Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zuckerberg--Or how The Social Network Should have Ended

Well, this A to Z Challenge was certainly interesting!  I honestly never thought I could post everyday (minus Sundays).  It got a little difficult at the end, but I'm so glad I did it.  I've met so many great people through the challenge and I'm really loving the new blogs I've found.

For the challenge's final post, I decided to go with the classic: How it should have ended--Zuckerberg style.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Y is for You

You are awesome.

You are the reason I post at all.

You make my day.

So tell me about you today!  :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for Xenology

For some reason, this kind of stuff has always fascinated me.  When given an option over which science class I wanted to take in college, I jumped at the chance to take "The Universe, The Galaxy, and Extraterrestrial Life."  And then, of course, I was even more thrilled when I found out the class would be conducted in the campus's planetarium.

For my final paper, I calculated the odds (based on a variety of variables, including but not limited to the size of the star, the position of the planet, how frequently we find planets orbiting stars, etc.) of there being extraterrestrial life in our galaxy.  I can't remember the exact number, but after compiling my data, I came up with something similar to 0.00000000034% chance of extraterrestrial life.

I know that number is very disappointing to a lot of people, but the fact of the matter is there are a LOT of variables in having a life-sustaining planet that must be met with perfect conditions if we are to assume life sprung up the way science tells us.  Now that's not to say I used all the variables in my research.  In fact, I'd have to say my studies were rather optimistic and swayed heavily in favor of good odds.  I only took into consideration star size, planet size, distance of planet from star, and odds of a Jupiter-like planet in the solar system (which is necessary as Jupiter acts like a vacuum, pulling meteors and asteroids away from us).  Based on those variables alone, the odds weren't that great.

Still, it's nice to think about, isn't it?  And there are plenty of scientists who maintain that extraterrestrial life is not just a possibility, but an undeniable fact.  I haven't always been, but I can honestly say that I am now a skeptic.  But I still like to write about it and fantasize about it much the same way I like to write about fairy tales of old.  It's an interesting study into human belief systems.  And I think more than anything, we need to nurture our creative abilities, and if that means envisioning glorious empires millions of light years away, then so be it.

So how about you?  Are you a sucker for stories about alien invasion or distant alien civilizations?  I know I am!  

~Please check out the sidebar to the right!  I have a few new buttons for you to press!~

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Weminder

This message comes to you from Elmer Fudd

Just a weminder fo' all you deaw weaders out thewe:  I'm hunting wabbits.

Excuse me, this is Emily.  I'm sorry, I just need to butt in right here for a second.  Elmer, that is NOT what you need to be reminding my readers of.

It's not?

No, it's not.  Remember?  The contests?

Oh, wight!  The contests!  Sowwy.

In case you've fowgotten, Emiwy is having two contests wight now!  One of them is aaaaaaaaalmost ova!  To sign up befow you miss ya' chance to get some amaaaaaaaazing pwizes, click this link to find out what you can do.  Also, Emiwy has infowmed me that she'll be giving those books and that gift cawd away anyway and that anyone who becomes a new followa', tweets, or bwogs about it will have a betta' chance of winning.

Don't miss out!

Now I'm off to hunt me some wabbits!

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Unbelievable

One of the things I hated about the movie UltraViolet (and believe me, there were many things) was the fact that the writers didn't bother to set up the story.  They just kind of threw the viewers into this world, mid-action, without ever explaining the rules of the world.  You were merely supposed to take it for granted that some super skinny vixen could dodge bullets fired from weapons that were mere feet away from her.

Oh, and people were for some reason terrified of catching this disease that would turn you into a super-sexy-bullet-dodging-vixen.  And these ultra tough people were vampires, or something.  Honestly, I went to sleep about an hour into the movie.  Once they started being able to carry people in briefcases, I pretty much tuned out.

UltraViolet was, in a word, unbelievable.  And let's be honest here, 95% of movies coming out of Hollywood showcase pretty fantastic scenarios not possible in this world.  But they're still believable because they have rules that (thankfully) they let the viewers in on pretty early.  

