Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Pictures

My Halloween Hop official post is the last one, so  please scroll down if you're looking for that.

I just couldn't help posting these of my two favorite girls: Sparkle and the Blue Fairy. Sparkle's costume represents both her sparkling personality and many, many years of dance costumes. Blue Fairy's costume represents hours of hard work making those homemade wings - by her, and my hubby. (I do not sew, or craft well)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Hop Answers

Many Thanks to Jeremy Bates for hosting The Halloween Hop again this year!!!

For costume: I dressed up as Velma (again) complete with orange turtleneck sweater, a reddish skirt, orange socks, and my regular black glasses. (My hair is bob length these days too, but I don't have bangs). At the Halloween party I went to on Saturday night, people recognized me as Velma - so I call that a success!

For favorite monster movie: Well, I still consider Monster, Inc. of Disney fame my favorite, but if you are looking for scary, I like Aliens the best. Jurassic Park is good too. Basically, if there's a scifi element to it, and some scary (but not too scary) creatures, then I'm more likely to watch it.

Signs gave me nightmares, and the whole barely seeing the alien thing hit me hardest months later when I was driving down my long, gravel driveway at night and saw movement in the trees. (It was a racoon, I think). So, basically, I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to scary movies.

I just like to hang out with Jeremy and all the other cool Halloween hoppers with nerves of steel.

This Friday: Come back and sign up for Hobbit Fest!
Ongoing: I'm still looking for a few good hosts for my book blog tour. See the page on the top right.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Big News!!!

As I prepare to plunge into this year's NaNoWriMo craziness, I have some exciting news to share:

I'm releasing my book, Champion in the Darkness, on February 11th, 2013! See the new page on my blog for news about the release party and the blog tour! I don't have all the details for the release party yet but they will be coming soon. I'm still in need of a few awesome hosts for the blog tour, so please let me know if you're available.

And, if you look at the follower list on the left side . . .I'm at 300!!!
 Celebrations in the blogging world:

Rachel Morgan recently released An A to Z of Creepy Hollow Fae. Congrats Rachel!

Ciara Knight recently released Ascension of Evil, the last book in her fallen angel trilogy, Battle for Souls.

Any news I missed? Are you ready for NaNo? Willing to help out with my release?

My Halloween Hop post will be up on Wednesday.

And . . .M Pax and I will be announcing details for Hobbit Fest on November 2nd . . .so come back Friday and sign up!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Partners in ParaNormYA

The Line We Chose Not to Cross

We want to thank Tyrean for having us here today as we quickly touch on, well, just that. Touching. In YA fiction.

We’re hoping you’ve all had a chance to purchase your e-book of Givin’ Up the Ghost (also available in paperback) or Neverlove. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

Okay, sorry J Couldn’t help it lol! Back to the point.

Our teen characters did what many teens did. They enjoyed the physical attributes of others. They held, hugged or kissed. But that’s about it. Instead of details, hints are shared as to what did or didn’t happen.

This wasn’t always the case with Neverlove. I, at first, had a couple of brief scenes that were a bit more risqué, though far from erotica. A critique partner asked me if the details were necessary. Did they move things forward or were they just to have that gritty approach? I considered it, not long, because I knew the answer. The scenes did not fit the flow of the novel, so I removed them. There was enough grit in the subject matter itself. There was no need to overdo it.

Gwen also removed a steamier scene from Givin’ Up The Ghost when a critique partner suggested it was maybe a little heavy for young adults. Not full-on petting, but body parts leaning pretty heavily into other body parts. A scene that didn’t fit into the “cozy mystery” and “light paranormal” theme.

That’s how both Gwen and I feel about young adult novels and the “touching” matter. It happens. Things go beyond your basic hugs and kisses. Teen pregnancies wouldn’t exist if it didn’t. But we both agree that, for our writing styles, the extra grit didn’t fit. Sorry. That rhyme was so not on purpose lol!

Some teens lead gritty lives. There’s no denying that. They experience things that could make any person angry. And teens do things they aren’t supposed to. Well, I’ll admit I did lol! But it is up to each writer how to handle sharing this, especially in young adult fiction.

Gwen and I chose the grit-lite path for our YA novels. What are your thoughts on physical interactions in YA?

Purchase Angela Brown’s Neverlove at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Amazon FR, and Amazon DE.

Purchase Gwen Gardner’s Givin’ Up The Ghost at Amazon US and Amazon UK.
And there are two giveaways! Visit Partners in ParanormYA for the Big Swag Giveaway and for Week Three Giveaway.

Thanks again, Tyrean!

