Friday, December 16, 2011

Best I've Read 2011 and LDS Women's Book Review Countdown to Christmas

This year, I got the two early Christmas presents (and you can, too)!

LinkThe fabulous Kathy at I Am a Reader Not a Writer has nominated Minor Adjustments as one of the titles for Best I've Read 2011. If you'd like to win a copy of your own, simply fill out the form on Kathy's site HERE. And don't forget to check out all the other giveaways and titles featured. It's an awesome place for book recommendations.


Also, the lovely ladies at LDS Women's Book Review are featuring some great books and giveaways in their Countdown to Christmas 2011, and I'm honored that Minor Adjustments is among them. To enter to win, go HERE, and be sure to take a peek at all the other great books and giveaways.

What's better than a fun new read during the holidays, right?

Giftcard Giveaway Hop Winner!

And the winner of the $10 gift certificate is . . .

Marjorie!

Thanks again, I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Attack of the Book for hosting this hop!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tis the Season

So the other day, my son's kindergarten bus stopped to pick him up. My three-year-old heard the noise and ran out to the middle of our driveway where she waved excitedly at the bus driver, who smiled and waved back. Then my daughter ran back to me and grinned. "Mom, I did a service!"

Which, of course, made me smile.

It was also a great reminder that simple things can have such a rippling effect. The bus driver was that much happier when she left our house, and my husband came home not long after and smiled when I told him the story. That was four people made happier by one excited little wave.

I don't think people realize just how much good they can do with a simple, "hey", a quick compliment, or showing kindness in general. We always talk about remembering Christ during the holiday season, but what does that really mean? As a child I used to think it meant thinking about Him a lot--about his birth and life. It wasn't until I got older that I realized it means living like Him, too. Going about doing good in our own small and simple ways. That's the real spirit of Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gift Card Giveaway Hop



A huge thanks to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Attack of the Book for hosting this hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $10 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $10 or less from the Book Depository:





Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fun Family or Little Friend Gift

My sister told me about this cute idea for my kids to give to their little friends, so I created my own version. It would be great for a family, too! Just print it out (Game board on one side, instructions on the back), and package it with a bag of M&Ms! Super cute and fun!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Takin' the Grinch out of You

I don't know about you, but I love, love, LOVE the Christmas season. Have since childhood. There really is a magical spirit in the air. Yes, stores are crazy, people are rushing around, trying to get everything done, but overall, there's a feeling of good cheer and excitement. Lights, decorations, smells of cinnamon, Christmas music--I love it all.

But I also admit to letting the hustle and bustle--the stress--get to me on occasion. So a few weeks ago at a church function, I was given a bottle of "Grinch Pills" to help get me through the holiday. I thought they were so fun, I wanted to virtually share them with you. All you need is a handful of your favorite candy, then read on . . .

Feeling kinda grouchy?
Holiday spirit can't be found?
Just try these little "Grinch Pills"
They're the best medicine around.
Whether downing a whole handful,
Or eating one or two,
These tasty little "pills"
Take the Grinch right out of you.
--Author Unknown--

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giveaway Winners

The $10 gift certificate from the Gratitude Giveaway Hop goes to . . .

Mindy Holt

And Slayers, by C.J. Hill goes to . . .

April Harvell

Congrats to you both!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude Giveaways Hop


A huge thanks to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and All Consuming Books for hosting this hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $10 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $10 or less from the Book Depository:





Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Never-ending Revising Cycle

Revisions are my nemesis. Every time I go through a manuscript I find problems--no matter how many times I've gone through it. So I fix the problems, then feel like I need to go through it yet again to make sure it's problem-free.

So I go through it again, only to find more problem areas, more places I can improve, more areas that didn't flow or sound the way I wanted it to sound. It's this never ending cycle that inches me ever closer to loathing the manuscript and believing it's the dumbest thing ever written.

I'll conceded that with each revision, the manuscript does get better, but it still isn't perfect. Never will be. So for all you fellow writers out there, my question is this: At what point do you call it quits? At what point can you say, "I've done my best, and if my best isn't good enough, well . . . "? (I'd like to think I'd finish that sentence with an "oh well", but the reality is that I'd burst into tears.) I realize there's no universal formula for this, but what's yours?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Housework Schmousework

I've spent the morning cleaning, scrubbing, folding laundry and scouring. For those of you who know me well, I'm sure you're clapping right now. For those of you who don't, know this: I despise cleaning.

