Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Passing It On

Hello everyone, sorry about the missing post yesterday. My family and I didn’t get back until late Monday, and until I got to the Adirondacks, I was still planning on posting in the morning. Until I found out there was zero service in the mountains. That started out being really annoying. But as the weekend went on, it ended up being my favorite part; the unavailability of it all, there’s something refreshing about that.

But not today, or this week; you see this week I’ll be working on something long overdue. So many of you were very kind to me by giving me awards over A to Z. I was so wrapped up in the day to day of it that I didn’t stop to thank you or acknowledge them, and for that I am truly sorry. I kept telling myself I’d do it later when the dust settled. And now it is the end of July. So beginning this week, today, I’m going to do what I should’ve done months ago.

This award wasn’t from A to Z, but it is from a blogger I began following from that crazy, widow maker month. And it’s only for us girls, so I’m apologizing ahead of time to you guys out there that I love to follow.

Many thanks goes out Bish Denham at http://bish-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/  who nominated my blog for this lovely award. Now comes the hard part- who to pass it on to? With so many wonderful woman bloggers out there, this is really a tough one, but here goes:

1.      Spunk on a Stick at  http://circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com/  Her blog has wonderful advice for those of us who are “marketing-challenged”.

2.      Talynn at http://inkinthebook.blogspot.com/  She is always hosting various workshops that are very helpful for both the newbie or more experienced writer.

3.      Jaybird at http://jabirdsnest.blogspot.com/ I love this woman’s blog. Her personality just blows me away.

4.      Jennifer at http://acreativeexcercise.blogspot.com Jen is fun and witty and real.

5.      Dani at http://danibertrand.blogspot.com/ Dani? What can I say? She is delightful. And she works harder at this blogging thing than almost anyone else I know. She co-hosts 2 weekly bloghops and I’m pretty sure I’ve participated in others that her name is attached to.

6.      Dana at  http://dana-thedailydose.blogspot.com/ Dana is always showing these amazing videos of artists and musicians and sometimes just people doing some pretty amazing things.

7.      Brianna at http://faithlaces.blogspot.com This woman is amazing. She’s a runner who posted her progress throughout her pregnancy. Yes she still ran, like marathon lengths. In the summer. She’s had the baby now and is still going strong. Brianna, you are my hero.

8.      Rachelle at http://www.rachellegardner.com/  Rachelle is a literary agent who gives wonderful advice to anyone trying to break into the writing world.

9.      Cindy at http://cynthiadwyer.com This woman is hilarious; I highly recommend checking out her site.

10. Mary at http://mpaxauthor.com/ I started following Mary during A to Z when I read some slivers of her stories and fell in love with her writing style. I have since read a few of her books and she continues to amaze me.

11. Elise at http://elisefallson.blogspot.com  I stumbled across this blog some time ago and am so glad I did. Elise is so charming.

12. Susan at http://susangourley.blogspot.com I find Susan very relatable; probably because her to-do list always seems to mirror mine.
I could go on and on, but they cut me off at twelve. If you see your name here, that means you’re it. You get to pass on the love.


*Don’t forget to sign up for the blogfest I’m hosting in September!

Friday, July 26, 2013


Today I’m doing a review of the book CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh. I, know, I know, I did CassaStar for my last review, but like I said two weeks ago, this was a series I really got into, so of course I wanted to read the next book right away.

So far, these books are changing my perception about a lot of things. I thought I didn’t like Space Operas, but it turns out I was wrong. I thought I had to have a little bit of romance to enjoy a book, but with CassaStar, Cavanaugh showed me it wasn’t really romance I was going for, it was relationships. That’s where I think Alex shines; in his ability to portray real, raw relationships, and CassaFire was no exception.

Pardon me for a second for another side note before I finally get into the review of the actual book. One of my pet peeves with books is when we get huge back story with the subsequent books in a series. In my opinion, these should not be stand-alone books, if people want back story, they should take the time and read the first book. Anyways, enough of my rant, but I bring it up here because that was another thing that amazed me about Alex’s writing style. He fit in the back story so seamlessly that it never felt like a bunch of information dump in the first few pages. These are truly individual books, but with a common character we know and love. Someday I have to ask him how he did that. Anyways, on to my review:

Here we find Byron alone and relatively content with his life. He’s settled into his career choice of exploration with ease and thinks that’s enough. Until…He meets his match. Like I said, Cavanaugh does relationships really well, and this time we get to see some of that romance I crave. If you like steamy fifty shades type of stuff, then this isn’t for you, but if you want wonderfully written, authentic, and real, then I highly recommend you get this book. Now. Today.

