Monday, February 25, 2013

Finding My Groove...

I feel like a llama, well, okay I feel like Kusko. I've lost my groove. I was getting organized, caught up on everything and then, wham! Life came along and tackled me again. I think I need body armor for when that happens.

Okay, well not so much Life hitting me, but blogger issues. I posted on Friday to let you all know I was having problems with stuff. Computer, internet, Life, etc.

I think I have the spam issues taken care of. Thank you all for the comments and advice. It has worked so far!

It's been snowing a lot around here and we've had a couple power outages. More than last winter, I think. But a couple of times I haven't been able to even log on to get things done. If I don't do it right away, I forget about it.

Enter "Sticky Notes": I just got Windows 7 on my laptop. It came with this cool little program and now my monitors (yes, the plural is correct) have them posted everywhere! I love getting to destroy... err... delete my notes. Heh!

I've been trying to maintain this blog, plus the Word Weavers blog. I'm also trying to keep up with my personal writing schedule, then there is work and other private projects I am working on but can't talk about yet. (Ooooh! Secrets!) I suddenly found myself not having any fun and sort of threw my hands up in the air in disgust.

And immediately logged into World of Warcraft.


So now that I have that out of my system, I hope to be back on my track again. I am still trying to get to other blogs that participated in Jamie and Allison's Level Up! blog fest. I love finding new blogs to follow. But still can't manage them. Go figure. So if I don't get to you right away or leave many comments, you know why. I have lots of blogs I am trying to follow. One of these days I hope Blogger fixes their issues or something, it's rather irritating.

So how was your weekend? Get any writing done? Play any games?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday On Pause...

Hi all, just a quick note to say I won't be posting my usual Friday stuff today. Things are a bit hectic around here, but I'm also having some issues with Blogger.

I'm also having to revert back to some kind of  moderation due to all the spam that's getting through. Must mean I'm popular. Right? Lol!

See you all on Monday and I hope you have a great weekend. Here are some funnies to keep you occupied until then:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Level Up! Blogfest...

Level Up! Blogfest

Yeah, I totally had to get in on this blogfest! Games. Games! GAMES! I'm a gamer chick, geek, nerd, noob, you name it.

This blogfest is hosted by our fabulous pals, Jamie over at Mithril Wisdom and Allison at Geek Banter. I love these two and can't think of two better geeks to host a blogfest like this.

So the rules of this blogfest: talk about a game you play or used to play; tell us how it works and share your love of the game with the rest of us. It can be any kind of game you like, from World of Warcraft to Hopscotch, from Monopoly to Blackjack and everything else in between. Tell us what you love about that game.

This would be a perfect opportunity to truly let my geek show (Gasp!) and go on and on about all the video games I play, but I have to choose one.

If that is the case, then I choose World of Warcraft. I can't help it. My love of this game comes from lots of different things. One, the ease of play. Two, the fact that I know this game and this world better than my own. (Sad, I know.) Three, the fact that I still have yet to 'beat' the game. (Don't judge! I have my reasons why I still play "Wrath of the Lich King".)

I've heard all the hype about this game. All the people talking about how you can play an "evil" persona. How it promotes Devil Worship.

All I have to say to this is: Bullsh-

Sorry. I could get into a huge discussion about this but I won't. I call BS simply because it is just a game. The people who take it too far make that choice and it isn't the game's fault. It is the fault of that person.

But I love World of Warcraft. It's the best way for me to connect with my friends in other states. We log into WoW, run around, talk on Teamspeak like we're sitting in the next room. If they could pass me a bottle of Mt. Dew while we gamed, well, that would just be the icing on the cake.

I love games in general. It began with board games and card games while I was a kid. Growing up we had everyone over almost every weekend to play some sort of game. Everything from card games to Yahtzee, Monolpoly, Trivial Pursuit. My brother and I would play Risk or Master Mind. Even Simon. Even now I still play games with friends and family. It is that fun connection. Of forgetting all your worries for a few hours, spending some time with quality people and sitting around chatting. That is what I love about ALL games. World of Warcraft just seems to be my choice du jour at the moment. Once I get bored, I find something else.

What about you? What's your favorite game and how do you play? What's the best thing about getting together and playing a game?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thoughts & Musings...