I've always given myself a hard time about this fact, comparing myself to countless others who seem to keep their homes in white-glove condition, but I've finally decided that there are some benefits to not keeping up on a daily basis.

Ready?

#1 - It is much more satisfying to clean up a messy room. It may take more time, yes, but the overall sense of achievement when finished is greater. It's like the before and after pictures on a home makeover show. Big difference.

#2 - When it's untidy to begin with, you get after your children far less for making a mess.

#3 - You will feel more appreciated by your spouse and even possibly, your children. Seriously. In other words, they might actually NOTICE. (I say "might" because unfortunately, this is not a guarantee.) The change is more pronounced, and therefore, draws notice. My husband never fails to compliment when he comes home to find the house clean. He probably thinks of it a positive reinforcement, but it really isn't (shhh), because I know I wouldn't get that kind of praise if he came home to a pristine house every day.

I realize this might sound like I'm rationalizing a slightly (yes, SLIGHTLY) lazy side of myself, but I've tried to keep my house immaculate before, and let me tell you--I have never felt more under-appreciated, stressed out, or exhausted.

So, for all you over-worked and underpaid mom's out there--put down that vacuum, play with your cute kids, or pick up a good book. Save the cleaning for the day after tomorrow and live more happily ever after.

In the meantime, what's your most dreaded chore? For me, it's emptying the dishwasher.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Giveaway and Slayers Blog Tour, by C.J. Hill

From the back:

Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.


The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

The gorgeous cover and blurb alone should convince you to give this book a try. (Because you really should give this book a try.) The engaging characters will suck you into their world of superpowers, fears, wonder, and discovery as they navigate through the first few weeks of summer camp. You'll find yourself understanding and sympathizing with almost everyone--including a ferocious dragon.

Really.

As the first book in a series, Slayers is witty, intriguing, suspenseful, romantic, and best of all--totally clean. It's a book I'd recommend to anyone. Thank you, C.J. Hill, for a wonderful read! Feel free to check out her site and/or blog.

And if all of the above doesn't convince you to read it, this awesome trailer will:



To win your own signed copy of Slayers, simply fill out the form below. Contest will end November 26th! A big thanks to Fire and Ice, for organizing this blog tour!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Giveaway Winners Announced!

Congrats to Katie, for winning a copy of
Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous
by Connie E. Sokol

Way to go, Library Lady, for winning a copy of
The Nextdoor Boys,
by Jolene B. Perry

And finally, yay, Katie Dodge, for winning the
$35 Amazon gift card

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spooktacular Blog Hop



A huge thanks to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm for hosting this hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $10 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $10 or less from the Book Depository:





Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Cookie Monster

That could be my nickname. I seriously LOVE cookies. I'm not picky either. Chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, snickerdoodles--they're all yum, yum, yum. Put one in front of me and I won't say no. I CAN'T say no. Guaranteed.

It's a weakness. One of many.

But weakness can and should become strengths, right? So I've decided to come up with five good reasons my love of cookies make me a better person. Here goes:

1. Each one is unique, reminding me that diversity is a beautiful thing.
2. Without the sugar contained in them, I wouldn't know the bitter from the sweet.
3. They make me happy.
4. When I give the extras away, they make other people happy.
5. Without them, I wouldn't be half so culinary as I am. (I bake WAY better than I cook :))

Well, what do you know? Liking cookies isn't so bad after all.

What about you? What's a weakness you have--and one reason it's not really a weakness? :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why do I do this again???

I love writing. I do. It's an escape, an out from the reality of raising four kids.

But these books take time to write. Oh so much time. And the compensation is pretty paltry--at best. I definitely don't write for the money--at least not right now. :) So why do I do it?

It's not because I love having conversations with fictional characters in my head. And it's definitely not because I like revising. And revising. And revising. (So not joking.)

But finding the time to achieve this goal seems to be getting harder and harder. My family sacrifices for it. I sacrifice for it. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth that sacrifice. If maybe I'm putting my own wants ahead of my family. Maybe my books really aren't making a difference.

