Friday, December 27, 2013

"Tis More Blessed Giveaway #4

Many thanks to:
awesome giveaway host,
intrepid author,
short story writer,
You are a blessing!
If you've won something from these giveaways, please take a moment to thank Milo! If you've given something away, and felt blessed by these giveaways, please thank Milo!
Previous week's winners for Champion in the Darkness have been: Stephen Ramey, Karen Lange, and Lori Joyce Parker. I hope all of you enjoy the book!
This week, I'm going to do something a little different.
Dragonfold and Other Adventures is up for free on Kindle Select Thursday and Friday. Instead of entering into a giveaway, I invite everyone to go and get a free kindle download. You are all winners!!!
Azami has a gift with origami. Will she master it in time to save herself from bondage? Find out in "Dragonfold."
Joanne lost more than her honor in the war, she lost her will to live. When bandits attack her homestead, will she stand or fall in "Enough to Do?"
And just who is Captain Wrath under that itchy, false wig Find out more in “The Identity of Captain Wrath.”
DRAGONFOLD AND OTHER ADVENTURES includes eleven imaginative stories and six poems. Some of these adventures have been previously published, and others are waiting to be discovered for the first time.
Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

50 States of Pray

Many thanks to Mark Koopmans for hosting this wonderful blog fest! For more details, visit Mark - he's sure to put a smile on your face and inspire you.

This last year has been packed full of life, with first and second book publications, a happy and busy family, work to do, and sadly, two pooches who went to doggie heaven.

My parents, for the first time, realized that they were aging. Some of my friends' parents passed away.

Life seems suddenly too short.

My prayer for the end of 2013 and all of 2014 is this:

 May God expand our moments to the fullest so we may know His joy and peace in all our relationships, and especially in our relationship with Him through his son, Jesus.

Monday, December 16, 2013

'Tis More Blessed, and Celebrating the Small Things a little early

'Tis More Blessed Giveaway continues this week! Check out Milo's page on Friday to find all the prizes! (plus, I'll try to update on Friday)

As with the last few weeks, I'll be giving away a paperback copy of Champion in the Darkness for those who live in the US, and a kindle copy for those who live outside the US. The giveaway ends this week on Friday at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is an awesome weekly blog hop hosted by Viklit! It's on Fridays, but I'm celebrating a little early this week . . . hoping to visit around and chat off and on as the week goes by instead of all on Friday. So, please, comment, and I'll visit around - maybe not the same day but within a week. Hope that's ok. :)

This week, I'm celebrating:
1. Seeing Frozen with my family. Wow! With a few unexpected plot twists, some great songs, and a little laughter, Frozen will melt your heart. :)
2. Last Monday of our homeschool co-op until next year! (yes, I have papers to grade and plans to prep, and I love my students, but I'm thankful for the break)
3. Time for writing. If I'm a little slow on the visiting, it's because I'm writing/revising Champion in Flight. It's time to finish the book before January 3rd. (the day before my husband's birthday, two days before a ski clinic day, and three days before going back to school as a co-op teacher)
4. Christmas! Emmanuel!

Again, I'll be around the blogsphere . . . visiting here and there, but this post, the 50 States of Pray, and one more 'Tis More Blessed giveaway will be wrapping up the year for me with a big red bow. :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

1 Word Interview with Milo James Fowler, 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway #2, and Celebrate the Small Things

Please welcome Milo James Fowler, a man on a mission to have 100 short stories and a novel published by his 40th birthday! With over 80 stories published and a novel out at Every Day Novels, he's well on his way to making his dreams come true. Somehow he does all this, teaches full-time, spends time with his family, and find times to sleep. He's truly an amazing and inspiring writer.
1. What's your current favorite word?
2. In one word, what inspires you?
3. What's one word that describes your writing habits?
4. What's one word that you wish you could get rid of in your writing?
5. What's one word that describes your writing desk?
6. Share the best writing advice/tool/quote that helps you. (please limit to one sentence)
"The worst stuff you write is always better than the best stuff you don't." - Anonymous
7. What's your current project?
I'm deep in the revision trenches with my novel Madame Antic's Hotel Grotesque, and I hope to have it subbed within the next couple months.
To know more about Milo, I encourage you to follow these links:

Immaterial Evidence from Musa Publishing


Amazon page



Milo James Fowler 

Website    Facebook
Amazon    Twitter

Thanks for joining me, Milo! Pugnacious is a fun word just to say, and I love that your desk is portable. Mine is too. :)

In addition to being my guest today, Milo is also the creator and host of the 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway!