The Matrix, for example, could have easily gone the way of UltraViolet.  It was a confusing tale, and yet you had the sense that it was supposed to be confusing.  The viewer knew pretty early on that something was off, and this was okay.  UltraViolet, on the other hand, seemed to want you to already know what was going on without ever explaining anything.  

So it was unbelievable, and it failed.

Think about your own writing.  Do you want your readers to accept something because that's just how things work in your world without ever introducing them to the rules of that world?  If so, you might want to think about that.  You need to ground your readers into some type of reality.  It can't be all chaos.  Even chaos (in a book or movie) needs to make sense.  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was grounded in its own type of reality.  You, as the reader, knew that nothing was as it seemed.  You could rest assured in this fact and move forward knowing that things would continue to get "curiouser and curiouser."

Is there a book you've read recently that you just couldn't get into because of how unbelievable it was?  What made it unbelievable?  And how do you deal with that stuff in your own writing?


By the way, I have some great news to share with you!  ELEMENTAL is now on Goodreads!!!!!  AND ELEMENTAL has its own fan page on Facebook!!!!

Please visit those sites today and click "like" and/or "to-read!"

And I'd really appreciate it if you guys could spread the word around to your friends on facebook and goodreads.  Thanks!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Thor

I'm really looking forward to this one.  I'm such a sucker for any type of action movie.  :)


Friday, April 22, 2011

S is for Self-Publishing--Keeping it Professional, Part 2

This is Part 2 in my continuing series on self-publishing.  For Part 1, click here.

I think when it comes to publishing in general, it's helpful to look at it through the eyes of a different, but similar, industry.

Last week, I compared building an ebook to building a house.  Just as some basic carpentry knowledge is required to build a home worth living in, basic computer knowledge is required to build a book worth selling.

Today, I want to compare books to bikes.  Let's say two bikes are sitting side-by-side at Walmart and are exactly the same price.  As a kid, which one do you think would have caught your eye?  Which one would you have begged Mom and Dad for?

One is bright red and shiny with crisp new streamers coming out of the handlebars.  The paint is smooth and the seat is cushioned.

The second bike is red, but the paint is clumpy like someone did it by hand and didn't wait for the first coat to dry before putting on the second coat.  Instead of fastening the seat to the bike with screws or bolts, duct tape just barely keeps it on.  There are no streamers and the wheels are worn and look like something someone found in a dump.  In fact, the whole bike looks like it's been patched together with parts you might find around the neighborhood on garbage day.

But let's say you decide to test drive the bikes before you decide.  The shiny bike, as expected, rides beautifully.  The second bike, though you had your doubts, rides just as smoothly as the first one.  The seat you thought would surely have been loose, is actually held on quite tightly with the duct tape.  The lumpy paint may be ugly, but that has no poor effects on how well the bike works.  And though the bike is made of used parts, all those parts are put together very well.

So based on all this information, and remembering both bikes cost the same amount, what would you choose?

I don't know about you, but I'd choose the shiny bike.  If I could get a prettier bike for the same amount (or even a little more) as the ugly one, despite the fact it doesn't work any better, I'd still go for it.

Now let's add another factor into this.  Let's say this ugly bike isn't the first you'd heard about being sold at Walmart.  Let's say you'd heard it on good authority that other ugly bikes have been sold and they didn't ride smoothly at all.  In fact, the vast majority of them have shown problems on the first day of purchase.  Stories of peddles falling off and brakes failing have reached your ears.

Best to play it safe with the shiny bike because you KNOW that one won't cause you any trouble.

But that poor, ugly bike you were considering wasn't anything like those other ones.  It wouldn't have caused you problems at all.  In fact, though it was ugly and patched together, it was built with love and skill with only the best used parts the builder could find.

Okay, Emily, now what's the point, right?

The point is self-publishing has a bad reputation because a lot of writers haven't put as much effort into their product as they could or should have.  In the real world, you won't find an ugly, patchwork bike at Walmart or at any other store because companies (whether large corporations or small one-man affairs) don't put out cheap products.  Unfortunately, though, some writers haven't proceeded with the same care and attention to detail.  Self-publishers have a pretty bad past working against them.  And just because that one ugly bike was still vastly superior to all the others that came before it, it was judged just as inferior to the shiny bike because of the bad reputation.