Because that's what it has to be for me. Every day I pray that something I write will somehow make a positive impact in this world. It's my reason for keeping at this writing thing even through my house gets neglected, my dinners are un-gourmet, and my kids have a scatter-brain for a mother.

I so badly want there to be more good, uplifting books out there. For me, for my kids, for everyone. This world needs more light, and I want to contribute to that--even if it's only 5 watts worth. I'm a firm believer that everyone has been given talents for a reason, that those talents should be used and improved upon in a good way. This is my lifeline.

But when my precarious balancing act tips and falls flat, I can't help wondering: Is it really worth it?

If you're a writer, what keeps you going? If you love to read, what do you love most about books?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Giveaway & Meet Jolene B. Perry!

If I could describe this book in one short line, it would be:

A book with LOADS of heart.

Reading The Next Door Boys is like floating down a perfectly paced lazy river through a gorgeous meadow of wildflowers. Seriously, it's a beautiful, uplifting tale about growth, friendship and love. And the romance? Yeah, loved the romance.

As well as the cover AND the title.

In other words, this book has it ALL.

You can find it on Amazon HERE, and Goodreads HERE, or on Jolene's website, HERE.

Or, simply leave a comment to either win a copy of your own or a $35 Amazon gift card so you can BUY a copy of your own. :)

And if any of the above doesn't convince you to read it, meeting Jolene definitely will.

Me: So Jolene, what is one book everyone should read?

Okay - this is too easy. The Next Door Boys??? :D


Me: That was easy, and so true. So what's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Easy - Moose Tracks (I hope this isn't an Alaska thing, because you all would be seriously deprived)

Me: Thank goodness it's not. I LOVE that ice cream. What about breakfast foods, got any favorites?

My favorite thing to eat would be oatmeal pancakes. What I actually eat for breakfast, almost every day, is a carnation instant breakfast drink. How boring, right??

Me: Not if it's the chocolate kind. :) So, Skittles or M&Ms?

Okay - one of these has chocolate, and the other one doesn't. Is this a trick question?

Me: LOL. I take it your Carnation drink IS chocolate? :) Now here's a toughie. Tell me in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

I think I can do it in three words and a smiley:
Brian is yummy :D

Me: Okay, that did it. Especially since I completely agree. :) So if you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?

Right here, and right now. I'm partial to good hygiene, and I hate being cold. Also - what would I do without the INTERNET??

Me: You hate being cold and yet you live where??? :) So did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you have something else in mind when you were younger?

I competed in show jumping while in high school and did several clinics with people who competed in show jumping in the Olympics. I would have had a spot with Greg Best after high school, but it just wasn't right.

Me: Wow, who would have thought? You have to be the most well-rounded person I've ever met. :) What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

I can't wait for Miranda Kenneally's Catching Jordan, but I'm partial to YA contemporary . . .

Me: If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I would love it, breathe it in, sell it, and retire :D

Me: LOL. Just remember to share the wealth. And speaking of wealth, if you won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?

I would buy our way out of my husband's law school debt. And you think I'm kidding . . .

Me: Ah, just wait. Soon you'll be a best-selling author and will have no need of Jane Austin's autograph. In the meantime, what do you do in your free time?

I don't understand the question - what is this "free time" you speak of??
Kidding.
I sew, I play the guitar, I force my kids to climb mountains with me, and go snowmachining at my parent's cabin.

Me: So what's a typical day like for you?

Wake up, check email, get kids ready for school, check email, run kids to school, check email, start a load of laundry, check email, clean kitchen, check email . . . you get the idea. It's one of the hazards of having multiple projects in multiple places. With any luck CFI will sign me for To Take This From You, and Want To Be sometime next year. Also look for The Happiness of Joy (at publishers now) and a book that will either be called Chasing Sky, Night Sky or My Senior Year goes something like this . . . it depends on the cover designer's take - I believe that will come out in Feb. Okay, I totally cheated and answered two questions in one question. I'm okay with this.

Me: Okay, wow. I have to refer back to the soon-to-be bestseller comment for this one. Now tell me, in your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?

Hmmm . . . good one . . . let me think . . . maybe Kaylee Baldwin and Rachael Anderson?? HA!!

Me: I completely agree! :) Now last, but certainly NOT least, what are your top 5 favorite quotes from The Next Door Boys?

