Friday, May 31, 2013

Donation Bomb!

Donation Bomb for Ben Wolverton!
I love the writing community. Over and over they show their support for each other in a way that always amazes me. Right now one of our own is in need of some serious support, and people are stepping up in big ways..
Ben Wolverton, age 16, was in a tragic longboarding accident on April 3rd, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drums, road rash, and pneumonia. He was in a coma, but has recently awakened. His family has no insurance.

Ben's treatments are already over $1,000,0000. Ben will need extensive therapy as he relearns how to walk.

 Ben's father, David Farland, is an author. He supports his family off his books. As you can imagine, the medical expenses are a little overwhelming. 
So, here's the deal, Leigh Covington got some bloggers together and thought, 'if we all donated at least $5 in one day, how much would that add up to helping Ben?' So here we are, asking for a small sacrifice to help one of our own.

If you can't afford to donate then we would love if you could help us spread the word. David has been working really hard trying to sell books and do fundraisers, this is the least we can do to help him out.
You can go here to donate and find out more.

Oh yeah, and the awesome Leigh Covington is giving away an ecopy of Million Dollar Outlines if you donate. Check it out!

Thank you everyone!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Secondary Characters Bloghop Winners!

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Secondary Characters bloghop!
Seriously, I can't think of a more fun way to celebrate the release of my book. :) You guys are all so awesome and I loved reading all your choices!
And, of course, big huge thank yous to my cohosts! Theresa Paolo, Kelley Lynn, Jessica SalyerJenny Morris, Suzi Retzlaff, and Cassie Mae, you girls are made of awesome!
Big, big hugs for all of you!

 In case you didn't already know, today is the release day for
Secondary Characters.

Secondary Characters

When Mabel's best friend, Amber, drags her along on a double date she finds herself falling for Lance, the obnoxious class clown whom she swore she'd have no interest in.
The only problem is, she's not sure if she's really the girl Lance is into, or if, like every other guy she knows, it's really Amber he's after. One thing is clear,
if Mabel wants to be the lead in her own love story, she needs to start acting like it.

Now, without further ado, our winners!
(Everyone's posts were so great, we decided to just have a drawing.)

A ten-page critique from Kelley Lynn, and a signed copy of
Fraction of Stone: Jaybird
E-book of Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend from Cassie Mae: The Poisoned Rose
Ten-page critique from Jenny: My Baffling Brain
Ten-page critique from Theresa: Donna K. Weaver
Ten-page critique from Jessica: Tyrean's Writing Spot
Ten-page critique from Suzi: Julie Sondra Decker
and a copy of Secondary Characters, plus a ten-page critique from me:
Rena from Doctor Faerie Godmother.
Winners, you can go to the blog of the person who has your prize and comment to them,
or you can leave your email address with me in the comments here
and I will get it to them. :)

Again, thank you all so much! I had so much fun!

If you want to check out Secondary Characters you can find it here:
and here
Barnes and Noble
and on Goodreads. :)

Have a great week everyone! I know I will!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Secondary Characters Blog Hop

Today is the Secondary Characters blog hop and I'm so excited to see who everyone picks!

Sometimes secondary characters steal the show, (or the book) and become our favorites. We want you to tell us about your favorite secondary characters from books or movies, or both!
Whether it's the funny best friend or that goofy kid next door,
we want to know what secondary characters
you just couldn't get enough of and why.
for cohosting and generously offering critiques as prizes!
These ladies are brilliant, wonderful critiquers.
I am also giving away a three chapter critique along with an ebook
which releases on May 28th. (I'm so excited!)
Cassie Mae and Kelley Lynn will also pick a winner to get either an ebook of
So, I actually didn't have a hard time picking for this. Two characters came to mind right away. First, my favorite secondary characters from a book:
Zuzanna from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor:
(This is the picture Laini Taylor had for Zuzanna on her Pinterest board.)
Zuzanna is awesome. She is spunky and smart, hilarious and full of attitude.
She's described in the book as a rabid pixie. ;)
She's a great friend to Karou and a wonderful part of the book. The second book, Days of Blood and Starlight, just made me love her more. (And Mik, too. What a great team.)
From movies or TV I picked Amy Farrar Fowler.
I seriously love Amy Farrar Fowler. She is freaking hilarious. 
The character has changed a lot over the course of her appearance on the show, but I think it all works. She was a socially awkward girl with no friends, and no interest in love. 
But after developing female friendships it makes sense that she'd change some.
She's still smart, still socially awkward, but she's more out-going, more willing to loosen up and show her wild side. (Sort-of wild side.) ;)
And she fell for Sheldon. It's so cute. :) And those feelings changed her, too.
She was such a great addition to the show and she makes me laugh out loud all the time.
She's totally awesome.
So, those are my picks.  I can't wait to see what characters made your lists!
Check out the others who are participating in the hop by clicking on the links below.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Secondary Characters Bloghop Reminder

I'd like to remind everyone that the Secondary Characters Bloghop is coming up!
Wednesday, May 22nd we'll be talking about our favorite secondary characters.

