Friday, January 27, 2012

Spencer Hill Press Author, Ednah Walters!

Before continuing with the awesomeness that is Spencer Hill Press, I just want to let you guys know that i swim for oceans is also spreading some love for SHP this week! And today I'm being interviewed! Please check it out and follow Melissa while you're there. I'm giving away some prizes, too! :)

Today's SHP author is...

Ednah Walters!!

Her bio:
I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries before I graduated to Mills & Boons (starting with Janet Daily's Shutter the Sky). 

I enjoy good love stories, tingly mysteries and wondrous adventures. When I finished college and decided to be a stay-at-home mother, I devoured books like they were going out of production, until reading just wasn't enough. So I decided to teach myself to write fiction. 

I've written picture books, contemporary and romantic suspense, biracial/multicultural books, and finally YA fantasy. Most of them are still taking up RAM on my computer. When I'm not knee-deep in battles between Guardians and demons, I write adult contemporary romance (the Fitzgerald family series), sassy, stubborn and gutsy women anyone can identify with and men anyone would be proud to claim. When not writing, I do things with my family, five children or my darling husband of nineteen years. I live in a picturesque valley in Utah, the setting for my YA series. 

She is represented by Leticia Gomez of Savvy Literary Services

Her book:
Lil isn't just an average teenager. She's one of the Nephilim--the descendants of humans and angels--which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she's found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, she's warned that someone close to her will betray her. When the boy she loves starts acting strangely and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability, Lil begins to realize that someone is manipulating the people she loves... and won't stop until she's been lured to the dark side.

Coming in June 2012.

You can (and should) check her out in these various locations:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do You Remember Your Teen Crush?

The guys or gals who made you stay up at night as you dreamed about meeting him/her... 
The ones who adorned your bedroom posters...
Those sexy beings who could draw you to the movie theater to watch even the stupidest movie in the world (saying this from personal experience)...

From Vic's blog (because she says it so well): "How many hours did we spend gobbling up their appearances on tv or in movies, their musical gigs, and their athletic events?  How many magazines did we borrow from our friends just because that dreamy celeb was on the cover, or cut out pics to tack-up on our walls, rubber cement to our notebooks, or stick inside our lockers?

In a really strange (and likely unhealthy) way, these heartthrobs helped shape who we were, how we saw ourselves, and the qualities we'd end up looking for in our future mates.  Even as the battle rages over at Justine's place about Alpha and Beta Males and Katie contemplates the evolution of the modern hero,  understanding just what it was about that fellow (or gal) that made our tummies butterfly is important when shaping our characters.
We'd like to salute and celebrate the heartthrobs of OUR pasts.  Those gents and ladies who taught our hearts to pitter-patter and (in some cases) slipped into the ether of anonymity."

The Teen Heartthrob Blogfest!!!
March 5th

Your blog

Sign up on the linky above or on the sidebar to the right

With Whom??
This blogfest is hosted by Vic Caswell, Sarah Ahiers, and myself
(by the way, if you aren't following those lovely ladies already, I HIGHLY suggest you do so now. You will not regret it)

How Many Teen Heartthrobs do you list??
7! Because it's such a lovely number

Let's get to it! And swoon together!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Healthy Eating for the Fat Bottomed

We may make the rockin' world go 'round, but big butts make jeans hard to get into. Trust me, I know.

Let's face it, we writers spend the vast majority of our time sitting. And sitting pretty much all day everyday is not good for the waistline, but it's also not good for health in general. We need to make sure that we put as much effort into the well-being of our bodies as we do our WIPs.

I am by no means the first writer out in the blogosphere to address this fact.

You guys might have already heard about Jamie's (Mithril Wisdom) Zombie Fitness Fridays.

Or how about Vic Caswell's (Hairnets and Hopes) Round to Well-Rounded Challenge?

These are great things to get involved in because, honestly, doing something as a group is so much easier than going it alone. In fact, I signed up for Vic's challenge last week. There's a facebook group and everything.