I'm slowly working my way through revisions. Time is a bit of an issue these days, but that's okay. It will get done if I keep plugging along.

I've been thinking about some stuff and things I want to do on my blog as well. Yeah, it's fun to sit here and post stuff about how things are going on my end of the writing world, but I would like to connect to all of you in other ways as well.

I'm thinking about how I want to do this.

Book reviews are still an ongoing thing for me, but I'm going to seriously limit them for the moment. My personal TBR pile is suffering. So I'm going to alternate books. Review a requested book, switch to my TBR, go back to another request, etc.

I'm also gearing up for my son graduating high school, my daughter having a baby and me and hubby moving to Washington in July. Lots on my plate. Sometimes I feel spread a little too thin and organization is helping. I am building better routine structures in my life to be able to accomplish more in a week.

But, some things have fallen by the wayside. Sadly, this blog suffers. Okay, not my blog personally, but me getting around to all of you is becoming a personal issue. Blogger is not making it easy, either. I spent almost four hours the other day organizing my blogs into folders and such in Google Reader and unsubscribing from blogs that haven't posted in over two years. I felt like I had accomplished something!

Then I logged back in to visit some blogs ...

and not a single change was saved.


To say I was upset would be the biggest understatement in the world. Four. Hours. Gone.

I've posted in forums for Blogger to remedy the issue I have about not being able to manage my blogs at all. That was back in December. One other person just posted about this same issue a few weeks ago because they've been watching the thread to see if it's been corrected.

It hasn't.

So if I haven't made it around to your blog in the last couple weeks, you now know why. I'm seriously thinking of moving my blog. But I don't want to. I like it here.

Okay, so I'm done whining for the moment. Don't mean to ramble on about stuff that really isn't that important. However, if anyone knows of any fixes or suggestions, I'll gladly take them. Hope you all had a good weekend!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Author Interview: Victoria Adams...

 Hey everyone, I would like you to meet Victoria Adams. You will find her interview and after that, her book, links and an excerpt. Enjoy and give her a warm welcome.

1. Please tell us a little known fact about you: I have a 2nd degree black belt.
2. What was your favorite genre to read growing up? Is this the genre you currently write in?
Grew up reading mysteries – Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I write NA and
contemporary romance.

3. What inspires you to write? I'd say my muse or if you don't believe in that – my creativity.
When my brain gets an idea, I run with it.

4. What sort of atmosphere do you need to write? When an idea hits, I can write anywhere. Wrote
a flash fiction piece while trying to board an airplane. The piece just clicked and I had to get it
down. Grabbed my little book and pen out of my bag and scribbled as I worked my way to my

7. Who is your favorite character of your own creation?
Robert – he's a fighter in more ways than one. The world has kicked him down so often, but he
hasn't lost his humanity.

8. When did you decide to become a writer?
A former student complained that there was nothing for her age group to read. So I wrote
something for her.

10. Why do you write? It is the way my creative brain wishes to express itself. I can't draw or sing,
so I write.

11. What’s the best piece of writing advice you have ever been given? Get a good cp – critique
partner. I have 2 fantastic ones.

12. What’s the worst thing someone has ever said about your work? That I couldn't write the way
that I do – it was wrong. I had to write like everybody else.

13. Has your writing ever been compared to another, famous author? If so, who? Still laughing – no
– never been compared to anyone.

14. And last, but not least, something really random:
~ What is your favorite meal? Mac and Cheese

Where to Find Me -
Blog – Pages of Romance
Facebook Author Page
Facebook - Circles Trilogy Page
Google+ - Victoria Adams

Book Blurb - Circles Divided– Book Two of the Circles Trilogy - One born into
privilege and a charmed life surrounded by love and family. The other born to a life of violence on
the streets as the solemn gang leader of the notorious Shoresmen. What happens next for prep school
lovers, Julie and Robert, when both are caught in the passions of young love and social dilemma.

Is the love of a girl from wealthy Westland and a street punk from the slums of the Shore strong
enough to surpass all that life will throw at them and forge a life together? Is Julie willing to sacrifice
her childhood dream of becoming a professional dancer for the man she loves? Is Robert willing to lay
down his ties to the gang in order to hold onto his new found love?