Sometimes secondary characters steal the show, (or the book) and become our favorites. We want you to tell us about your favorite secondary characters from books or movies, or both!
Whether it's the funny best friend or that goofy kid next door,
we want to know what secondary characters
you just couldn't get enough of and why.
Theresa Paolo, Kelley Lynn, Jessica SalyerJenny Morris and Suzi Retzlaff
are cohosting and were all generous enough offer critiques as prizes!
These ladies are brilliant, wonderful critiquers.
I am also planning on giving away a three chapter critique along with an ebook
 of Secondary Characters,
which releases on May 28th.
Cassie Mae and Kelley Lynn will also pick a winner to get either an ebook of
Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend, or a signed copy of Fraction of Stone.

So, if you haven't already, sign up on the linky list below and start thinking about your favorite secondary characters!

I can't wait to see what characters everyone picks!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Best and Worst Movie Remakes

Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp, Livia Peterson and Al Diaz are hosting the Best and Worst Movie Remakes blogfest. Find the list of everyone participating here.

I had to put some serious thought into this. Lately I haven't had time to watch a lot of movies so I had to pull from my memories and try to come up with something. One that came to mind right away for not great remake was The Parent Trap.

Now, I'm not saying it was horrible or anything, Lindsey Lohan was even kind of cute way back then, but it simply does not compete with the original.

And it makes me sad to think that so many young people will see that one and never see Haley Mills singing and dancing with herself in the original.

Or the mom, seriously, the mom was so much better in the original. :)


My husband thought I should pick Dawn of the Dead as the best remake ever. He has watched that one over and over. And while it was good, blood and guts are not really my thing.

What I picked is technically a remake of a TV show, not a movie, but I think it should still count. Get Smart.

Steve Carell is always hilarious and he did not let me down as Maxwell Smart. I love Anne Hathaway as well and it was fun to see her in a grown-up role. (I know she's done tons since then, but that was the first time I saw her in a non-kid movie.)

Get Smart was funny and fun, and a movie my husband and I both enjoyed. (That doesn't happen often.) :)

Okay, and I heard there were bonus points for a song remake. :) I'm sure there are better ones out there, but I've been really enjoying this one lately. :)

Thanks Alex, Stephen, Livia, and Al! This was fun and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts. :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Heather Reid, Pretty Dark Nothing

We have the amazing Heather Reid, author of Pretty Dark Nothing, joining us today for an interview.

Welcome, Heather and thanks for joining us! This is your debut novel, what can you tell us about what your life has been like from getting the offer to getting your book out in the real world?
I have defiantly been riding the emotional roller coaster since selling Pretty Dark Nothing in a two book deal to Month9Books. Between edits, drafting book 2, and promotion, my plate has been excitingly full. I’m busier than ever, but I’m loving every minute of it.  Life is all about deadlines and trying to balance work and home. Knowing that your book is out in the world is kind of like running naked through a thorn bush. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more vulnerable in my life, but getting feedback from readers who connect with the book makes it all worthwhile.
Pretty Dark Nothing (Pretty Dark Nothing, #1)It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

Your cover is haunting and beautiful, what did it feel like to see it for the first time?
I cried, and then I cried some more. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel knowing that’s my cover. The designer, Mette Breth Klausen, truly captured the dark and broken atmosphere in the book. I couldn’t imagine anything better.
In Pretty Dark Nothing your MC, Quinn, deals with demons and nightmares. Do you have nightmares yourself?
Yes. As a child, I suffered from night terrors and sleep walking. Although I eventually grew out of the sleep walking, the nightmares never went away. I would dream of faceless entities and demons on a reoccurring basis. I spent my pre-teen years trying to rationalize my fear while I spent my nights huddled under my covers with a book and a flash light afraid to fall asleep for fear of what would greet me in my dreams. I kept this a secret from my friends and afraid of what they would think. The dark torture of my imagination lasted through three years of middle school and finally faded. I still don’t think my mother knows how terrified I was of falling asleep and I have no idea why the nightmares stopped, maybe they were my way of coping with the stress of adolescence. I don’t know. When I reached college, I went through a particularly bad time in my life, suffered from depression, illness and the nightmares returned. I wasn’t frightened like I was when I was young; I recognized them for what they were. We all have inner demons we battle, those voices that tell us we’re not good enough, taunt us, paralyze us with fear. That’s when the idea for a novel started to form. I asked myself what would happen if those negative voices, inner demons weren’t imagined. What would happen if they were real and they started to manifest outside the dream world? What if they influenced things around us and what if you were the only one that could see them? That’s when Quinn and the idea for Pretty Dark Nothing was born. Quinn and I battled the demons that tortured her together and in the process, she taught me how to battle my own.