Now, you guys might remember the post I had last week in which I mentioned daily migraines I'd been getting for about a month. After a lot of guessing and testing theories, I came to the conclusion that I have a sensitivity to gluten. And boy did you readers come through for me! I'm still combing through all the information you shared. But I've pretty much come to the conclusion that today's "wheat" is bad for everyone. So, a lot of the recipes I share with you will reflect this fact.

I know, I know.

Eating healthy means eating bland, gross things and the end to ever enjoying food again, right?


Eating healthy (at least to me*) means eating REAL. Real food is better than fake food. And yes, there's fake food out there. It's called "processed." And there's certain variations and extents to processed food, but a good rule of thumb is that if it comes in a box, it's fake (or at least has a significant portion of fake** products mixed all in with the real stuff--this is not good). Your body can't process "processed" food (see what I did there? See???? :P) as well as real food. So yeah, there may technically be less fat, but that's because your body can't digest it in the first place. Or there may be less cholesterol but that's because the real food comes from an animal and the fake food comes from a lab.

Also, I think there's way too much emphasis put on calories and fat nowadays. We're giving up food that is jam-packed with nutrients because there's a little more fat in it than its lab-produced counterpart. Instead of obsessing about just one component of good health, we should make sure that whatever is going into our mouths is the best for us.

Since starting my diet, I haven't had to do any type of portion control. I merely eat until I am no longer hungry. And I'm still losing weight.

Also, I like having control over what I eat. This is why things like weight watchers, etc. don't really work for me. I'm pretty experimental in my cooking and having someone tell me what to make pretty much ends the diet.

So the first recipe I have to share with you is something I found online and tweaked to my liking. Remember that any recipe you see can (and should) be tweaked to suit your personal tastes. Also, recipes tend to be good bases for other recipes. So I may use strawberries in the following, but you should think of other types of fruits you can use instead to add variety to your meals.

Strawberry Vinaigrette 

1 1/3 Cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped
   1/3 Cup chicken broth (not bullion cubes--way too much MSG)
      2 Tablespoons sugar
   1-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar (depending on preference)
2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
      2 teaspoons of your favorite gourmet mustard (can be dijon, if you like. I shop at Aldi and like to use their Deutsche Kuche, Mild Mustard with Herbs)***


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Put in an airtight container.

Remember that this vinaigrette does not have preservatives in it and should be consumed within a couple of weeks.

I use this salad dressing on pretty much every salad I make, but my favorite salad (lately) has included romaine lettuce, spinach, sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, sliced almonds, goat cheese, and chicken. And I know what you may be thinking. That to be on a diet you have to eat salad all the time. You really don't. I just happen to like salads. And that's the key. You eat what you like, but you make sure it's the healthiest it can be.


*I am by no means an expert on the subject of food, nor do I have "Dr" in front of my name or a nifty science related diploma hanging on my wall. But I HAVE done a lot of research on the subject. I've read quite a few books by people who do have those things and I've also put my research into practice. But please do your own research as well. I certainly don't want to be accused of leading someone astray. :)

**fake meaning there had to be some type of scientific manipulation to produce the end product, rather than just picking something out of the ground, or from a tree, or out of the water, etc.

***Whatever ingredients you do choose to use, just make sure there's no MSG or high-fructose corn syrup (or wheat, if you are gluten intolerant)


I forgot to add that when you eat, you SHOULD make sure there is some type of healthy fat with your meal. Fat helps your body absorb nutrients.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My New Look! And other splendiferous things

Here it is! My lovely new blog design!!

And it's all thanks to the most amazing artist and designer that ever was!!

Yup, that's right. The lovely lady who designed ELEMENTAL's cover. She's a genius. And I keep telling her she needs to do this kind of thing for a living.

And really, she's kind of a lifesaver, too because (gasp!) I tried to do this on my own. Yeah...

Here's the story:

I decided I wanted to change my blog look. You know, make it a bit more professional and a lot less girly. So I went to a site where you can purchase images for pretty cheap. I picked three I really loved and thought to myself, "I can do this! This is easy!" I then took my purchased images to and started playing around with them. After a few hours of torture, I produced something that was eh. The whole thing was all right, not beautiful, but all right. Unfortunately, despite the fact I purchased large and extra large images, photobucket did something to make them smaller and the whole thing looked fuzzy.

