Friday, December 16, 2011

ANEW by Chelsea Fine is NOW AVAILABLE!

It's FINALLY here!

The brilliantly talented Chelsea Fine, author of the tender love story SOPHIE & CARTER, has done it again with her latest novel, ANEW (Book #1 of the Archers of Avalon series).  Check it out!

(FYI...I love love loved it!)


"Anew"
"Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and without her memory. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery until she met a boy with a familiar voice named Gabriel Archer. Intrigued by his voice, Scarlet immerses herself in Gabriel's life only to stumble upon a secret he's kept hidden from her: His brother. Once Scarlet meets Tristan Archer her life becomes even more muddled. While she's instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she's impossibly drawn to Tristan--and confused out of her mind. Why does Gabriel seem so familiar? Why is she so attracted to Tristan? And why are both brothers convinced she's been cursed to die? Scarlet doesn't have the answers...but the Archer brothers do."
ANEW Book Trailer:


ANEW is now available at Amazon and B&N.

For more information on Chelsea and her work check out her website! You can also follow my lovely Dream Weaver pal on twitter (@ChelseaFine) and Facebook.

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

And the "Hook Me Up, B!" Giveaway Winner is....


ELIZABETH HYATT

and the second drawing winner for an autographed copy of ANEW & LEGEND is...

DB GRAVES

YAY! Congratulations, Elizabeth & DB! Please email me your address' and I will get your book baskets to you ASAP!

And now for the BIG NEWS that you've all been REALLY waiting for. I am very proud (and uber nervous) to announce that my young adult novel...

I LOVE YOU, SARAH LOGAN

will be released...

January 25, 2012!!!

HURRAAAAAY! There you have it, peeps. I can't tell you all how crazy excited and stomach-churning-nervous I am about finally reaching this point.  And yes, for those of you who've already made the connection...January 25th is in fact MY BIRTHDAY!!! Hehe. Let's just say it's the only way I could guarantee that I wouldn't miss my own novel debut.

But I encourage you all to keep checking back because I will continue to post fun news about ILYSL all the way up to the big day.  Lastly, I want to send a BIG thank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway. I had a total blast doing it.

Happy Writing, Happy Reading & Happy Holidays!!!




Monday, December 12, 2011

AUTHOR ALERT: Natasha Slight

Happy Monday!

*sigh*

So many great authors on my list but (unfortunately) so little time to tell you about them all.  But today's AUTHOR ALERT features the brilliant and up-and-coming writer star, Natasha Slight. Having encountered this passionate writer on twitter (of course) I can't help but feel totally on the Cool-Writers-List being that she actually follows my blog.

Say, "Whaaaaaat?" "Yup!"

A writer of both fantasy and adventure fantasy fiction for young adults. This amazing stay-at-home mom of two is an avid reader, speaker of several languages, and has traveled extensively, further expanding her love of reading.

Natasha creates stories that offer her readers unexpected twists and turns that ultimately leave them wanting more.  She writes to inspire young adults, and to unleash the imagination within. Natasha currently lives in Montreal with her husband and kids.

And she's gorgeous! *sigh* Writing the rest of this post with a paper bag over my head.


The release of her DEBUT novel, GUARDIANS OF THE GRIMOIRE, book one of The Grimoire Series has been welcomed with lush reviews. One reviewer stating "...this book took me on the most amazing, wonderful, fantastical journey and one that I have not had the pleasure of being on, for many years.  It pulls you in so deep; you need to take a moment to breathe." - Sandra Valente of SSBookFanatics

"Guardians of the Grimoire"
"What are the realms to do when a corrupt god seeks to destroy three girls? When his greed extends into the human world, and sorcerer and king alike are seduced by the promise of ultimate power hidden in the Grimoire. If man opens the book, chaos is unleashed. If a god touches the book, he shall be rendered mortal.

After being instructed by the Spirit Mother to guard the Grimoire and protect its future guardians, the goddess Gaïa must seek refuge on a hidden island and make certain the sacred book is kept safe. When they come of age, Kerani, Tiluvia, and Cesca are awakened to their destiny in becoming Guardians of the Grimoire, and so begins their journey. But in a land shrouded in magic, and filled with as many friends as there are foes, will the young women be able to reach Gaïa in time, or will the forces of evil take over Utopia and forever haunt the universes?"
BONUS! Check out the GOTG book trailer...EPIC!!!



GUARDIANS OF THE GRIMOIRE is now available at: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon France, Amazon Germany, Amazon Italy, Amazon Spain, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple Store, Diesel eBook Store, and Sony.

For more information on Natasha Slight and her work please visit her website. You can also follow Natasha on twitter (@NatashaSlight) and Facebook.

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY

Happy Friday, all!

I know it's been a while since I last posted a BNFF and I sincerely apologize to all my regular readers.  But I will be honest and say that December may also be a limited posts month. I know, I know...let the guilt commence. But with so much going on, and me spending time working on my book (occasionally frolicking on twitter) I'm afraid that time just isn't on my side when it comes to maintaining a regular posting schedule. But we'll see what I can squeeze out, but in the mean time... PLEASE FORGIVE ME?!

So not only is it Happy Friday, it's also Happy December! WINTER'S HERE FOLKS!!!