Jolene's favorite five (that don't totally ruin the plot):

“When I realized I had no control… that was when everything changed. There are a lot of things I have control over, but there are a lot more things that I have no control over. When you’re no longer afraid of death, there are a lot of things you’re not afraid of anymore.” - Leigh

"I clasped my hands together in my lap and stared at them. My heart felt like it was being squeezed into parts. Teeny parts that I hoped I’d be able to put back together again. The thought that I did the same to him just made it even worse. I put my hands to my stomach as if it would somehow relax me or hold me together."

"I closed the door, leaned my back against the wall and took a few deep breaths. How had he made me feel that way? Made my heart jump and made me want to be closer to him? For most of the year he’d fit into a tidy box of other brother and protector. The lines suddenly felt all blurry and I didn’t know what to do next. Or if there was a “next.” Did I want to face him? Did I know what I wanted? Was there any chance of him feeling the change between us that I had?"

"My throat tightened, and I got tears in my eyes. It was their moment, not mine. I wouldn’t get to have this moment for myself. The pain of the realization hit me like an unseen force that felt like a brick wall."

"My stomach twisted in knots, not over what he said but the way he said it. The way he looked at me. Like I wasn’t his sister. I knew what he was going to say, or I knew some of what he was going to say. Once the words were out, there’d be no going back, no friendly - - - - - because things would be different. Could I give that up? What would it change?"

See? Told you you'd love her. You'll also love her book.

Again, simply leave a comment to win either a copy of The Next Door Boys or a $35 Amazon gift card. That easy. (Giveaway runs through Oct 20th)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Giveaway! Faithful, Fit , and Fabulous by Connie E. Sokol

Connie E. Sokol is one of my favorite people which is why this book has become one of my favorite motivational reads. It's fresh, funny, inspiring--one of those feel-good books that will make you want to improve yourself and get you excited to do it. LOVE this book.

From the back:
Filled with humor and "I can relate" life experiences, Faithful, Fit & Fabulous: Get Back to Basics and Transform Your Life--In Just 8 Weeks! is the ideal 8-week life boost that will refresh any woman's life. Create a personal and effective life plan, and learn how to readily apply it in your busy daily life. Establish holy habits, feel fit and fabulous, and get organized. Just one goal a week for eight weeks--simple and fun.

This book is all that and more!

So get it. Read it. And be better for it.

For a chance to win a signed copy, simply fill out the form below. Giveaway goes through Oct. 24th.

To read more about Connie and her books, visit her on the web here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

And The Reasons For Critique Groups Are . . .

Okay, so I wanted to share some comments from a friend (the awesomely honest Braden Bell) who's critiquing my current wip . . . try not to laugh.

Really, I might take it personal. :)

Braden: "Did the morning threaten to rain?"

My thoughts: Yes, it did. Mornings can threaten, don't you know?

"You are so going to hate me, but can air be morbid?"

YES!!! Air can also be wise, witty, and pretty! Sheesh.

"A lot of people in this chapter are wearing holey jeans and dark t-shirts."

Okay, so you got me on that one.

"You're stretching high school voice to the breaking point."

Yeah, well, someone needs to tell high schoolers they need to broaden their vocabulary.

"Whoaa!!! Okay, you're pulling a serious Suzanne Collins Hunger Games thing here where she just bops the heroine on the head and has her pass out so time can fly by."

Me: What's wrong with that? Hunger Games was a best-selling series! Mmmm . . . maybe because no one passed out in my chapter. :)

"Whistled? Seriously?"

YES, whistled!!! What's wrong with that???? . . . . . Okay, so I'll take it out.

"Don't you mean astronomy?"

Maybe, maybe not. You'll never know. Okay, so maybe you will since I should have used "astronomy" instead. Kind of like the other day when I wrote "fairy" instead of "ferry". Woops, my bad. :)

And my favorite comment yet . . .

"Oh poor Matt, you had the misfortune of falling in love with the heroine, but you're not the hero! Sorry buddy."

Yes, poor, poor Matt. But I'm sure there's a girl out there for him somewhere.

And THAT is why I have a critique group. It's also why I love Braden's critiques. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Moderation is a Beautiful Thing

Being both a writer and a mom is crazy sometimes. Actually, it's crazy all the time, even without trying to find the time to write. And when I manage to find a few spare minutes, there is ALWAYS some sort of interruption. Guaranteed. Kids, phone calls, toilets over-flooding, you name it, it happens. Even at night, when the kids are supposed to be in bed.