I then downloaded Gimp. *headsmack* One's ability to download images and image manipulation software does not a template designer make. 

After a couple more hours, I emailed Victoria with many weeping not-so-smily smilies. Basically, I was just sharing my failure with her, but she called me and imagine this...

She offered to do it all for me.

Yeah, that's right.

She offered to do it all for me.

So, after I picked my jaw up off the floor, we got to work. (by "we got to work," I mean I emailed the images and she did the rest)

This most amazing of amazing ladies spent her weekend creating my blog design with the three images I purchased. 

She turned this...

By the way, you totally can't take these pictures. 
I had to pay for them. If you like them, you can pay for them here.

...into what you see before you.

I know. She's amazing. She really needs to start selling her template designing services.

Now, there's a story to the look, too. If you've haven't already guessed, ELEMENTAL is about someone who can manipulate an element. And when you read this...

Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should. 

But she wants to. 

...I'm pretty sure you can guess which element it is.

So, this blog is going to celebrate Ella's awesome ability for the next few months! But when FAE's release date gets closer, the look is going to change again. Dun, dun, duuuun! 

By the way, did you know ELEMENTAL will be out in just a little over three months!! It's amazing!!! And so exciting!

To prepare for this awesome event, Spencer Hill Press has provided me with a countdown widget to share with all of you! 

(I'm hoping this shows up on the post. If not, it's over to the right)

Please put this on your blog and help spread the word! You guys are awesome and I would be so amazingly honored if you actually displayed it for your readers to see. It would give me warm and fuzzy feelings (not the creepy kind, though). :)

Here's the code:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script><script type="text/javascript">if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('c8fa1a8f-60a1-4bd8-84d1-670039c6f17d');</script>
<noscript>Get the <a href="">Countdown Creator Pro</a> widget and many other <a href="">great free widgets</a> at <a href="">Widgetbox</a>! Not seeing a widget? (<a href="">More info</a>)</noscript>

Thanks, everyone!!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Spencer Hill Press Author, Jennifer L. Armentrout

In keeping with last Monday's post, I had this wonderful plan for Wednesday. I even had pictures and the perfect first recipe to share. But... Wednesday was my birthday and I decided I didn't want to be cooped up in my house all day. Instead, I helped my mom babysit kids at the private school I went to when I was a little munchkin. I know, I know. I'm a party maniac!!

Seriously, I'm wild. *gives creepy eyebrow raise and half smile*

But today's not about me. I just like giving excuses. They make me happy and give me a sense of accomplishment. *more creepy smiles and eyebrow raises*

Pretty much like this one:

Moving on before you think I'm TOTALLY wacked out (too late?)...

Today is about Jennifer L. Armentrout! Yay! And this post is coming late today because (get ready for it! More excuses!) I wanted to finish up PURE, her sequel to recently released Half-Blood. It was pretty awesome. And by "pretty awesome," I mean I'm definitely giving it 5 stars on Goodreads. If you guys haven't read Half-Blood, you should. And if you have read it, I guarantee you that PURE will not disappoint.

Even though I'm sure most (if not all) of you know all about Jennifer, here's her info:

Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in West Virginia. All the rumors you've heard about her state aren’t true. Well, mostly. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She shares her home with her husband, his K-9 partner named Diesel, and her hyper Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent her time writing short stories...therefore explaining her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes Adult and Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Romance. 

She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Her Covenant Series:

"Love in my world usually ended up with someone hearing 'I smite thee!' as she was cursed to be some lame flower for the rest of her life." 

For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards… and that she'll never be prepared for that duty.

According to her mother, that’s a good thing. 

But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill. 

The daimons have found her.

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi—pure-bloods—have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals—well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. 

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: 

Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. 

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck. 

There is need. And then there is Fate… 

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her. 

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone. 

Coming in April 2012

Coming November 6th, 2012

You can (and should) find her in these various locations:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting Personal (and some talk about food)

Okay, so, I don't get too personal on this blog much. At least, I don't think I do. Mainly because my life is boring and the things worth telling would just make you realize how twisted I am. Sooo... I don't go there much.

