Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Mark-Mock Book Trailer

 I just thought I'd share this real quick. This was super fun, and not too frustrating to make. ;) A great site for setting up those awesome book trailers.

Make your own slide show at Animoto.

Cast of Stones Winner

A great big congratulations to the winner of the paperback copy of A Cast of Stones:

Ben B. 


A big thanks to all who entered. You guys are great!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

the fire of nanowrimo every month!

Last week I talked about some awesome sources for punctuation power. This week, I'm taking time to spread the word about another terrific writing tool--Writing Communities!

These are essential, in my humble opinion, for any writer to truly learn and grow. The support, feedback, tough love, and camaraderie found in the right writing groups is invaluable to the trade. I have a couple that I follow and participate in regularly, *cough *cough, well, as regularly as I can.

IWriteNetwork is a great source to meet lots of new writers from all walks of life. They share blogposts, sprint, spread the word about great upcoming writer's conferences, and feature a good deal of successful, published authors with which to rub cyber-shoulders.

Then, of course, there is my personal favorite: The Writer's Dojo. The amazing Ali Cross, the talented sensei and author of the Desolation Trilogy, has created a wonderful community of heartfelt encouragement, motivational tidbits, and some get-out-and-do-it juice.  This already phenomenal tool is going through some serious remodeling to make it better than ever. *squeals of excitement commence*

 If you are a writing ninja, or have ever wanted to be one, check out the brand new Dojo opening just for you.
Take it away, Ali.

The Writer's Dojo is returning to its roots and invites you to join in on the fun! 

When I first started the writer's dojo in 2008, I did it as a way to keep the glory of National Novel Writing Month alive all year long. I loved the camaraderie and support I received during the month of November and desired that same feeling of community every month of the year, in every aspect of writing--not just the drafting.

Beginning February 1st, 2013, the writer's dojo returns to its roots and ushers in a new age of ninjawesomeness. Each month we will open three training rooms at the writer's dojo website. A room for drafters (Writing Month, aka WriMo), a room for revisers (Revising Month, aka ReMo) and a room for those querying (Querying Month, aka QuMo).

We invite you to set your own goals, whether it's to write a thousand words a day, revise ten pages a week, or submit twenty queries in a month, and register your goal in the appropriate training room.

Every Monday we'll post the leaderboard for the previous week, and at the end of each month those who met their goal will be able to post the coveted Writing Ninja Warrior badge on their blog or website.

To help you reach your goals, we have a number of ways to support you:

CHATS: At the dojo every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. (That's 2:00 p.m. for us MST people.)

TWITTER: Anytime, day or night, at #writingninja.

GOOGLE+: Join our community for random write-ins and sprints.

NEWSLETTER: Subscribe to our Ninja News and once a month you'll receive an email with an encouraging note and a list of the top performers for the previous month. There will also be opportunities for giveaways, starting with February's newsletter!

We hope to see you at the dojo as you reach for--and achieve--your goals!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Cast of Stone Blog Tour and Two, yep, I said two, Giveaways

A Cast of Stones

An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.
Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

The woman took another, slow step toward him, her smile stretching the cuts and bruises on her face. “I don’t care who kills you boy, but do you really want to die by the borale arrow?” She laughed. “Do you relish feeling it rip and tear its way out of your flesh leaving you to die from blood loss, screaming in pain?” She nodded back toward Balina. “The captain has a sword, freshly sharpened. He can make your end quick and painless.”
“Don’t believe her boy,” Merodach said. He pitched his voice to carry over the flood below. “A malus never kills quickly. They feed on pain. Come with me. I can take you to safety.” He took a step.
Errol’s tried in vain to watch everyone. The pounding of his heart merged with the flood waters. He cast the briefest of looks down, fought to keep from sobbing. The roiling depths were too far away to survive a jump.
He was going to die. All that remained was to choose between the arrow, the sword, and the water.
Without turning his back to Merodach or the malus-possessed woman, he climbed the railing.
The three of them inched forward.
“Come, boy.” The woman’s voice crooned. “There’s no need for such a death.” Her voice grew mocking. “Don’t you want to be buried in your faith? Don’t you want the priest to bless your grave?”
“Errol, don’t.” Merodach’s voice cut across the woman’s.
For a moment, something in the assassin’s voice penetrated the fear that clouded his thinking. Could he be telling the truth? If he’d wanted Errol dead, he could have simply fired. It would be impossible to miss at this range, but that would leave Merodach open to counter-attack by the malus and her guard.
He didn’t want to die. Errol took a tentative step toward the assassin, tried at once to ignore the arrow aimed at his chest and brace for its impact that would kill him.
An animal-like snarl erupted from behind him. Merodach raised the bow, drew.
He launched himself into space, heard the whine of the borale’s arrow merge with a cry of rage and pain.
The water rushed up at him.

