Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Book Bundle Give-away!!

It's almost Christmas, and one of my favorite things about Christmas
is giving gifts! So I got some of my favorite writers (and critique partners)
 together to do an awesome give away!

One winner will get a bundle of a bunch of amazing ebooks!
 
 
The bundle will include an ebook of
 
 and
 
 
 
 
 
 
and (perfect for the holidays!) The Spirit of Christmas!

which includes short stories by J.A. Bennett,
Jessica Salyer, Kelley Lynn,
and more!

 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! And Happy Holidays!! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

CUTLASS Cover Reveal!!

Ashley Nixon's YA fantasy, CUTLASS, comes out April 23rd, 2014! I am super excited to be sharing her cover with you today, it is super gorgeous! But first, a little about the book:
 
Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy's fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it. 


 
Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard. 


 
But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.
 
And now for the cover!!


 
 
Isn't that awesome? I love it!
And here's the full paperback version:


 
 
Don't forget to add CUTLASS to your Goodreads list!

And you can find Ashley on her website, her blog, (where she has illustrated pictures of her characters!), Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Ashley is super awesome, and the characters in this story are great! So go check her out!

And there's a giveaway!
  Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
 
Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren't used as much as she'd like. When she's not writing, she's hard at work on her Master's degree in Library Science and Information Technology, working out, or pretending she's Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she's loved everything Fantasy--
resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the 'geek' tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Interview with Crystal Collier!

Today I have Crystal Collier here! Yay! She's answering some fun questions for me, then sharing an excerpt from Moonless! (How much do you love that cover, by the way?) But first, a bit about the book:

Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they’re echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.

Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

First of all, thank you so much for having me here to day, Rachel!

Of course! I'm glad you could stop by. :) The excerpt below shows when your character first notices her own transformation. With that theme in mind, here are your questions:

1. What's the biggest transformation you've undergone? Tattoo? Lip ring? Hair dye? Nose job? ;)

Marriage. Or motherhood. Or both. I wasn’t one of those girls who looked forward to having babies or her own house, so it’s been interesting. I fall in love with my kids more each day and have decided motherhood is something you grow into.

Oh, I love that answer!
2. If you were to dye your hair an unnatural color, what would you go for? (Personally, I think I'd go dark blue.)

I think green would be the only color that might go with my naturally olive skin. Dark green. Like a tree nymph.

3. If you could be a were-animal, what would you be?

A were-eagle. Yup. (Spread those wings, ladies!)

4. What is your favorite movie that portrays some sort of major transformation? 

...Zombieland? Okay, I'm not talking about people becoming undead. I LOVE Woodie Allen's character in the movie and not necessarily how he changes, but how your perception of this kick-trash zombie-bashing dude alters as you learn his backstory. 

And speaking of Zombieland, two words friendies: double tap.

5. If you could transform one part of your life, what would it be? (For me, I'd transform my house, add a couple bedrooms and a library.) :)

I’m constantly transforming my life. But seriously, we’re talking dream-stock here, right? I’d either want to duplicate myself so there were two of me to get EVERYTHING done—but in such a way Me 1 and Me 2 could share all the memories. That, or a time-stopper. 

Ha! Good answer! That would certainly come in handy!
Thanks again for coming today, Crystal!
 
Check out the excerpt from Moonless below! And don't forget to add it on Goodreads! :)
Crystal Collier, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

Excerpt from Moonless:

A framed portrait hung opposite her. Two brass roses met at the base of its circular surface, and at the center stood a young woman with dark curls, jade eyes, gleaming skin, and pert pink lips.
Very lovely. And then she noticed the candle actively flickering behind the girl.
Alexia turned. The candle’s flame danced behind her.
She looked back at the frame. The enthralling girl studied her with a confused frown. She stepped toward the mirror, trembling. The girl on the other side reached toward her with shaking fingers.
“Am I dreaming?” She watched the double’s lips move, frightened the image would respond. Somewhere beneath the glamorous layers hid the child who turned sixteen a month ago, the young woman whose father hid her away because of an unsightly exterior, the girl who spent the better part of her life in books.
“Impossible!”