So when I injured myself this past summer and required surgery, I was actually excited. Not for the surgery/recovery part, of course, but for the week my wonderful in-laws took my kids. Which left me with . . .

That's right--Hours and hours of uninterrupted (if you don't count my husband) writing time. Nearly a week in fact.

Awesome, right???

Or so I thought.

After a few days, I realized something. I don't like to write ALL the time. In fact, I don't like to do anything ALL of the time. Except maybe laundry.

Joking.

So on days like today when craziness keeps popping up like those goofy looking creatures in Wac-a-Mole, and my writing time is quickly shaved away, I try to remember that it's good I'm forced to divide up my time. A blessing in fact.

Right??? (Sometimes I need this validated. :))

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Moment to Brag

After a book finally comes out, it's probably the most nerve-racking time for me. I like to believe it will be a book people will enjoy, but I really never know how it will be received. And so I wait with nail-biting anticipation for those reviews to start rolling in, hoping and praying that someone will like it; that they took something worthwhile from it's pages.

It's not easy to put something out there that you've put so much of yourself in. In fact, it's downright hard. Yes, most writers develop what they like to call "thick skins", but unfortunately, that protective layer is not impenetrable. Bad reviews hurt. They do. But the positive reviews are something else entirely. The positive ones lift me up, give me wings, and inspire me to keep at this writing thing even though it is oftentimes so difficult.

And so I want to thank those reviewers who have done this for me. It may seem like I'm bragging, posting these positive comments, and maybe I am, but really I'm just truly grateful--to the following reviewers, and to all those who have written me such kind emails. You've helped me so much.

"Once in awhile a love story comes along that touches a special spot in the hearts of readers. Minor Adjustments by Rachael Renee Anderson is that kind of story . . . This is her third published novel and deserving of award winning attention." --Jennie Hanson, full review at Meridian Magazine

"If you've never picked up a book by Rachael Renee Anderson now it the time to go out and get one. She is one of those authors that can REALLY write chick lit clean romance." --Heather, full review at Fire and Ice (FYI: Heather's giving away some incredibly yummy TimTams this month in conjunction with the review.)

"Minor Adjustments is a great story with wonderful characters that I highly recommend." --Kathy, full review at I Am a Reader Not a Writer

"Loved it! I really enjoyed this book! Since I don’t have as much time to read as I used to, I have to be a little more picky about the books that I read. Minor Adjustments was definitely worth the time." --Kathy, full review at Bookworm Nation

"Rachael’s writing is so smooth. I love the way the relationship between the characters progress. Especially Devon’s and Stella’s . . . I really enjoyed this book. It’s very cute and clever. Rachael is such a great writer." --Mindy, full review at LDS Women's Book Review

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop Winner

First off, thanks to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Buried in Books for hosting this hop!

And the winner is . . .

Brittany Gale
(chosen by random.org)

Thanks for all who participated!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop


A huge thanks to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Buried in Books for hosting this hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $10 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $10 or less from the Book Depository:





Monday, August 29, 2011

Pam Allyn's, "Your Child's Writing Life"

This phenomenal book is packed full of gems. Pam writes with wisdom, compassion, respect, and humor--the kind of writing that sucked me in from the first page. One second I was smiling, the next tearing up because something touched me, and I came away wishing Pam could teach my children.

But she can't. Which is one of the reasons I love her book so much. Because she's empowered me to teach and understand my children the same way she'd teach them--through love and listening, and showing them I have a genuine interest in what they have to say.

As a writer myself, I know the importance of putting thoughts into words and expressing oneself, but I never considered how vital it is for a child to learn the same at a young age. Yes, I love it when one of my children brings home their writing journals or stories they've created. I always read them and smile in prideful admiration. But thanks to Pam, I'll now be able to look at them with new respect, beyond the words and into my child's mind and heart, and think, Wow.

In Pam's beautifully written words:

From birth, your child has been working furiously to deconstruct the code of language and to form new understandings. When the child goes to the page to write for the first time, he furrows his brow, and with courage he begins. The scribbles on the page look strange to you, peering down as you do from your adult universe. But to the child, they are the electric beginnings of a precious gift you have given: his writing life.