Thank you Alex, you have me pacing around my house, anxiously waiting for CassaStorm to come out.


This week I’m Celebrating the Small things because I got some much needed alone time this week. My two oldest girls were at camp and my mother-in-law was kind enough to take unit #3 overnight so my husband and I could get together with some old friends and actually be able to have a conversation. And then the next day, I woke up when I wanted to, not when #3 thought I wanted to. It’s funny I still got up the same time, but it felt different because it was on my terms. Then I went for a run an made myself a pot of tea that I got to drink all myself, and spent the morning writing in total silence. There was no every five minute interruptions. Now, I love my kids with a passion, but sometimes quiet is good. And today, in about five minutes we’re leaving for the Adirondacks, this time with the kids. So the small things this week have been rather wonderful.


The topic for Express Yourself this week is: What is the most satisfying/frustrating thing about being a writer? The slowness is probably the most frustrating. Everything takes forever. The most satisfying is when people read my books and fall in love with my characters- that’s what it’s all about.

Don’t’ forget I’m having a blogfest September 2- click on the link below for more information.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Red, White and Blue Makes Purple Blogfest Announcement!

Okay! Here it is. I will be hosting a blogfest/contest on September 2, 2013. Why so much time? For you to write a fabulous story of course! All the stories entered will be complied into an anthology ebook that will be available on Kindle- all proceeds to go to Operation Purple, a great organization that sends children of our military to summer camp, free of charge.  And if that's not incentive enough, this is also a contest. One randomly chosen entry will win a $50.00 amazon gift card, as well as a signed copy of my book, The Newstead Project.

I'm not going to be picking the winner based on the story- too hard for me to choose! Instead I'll be using a tally system. The more tallies you get, the more chances you have to win.

Here's how it works:

1. Sign up on the Linky below to enter - 1 tally with your name on it goes in a hat. Yes, a literal hat.
2. Post a short story of 500 words or less on your site on September 2, 2013, with a military theme, good for 10 tallies
3. Post about this blogfest/contest on your blog sometime in the next week. - 1 tally
4. On September 2, visit those who have posted stories and leave a comment on their sites- 1 tally
5. On September 2, mention this blog- 1 tally

So there it is! You don't even have to write a story to enter, although that would be helpful,  since it would be great to send some kids to camp next summer.

*The stories entered will remain the writer's property, but by entering this contest, the writer allows this site to publish entry into an anthology for the purpose of publication, with all proceeds to go to Camp Pioneer, an Operation Purple Camp.

**Sorry about not posting for Waiting on Wednesday. I will be starting that next week.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Happy Monday everyone! This is going to be an exciting week; first off I’m racing through Alex Cavanaugh’s second book in his trilogy: CassaFire. Come back on Friday for the review. On Wednesday, I’ll be making an announcement about a certain blogfest I’ll be having early this September.  And of course, there will be the weekly Express Yourself and Celebrate the Small Things updates on Friday as well. I just signed up for What’s up Wednesdays, which will also be a weekly post. You can find the link to the right if you want to participate. On a personal note, I’ve been looking forward to this week for a while, because our family is heading to the Adirondacks this weekend for some back to nature time. I plan on teaching my seven year old to fish; she has her Barbie fishing pole all set. I can’t wait.

Any big plans this week with all of you?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Celebrate...New Addictions...Expressions

Today I’m celebrating the small stuff by celebrating all of you.

As I got feedback on my blogfest idea and then later, when I went to visit all of you, I realized how truly blessed I am to have each and every one of you. You make me smile just when I need it the most. Thank you.

 Another small thing to celebrate this week is I finally got together with my personal trainer this week and she’s whipping me back into shape, which is a good thing because my Aunt Jen and I are planning on running a few 5ks later this summer (waves hi).

 Also I found my latest addiction. Have any of you ever heard of travelzoo.com? It’s incredible. Basically it’s a travel site unlike any I’ve ever seen before. You punch in your email address and once a week they scour the internet for the best travel deals out there and email you the top twenty. I know, I know, no big whoop. But I’m telling you; I’m hooked. The deals range from say a safari in Africa to a dinner cruise around NYC. I’m not too far from Ohio, so I just bought a weekend away at a four star hotel for $260. Normally it would have been $480, and on top of that, they threw in a $100.00 dinner voucher. I’m planning on kidnapping my husband for his birthday- so mums the word for anyone who knows him J.

How about you- what are you celebrating this week?
The theme for express yourselves this week is What's the biggest challenge do I face socially?
I'm not shy, I usually do okay talking to people, but I also prefer to be alone. And the more time I seem to spend alone, the less I seem to be okay talking with people- does that make sense to anybody but me? I guess being social is something that can get rusty if not used often enough.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Advice Anyone?

