Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Introducing Jamberry!

This is a non-writing/reading post. :)

I gave in and went to a Jamberry Nail party last week. It was really fun. For those of you that know me well, you know I don't often paint my fingernails because it wears off so fast. And, the few times I've paid for fake nails I was in pain for days with bruised nail beds. It was just too expensive and painful to have pretty nails.

Well, these Jamberry Nails are really easy to do and they last! I've done all my normal stuff--dishes, worked in the garden, gone to the pool--and they still look great. I decided to host my own FB Jamberry Party and YOU are invited! You can also tell your friends and invite them too. You are not under any obligation to buy anything, but I wanted to share this new thing with you, just in case.

Here's the basics--they are vinyls for your nails! They go on in minutes without pain and easily last 2 weeks for a fraction of the cost and time of other manicures.

When you join the event--which starts TODAY, you'll be entered in a raffle for a free half sheet. On the event page you will be able to learn all about Jamberry Nails, what they are, how to apply them, how long they last etc, and we'll play some fun games too. You can order at any time and they are shipped directly to your house.

If you want to learn more or just to take a look, CLICK HERE. You should be able to just join, but if not, friend me and let me know I need to invite you. :)

We will get back to writing related stuff soon! 3 more weeks until school starts!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'm Not Dead

Sorry it's been SOO quiet around here, but I am enjoying the summer with my kids and my mom. She moved in with me at the end of June and we've been job hunting ever since. Next week she will start her new job as a teacher's assistant while she waits for her teaching and administrator license to be switched over to her new state. Over qualified? Just a bit! However, she's excited to try out the new school for a year before taking on more responsibility.

I'm happy for her. She was miserable in her last school and it's been a lot of fun to see her making new friends and sounding happier.

A couple weeks after she goes back (she'll be at a year-round school), my kids will go back. Yay! I'll finally have more peace, quiet and time to concentrate on writing and revising. However, I decided to substitute teach this year so I'm not sure how much more time I'll have to blog. We'll have to wait and see.

The decision was a hard one because last year I accomplished a lot with my writing staying at home. But the truth is my mind has struggled all summer because financially we need "just a bit" more to cover our bills. I hate feeling like we are living paycheck to paycheck. It affects my writing because I'm worrying too much. Hopefully, when I start contributing some cash I'll be able to relax again and hit it hard with my new novel ideas.

I miss the good writing days.

I did have one really good revising week this summer with FADE INTO ME. I just have 50 pages left to comb through with the trickle down changes I made. It will make it so much better! What did I change? I cut out a scene that was almost all backstory. Yeah. Why it was still there is beyond me--no not really. It's hard for me to cut stuff. LOL

My wonderful writer's group helped me finally see it though. The info IS important, just not where it is and definitely not all at once.

So, bottom line--I'm still optimistic about my writing goals and ready to get back to it.

How has your summer been?

Friday, July 11, 2014

An Interview With Me!

Today is the day for two great editors.

First, I'm being interviewed today at Sher A Hart's blog. There's also a giveaway of signed copies of both my books. Hop over and spread the word.

There's also a giveaway going on to celebrate Amie McCracken's new brand launch on Facebook. Amie was my editor for The Magic Wakes.

There will be lots of prizes to win for this one.

The scavenger hunt starts at 9:00am Central European Time Zone (UTC+01:00) So it's happening NOW. Visit Amie McCracken’s Brand Launch event to see the list of stops. Then head to the blog post on Amie’s website and enter the unscrambled word (and one punctuation mark) into the giveaway form for the scavenger hunt. But don't post it anywhere on Facebook! We want everyone to figure it out on their own. No spoilers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#wipfire for Fade Into Me

This week I've been combing through FIM. There have been more form rejections AND more requests to read pages. My goal with this current revision/edit is to take the feedback from the few agents who offered some (as well as my excellent writer's group) and clean it up my manuscript even more.
This Weeks Accomplishments:

  • Broke up a chapter full of backstory (It's important stuff, but I saved it to sprinkle it in at a moment when it will actually cause more tension between Ryanne and Caedan.) 
  • Found and cleaned up several "telling" phrases
  • Cleaned up a few personality slip ups
  • Fell in love with the story all over again
Here are a few of my favorite lines from the novel. #Wipfire on twitter is a neat place to share a line or two you love or get feedback. That's where this idea comes from. Some of them are a bit more than a line. ;)

The colors of the garden danced in the sunlight—shades of red, white, yellow and green jumped from plant to plant, mingling, changing. They wrapped themselves around the sound of buzzing insects and the humming of bird wings. This is what I missed the most when living among the humans—this symbiosis of sight and sound. The collective magical ignorance of the human race compelled the colors to remain motionless. Here they played like joyful children.

