How to Win $225, a Book, and Do Some Window Shopping

My publisher, Astraea Press, is doing a “Give Back” promotion this year. Astraea authors donated money and we’re giving it away in time for Black Friday.

CLICK HERE to learn how you could win $225 

Also, don’t forget to leave a comment on Lori Benton’s post to be entered to win a signed copy of her debut novel, Burning Sky.

And finally, my good friend, Florence Fois, has opened an Etsy shop. It’s packed with collectibles, Department 56 sets, treasures, and keepsakes. It’s a fun place to window shop (virtually) and there’s lots to see!

Along the Way Home Blog Tour!

I’m touring the blog-o-sphere talking about the release of Along the Way Home!

Here’s a list of today’s blogs, and I’ll add to the list as the days go by. The following people were kind enough to share their blog and their readers with me, so I’d love for you to not only check out my post, but also to browse around their blogs too because they all offer a wealth of knowledge about writing and publishing.

UPDATED: Blogs I’m hosting on June 19-20th

Moriah Densley: Here I talk about the importance of a “You Don’t Suck” file. Though, thanks to one comment I’m considering changing the name of the file :D.

Theresa Hupp: She writes about the Oregon Trail too, and I had a great time on her blog chatting about the inspiration behind my book, and hardest thing about being a writer. We don’t agree on the Oxford comma, but I still had a great time.

Margo Kelly: She’s one of my critique partners (yay!) and here I’m talking about how failure wasn’t an option when it came to Along the Way Home.

Doreen McGettigan: I talk about why I write at night, long after my twins and our puppy are asleep.

Tori Mcrae: We are members of the same critique group, the Ridge Writers. On this post I chat about writing friendships

UPDATED: Blogs I’m hosting on June 13th

Ink in the Book: On Talynn Lynn’s blog I’m talking about how long it took me to get Along the Way Home over the publishing finish line, and also about the joys and defeats I encountered. (CONTEST!)

Kelly Martin: Rejection is part of every writer’s journey. Learn about how one rejection in particular finally led to me signing with Astraea Press in my post, “How A Stinging Rejection Led to a Book Contract”.

Blogs I’m hosting on June 12th

Fois in the City: On Florence Fois’ blog I’m talking about how we started our blogs at roughly the same time, and were often each other’s only visitor/commenter. And above all, how important her friendship is to me. And, she’s giving a hint at her own publishing news in the works. (CONTEST!)

PK Hrezo: On Pk’s blog she shares some very lovely thoughts about how important friendships are for writers. Here’s a particularly poignant line…

No one else understands this path, and attempting to explain wouldn’t demonstrate the magnitude. Sometimes we’re up. Other times we’re down. And only our fellow writers truly understand this roller coaster of emotion–the peak of hopes, and the valleys of despair.

Artemis Grey:  She’s one of my critique partners! We met in 2009 when I guest hosted over at Pimp My Novel, and our friendship developed over the years into a critique partnership. She was a wealth of information about horses, Virginia, and how to bury a dead body (got your attention there, didn’t I?!). Plus, there’s a picture on this post that you have to see to believe!

Linda Joyce: I’m sharing fun details about my favorite candy, favorite holiday, favorite car, and what I consider to be my ultimate dream date. I think my answers will surprise you!

Wendy Knight: I share the “inspiring moment” when I got the idea for Along the Way Home. It was on a cross-country drive in a compact car in the middle of winter. Here’s a fun line…

We’re driving my 1992 Hyundai Excel (compact car) and the backseat and hatchback are loaded to the windows with all my worldly possessions. As an extra bonus, my husband is 6 feet 4 inches tall. Plus it’s February, and since the middle of winter in the Midwest is brutally cold we’re sporting layers of long underwear, flannel shirts, and puffy coats.

Heather Gray: I’m sharing how my inability to describe things properly leads me to buy things off Craigslist so I can hold/see/feel them… so I can then in turn write about them. I also am sharing two short excerpts!

Blogs I’m hosting on June 9th to June 11th

Rose Gordon: In this post you’ll learn how talking too much in 9th Grade English led to an interesting discovery.

Rachel Van Dyken: How a Road Trip in a Crowded Hyundai Inspired My First Novel. (CONTEST!)

Angie Eads is featuring an excerpt where Jake (the rugged trail guide) and Kate (the prim society woman) first meet and immediately clash over what’s important enough to bring along. Hint, Kate wants china and dresses, Jake wants tools and spare wagon parts.

There’s more blog stops coming in the next few days, and I’ll post them as they go live. I hope you enjoy learning more about me through these posts!

Quote Friday and a Writing Prompt Adventure

Today’s quote comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson…

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

I have an update on Tuesday’s birthday post. The hubby and I took our twins bowling for the first time. They beat me. By a lot. Both games. 😀

And finally, my great writing friend, Florence Fois, is having a fun contest of sorts on her blog. You leave a one sentence writing prompt as a comment and in turn she’ll write a short story based on your prompt. I accepted the challenge, will you?

CLICK HERE for Florence’s prompt post.

Meet the Winners of the “What’s Going On Here?!” Contest

Moriah Densley has selected the winner and runner-ups for the “What’s Going On Here?!” Caption Contest.

The Second runner up, and winner of Reid Lance Rosenthal’s book, Threads West, is M.V. Freeman, with the following entry:

“Hey, you said brush your teeth, you didn’t tell us *how* we had to do it.”