Thank you, Pam, for giving me this gift.

For more information about Pam and her books, visit: pamallyn.com/books/

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Holes, Holes, and More Holes.

Let's just say I now have a whole new respect for any and all mystery/suspense writers. And all it took was a jaunt in their shoes. Well, more like a marathon--one I'm not even close to finishing yet.

Lately, I've been feeling like a carpenter working on the walls of a house. In a daycare center. Once I finally think I'm finally ready to texture and paint, a hole appears, or is pointed out to me. So I work on a way to patch that, only to have several more holes come as a result.

It's like "This is the Song that Never Ends" kind of annoying, but I keep wracking my brain--keep bugging my hubby, sisters, friends, for help. Eventually, I will get there (or at least valiantly try to). I'm too invested not to finish it now. But when I finally do, if this romantic paranormal suspense ends up being completely predictable, scratched and dented, well, just know that many of my brain cells were sacrificed in the process.

In the meantime, I'm off to do some more patching.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Giveaway Blog Hop Winner!

Big congrats to
Lois M.!
(chosen from Random.org)
for winning the Summer Giveaway Blog Hop!

A big thanks to all who participated and to I Am a Reader Not a Writer for hosting!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Minor Adjustments Book Trailer

I'm finally finished creating my first ever book trailer. A million thanks to Jon Schmidt for letting me use one of his brilliant compositions. What do you think?

Summer Giveaway Hop


A huge thanks to Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for hosting this hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $15 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $15 or less from the Book Depository:





Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wakesurfing

Okay, so I'm officially addicted to wakesurfing. If you don't know what that is, here's a little video on how it works:



For people who don't live near an ocean (and who, like me, are skittish around large waves in the ocean), this is a fun little way to experience surfing--although I'm pretty sure nothing compares to catching a good ocean wave.

I started off wakeboarding, but soon realized that in order to get good, I would probably have to suffer through several concussions (I'm a slow learner), so I gave wakesurfing a shot. Since the boat is only going 10mph, vs 25mph, the water provides a much softer landing.

Eventually, I learned how to get up, crashed several times (but it didn't hurt!), and now I love it. No, I'm not good enough to let go of the rope yet, but someday I plan on getting there. In the meantime, I enjoy the sun, the beauty of the lake, my family, and a sport I enjoy doing that doesn't give me a headache when I fall. If you ever get the chance, give it a try.

Friday, July 1, 2011

And Then There Were Two

So I've always been in awe of those writers who have multiple projects going at the same time.

How do they keep the characters straight?
How do they not confuse the plot lines?
How can they think about more than one story at a time?
And most importantly: Who in their right mind would do that to themselves???

And then it happened. To me.

I'd been mulling over an idea for a paranormal romance for several months and then suddenly, I had an idea for a romantic comedy. I became obsessed with two stories--because sadly, it really is an obsession. Any spare moment--sitting in traffic, making dinner, vacuuming, even watching TV--I thought about one story or the other, about the characters, motivations, scenes. I couldn't shut my mind off.

But which story to start with? Do I finish the rough draft of one before I can start work on the other? Or should I take turns?

No idea.

So I began with the paranormal since it seemed to occupy my mind the most. 60K words later, I hit a sort of wall, so I switched to the romantic comedy. Now I'm 40K into that one and starting to think more and more about the paranormal.

WHY??? Having two unfinished projects is driving me crazy!

So now what? Do I push through and finish the 2nd? Go back to my 1st? Or throw my computer out the window and hope that maybe I can actually cook a meal or drive somewhere without thinking about the lives of fictional characters?

Maybe therapy would help.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Midsummer's Eve Blog Hop Winner

Big congrats to
Asenath!
(chosen from Random.org)
for winning the Midsummer's Eve Blog Hop!

A big thanks to all who participated and to I Am a Reader Not a Writer for hosting!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Off to the Presses

As of last week, Minor Adjustments in officially off to the presses! Now it's only a little over a month until its release. Hallelujah.

Here's the cover in its entirety.