Sometimes as writers we have a desire to protect our MCs. Was it ever hard for you to put Quinn in these frightening situations?
I admit that I put Quinn in a lot of bad situations. Maybe I’m strange, but It wasn’t hard for me. I threw a lot of things at her to see how she would react and she makes a lot of bad decisions because of it.
What qualities make Quinn and Aaron a good team?
They don’t know that they would be a good team. They are both broken and find it hard to trust others. Because of this, they don’t make great decisions when it comes to relating to one another. It’s not until the end of the book that they discover how much they have in common. Without giving anything away, Aaron’s memory is the key to finding out why they are drawn to one another.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
 Read, read, read. Everything you can get your hands on. In you genre, outside your genre, good books, poorly written books, everything. Sometimes you can actually learn more from reading a book that’s not well written than you can from a good one. Learning to spot flaws in other stories can help you spot flaws in your own.
Connect with other writers who understand what you’re going through. You will need their support. Surround yourself with positive people.
Don’t be afraid to fail, just get the words on the page. There are no wrong choices and if you don’t like what you’ve written, you can always delete it and start over. Those words are not wasted. Every word you write is a learning experience, even the ones you delete.
Be patient. Writing is a process and the best way to learn is by doing. Also, finding your voice, your process, is about trial and error. Try different techniques, but don’t be afraid to adapt them and make them your own.
Don’t give up. If you are passionate about writing, if you are willing to work and grow in the craft, if you are ready to listen to constructive criticism and strive to improve, if you can’t imagine doing anything else, then don’t give up on your dream. It might take months or years to get published, but it’s worth it.
Everyone’s journey is different; don’t compare yours to someone else’s and don’t put other people’s choices down. You’re not in competition with anyone but yourself. Keep learning, keep striving and remember those who help you along the way. Don’t get caught up in trends, social networking, or platform building. A writer writes first and foremost. That’s the most important thing, everything else is secondary.

Great advice! Thanks for visiting us today, Heather!

Don't forget to add Pretty Dark Nothing to you TBR list on Goodreads.
You can purchase it on Amazon or B&N.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Friday!

Okay, so far my coming back from my blogging break has been, well, lame. I'm sorry! I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of things and I'm still super busy. (I know, I know, everyone is busy.)

My speech team did wonderful this year with nine kids qualifying for Sections (plus three first alternates), four in Section finals, and three who went to State. It was all very exciting.

I've been coaching speech for thirteen years, and I've had a lot of wonderful students, but this group is definitely one of my favorites. They are so talented, so hard-working, and so much fun! On our State trip they made me laugh until my sides hurt.

Right now we are rehearsing for the high school spring play, so I don't have to totally say good-bye to them yet. :) We are doing three short plays, one comedy, one drama, and one that has comedy and drama. They're all looking really good and I'm excited for opening night next Friday.

After that my life will be getting a bit more back to normal.

How about all of you? What's been going on in your lives? Keeping busy? Finding time to relax? Finding time to write? (I'm doing my best, plugging away at two very different mss.) Any big plans for the weekend? (Don't forget to call your mom!)

And Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Friday Night Alibi: Cover Reveal!

I am thrilled to be part of Cassie Mae's cover reveal for
Friday Night Alibi!
I am lucky enough to have already read this, so I can tell you it is amazing!
Cassie is always hilarious, and this book made me
laugh out loud plenty! But it's also full of wonderful, tender moments, too.
Not to mention a really cute boy. ;)
Friday Night Alibi
Rising star Cassie Mae introduces New Adult readers to a practical soon-to-be college freshman who seems to have everything—until a special guy shows her what she’s been missing.

In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.

Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black., and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knowsher, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.

Flirt |  On sale July 29
But you can pre-order it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble now!
Don't forget to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May's Insecurity


It's the first Wednesday of the month, and if you don't know what that means you need to go here, now. Big awesome thank yous to Alex for creating the Insecure Writer's Support Group and thanks to those helping to keep it going month after month.

It's the first day of May. Secondary Characters comes out this month. Woo hoo! There will be a book out there in the world with my name on the cover. It's cool, and I'm super excited about it. But. . .with it, of course, comes some insecurities.

What if people hate it? Or, what if nobody reads it? What if it's a major flop and I never get another book published ever?

Yes, I know I'm worrying too much. But just because I know that doesn't mean I can turn it off.

But I don't want to focus on the negative. For the most part I'm just happy. These worries pop up, yes, but I'm sure they do for most people. It's a vicious cycle, isn't it? You worry you'll never get published, then when you do, you worry it won't be any good. If it is good, you worry the next one won't be as good and so on and so forth forever. I guess that's why we have the support group! :)

So I will do my best to ignore the worries and focus on the exciting wonderful parts. :)

Happy Wednesday everyone!