Gwen Gardner

Neverlove~B&Nsize (1).jpg
Angela Brown.jpg
Angela Brown:

Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Gwen Gardner:

Running, writing and reading are my favorite things.

I am also a dreamer.

Have you ever told yourself that "someday" I'm going to travel or write or whatever it is that you are passionate about but can't do right now for whatever reason? You can go for years and years and keep telling yourself that "someday" you'll do it. Too often "someday" never comes. But mine did. I am a former Administrative Manager and Vice President of a successful swimming pool plastering company - until I woke up one day and realized that my "someday" had arrived. I quit my job, moved to the mountains and began to write. Crazy, I know. But even crazier? Is when you get to the end of your life and realize that your "someday" is too late. Life is much too short for that! So the adventure has begun.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sacrifice Blog Hop and more Tech difficulties

Blogoversary: Sacrifice Book 4 BloghopToday is QueendSheena's one year blogaversary and her Sacrifice Bloghop!!! Congratulations QueendSheena!

As many of you know, I am learning as I go when it comes to blogging. I've made numerous technical errors over the years and I still do . . . sometimes more than one in a week. Yesterday was one of those days, and for some reason while attempting to sign up for this blog hop, I couldn't get the linky list to work for me. I'm not sure why, but this is my unofficial, non-linkied addition to QueendSheena's Sacrifice Blog Hop.

Title: At The Edge (updated at 7:50 a.m. Pacific time)

Summary: Shari, a lonely young girl from the Edge clan, plans to sacrifice herself in the place of her friend. As soon as she jumps from the cliff edge, everything goes wrong. The Night Storms save her, and they begin to teach her their ways. Everything she thought she knew is wrong, and her sacrifice has just begun.

Shari wasn't the chosen one. She didn't have to be at the cliffs at dawn. Not like her best friend Kyrie did. But she couldn't let Kyrie die. Kyrie had a family, and a boyfriend. Vibrant, and full of hope, Kyrie had held up their village during the Longest Night when the Night Storms had taken half of their cattle and some of their strongest warriors.

Shari didn't have anything to lose, and she wouldn't be missed by anyone, other than Kyrie. That's why she had to break the law, and sacrifice herself before Kryie could reach the cliffs.

She had snuck out of the orphan house in the middle of the night, dressed warmly against the freeze, and crept her way through the silent village streets. Skirting around the Protectors had been easier than she expected, but she supposed that they were meant to keep the Night Storms out, not keep people in.

At the cliffs she waited until the earliest streaks of light stretched across the sky. She could hear the official procession coming through the village, and she knew she had to time this just right. They had to see her jump, so they would know that the sacrifice had been made. Kyrie would be safe then.

When the procession drew nearer, Shari could just make out the faces of those in the front line. The village headman, chief of the Edge Clan, Ghanto Trevayn, had a wrinkled brow, and a sour tilt to his mouth. Leaning heavily on his staff, he kept glancing at Kyrie and the Protectors that walked with them. He didn't look too happy about the choice of sacrifice either. No one could be, except perhaps, the Protectors. The Protector's faces were almost identical and without expression. They were taller than the Edge clan by at least an arm length in height, and their black armor melded into the darkness so that their faces appeared to float in the dimness.

Kryie held the red hood of the Sacrifice robe over her head, but Shari could just see the firm set of her lips, and the tightness in her cheeks.

They had come close enough, Shari realized. She stepped out of her hiding place by the jumble of rocks by the Sacrifice platform. Her heart pounded wildly in her chest, and her mouth was dry. Somehow, she manged to croak out her final words. 

"This Sacrifice is not needed. I volunteer as Sacrifice in her place."

They didn't appear to hear her.

So, she sucked in air, and shouted out, "This Sacrifice is not needed. I volunteer as Sacrifice in her place."

The procession stopped.

Kyrie whipped off her hood, and cried, "No."

The Protectors stepped forward, pulling their bows off their shoulders.

She didn't have time to say goodbye.

Shari turned on her heel, and leapt out into the rays of dawn that lit up the canyon below her.

She screamed, and flailed in the emptiness, feeling the wind pressing up all around her.

Suddenly, a dark shape flew beneath her, and she landed in a heap on the back of Night Storm.

She wanted to push it away, and push herself off into the abyss, but she found herself clutching at its feathers.

"Stay still, girl, your sacrifice has just begun," whistled its voice.

Ok, now that I wrote that (just now), I want to write that story out myself . . .hmm. So if I don't win the blog hop, I'm ok with that. BTW the Night Storms are giant owl-people hybrids.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I've been so excited about hosting Partners in ParanormYA on my blog, that I mistakenly thought it was for today . . .


