Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest Interview with Laura Hughes!

It's better late than never, right? This was a fun interview and I hope you enjoy reading!



Questions:

Favorites:

1. What is your favorite movie?
This is a hard one. I think it depends on if I'm in the mood for funny or serious. I love Rebecca, but I also love Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Oh, and the Princess Bride. No matter what mood I'm in, I'll always watch the Princess Bride. 

 
2. Food?
Only one? Chocolate. Good, yummy, chocolate. Preferably in truffle format.
 
3. Ice cream?
Pistachio. Or Chunky Monkey. 

Worst Nightmare:

1. What color do hate most?
Orange. I can't wear orange. It makes me look sickly, and clashes with my hair. Well, not as much as it used to, since my hair is turning white, but orange makes me look sunburned.
 
2. What scares you most?
How sad is it that this is the toughest question for me? I can't really think of anything that scares me. Well, nothing REAL. I'm plenty scared by the Weeping Angels on Doctor Who, but they're not real. Right? RIGHT?!
 
3. Most embarrassing moment?
When I was on Jeopardy, Alex Trebek had a very nice set-up for a question during the interview portion of the game. I was supposed to have brought out my collection of Jeopardy pens I'd gathered over years of taking the test to be on the show. They hand out pens to everyone at the test, and I had 10 years worth. I LEFT THEM IN THE GREEN ROOM!!! Talk about feeling stupid. I stood there, and he walked me right into the punchline, and I completely missed it. Deer in headlights. To be fair, it's intimidating standing up there. It's hard enough to ring in, let alone answer the trivia questions, without having to remember facts about my own life at the same time, and come across as a reasonably sane person...I think I failed that part.

Best Advice:

1. Writing advice.
Don't take every bit of writing advice to heart. Find what works for you. And don't spend all your free time looking for more advice on writing. Just keep writing.
 
2. Recommended writing book.
I haven't read a lot of books on writing. I just read a lot of books. Any kind of books. I think the most entertaining writing book I ever read was Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. Grammar lessons you can love.
 
3. Most helpful websites.
I don't know what I'd do without QueryTracker,  Query Shark, or Query Quagmire. All valuable resources, as well as entertaining. I follow a ton of agent blogs, writer blogs, and publishing blogs (and twitter feeds), but reproducing the "Books and Authors" tab in my bookmarks seems a tad overkill for this forum. :) Oh, and all writers must follow Title2Come on Tumblr. It's priceless!

Memorial Service...The Azalea Assault Book Tour

Today, we have come together to remember quite the ladies man. Born Jonathan Jacob Georges 38 years ago this glorious summer. He is survived by his sister Margo and his mother Margaret George. Many of his friends and acquaintances have signed the guest book and we thought it only appropriate to view some of these high quality, gracious and kind remarks left by some of those who knew Jean-Jacques the best.

From Jessica Flavors: "Well, I know how much he loved to goose, I mean how much he loved geese. They were his favorite pet."

From Philip Arnelds: "He wasn't much on drinks, you know, unless they were the "adult" kinds. No sir. He wouldn't touch those weak drinks at all."

Old high school friend, Gracey Felps: "He had such a loving heart. He loved the ladies, you know?"

Hometown tax collector, James Lance: "He knew how to handle his money in such creative financial ways. He never really needed much tax advice."

Granny Hiyallmyers: He was a spirited rascal, that's for sure."

And last, but certainly not least, we have scrounged around and got our hands a hold some of Jean-Jacques best photos. Well, we were told he took these photos anyway. Enjoy his last masterpieces.

May he rest in peace...


flickr/creativecommons
flickr/commons
flickr/commons/chris

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Tour: Alyse Carlson: GARDEN DELIGHTS MAGAZINE!

The Letter That Started It All Dear Jean-Jacques- I'm so thrilled you'll be helping the Roanoke Garden Society with our feature article in June's Garden Delights Magazine. Your work is beautiful, and I believe perfectly suited to display one of Roanoke's most exquisite gardens. La Fontaine is a historic home west of Roanoke and the majestic garden to the back covers more than an acre. Each season, master gardener Henry Larsson collaborates with Neil and Evangeline Patrick, owners of La Fontaine, to design a seasonal masterpiece. The spring feature is scheduled to create a mosaic of a stargazer lily from above and includes rhododendrons, azaleas, jasmine, sweet olive, and a variety of smaller flowers in reds, pinks and whites. The text I'll be including will talk about the founding of the Roanoke Garden Society and their commitment to gardening excellence in Roanoke, so I'd like to pull a few examples of your photographs from your African shoot and note that we are looking for the equivalent, only from the gardens of La Fontaine.
In addition to the gorgeous mosaic garden, La Fontaine has a series of greenhouses, each set for a different season, so La Fontaine is one of the only places a person can see a full four years of Virginia's gardening glory in a single afternoon. I will be sure to put together a list of star features for your ease with photographing the most beautiful parts of the garden. I look forward to working with you. Camellia Harris
The Azalea Assault Cam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity. She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges. Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-rate cad—insulting the RGS members and gardening, goosing every woman in the room, and drinking like a lush. It is hardly a surprise when he turns up dead. But when Cam's brother-in-law is accused and her sister begs her to solve the crime, that is when things really get prickly. Alyse Carlson is the pen name for the author some of you may know as Hart Johnson. She writes books from her bathtub and when she isn't writing, does research for a large, midwest University or leads the Naked World Domination Movement (your choice). Links Barnes & Noble Paperback or Nook Amazon Paperback or Kindle Confessions of a Watery Tart *note: All images from Africa and the rhodedendrons are actually from Wikimedia Commons, Jean-Jacques being fictional and Alyse never having been to Africa and all...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Buccaneer Blogfest: Wk4: Social Media