But, Emily, we KNOW this!  Of course you do.  It's no secret now that a self-publisher should put the best product forward he/she can.  And that means extensive edits, rewrites, and the use of some pretty spectacular betas.  But the bike builder didn't err in building a bike that rode smoothly.  And there are plenty of self-publishers that are now putting out quality stories.  The problem the bike builder had was in taking used parts to build the bike, and not painting it correctly.  By doing that, no buyer would be able to distinguish it from the poorly built bikes that had been sold previously.

So after that very looooong analogy, you now see where I'm going with this: the cover.

Too many self-publishers put so much of their time and effort into producing a quality story (and yay for that!), but they create a cover in a day with pictures found around the internet.  Not only can this be illegal (most pictures are owned by someone who has sole rights to them), but it can create a patchwork looking cover if your only knowledge of cover art rests with pasting some pictures together using

Let me show you the cover I created for ELEMENTAL a couple years ago when I first started writing the book (the book was called Aurumenas at the time):

Now take a look at the one I have now (sidebar to the right).  The one that was designed by someone who actually knows what she's doing, and done with original pictures, too.

There's a stark difference.

Being able to write a story does not necessarily qualify you to be a graphic designer.  Finding a professional isn't that hard, either.  I found Victoria simply by blogging and seeing all her gorgeous illustrations she posted with every blog post.  And you can find numerous illustrators at any SCBWI conference you go to.  And let me tell you, they are EAGER to give you all their contact information.  I have dozens of cards just from the Winter Conference in January.

When self-publishing, you should be prepared to hand off some responsibilities to people who possess more skill.  Just because you're publishing your book yourself, that doesn't mean you should go it entirely alone.

Stop on by next week for Part 3 of Self-Publishing--Keeping it Professional.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Remembrance

It's that time of year again.  The time of chocolates and bunnies, friends and family.  But for some of us, it means something a little bit more.

About 2,000 years ago a bunch of friends sat around at a table and had dinner.  One of those friends said some crazy stuff while the rest of the guys just nodded their heads and pretended they knew what was going on.

"The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.'  In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.'" 1 Corinthians 11:23-25.

Some of you may know that the dinner those friends sat down to was part of the Passover.  A dinner known as a seder.  And those of you who know that may also know the significance of the last cup which is poured after dinner.

I know I don't often bring up my faith on the blog, and I do that purposely because I know some people might feel offended or uncomfortable, but this week is different for me.  This is Holy Week and today is Maundy Thursday, the night Jesus and his disciples partook of the Passover meal.  Jesus called for us to remember him and that is what I want to do today.  And I hope that those of you who feel as I do may join with me in remembering him.  And for those who don't feel inclined, that's fine too.

I think in this world we live in now, it's good for us to remember Jesus and who he was and what he really represented.  This is a holy week indeed, full of love and mercy--the greatest mercy of all.  I didn't want to ignore it.  Instead, I wanted to share it.

Have a wonderful Maundy Thursday, everyone.  :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quite Late

I've been quite enamored with a certain book lately and questioned whether I should stop reading it to write a post.  Quaking though I was at the thought of missing "Q" day, I quantified my otherwise quaggy reasons.

1. Quarrelsome characters must never be ignored.

2. A quarry of love gone wrong is best read thoroughly and in the course of one day.

3. Surely just another quarter hour before I put it down is the excuse I told myself many times today.

4. My thirst for more could not be quenched.

So my quiddity is this:  One cannot quit a book quickly because the quest must not be quelled.  Any quibbles?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Pain

A fourteen-year-old girl cries herself to sleep every night because all day long every day she has to hear how ugly she is; how worthless.  It doesn't take long for her to believe it's true.  And the more she tries to change for them, to be good enough for them, the more they taunt her.

She doesn't have the guts to end it.  She's too weak.  Too scared.

A nineteen-year-old girl just wants to forget him, but can't.  She can't eat, she can't sleep.  She's losing herself.  So she finds a new form of pain.  A pain that will let her cry over something other than him.