I even posted the guest post today for about two minutes!


And I don't have my Hobbit Fest release info ready yet.


Please check back tomorrow and Friday when hopefully I'll have figured out all my tech/brain/writer difficulties.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Book You Really Want to Read/Write

"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

I found this awesome quote the other day and just had to share it. This quote points to one of the reasons I write. I imagine a story . . .and guess what? No one else has written it yet. So I have to write it out myself. I enjoy writing rough drafts  because I love imagining my way through the story with a basic plot line by my side.

So, here I am trying to fix the last problems in Champion, but totally distracted by another idea (remember I enjoy rough drafts), and I decided to sign up for NaNoWriMo, which is kind of crazy.

I am going to finish polishing my very last draft of Champion in the Darkness by December. (I had an 8 chapter day on Saturday, and I'm looking forward to another one of those next weekend, so I think I have a chance of getting it done.) I'm also going to write the first draft of The Identity of Captain Wrath. Somehow in November, I'm going to work on both. I may not win NaNo this year, and I'm not really worried about it. (Ok, there's a part of me that wants to win everything, but mostly I'm not worried about it.)

So, anyone else up for NaNo this year?
Have you ever looked for the book of your dreams and decided that you just need to write it?

And are you ready for the Partners in ParanormYA guest post this Wednesday? 


Tara signed a contract for her novel, Pop Travel! Congrats Tara!

Friday, October 19, 2012

News, a Question, and Some Writing Prompts

There's a lot going on in the blog world these days. I can't keep track of it all, can you?

Next week I'll be hosting the Partners in ParanormYA, and I'll be participating in Queendsheena's Sacrifice Blog Hop.
Then I'm joining in on the fun of Jeremy Bates' Halloween Blog Hop.

In November, I'll be participating in I'm Thankful For My Readersblog hop.

And I'm sure there's more in November that I'm probably misplacing/forgetting. Help, anyone?

In December I'll be co-hosting a Hobbit Fest with M Pax. In the next few weeks there will be a button reveal and linky list!

Oh, and you can find an "writer" page for me now on Facebook.

A Question (or two):
So, I'm polishing the last draft of Champion in the Darkness, and I'm taking time each day to learn more about self-pubbing with Kobo, Lulu, Smashwords, and Createspace. Plus, I have some random short stories and poetry already written, just taking up space on my laptop.
Would it be better to focus completely on getting Champion in the Darkness ready for a early 2013 release, or would it be better to put out a "Short Stuff" collection of short works first and then release Champion?

Oh, and I have one other question, which date would be better for a book release: New Year's Day,  or President's Day?

Writing prompts can be a much needed warm-up for fiction or poetry writing, or a place to find ideas in the midst of a free-for-all moment on a page. I find them helpful for my writing, and I hope you do too.

Writing Prompts:

1. A ticking clock

2. The roar of an engine

3. The smell of cinnamon and apples

4. A row of tiny figurines on her shelf

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Guest Laurel Garver, and Did I Notice Your Book?

As you may have guess I accidentally double-booked, but I think the more encouragement, the better, right?

First I would like to give a warm welcome to Laurel Garver with her guest post, "Why Dads matter"!

Why Dads matter


My novel NEVER GONE is about a teen girl grieving the death of her father. As I was writing it, I discovered there haven’t been many YA books that focus on loss of a parent, aside from The Truth About Forever and Cures for Heartbreak. I suppose that’s because of the tendency to focus on peer relationships in the teen years, so sibling death stories like Losing Faith and The Sky is Everywhere are more the norm.


But as painful as it is to lose a sibling, losing a parent is far more world changing. The family’s income is cut in half, or lost entirely, which might require major transitions like moving or a career change for the living parent. College might suddenly become out of reach financially. As much as teens struggle to develop an individual identity, they still rely on parents for most of life’s necessities. They also receive a lion’s share of emotional support from parents.


I was especially interested in exploring the father-daughter dynamic because girls first learn how to relate to boys from interacting with their dads. As much as the overprotective dad who scrutinizes boyfriends is the butt of jokes, especially in TV sit-coms, it’s a natural and normal phenomenon for dads to protect their daughters from predators. Despite the eye-rolling, daughters know they’re valued when their dads don’t let just any guy get close to them. In healthy families, girls will start to look at potential partners through Dad’s eyes and pick up red flags. A girl who has a close bond with her dad is far less likely to seek sexual intimacy too young, or stay in abusive relationships.