I find I've recently began to take detours on my commute home from work.  Simply driving through neighborhoods to see the twinkling lights and Christmas trees blinking happily in the windows.  I can't tell you all how much I love this time of year.  Full of all the things I love most...family, friends, parties, and FOOD!

Any who...

Let's see who sparked my fancy for today's BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY!

BIG NEWS:

Today's first BNFF author I met in the mysterious world of twitter.  A lawyer by day, author by night. Fingers Murphy has definitely made me rethink my views on legal thrillers.  So after years with an agent and no deal, this wickedly funny writer struck out on his own (giving traditional publishing The Finger!) and I'm sooooo glad he did.

Fingers Murphy is the pen name of a well known international criminal defense attorney.

His novel FOLLOW THE MONEY, released May 2011, has been called a "...gripping and gritty new voice in legal thrillers."




"Follow the Money"

"ALWAYS ASSUME PEOPLE ARE LYING, BUT NEVER ASSUME YOU KNOW WHY."

Oliver Olson went to law school to help people.

But when one of the world’s most prominent law firms offers him a high paying summer job, he thinks he’d be crazy not to take it. He soon finds himself enthralled by a world of wealth, privilege, and power.

Blinded by his gilded new world, Ollie is slow to see that something is not right with the case he is assigned to work on - a case with no chance of winning, given to a "summer associate" merely to keep him busy.

Are people following him? Is he imagining things? Are they listening to his conversations? Why are people coming out of the woodwork with a sudden interest in a twelve year old murder case? And is it really possible that the wrong man went to prison?

Ollie wants to succeed, but when he sacrifices his own moral standards for a shot at the big time, he winds up staring down the barrel of a gun.

When you’ve sold out and can no longer follow your heart, you can only FOLLOW THE MONEY.
 FOLLOW THE MONEY is available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

For more information on Fingers Murphy and his other works please visit his website. You can also follow Fingers on twitter (@fingers_murphy), Facebook, and his blog!

*****
My last BNFF is the brilliant Megg Jensen, author of the bestselling YA fantasy novels ANATHEMA, OUBLIETTE, and SEVERED...the three book in her Cloud Prophet Trilogy.  Megg is a freelancing parenting journalist since 2003 and began wiring YA novels in 2009.  She also runs DarkSide Publishing.

ANATHEMA (Book One of the Cloud Prophet Trilogy) has been called "...an engaging, richly detailed read." by Brutally Honest Book Reviews.


"Anathema"
"Forget prophecy. Make your own destiny.

Sheltered from the outside world with no hope for escape, slave girl Reychel dreads her fifteenth birthday - when her master’s symbol is burned on the back of her bald scalp. Her best friend disappears the night before, leaving her to face the branding ceremony alone. She soon discovers nothing is as it seems when people desperate for freedom beg for Reychel's help.

Can Reychel learn to believe in herself?"
OUBLIETTE (Book Two of the Cloud Prophet Trilogy)...


"Oubliette"
"Reychel thought she was finally free. She was wrong.

Everyone saw her gift of prophecy as a blessing, but her gift is uncontrollable. No one alive can teach her to manipulate her unique gift and the answers she needs lie buried within a madman’s journals.

She’s thrust in the midst of a brewing war and the only uniting factor for her people is their belief in the Prophet. Will Reychel learn to control her gift or will she be forced to deliver a false prophecy that could lead her people into a violent, unwinnable war?"
 And the newly released SEVERED (Book Three of The Cloud Prophet Trilogy)...


"Severed"
"Reychel knows her gift of prophecy will lead to madness and now she is at her most vulnerable. The enemy army will attempt to sever her from everything she's ever known: her homeland, her friends, Mark, and her gift. Even at her weakest, she refuses to give up on her desire to end the war between the Malborn and the Serenians. Reychel would do anything, even come back from the dead, to conquer the enemy and reunite with Mark."
Megg's books are available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords!

For more information on Megg and her other works check out her website! You can also follow Megg on twitter (@MeggJensen) and Facebook.

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

AUTHOR ALERT: Marie Lu

Today's Author Alert features an author I have been anticipating her debut for MONTHS. Yes, months! Not only is she a brilliantly creative writer, she is also, well, wicked cool. Marie Lu was born near Shanghai, but settled in Texas until going away to college at the University of Southern California, where she was swept off her feet and ultimately decided to stay. I'll try not to hold that against her. ;)


Now why, you may ask, have I been anxiously anticipating this for months?  Well, I think it best to simply allow Marie's work to speak for itself with the debut of her first novel, LEGEND.  Out in stores TODAY!!! Woot! *fist pumps* 

Now for those of you who haven't read about my "Hook Me Up, B!" book #Giveaway, here's your chance to not only win a copy of LEGEND, but an actual SIGNED copy. YOU HEARD ME! *pauses to catch breath*

Just read!
 


"Legend"
"What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets."
BONUS book trailer!


And before you ask, yes, I've already got my Kindle copy! *Squeeeeeeeee* I want to send a HUGE congrats to Marie on such a fantastic debuting novel. You're destined to be a literary rockstar!

LEGEND is now available at: Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and IndieBound! GET YOUR COPY TODAY!!!

For more information on Marie Lu you can visit her website! You can also follow her on twitter (@Marie_Lu) and Facebook.