What do I think of Social Media, eh?

 Firstly, I love it! It's like getting on the phone and calling a lot of different people, whom I don't know, and chatting with them. It's like gaining new friends while having a back yard party on my computer.

 It's like going to the library and filling my backpack with more books than I could ever read.

 It's fun!
It's exciting!
 It's a lot of work!

Yes, my dear readers, Social Media takes time and energy. Sometimes, it takes money. Even free social media isn't free because of the time invested. Now, this, of course, is for those who do social media correctly. Here's my take on it:

I read an article just last week on Writer Unboxed about being a tourist in the community of readers. I really enjoyed the article and thought about it all week and even through the week end. The thought I took away from the blog post was this:

Be genuine when you post, whether it's an article or a comment. Visit other peoples blogs and website and make friends in an honest way. It's easy to hide behind the keyboard. No one really knows the real you. Like a character in a book, you can be anyone you want to be. But why change who you are just because no one "really" knows you? True friendships are formed through honesty, dependability, helpfulness, an so much more! It should be the same with social media.

Don't just be a tourist, cruising through the social media world. Build a platform. Build friendships. Build a blog where others love to come and visit, sit on the porch with you, sipping lemonade, iced tea or coffee and enjoying your company. Just be sure and return the visit!

What about you? What's your take on social media?












Freedigitalphots.net

CQ Carnival: Interview with Victoria Smith

We have another interview for our CQ Carnival! It's Victoria Smith and she's got sme really fun questins to answer. I won't keep you waiting. Here's Victoria!

1. Tell me about "The Call" and how your were feeling the day AFTER.

I read the email about my contract on my iPhone while in my office.  My co-worker just happened to be sitting in there with me.  After I read the email, I practically leaped from my desk chair.  My co-worker was so surprised that he almost spilled his coffee on himself.  After I composed myself, I made him leave (sorry, my friend!), so I could close the door and do a happy dance around my office.  True story.  I called my husband and sent out emails to my critique partners right after.  Everyone told me to think long and hard about it before I made any decisions, so the next day, I just kind of read over the contract.  It was a very calm approach and I felt really good about it.  I took a couple of days to analyze the contract, emailed my editor with additional questions I had, and when I knew everything looked a-okay, I signed!

2. Where do you get your ideas and inspiration for your stories? Your characters?

Everywhere.  There is no stone unturned when it comes to that.  Real life experiences and things I see everyday.  I once met a woman at the gas station who had on this stellar lime green nail polish.  I created a whole character based off that polish in one of my new books.  Simple, but true.  I usually just have a grain of an idea and I go from there. 

I also listen to music while I write.  That helps inspire me too, but really, I just like to create my stories like watching a movie.  If it’s something I think would be cool to see on film, it makes it into my book.  I usually try to stay true to a few requirements, though.  The story has to be something I would normally like to read, it has to have characters with quirks and characteristics I don’t usually see in fiction, it has to have unique themes, and it has, has, HAS to have a whole lot of love!  I love romances.  I just can’t help but make sure that’s in there.

3. What is your favorite genre to read? Favorite author? Favorite book?

Well, from my previous response you can see that I just adore romance. :) In particular, I enjoy “new adult” fiction romances about characters who are 18 – 25-years-old.  I love reading about that period in a person’s life, which is why I write it myself!  I read about anything “new adult,” but I’m also quite fond of Jennifer Echols and Simone Elkeles works because they write edgy YA fiction.  At this time, my favorite book would probably be The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

4. If you had to write something outside your comfort zone, what would it be?

I would say it would probably be something heavy sci-fi with complicated world building and an intricately weaved action-thriller stacked on top.  I’m talking set on another planet with car chases, fight scenes, and throw in a crazy conspiracy theory.  At the end, the reader has no idea what happened until the main character states all the ways they did what they did.  That would be super fun to write!

5. For fun, what are the colors and decorating theme in your bedroom?

Art Deco meets Paris, France.  I tend to stick to modern colors and I love using black and whites!

Friday, July 27, 2012

How's Your Editing Coming Along?

I have been working on one of my manuscripts, editing, adding chapters and scenes and WORDS. Glorious words. I love words, don't you?

My recent work, which I just finished, Soul Driver, has went through some major editing. I decided to write an inspirational fiction and Soul Driver was the perfect manuscript. I added ten chapters!