But she's still too scared.  So she lets someone else do it; lets someone else etch words deep into her flesh.

A twenty-one-year-old girl betrays her friend to lessen the abuse, to get on the good side of the abuser.  It doesn't work.  The abuse continues and worsens and when the girl goes away for just two weeks, leaving her friend alone and unprotected, she doesn't know.  She doesn't know that the abuser has plans.  Or maybe they weren't plans.  Maybe he only saw the opportunity when it came.  But when the girl came back, the friend was gone--raped, then sent away.

And that girl blames herself everyday.  But she's still too scared.

A twenty-three-year-old girl loses her first child and doesn't even know yet she'll lose another.  What rips through her heart at that moment is worse than anything she's ever felt.  She doesn't know if she can go on breathing.  The weight crushes from the inside out.

Pain burns like the smelter's fire.  

And everyone feels it.  It isn't a legacy that belongs to only a few people.  It belongs to all of us.


Victoria talked me into posting this today because I've been sinking into depression lately.  Yes, me.  The girl with all the smilies and exclamation marks suffers from depression.  It's something I like to hide (hence the overabundance of smilies).  But after she talked to me, I realized that what I was starting to hate most about myself when I was depressed was how I hid all the time.  

I am often happy, but sometimes I'm not.  Yes, there's a time when those smilies are real (like now, :) ), but it's okay when I just can't find the strength to put them on the screen.  

So, what's your pain?  I know I'm not alone.  

Oh, and thank you, Victoria, for calling me to make sure I posted this today!  :) :P

Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Onomatopoeia

Definition of ONOMATOPOEIA

: the naming of a thing or action by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (as buzz, hiss)
: the use of words whose sound suggests the sense

I love the irony behind onomatopoeias.  Here you have one very complicated word to describe probably one of the simplest style of words out there.  

I don't think I have a favorite onomatopoeia.  They're all very fun to say.  Like:


Do you have a favorite?   

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Malone, Dave Malone

(Sorry, I had to channel my inner Bond there)

Over a year ago, I was lucky enough to win a contest.  From that contest, I received a signed copy of a very lovely book of poetry by Dave Malone.  And as wonderful as that book is, I'd have to say I was even more pleased in that I got a chance to become acquainted with the author himself.

Dave is truly a very wonderful acquaintance to have and so when he asked me to help him announce his new book of poetry and new website, I was thrilled to say yes.

Oh by the way, did I happen to mention the book is free?!

And if that isn't enough to entice you, here's some praise that just might do the job:

Dave Malone's poetry is funny and sexy and heart-breaking in its honesty. Malone's craft is impeccable, he can travel swiftly across oceans and continents, across memories, like Rimbaud with his wild boat. He is one of our great contemporary love poets, one who hasn't been squeezed dry by academia. In Spring in Love, Malone proves that poetry can still be unfettered, and fun.
Marilyn Kallet, author, Packing Light: New and Selected Poems; Director, Creative Writing Program, University of Tennessee.

Seriously, my dear readers, you need to get it.  You'll enjoy it.  And don't forget to check out his website, too:

When you do happen to check out his book and website, let me know what you think!


Thanks for all the very helpful comments yesterday!  Based on my needs and general computer uses, I've decided to check out a MacBook Pro.  I haven't used a Mac since high school (and they were old), so we'll see how lost I'll be!  LOL!  Thanks again everyone!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Laptop Emergency

My computer is old.

Okay, maybe not that old

But old enough in computer years to be considered over-the-hill.  It's been struggling to start up lately and sometimes it just shuts off on its own.  I've had more than a few scares and am now in the process of transferring my pictures and important files onto a thumbdrive.  

The problem is, I know I have to buy a new laptop soon, but I don't know which one to get.  I've always been a PC girl.  My husband, however, has been painfully trying to bring me away from the dark side (as he sees it).  I'm open to getting a Mac, but I don't know much about laptops to really decide.  I know some are prettier than others, but I probably shouldn't buy one based on looks alone.