Unless it starts to affect my blogging and internet presence.

And lately it has.

For the past few weeks (since before Christmas), my internet comings and goings have been pretty infrequent. The reason is because I've been getting migraines every. single. day. It's gotten to the point where I'll hurry up and do what I can in the morning and spend the rest of the day with my eyes closed and me lying on the couch.

I've been convinced I'm dying. Seriously.

I finally made an appointment to see my doctor, which I will do on Thursday. In the meantime, I'm trying to diagnose myself. One theory I have is hypothyroidism. I don't know if migraines are a part of it, but hypothyroidism runs in my family and I've had a bunch of other symptoms that go along with it. I'm constantly tired and any time I try to exert myself, I get sick and I need to sleep. I woke up the other night because I stopped breathing. You know, stuff like that.

So, why am I telling you this? Besides the fact I've been AWFUL as far as keeping up with blogs and my friends, I've also come up with a new theory which has meant a pretty drastic change to my life.

Some things you don't know about me:

I love to cook, and I like to cook from scratch. I like to make my own cheese, butter, candles, jellies. I like to can my own foods, garden, everything. So the theory I came up with has to do with food. I think my body is intolerant to carbs and starches.

The reason I think I'm intolerant to that stuff is because last saturday I tried my theory out and only had eggs, cheese, meat, and fruits and veggies. But then I went to a party that night. And as is typical for all parties, the main foods were carbs and starches. That whole day I was feeling awesome, but after eating the party fare, I was sick again. Horribly, horribly sick. My stomach actually balloons so much, I look like I'm six months pregnant. My husband laughs because it looks so ridiculous. But believe me, it's painful.

So yesterday, I went on a shopping spree to completely restock my pantry cupboard and refrigerator. I'm so excited! You should see my pantry cupboard. I'm seriously showing it off to guests now. They laugh at me. Because I think eating real, healthy food is important, I'm thinking of sharing some recipes on the blog. What do you guys think? Would you be interested? Maybe on Wednesdays or something?

I also bought a food processor and a coffee grinder so I can make my own almond flour! Hehehehe! I can't wait! Because I can't really live without cake. I love cake. Just not cake made out of nasty, processed "enriched" flour that makes me sick.

By the way, just to prove to you why I think I'm right, by this time (because this is such a long post), I would have felt the first little inklings of a migraine, and I don't.

Coincidence? I think not. :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Spencer Hill Press Author, Dan Cohen!

Dun, du-du-dun!!

Today I present you with the hilarious! The charming! The unbelievable!

Dan Cohen!!!

aww! Isn't that a great picture?

Daniel A. Cohen was just your average business student. Microeconomics, finance, marketing… you name it, he had to do a PowerPoint presentation on it. One dark and stormy night, he was bitten by the radioactive realization that memorizing business jargon could possibly be the most boring activity known to man. 

After gaining eagle-eye vision, abs that could grate cheese, and a talent for imagining things (including his cheese-grating abs), he wrote his first novel and began his epic battle against the formidable business jargon. He continues to fight the good fight by playing saxophone and writing YA fantasy, forever hoping his Veil trilogy will help inspire others to join his cause.

And his book!

Life can’t get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player… every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer.

Sam’s dreams are crushed as he is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who is the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot.

As it becomes clear that Sam is meant for power magic—the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery—people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown… but all of humankind. 

Coming in March 2012

Seriously, my dear readers, Dan is hilarious. And very, very funny. Did I mention he's amusing? He was also the first person to welcome me (besides Kate herself) into Spencer Hill Press. I pretty much giggled like a school girl when I saw his email because, of course, it all of a sudden hit me how real it all was. 

I can NOT wait to get his book. And don't you just love that cover? I keep looking at the scales and thinking, "What does it mean? I must know what it means!!"

You can (and should) find him at these various locations:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spencer Hill Press Author, Angela Townsend!

And so my love continues with...

Angela Townsend!!

Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana.  As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places.  Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology.  Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing.  A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars.  Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing.  She resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.