Happy Reading & Happy Writing!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The "Hook Me Up, B!" Giveaway

WELCOME to my 100th blog post! Woot woot! :-)

So yeah, I am definitely calling this one of THE BEST weeks I've had this year. Seriously, it's been fantastic.  And to celebrate (after being poked and prodded) I am finally doing my first ever *International* blog giveaway! YAY!

So instead of rambling on (as I tend to do) I'm gonna try and keep this part nice and short in order to get to the good stuff.  With that being said, in celebration of the reveal of my debuting novel's TITLE & RELEASE DATE (see Lots of (FANTASTIC-CRAZY-EXCITING) Randomness post), I will also be doing a drawing to giveaway a....HOLIDAY BOOK BASKET!!!  Yeppers! And yours truly will be putting it together.  So be warned, I am not the most crafty of people so don't be expecting Martha Stewart like quality, because you may very well end up with a cardboard box full of (GREAT) goodies and a scrappy bow slapped on top of it. LOL! Just kidding...maybe.

So when will this giveaway be? You ask. *ahem* Drum roll please!!!! *brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*

DECEMBER 14TH, 2011!

That's the date folks! Mark your calendars, set your blackberry's, iPhones, tablets, iPads and whatever other gadgets you have lying around. Dec. 14th!!! Write that down.  

And now for the moment we've all be waiting for, the part where I reveal the goodies I will be giving away.  Well, contestants, take a look behind door number #1!
The winner of this giveaway will receive the following...

A SIGNED copy of EXILED by M.R. Merrick (book one of his trilogy). 

 
For more information on M. R. Merrick, and book two of his trilogy, SHIFT please visit his BLOG.
*****

SIGNED copies of the complete Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy by Raine Thomas. (Becoming, Central, and Foretold)


 For more information on Raine Thomas and her work please visit her WEBSITE.

*****

A SIGNED copy of SOPHIE & CARTER by Chelsea Fine & a SIGNED copy of her BRAND NEW book ANEW, book one of THE ARCHERS OF AVALON series!


For more information on Chelsea Fine and her books please visit her BLOG.

 *****

The entire THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy by Suzanne Collins.


For more information on Suzanne Collins please visit her WEBSITE.

*****
A copy of LEGEND by Marie Lu.


For more information on Marie Lu please visit her WEBSITE.

Whew! There you have it. A basket seriously full of FANTASTIC holiday reads that would be great for your own personal library or as holiday gifts.

My Giveaway Rules: 

For your chance to win this FABULOUS "Holiday Book Basket"  you must complete 2 of the 4 items listed below. FYI #4 is a MUST!!! 

1. Following my BLOG! :-)

2. (1 of these 2) "Like" my Blaire Kensley Facebook Page or follow me on twitter (@BlaireKensley).

3. Send a "Friend Request" to my Facebook. (I find this to be a bit more personable.) 

4. ALL ENTRIES MUST leave a comment below (ON THIS POST) stating, "Hook Me Up, B!"  and include your name in order to officially be entered. (No magic words. No name. No entry.)

And that's it!

And NO! I'm not gonna get all crazy and double check behind every single person who enters (which may be no one, LOL!), but will instead trust that you guys will be honest and leave it at that. After all this is all for fun, and the fact that you came on to read my post in the first is a pretty BIG deal for me.

GOOD LUCK to you all!

*FYI - due to the fact that I know some of the most AWESOME authors ever, I will be doing extra drawings for any extra goodies I receive between now and December 14th. So keep checking back for an ADDENDUM!* 

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snow White and the Huntsman

Not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited about this. LOVE, Charlize Theron! (Total girl crush on her).




Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lots of (FANTASTIC-CRAZY-EXCITING) Randomness

Well, I realize it's been a while (for me at least) since I posted anything, but I think I've finally found something worth posting about. So here's me cranking out a little something for those of you who actually make the effort to pop over and read my blog.  And to help set the mood for today's post I've also included...

My tune of the day:
Dean Martin - "Ain't That A Kick In The Head?'


As the title of today's post suggests, this is more of a random news sort of post rather than anything insightful or deep.  Basically I wanted to fill in a few gaps on what's been going on with me and my writing.  With one particular piece of news being that I have a tentative (but getting more solid everyday) plan to...RELEASE MY DEBUT NOVEL!!! *Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!* and say, WHAAAAAAAAA?

Yes, readers, writers, and friends, I am (finally) taking the plunge.  I, Blaire Kensley, am working, plotting and planning very carefully the release of my debut novel, which I haven't officially titled yet, but am working extra hard to make it all come together and hopefully worth the wait.  And being that I am such a nice and wonderful person, I'll try not to keep you all in suspense for too much longer (I hope).  

Now for those of you wondering about my series, THE CREED, I am in fact still making serious re-writes and edits to it at present.  But I wanted to give you all a bit of hope in saying that I have a tentative release date for Book #1 set for Spring of 2012. Hollerrrrrrrr! You read right people, 2012 is gonna be a very big year (and no, it's not only because according to some Amazonian calendar it may very well be the last year EVER).   

Now I realize that is quite a bit to lay on all of you in a measly "lots of randomness" post, but that's sort of the world I live in. So welcome! And stay tuned for more coming information on my current WIP, which I will tell you falls primarily into the YA romantic-comedy genre.  So keep a firm eye out on my new "Writing" page, which is currently under construction for all the FANTASTIC surprises and goodies I plan to share with all of you in the coming future.