My Review:
I opened this book and was immediately sucked into the tale of mysterious assassins, magical mysticism, dark spirits, and a reluctant hero that exceeds the expectations of all, even his own. Each page brought anticipation of what would come next, and hopes of answers to the many strange occurrences swirling around our young hero.
This debut novel is a great start to what, I'm sure, will prove to be a breathtaking fantasy saga. Carr's vivid, detailed world shows a thorough understanding of how different cultural beliefs, backgrounds, political and religious governments, and environments can affect a person. The clear grasp on how a world works, not just by one or two kinds of people, but by countless cultures blending, was brilliant. The descriptions of each place, people, and dialect were well thought out, and clearly shown. I was instantly drawn into Carr's world--without being inundated with unnecessary details and lengthy descriptions that took away from the compelling plot.
I loved how Carr showed the detailed organization of the Church of the three's government, and its individual offices. It brought a touch of reality that grounded the story in a way that made it feel possible. Of course, this carefully organization was balanced with a healthy dose of mystery and mysticism that kept me on the edge of my seat and the pages turning until the very end.
The reluctant, and unlikely, hero, Errol Stone is reminiscent of Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins. Like Bilbo, young Errol is thrust, most unwillingly, into a world of danger and adventure that forces him to question everything he believed about himself, and to dig deep within to find an inner strength he never thought he possessed. I found him deeply engaging, and likeable, as I sympathized with the many overwhelming challenges he faced time and time again, and rooted for him as he found the skills to overcome against impossible odds. I was right there with his frustration and desire to interpret the hidden looks, and conversations of those around him, and his desire to be more than what he was.
The answers to his, and the reader's, questions are scattered, like bread crumbs for starving birds, throughout the tale in tantalizing tidbits that had me salivating for more. Even the end, which left me more than eager for the release of the next book this summer, had a surprise that will leave readers crying, "It can't end there!" That's all I will say on that subject for fear of revealing too much. ;)
For you fantasy nerds like me, I suggest you check out this stunning new tale of magic, mystery, and hidden greatness. You definitely will not regret the time spent with this book.


Author Patrick W. Carr

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

Blog Tour Giveaway
$10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/31/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 21, 2013

Punctuation Pitfalls

Greetings fellow readers, bloggers, and writers.
I know, I know, I have been really quiet on the blogging front as of late. I've been struggling for the past year on how this blogging thing works, and, to be honest, I also feel rather silly and inexperienced, but have decided to post about what I find important, or would find helpful anyway. If others find it useful as well, great! If not, then at least I have an outlet for the randomness clogging my brain. Either way, I'm happy, and, sometimes, that is all that really matters. Don't you agree? So for this wonderful year of 2013, my goal is to post at least something once a week on Mondays. We'll see how this goes.

 Today I decided to post a little bit about a personal irritant of mine: punctuation. Yes, that awful P-word has caused me more headaches than I care to admit. Often my sentences are all very short and choppy because I'm hesitant to look like an idiot who obviously doesn't know the difference between how to use a dash and a comma. I know it sounds silly, but there you have it.

Some of you may be thinking, "What, punctuation? That is like the easiest thing on the planet." I applaud your awesome skills, and bow to the pros. For those of you who, like me, find themselves perplexed by periods, dumbfounded by dashes, confounded by commas, and so on and so forth, I wish to offer some lifelines I have found incredibly helpful.