I just wanted to share my good news.

I'm still looking for a CP.

Who else is in the editing process? How's it coming?

Buccaneer Blogfest: Wk3 day 9

Today's reviews? How do I pick just one? That would be impossible.

I will start with my all time favorite must read don't try to write without this set of books. I will testify that this set of books had me jumping on the edge of my seat, writing non stop until I finished. I was mesmerized and almost overwhelmed with the amount of information and helpful advice and examples. I beg anyone who needs writing help to check this books out. I started with the free version, but I bought the entire as soon as I finished the free version. What books am I talking about?

Begin with the free course from HOLLY LISLE

Free Professional Plot Outline Mini-Course
http://howtothinksideways.com/holly-lisles-professional-plot-outline-mini-course/

A SOLID 5 STARS, double that for 10!
 

My 2nd review/recommendation is for author Donald Maass, THE FIRE IN FICTION:

The book begins with creative exercises that ask: "Is your protagonist an ordinary person? Find in him any kind of strength. Work out a way for that strength to be demonstrated within your protagonist's first five pages. Is your protagonist a hero--that is, someone who is already strong? Find in him something conflicted, fallible, humbling, or human. Work out a way for that flaw to be demonstrated within your protagonist's first five pages. Revise your character's introduction to your readers. Be sure to soften the flaw with self-awareness or self-deprecating humor." Examples cited include excerpts from novels by Chuck Palahuniak's "Choke" (2001); Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"(2006); Charles Frazier's "Thirteen Moons (2006); and Ethan Canin's "America America" (2008).

Chapter two keeps working on characters and the exercises keep the sparks lighted with ideas to "Find five ways and times at which your antagonist will directly engage your protagonist. Create four actions that will make your antagonist warm and sympathetic." Illustrations include excerpts from Russell Banks's "The Reserve" (2008) and Charles Baxter's "The Soul Thief" (2008).

Some of the most instructive exercises are in Chapter 8, "Tension All the Time": exercises on creating tension on every page -- in dialogue, action, exposition. But Chapter 6 is also very helpful and informative.

To be honest, I enjoyed all the exercises and the entire book was a side kick companion as I edited the very first manuscript.

A FIVE STAR rating for Donald Maass's FIRE IN FICTION

Pelican Book Group Staff Blog: Thursday's Tips: Key Elements of Point of View

Pelican Book Group Staff Blog: Thursday's Tips: Key Elements of Point of View

If you struggle with POV, this article will be a great asset. The author goes into great detail with easy understanding on how to write correct POV, and also helpful is her explanations of how NOT to write POV.

Go ahead and check it out. I promise you will love this little gem:)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Veil Of Pearls: Day 3

What is the question for today? It's a puzzler! Can you guess? Want to try? G ahead, even if you haven't read the book, you can guess. It' will be fun. Go ahead!!!!!

Adalia done something she regretted with a broken heart. Was it serious? Was it truly terrible? Did she find forgiveness? What happened????

Do you know?

Take a guess. If you don't know, that's alright! Visit MaryLu's blog for more details and find a link to buy it

Cross and Cutless

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Am Back In Business!!!

Good, Good, GREAT news! My complete hard drive was saved on an external hard drive BEFORE the techs ever started work on my MacBook when I took it in for the optical drive repair!

Yipee!

EVERYTHING was saved!!!!

Not only that, but we went ahead and bought a new MacBook, so I can get back to work! I thank God for keeping everything safe and sound. And not only that, my old Macbook will be getting a new facelift and because I bought the extended warranty, I get it all fixed for free.

I'm so happy, and thankful:)

Here's my first posting.... I'm looking for a...



That's right. I need some help! I'm looking for someone who is interested in being a critique partner.
I'm ready to start querying agents but before I do, I'm looking for help...Thoughts on everything from my plot to my characters to my grammar. So anyone who wants more information, let me know and I'll see what we can do to make my manuscript perfect!
 


Buccaneer Blogfest: Recommendations

Who doesn't have a favorite book? One that you've read over and over again? One that you carry around with you.w372299999999999999999999k= You see all those crazy numbers up there? That's what happened as I furiously tried drying the coffee from my keyboard before the screen went black. I left them there for the memories.... Now about those must reads. PLEASE COME BACK TOMORROW. I'm getting a loaner computer. AGAIN.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good: I got my MacBook back from the shop and it worked perfectly. Well, I mean everything I sent it away with came back just as it was when I sent it away. They *said* the optical drive worked, but alas, I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Why, you ask?

The Bad: My son walked in the door and apparently slammed the door a little too hard. (Remember, we are living in a camper. Out door latch as a mild crimp, meaning you HAVE to slam it or it will not close.) My coffee cup was siting on the table and it literally jumped off the table and into my lap. I kid you not. It really did jump. Honest. The really bad? My MacBook was sitting happily on my lap.

The Ugly: Coffee spilled on a laptop equals broken laptop.

The REALLY UGLY: I'm not for sure what will happen this time for repairs. I'm sure something is really broken because my computer will not turn on at all.