So as you can see I am a very busy bee, and December will definitely offer some very interesting surprises and reveals from, YOURS TRULY! Hooray! *throws confetti*  Now I will give you all another lovely hint and tell you that the FIRST reveal will be posted (hopefully, pending my act is still on it and with it) in mid-December. In which I will include an official TITLE & RELEASE DATE for my debut novel as well as a little something else, which I'll get to in a bit.  I know, I know so much mystery.  But I can't help it, this is just so much fun!

I am also crazy uber excited about the fact that...THE HOLIDAY'S ARE (almost officially) HERE!!! It appears that the holidays have well and truly kicked off.  I actually lost count last night of how many Christmas commercials I saw while watching the Kentucky vs. Kansas game. Which by the way, CONGRATS KENTUCKY!!! Wow, talk about an exciting game. But yes, the Christmas commercials and ads were definitely in full effect. *dances and bounces in chair to a holiday tune only heard in my head*

And lastly, I am SOOOOOOOO frackin' excited because as of today I officially hit the 100 BLOG FOLLOWERS mark! Woot woot! Seriously, I can hardly believe it.  But you know what? This only goes to show how truly awesome and amazing all of you are. And proves that your support is a huge part of what keeps me pushing, fighting, and clawing to realize my dreams.  So after a bit of back and forth, and as a way to show my gratitude and appreciation, I have decided to have my first ever blog GIVEAWAY! YAY! (Wow, I am seriously like the Queen of exclamation marks today.) So on the day of my TITLE & RELEASE DATE reveal post (which is scheduled for mid-December) I will also be having my FIRST EVER blog giveaway.  

What will I be giving away? Well...that is also a surprise.


But one that I promise you won't be disappointed in, because I definitely love and enjoy being generous to those who (too often) thanklessly support and encourage me day after day.  Now as for those who are actually interested in entering my little giveaway for a chance to win this MYSTERY prize, well...I will be posting all giveaway details in this week's BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY post.  So don't miss it! (Hehe. I know, I'm such a stinker.)

Whew! I think I may have overloaded all of you with all this crazy news. But I hope I've given you all something to chew on for a while, and that it has (some of you) as excited and pumped about the near future as it does me.  So stay tuned, peeps, because this train is about to leave the station and I hope you are ALL aboard!

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

Due to the fact that my life has sort of been taken over by the craziness that is NaNoWriMo I've decided to forgo doing a BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY post this week.  Yeah, I know. So lame. I genuinely apologize for being such a blogger slacker, but I'm really trying to put as much focus and time into reaching my 50k goal by the Nov. 30th deadline.  But before I creep off and isolate myself in my writer's cave I wanted to say Happy Veterans Day to all you veterans out there, and wish EVERYONE a very safe and pleasant weekend.  Happy Friday!

Tune of the day:
Oasis - "Wonderwall"


Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be Yourself

Having received such positive feedback on previous posts, I thought I'd go ahead and include (yet another) tune of the day.  And FYI, I'm always open to sharing and exploring new artists, so if you have suggestions (of any kind) shoot them my way.

That being said, if you're NOT interested in the tune (which is perfectly okay), then please feel free to skip down to the post below.

Tune of the day:

Gary Go - "Wonderful"



One of the reasons I really love listening to this song by Gary Go is because it offers a powerful reminder of something I often forget. I am *bleepin'* WONDERFUL! And I don't mean that in a rude, narcissistic, in your face, look-at-me-I'm-so-pretty sort of way. But more in the, "Hi, I'm Blaire! And I'm ready to kick some major LIFE butt and take some names. Are you in?"

Now while this may all come across as a little frou-frou and cookie cutter, believe me when I say there is definitely another half to this.  It's really sort of funny to me because even at the age of twenty-eight I still find myself battling some of the same issues and doubts that I had as a teen. With some of the things I was once (and sometimes still am) awful about doing, are things like being overly harsh, judgmental and critical of myself.  "I wish I had a better body...I wish my thighs were skinnier...Why is my nose so big...I hate my hair, it's disgusting!...I wish I were smarter, prettier, and more talented." 

I mean it just NEVER seemed to end. And when I think about it, all I want to do is yell at that version of myself (both then and now) and simply say...STOP IT! And maybe throw in a good SLAP! for clarity.

And yes, while some of the media may have had a great deal of influence on me back then, I will also tell you that the other hand responsible for tightening the life draining noose around my neck was in many ways my own.  Due to the fact that I wasn't exactly surrounding myself with some of the most positive people out there.  I remember how powerful that feeling of desperation was, of wanting to belong and fit in, to be liked by that special guy.  How there would be moments when I would feel so irrationally driven to make myself known, to be liked, to be found pretty, or to have that special someone notice me that day. And ultimately find myself doing things that I really didn't want to do, but out of the fear of being labeled weird, or worse being an outcast and rejected, did them anyway. It was like I was consumed with this bottomless hunger for acceptance.  And though I wasn't actively pursuing being the school Homecoming Queen or anything like that.  The pressure of it all simply got to me just as I'm sure it got to all the "popular kids" I desperately wanted to be accepted by.  

Even now it seems kind of weird, and honestly a little embarrassing to admit (especially at my age), that I still sometimes feel like that teenager back in middle school and high school. Wanting to be accepted and liked, wanting to fit in.