Do you, dear readers, have any suggestions?  I need your knowledge because I'm completely at a loss and I really don't want to just go to walmart and pick out the cheapest one I can find.  Not again.

Can you help me?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Keeping it Professional

Did you know there are kits you can buy to build your own house?  It's true, and some of them can get pretty extravagant.

The problem is if you haven't ever nailed two boards together you probably shouldn't attempt to build your own house (at least not until you've done some serious research).  The same is true for publishing your own book.

In this day and age of Amazon, it's so tempting to simply upload your Word document and start selling.  Unfortunately, though, trying to build an ebook off a Word document is like trying to build a house on a broken and flimsy foundation.  Before you start building, you need to fix the problems and make your foundation as strong and smooth as possible.

And just like building a house requires some knowledge of using a hammer, building an ebook requires some knowledge of html code.

First, you need to transfer your manuscript over to a simple editor.  I downloaded jEdit for this.  This program will only allow you to write your manuscript out in html code, so you'll also need to download calibre to turn all that code into an actual ebook.

For further information on building an ebook, check out this series I found most useful.

Why is all this important?  Because traditionally published books have an advantage over self-published books in that they have a team of professionals who know exactly what they're doing when designing a book. In other words, when readers are shopping around on Amazon, there's a very good chance the traditionally published books will look more professional.  And when someone opens up your ebook and discovers a bunch of formatting errors due to transferring a Word document directly over to Amazon's ebook creator, do you think they're going to stop and say, "oh dear, these whole blocks of gibberish must pain the author severely.  I should go and buy their next book to show my support and make her feel better"?

Um...that's a nice thought, but no.

They'll very likely think twice before spending money on one of your books again.  And THAT'S something to think about.

This is Part One in my continuing series of Self-Publishing--Keeping it Professional.  Stop by next week for Part Two.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for June

Oh, June, how I love thee. 

*right about here is where you'd see a picture of a coffee mug
with the froth seperated in the shape of a heart IF I were on my own
computer, or IF the computer I was now on would allow me to
copy the html code for the image.  But neither of those
things are happening right now*

You are right up there with July, August, and November now (those being the months that hold birthdays and an anniversary).  Who knew the first day of summer could bring such bliss?  Sure it's always meant warm days are here to stay for a while, but now, now...

You are the day ELEMENTAL will be published!

I know I've been giving little whispers and quietly informing you all of ELEMENTAL's June 21st release date, but I thought today might be a good day to really celebrate the news!

So dance with me!
Toss some balloons!
Get down with your bad self!

Now tell me what exciting news YOU have to share!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for International

People talk about it all the time--showing ethnic diversity in your writing--but do we do it?  Maybe it's just the books I'm reading (mostly YA paranormal and dystopian), but I don't see a whole lot of melding in the stories.  

Think about your own WIPs.  Does your MC always reflect your own mirror image?  How about the supporting cast of characters?  Is it because you don't know enough about other ethnicities to feel comfortable writing about them?

I can understand that in a way.  We want to be true to reality and we're always told to write what we know.  But sometimes the richer, deeper story is gotten through stepping out of our comfort zones and researching someone else's life.

My stories often reflect the world I've lived in--which, thankfully, has been very diverse.  ELEMENTAL, for instance, is very ethnically diverse because it reflects many of my experiences from traveling around the world.  And also because my MC travels from one planet to another very different planet.

Keeping my works internationally inclined is just the way I like to write.  It's also what I like to read.

So what about your own tastes?  Do you like to keep your writing diverse?  Or do you feel comfortable sticking with what you know personally?

~ELEMENTAL's release date has been set for June 21st!  Help me celebrate by picking up the code for the counter in the page above!  :)~

~Need more books?  Check out the two contests I have going on by clicking on the page titled Super-duper Contests of Awesome!~

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is For HANNA

This post is going to be short and sweet.  I am really looking forward to this movie coming out, and after seeing the preview a few times, I now believe this actress should have gotten the role of Katniss in THE HUNGER GAMES.

Tell me if you agree.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Get'er Done

Whatever project you have going on now...

Finish it.

You can do it.  You really can.

