanks to my brother in law, he gave me this as a gift. So pardon any typos while I get used to this.

And so sorry about the early Monday post on Sunday. Talk about daylight savings... seems I've had some scheduling issues with blogger these days, but nothing major.

Don't forget.... vote today, because if you don't vote, don't complain!

Have a good day everyone!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monday & NaNoWriMo...

**This posted early**

It's Monday. Don't know how many of you are thrilled about that aspect, but hey. Can't stop the passage of time, can we? Or can we? I wish!

Nah, I don't like to look too much to the past  unless it is a lesson I need to learn.

I want to give a shout out to all of you doing NaNoWriMo. Good job, keep it up and write on! I'm cheering from the sidelines this year because I didn't think I'd be very focused on it. I love NaNo.

But how many don't know exactly what NaNoWriMo is all about?

Well, first of all it's about seat of your pants writing. Or... pantsing.

It has grown from 21 participants and 6 winners in 1999 to 256,618 participants and 36,843 winners in 2011. Huge accomplishment.

Kids in K-12 schools participate and win. From over 100 in 2005 to over 2,000 in 2011. This is helping to promote literacy and get kids interested in writing. What's not to love about that?

And the big question: How many of these books were actually sold to publishing houses? Many. Yes. Many.

I'm getting these facts from this page on the NaNoWriMo website itself, here.

I have to say, I've seen a couple people bashing NaNo like it is a bad thing. Talking about 'how many NY Times Bestsellers ever wrote in NaNo'? Well, first of all let me just say this:

You'll never know how many NY Times Best Selling Authors participated because you're too busy harshing on something you obviously don't understand. All it does is make you look ignorant.

That's all I'll say on that. I could rant a bit more about it, but I'd rather be cheering all of you who are participating, on!

So keep up the good work, pump out that novel! And maybe, just maybe, you'll be one of those best selling authors on the NY Times list. Let us know if you make it. Woohoo!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

It's Friday! I'll wait 'til the cheering dies down...

I am not participating in NaNo this year, but that does not mean I'm not supporting participants. I try to do a Shout Out on Twitter every so often as well as on Facebook.

Alrighty! With that said, let's get on with the Friday fun! And again, sometimes I repeat myself in these posts. I have a list, but it is hard to remember what I've added before.

Favorite Books/Authors:

Today, I'm going to list one of my favorite authors I discovered some time back. K. C. May and her 'Kinshield Legacy'. It had been a long time since I read any good fantasy. So when I came across these books, I gobbled them up like freakin' candy! Sort of like some other books I have come across. So that's this favorite. The link is to her blog, feel free to drop by if you like fantasy.

Favorite Music:

Sir Elton John. Yep. The Rocket Man himself. I used to like his music when I was younger, then sort of fell off the groupie wagon. Of course I had a moment where I thought he was lame and groaned whenever one of his songs came on the radio. Now, of course, I appreciate it more.

Favorite Movie:

Even though it has been done and DONE, I have to go with the latest King Arthur. The one with Kiera Knightly. Even though I don't care much for her and her whiny-ness. That's just me. But the movie was very good, very inspiring and I loved the different take on it.

Fantasy Art:

This is one of my favorite computer wallpapers. I have lots of these.

And now for the Funny:

I love this show, just gotta say! Have a great weekend, everyone. What are your plans?