She is represented by Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency. 

And her book!!! (Which I totally can't wait to read):

Life has been hell for seventeen-year-old Emma since she moved from sunny California to a remote Alaskan town. Rejected by her father and living with the guilt of causing her mother's death, she makes a desperate dash for freedom from her abusive stepfather. But when her car skids off the icy road, her escape only leads to further captivity in a world beyond her imagining. Dragged across the tundra by a crazed mountain man and his enormous black wolf, she finds that her gentle touch and kind heart earn her the wolf's friendship, and she names him Amarok, not knowing he was once a young man. When a vicious madman--trapped in bear form by an ancient Shaman--attacks the travelers and injures Amarok, Emma must find the strength to confront her fears and free the wolf she's come to love. But there's a catch--she must face down the evil shaman, a powerful Siberian mammoth hunter from the ice age, and he has no intention of giving up his power to her.

You guys wouldn't believe how surprised I was to find out Angela was a new member of the Spencer Hill Press family. There I was, browsing through my blogroll, when I saw Jill Corcoran's post titled, Angela Townsend's Amarok to Spencer Hill Press! I immediately congratulated her and after exchanging a few messages with Angela, I found out that not only is she an amazing writer with a spectacular agent, she's really sweet too. I can not wait to share more love for her as her book nears publication.

You can (and should) find out more about her at these locations:

Goodreads (Author)
Goodreads (AMAROK)

Please take a look at those links and help me spread some love! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I must interrupt my regularly scheduled blog post in which I show some love to a SHP author to ask you all to please go here:

The Misadventures In Candyland

Candace Ganger and her family are in need of some major love and support. I won't go into it all here because Candace expresses her need so beautifully, but I will ask that you please not ignore this call for help. Please visit her blog.

If you do make a donation, please come back here and leave a comment telling me. If ten people donate, I'll post a sneak peak of ELEMENTAL. If fifteen or more donate, I'll post the entire first chapter. I hope you find this appealing enough to tempt you. :) If not, then just know a family needs your help and if you have the means, I hope you will help them.

Thank you!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Spencer Hill Press Author Lisa Rogers

Happy New Year!!

It's 2012! Yay! This year is particularly special to me because it's the year my debut novel, ELEMENTAL, comes out!!!

I owe the fulfillment of my dreams to SO many people, but over the next couple weeks, I'm focusing specifically on my publishing family. The family has grown since I signed on, adding three new authors! One of whom I introduced you to last Thursday. But today, I want to introduce you to someone who helped welcome me into Spencer Hill Press last May.

Lisa Rogers!

From her Author Page:

Lisa Rogers worked in the medical field until she hung up her stethoscope to help her husband pursue the dream of owning his own business. After opening the business while also raising their two (she insists) wonderful children, the time has come for her to fulfill a dream of her own—which is, was, and will always be, writing.

With her children now grown, she dedicates her time to writing and learning about paranormal phenomena. When she’s not strapped to her computer at their rural Oklahoma home, she can generally be found poking around a dilapidated old building or visiting some historical place, perhaps searching for her next “out of body” character.

Her debut novel, ANGELINA'S SECRET (coming February, 2012):

As a child, Angelina spent years in counseling learning that Josie, her imaginary friend, wasn't real, but it turns out her childhood friend wasn't imaginary after all. 

Now Angelina has to accept she's either (A) crazy or (B) able to see ghosts. Wanting to believe in her sanity, she chooses (B) and welcomes Josie back into her life. But even Josie can't help her deal with Shelly, the spirit of a confused teenager, and things go very, very wrong. 

When Angelina finds herself in a psychiatric hospital, she faces a choice: she can spend the rest of her life pretending to be someone she isn't, or she can embrace who she is and take a chance that she may never get to go home. 

Trust me when I tell you this is an AMAZING book. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and I devoured it in two days. It is both chilling and sweet, and believe me, that is not an easy combination to make. 

Find out more about Lisa Rogers:

You will want to check out these links. Lisa is SO nice and her blog posts are always interesting (usually having something to do with ghosts).