In NEVER GONE, Dani has lost her protector to death. So naturally, she struggles with a new sense of vulnerability and must find ways to be savvy about guys without Dad’s direct intervention. Her interactions with most of the male characters in the story are charged by this dynamic. There are both protectors and predators all around her, and at times she mistakes one for the other. Her ability to see correctly doesn’t come until she grasps the love and protection of God, her eternal Father, the true and ultimate protector of her life.


Laurel Garver is a magazine editor, published poet and author of NEVER GONE, a novel for teens about grief and faith. An indie film enthusiast and incurable Anglophile, she enjoys playing word games, perfecting her backstroke, and working with her church youth group. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.


About Never Gone:

Days after her father’s death, fifteen-year-old Dani Deane begins seeing him all around New York — wading through discarded sketches in her room, roaming the halls at church, socializing at his post-funeral reception. Is grief making her crazy? Or could her dad really be lingering between this world and the next, trying to contact her?


Dani desperately longs for his help. Without him keeping the peace, Dani’s relationship with her mother is deteriorating fast. Soon Mum ships her off to rural England with Dad’s relatives for a visit that Dani fears will become a permanent stay. But she won’t let her arty, urban life slip away without a fight, especially when daily phone calls with her lab partner Theo become her lifeline.


To find her way home, Dani must somehow reconnect with Mum. But as she seeks advice from relatives and insights from old letters, she uncovers family secrets that shake her to the core. Convinced that Dad’s ghost alone can help her, she sets out on a dangerous journey to contact him one last time.

Thank you Laurel!!!
You can view the book trailer on YouTube.
Add it on Goodreads
The e-book is available at, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, KoboSmashwords
The paperback is available at CreateSpace, Amazon

And now for those of you encouraging bloggers involved in Did I Notice Your Book? Blogfest

(I hope you noticed Laurel's book, because I did, but I'm also going to spread some of the love around.)

One book I noticed earlier this year that keeps sticking with me, so I plan to re-read it again soon is:

Rising Book 1: ResistanceResistance by Laura Josephson! This is a fun, fantasy adventure that had some unexpected twists and turns, and loveable characters. Thank you Laura for a great read!
Official blurb: All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king.

Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse's urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die.

And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon.

Again, Many Thanks to Laurel for her awesome guest post!

Monday, October 15, 2012

What's in a Name?

"The poet cannot invent new words every time, of course. He uses the words of the tribe. But the handling of the word, the accent, a new articulation, renew them."

Ok, I admit I didn't know who Eugene Ionesco was when I first read this quote. I did a quick search and learned a little about him. I'm not sure if I would like his writing or not, but I still like this quote.


Well, I'm a little stuck with a little problem. I decided I needed to change the name of my villainess form the incomprensible and unkliked name "Sihrqayya" to "Kalidess."

Then I decided to check out the meanings of my other character's names . . .you know just to make certain they were good (to procrastinate and waste time).

I found out that Dantor is the name of a Haitian Voodoo goddess. Hmm. A bit of a problem there for me.

Dantor in my story is Clara's teacher, mentor, advisor. He's a guy with integrity and strength. He's the source of romance for my secondary mc, Stelia (Clara's unofficial mentor). I really like his name. I feel like it suits him.

However, if anyone does an internet search and looks up his name's meaning . . .well, dude looks like a lady is the first thing that comes to my quirky mind.

So, what do I do? Do I change Dantor's name to something like Dan or Torren?

Do I just keep it and try to reinvent and renew that name for my book?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Writing Prompts, Pt. 3

Writing prompts can be fun, they can start a poem, or a fiction piece, or a song. Or they might take us on a short writing journey that doesn't seem to have a point . . . but they help us get words on a blank page, and then that bit of writing helps us get into our "other" writing, our "real" writing.

Sometimes, I use writing prompts as writing warm-ups when I'm stuck in my fiction or poetry writing, and after I'm warmed up and stretched out, I find my fiction and poetry a little easier to tackle.

Writing prompts for today:

1. Singing my soul with his words

2. The long stretch

3. Engines rumbling deep underneath our seats

4. The crack of the starting pistol

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Celebrate This?

Hi everyone,
I'ts late, and I haven't got my celebrate this post ready . . .yet. 

Life has been . . . well, life, full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and roaring faster than the fastest roller coaster.

I know there are lots of things to celebrate, published authors, new books, contests, fests, etc.

But today I got sidetracked by a post today at the Caring Bridge website, for a girl named Jessica, a daughter of one of our friends.