Basically the same old problems, just a different playground.

But when it comes to my life, my writing and finding inspiration, because I don't believe inspiration is strictly designated to only the writer in me, I feel I also need to be better about nurturing and inspiring every part of my life, not just the writer side.  Trying to be a person who is more intentional about finding the right mojo for my life, by making decisions that will help push me to fully live out my dreams and potential.  I think its very important that we each find a positive source of energy that we can feed from in our daily lives.  For me that source comes in a variety of forms.  One being music, another is films, and the most important one being, AUTHENTIC people. And for me those are people who are motivated in their lives (which is one of many reasons I love writers), they possess a genuine kindness and desire to share with others, and are people who in their way enhance your life instead of drains it.  

And while I know it's virtually impossible for every person in your life be THIS particular person. I do think it important that everyone has someone (or multiple someones) that they can go to when they need to, someone they can talk to or be around without fear of judgment and rejection.  Persons that KNOW & BELIEVE in you and see just how WONDERFUL you are just because you're YOU.  And I realize this may all sound pretty cheesy pie and corny, but I honestly believe it, so that's why I say it.  

Well, I think I've bored enough of you for the day. So until next time...

Happy Writing & Happy Reading! ;)


Monday, November 7, 2011

Sufjan Stevens - "Casimir Pulaski Day"

Feeling pretty mellow today.  I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend and that the start of your week kicks off with a BANG!  Thought I'd share my Monday Morning tune with those of you who are visiting. Such a beautiful and touching song...

Sufjan Stevens - "Casimir Pulaski Day"

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Morning Musings

So for those of you who have only recently started visiting my blog, something you should know about me is the fact that not only am a writer with an almost obsessive love (some would even call it a passion) for both reading and writing. I'm also a HUGE fan of films and music.  And being that it's 4 am on a Sunday morning and my sleep schedule is completely off, I thought why not write a post about one of my favorite things. Music!

My Sunday morning tune:

Maroon 5 - "Sunday Morning"

I've been up most of the night listening to music and reading.  Things are typically pretty quiet around her at night, especially not living in the heavier traffic areas of the Dallas Metro area.  No sounds of police sirens, ambulances, gun fire...just peace and quiet. But while sitting her in the quiet my brain began (of course) wandering. And somehow I started thinking about how much I absolutely love music and creating playlists, and how it's been something I've done since I was a little girl.  And I don't mean just for the stories I write or for working out.

I mean for EVERYTHING!

Commutes to work, while I clean, cook, write, when I was in school it helped while I studied, and even while sitting here musing the night away. It's as if every moment in my life has a track. Sort of like I've made a MY LIFE soundtrack.  For instance, most Sunday mornings a Maroon 5 song comes to mind (yes, the one posted as "My Sunday morning tune") and I typically find myself humming or singing it during my morning shower, or while I putter around in the morning.  And its crazy because almost every major moment in my life I mostly recall only because I've somehow mentally associated/categorized it in my mind with a song that I like (or once liked) and even ones I absolutely couldn't stand but had become stuck in my head like a bad stench anyway.

Now being that I probably possess the WORSE memory ever, for me, music has been a total life saver. Somehow it's become one of the major keys to helping me remember most things I would have otherwise forgotten, being that I associate most memories, feelings, moods, and most creative moments with a song in some form or another.  Which is why I always have my ipod charged, with me, and ready to go most days.  I typically listen to music all day at work and usually whenever I'm writing, unless I have a movie playing in the background, and generally listen to just about everything. I definitely feel lucky to be living in a time where all sorts of diverse styles and eras of music are so readily accessible to me.

Thanks again, Steve Jobs.

So there you have it. Just a little more of me that I wanted to share with all of you.

Now it's your turn! What are some odd quirky things that have overtime become part of your life, daily routine or part of your creative process?

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


Friday, November 4, 2011

BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY

It's official folks! The holiday season is now in full swing and (as usual) quite a few people are ALREADY sick of the Christmas decorations and ready for the New Year. *sigh* It's one of the many ways I've come to recognize when the holiday season has officially kicked off. Hearing the telling sounds of swears and curses mixed with the youthful squeals of joy as I walk through the swishing doors of the local Walmart and find myself greeted by a twinkling Christmas tree and sweet old Betty-Sue. I simply know.


Welcome to November! Because as some of you may know from previous posts (25 Random Things About Me) I love, love, love, love, love this time of year! Total holiday addict.  No, seriously. I'm someone who thoroughly enjoys the gradual transition of season and weather this time of year brings, along with the holidays, the food, festivals, parties, movies, music, and (of course) all the BOOKS!

Which is why I also LOVE doing BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY (which has officially returned after a very brief week off).  But much has already happened for me in November.  Week one has definitely been a busy one, with one very important something being...NaNoWriMo!!! Woot woot! Yes, that's right people, this is my first year participating in the insanity that is NaNo and I am having a BLAST! 

So this holiday season has already started off with an all mighty BOOM for me! And looks like it will only get better as we move toward the end of the year with some pretty spectacular book releases and movies on the horizon.  But here are a couple of authors that have particularly caught my eye.

BIG NEWS:

Today's first #BNFF is the witty and wickedly funny romantic comedy author, Tawna Fenske.  When not blogging, or writing the most laugh out loud books that I have ever read, Tawna can usually be found satisfying her lust for world travel or tending to a menagerie of beloved (albeit, ill-behaved) household pets.