Sacrifices must be made, but will they be enough?

Author Bio – Born and raised in Ontario, Canada. Victoria lives in the country where she takes
long walks on her quiet country road and in the summer tends her flower gardens and vegetable patch
and in the winter dreams about them. Her large farm house now holds only 2 cats, herself, her husband
and a ghost.

Robert is called into a conference at the prep school he attends.

Mr. Craig pointed at the thick folder on the table. "That's Robert's academic records from

Kindergarten to the present. It's full of teacher and psychological reports, intelligence tests, and parole

officer statements. We can't access his police record."

"Want me to list it off?" Robert grinned.

The counsellor shook his head as he rifled through the file. "I suggest you read this one. It's

from the head of the youth services office, and it states that Robert's attitude and behaviour are a result

of his rebelling against his life in an effort to survive and succeed. This one." He removed another

paper. "Is an intelligence report showing him to be reading at a level six years above his age. If you

scan through you'll note his mathematical abilities scored even higher."

As the dean read the reports, Robert held out his hand. "Can I see that?" He flipped back to the

beginning of the folder and found his first grade photo. His hair was messy. His eyes were bright with

child-like joy and a tooth was missing from his wide mouthed grin. He tapped Mr. Ross on the arm and

showed him the photo. "Dorky looking kid."

His teacher chuckled.

Robert flipped the papers until he reached his second grade photo. While his hair was still

shaggy and his tooth had grown in, he sported an angry bluish-green bruise on his cheek. A jolt of

anger surged through Robert as he remembered the uncle/boyfriend who lived with them that year. The

man had big, heavy hands and a short temper.

Mr. Ross leaned in to whisper a comment, but the expression on Robert's face stopped him.

One look at the defiant eyes of the third grade photo made Robert close the file and shove it

away. He still had those eyes. The eyes he hid behind, challenging the world on a daily basis.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Favories, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

Friday! How I love thee...

I hope you have all had a good week. Are you looking forward to the weekend? Well, let's get you on your way with favorites, art and funnies!

I met Stuart Jaffe right around the time I met Joseph Lallo. I reviewed books for both of them and had them do guest posts on my blog as well. I really liked Lallo's "Book of Deacon" series. But Stuart Jaffe's book, "The Way of the Black Beast" was just as intriguing. Now I need to read the next two books in that series.

I like keeping in touch with these two through FaceBook and I also get to watch their progress. It is inspiring to me. One of these days, I'll have more than one book out and I can stop being so focused on just the one!

Fantasy Art:

And the funny:

Hehe! I saw that and just had to share it. Have a good weekend, everyone. What are your plans?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Book Review: Children of Sun and Moon by Matt Larkin...

Title: Children of Sun and Moon (Book One of the Skyfall Trilogy)

Author: Matt Larkin

Publisher: Incandescent Phoenix Books

Pages: 356 (Print), File size: 756 kb

ASIN: B00749W3XW

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Summary (From Amazon):

The Lunar King bargained his daughter away in marriage to end generations of war between the two dynasties of the Skyfall Isles. The King sends his niece Chandi along as handmaid to his daughter. Chandi has two tasks: watch over her cousin, and spy on the Solars. The Solars cost her everything she cares about, and now she wants nothing more than proof of their treachery so she can go home.

She knows little of spying, but the blood of the Moon God running through her veins gives her powers mortals can’t match, powers that let her slip into places she’s not supposed to be. Of course, the more she uses her powers, the faster she becomes a lunatic.

When she discovers a Solar soldier, Naresh, watching her, she decides to return the favor and stick close to him. But as he shows her the wonders of the domed underwater city, she begins to realize the Solars are not what she thought. Soon, she’ll have to choose between loyalty to her people and her own heart.

My Thoughts:

I found this book to be an amazing read. Pure, solid fantasy the way it is supposed to be written. Larkin has built up the world with much ease and grace. Chandi, Naresh, Landi and Malin are all solid characters. Even the characters that are secondary have a depth to them that most secondary characters do not.

Chandi is now added to my list of  favorite female characters. Tough, but not so tough as to question her gender. She can hold her own in a fight, but she's still a woman. She fights for what she believes in and then fights for what she loves.