She's an eight year old girl that's undergone many major surgeries, who's recovering from her most recent surgery and anticipating the next one in November. In her next surgery, her spine will be fused and she will no longer be able to grow. It's the only option the doctors have left to help her, unless she wants to stay in halo traction for the rest of her life. Three surgeons from around the country (US) will be working on her that day. It's a month away, but it's weighing over her and her family.

Her family is amazing. Her dad travels for his job, but he tries to be at the hospital at least two-three days a week. Her mom quit her job to live with Jessica in the hospital full time. Last year, when they underwent a similar surgery, her brother lived at home with his grandma. This year, he's staying with his Aunt just a few miles away from the hospital, so he can do all his school lessons home study style with his mom, and be close to his sister each day.

Her brother interviewed her today about hospital life . . .and although I think the answers are pretty positive, they made me cry.

Here's a sample from their interview:

What are you going to do when you get out of the hospital?
Probably go home and recover. Maybe about a month and a half? I think I'll probably go back to school maybe in the middle or towards the end of December. When I'm healed, I'd like to go on vacation. I want to go to a place where they have bunches of rides but they also have a beach where you can play on the sand. I hope I'll be taller. Maybe 41 inches. Maybe 43 inches.

So, today, I guess I'm celebrating a family that is sticking together through a tough time, and looking forward to a future that will hopefully include some sand and bunches of rides.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quotes on Writing, Faith and sometimes Life 2

"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again."
Oscar Wilde

"Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy."
Psalm 28:6

In the midst of polishing Champion in the Darkness, I totally get the Wilde quote. It's something I've done before with my poetry, and now . . .I'm experiencing it on the next level with my novel. (except I'm tempted to take out a chapter and then put it back).

Hope your writing week goes awesome!!!!

See you around the blogsphere!

Celebrate This!

Partners in ParanormYA are celebrating their joint book releases today!!! Go Angela and Gwen!
Be sure to check out their site for cool release news, and find out more about their books, Neverlove and Giving Up the Ghost.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Writing Prompts

Between computer glitches, network miscommunications (my laptop didn't speak to our household connection for 36 hours), and desire to burrow deep into my novel revisions, my blogging has been a bit hectic. I am hoping today that I can get some uninterrupted blog-visit time.

Friday Writing Prompts:

1. The green, green grass

2. Where the road might take you (or your character)

3. The charm bracelet

4. An unexpected visitor

Go, write, enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

IWSG - Can a scatter-brained writer find success?

Can a scatter-brained writer find success?

This is a question that haunts me on a regular basis, and hits me hard if I have any other doubts going on. (so, pretty much all the time)

Can I concentrate on a project long enough to bring it to a fully polished finish that is saleable?

I hope so. I'm trying. Champion in the Darkness is slowly coming to life.

But I have all these other ideas popping up constantly, plus several other projects waiting in the wings like:
On One Wing (crummy working title) - the sequel to Champion in the Darkness. It's in rough draft form and waiting for second draft status.
Refined by Fire - third book in the Champion series. It's only in outline/scraps of idea form.
The Identity of Captain Wrath, the novel - a wacky space opera scifi that makes me laugh to myself during the day so that other people at the grocery store give me a wide berth. It's fully outlined, and has several short story and vignettes written for it already. Can you say I think about this book every single day even when I'm trying to concentrate on my main project and it's driving me nuts?
The Great Glory - a novel about Duke Wenceslas (like King Wenceslas from the Christmas song but more based on his real life in early 900a.d.) - this is a 1/4 written mess, with notes that I write out from different resources randomly (like just last week at the library).
Chameleon - a shapeshifter story that I started filling out with an outline . . . currently on hold, but I still daydream about it now and then.

Plus, a myriad of other short story and poem ideas . . .

Oh, and that old story, War, Inc. (written before the poorly done movie, and after the original video game (between 1998 and 2001)) - it's scifi novel that was written over the course of three years, and had several messy 2nd draft starts that I never finished. If I unearth that one from it's storage space in my closet, I'll need a new title, and a lot of determination. However, I still love the characters and I miss them like old friends now and then. (more crazy writer talk)

So, can a scatter-brained writer find success? What do you think?

So far, this post by Angie at Notes from the Writing Chair helped cheer me up: One Thing at a Time (Or Not)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Quotes on Writing, Faith, and sometimes Life

"If you don't allow yourself the possibility of writing something very, very bad, it would be hard to write something very good."
Steven Galloway

"The Lord is my light and my salvation ---
Whom shall I fear?"
Psalm 21:1

Currently, I've got my nose in my novel . . .trying to turn the writing that's very, very bad into something good. See you around the blogsphere!