Hello everyone; my weekend was the same as a lot of yours, I’d imagine; hot and hectic. It’s funny, I work out of the home less than I ever have in my life and yet I’m busier than ever. Ironic.

Work on the third book of my trilogy is going slow, but at least it’s going. I don’t know how all of you write, but for me it’s a tedious process of going over the story again and again, each time adding maybe a new scene, or a different mood. Several months and even more revisions later, I have my story. Sometimes it gets frustrating how long it takes, but as long as I see that the story is improving I keep at it.

On another note, I’m thinking about having a blogfest. I’ve never had one before, so I could really use some advice. It’s really just at the beginning stages right now, but I was thinking about making it a short story contest with prizes and then compiling all the stories into one ebook anthology that I would sell on amazon with all the profits going to Operation Purple*. Okay, so maybe I’ve been thinking it over for a while, but I have no idea how to get this thing off the ground.

 How was everyone else’s weekend? Any advice for this newbie in regards to a blogfest?


*Operation Purple is a free summer camp experience for children of veterans.

Friday, July 12, 2013

CassaStar Review

Happy Friday everyone, today I’m doing a review of Alex Cavanaugh’s book, CassaStar.
I’ve been following Alex’s blog for a while, as I’m sure most of you have.  Alex is a natural encourager and on more than one occasion has said just the right words at just the right time to help me keep plugging away. So the big question is - Why didn’t I read his book a long time ago? The answer is simple. I didn’t think I was a fan of space opera, and I wanted to be fair to him. But as time wore on, my little brain piped up: You know you are a Bradbury fan. I nodded. I am. And you read every single one of the Dune books, AND loved them. Another nod; that was true, too. And you’ve read the Space Odyssey books. And saw the movie. Twice. Alright, I finally said. Maybe I do like space opera. Maybe I can read his book and be fair and not judge it just because it’s in a genre I didn’t think I related to.  

Having prepared myself like that, I went in determined to put my prejudice against all things space aside. As it turns out, I didn’t need to be so worried. This book was excellent. I loved everything about it; the pacing, the writing style, the way you got glimpses of the MC, Byron, but never enough to keep you satisfied.

Ever since I finished reading The Hunger Games, I’ve been searching for a series that pulls me in and doesn’t let go. Well, I’ve think I found it.

Alex- all I’ve got to say is you better be a hell of a guitar player, because your writing skills blew me away. J

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Do the thing that scares you blogfest

Today I'm participating in the Do The Thing That Scares You blogfest hosted by Mila Ferrera, author of Spiral. This book sounds amazing. I'm adding it to my TBR pile, so maybe you'll be reading a review of it later on this blog.

Probably the thing that scares me the most is writing. You see, I'm not a writer, never have been. I'm a wife, a mother, a nurse. It's what I went to school for, the nursing part at least. I was content. So why enter this jungle gym full of torture chambers we call the writing world? Why step out on that slippery slope of rejection notices, bad reviews, and every other kind of humbling experiences?

Some days I still ask myself that question.

I love the writing part; the sitting quietly in my room with my characters; nothing scary there. It was when I took the step of letting other people read what I wrote that things turned to the horrifying. Not that people hated it or were mean, or anything, it's just very difficult bearing your soul like that. Because to me that's what writing really is, a revealing of the soul. And it only got worse from there. I actually had to sell myself and my story to other people. I still do. And I still hate it. Part of me wishes I'd kept the story all to myself, to the privacy in my room, but that feels almost cowardly.

So I put myself out there. Every day, each time I have to sit at a signing table and watch people do there best not to make eye contact I feel the rumblings of what I really fear. Not the rejection, or even failure. I fear exposure. But we all know what they say: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Good morning, I hope all of you had a great weekend. We were supposed to get rain every day, but it was kind enough to only come out at night, which worked out great for the impromptu party we had yesterday. It was great: family, grilled seafood, and a pool; never a bad combination. And my daughter got back from Texas early that morning, so what I thought was going to be a rather boring Sunday, ended up being one for the memory books. J
The line-up for this week is “Always do the thing that scares you” blog hop on July the tenth hosted by Justine Dell, and then on Friday I’ll be doing a review of the book CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, as well as the second, CassaFire, so I’ll be ready for when CassaStorm comes out in September.

This week I’m working hard on line edits for the third book in my Newstead Trilogy. It was a lot easier with the first two, but with this last one I need to make sure all the twists are answered and make some kind of sense. It does in my mind, but getting it that way on paper is something different altogether. It’s hard because this is the last one and I don’t want it to end. I’ve grown rather attached to these characters and the idea of not spending several hours together each day makes me sad. Has that ever happened to any of you- the dread that comes as the last few pages are on the horizon?