Needless to say, my posting this week will be like last week. Minimal. I am really disheartened at the moment. I don't feel like writing or blogging or doing anything. Sure, it's just a computer, right? With years of research, hundreds of dollars of software and programs, pictures, graphics, passwords to all my online places, and

THREE MANUSCIPTS
FOUR WIP'S

Galley's that need reading...
Photos...
School records (I homeschool)

Yes. I'm heartbroken.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CQ Carnival-Krystal Wade: Interview!!

As I have previously stated, much to my dismay, most of my posting will be delayed until I have my computer back from repairs. Nothing major. But with no Apple store close by, we had to ship somewhere far away ( do you miss me as much as I miss you?)

I had the honor of "talking to" Krystal Wade. We discussed her writing, her editing and a few of her habbits. But listen to me when you can listen to her? She's the author of Wilde's Fire and Wilde's Army and it won't be long until book 3 will be available through Curiosity Quills Press! Yay!!

Krystal does have a character who will be hosting a booth in the carnival. Flanna will be taking care of our House of Mirrors (just as soon as I have my computer back.) So be on the lookout for that!

Okay Krystal, the blog is all yours! Take it away:)

1. How do you juggle your time between writing and editing? Do you have a schedule?
   I don't have a schedule but probably need one. Most days I just do what I feel is the right thing. If I'm inspired to write, I write. If I'm more concerned about helping others--which seems to be a lot lately--I help others. I love editing. I get to read so many books and point authors in the right direction.


2. Which is your favorite: writing or editing?
    I'm a writer. As much as I like to edit, I really enjoy the creative imagination I have. So, mostly, I'd prefer to be lost in my own worlds.

3. I know it's been asked before, but what do you look for when when reading a manuscript? What makes a story stand out?
   Clean writing aside, I like books with strong character POV and amazing world building. I love feeling as though I'm RIGHT there with the characters. In their homes, experiencing everything as they do. 

4. What type of stories do you want to see in your inbox? Contemporary? Fantasy? Historical?
   I love magic. I love epic battles between good and evil. I love asteroids and comets. Why hasn't anyone written a story about a comet being in love with the planet earth? Huh?! Just kidding . . . sort of. So, I'll read anything, but I love stories with some sort of paranormal-type twist.

5. When you read a manuscript that is close to what you would like to represent but doesn't quite make the grade, what do you do?
   I fret. Reading a manuscript with tons of potential but "just not there" execution is one of the hardest things as a acquisitions editor. I don't want to let the book go, but I know if I approach and author with an "We want to contract you, but . . ." I may never hear from them again. So, I hope and pray the hours I put into reading the book, the days worth of deliberation and editing points I put into an e-mail, and the countless chats between me and CQ's owner won't all be for nothing. Then I wait to see if the author is receptive to constructive criticism. Most are. Some never respond.

6. Please tell us about your favorite character from your book. 
   Flanna. She's spunky and sarcastic, but always has a way of making Kate feel better. Flanna suffers a lot through the second and third books, and there may be times when others can't stand her, but she will always be one of Kate's closest friends, and therefore, able to make her happy in the darkest times.

7. Was it more difficult writing the sequel or the first book? 
   Book two was EASY as pie. Book three, the final installment, well, that's a different story. ;-)

Veil of Pearls: Day Two

Adalia Winston is the MC in MaryLu Tyndalls's Veil Of Pearls. Yes, she went to a party! She was invited to attend, but refused the invitation. An important event changed her mind.  It was a late evening and Adalia was on her way home. An unsavory gentleman emerged from the shadows and somebody was there to save her. Who was it? What happened? Don't leave me hanging like that, right? Oh, but alas, I can't tell you. Read the book. It's explained rather nicely!

Now, for the party, which of the following items did Adalia not include in her wardrobe? This party was quite eloquent and so she would have worn the very best. Please remember. I was unable to locate exactly what I needed and so some items may not fit the period of 1811, in which this story takes place. Use your imagination and PRETEND all the photos are from the nineteenth century.
 
Flickr/Commons


Lovemaegan



littledebbie




Flickr/Commons



Flickr/Commons

Monday, July 23, 2012

Veil of Pearls Book Tour!

I have been waiting for a LOOOOooooog time for this tour! I really have and I am so excited to have one of my favorite authors spotlighted this week. MaryLu was actually the first EVER author I contacted and asked if she would be interested in doing a book tour on my blog. So, this is kinda surreal to me and just plain excited to have her here on my blog all this week:)

Veil of Tears is just an amazing book. The story id full of faith, but also masquerades and secrets. I couldn't help myself. I knew I HAD to do a Masquerade Ball.

 How exciting! I'm have a Ball! You bet I am:) I hope to get my computer back very soon because I have some fabulous graphics and photos for my party (along with my other tours and the CQ carnival. Yes, my heart is still broken...but feeling better. Don't weep for me. Your eye make up will run...heheh)

 Anyway, on to the ball! Since Masquerades are all about hiding the real you, I thought we would play a few games this week. MaryLu's characters are hiding behind some lovely masks and it is up to you to find them. Just in case you have read the book yet, of course you will not know any names. It you want t participate, go ahead! I'm posting pictures, and as long as you make a guess, that's all that matters. Just say, "I think it is the girl in the pink gown, or the lawyer in the top hat. Okay. First, the question, then the clue, then some pictures.