Buy Moonless or  Add it today!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gift Ideas Continued

I personally think men are the hardest people to buy for.
I mean, with women if all else fails you can always get them something
 at Bath and Body Works, right?
 Go to a mall, about 75% of the stores are aimed at women.
 
So, here are some ideas for men:
 
Don't know what to get your obnoxious brother-in-law?
 
Navy Blue Bottle Opener /Cast Iron /Vintage, Retro Feel /Kitchen, Mancave, Game Room, Patio  Hangout /Metal
 
This cool bottle opener (plus a few bottles to test it out with) is sure to please.
 
Or that guy that seriously already has everything he wants (because he buys it for himself as soon as he sees it) how about a cool new wallet?
 
Men's leather wallet,Simple Slim Men's brown leather wallet, leather credit card, postcard sets, handmade
 
 
This one even has a little pocket for a guitar pick. (Which totally made me think of Alex.) :)
 
Guitar Pick Card Cash Coin Pouch marijuana/dragon/initial stamps


And one more idea for women, (because they're more fun.) ;)

Scarf,loop scarf ,infinity scarf

Who couldn't use a nice scarf for winter?


Next week I'll have a couple awesome authors on here,
and some super fun shopping ideas for writers and/or readers. :)
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What to Buy the Ones You

Love  Don't Actually Like at All.

We've all had people on our Christmas list who we don't actually want to buy a gift for, right? Someone who you have to associate with, but you secretly think is moronic waste of space?
Or maybe someone who you hate to buy for because they are ridiculously picky
and you KNOW they will fake-smile at whatever you get them,
then roll their eyes when they think you aren't looking. 
Maybe a co-worker, maybe a relative, but we all have them.

So I thought it would be fun to list some gift ideas for these hard-to-buy-for people. All ideas will be under $15, (because seriously, wouldn't you rather spend your money on someone you actually like?)


The first category of ideas (and one of my favorites.)
Fancy Foods:

Octagonal Chocolate Sampler It looks all fancy, and who doesn't like chocolate?

Taste Test of Caramel's from Trader Joe's. Twelve different flavors of caramels,
from Toffee Apple, to Blood Orange Balsamic.

Lady Lavender loose leaf tea Great for persnickety mothers-in-law, or your fussy grandmother, (the one who always liked your sister more than you anyway.)

More of a coffee lover? How about Crème Brulee flavored coffee? (This site had tons of very fun sounding flavored coffees, in case crème brulee doesn't appeal to you. Although, if it doesn't, what's wrong with you?)
 
Or, perhaps a mug to drink that tea or coffee out of?
 
This Life is Awkward mug seemed especially fitting,
because what's more awkward than giving gifts to people you would rather not be around, ever?
 
Life is Awkward Mug
 
 
 
Okay, if it's not quite that bad, how about this one?
 
 
Paper Airplane Sharpie Mug
 
I'll be posting some more gift ideas for hard-to-shop for people later this week.
If you have someone on your list that you need ideas for,
tell me a bit about them and I'll see if I can help! :)
Next week I'll have some fun gift ideas for writers and/or readers.
(Those people we love and are super fun to shop for.) :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IWSG: Shutting Down?

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group day! I love this group so much. Seriously, when new people ask me for advice in the writing world, "Join the Insecure Writer's Support Group" is always something I tell them. Big, big thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh, writing ninja, IWSG founder, and all-around awesome guy. Also, big thanks to this month's cohosts:
 
and
 
 
 
Okay, here's the thing, I'm thinking about shutting down my blog.
 
AHHHH!! Berner puppies are the cutest!
I'm so ashamed. :(
I don't want to shut it down, but I feel like I don't have time for it anymore. Not sure why, either. I seriously have no idea where my time goes. (I blame a lot of that on my four kids, though.) ;) I want to keep in touch with everyone, and if I do shut it down I will continue to visit blogs.
 
