Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekend Read

This week I'm excited to read Witch Song by Amber Argyle. I bought it at the recent LTUE conference in Provo and have time to actually read it. Yay!


The world is changing. Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons-but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fade, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can't stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her. Because if Brusenna doesn't, there won't be anything left to save.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weekend Read

This weekend I am re-reading Julianne Donaldson's Edenbrooke. March 27th marks the birthday of the publication of this debut novel. In honor of this, the author is hosting an Edenbrooke Celebration. Check out the details at http://juliannedonaldson.blogspot.com/

I've read this book four times since its release last March. If you like clean Regency Romances, I would definitely give this a try.

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.


 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Being Aware of You

I hope everyone had a fantastic St. Patrick's Day, full of luck and no pinching. It was so fun to go to church yesterday and see all the green attire. It definitely helped spice up an otherwise blah, gray day in my neck of the woods.

Speaking of weather. It can be a tricky thing sometimes. There are those days that appear sunny and warm, but chill you as soon as you step outside. Do you go inside for a jacket at that point? Or do you just tough it out? If you take your jacket, more problems arise later if it suddenly gets warm again. Similar dilemmas come up if you don't grab a jacket and it remains cold. Decisions, decisions.

As someone who suffers from seasonal depression issues, I find I'm particularly sensitive to the frequent changes in this phenomenon we call weather, particularly light levels. If the sun is shining all seems to go well in life. But, as soon as those clouds move in for a long stay, I find daily tasks feel like sludging through a bog of thick goo. (Not a pleasant or easy experience.) I'm lucky if chores get done and people get taken care of, not to even mention my appalling word count for those days.

Now, you may ask, what does this have to do with writing? Everything! It is important to be aware of you and your needs in order to be the most productive you can. Some people love planning ahead and having that outline at the ready before they write. Others love to just go for it and realize what they need as they go. Both have their strengths and weaknesses that it is important to be aware of before you write your first word. When you get stuck, or find a problem, don't give up. Embrace your creative style and make it work for you, or borrow some techniques from the other side to push you through that slump.

For most people, there will be times in life when writing will be more of a chore than a pleasure. (A sad, but true fact. Nobody loves their work 100% of the time.) When writing feels more like trudging through a swamp than a grand adventure, try to understand why. Maybe you aren't in a creative mood at that moment. No problem, try editing another manuscript that has been stewing for awhile. Or maybe the creative bug is of a different variety. Pick up that hobby you've been neglecting and find a fresh energy and take on other aspects of life.

If the problem is lots of clouds in your sky, don't be too hard on yourself. Write what you can and trust when the sun comes out again, those words that are locked inside will find release. Most importantly, realize that while you are a writer you are a person first, with lots of different needs and wants. Sometimes that means taking a break from being super writer. Be sure to come back to it later, but also enjoy the break.

Everyone needs a vacation every now again to get that fresh perspective on writing and life. 

Best of luck!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekend Read

I am a writer but I am also a huge reader. To help myself stay in touch with that part of me, I've decided to try something new with my blog. Every Friday I will post a book I plan on reading over the weekend (or whenever I have time in the next week). I know as a devourer of books it sometimes is hard to find new things. For all my fellow bookworms out there, hopefully this will introduce authors and reads for you to try as well. Or, it will just be fun for me. A win for me either way.

This week I'm featuring a Fantasy book I've had waiting on my kindle for a couple weeks.

 Jacob Clark's fantasy adventure has reached its most dangerous phase yet. A swarm of blood-ridden insects overwhelms Taga Village--threatening the existence of the Makalos--and the secret regarding Akeno's strengths is about to be revealed. Not only that, but Jacob's newly honed abilities allow him to discover the origin of the evil Lorkon. But finding out may be his deadliest mission yet.

Join Jacob and his friends in this fourth installment in the Kilenya Series as they strive to prevent the Lorkon disease from destroying Eklaron and Earth.
This is the fourth book in the Kilenya Series. The first book, The Key of Kilenya, is available as a free download.

A quick note: Just because I feature a book doesn't mean I myself think it is amazing, or, on the flip side, terrible. This is not for reviews. (Though, occasionally I feature book reviews on my blog as well. The words review in the blog title will let you know when I'm doing one of those if you are interested.) 
I will include a link to a review site for those wishing to judge for themselves whether they want to read the book or not. Just click on the cover to go to either Amazon or Goodreads. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March Indie Life



Because being Indie doesn't have to mean going it alone.

Today's post will be brief. I'm busy, your busy, so lets just get to the point. I've attended several writers conferences this past month. (Indie Recon was awesome!) And, except for the one made almost exclusively for indie authors, I have, without fail, received condescending looks every time I've said I'm going with indie publishing. My word of advice to those new to this experience, the looks are normal. Don't let the naysayers get you down. Work hard, and prove that you have something worth saying too!
Being an indie author requires a lot from those who journey on its path. Here are three things I've discovered on my trek thus far.

1. Indie publishing is in no way a short cut to publishing. Those who treat it as such usually don't have much success. Nor should it be treated as something one just does until you're lucky enough to catch the eye of an agent or editor. It is a career choice that should be weighed carefully against all other options before choosing. It is time consuming hard work that often doesn't bear much fruit when one is first starting. This is not to discourage anyone, but a fair warning to be sure you are fully committed because there will be days that you question your sanity. (Been there, done that--several times.)