# 1 Punctuation Power: Punctuation and How to Use It
This handbook has been a lifesaver on so many occasions. It is inexpensive, but worth its weight in gold. It contains a very thorough collection of every form of punctuation used in the English language, and how to use them in their various manifestations. This includes a lengthy section on how to use those slippery commas which are, according to the author, "the most overused, underused, and abused" punctuation mark.
The poor little guys! I know in my WIP alone they are very much mistreated. I'm hoping they don't one day get so fed up with me that they go on strike. Yikes!

# 2 A very funny, yet helpful, blurb about semicolons a friend sent to me entitled, How to use a semicolon: the most feared punctuation on earth.I laughed when reading this, but I also got the point. Enjoy!

#3 Punctuating dialogue. This is something I struggled, er, I mean struggle with. These tips I received on a handout from Angela Morrison, author of Taken by Storm and Sing me to Sleep, helped with editing trouble

spots in my own writing. Here are her tips:


Punctuating your dialogue wrong can sink your manuscript, but it’s not like any other punctuation, and its hard to find a short list of the rules. Here’s the basics plus a few tricks from my copy editor. I use the term “stage direction” to mean all the different types of beats you can surround the lines of dialogue with.
1. If your speech tag comes at the beginning of sentence, you need a comma, a quotation mark, a capitalized first word, and then period, quotation mark. (What a mouth full! It’s so much easier just to show you.)
ex. Scott says, “Only three months until they graduate.”
The rule is the comma ALWAYS comes before the quotation mark.  

2. If your speech tag comes at the end, start the sentence with quotation mark, capitalized first word, comma, quotation mark and a final period to end the sentence.
ex. “See you in choir,” he whispers.
You can only use commas with speech tags/attributions.  

3. If you start with stage direction or put a line of stage direction after a line of dialogue, the opening or closing dialogue lines need a final end mark (period, question mark, exclamation point).
ex. He pats my shoulder. “See you in choir?” OR ex. “See you in choir.” He waves.  
4. I LOVE to break up a character’s longer line of dialogue with stage direction.
ex. “You’re worried?” He pats my shoulder. “That’s nice, Beth. See you in choir.”  
This example is pretty straightforward. Both bits of dialogue and the stage direction are full sentences. No commas called for. I often see something like: ex. “You’re worried,” he pats my shoulder, “that’s nice, Beth.”  
Don’t do that. It’s WRONG. You would only use those commas if you added speech tags.  
ex. “You’re worried,” he asks, pats my shoulder, and says, “That’s nice, Beth.” 
 But why would you want to muck up your dialogue that way? Unless he’s whispering. Whispering is worth mucking up dialogue for. 
ex. “You’re worried?” he whispers and pats my shoulder. “That’s nice, Beth.” 

5. What if you want to break up a sentence with a beat of stage direction? Here’s where it gets tricky. You’ve got lots of options. If you can punctuate these right, you can get a job as a copy editor. Let’s stick with our simple example. ex. “You’re,” he whispers and pats my shoulder, “worried? That’s nice, Beth.” You can only use commas if you include says or said or whispered, etc. Otherwise, you have to do it like this. 
 “You’re”—he pats my shoulder—“worried? That’s nice, Beth.”  
6. Use a dash inside the quotation marks to show that one speaker interrupts the other. 
ex. “See you in—”

“I’m not going.”

7. Using ellipses in dialogue marks you as an amateur—unless your character is chatting online. Never, ever do the this:

ex. “See you in choir . . . ” OR even,

ex. “See you . . . ”

 # 4 Last, and most important: Relax! Punctuation is not your enemy, but the tool that ensures what you really mean to say comes across as smooth as possible to your readers. Take a deep breath, and remember, no matter how many times you edit, you can't catch everything. Thank goodness there are professional copy editors, wonderful critique groups, and beta readers to help you catch the things you miss.

Now, go be brilliant and wow your friends with your sudden grasp of how exactly to use that slippery semicolon.
Happy Writing!

What is your biggest pitfall in writing? What helpful tools have you found to help overcome it?

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Brain Cramp and Some Great Reads

So I found this post I created back in December and was supposed to post last week. Ooops. This whole scatterbrained thing has got to go. However, since it is mostly due to being emerged in writing the last few weeks I guess I can't complain too much. I will try to get back to regular blogging soon. I'm sure I can find something semi-amusing to say. Or maybe just the ramblings that are my life as a writer. Ah, the joys of living half in reality and half in some fantasy world. Wait. Did I just see a goblin driving that car? Huh. Anyways, this is a fun idea so I thought I'd share it even though the blog hop is way over.

Old, new, controversial, heartwarming – what are the things that catapult a book from a great read to a must read?

My go to books:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Ella Enchanted and Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
The Hobbit and The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Witches, The BFG, and the Twits by Roald Dahl
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

So, what do all these lovely books have in common? They are many of the books that I treasure as classics.
That phrase, a classic, has a different meaning for everyone. To me these words describe a book that is more than just a book, it is an old friend. Whether it is the fifth or the hundredth time I've read it, I feel like I am catapulted back to that first moment of discovery. The heroine or hero's triumph, or that moment when it seems the villain has won, is just as exhilarating as when I first cracked that cover. I still laugh at the witty wording, or I feel tears sting my eyes when my old friend faces that horrible moment of heartache. No matter how many times I read these tales, they still have the power to touch my heart and leave me breathless.

What books do you call friends? Why?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!

The winner will have the option of receiving a Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

This giveaway is sponsored by these Awesome Authors:</ b>

The Essence by Kimberly Derting
Alaina Claiborne by MK McClintock
Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out by Pandora Poikilos
Uncontrollable by S.R. Johannes
Hunted</ a> by Ednah Walters
Cliffhanger</ a> by Amy Saunders</ a>
I Was Here - Before You Came by Camelia Miron Skiba
Everlost</ a> by Brenda Pandos</ a>
Blood Oath</ a> by T.L. Clarke
Reaper's Novice by Cecilia Robert
Bulletproof by Jeff LaFerney
Lancaster House by Taylor Dean
Two Halves</ a> by Marta Szemik
Murder on Potrero Hill by M.L. Hamilton
Bellyache</ a> by Crystal Marcos
Kill Shot</ a> by Anne Patrick
Skid Out</ a> by Ann Marie Frohoff</ a>
Between</ a> by Mary Ting
Dragon Stones Saga by Kristian Alva
Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett

The Essence (The Pledge, #2)Alaina Claiborne (British Agent Novel #1)Excuse Me, My
Brains Have Stepped OutUncontrollable (#2, Nature of Grace
series)Hunted (The Guardian Legacy, #3)Cliffhanger (The Belinda & Bennett
Mysteries, Book 1)I Was Here—Before You CameEverlostBlood OathReaper's Novice
(Soul Collector #1)BulletproofLancaster
HouseTwo HalvesMurder
on Potrero Hill (A Peyton Brooks' Mystery, #1)Bellyache: A Delicious TaleKill ShotSkid Out (Heavy Influence Trilogy, #0.5)Between (Crossroads Saga, #2)Dragon Stones: Book One of the Dragon Stone Saga (Dragon Stone Saga, #1)Rapunzel Untangled

Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).
Ends 1/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Dragon Empire Cover Reveal

Today I am happy to feature the awesome cover for a fellow indie writer, Heather McCorkle. Her new book sounds like it will be the best yet. I love everything to do with dragons, so I'm super pumped for this title to be released. Check out this mystic-looking cover. Gorgeous!

Cover designed by CP Design.  
The Dragon Empire by Heather McCorkle -- February 2013 / Compass Press
On Yacrana, dragons stand at the top of the evolutionary ladder instead of humans. Such an advanced species is not without its issues though.

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind. 
Heather McCorkle
I am an author of fantasy, in all its many sub-genres. Living green, saving endangered species, helping other writers, and supporting fabulous authors are a few of my passions. I am also a volunteer for the IS Foundation which works to make the world a greener place. When I'm not volunteering, writing, or surfing my social networking sites, I can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, I enjoy the outdoors almost as much as the worlds I create on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find me here, on my blog, and Monday night's on Twitter where I co-moderate the #WritersRoad chat.