Every participant on the following list is giving away a book for at least one Friday in December. Check them out!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And in addition to all that awesomeness, today is Celebrate the Small Things day thanks to Viklit!

This week, I'm celebrating:
1. Getting the Christmas tree up, lit, and decorated.
2. My family is healthy.
3. My daughters are in the Christmas nativity play on Sunday at our church.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

1 Word Interview with Emily Ann Benedict

Today's guest for the 1 Word Interview Challenge was one of my first ever blogging buddies. From her blog, I learned how to blog. From her posts, I learned how to post. She gave me my first award, and I learned how to give awards. She's a small press and indie author and her writing is delightful.  :)

So, without further ado, I give you - Emily Ann Benedict, author of Only Angels are Bulletproof, and two Christmas novellas, The Father Christmas Confessions, and her latest, The Father Christmas Profession.

1 - Current favorite world: Fancy

2 - What inspires me: Art

3 - Describe your writing habits: Crazy

4 - A word to get rid of: That

5 - My writing desk: Mobile

6 - Writing advice: Keep writing, even when you don't want to.

7 - Current project. Christmas

8 - Favorite part of Christmas: Sharing traditions with my loved ones.

To get to know Emily Ann Benedict more, check out her blog, Mystery Writer on a Mission , and her newest novels. I love all three of them, but since it is the season, and they are just so sweet and cozy, I especially recommend her Indie published Father Christmas novellas. They're only 99 cents for Kindle.

 The business of Santa Claus is about to get a new partner.

Felicity never felt like she belonged in the Ogden family, where every man has the power to changes lives between December 1st and 25th. She certainly never thought she would be the right one to train a new Father Christmas, until a mysterious man shows up at her door with all of the family “gifts” but no idea why or how to use them.

She might not want the job, but it is quickly becoming clear that if she doesn’t teach him the art of changing lives fast, lives could be in danger, including her own.

First she just has to convince him there is such a thing as Santa Claus…and that he is one of them.

The Father Christmas Profession

Monday, December 9, 2013

Free Kindle Giveaway of Champion in the Darkness

Just wanted to let everyone know that Champion in the Darkness is free today, and tomorrow on Kindle Select.

And if you can, please review it!
Clara’s ready to become a master swordswoman. When she goes to meet with longtime mentor Dantor, Clara is told she's destined to become the Champion, a fabled hero who arises in a time of need. Confused by this claim, Clara isn't sure she's ready to be a Champion.
Whether Clara is ready or not, the evil Kalidess has wormed her way into Septily's court.
Clara is aided by another mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness. 
Champion in the Darkness is YA Christian Fantasy, and is the first book in the Champion Trilogy.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tis more Blessed and Celebrate the Small Things

Milo James Fowler is hosting the 'Tis More Blessed Giveaway for the month of December. It's awesome!
Champion in the Darkness is up for grabs today, along with many others!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Viklist hosts Celebrate the Small Things, and I'm thankful for her continued enthusiasm for celebrations!

This week I'm celebrating:
1. Continuing revisions on Champion in Flight.
2. Reading (even when I should have been doing something else).
3. The beginning of advent. Time for candles and Christmas music. :)
4. IWSG, Dream Destinations, and 'Tis More Blessed.

Dream Destinations Blog Hop

Hosted by Lexa Cain and Julie Flanders, the Dream Destination blog Hop invites us all to take a moment and dream of exotic destinations, and celebrate the latest book releases for Lexa and Julie!