My first few books I tried to write never saw the end.  I started to think I was totally incapable of finishing anything I started.  Then I wrote a book that took me six years to write.  But I finished it.  My next book took me two years to write before I typed "The End."*

My latest WIP?  That one took me one week to finish.

I realized it was all in my head.  If I kept telling myself I couldn't finish anything, nothing ever got finished.  But if I told myself something was going to be done in such-and-such time, it was done.  No, it wasn't the prettiest thing in the world, but that's what the second draft is for.

You can't perfect a story until you've laid the groundwork.  So lay it, and get'er done!  :)

What are you working on now that you just wish you could get'er done?  And yes, I am saying that phrase with a deep voice and heavy accent.  :)  I suggest you try it.  It's very fun.

*For the purposes of this post, I'm pretending I type "The End" at the end of a manuscript, but I don't suggest you do it in real life.

~In need of more books to read?  Check out the A is for Awesome contest going on right now!~

EDIT:  ELEMENTAL's release date has been chosen!  Now all you have to do is wait until June 21st and the fight for the galaxy will be on!  Feel free to grab the code for the countdown widget (look above in my pages) and spread the word at your blog!  Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is For Friends and Family

I think we all know at this point that no matter where you are in life, whether writing a book, preparing for publication, starting a new job, or just trying to make it through the day, you need a team in your corner--a group of people who love you and have your best interest in mind.

The size of your support team can fluctuate over time or even change from one face to another.  The best team members are the ones who stay with you at your worst and hardest, though.  They're the ones who will really have your back.

The members on my team have always included my parents and sisters.  Recently, I added a husband and two sons to it.  And very close friends have come and gone and come again, adding their own sweetness and support.  These are the people who have helped me become the person I am today.  Sometimes my team seemed sparse, and even though my family was always there for me, I was too deep into sadness to tell.  Other times I thought I would burst at the seams with the fullness of my support team and their overwhelming love.

So what does your support team look like today?  Is it full and bursting with friends and family?  Or is it fickle and fading away?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is For Emma, by Jane Austen

I've kind of been obsessed with EMMA these past couple weeks.  I don't exactly know how it started, but all of a sudden I just had to watch every single movie attempt at the story.

And out of all of them, my favorite  (by far) is the BBC adaptation.  The story had room to breathe with four hours that it just couldn't get with only two.  And to be honest, I preferred the acting in the BBC version.  Gwyneth Paltrow, though I'm sure a good actress, just didn't seem to capture Emma the same way the actress from the BBC version did (sorry, not good with names).

And Clueless?  Well, it was a cute way to take the story, but I'd forgotten just how much of the Valley Girl dialect those actors put into the whole thing.  Too. Much.

Mr. Knightly was the only character that was portrayed equally well in all versions of EMMA.  I don't think that character is in any way capable of NOT capturing our hearts, though.  *swoon*

So, for your enjoyment, I now present you with one of many of the "fight" scenes between Emma and Mr. Knightly in the BBC adaptation of EMMA:

Don't forget to check out the A is for Awesome contest going on this month!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Dun! Dun! Duuuuun...

Few things make me want to turn the page like the dun! dun! duuuuun...moment.  You know what I'm taking about.  It's that moment when you know there's some baddie around the corner--but the MC doesn't--and you're just about to find out what happens when...

The chapter ends.

And here you thought you were going to put the book down (FINALLY!) and go to bed.


Because you need to know what happens.  Bad.

It's the dun dun dun moment.  And it'll getcha every time.  :)

So what about you?  What makes you turn the page?

~Don't forget to check out the A is for Awesome contest going on!  There are goodies!~

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Cover Reveal!

We're now on day 3 of the A to Z Challenge.  Don't forget to check out the over 1200 other participants!!

You know, I was thinking of prolonging the reveal a bit by putting on other pictures and dragging the post out, but I changed my mind.  

So here it is!  The cover for ELEMENTAL!

Isn't it absolutely gorgeous???  I am seriously swooning over this.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've opened my email just to look at it.  My preciousssssss...

And you know what?  This is the point where I must MUST tell you about the absolute genius behind this cover.  I've been wanting to brag about her for soooooo long, but I waited.  But I must wait no longer!