Author Links:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Presenting the talented Mikey

Even though I have no artistic talent whatsoever, I do love fun, colorful illustrations. I'm also a huge sucker for cute picture books that kids can actually learn from while having fun. On that note, today I am helping a wonderful writer and illustrator, the uber talented Mikey Brooks, promote his awesome children's books. Check them out:

 Have you ever had a dragon in your house? How about a dozen? Bean is a little girl with an imagination that is creating quite a mess. Although Bean loves each of her dragons, she forgets how untidy they can be when having so much fun. When Bean's parents discover what's happened in their short absence, Bean finds herself the blame of the dragons' giant mess. You can find more about Bean’s Dragons at:

(Ahh, doesn't that just make you want a dragon of your own?)

This is the first installment in a series of ABC adventures featuring Professor Vontriponmybottom, a heroic explorer determined to share with children the alphabet through exciting and fantastical means. In Magical Creatures you will find all sorts of enchanting beings such as: B is for Bigfoot, M is for Mermaid, and O is for Ogre. The professor shares fun facts about each creature he encounters and never shies away from getting a picture with them. This book is sure to educate and entertain young readers and their parents.
You can find more about ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures at:

(The alphabet and dragons?! Where was this book when I was a kid?)

Mikey Brooks is an author/illustrator with a BS in Creative Writing from Utah State University. Illustration has always been a love of Mikey’s. His art has been seen in many forms from picture books to murals for community art productions. He creates full-room murals and loves to doodle on almost anything. He also manages a bakery where he also is a cake artist and decorator. He author/illustrated Bean’s Dragons, ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures, and Trouble with Bernie. He also illustrated Bongo Flo and Ocelot Scott, both by Carolyn Quist, and Lucius and the Christmas Star, by Jim Long. He’s had poetry and personal essays published in university sponsored literary magazines 2007-2009, and was awarded 3rd place for his personal essay, Waiting for the Morning Sun to Rise, in the Utah Arts 23rd Annual Writing Competition, 2011. He has a wonderful wife and two amazing daughters.
Blog   Goodreads   Twitter   Pinterest   Facebook

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ready to be Faithful, Fit & Fabulous?

Faithful, Fit & Fabulous

Filled with humor and “I can relate” life experiences, Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous is the ideal 8-week life boost that will refresh any woman's life. Create a personal and effective life plan, and learn how to readily apply it in your busy daily life. Establish holy habits, feel fit and fabulous, and get organized. Just one goal a week for eight weeks—it's simple and fun.

Message from Connie

Hi Ladies,

This is the moment. This is the year. You can be your best self, your most beautiful self, your most faithful, fit, and fabulous self. Ever. Twelve months are before you-what will you do with them?

Years ago, after bearing several children and feeling overwhelmed, I created and lived my “Year of the Change.” During twelve months of taking life by the horns, I lost weight, got organized, and discovered more joy. Since then I’ve tweaked and taught the principles I have learned and now share them with you.

So make this your year of fabulous change by joining us on the “8-week Challenge” starting on January 8th! The 8-week Challenge is an online success program of “8 goals in 8 weeks in 8 areas of your life,” including fit and fabulous, get organized, balance womanhood and motherhood, and more. Using the Faithful, Fit and Fabulous book, each week you set and achieve a goal, with help from my podcasts, video segments, blog posts, and motivational emails!

Simple, fun, and productive. This program works (see testimonials below). And this year, we’re giving our new 2013 Fit & Fabulous podcast series FREE to those who sign up with a friend! Both of you receive weekly podcasts and posts on weight loss/energy gain tips and strategies. Jill Holmes, our online marketing director, has lost and kept off 50 POUNDS! She'll share her personal tips and secrets to make weight loss work for you, even eating chocolate daily.

Here's what women have said about the 8-week Challenge:

“I have learned so many things about who I am and what I want to do in my life. I have also gained a new sense of happiness. My husband and girls have noticed just in the last week the change in my attitude and they have told me that it is nice to hear me laugh again.” C.Adams

“Thank you so much for giving me the needed push to do something I've wanted to do for months & never completed. That has never happened for me with goal setting. THANK YOU!” B.Bird

“If I wouldn't have been doing the challenge I never would have thought to [accomplish this goal]. I am so glad I did this 8 week challenge! I want to continue these small goals for the rest of my life.” C. Rose

So join us now and jumpstart your ideal life. Get that closet organized, start that exercise program going, find that joy in daily living!