In addition to the celebration fun, there's a giveaway too, with 19 prizes offered! Just visit Lexa and Julie's blogs to sign up for the giveaway!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Beaches of Hawaii? Slopes of Vail? Cancun, Paris, or Rome?
Where is your Dream Destination?
It's so hard to choose just one place. I love Hawai'i, Paris, London, and the Florida Keys. I love beaches and history, waves and sight-seeing. However, since the advent of the ski season is upon us, I am going to go with Whistler, B.C., Canada.

Skiing and boarding down sculpted slopes with breath-taking vistas at Whistler and Black Comb mountains, my family and I have enjoyed some of the longest ski and boarding runs in the world. It's one of my dream vacations, and it's even better because it's a dream that has come true more than once. My in-laws have generously given all of their children and grand-children stays in Whistler Village, and we love it. Sometimes we've managed to get up to 24 family members skiing and boarding together on the same runs. My brother-in-law with MS, who is unable to move from the neck down, has even been able to enjoy the runs with us in a special ski tour chair (chair on skis with a guide steering it on the back).
Skiing and boarding at Whistler is awesome because there is a huge variety of terrain, from easy to extreme, with snow parks for those who like to do tricks, and natural mini-cliff sides like this one.  

(My husband is waiting to video our daughter's attempt to jump over this mini-cliff - don't worry, they made it more gracefully than I did. I slowed down and just edged and slipped over the face of it.)
And one of the reasons I love skiing and boarding with our whole family is that we all enjoy being with each other on the slopes. We don't have any skier vs. boarder feuds (this actually happens between people), and we are all free to enjoy the mountain to the best of our abilities on whatever equipment we like, even short skis like mine.
(technically, snow blades or snow skates, no poles needed or wanted)
Ok, now I'm really excited to strap those on and head to our local, smaller slopes. :)
Thank you, Lexa and Julie, for this fun fest! And best wishes on your new releases, Ghosts of Aquinnah and Soul Cutter!
What's your dream vacation?
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IWSG: Silver Linings (not the playbook)

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Started by no-hyperlink-needed Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, IWSG has grown from monthly blog hop to website and facebook page! I'm expecting a IWSG app for my phone any day now. Just kidding :)

IWSG has buoyed me up like a life raft in stormy writing waters, and I am thankful for Alex, for all the people who help with the website and facebook page, and all the writers who are willing to give encouragement and bare their insecurities.

Silver Linings

I had a moment's hesitation when I finally sat down to write this post. I had the post idea and the title in my head for a few weeks, and then realized, "oh no, that's the name of a movie I haven't even seen and it's really popular, and people will expect references to the movie, and . . ." I basically had an insecurity meltdown over the post title, and then decided that since I came up with the idea without thinking about the movie, and I still liked the idea, I was going to stick with it.

And that's what this post is about: sticking with it, even when the clouds are a bit dark and insecurities are biting at our heels like giant beady-eyed rats. (sorry to those of you who keep rats as pets, but I'm not fond of them)

My writing life has been haphazard lately. I've been writing in hops and leaps, with some small sprints in the middle, followed by some worry walks and pencil chewing. Why? Because I am terrified that my second novel is "suckier" than the first, and I want it to be "better."

That's my murky cloud.

My silver linings are:

IWSG on facebook. I admit it. I'm a facebook addict on random days. One day, on facebook's IWSG page, I found another author bemoaning the same murky cloud that I'm sitting under: that fear that the second book just isn't measuring up to the first. And I commiserated with her. And then I felt better. The silver lining came from a shared determination to conquer the fear and get back to writing!

Super sweet readers. I have some really sweet readers. This last month, I received two letters from readers who love my books. Some of the students I teach at my homeschool co-op are also some of my readers, and in the last month, I've been asked several times about my sequel. (this is, in part, terrifying, because it isn't finished yet, but mostly it's super sweet and encouraging)

So, if you are under a dark, murky cloud, and have insecurities biting at your heels, I highly encourage you to look for the silver linings. Hang onto them, stick with it, and keep writing!

What are your silver linings?