Naresh is a great character as well. He doesn't come off as a pompous jerk who insists that girls cannot fight. He has been trained with women fighting right beside him. Which includes Landi. She could be described as one of his best friends, but the relationship between these two Arun Guards goes further.

All in all, this story keeps moving at a good pace. You don't get bogged down with so many details that you want to tear your hair out. Some of the words are a little daunting and trying to pronounce them can be an issue, but if you are a fantasy buff, you know how to bypass it all and still keep enjoying the read.

I'm going to throw out a suggestion here, something I rarely, if ever, do. If you are going to purchase this book, I suggest you pick up the prequel to the series first. "Curse of Witch and War". It's a short read and opens you up to a lot more of "Children of Sun and Moon". The reason for the suggestion is it prepares you for the world you are about to enter. Of course, don't take my word for it. Read them in the order you like.

I will absolutely be picking up the rest of the books in this series.

I give it 4 and a half out of 5 skull and crossbones.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Feel The Love...

So tomorrow is Valentine's Day and it also happens to be mine and hubby's 11th wedding anniversary.

11 years! Long time, for me, at least. Like I always tell people, the third time truly is the charm. He's hubby number three and he's not going anywhere. Me either, for that matter.

I hope you all have an enjoyable Valentine's Day. Here is some love for you all from me:

Tell me your favorite Valentine's Day story!

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's Monday...

Pardon me while I whine a bit. Wah! It's Monday!

Well, okay that wasn't too bad. I did have a four day weekend so I can't really complain.

I did do some revising, but by Sunday I just sort of flopped in front of the computer and said, "Meh."

I fizzled a bit. Okay, I fizzled a LOT.

See, I've been so focused on promoting "Adversarius" that I stopped focusing on "Veritas" and "Bellum". Books two and three in the "Shadow of the Rose" series. I literally had to read from the beginning of book two to get caught up and look over my outline notes again. I couldn't make heads or tails of what I had written in that outline.

Then it didn't help that hubby sort of got me sidetracked onto Nightshadow and Black Rose again. He keeps forgetting that they will have their own story in due time and book two needs to focus on other important characters. Love him to death, but he seriously hijacks my writing when I ask him for some input.

Don't get me wrong, it's all good. I love his ideas and lots of what he tells me works so well with the story, I can't ignore it. But this last time was way off the mark and when I looked at my outline again, I was like... what the hell?

I did revise about 5,000 words. I'm sure I will do more here in a little bit. But keep your eye on that progress bar. Once it hits 100%, I'll be sending this off to some Beta Readers.

So how was your weekend? Have you ever lost track in revisions?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

Another Friday in the new year. Already into February, too. Wow!

Well, before we get started, my book is on this list on Goodreads: Best Strong Female Fantasy. If you've read it, please vote for it! I'd appreciate it. Last I checked, it was on page 6, but who knows by now.

Now since that is out of the way, let's get started.

So I know lots of you enjoy humor, so Jon Zech is my favorite this week. Now, just to remind you, I haven't read a lot of these new to me authors, but Jon and I are buddies on Facebook through Word Weavers. I'm all for giving a shout out to my pals. So if any of you get this book and read it, please leave a review. This is currently in my TBR pile: "Buck and Tangee: Things That Happened".

Seriously, just the blurb alone is enough to make me want to dive right in, but honestly, I have a couple books in my queue I'm trying to fly through for reviews. So go check it out. If you get a good laugh out of something in the book, then it's worth it, right? Right!

Okay on to the rest. Fantasy Art. OMG I love this picture. My husband loves turtles, so I grabbed this for wallpaper:

I have two funnies for you today, just because. Can't help it. I love LoLCats!

And this one is just because I laughed by butt off after seeing it:

Hope you didn't soil your armor! Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Insecure Writers Support Group...

Holy cow. Time for IWSG again?! Time is flying by, but then again, that's a good thing up here in Alaska. I get pretty sick of snow right about now.

So my topic for this month is book promotion/networking. Pardon me while I whine a bit...

Waaahhhh!!!!!! ::Stomps her feet, flails her arms::

Okay, I'm done. Just had to get that out of my system first. But should it happen again, forgive me.