Ready? Let's go!

Who gave Adalia so much generosity that she thanked God every day for His provisions? This person was very proficient in a certain profession and sometimes your life depended on this person's help.

Joy

 Adalia
 both photos above by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dr. Willaby

photo by Flickr/Commons


Mrs. Faye

Photo by Flikr/commons

Buccaneer Blogfest: Week 3

I can't believe we are already starting week three. Time has flown by! For me anyway, and this week we are posting the last three books we have read and what list is on our KINDLE.

The last 3 books I read are:

Robin Hood by Tony Allen (out loud to my 8 year old son) 3 stars
Veil f Pearls by MaryLu Tyndall: SOLID 5 stars!
Make a Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld: SLID 5 stars!

My Kindle has to many books to list them all, so I let you know my recent downloads. I have not had a chance to read all of them, yet. Actually, I have only "thumbed" through a couple of them and read only one. So, no comments, only listing, okay?

The Busy Writer's One Hour Plot
How To Land and Keep an Agent
Wilde's Fire
The Emotion Thesaurus
Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View

So what are your favorite last three bed time stories? Let me know...

Make sure you visit the other Buccaneers!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Liebster Award and Nominees

Hello beautiful followers and readers! I am finally able to catch a breath, but only a short one (!) and post my thanks for the rewards I revived not too long ago.

Before I posted this, I did a search on the Liebster to find out what it meant. Liebster is a German word and it means, "dearest" or "loved one" from what I could find and it is given to those bloggers who need some encouragement to keep going, keep blogging and keep on smiling. I am thrilled that someone thought about me and included me in the "Keep your chin up, dear!" award!

Thank you Kimberly, for thinking of me:)

The rules are simple enough.
You are to thank the one who nominated your blog. (done)
Link back to their blog. (done)
Nominate 5 others. (done)
Comment on their blog and let then know you nominated them. (doing so now!)

You MAY want to check out this article about the Liebster Award. The rules are different, but I am keeping with what was awarded to me. It's your choice to follow the rules below, or if you choose, go ahead and be brave. This article explains it all...Beware! Those I nominated may hear from me again, with a little sly and sinister chuckle and a brand new award where you will be forced to spill your guts:)

Who do I nominate? 

#1. The Teen Writers Group. It's a group of writers over there, but the first writer I "met" on another blog was Ashely. From what I can tell by reading through the blog posts, they are all a great group of writers and they all deserve the award:)

#2. Rachel, over at Rachel Larow. She writes sweet, young adult romance. Her stories are sincere and fun. Perfect for the young adult (or adult!) reader who wants an easy story with lots of romance without graphic illustrations and words.

#3. Janette Dolores I just recently discovered this blog, but what I have read, I have enjoyed. She blogs about 3 times a month, but her posts of rich with advice for moms with children.

#4. Mommy Authors is another joint blog. This one, though, is not teens writing, but a group of moms. There are a variety of authors (Rachel, from above, is one of them) and each one posts different articles. There's plenty of reading to keep you busy!

#5. Candy Apple Books blog is written by a younf lady named Hannah. She's part of the Buccaneer Blogfest, so if you are part of that, you have already met her. She writes book reviews here on theis blog and she does a fabulous job!

Well, that's it for now. Enjoy:) Thanks for reading! Now, I have another blog award to post...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Buccaneer BlogFest: Wk 2 Day 3 Aww-Ha Moment

Ahoy Matey's! Today in the Buccaneer BlogFest, it's time to share an Aww-Ha moment. These could be some really long posts, but I will try and keep in simple, short and sweet. Try, I said. Okay I said try...

My first series, which is my family saga, had it's beginnings when I learned my family arrived on the shores of America as indentured servants. As the plot thickened, I learned about the French Privateers who "rescued my greatest of all Grandpa's and some how he arrived in America free, but not free. Another part of my family was banished form their country for religious beliefs only to come to America and find themselves shunned and sent away, again. Add to this crazy mix my family actually established and founded the town of Hazard, Kentucky, the Aww-Ha moment happened not so suddenly. All this history was just waiting to be written down! Daniel Boone's sister married my Indian side of the family and when I discovered Daniel Boone's sister husband family was royal and my family descended from an Indian Princess, (who was actually born in England. It's a long story full of excitement!) well that just sealed it for me!

My second series is all about good vs. evil, right against wrong, beauty against ugliness. My aww-ha moment for this? Soul Driver, the first in the series, actually came from something I studied during my family history research. Soul Driver is a real term that came about when the convicts were sent from all over Europe to the New World. When I read about them, I was hooked! The *name* Soul Driver was my aw-ha moment here!

I'm making my rounds to read all your entries. Can't wait to see your inspirations!