Thunder ripped the sky open. The first drops fell lazily—big fat ones that normally would have made me giddy with joy. But not when wearing my most expensive dress. The lazy rain was followed by the shower. It only took three seconds for me to be soaked.

Ever since this human girl walked into my arms, I had been off balance. None of those emotions could be explained by her appearance. She was pretty, but not beautiful. Average in a way, and yet from the moment I saw her I wanted her. Needed her.

His eyes were so deep. Bottomless pools of concern. He hadn't bargained on me being damaged goods. Even if I wanted this life, I would never fit in. Not with these beautiful, perfect people and their swirling colors.

“Then let her go. Losing her memory might be the best thing for you. You've messed this up so bad you need a fresh start if you’re to have any hope." Mother laughed and continued. "I'm surprised she hasn't decked you yet."
"What are you talking about?" I sunk down, head in my hands. Why did women have to be so confusing?

I crumbled at her feet and lay my head on the couch. It smelled like old French fries and dust.

“Ryanne, I know you don’t care for me the way I do about you, but can we start all over?” He looked up at me so intently my stomach fluttered.
He cares about me? Still? I felt lighter than I had in days. Maybe he would stick around. But what if he didn’t? My inner demons snarled and clawed until the butterflies had been shredded.

I skipped a huge section between #6 and 7 because the bits I love are entire scenes, but these 7 come from the first 160 pages. Just because I love them doesn't mean you can't offer critique. Tell me what you think--good or bad!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Prototype by M.D. Waters

From Goodreads:
The stunning debut that began with Archetype— and has readers buzzing—concludes in Prototype, when a woman’s dual pasts lock onto a collision course, threatening her present and future.

Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past—both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues to her parents’ whereabouts within her grasp, she may finally find a place to settle down. Start a new life. Maybe even create new memories with a new family.

But the past rises to haunt her and to make sure there’s nowhere on the planet she can hide. Declan Burke wants his wife back, and with a little manipulation and a lot of reward money, he’s got the entire world on his side. Except for the one man she dreads confronting the most: Noah Tucker.

Emma returns to face what she’s done but finds that the past isn’t the problem. It’s the present—and the future it represents. Noah has moved on and another woman is raising their daughter.

In the shocking conclusion to M.D. Waters’s spectacular debut, Emma battles for her life and her freedom, tearing down walls and ripping off masks to reveal the truth. She’s decided to play their game and prove she isn’t the woman they thought she was. Even if it means she winds up dead. Or worse, reborn.

My Take:
Another excellent novel from M.D. Waters. I fell into Emma's world on page one. It hasn't been too long since I read the first part of the story--Archetype--but I don't think that's why it was so easy to get lost in Waters book. Emma is wonderfully human. She is often confused and scared but has hope that if she keeps moving she will eventually find the peace and happiness she craves.

She makes mistakes, but she's willing to admit that. Because she loves Noah and Adrienne so much she's willing to do anything not to hurt them, even if it means giving them up again. Thank goodness Noah won't stand for that!

This book was hard to read in spots. Why? Because I was so emotionally entrenched that I was afraid to read what was going to happen. As an author I knew what the worst possible thing was that could happen to Emma. I knew that it was coming, but I didn't want it to. Who would be the one to betray Emma and destroy her delicate happiness? I actually put the book down and walked away for a few hours when I got there because I'd been on the edge of my seat so long I needed an emotional break. That's how good it is!

If I had to nit pick for something to complain about it would be the fact Emma doesn't use contractions when she talks. Maybe no one else did either. Maybe it was a clone thing. I don't know, but Emma's dialogue is the only place I found myself noticing that she never spoke in contractions. Other than that, I was completely lost in another person's life.

I give Prototype by M.D. Waters a 5 even though I did put it down, because I fell into her world seamlessly and my emotions were completely engaged. 

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure
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