I've been promoting my book like mad. Working my ass off (which could stand to lose some acreage and pardon the language) on Facebook, Twitter, my blog and a little bit on Goodreads. I'm still trying to get used to GR. Twitter used to be a foreign land as well and I've posted this week the things I've already learned and have had success with.

But what do you do to promote yourself when you are always flat broke? What sites are beneficial to debut authors? How do you get the word out there or even feel like you are getting the word out there?

I even made fun of myself on Twitter. I posted: "Debut authors are like those crazy, stalker chicks. I'm going to annoy the hell out of you until you love me or kill me."

Am I being over analytical? Am I being a control freak in wanting to know how well my book is selling? Do I just need to let it go and keep on keeping on?

I currently blog, use Twitter and Facebook as well as GR to promote my book. I'm debating such sites as Pintrest and Tumblr, but I already do so much that I don't want to do more. I barely have time to work on book two as it is.

So there it is. My insecurity at the moment. I know I will keep plugging along and find a way to advertise even better. It's just getting over my whole issue of I feel like I am annoying people. Bugging them all the time to buy my book.

So what's your insecurity? I'll be hopping around and reading as many blogs as I can. Write on!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tweet This...

Okay, so I am going to offer up some more information when using Twitter as a networking/promotional tool for your books.

I know lots of people out there have posted about this on other blogs and articles, but I am finding lots of people are still a bit wary of Twitter to promote their books and I've offered up this same advice.

It is hard to get followers if you don't know what you are doing. It is difficult to figure it all out and sometimes, well, you'll just say 'Screw it!' and avoid it if you get too frustrated. I was about to just drop Twitter because of the fact that I couldn't get the followers I wanted.

Here is what I did:

First, give a SO (shout out) to new followers. If you look at your Twitter page, you have "Home", "Connect", "Interactions" and "Me".

By clicking on "Connect" you can see who followed you, who mentioned you, who retweeted one of your tweets or even "favorited" one of your Tweets. The best thing to do is click on the tiny picture of one of your latest followers. Make sure you are not going to follow or bring attention to some spammer or girl who is using provocative pics to get followers (unless of course, that's your!), etc. There are also those who are trying to sell you something. (Who isn't?) Make sure it is someone you WANT to follow back. Make a list, get their Twitter handle. (@MLChesley)

Next, go back to 'Home' where you can tweet and type in something like this: "SO to new followers: @MLChesley, @ZombieZak, @LordWalkiWolf thanks for the follow!"

That's what I put in. Now when you put in the user name like that, the person you are mentioning will see their name. Gives 'em kind of a warm fuzzy, I suppose. At least they know they didn't just follow a bot. And you might have to do this a few times. I can only put in about 4-6 names in one Tweet. But this has helped me gain lots of new followers rather quickly.

There is a cap on how many people you can follow if you have under 2,000 followers. So make sure you aren't just following every single person/dog/ape that is following you. Be kind of picky about it and keep your followers and the people you are following as even as you can. There's ways around this, but I'm not going to post it because I don't do it. I'll be patient and gain my followers respectfully.

Now I spend about 20 minutes a day on Twitter and got a good following going. I lose a couple a day and gain like 5 more with some of my methods.

If you are all about promoting your book, you won't get followers. You have to 're-tweet' others. They're tweeting their book links just like you are. So click on the 'retweet' option when you see a book link or blog link by a fellow author. You'll get more followers this way, because you aren't making it all about you and your book. I'll sit there and retweet up to ten people, then post my links. I'll repeat the process as often as I can in that 20 minutes.

I also throw in some personal comments or I will reply to questions (if I know the answer) or even offer up a cup of virtual coffee to Talli Roland when she pops on. ;) You gotta have a little fun with Twitter too, don't be a working stiff.

The very last thing I will tweet before logging off is something witty or fun. Sometimes inspirational. Or as inspirational as I can get.

This is the one I have gotten the best response with: "Support your fellow authors! RT book links even if you don't like the genre. Someone will. #asmsg #writers #authors #readers"

RT meaning ReTweet, of course. Lots of people have liked that and have retweeted just that phrase. I have to come up with some more, I don't want to keep using the same thing all the time. But I used it last night because it had been awhile.