There are actually two people I must thank for this cover before I get carried away, and the first is the awesome photographer at Glimpses of You Photography.  She is the genius behind the photo of the model (who is my very own niece, by the way).  

And the second person is someone most of you know.  I'm actually giddy with anticipation at telling you about her because without her, I wouldn't have a cover (well, at least not one as amazing as this).  

Those of you who follow her already know she's a very artistic person, but I don't think you've even begun to imagine how talented and wonderful she is.  She took that beautiful image of my niece and my abstract thoughts on what I thought I wanted (which seriously changed all the time) and came up with something I never would have imagined.  And that cover isn't even the end of all she's done for me.  Currently, she's working on designing my Mamood battleships for me and other images for my book trailer (coming soon).

Vic is awesome.  Period.  

Now, if that cover piques your interest (because don't we all judge books by their covers (though you can read the back-of-the-book blurb if you visit my ELEMENTAL trilogy page up top)), I now have a little giveaway for you.

From now until the release date, I'm hoping to get around the blogosphere in a Blog Tour.  If you agree to have me on your blog some time, I'll enter you in a contest for an ARC of ELEMENTAL.  I'll be giving five ARCs away.  For those of you who have already contacted me about having me on your blog, don't worry, I've already put your names in for the giveaway.  

I'll be drawing the names for ARCs on May 15th.  So you have a bit of time to enter.  :)  Just let me know in the comments if you're interested and I'll shoot you an email!  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Bee Movie

The A to Z Challenge continues!

And today is all about the letter "B."  Few, if any, of you know that I absolutely, completely love bees.  Seriously.  I don't know if all of you have a favorite insect, but the bee is mine.  I have this life-long dream of having my own hive.  In fact, when my husband and I moved into our new house a few years ago and discovered we had a honey bee hive in our one tree, we knew we'd been blessed.

I even have one story about how a hive of wasps (my love of bees also extends to wasps) became my little minions during a short time of my life.  It's a cute story; I'll have to share it sometime when I'm not expected to keep the post brief.

So in honor of the letter "B," I give you the (absolutely hilarious) teaser from "The Bee Movie."

For those of you new to the blog or just stopping by, Saturday is usually my day for funny videos, so come back next week to see what other hilarity I have planned!  :)

Also, there's an awesome contest going on that you just don't want to miss.  There are prizes galore!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for AWESOME

As in: how could this contest get any more awesome?

It can't.

Just like Captain Kirk, it's pretty much achieved perfection. :)

For all my lovely followers and guests just popping in, here's a recap:

ELEMENTAL, my YA Space Opera, is going to be published this summer! 


So to kick off the celebrations (if you haven't already figured it out), I'm having a contest!  I want to get the word out about my book to as many people as possible, but to do that I need your help!  

See that lovely group of pictures over there?  You know which one I'm talking about.  It's got all the pretty faces.  Well, those 128 faces are some of the most awesome followers out there.  In fact, they've spoiled me.  Spoiled me so much, in fact, that I know this whole blogging experience would be even better with more happy little faces joining them.

If you help me get up to 250 followers by the end of the month, one winner will get...




a $50 gift card to B&N or Amazon


If you help me get to 300 followers by the end of the month, I'll give the winner AN EXTRA $25, AND I'll draw a second place winner who will get a $25 gift card.

Here's how the point system will work:

+1 for commenting
+2 for becoming a new follower
+1 for posting about the contest on your blog
+1 for tweeting the contest
+1 for posting on facebook
+1 for every person you bring over (person must give you credit in the comments)

Please provide links to the posts and tweets.  And PLEASE compile all the points you should get in your comment.  

Oh, and as an extra incentive to becoming a follower today...

This is just the first of three major contests I'll be holding.  The next one is going to be on Monday (it just might have to do with a certain cover reveal ;) ).  And the third is going to blow. your. mind.  You DON'T want to miss them.

Good luck!  :)

EDIT: If there's a book in that list that you already own, I may be convinced to change it to something else you don't own and really, really want.  

And by "may," I mean yes, I definitely can be convinced. :)