I don't know. I haven't made the decision for sure yet. Mainly because, while I know I probably should, I just don't want to!
 
How do you find time to balance things? Any tips?
 
To talk about something happier, any big holiday plans? This is my favorite time of year. :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

More Stops on the Tour

Hello again! I've got some more blog tour stops to share with you guys today!
 
 
There are some lovely reviews from these bloggers:
 
 
(who made this, and I love it!)
 
 
 
 
and
 
 
Plus there's still a chance to win an ebook of Run for the Roses and a $10 gift card to Starbucks!
Just click any of the links above. :)
 
 
 
How was your weekend, everyone? I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, I won't be able to see all my family for Thanksgiving this year, but Christmas will be here before you know it. I've already finished a bunch of my Christmas shopping. I really love buying gifts for people. :) Especially my kids. Is there anything more fun than buying toys? 
 
What's on your Christmas wish list this year?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Winner!

Run for the RosesThe winner of the Run for the Roses ebook is. . . .Heather Holden! Congratulations, Heather! I just need your email address and whether you have a Nook or Kindle. :)

Thank you to everyone for making it a great release day! RUN FOR THE ROSES is currently at 27 on Amazon for contemporary short stories. So, yay! :)







Today you can find me answering twenty questions here. (And find out that I'm sort of boring! Lol. Sorry.)

And a lovely review of RUN FOR THE ROSES here!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Give Aways!

Hello everyone! Today is release day for RUN FOR THE ROSES and there will be a few opportunities to win a free copy!

If you go HERE you could win an ecopy, plus a $10 gift card!

On my Facebook page I'll be giving away a couple ebooks today, so check it out!

And I'll give one away here, too. In the book Abigail is after a huge goal, one the pretty much consumes all her time and energy. What are some of your big goals? Have you reached them, or are you still working toward them? And what are you willing to give up to get them?






Run for the RosesAbigail Conrad has spent her whole life training for one goal: to win the roses at the Arabian Youth Nationals. She’s given up friends, a social life, and doesn’t have time to even think about guys -- much less date!

Now that she’s headed off to college in the fall, it’s her last chance to be a Youth National Champion, and she won’t let anything distract her from that dream.

Except maybe Chase, the older brother of Abigail's biggest rival. He’s charming, funny, and possibly Abigail's biggest problem. How can she focus on riding when her mind keeps wandering to Chase’s green eyes and confident smile?

With her dream on the line, Abigail had better learn to fight her growing attraction to Chase, or she might end up losing the roses and the guy.



You can find RUN FOR THE ROSES on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm not here today.

I'm over on Falling for Fiction, sharing some more pictures from the cover shoot for RUN FOR THE ROSES. Which comes out tomorrow, by the way! Yay! So stop by and take a peek, and say hello! :) Thanks!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Interview with Mia Josephs and Riley Janes!


All right Miss Janes and Miss Josephs,

 

You have two very different characters in this book. One very put together, and one falling apart. What was it like getting inside their heads?

 

Riley: Brooke was the easiest and loudest main character I’ve ever written. She was always RIGHT THERE, so much that when I sat down to write her chapters, I’d pump out 2-3K without even thinking about it. Getting inside her head was fun, even though she was so demanding ;)

 

Mia: Nate didn’t stretch me too much. I love writing broken-hearted guys. I did it in Falling, and I did it here. The hardest part about tackling that is making them heartbroken and sweet without being a woman (not to stereotype, but…yanno…like the stereotype). He was loud in my head before I had a setting or a plot or anything. I came to Riley and said – you’d be perfect for writing this girl, and I THINK this is what sort of happens, you game? And she sent me a first chapter later that day.

 

As collab partners, did you ever disagree on how things would play out for these two?

 

Riley: No? I don’t remember! LOL. We wrote the book in a week…so there wasn’t much time to argue about where the book would go. I was easy. Just make them kiss in the end and I’m good.