CQ Carnival Booth: Demolition Derby!

That's right! It's a derby like you've never seen before! As before, I'm NOT telling you who the character is that is hosting this booth or who the author is. You have to guess! But I will give you a clue:

Wrecked cars! (Um..right. Hence, demolition derby...) This character may be revenging the fact he lost his dream car in an untimely fashion.

Hint #2. If he were a haunting ghost, I imagine this is the way he would haunt: through a demolition graveyard... 

Take a guess by commenting below and earn a ticket for the prizes at the end of the carnival! While you are at it, vote on your favorite deserted car!

These pictures are so great, but when I came back to read the post, I realized the photos are so small you can barely see the picture. Unfortunately, when I tried to enlarge them, they blurred. (Yes. I saved them wrong) So I am adding a few new ones that are larger:)














photo thanks to Flickr/Commons



















So Far Behind...

I wanted t take a few minutes and let everyone know how sorry I am for lagging behind. I am lost without all my goodies from my MIA Macbook. Yes, I have a new one and will learn to love it, I am POSITIVE about that. But I had so many book marks and programs and software that was compatible with a Mac that cost m*o*n*e*y to buy and pictures and graphics saved on my desktop and my wonderful I-love-you-to-death Photoshop and my Bamboo and my logo creator and...

Well, I guess you get my drift.

AND MY MANUSCRIPTS WRITTEN IN WORD DOCUMENTS!!!! Wa-wa:(

So, my fellow bloggers and faithful followers, my postings will be short and no where near as colorful as usual.

For now, I am singing, "You picked a fine time to leave me MAcBook. With four hungry blog tours and blog hops in the field..."

And yes, I'm POUTING!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight: Guest Post from A. L. Jackson and G*veaway of Take This Regret - How to Avoid the Slush Pile

Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight: Guest Post from A. L. Jackson and G*veaway of Take This Regret - How to Avoid the Slush Pile

I thought this would be an excellent way to end my Sapphire Star Spectacular! A.L. Jackson transformed into a Princess right here on Ink in the Book! Here in this interview, A. L. offers SUPERB advice for staying out of the dreaded slushpile. Read it. And smile.

Thank you Nicole for this wonderful guest post. I loved reading it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CQ Carnival Roller Coaster Now Open!

I am so looking forward to today's CQ Carnival booth opening! We have a mystery interview! That's right! I am NOT telling you who this fabulous author is. You have to guess! 
 
So, if you are brave enough to throw a guess out, that means you will need to comment, which means you will earn a ticket for the end of the Carnival drawing. Free books, people, free books! So why not grab yourself a ticket, or two because you can earn two tickets today. Or you can earn many tickets. No matter how many times you comment on ANY CQ Carnival booth, you earn another ticket for the drawings taking place at the end of the Carnival. Woot! Woot! 

The other way to earn a ticket is by telling me about the ROLLER COASTER RIDE as the life of an author. What kinds of ups and downs have you experienced? Any loop-de-loops? Upside down turns? Sudden drop offs or slow uphill battles? Share your roller coaster ride with me.
 What advice can you offer to aspiring authors? Is only to hang on for dear life and make the ride with your eyes glued shut, screaming your head off? Or is there something more, something worth all the ups and downs? Please share!
 
 
 
 
 Because no one volunteered to host this booth ( I do have two more hosts that are for sure coming up in the next two weeks as hosts, and I still have openings if you have a character you would like to see spotlighted. Let me know!) I have another character from one of my WIP.

Her name is Star and she is the Head Master in the Training Facility of the Guardian Elite.

I'm sure you will know why Sailor thinks she's a great friend, but not so much a great leader. What can you guess about her personality just by looking at her picture? Please tell me what you think!


Okay, Star. We are ready for our Mystery Author Interview. Let the questions begin!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 (Name removed), how long have you been writing?
 
Since I was 8. Oh, you mean novels;-) 3 yrs!!!

Did you go through much rejection before signing with CQ?
 
Yessssssss! I had 55 rejections, all from agents. Only 9 of those agents actually requested a partial or full so yeah, not even a 10% success rate. I suck at writing queries and at knowing where to start my story. I think I'm improving on the latter.

What are your thoughts about writing contests?
 
LOVE them! Ultimately, that's where my publishing contract came from when blogger buddy Sharon Bayliss hosted her CQ contest at the end of May. Even if you don't get a request, any type of contest provides loads of valuable feedback.

Can you tell us three things about your MC, Olga, that no one else knows.
 
Her favorite beverage is chocolate drizzled mocha-ambrosia espresso with whipped topping.
 
She thinks her glasses make her look like a female version of Harry Potter.
 
Her favorite song is Time of Your Life by Green Day

What is your ultimate writing resource every writer should own... And use?
 
Can I name two?
 
Techniques of the Selling Writer by writing guru Dwight V. Swain . . . really shows you how to get a story under way.
 
Sin and Syntax {How to craft wickedly effective prose} by Constance Hale . . . toted as the "hippest grammar guide ever written."
 