Join now and, because you’re reading this blog post, receive your 8-week Challenge for only $29, thru Jan. 8th only!

Sign up a friend and BOTH receive the 8 podcast series of “Fit & Fabulous”.
Email us for more information at

Learn more here:

So what are you waiting for? Join us for a fun and fabulous life-changing experience!

Author Connie Sokol
Connie Sokol is a mother of seven, a national and local presenter, and a regular speaker at Education Week. She is a monthly contributor on KSL TV “Studio 5,” and regular blogger for KSL "Motherhood Matters." She is a former TV and radio host for Bonneville Communications, and columnist for Deseret News and Utah Valley Magazine. Mrs. Sokol is the author of several books including the award-nominated romance Caribbean Crossroads, the 8-week Challenge program of Faithful, Fit & Fabulous, Life is Too Short for One Hair Color Series, as well as talk CDs and podcasts. Mrs. Sokol marinates in time spent with her family and eating decadent treats.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dead Running Book Blast

Dead Running

Cassidy Christensen is running.
Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents.
Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable.
Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness.

With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she'll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future.

Dying to Run

Cassidy Christensen wants to run.

Captured by the traffickers who killed her mother, her only hope is Dr. Tattoo, a man she loves but nobody trusts. When she finally gets a chance to run, someone else she cares about is taken. Running might be her only chance at survival, but she won’t allow another family member to be killed in her place.

This must-read sequel to Dead Running will have you laughing, biting your nails, and hoping for more.


Author Cami Checketts

Cami Checketts is married and the proud mother of four future WWF champions. Sometimes between being a human horse, cleaning up magic potions, and reading Bernstein Bears, she gets the chance to write fiction.

Cami graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Exercise Science. Cami teaches strength training classes at her local rec and shares healthy living tips on her fitness blog:

Cami and her family live in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah. During the two months of the year it isn't snowing, she enjoys swimming, biking, running, and water-skiing.


#BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
$50 Gift Card to Running Chics
Ends 1/31/12
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IWSG-Embracing the awesomeness within

Last month, and last year I guess, was a really rough time for me and my family. I'll admit that I didn't write, or think about writing much during the crazy holiday season. Thanks to some serious technical difficulties with my blog, and Scrivener, I wasn't exactly in the mood to deal with more frustration. Also, because life during Christmas and all that madness isn't crazy enough, my husband's company had to decide to fold two days before that "joyful" day. Merry Christmas to us, right? I'm still unemployed despite a year of full time application submitting, we have college tuition to pay, rent, and the other necessities of life to cover. Extreme stress does not equal great moments of creative genius, and I was beginning to seriously question my choice to invest so much time, and resources in this silly dream of being an author. Writing my first book, or I should say editing it, has been a much longer, and infuriating journey then I originally imagined. It feels like I'm walking through molasses with this whole process. Then, something wonderful happened.

New Year's Eve I passed by the front room of my family's house, and heard my sister reading something aloud. I noticed my little brother, who normally can't sit still for two seconds, was glued to the couch, enthralled. As the words penetrated my sleep deprived brain, I found myself laughing aloud at the current scene. I thought, "Who wrote this awesome dialogue?" Then lightning realization struck, I had. My sister was reading from my incomplete, totally unedited NaNoWriMo project, and everyone listening loved it. My husband wants to know what happens next as much as I do. All my practical reasons for setting writing aside vanished in a moment. I couldn't give up something that made me and my family so happy. And, I will admit, I am pretty good at it. I always have a hard time saying that to myself. I feel like it is bragging or something. But the truth is, I am a writer, and I love every headache, curse, and laugh that comes with being that.

So my encouragement for everyone after the craziness of December and 2012 is this: Embrace the Awesomeness Within You! Maybe there is something nagging at you, and telling you that this is all just a mess that isn't worth the energy, time, and money. It could be that you are having a hard time finding a good critique group, readers, other demands on your time seem more pressing, you can't afford to attend the writing conferences, or you've been working on getting that first book polished and published for so long, you believe it will never be ready. Whatever may be weighing you down toss it aside. Let's make 2013 our best year of writing yet. Happy New Year! Good luck to you all!

Book of the Week:
Clockwise by Elle Strauss

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this—she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.