Okay, so I hope that helps you even more.

Got any suggestions on how to get followers? What are some of your best 'tweets'? How much time (if any) do you spend on Twitter? Why do you avoid Twitter?

Monday, February 4, 2013

You've Been Re-Tweeted...

First time I got a notification of being retweeted on Twitter, I almost felt violated. I didn't know what to think. I was (and still am) fairly new to this 'flash network media'. I'm a bit of a talker, so to say what I have to say in 140 characters or less was a bit daunting.

And to top it all off, I didn't have a single clue as to how Twitter worked.

Hashtags... sounded like something to do with drugs and making sure you knew where you were at all times. Not that I would know anything about drugs.


Moving on.

So here are a few things I have learned along the way with Twitter. Remember, this is just me. If you have any other bits of advice, PLEASE for the love of all that is holy...SHARE! Thanks.

Okay, so you are limited to what you can post on Twitter. 140 characters or less. So links should be short and hashtags, I'm discovering, are a MUST. 

Hashtags: From what I understand, these little beauties will post your 'Tweet' in accessible areas relating to the word. You type in #IhavenoideawhatIamdoing and it will get lumped in on a page with everyone else who just used that hashtag.

What messes me up: are words with no spaces. The writer in me wants to put them in!!

Some # hashtags I have been using: #asmsg, #rpg, #d20, #epic, #epicfantasy, #highfantasy, #gamergirl, #nerd, #amwriting, #amreading, #amazon, #smashwords, #kindle, #nook.

What they mean and how to use them: Let's take the #rpg and #d20 ones for example. RPG means Role Playing Game and d20 is a 20 sided dice. Mostly gamers know these things and since I write fantasy and love RPG's, I try to use these hashtags whenever I tweet a link to my book.  

(Example: "I write #highfantasy that reads like an #rpg. #d20, that's how I roll! (Amazon link)")

If you don't know what a hashtag means, like #asmsg, you can Google it. (What does asmsg mean on twitter?) I discovered that ASMSG means Authors Social Media Support Group. I would have never known. Seriously. You'll have to do a search for some hashtags that would be relevant to your writing.

And then of course, there are the trending hashtags.

The trending ones are listed off to the left. If you are clever enough (hello, you're a writer!) you can work these into your tweets to promote your book. Once, the trending hashtag was: #10factsaboutmybestfriend. So I tweeted this: "#10factsaboutmybestfriend: I wrote her into my book! (Amazon link)".

Which is totally true. Trinara is based off of my best friend from high school. Sort of.

Links: While there are lots of places to help shorten your links for Twitter such as Tiny URL and, you can run a search for others. Otherwise, your link will get shortened by Twitter most of the time. But not always and you are using up valuable limited space.

I started off with a notebook and have dozens of hashtags written down. Recently, I spent some time creating a document to keep open while I am on Twitter where I can copy and paste some of the tweets that got the best response. I usually quote something from my book reviews, add in pertinent hashtags followed by the link to my book.

So for anyone new to Twitter like me, I hope this helps to get you started or at least make the experience more enjoyable. I'll post again on Wednesday with some other information I found helpful so I don't spend my entire day sucked into Tweeting on Twitter.

Have any tips to share? Have any hashtags you like? What are some of the clever things you've posted?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Favorites, Fantasy Art & A Funny...

Yay! It's Friday! Woot! Okay, I'll stop with the exclamation marks. But I can't help being excited about Friday.

For those of you who are new to my blog (Thanks to the 'Re-introduce Yourself Blogfest), This is my regular Friday post. Every Friday you'll find (hopefully) some new authors. Lots of them are Indie and some of them I have read. Some I have not. But I am getting around to them all.

You should see my TBR list. Gah!

Okay, on to the favorites:

Jospeh Lallo: This is the author of 'The Book of Deacon' series. I liked these books. Myranda still holds a special place in my memory. And that cute little dragon of hers, as well. Here is where you can find Joseph:

Website, Books, Goodreads and he's @jrlallo on Twitter.

Fantasy Art:

And last, but not least... the funny:

Ha ha! Okay, that's pretty funny. What are your plans for the weekend? Know of some good authors out there?