 

Mia: There was a point where I was like, uh… I’m not positive this is working, but I was plowing through my next chapter and then I get this email from Riley saying – hey, we need to tweak a few things… And like she said, we drafted this book in a week where we both needed something FUN. Also, the tweaking took like an afternoon…

 

What was your favorite scene to write? What was your favorite scene to read from your partner? Did they ever totally surprise you?

 

Riley: Oooh! I’m going to share my favorite scene Mia wrote, because it was hilarious. OK. This is hilarious and one of my fav funny scenes, BUT it came about because Riley said she wanted a scene like this, so we worked it in. I love that you expect more for the girl to walk in on the guy, instead of it happening this way…

 

I set my camera on the counter and head for my room, stripping my damp undershirt off in the process. “Brooke?” I ask and nothing.

Maybe she changed shoes in a hurry. I can’t imagine what else she could possibly be doing. I walk through the quiet living room when I hear the most distinct soft moan.

I freeze as scenarios flit through my brain. Mom’s not here for sure. It was definitely a girl and definitely from Brooke’s room. Another small whimper comes from behind her door, and I’m drawn to it before thinking.

I’m about to call her name again when I realize there’s definitely something happening, and maybe I shouldn’t interrupt. Mom’s voice screeches in my earpiece. “Brooke! Now please.”

Okay. This is definitely off. It’s not like Brooke to miss a page from Mom.

“Brooke?”

“Yes,” she gasps from behind the door, and I step back unsure if her “yes” was in response to me or something else entirely.

“Brooke?” I give a soft knock. “Are you getting the bouquets?”

“Oh. Shit. Oh.” There’s an odd scrambling sound, a couple of thumps and then, “Just a sec. I had to… I needed my flats, I…”

Her door flies open as she dials in her earpiece. Her cheeks are pink, and I swear she’s breathing a little hard.

“You alone?” I ask, glancing behind her, the pieces starting to fall into place.

She glances at me quickly. “Seriously, Nate. Put on your damn shirt.”

 

 
Oh my gosh! That is kind of hilarious!



My favorite scene to write was probably one where Brooke tries to get Nate to give her a foot massage. But you’ll have to read it to see that part, lol. I LOVE THAT SCENE!!! I love the scene where she tries to snag another foot massage even more.

 

Mia: My favorite scene to write was… Oh! When Nate is trying to be all player-like and calls this girl like two minutes after she leaves the office for a date. That was fun.

 

And Mia never really surprised me, but it was always a big treat getting the chapters in my email not really knowing how things would play out.

 

And one just for fun, since these two work at a wedding planning business, what was your favorite thing to plan for your own wedding? The dress, the cake, the flowers, something totally different?

 

Riley: The honeymoon!
 
Lol!

 

I didn’t want to plan my wedding, lol. I wanted to elope! And we almost did a “planned elopement” which is where I got the idea for that term in the book… I don’t love being the center of attention, so yeah…an elopement would have suited me well ;-)

I can totally relate to that! We kept ours as small as we could with two big families. :)
Thanks for stopping by today! This was fun and I can't wait to read Unexpectedly You!
 

And thank you Rachel!!!!

HUGE THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
 
Unexpectedly You Brooke Winters has every second of her day planned out. She makes lists for the satisfaction of checking things off. When Marks Events and Weddings has an opening, she knows she’s perfect for the job. What she doesn’t expect is that the boss’s unkempt and full of bad attitude son will be the person she works most closely with.

Nate Marks lost his fiancé and his best friend the moment he walked in on them sleeping together. He finds himself back at home in Las Vegas with his mother, taking photos for her wedding planning business instead of creating a portfolio to show at art galleries. Heartbroken and lost, Nate couldn’t care less about how he’s perceived by wedding clients… or the newest hire, Brooke.

When Brooke finds Nate at the office passed out and hung over, she quickly fixes him up to look presentable for their meetings. Nate spills about his broken relationship, and soon their clashed personalities balance each other out. But when they both discover there might be more between them, they panic.

