Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Neither Seen Nor Heard

I'm afraid I won't be around much in the next few weeks. (Although I am doing the Joy Bloghop on Friday, but that's just too fun to pass up!) I coach high school speech, (actually it's grades 7-12,) and this is our busy season.

We host a meet at our little school this Saturday and it's one of the biggest meets in the area. A lot of work goes into it. Thankfully we have a lot of help from our awesome students. Then we'll be getting ready for Sub-sections, Sections, and hopefully State!

So please forgive me if I'm not out reading and commenting as much as I'd like to be. I haven't forgotten about you all! And I will hopefully be around again soon. Thanks everybody!

Friday, February 22, 2013

CassaStorm Cover Reveal

Another cover reveal today! (I love cover reveals.) :) This time it's the third book in the CassaStar series, CassaStorm, by Alex J. Cavanaugh. 
Isn't it awesome?! I would expect nothing less from the amazing Alex. :)
A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…
CassaStorm releases on September 17 of this year. I can't wait to get my copy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

That Sadie Thing, Cover Reveal

I am thrilled to be participating in Annalisa Crawford's cover reveal for That Sadie Thing.
The cover looks amazing and the stories sound wonderful, too.
I loved Annalisa's novella, Cat and the Dreamer, and
I am very excited to read this collection of short stories.

A couple break up on a rainy night; a runaway longs to go home; a woman finds comfort from eating lunch as her best friend lies in hospital; a teenager feels oppressed by her father. All of the characters in these stories are trying to find their place in the world, attempting to find connections that matter with the people around them.

This collection brings together prize-winning and published stories from the past twenty years: the ‘greatest hits’.

That Sadie Thing and other stories will be available on
Kindle on Monday, February 25th 2013.

Annalisa Crawford lives and writes in Cornwall with a good supply of beaches and moorland to keep her inspired. She finds endless possibilities in the relationships between people. As this collection testifies, she has been writing for twenty years - but doesn't feel a day over twenty-one.

Find her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Level Up! Blogfest

Level Up BlogfestBig thanks to Allison and Jamie, who are hosting the Level Up! Blogfest today! They said, "Games are an important part of living; otherwise life would be boring as hell." So they're having a blogfest all about games. How fun is that?

One of my favorite games at family functions was Taboo. My sisters and I would play against our cousins and we would always win. :) For those who aren't familiar with the game, basically you need to get the other person to guess what is on your card, but there is also a list of words you aren't allowed to say. So, for example, if you had Minnie Mouse you probably wouldn't be able to use the words cartoon, Disney, Mickey, etc.
The reason my sisters and I always won is because we were close enough, and had enough shared stories, that we could easily get the other person to figure it out using some stream of 'hey, remember that time.'

Another favorite game was played at our barn Christmas parties. I show Arabians and when I was younger there was always a big Christmas party at the barn, with the horses. :) One game we played was bobbing for apples, or carrots, but it was the horses who'd bob.
Apples float, but carrots sink. My horse, Beatle, being a bit of a pig and rather clever, figured out that if he just blew water out his nose he could dive for the carrots and get them very quickly! He was the bobbing for carrots Champion every year!

How about you? What are your favorite games?

Oh, and check out this great interview at USA today with my fellow Swoon Romance author, Stephanie Wardrop where she compares Elizabeth Bennet and Liz Lemon. :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sharing Stories

I don't have anything overly relevant to share today, but I feel like I haven't been around much lately. Life's been busy, good busy, but busy. :) (Yesterday was my nine year anniversary.)

So today I thought I'd share a couple fun stories about my two oldest kids. One of them even has to do with writing. :)

(not this one) Two days ago when my six-year-old son came home from school my husband noticed his pants didn't quite look right. He asked him to lift his shirt so he could see and, sure enough, they were on backwards. Before my husband could say anything my son, Johnny, said, "I know, Dad, I'm not switching them back."
Luke asked, "How long have they been like that?"
"Since this morning."
"Didn't anyone notice?"
"Everyone noticed. I don't want to switch them. I like them like this." He then proceed to explain that with the back pockets in front he had more room to put his stuff. You see, wearing your pants backward is really so much better.
This is so Johnny. He knows everything. I have no doubt that putting his pants on backward was not intentional but when it was pointed out, rather than be embarrassed, he decided 'he meant to do that.'

Johnny and Elizabeth

My next story is about Elizabeth, who is eight. A few weeks ago we had a couple snow days in a row and I pulled out three little white books for my oldest kids to draw and write in. Elizabeth was very excited to write a story. She thought and thought, started up a rough draft in another notebook, then asked me a question.
"Mom, is it still a story if it doesn't have a problem?"
I didn't know how to answer. For one, I wanted her to write whatever she wanted. Also, technically yes, it's still a story, just a boring one. But I thought it was such a good question, I wanted to give her a good answer.
Anyone who has ever written a picture book knows this is one beginner mistake that we are always warned against. Happy little animals having a happy little day is sweet, but not a story.
So she and I brainstormed and came up with a solution to her 'no-problem' problem.
I was very proud. :)

Oh, and I just wanted to share this cute picture, too. :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Real Girls Don't Rust

Pugalicious Press revealed the cover for Real Girls Don't Rust, a YA steampunk anthology
that will include my short story, Seeing Red.
I think it looks adorable!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Annalisa Crawford on the End of the World

Today we are being visited by the lovely Annalisa Crawford. Take it away, Annalisa!