While this up and coming romantic comedy author currently resides in Bend, Oregon, and may appear to lead just a simple humble existence, this rising star author has recently been nominated for "best contemporary romance" in the RT Book Reviews 2011 Reviewers' Choice Awards for her debuting novel MAKING WAVES! Congratulations Tawna, you've definitely earned your place among the greats in my opinion.



 "Making Waves"
"There are normal ways to cope with job loss, and most don’t involve plotting a revenge-fueled diamond heist in the Caribbean with a crew more suited to the boardroom than the poop deck.

But Alex Bradshaw isn’t feeling very normal when his unscrupulous boss kicks him to the curb after 20 faithful years as an executive with the world’s largest shipping company. Alex wants payback, and maybe a chance to reclaim his dignity and his pension while he’s at it. Assembling a team of fellow corporate castoffs, he sails to the Caribbean to intercept the boss's illegal diamond shipment. None of them counted on a quirky blonde stowaway with a perplexing array of talents, a few big secrets, and an intoxicating romantic chemistry with Alex.

And while Juli Flynn certainly didn’t plan to be a part of the most dysfunctional high seas caper in history, it’s a rare chance for her to feel like she belongs. She’s spent a lifetime being “different” from everyone else, though the reasons for that are something she’d prefer not to share with her newfound shipmates. Juli just wants to be normal for a change, but as she finds her place with the misfit crew – and in Alex’s heart – she discovers normal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And sometimes, being weird can be wonderful."
Want more then check out this EXCERPT!

I give Tawna's book the BK 5-star rating, and HIGHLY recommend MAKING WAVES to anyone who enjoys taking down their romance with a healthy dose of quirk and humor. 

MAKING WAVES is available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Book.

For more information on Tawna please visit her website! For a daily dose of great writing and various other naughty shenanigans you can also stalk *ahem* I mean follow this fantastic author on her blog, twitter (@TawnaFenske) and/or Facebook!

*****

The last author featured in today's #BNFF is Patti Roberts, writer of the dark supernatural/fantasy series, PARADOX.  This Australian author has received rave reviews from readers across the globe for her debuting series, and with so much support behind her Roberts is showing no signs of stopping until the job is done. In her debuting series, Patti effectively captures and pulls her readers into the dark world of the Guardian Angel.

Readers are calling this novella..."so totally different from anything I’ve read recently and I have to say… WOW." and one that "...definitely gives you something to think about."

Book one of her series PARADOX - The Angels Are Here is available at: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and The Book Depository (free world wide delivery).



"Paradox: The Angels Are Here"
"Nine hundred years ago, I died...

A journey crossing Two Worlds. 
One Ancient - One New.

How do the heartbreaking visions experienced by a little girl fit into this Ancient World of Angels, Myth & Legend? 

Where lives are bound by blood - and nothing is as it seems.  This journey will leave you wanting and have you asking... Who, When, Where?

In a World where there are more questions than answers.


Is your Guardian Angel From Heaven or Hell...?"
For more check out this EXCERPT!

The second book of the PARADOX Series, PROGENY OF INNOCENCE will be available soon.

For more information on Patti you can visit her website! For more updates you can also follow her on twitter (@PattiRoberts7) and Facebook!

MY FAVORITE BOOK TRAILER of the WEEK:

This week's book trailer favorite goes to Patti Robers for her Paradox Series. Enjoy!



Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaNoWriMo participant. Present!

So its seems almost everyone is either blogging, tweeting, and/or facebooking about NaNoWriMo. Apparently, IT'S AN EPIDEMIC! Hehe. Just kidding.

Having only heard about NaNoWriMo a few months ago I have to tell you there is something very exciting, yet totally FREAKING ME OUT about this whole crazy writing process. *sigh* I love it!

Oh, and if you haven't guessed yet, yes, I am a first year participant in NaNoWriMo.

Though by this point I have read TONS of blogs and tweets about how great some have found NaNo to be vs. those who feel very strongly about how awful they find NaNo to be.  And I have to admit there is always something in me that tends to rise up when I feel like someone is attempting to advise me that THEIR WAY is the best way for me to explore MY passions and MY art, by criticizing or bad-mouthing the alternative options.  And my response to that, without trying to give offense to anyone is simply this...STEP OFF!  Honestly, I have nothing against constructive criticism, but I am not a supporter of any form of bad-mouthing or giving bad reviews (friend, family, or other). Even when there have been times when I've VERY much wanted to do just that.

I'm of the opinion, if you don't have something nice to say then say NOTHING.  Of course this is simply a motto I try to live by, especially as a writer (not saying I always succeed, but I try). But I do realize that not all will agree with me on this nor will they find this to be a realistic or an effective philosophy to live by. 

But when it comes to MY writing I've always sort of rolled with the opinion that how I choose to write is MY choice, just how the way you or anyone chooses to write is THEIR choice.  The whole debate of NaNo being some trend or fad, may to some be a relevant opinion...BUT SO WHAT! I could argue that a lot of these arguments sound more like a few traditional mentalities clashing against something that they view as far too fun and a bit chaotic (aka. immature and amateurish) to be "real writing", and therefore believe it can't really offer any credible work to the literary world, so (in their opinion) has no place being associated with it.

I'd of course have to disagree. But hey, that's only my opinion. 

But from what I understand and am experiencing, NaNoWriMo has nothing to do with critics, publishing, profits, shareholders, mergers or best sellers lists or anything that gives or takes credibility from any of these things listed above. For me it's purely about a community of people, writers mostly, who get a chance to participate in something they love to do most with others who feel the same. Writing!  So maybe I'm missing the boat on this one, or I'm just over simplifying it.  But for me, the only objective I have in doing NaNo is simply to do something I love to do. Write.

So with that being said...I'm off to write!!!  Good luck to all my fellow NaNo'ers! May the force be with you.

For more information on NaNoWriMo you can visit the website.

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Goodbye October

Whew! I can hardly believe another month has already come and gone.  And while it's with a bit of sadness that I say, "Goodbye October!" *waves*, it's also with a healthy gulp of excitement *quickly turns with open arms* that I also say, "Hellooooo November!" *winks*

I know! It's totally wrong of me to talk about the months like they were some old recurring fling who comes in and out of my life on an annual basis, like some winter cold, or bronchitis. But don't judge me, because in my defense they ALL know the score well beforehand. (And Tawna, if you're reading this...NO SNICKERING!)

But I have to admit that October definitely gave me a run for my money, the little stinker. Let's just say it was pretty crazy around here, with the opening of the Texas State Fair (which was a BLAST by the way), Octoberfest, Fall festivals, the first cool front and for some of you first snows, the World Series (which I DON'T want to talk about, let's just say I'm still a little sore about it) and now, finally...  

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!  


BOOOOoooooOOOOOOooooo!

So with the last day of October on the cusp of flinging us ruthlessly into November, I can't help but dwell on a few very exciting events that await me in November.  Of course there's Thanksgiving, which is always a pleasant given this time of year and a thoroughly anticipated holiday in my household. There's also the birthday of my baby brother (Nov. 1st), Happy (early) Birthday Josiah!!! But what makes this year's November even more special, is that it brings something completely new and unexplored for me...NaNoWriMo!!!

That's right readers, this will be my FIRST year participating in the craziness that is NaNoWriMo.  And I have to admit that while I'm not all that sure what to expect, I'm pretty positive that this will be both an interesting and unforgettable experience for me as a writer.  Not to mention I'm a little on the petrified side at the idea of trying to write 50k words, basically an entire novel in one months time, I definitely feel a rush of adrenaline at stepping up to the plate and accepting this challenge.

After reading numerous blogs about how best to approach this, I'm still unsure of what the best method of going about this may actually be that will gain me actual success in reaching the 50k mark.  But I did at least make it a point to think about and flesh out my story plot and character in advance with hopes of making this as smooth an experience as possible.  So after all the brainstorming and tweaking I did manage to squeeze in over the last week or so, I think, if nothing else, this will be a very revealing process for me as a writer.

For those who have never heard of NaNoWriMo and would be interested in learning more or possibly participating please visit the NaNoWriMo website: http://www.nanowrimo.org/.

And to all the 2011 NaNoWriMo participants, GOOD LUCK & let the writing begin!!!

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!!!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla

Such a beautiful song & I love this video!

Sigur Ros - "Hoppipolla"


Happy Writing & Happy Reading!


Friday, October 28, 2011

The Broken Destiny Blog Tour


 
Welcome all!

I am both thrilled and honored to be the fourth stop of The Broken Destiny Blog Tour, featuring the wonderful and gorgeous Carlyle Labuschagne, and am giddy with excitement for the release of her debut novel, The Broken Destiny!


So without further ado, I present for the first time ever an EXCERPT (woo-hoo!) from the much anticipated debuting novel, The Broken Destiny.
 
The Broken
Destiny

Excerpt from
Chapter 6
Breaking Out

 Walking beside Sam, who was tugging at and straightening my hair, I tried to wash away the memories of the attacks. I thought of Maya and pain shot through my stomach. I felt nervous for some reason unknown to myself. Usually I loved night classes. I was more of a night owl than a morning person, but the dark shadows were playing tricks on me. All around me the shadows seemed to reach out to me. I grabbed Sam’s arm and she held my hand, sighing to herself. At first I did not notice the ample amount of guards that had been posted at each unlit corner of the school yard, but after a while their calls for Sam made them impossible to ignore.

“Popular are we?” I asked her, a bit jealous.

“Yes, because of you,” she said bluntly.

I frowned.

“Don’t play dumb with me, Ava. Everyone now knows that you’re special.” The tone in her voice suggested she was bitter.

“Look, Sam…” I started, but she interrupted me as she came to a halt beneath a dim lamp that hung low from the corridor ceiling.

“I’ll get over it,” she said, trying to sound sincere.

“I never asked for this.”

“I know.” 

“Why the hostility?”

“No hostility,” she said, blinking.

I wanted to believe her. 

“I know my best friend and I know when she is lying to me,” I said bluntly. 

I looked down at our shadows, feeling empty as the words spilled out of my mouth.

“I said I’m working on it,” she spat and hugged me tight.

I didn’t believe that gesture either. As we made our way to the lecture hall, I wasn’t thinking about math or dreading every boring hour. I was thinking about Troy, Maya and Enoch. Had it all been a dream? I wondered, quickly caressing my right cheek. There was a smooth, thin line where the crusted blood had been. I looked at my fingers, expecting to see the odd-colored blood again, but there was none. I had a nagging feeling that I was more unusual than anyone could imagine. I needed some closure. I needed the truth. Am I even human at all? My mind was whirling out of control. I felt my chest tighten. I closed my eyes and got ahold of myself. When the lecture hall doors swung open almost everyone in the room turned to look at us.
Excerpt form The Broken Destiny a Novel by Carlyle Labuschagne
Release Date: Early 2012
Book Trailer:
THE BROKEN DESTINY

BONUS GIVEAWAY:  For the lucky person who can write the BEST conclusion to Carlyle's excerpt, you could stand the chance of winning an actual copy of The Broken Destiny.  Totally awesome, right?! So get to writing and please submit all entries in the comments section of this post.  The last day to submit will be Friday, November, 4, 2011. Good luck everyone!

To read any previous stops on The Broken Destiny Blog Tour, check out the following links:
For more information on Carlyle please visit her website! For other updates and news you can follow this lovely chica on twitter (@CarlyleL) , Facebook, and Goodreads!
Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Way Back When...

Lately I can't help but feel the ever increasing gap between myself and the current generation of teens.  With a teenage brother (18 yrs old) it becomes more clear with each family get together that I am quickly becoming part of that demographic of society I once called, "Ugh. Old people!"

And while I would love to say that I am embracing the aging process with arms wide open, while it woos me into my 30's. *gulp* I must confess that, um...I'M FREAKIN' OUT OVER HERE!

So being that I'm a YA writer and felt that maybe I wasn't as in tuned with some of the more common trends of today's teen, I decided to create a twitter list that I call, GLOBAL Generation XY POWER! (aka. Teens of TODAY!) And boy, I must say that...I HAD NO CLUE! Now while its very clear that somethings NEVER change.  One of those things being a teenagers bottomless ability to obsess over just about eveything, especially boys, girls, relationships and sex....wait...maybe this isn't so much a teen thing as a life thing. But I will say that the formatting of these obsessions has definitely gotten an upgrade, especially with this generations easy access to social media and technology.

But as I tried to process all the many ways teens interact and exist today, my brain undoubtedly detoured and I couldn't help but wonder...what sort of things did I obsess over as a youth and into my teen years?

Here were a few things I came up with from WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY BACK WHEN...

Fashion/Gadgets:

                                                  
<-- The Michael Jackson "Glove"



Scrunchies


Slap Band Bracelets




<-- Hammer Pants


Friendship Bracelets


Cabbage Patch Dolls








<-- Trolls (Oy!)

The Boombox

The Walkman --> Look how HUGE that thing was! Where were you Steve Jobs?

The Internet (Yes, I DO remember a time when there was no Internet, Email, IM.)

Cellphones 

Sports:

Michael Jordan...because EVERYONE wanted "To be like Mike." - I wanna I wanna be like Miiiiikkke.

Bo Jackson and the whole "Bo knows....EVERYTHING!" campaign that got passed around more than bare-breasted women during Woodstock.

Andre Agassi

Tiger Woods

Wayne Gretzkey

TV Shows:

MTV -- which eventually gave us reality TV & THE REAL WORLD!

TGIF -- Can't forget the Winslow Family & their pesky neighbor Steve Urkel!

The Cosby Show


Saved By The Bell
Full House

Blossom & her uber cute brother Joey, WHOOOOAAA!

90210 (The Original)

Cheers

Dallas

Music:

I think something that still remains a common trend that influences and molds most teens is the music they listen to. So here are some of the musicians that GREATLY influenced me growing up.

Michael Jackson & his baby sister Janet Jackson

MC Hammer with "Hammer Time" & those Hammer Pants. Does anyone else remember those? O_o  The originator of --> "U Can't Touch This"

New Kids on the Block - the start of Boy Bands, such as N'Sync, Back Street Boys, 98 Degrees, among NUMEROUS others.

Popular Rock/Pop - Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam, U2, Dave Matthews Band, Nirvana, Metallica, AC/DC

The Beastie Boys & Limp Bizkit

Madonna <-- When she was still just, "Who's that girl" I LOVED this song! Okay, okay, okay *sigh*...I STILL love this song.

Tupac, Dr Dre, Biggie Smalls, Snoop Dog

Boys 2 Men, Mariah Carey, Destiny's Child

Sir Mix-A-lot & all those BIG BUTTS! 

Spice Girls (Yes! We had The Spice Girls!)

Ace of Base - I can't help but laugh at this one...boy, I saw the sign (and I should've made a u-turn and drove away!).

Sisqo & Dru Hill and all his... thong tha-thong thong thongs! Yes, we had the THONG SONG, no, it was literally called THONG SONG. *snickers*

Wow! Talk about traveling back in time. But I really loved my childhood, even with all the weird, awkward, wacky-tacky things that I once thought were cool (and kinda still do). But I am sure there are plenty of trends that I missed, so please feel free to share some of the things that you remember from your youth (whenever that may have been or may be now)?

Well that about closes me down, so what better way to end this post then with one of my ALL time favorite MJ tunes of my yesteryears.  THIS is the Michael Jackson of MY youth, loved this guy. He was SO GREAT!

Enjoy!

Michael Jackson - "Rock With You"

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!