Brooke’s determined to live life on her schedule, which never included a relationship with a co-worker or friend, and with Nate still aching over the girl he thought he’d spend his life with—they’re both about to lose a love they never expected to find.
 
You can find Unexpectedly You on Goodreads,
and on Amazon!
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

One Week!

Run for the RosesRUN FOR THE ROSES comes out in one week and I'm so excited! I've been sharing snippets on my Facebook page, if you want to check them out. :)

I'm very excited about this story, but I'm also nervous. (Of course, I suppose writers always are when a new story comes out.)

Horses were such a huge part of my life growing up, and they're still a very important part of my life now. I hope that the horse people I know who read this story will think it does justice to what horse showing is like, or can be like. I also hope the non-horsey people who read it enjoy it, and don't think it's 'too horsey.'

I also hope they don't think Abigail is a brat! Lol. She's a very driven person, but she has a lot of heart, too.

There's a blog tour starting next week, so I'll be posting links to that then. In the meantime I will have Riley Janes and Mia Josephs here on Thursday, giving an interview about their new book UNEXPECTEDLY YOU. (Which looks amazing by the way.) So be sure to stop by and say hello to them!

How about you, what are you looking forward to in the next few weeks?


PS. Thank you to everyone who commented on my IWSG post. You were all so sweet and helpful! I love you guys!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG: (Anti-)Social Media

It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. If you are a writer and you don't know about IWSG, go HERE right now. (Right now! You can read this post later, this is more important!) Big, big thank you to this month's hosts! The IWSG founder, the ever impressive, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his amazing co-hosts, CD Coffelt, Tina Downey, Isis Rushdan, and Michelle Wallace, thank you, thank you, thank you!!





So here's the thing, I suck at social media. The reason may be, (and this is no shock to anyone who knows me) I suck at social real-life, too. I'm not a social person by nature. I'm thirty one years old and I have the same best friend I've had since the sixth grade. And other than my family, she's basically my only friend.

And I'm totally cool with that. I can't keep up with a throng of friend, I prefer to keep my social circle small and tight. Which is fine in real life, not so great online in a time where social media is such an important part of marketing. (PS. I suck at marketing, too.)

Don't get me wrong, I love my writing friends. I love reading people's blogs and FB pages, but I have a hard time keeping up. I don't know how people do it! Also, I don't know how to be interesting on social media without sounding fake. I rarely tweet. I forget to blog, or just can't come up with anything to say. I suck the least at FB. But even there, I've been posting teasers from RUN FOR THE ROSES every Tuesday, leading up to its release, and last Tuesday I totally forgot. I still posted on Wednesday, but geez. What is wrong with me?

Any way, that's it, I guess. If you have tips or advice you'd like to share I'd love to hear it!

How about you, are you a social media natural? Or do you struggle like me?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Effortless with You

Effortless with You, by Lizzy Charles, is now available in paperback! Yay! I've been wanting to read this book so much, I've heard so many wonderful things about it, (seriously, super gushing, raving, wonderful things) but my Nook is broken and I haven't been able to get it! Needless to say, I have already ordered the print copy. :)
And you could win a signed copy in the rafflecopter below!
 
 
 
 








Effortless With You
by Lizzy Charles
Release Date: 11/05/13
From Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:
School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can't end fast enough.

To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls' dreams, but definitely not Lucy's. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he's the most beautiful jerk Lucy's ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there's more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs.

Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg




About the Author
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

*GIVEAWAY*
$10 iTunes Gift Card (INT)
2 signed print book of Effortless With You (US only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz hosted by:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Real Girls Don't RustThe lovely Roxanne Werner has invited me to join her in an author hop.  Roxanne writes YA, MG, and picture book fantasies. Her short story, My Dangerous Heart, was in Real Girl's Don't Rust along with my short story, Seeing Red.

For the hop I'll be answering some questions, and then passing those questions on to new people. :) (You can check out Roxanne's answers here.)