It's been a year since my novella Cat and The Dreamer was published! There have been lots of changes in my own life in that time, and I started to wonder what else had changed...

Thank you Rachel for inviting me over today!

Today's topic: The end of the world, Mayan style!

The world was supposed to end on 21 December 2012. I did not know this. Or at least, I think I must have been aware of it at some point over the last five years or so, but by February 2012, I'd forgotten.

I was made aware of it again about November time, which was probably a bit late to start planning my escape/survival. But I wasn't worried. Someone, somewhere is always predicting the end of the world - luckily for me, Wikipedia has an article on this very subject. You can see how many times the world has been expected to end in your lifetime! And, according to this, the next dates to watch out for are 2020 and 2021, although I read another article which suggested 2015, I think.

So yes, it's all nonsense. If the world was going to end on a specific date we'd have some forewarning - a meteor in our skies for several months, a giant tsunami creeping across the globe, a disease passing from one continent to another. At no point will we be snuffed out with the speed of a candle.

So the question is: why do people believe this? Are we really so disillusioned with our lives that impending doom is preferable? Are we ultimately so self-destructive as a race that this seems a likely or logical course of action?

What actually makes me sad is reading the scientists views that the universe could be torn apart in 22 billion years time. I know that's quite a long time from now - and life on Earth would probably have disappeared a long time before that. But the thought of nothing once more makes me wonder: what's the point of all of this?

It reminds me of being a kid and looking up at the stars - so many pinprick stars in a black sky - and feeling so very insignificant...

Ahem... well, this post went off on a different track than I intended.
What are your view on life, the universe and everything?
Do you think the end of the world might happen in our lifetime?

About Cat and The Dreamer
As a teenager, Julia survived a suicide pact, while her best friend Rachel died. Julia’s only escape from her guilt, and her mother’s over-protection, is her imagination. When Adam arrives in the office, Julia’s world takes a startling turn as she realises reality can be much more fun than fantasy. Finally she has someone who can help her make the most of her life. But can she allow herself to be truly happy?

Cat and The Dreamer is available on Kindle UK, Kindle US, Kobo, Nook, iTunes/iBooks, and via Vagabondage Press.

Annalisa Crawford lives and writes in Cornwall with a good supply of beaches and moorland to keep her inspired. She finds endless possibilities in the relationships between people. Several new projects are on the cards for 2013.

Find her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG: Revisions

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group everyone! And thanks again to Alex for creating this wonderful group and thank to Stephen Tremp and Julie Flanders for helping to host it this month!

I recently read a very fun blog post on revisions by the Deadline Dames. They list the five steps of revisions from dread to relief. Go ahead and click the link to read them all.

I am currently at the dread stage, waiting to get my revisions from my editor and imagining all the things she's going to hate. Imagining her sitting at her desk wondering to herself, "What was I thinking. This stinks!"

Now I've only gone through this one other time, with a short story, and that time I did not enter the stage the Dames listed as Denial. I kind of stayed in Panic. As in "Oh dear lord I can't do this what on earth made me think I could write?!"

So yeah, that's what I'm looking forward to right now. :)

I hope everyone is having a good week! Stop by tomorrow for a post from the awesome Annalisa Crawford!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Imaginary Siblings

Click the badge to sign up!Today is the Imaginary Friend Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Annalisa Crawford and Kyra Lennon. Annalisa is celebrating her book's birthday! Cat and the Dreamer will be one year old on February 14th. Happy Book Birthday!

If you haven't read Cat and the Dreamer, you should. It is very beautifully written, with a main character who will pull at your heartstrings.

I don't remember having an imaginary friend, but I had four siblings so I had plenty of people to play with and blame stuff on growing up. :) However, when I had my third kid, my son ended up developing an imaginary friend. He called him his brother, Jack.

I think it was because the others were both girls. (As is child #4, so he's still the only boy.) I'm guessing he was jealous that my oldest got a little sister to play with, but he didn't have a brother. So he made one up.

Jack was talked about a lot that year. Johnny would tell us about all the super fun exciting things he and Jack were doing. (And yes, I think it's funny that the name he picked for his friend is a nickname for his own name.)

There were times it got a bit awkward and I would feel the need to explain to people what was going on. Like when he told our EFCE teacher that him and his dad had spent the weekend at his brother's house.

"Um yeah," I told her, "it's an imaginary friend. My husband does not, in fact, have another family somewhere else."


Have a great weekend everyone!

And thanks Kyra and Annalisa for hosting!