2. If you find you have limited time in your schedule at the moment and the choice is between writing or building the business, always, always write first. You can't have a successful business without a product. In indie publishing, and traditional publishing, the product is the most important thing. A side note: realize that writing is important and don't beat yourself up about not being a expert on all the others things yet. They will come as you tackle learning each aspect of indie publishing, one thing at a time.

3. If you know you want to indie publish then start saving now. Put a little aside each month to help cover those upfront business costs. Yes, indie publishers have the potential to make more on royalties, but you have to have a stellar products first. That takes time and money--lots of both. So prepare in advance. Even if that rough draft is nowhere near publication, start saving for the editor, cover image, print copies, etc., now.

One last word of advice that I've found helpful. Live you dreams. Don't let the daunting wall of to-dos keep your from really enjoying the wonders of writing and publishing that first, second, third, whatever number your on, book. Write your story. If you make it the best you can, then you will find the right readers for the tales you spin.  Good luck to you all!

Happy Writing!



Monday, March 11, 2013

Kindle Fire Giveaway

March AUTHOR'S Kindle Fire Giveaway





Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!



The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)


Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)


Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)





Sponsoring Authors

The Stone Guardian by Theresa McClinton


Blood Oath (Gabby Girls Adventure, #2)Return of the Dragon Riders: Book Two of the Dragon Stone Saga (Dragon Stone Saga, #2)Hidden HeartA Tale of the Other Kind (Therian, #1)AuraPrison NationFamily Magic (Hayle Coven, #1)The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)Shifting PrideFire Within (Guardian Witch #2)Fall of Sky CityReflectionThe Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope (Kailmeyra, #1)Kiss Me, I'm Irish (Time For Love #1)Grace DollThe Stone GuardianLegend UnleashedInnovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand EyesThe GiftedFor What It's WorthForbidden Temptation of a VampireOwlet (Society of Feathers, #1)Cascade Brides: The Complete SeriesTwenty-Five Years Ago TodayAlexander Drake's Extraordinary Pursuit


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: 3/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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 http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

IWSG-March


I don't really have anything particularly irking me right now. Nor do I have some great, inspired words of wisdom or encouragement to pass on. This is what I've got:

Keep Writing!

Just like Dori suggests in Finding Nemo, "Just keep swimming, swimming." Except, for me, it becomes just keep writing, writing. No matter what life throws your way, or if that rough drafts is really, really rough, keep writing. That is what distinguishes a true writer from those who just dream about it. Put those words on paper so they are at least no longer driving you crazy. Then, you write some more. 

Here is the clip from the movie. Because it makes me so happy!


Happy Writing Everyone!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Baked Alaska Blog Tour

Tour Schedule



Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack

An Alaskan cruise is the setting for amateur detective Sadie Hoffmiller's latest adventure. Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughters upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman is discovered unconscious during the second night at sea, Sadies apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. *Includes eight new mouthwatering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadies Virtual Test Kitchen.

My Review:
Josi Kilpack whips up another tasty treat for Sadie Hoffmillers fans. Baked Alaska is the perfect blend of humor and heart as we follow Sadie and her family on their newest caper. 

Sadie is looking forward to a little relaxation with her boyfriend, the distinguished Pete Cunningham, and her children. An Alaskan cruise seems just the thing for a little bonding time. But before anyone has even called "anchors away," strange occurrences pique Sadie's insatiable curiosity. When the ship leaves the dock, things become personal when her son, Shawn, is accused of a heinous crime. Determined to prove his innocence, the indomitable mother sets out to uncover the real culprits.

When she begins to uncover the truths behind the passengers and her own children's odd behaviors, she realizes she just might be in over her head. In need of a lifeboat to help navigate the treacherous waves of deceit that threaten to capsize her happy life, she refuses to let even her own doubts stop her from helping her children. But so many questions need answering. Who is the strange woman Shawn was speaking to? Why does she end up in the hospital? What is her son hiding? Join Sadie as she uncovers clues to these questions and many others, all while sampling the divine cuisine around her.

I love Kilpack's culinary mysteries. Sadie's antics always leave me laughing and shaking my head as I eagerly wait to discover how she will get herself out of the latest mess she's found herself in. This newest addition doesn't disappointment. Rife with danger, and brimming with touching moments between Sadie and her children as she learns when to help and when to let go, this mystery delves deeper into the heart of the Hoffmiller family. Sadie's reactions to Shawn's secrets and truths are touching and feel so real. Her conflicting desires to help her son, and solve the crime made me really ache for her. I felt Kilpack really captured the dynamics of a mother-son relationship, and dealt really well with the issues that often come up for both the adoptive mother and the child. Full of wit, humor, and intrigue, I couldn't put this book down until I had finished this newest chapter in Sadie's adventures.
Oh, and I absolutely loved the surprise at the end. It had me squealing and grinning like a idiot. So romantic! I can't wait to read the next book to find out what the next step is for Sadie's relationship with Pete.









Author Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until she was thirteen and her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense, and Lemon Tart, her ninth novel, was a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist. Josi was the Best in State winner in literature for 2012 and currently has two books (Banana Split and Tres Leches Cupcakes) as finalists in the 2012 Whitney awards.

Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her family.





Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/20/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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 http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway