Friday, September 30, 2011

More Bloffee? Allow me...

Welcome everybody to Friday Morning Follower’sBloffee!  -A way to meet new people and up your followers during your normal friday morning rituals.  Place your breakfast contribution on the counter and settle in!

 All you have to do to participate is 1.  Comment. 
2. Tell me what you’ve brought for morning bloffee.  (Today I’ve started out with coffee and English muffins dripping with butter.  Mmm.) 

3. Click on someone you don’t know in the comments section and check out their blog!  Voila- a new friend and potential follower connection has been made!

In the meantime I’ll be available for chat in the comments section.  The winner of this Banned Book Week’s novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is:  Jennifer Hillier!  Congrats Jennifer!  Please be sure to send your mailing address to

In other news- what did you guys blog about this week?  I know one blog post that caught a lot of attention was the ebookexperiment by Shelli Johannes Wells. – thus leading me to this week’s topic of bloffee conversation:  Have you guys noticed a definite shift in mentality when it comes to self ebook publishing these last few months?  I know in my mind, self publishing has almost completely lost its taboo connotations.  And I think it can definitely work out in some author’s favor if the circumstances are right.  To be truthful, after years spent in the query trenches, self publishing is looking very tempting and I’m definitely gathering information and keeping an eye on Shelli’s ebook experiment. 

That said- I have to wonder WHY traditional and self publishing are being compared like they’re in some kind of competition. Why must one win the other over?   Isn’t there room for both?

Any other big themes you noticed around the blogosphere this week?  Be sure to pass the orange juice and have a great weekend everyone!:)


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Release! SHIFTING by Bethany Wiggins

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred  to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal.

Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step.

Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter.

But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

‘Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.’

About the Author:

Bethany Wiggins has always been an avid reader, but not an avid writer. Seriously!!! She failed ninth grade English because she read novels instead of doing her homework. In high school, she sat alone at lunch and read massive hardback fantasy novels (Tad Williams and Robert Jordan anyone?). It wasn't until the end of her senior year that the other students realized she was reading fiction--not the Bible

Several years ago Bethany's sister dared her to start writing an hour a day until she completed a novel.  Bethany wrote a seven-hundred page fantasy novel that she wisely let no one read--but it taught her how to write.  The fifth novel she wrote, SHIFTING, is being published by Walker Books September 27, 2011.

***I don’t know about you guys but I think Bethany’s debut novel has a fantastic premise!  Definitely going on my tbr list!  

also- Be sure to check out Monday's post in honor of Banned Books Week and comment to be in the running for a free copy of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Drive Me Wilde!

-There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

-Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

-Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.(Lady Windermere's Fan)

-When good Americans die they go to Paris. (The Portrait of Dorian Gray)

-It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

-To many, no doubt, he will seem blatant and bumptious, but we prefer to regard him as being simply British. (Pall Mall Gazette)

-I never play cricket. It requires one to assume such indecent postures.

-One must have some sort of occupation nowadays. If I hadn't my debts I shouldn't have anything to think about.(A Woman of No Importance)

-Duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself.(A Woman of No Importance)

-It is very easy to endure the difficulties of one's enemies. It is the successes of one's friends that are hard to bear.

-I have nothing to declare except my genius.(at New York customs)

-All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. (The Importance of Being Earnest)

In high school, I totally had a crush on Oscar Wilde after reading his play ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’.   So like I did with every dead artist newly discovered by my teenage heart (Elvis, John Lennon, William Shakespeare, Jim Morrison.  Huh-Come to think of it, I guess I kind of had a thing for dead guys back then.)- I quickly went out and bought a book of Oscar’s plays and the only novel he ever wrote ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.

Wilde wrote plays that mocked high society.

And they loved him for it.

He was a masterful wit- stating the obvious, the absurd, and above all- the truth about the world with a clipped humor that remains unmatched by any other.

‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, however, touched on a truth that no one of the time was willing to acknowledge.   Homosexuality was illegal in England when the book was published, and the insinuations of romantic feelings between two men were denounced by the general public.  -Add into that Wilde’s philosophies on aestheticism and hedonism and you’ve got yourself a Molotov cocktail of controversy.

 The Daily Chronicle of 30 June 1890 suggested that Wilde's novel contained "one element...which will taint every young mind that comes in contact with it." and the book was banned from many major booksellers.

Today I’m offering up a FREE COPY of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’- considered today to be one of the greatest works of the time.  All you have to do is comment to be entered in the drawing.  And be sure to check out the other participants in the Banned Books Week Bloghop!
Hope you all had a great weekend!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Grab Some Bloffee and Pull Up A Chair

Welcome everybody to Friday Morning Follower’sBloffee!  -A way to meet new people and up your followers during your normal friday morning rituals.  Place your breakfast contribution on the counter and settle in!

 All you have to do to participate is 1.  Comment. 
2. Tell me what you’ve brought for morning bloffee.  (Today I’ve started out with a pot of coffee and a carton of virtual krispy cream donuts because in real life I only get to taste one once every three years or so...which is probably best for my waist line.) 
3. Click on someone you don’t know in the comments section and check out their blog!  Voila- a new friend and potential follower connection has been made!

In the meantime I’ll be hanging around for chat in the comments (which I hardly ever do) so feel free to check back if you’ve left a question or comment.  Tell me- what did you blog about this week and did you notice any big themes going on in the blogging world?  I noticed quite a few posts about online personality versus real life personality.  Do you think you change while blogging in order to put your best face forward?  I also noticed quite a few posts about knowing when to move on in the querying process, including mine.  Thanks so much to all who commented!  The thing I learned this week is that it’s important to keep going no matter what.  -Keep querying the project you’re most excited about at the moment!  Any other blog posts that really stuck with you this week I should know about? 

Enjoy the food and conversation and have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If It Doesn't Happen Fast- It's Not Gonna Happen

Do you ever feel this way about querying?  I know it’s happened to me.  My final draft was given the go-ahead from betas.  I was so excited to share the premise and my characters with agents and when those first few queries went out, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

And then nothing happened.

I tweaked my query.  Went over my first chapter with a fine toothed comb.

I queried some more.

REQUESTS!  Yay!  This was really going to happen!  In two weeks time I just might have myself an agent!  After all, that’s how it happened for...  (insert the hundreds of published authors who found their agent right away). 

But then the requested material came back with an ‘I’m sorry, but...’

Months went by and the cycle got old.  And then I felt like ‘well, if it didn’t happen for this book in the first six months of querying agents- it isn’t gonna happen.’  I gave up and moved on to a new project.

But should I have given up on the project if it wasn’t taken on by an agent in the first six months?  If one out of ten agents requested the material and eight out of eight didn’t want to commit for whatever reason, is it over?  Is my book really not worthy of being read or did I just not find the one agent who likes it as much as my betas did? How do I know that if I don’t just keep going and querying, it might get into the right hands?  

I think this is a dilemma a lot of writers today face.  On one hand- if it doesn’t happen fast, it doesn’t happen because we give up!

On the other, some published authors query their books for YEARS, hitting up hundreds of agents before finally finding ‘the one’. 

And on a more depressing note- some query for YEARS, hit up hundreds only to never be taken on at all.  (kill me now)

How do you feel?  If you believe your book should be out there but it’s just not happening, do you move on?  Or do you continue to query come hell or high water?  Do you think if it doesn’t happen fast, it’s not gonna happen at all?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Superlative Seven

Last Monday Dianne Salerni hit me up with the Superlative Seven award which requires a little jont down memory lane where I pick out my seven most superlative (what does this word even mean?) posts!:)

So here they are:

Most Surprisingly Successful-  ‘I feel like a sperm  (Who knew this would go down in the creepy hall of fame?)

Most Underrated-  ‘Snuck Doesn’t Suck!’ I still think it’s a worthy cause

Most Pride Worthy-  ‘My Dirty Little Secret’ the reaction and encouragement in the comments just made my day.

Now, to inflict this challenge on seven other bloggers.  I’m gonna pass this on to a few I know have been around awhile (at least as long as I have) and will have as much a hell of a time going through their old posts as I did.  Yes, I’m evil like that:)

Good luck guys!  NOT an easy challenge to meet but I know ya’ll can do it!:)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Morning Follower's Bloffee

Between KarenG’s labor day BBQ and Talli Roland’s book launch websplash I’ve met so many amazing bloggers in such a short time.  I had almost forgotten how much fun it is to visit others, discover new people and learn about who they are and what they stand for.  As Matt McNash pointed out in his latest posts, following and being followed (as creepy as this sounds) is a part of what makes a successful blogger and also a part of what makes blogging so much fun!

 So I’ve decided to dedicate Fridays to meet’n’greeting.  I’ll be hosting Friday Morning Follower’s Bloffee on Friday mornings.  So far I’ve got the coffee and the cinnamon rolls.  All you need to do is 1. comment,- 2. let me know what you’ve brought to Friday Morning Bloffee (hot chocolate? Hash browns?  Toast? O.J.?).  3. Find someone in the comments who you don’t know, click and check out their blog!  Voila!  A new friend and potential follower connection has been made!

In the meantime I’m going to share a couple of awesome blogs I’ve recently discovered:

Team Un-PubbedI was completely won over by her helpful and spunky personality! Liz just released a self-pubbed book entitled Double Dutch.

Anna Banks- her soon to be released book POSEIDON looks amazing!

Trisha Leaver- Really insightful and thought-provoking posts for writers

Audrey Allure- this fashionista’s photography features some drool worthy items and accessories

Hairnets & HopesThis blog combines two things I can’t live without- writing and food. Yum!

Hanna C. Howard- Because her profile pic looks so open and friendly I always smile when I see it

Trisha Wolfe- You have GOT to see the cover she did for her upcoming release ‘Unveiled’!  It totally blew my mind.

Abby from Something to Write About- great writer’s blog where she offers up unique points for debate and discussion!

Word + Stuff- such a fun and artistic blog!

Gina Dickerson-  I love Gina in her blog header.  She looks like that bad girl you want to be friends with on the playground so nobody will threaten to beat you up.

Jamie Manning- Writer’s Write Right? Because his blogged managed to crack me up in the first ten seconds.

There you have it!  Meet, Greet, and Eat some breakfast with your bloffee!!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If I Could Be Anyone, I'd Be...

In celebration of the ekindle book version release of Talli Rolland’s ‘Watching Willow Watts’, today I’m taking part in her websplash costume party!  Deal is we all need to come as the person we’d  always admired, longed to impersonate, or just plain envied’. 

Okay, so today I’m coming to her party as... (don’t laugh)...

Emmaline from the Blue Lagoon!

Hey!  Keep yer hands off my coconut bikini:)

Okay, so why Emmaline?  Well, let me think:
1. She’s tan, tall, gorgeous and perpetually 16. 

2. She’s trapped on an island paradise.

3. With a major hottie who is madly in love with her.

4. And spends her days lying on the beach, making tropical flower wreathes, and eating seafood.  ( *sigh* I love shellfish dammit!)  She hasn’t the slightest care in the world. 

What else could you want? Tell me, who would you be for a day if you could be anyone you want?  And make sure to check out Talli's blog and find out more about her new release!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Newest Trends in YA

There’s no doubt that every trend eventually fizzles out. Harry Potter brought on the wave of MG fantasy with wizards, fairy tale creatures and magical portals.  Then Twilight marked the debut of the vampire craze.  The Greek Gods and Goddess stories seemed to pop out alongside Percy Jackson.  The Hunger Games drew attention to dystopian.  There’s Fairies and Werewolves.  And what about the remakes (classic lit or fairytale) with a new spin?

I think every writer asks themselves how their book will fit into the market place.  

However, it’s never a good idea to write your manuscript based on current trends. Don’t write in a certain genre just because it’s ‘hot’.  Publishing professionals can feel that coming off a query from a mile away.  But if you happen to write in a hot genre because it’s a genre you’re well versed in, and sincerely love writing in- that’s a different matter.

Trends tend to decline after they’ve been milked by the industry for a year or two.  By the time you find an agent (which can take awhile) and the agent tries to sell your manuscript to a publisher, your book genre will already be ‘oh so two years ago’ and, unless your premise is really different and unique somehow, you just might have to start from scratch. 

My advice is to write the story you want to read but can’t find anywhere.  But before you begin, MAKE SURE it can’t be found anywhere- check amazon lists with keywords.  Google the premise.  The last thing you want is to write a story that’s already been written and published.  It does happen.

Also, it’s not so much the genre that’s the hook.  It’s the premise.  Paranormal and supernatural might be overdone but the important thing is that it’s STILL being done for a reason.   Writers keep coming up with unique characters, conflicts, and journeys that have lovers of those genres coming back for more. 

Figure out what makes your characters different. Figure out what makes their conflict different from anything else you’ve ever read or heard of.  And I don’t just mean slightly different - like ‘my vampires don’t sparkle- they turn smurf blue in sunlight!!!’ different.  There has to be more to it.

We are all avid readers and writers so I’m asking you:

What do YOU think the next big trend will/should be?  What would you like to see more of?  What genre are you entirely sick of seeing?  What premise have you noticed being double and triple used in the last year or so?  (For me, I’ve noticed a redundancy in the ‘bad charismatic boy is actually from the underworld and has come to take the girl back with him’.  – I’ve seen this premise in at least four different novels in the last two years.  Sometimes it’s a fallen angel, or a deamon, or the ruler of the greek underworld.  But to me it’s all the same.  Been there.  Done that.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Smelling Melon Butt

Now that the school year is back in swing, I’ve decided to get back to my Friday in France posts.  I know I’ve already sited some of the wonders of the French market place in my Hello There Pig Face! post.  But today I wanted to talk about the actual ‘interaction’ the French seem to have with their fresh produce.

I guess there are three factors that determine a fruit or vegetable is ‘ripe for the picking’ as they say.

First is color.  Tomatoes should be bright red/orange.  Banana’s should be yellow, not green.  Avocados are usually ripe when they’ve turned a very dark get the idea.

Next is touch. In the marketplace you’ll see people digging through baskets of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, onions, potatoes and other veggies- looking for those perfect few that will make it into their carton.   Avocados especially draw a lot of attention because you have to be able to push in the skin just a little- the flesh beneath should be somewhat soft.

But then you have melons. 

Now melons are a real crowd pleaser when it comes to finding ‘the one’.  Because not only do you have to go by color (beige/green) and texture (firm) but the biggest identifier of a good melon is the smell.  The back end of a melon should smell just as the melon would taste- sweet, moist, and melon-y.

But for some reason, I always feel awkward smelling melons.  I mean, when you see this coming at you:

Well, to be frank, I can’t help but feel like I’m smelling a melon’s butt every time.   

Call me weird.

How do you all go about choosing vegetables where you live?

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!!  A big 'Hello' and 'Welcome' to all the new followers!!  *waves frantically*

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Random Acts of Publicity: Making Waves by Tawna Fenske

As part of  Random Acts of Publicity  I’ve decided to highlight a book I read over the summer by debut author Tawna Fenske.  I first heard about Fenske and her book though Matthew McNash’s The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment.  As soon as I saw the words ‘Romantic Comedy’ my virtual ears (or should I say eyes?) perked up.  I just wrote a romantic comedy for young adults but until seeing Tawna’s book, I’d never heard of a book genre being classified that way.  Movies as romantic comedy?- sure!  But books? – not so much.

So of course I ordered a copy of her book through my kindle to see what classified as romantic comedy.

And I was not disappointed. 

The main character Juli Flynn isn’t your ordinary 30-something singleton with family issues.  I won’t divulge what makes her different but let’s just say- following her train of thought and the way she sees things is downright hilarious.

As is the premise of Making Waves.

A hodge-podge group of disgruntled employees decide to resort to open-sea piracy in order to take back the pensions that were cut by their evil ex-boss.   But Alex Bradshaw, a 42 year old handsome-but-jaded Ex-Executive VP has his work cut out for him if he wants to organize his colleagues; a fifty-year-old bench-pressing blond with intimacy issues, a sensitive ex-NFL linebacker who loves to dabble in French cuisine, and a heavyset accountant with a penchant for conspiracy theories, into a team of real-life pirates.

And when they end up with a cute and freakishly-capable stowaway in Juli, the main characters are going to have a hard time holding onto their heads, never mind their hearts as things get choppy.  (sorry, I’m loving me some sea-faring puns with this one.)
Making Waves was a super fun read with character quirks and twists and turns that provided more than enough laugh-out-loud moments.

Here’s where you can learn more and order a copy:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gimme Props!

Where would Harry Potter be if Voldemort hadn’t decided to stuff a couple chunks of his soul inside a few inanimate objects?

What about Frodo?  What if it wasn’t a ring he had to bear on his quest but a bracelet?  Or a banana clip?  Would the title have been ‘Lord of the Banana Clips’?

Assigning importance to a thing or object is a great way to give information, help the reader visualize what’s taking place, and enhance the plot.

For example:

 Your character is a young boy who’s mother died recently.  Somehow you have to bring this fact and the emotions that come with it into the story at the right time without it coming off as back story.

Now, give the boy a red hat. -A winter had that he wears even in the summer.  Something he refuses to part with.  Something the kids at school make fun of him for (conflict).  Something he plays with and caresses when he thinks no one is looking (reflection). 

Something his mother made him before she died. 

Suddenly the hat takes on a whole new significance and can be used as a tool to bring back story and emotions up to the forefront.

In my newest MS ‘Kissing for Coffee’ Sadie finds an old stuffed clown that brings back memories of when she and her coffee geek Jake used to be close before seventh grade.  Finding the clown helps the reader see a different side of Sadie and discover how her relationship with Jake developed into what it is today.

In FOSSEGRIM Sage’s best friend Aiden is constantly playing with a black Indian head necklace that hangs around his neck, especially when he’s nervous about something. 
But the talisman takes on a more sinister air when we discover it’s actually a piece of black corral- a symbol of the Fiskari- the Fossegrim’s ancient enemies and a weapon that causes land-bound Fossegrim to take on their true form.

Props are an important part of any story.  What kind of props have you found yourself using in your MS?  Can you think of any other books and movies that use objects to enhance the storyline?

* * * * 
Since I'm in France and can't celebrate Labor Day like I usually would, I'm taking part in KarenG's Labor Day BBQ!  Come on over for delicious food and meet great new people!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...