The First runner up, and winner of a critique from Moriah of their first 10 pages of their novel,  AND a copy of her e-book, Song for Sophia, is Florence Fois, with the following entry: 

“Hey mom, don’t blame me. It was her idea.”

The Grand Prize winner, and winner of a critique from Moriah of their first 15 pages of their novel, AND and a copy of her e-book, Song for Sophia, AND, a package of writing goodies from me is Talynn Lynn, with the following entry:

“Come back here, bro! You got toilet paper stuck to your foot!”

Congratulations to all the winners!


Blog Award

My blog has been given a Versatile Blogger Award…twice.

The first blogger awarded me this well over a month ago, and because I have no organization skills and procrastinated for far too long sadly I have lost their blog address and contact info. So, if it was you, PLEASE let me know and I’ll post your name and a link to your blog ASAP.

The second blogger who gave me this award is Jay Elle Tee, or JLT, or otherwise known as Jay. Confused? Click HERE for the full lowdown on the name 🙂 and who Jay is, and the fantastic blog he writes called Write Now.

The basics of the award are as follows…I have to tell you seven things about myself. Here goes!

1. I can’t stand salt and pepper shakers that are shaped like ANYTHING other than salt and pepper shakers. Seriously, I’m not looking to hoist a cutesy ceramic cat or chicken into the air, turn it upside down and wait for salt/pepper to fall out. Yes, it’s a pet peeve, but it’s all mine 🙂

2. I’ve donated my hair to Locks of Love three times, and one of the times I was featured on the local news for my donations. Recently, my daughter donated for the first time and she proudly displays the certificate on our fridge.

3. I am attending Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon this August. I could only afford to attend for one day, but I still plan on making the most of it.

4. I’m holding the 2nd annual “Worst First” contest next month, and yet again I found a published author silly enough to be involved in the nonsense I come up with to judge the contest. I’ll let you know more details soon, but for now just know that I’m looking at a STACK of prizes the author’s publisher mailed out to me to giveaway.

5. I am a long time watcher of the television show, Castle. So much so that I have the show’s poster on the back of the bedroom door. Yeah, cuz I’m all high school like that 🙂

6. I broke the blade on our lawn mower by running it over the metal lid that covers the water access turn on for the house. To this day, I’ve never told my husband the entire story, because as I tell him, “You don’t want to know why I did something so stupid.”

7. Because of this day, not only do I not get mad when my son sticks his tongue out at me, I highly encourage him to do so.

Here’s some more specifics about the Versatile Blogger award. If you are nominated you need to do the following…

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award.
  •  Include a link to their blog.
  •  Next, select blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So, I nominate the following blogs for this award…

1. Diane Lynn Tibert

2. Florence Fois

3. Artemis Grey

4. Tori Mcrae

5. PDP (I won’t put up a link here, but he knows who he is :))

Blog Award, Cool List, and What Others REALLY Think of Your Blog

I’ve received an award from Kate, who runs a seriously cool blog called Words and Deeds–A Writing Life.

She gave me a Versatile Blogger award! How cool is that?

But, there’s a catch to getting this award.

*shoves acceptance speech up shirt sleeve and looks embarrassed for being all greedy with the award before I earned it*

I have to tell you seven random things about me first…

And, here’s more rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you 
  2.  Share 7 random things about you 
  3.  Share the love with your favorite bloggers 
  4.  Put up the Versatile Blogger Award picture on your blog

So, without further ado, here are seven random things about me!

1. Fifteen years ago my mom and I survived a car accident. A “head-on collision while going seventy-five miles an hour on the freeway” kind of car accident. It was 12:30 at night and the other driver fell asleep, crossed the freeway median, and plowed right into us. My mom is an amazingly tough lady…she had to have bone taken from her hip and put into her neck to fuse two of her neck bones together. Left a brutal scar, but the point is, she made it through.  The takeaway of this story…wear your seatbelt!

2. My high school sport…swimming. I started swimming competitively when I was 9, went to Junior Olympics when I was 13, and lettered my freshman, sophomore, and junior year. (I had to quit my senior year, but that’s another story)

3. I am a mother to twins who were born four weeks premature. They were the “poster children” for the local chapter of our hometown’s March of Dimes organization when they were three months old.

4. My favorite flower is a daisy.

5. My computer chair has a seriously annoying squeak that I cannot fix. Or, maybe I’ve just learned to love the noise because I don’t try to fix it anymore.

6. My husband and I waited to, well…you know, until we were married. Yep, true story!

7. I’m a chronic abuser of exclamation points, ellipsis, and smiley faces. They’re all over my blog…and my emails. I can’t help myself 🙂 :).

And, now for seven bloggers I want to pass this award on to…

1. Florence Fois

2. Artemis Grey

3. Margo Kelly

4. PK Hrezo

5. Winona Cross

6. All the Wordbitches (Please, tell me you know their blog. Visit!)

7. Teralyn Pilgrim

And, if you’re reading this blog I’m betting you’re a writer, and if you’re a writer, you need to know this…

25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing…Right F*&king Now.

Click on it, learn it, live it.

And finally, since brutal honesty seems to be the theme of today’s post…have you ever wondered what readers think of your blog? No, what they REALLY think of your blog?

Click HERE to find out.