Summer Giveaway Hop


A huge thanks to Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for hosting this hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $15 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $15 or less from the Book Depository:





Monday, June 13, 2011

The Write Planner

If you're a writer who likes or wants to stay organized, check out The Write Planner. A planner catered exclusively to writers. They are the invention of a good friend of mine and are now on closeout for a great price. $5.99.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Cover is Here!

Finally, I get to show you the beautiful cover the brilliant Brian at CFI designed for Minor Adjustments. I couldn't be happier. Love, love, LOVE this cover! What do you think?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Splash Into Summer Blog Hop Winner!

Big congrats to
Sassy!
(chosen from Random.org)
for winning the Splash Into Summer Blog Hop!

A big thanks to all who participated and to I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Page Turners for hosting!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Splash Into Summer Blog Hop


A huge thanks to Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Pixie @ Page Turners for hosting this hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $15 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $15 or less from the Book Depository:



Gotta love free books! :)


Monday, May 23, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop

Big congrats to
Lady Pontoh
(chosen from Random.org)
for winning the Happy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop!

A big thanks to all who participated and to I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Once Upon a Twilight for hosting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop, April 20th-25th


A huge thanks to Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight for hosting this hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $15 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $15 or less from the Book Depository:



Gotta love free books! :)



Monday, April 18, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

In a perfect world, only the good would exist. But this world isn't perfect, so unfortunately, along with the good comes the bad and the ugly. It's just the way it is. Well, I'm a believer of the good. A firm believer. Like all movies and books that depict how good ultimately conquers evil, I'm one that believes good will one day overpower evil.

And I look forward to that day.

I also think small acts of kindness can have a far-reaching rippling effect in this world--like that of a rock thrown into a pond. A girl I knew in high school will always be a great example, even proof, of that fact. She was beautiful and popular, and it wasn't until I spent time with her that I realized it wasn't her beauty that made her popular. It was her kindness.

She went out of her way to say hi to people, and coupled with that hi was always a compliment. "Hey, cute shirt!" "I love your hair today!" "Great job on the _____ test!" Whatever it was, she always had something nice to say. Something genuine.

And THAT is why people loved her. She made them feel better about themselves, happier--a happiness that would then transfer onto others. Hence the rippling effect.

Likewise, bad and ugly things can ripple, too. Negativity and cruelty drags people down. It has the power to hurt, maim, disintegrate. It does NO good--not in any environment, be it work, home, school, or writing. I'd like to say that I've never said or done anything mean to anyone, but unfortunately, that's not true. Over the years, though, I have come to realize that finding and pointing out the good in others is what makes me the happiest.

So my challenge to you is this: For one week, only say positive things to your family, coworkers, friends, children, etc. I guarantee that it will not only make them happier and better people, but it will make you a better and happier person.

And by so doing, you will conquer a little bit of the bad and ugly in this world.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thank you, Cedar Fort!

So my publisher (Cedar Fort) recently surprised me by designing the following beautiful poster page for Luck of the Draw.


To be honest, until today I've never heard about poster pages for books. Is this a common thing? Regardless, I love it. Thank you, Cedar Fort! They really are a great publisher with fantastic people.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fool For Books Hop Winner

Big congrats to
Belle Découverte
(chosen from Random.org)
for winning the Fool For Books Blog Hop!

A big thanks to all who participated and to I Am a Reader Not a Writer and The Bookish Snob for hosting!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fool For Books Blog Hop


Thanks for dropping by, and thanks to The Bookish Snob and Kathy, for hosting another great hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $15 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $15 or less from the Book Depository:



Gotta love free books! :)



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We Have a Small Town Name Winner!

Thanks Wall-to-Wall Books for your awesome suggestion of Shelter Springs. Obviously, everyone loved it, including me.

And thank you, thank you to everyone else who made suggestions. I now have a fantastic list for future books.

Now to get writing!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lucky Leprechaun Blog Hop Winner!

Congrats to our Lucky Leprechaun Blog Hop Winner! (Randomly drawn from Random.org)

Michelle Fosnaugh

An email has been sent to the winner. A big thanks to all who entered and to Kathy for hosting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lucky Leprechan Giveaway Hop, March 17-20


Thanks for dropping by, and thanks to Kathy, for hosting another great hop!

Fill out the form below to win your choice between either
A $15 Amazon.com gift certificate

or books valued at $15 or less from the Book Depository:



Gotta love free books! :)