What are you working on right now?
To be honest, I'm hopping from project to project right now. The main thing I'm working on is a short story I wrote a couple years ago. I'm rewriting it as a novella and it has been fun getting to write more of these characters' story.


How does it differ from different works in the genre?
It's a NA contemporary romance, and I guess one big difference is it's not dark and sexy! I mean, I hope it's at least kind of sexy, but it's not dark. It's more fun and playful.


Why do you write what you do?
I write the stories that pop into my head. When characters start having conversations in my brain I know it's time to start a new ms.

What is the hardest part about writing?
Um, what part isn't hard? I guess for me one of the hardest things is the waiting. When you're writing and revising it's all on you, but then you send it out into the world, whether to a cp, an agent, or an editor, and you have to just wait to hear back. And you have to wait until you're sure it's really ready before querying, too, which can be hard! And even when all goes well and it's going to be a book, then you have to wait for your cover, wait for your release. It's a lot of waiting and I'm not a patient person! Lol!


And now I'm going to tag Suzi Retzlaff, Theresa Paolo, and Jaybird. Answer the questions above! I want to know what you're up to!

How about the rest of you? What project are you working on right now?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Black Cat Scat

Today I'm taking part in Susanna Leonard Hill's Halloweensie contest. I love children's stories and thought it would be fun to give it a go. :) Here are the details:

The Contest:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words spooky, black cat, and cackle. Get it?  Halloweensie - because it's not very long and it's for little people :)


Black Cat Scat
Halloween was Simon's least favorite holiday. No one ever wanted to trick or treat with him.

"Simon, where are you?” a voice called.

Could it be? Did someone want him?

No sooner had Simon come out of hiding than someone screamed.

“Ahh! It’s a black cat! Run!”

 Simon shrunk to the ground. He didn't think he was so spooky.

 Simon jumped as someone cackled behind him. “There you are, Simon!”

Simon's little girl, dressed like a witch, scooped him up and rubbed behind his ears. “You are perfect for Halloween!"

Simon purred. Maybe Halloween wasn’t so bad after all.




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Roses and Dreams

I was in Tulsa last week for the Arabian and Half-Arabian US Nationals. (It goes through this week, too. Saturday is the last day, but I just went for my class.) It was such a great time. I loved being able to see people I haven't seen in years. I loved sitting around and watching classes, being able to admire the truly talented horses in front of me.

Then on Sunday I had my class. I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous. I never used to get nervous, but it's been a few years since I used to do this all the time.

Fortunately I have an awesome horse and an amazing trainer. Maybelline, my mare, and I had a great ride. She's only a four-year-old, but she's a very talented and very willing horse. When I came out of the ring, before they announced the Top Ten and the Champion and Reserve, I said I was happy no matter what happened. This was my last ride on Maybelline, because she's being sold to another girl at our barn, and it was a great last ride. So I was happy.

And then I was shocked. We won. I've been National Champion at the Canadian Nationals, and Reserve Champion at US Nationals, but I've never won at US before. It was a huge dream come true. I cried.


This is my dad with me and Maybelline.
 
It's cool too, because this win, this dream come true, came one month-almost to the day-before the release of RUN FOR THE ROSES, my novella set at the US Youth Nationals. I'm so excited to share this part of my life with readers. In fact, I'm writing another horse story now, which will show a lot more of the chaos that goes with showing horses than what the other one shows. The horse shows really are like their own little world, their own little small town where everyone knows everyone else. I'm glad to be back.
 
How about you? How was your weekend?
 
 



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

(Never) Again Blog hop!

To celebrate the release of (Never) Again, Theresa Paolo's debut New Adult novel, she's hosting a blog hop and give away!

The details:

Liz, the main character of (Never) Again got her heart broken and refused to ever open it up to anyone again. We all know how that goes though. How many times have you swore off something only to step right back into it? So for this bloghop I want to know what it is you swore you would never do again and then wound up doing. It could be anything. Dating a guy, drinking, going on the roller coaster that made you vomit, anything.