Friday, July 5, 2013


Hello everyone! Today, I’m doing a review of Milo James Fowler’s Immaterial Evidence.

This is one of those stories that’s hard to put down. First off, the writing is superb. It’s told with a forties style detective vs. mobster voice that I found very appealing. At first I thought that’s what this was, but as the story progressed, I quickly saw that I was wrong. This is futuristic, all the way, with enough paranormal elements to keep even the most extra-ordinary junkies among us fully satisfied. Five stars; ‘nough said


The topic for Express Yourself this week is how we Americans will be celebrating the fourth. As a nurse, unfortunately I was working midnights on the fourth, so that eliminated any firework shows right on the actual holiday. Thankfully for me, the next town over has a show on the third that I caught on the Wednesday night. Other than that, my plans don’t really have much to do with the actual holiday. My brother from Florida is coming into town, so I’ll get to spend time with him, which is always worth celebrating. Other than that, all I’m doing is having a girl’s day out with some friends. I know… completely boring and totally unworthy of a homeschooling mom who should be whooping up any excuse to teach about our country’s amazing beginnings, but that’s just what seems to happen when you throw working and no sleep in there. I promise I’ll do better for Christmas.


And… today I’m doing celebrating small things.

For me, it was probably going to the fireworks. I know to a lot of you that’s probably no big deal, but I haven’t been able to see a show in over six years; part of the hazards of being a nurse who tries to stay at home with her kids as much as possible, which translates into working way to many weekends and holidays. So it was a really cool treat that my neighboring town held them on the third.  

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which makes it ISWG time.
Until you become I writer, I don’t think you realize how close a story really is to the person who wrote it.
It kind of reminds me of a patient I once had. He had a knack for getting under people’s skin; it was something he really worked hard at. He was better with some of us than others, but for some reason, his insults never hit that close to home for me. Until he hit a weak spot in a totally unexpected place.

Here’s how the conversation went:

“Your clothes suck- I bet it only cost you like fifty dollars for the whole outfit.”

Actually, the shirt was a hand-me-down from my friend and the pants I got from Salvation Army, so the number’s probably closer to $2.50. “What I wear is not what is important here,” I answer, totally unaffected. I wear what I like, not what’s expensive.

“And I bet your car sucks, too. Probably still has stock everything.”

“Stock?” I ask.

An eye roll. “You know- from the factory.”

I shrug, not really getting it. Let’s just say my car at the time was several years “from the factory”. Another miss on his part.

Finally he looks at my feet, shaking his head. “Man, those are the ugliest feet I’ve ever seen.”

“Hey!” I yell out before I realize the word is out of my mouth. Until that moment I didn’t realize how sensitive I must be about my feet.

He smiles. Bull’s eye.

Now if he’d started off right away with “I hear you wrote something, it sucks,” he probably would’ve gotten a much more heated reaction much earlier on. I’m so close to what I write, it’s hard to hear stuff like that. I know I have to get over it. As a writer, lots of people will think my work sucks, but right now I have to admit, it still gets to me. It’s my ultimate Bull’s eye.

 What’s yours?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Different Perspectives

Happy July everyone! For our family the summer starts around the first of May, not weather wise, but that’s when we’re done with school for the year, so July feels like our summer is already half over. Last week my family and I went on a mission project to a camp for developmentally disabled adults. We go every year, a bunch of us do, and do work around the camp to help them get ready for the hundreds of people who will be coming later this summer. For them, the summer is just beginning. Isn’t it funny how our perspectives can be totally different?
Which, of course, brings me back to books. (Doesn’t it always?)

My sister, author Emily White, and I are doing a book tour this summer to promote our books. Our first stop was our hometown of Lockport, NY, which we went to this past weekend. It gave the two of us a fair amount of time to talk and catch up, and of course a lot of what we talked about was books. Now if you know Emily’s work, you know she writes mixed genre; fantasy with sci-fi, steam punk with horror. I, on the other hand, love to both read and write paranormal realism. Is that a genre? If not, I guess I just made it one.  We totally disagree on a lot of what’s out there, but we meet in the middle more times than you would expect. Good writing is good writing, no matter what the genre, and we both appreciate authors who write well, just like July is still summer, no matter what your perspective.
This week I’ll be posting on Wednesday for Insecure Writer’s Group, and on Friday, I’ll finally be doing my review of Immaterial Evidence by Milo James Fowler. Somewhere in those two posts, I’ll also be doing my Celebrating the Small things and Express Yourself updates for this week.
Do you read and write in the same genres, and if so, which ones do you prefer?