 
 
 
 

Buccaneer Blog Fest: Wk 2 Day 2

Ahoy Mates! Today I will be sailing the high seas with Sailor Bridges. She's the MC from my current WIP. Well, one of them anyways. I am working on quite a few, but Sailor is my newest fave. Please don't tell mt other characters I said that! I love them all, but since she's new, she's fragile and needs lots of help. I thought it would do her some good to take part in the CQ Carnival and in the Buccaneer Blog Fest. The others really don't mind. They are having a great time getting to know Sailor, just like I am!

She was more than happy to answer the questions below, so please be kind and give her a big thanks in the comments. She is not really shy, but it takes a while for her to warm up to new people.

Ink: Hi Sailor. I really appreciate your generosity in answering my nosy questions in front of all my lovely readers.

Sailor: You're welcome!

Ink: So, Sailor. I'll start with something easy. Do you have any pets?

Sailor: Yes, I do. I have a little goldfish. His name is Nemo. I watched Finding Nemo when I was a little kid and loved it! Hence, the name.

Ink: A fish? I took you for a kitten type of girl.

Sailor: Nope. No kittens. Just my little fishy.

Ink: No biggie! How about a car? D you own one? and what would your dream car be?

Sailor: Yeah, I have a car. It's a 1937 Chevy. I love antique cars. I owned a 1965 Mustang and traded it for a souped up Chevy. Best transaction I ever made. I would say it's totally my dream car.

Ink: I adore the color!

Sailor: Me too! I just had it painted, as if you can't tell.



Ink: You have mentioned you are part of the Guardian Elite. Who or what is the Gaurdian Elite?

Sailor: Oh, I can't tell you anything about the Elite. Most my friends try and pry everything out of me, but I just can't tell. I can tell you we are a group of Guardians that protect and defend the helpless and needy. Sometimes we rescue people who think they don't really need our help, and I am like really? Get your head out of the clods girl and let's make haste. But in the end, they totally slap out high fives to us.

Ink: You can't give us anymore than that? Do you do a lot of traveling?

Sailor: Where do you think I got my name? Ha ha! Yeah, we travel like all the time.

Ink: Where is the most exotic place you have ever been?

Sailor: That's a tough one! Let me think a minute... oh! I know! I traveled to Mississippi during the Civil War to rescue a spy. I loved that plantation house!

Ink: The Civil War? That was years ago. How did you do that?

Sailor: The Guardian Elites has the privilege of traveling anywhere in time we need to go.

Ink: So you are time travelers?

Sailor: Not really. But that word works. Kinda. Well. I gots to go. My alert is buzzing on my phone.

Ink: Thank you Sailor. Have a safe trip.















Blog Hop: HANGERS!!

For today's endings, I have the first five last lines of each chapter. Sad to say, with my computer still MIA I haven't been able to do any writing. I miss MY MacBook! I did get a  new, gorgeous baby that started out as a loan while mine was being repaired. But we have decided to keep it. It is super nice, but ALL my *stuff* is on my old computer and I miss my *stuff*. IF that even makes sense...

Are you ready for my hangers? I hope you like them:)

**********
Chapter 1: For all it's worth I am so in trouble.

Chapter 2: Not only is it pouring down rain, it is pitch dark and  I have no idea where I am.

Chapter 3: Before I had a chance to explain, total mayhem flew through the door.

Chapter 4: Sure he's smart and funny and absolutely gorgeous but that doesn't matter because he can never be mine.

Chapter 5: Vanity waltzed into the room decked out like she was going to the ball.

**********
That's it for now. All I need now is your comments! Thanks so much for taking the time to read my hookers and hangers this week!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sapphire Star Spectacular! Author Linn Halton

Linn's newest book, The Restaurant@ The Mill calls for a blog tour all about food! What better way to celebrate food than with an outdoor BBQ with family and friends!

Today, I need my readers to post a comment and let me know what you FAVORITE BBQ is! We are kicking off a family BBQ and it's happening allllllll week long so we are posting fantastic recipes, fun games and whatever you can contribute to our gathering.

Today is BBQ faves!

I hope you lovely readers and followers (and especially Linn) will please forgive the short postings. I have something very personal I am dealing with that is emotionally draining. AND my MacBook is sick and so while it is at the doctor, I am borrowing a laptop. Needless to say, all my "stuff" is on my sick Mac. So please be patient with me this week. It's going to be a long week...


I need your BBQ!! How about it?
Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken!!!

Buccaneer Blog Fest 2nd Week: Day One

Hello lovely Readers! Sorry this is so late in posting. I've had a personal crisis in my family and I had to deal with some pretty emotional things. It's going to be a long week...

Now, today for the blog fest we are to post the first paragraph of our current in progress. This is my newest endeavor and a totally new concept for me. I posted the first five chapters first line in the Hookers and Hangers Blog Hop below. Here, you get the first paragraph.

I don't have a title yet and there are only five chapters, but it's a start! I would love your comments! So go ahead and tell me what you think. Be honest!