 The prizes:

First prize: $20 Amazon gift card
Second prize: A signed copy of Cora Carmack's Faking It
Third prize: A copy of (Never) Again



Isn't that awesome! I thought about what to share for quite a while. I thought about going the easy route and saying soda, or candy and sweets. (All true.) But decided to share something a bit more personal.

When I was young I dated the wrong boy, so I can relate to Liz's stupid decisions in this book. He was charming and fun. I was stupid and thought it was all quite romantic. I thought I could help him.

I was a good girl, for real. I didn't smoke or drink in high school at all. This guy did all of that and more. But, like many other stupid girls before me and the many that will do it after me, I thought I could help him clean up his act and live up to his potential.

I took him back more times than I am proud of. But eventually I got my head on straight and realized that I couldn't help him. He had to help himself. (Sadly, over ten years later, I saw he was arrested for drug possession. And it was not a first offense.)

Now I tell my speech girls, Never Never date a guy based on his potential! It's not fair to them or to you.

After that I met my husband. The quintessential 'good man.' (For real. He's kind of awesome, if I do say so myself.) :)

How about you? Ever date a 'bad boy?' What have you sworn off, only to go back to?

And don't forget to check out (Never) Again!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Theresa Paolo on First Loves and First Kisses

Today we are being joined by the wonderful, hilarious Theresa Paolo. I've had the pleasure of meeting Theresa in real life and she is an absolute doll! (Almost literally. She's very tiny.) ;)
 
Her debut New Adult novel, (Never) Again, comes out tomorrow! And even though I've already read it I can't wait to buy a copy and read it again. :)
 
(Never) Again
 
Just when she had finally moved on…
…He moved back.

When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex's voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls' bathroom.

Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn't leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?

Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.
 
Let me start by saying, I loved this book! I really liked Liz and wanted the best for her, but she continued to make stupid decisions! Was it hard to watch your character be with the wrong person? Was it tempting to just fix everything for her right away?
 
You're making me blush! I remember being so nervous for you to read it. 

You were nervous for me to read it? That blows my mind! Lol. And kind of makes my day. Sorry. ;)

Before we get started I just want to say thank you for having me!

Liz did make stupid decisions. I wanted to strangle her most of the time. Seriously I did. Watching Liz stay with the wrong guy was really hard.
So many times I wanted to
change her decisions and even when I was finished writing I thought about going back and rewriting it to have her be less naive and make better choices. I didn't. The reason being because she's eighteen. Who didn't make stupid mistakes at eighteen? I made too many to count. Some that even to this day I think about and wonder if I handled it differently would it have changed anything. I didn't want to take that away from Liz. The person I am today is because of the mistakes I made in my past and what I learned from them. I wanted Liz to be real. I wanted people to relate to her because of her flaws. So while it was extremely hard not to fix things for her, ultimately it was what was best for her and the story.

 
Liz had her heart broken by her first love, and now he's back in her life. Do you remember your first love? Do you look back with fondness, or hate his guts?
 
I actually do remember and I don't hate his guts at all. Even when he broke my heart I didn't hate him. He's like a brother to me now.

That's so sweet!
 
And while we're on the subject of first loves and such, just for fun: What was your first kiss? What was your worst kiss? 

 Is it bad that I don't remember my first kiss. *thinking* I'm pretty sure I was young. I think I was twelve and we pushed our lips together, counted to five in our minds and pulled away. Probably why it wasn't so memorable. lol!

I don't think I have a worst kiss, I guess I've been pretty lucky. I don't have any horror stories like some people. I kind of wish I did. I would totally laugh about it now. What about you guys? Worst kiss? I would love to know. They're always good for a laugh.

Thanks, Rachel! These were awesome questions :)
 
You don't have a worst kiss? Lol. I can think of three that would all be closely tied for me!
 
Don't forget to add it on Goodreads! And starting tomorrow it will be on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well! :)