***********

     Forget who I am for just one minute and put your feet in my shoes. Although I am a member of the Guardian Elite, I am also a person. A person with feelings that hurt, rejoice and gets scared just like you. Sure, I have other feelings in my heart but these are the ones I'm dealing with right now so it makes it easier for me to talk about them. Lots of my friends say they wish they could walk a mile in my shoes. But let me tell you a little secret. My shoes are too big for me. I have blisters. And my athletes foot is acting up again. Take it from me. You don't want my shoes on your feet right now.

**********
And there you go. The first paragraph of my most recent project. You've met my MC in the CQ Carnival. She's running the ticket booth. Her name is Sailor.

Blog Hop: Hookers and Hangers

I know. It sounds like... well it's not! It's all about first lines of your manuscripts and WIP. And it's a contest from over at Falling For Fiction, one of my new favorite places to hang out!

What you do is post the first line of a chapter, or many chapters, from your current story and theres's going to be about 10 winners who will receive a critique. And let me tell you! These ladies do amazing critiques! So without any more nonsense, here's my first lines from my current WIP (Really, I have about 5 WIP, but this is my most recent!)

Chapter one: Forget who I am for just one minute and put your feet in my shoes.

Chapter two: Don't get me wrong, 'cause Star is a great friend but not so much a leader.

Chapter three: In all reality, this place is not totally bad with a capital B.

Chapter four: Without warning the chair flew out from under him.

Chapter five: The dock smelled of stinky fish and the conversation buzzed around the latest invention:  the telegraph.

Well that's my current WIP!! Thanks for reading my great hookers.

Friday, July 13, 2012

CQ Scavenger Hunt Clue #3

Welcome back to the carnival! This is a scavenger hunt and we are collecting clues to various Curiosity Quills Press Authors. Did I just hear some applause? Yep, I thought so!

Now, you can read the first two clues HERE. I am creating a new booth for the third clue because I want everyone to have a chance to see all the clues.

So, without further ado, here is the 3rd clue... (I didn't know I was a poet!)

CLUE 3
Do Not Answer to quickly... and that's all I'm saying.

 Now, here is the link to the article I want you to read. Just for your info and my satisfaction, this article is about MY FAMILY. I kid you not. For real!

If you need to read a little about Sharon's book, THE CHARGE, you do so HERE. 

Article clue is HERE.

CQ Carnival: Booth 3 Haunted House


What's a carnival without a haunted house?
Who doesn't love a spooky place to visit on Friday the 13th?
We have a special host, too. You want to know who he is? I'm sure you do! First, here's a picture~~~

His name is Frankie. You may not know something really important about him. But you know me by now, don't you? I can;t tell you. Well not in an easy way. You can read this little article and find out what you need to know. THEN we will continue with the haunted house...

1. What's like being a ghost?

Well, I guess if I could describe it in one word, I'd say lonely. Like, I'm here, with people around me almost all the time, but yet I'm completely alone. I can't touch the girl I love, can't hug her. Can't open doors. Can't smoke a cigarette. Its like I exist, but I don't. Its limbo, purgatory. But ... if I had to do it over again, would I want to really die, and go to wherever it is I'm supposed to go? No. I'm supposed to be right here, with Ever. So if this is the only way, then being a ghost what I'm supposed to be. 

2. What's your favorite food not that you are, well, you know, dead?

Oh man, I used to love In'n'Out. Double Doubles with animal-style fries and a strawberry shake. Yeah. that's my favorite. What I wouldn't do for a double double right now. 
 
3. Is there a school where you live? If so, what's it like?

Yeah, I went to Orange High School. I guess school was pretty cool. I wasn't into sports or anything. I spent most of my time working on my car. My friends are probably in college now. I was supposed to go to San Luis for school, but that didn't happen. Ever's supposed to go to UCLA in the Fall, so I don't know what will happen to me. Maybe I'll get to go with her. I hope I'm not stuck in this house after she leaves. 

4. What about the town you live in now?

I still live in Orange. Born and raised. I didn't die here, but I ended up here with Ever. Right next door to the house I grew up in.  

5. Do you live in a house or an apartment?

A house.

6. What do you do for fun? 

 I don't really do anything for fun anymore. Whatever Ever's doing, I do. Mostly we just hang out. Being a ghost stuck in one house, kinda limits things. We watch a LOT of movies though. 

7.What's it like when you talk to Ever?

Its like home. She gets me, always has. There's nothing weird between us. We grew up together. Its only gotten kinda strange lately since he moved in next door. But we're still Ever and Frankie. That will never change. 


Now, I'm sure you are ready for the haunted house. Let's go!!

First, get your ticket:

















Now, Frankie is here to guide your tour. Enjoy!






















Wait! Don't go down there! Please don't listen to those screams. It's nothing. Really! Frankie, you know we agreed this would not be part of the haunted house.



 This is Frankie's house...



 And this is Frankie's School...

This is Frankie's College...


















Uh-oh. sorry guys! I didn't know HE


was going to be here. Hide your tickets!!! Hurry! I think I just sold you the Grimm Reaper bus fare tickets. My bad!