28.2.12

Catch Fiyah!

Yay! It's release day for CassaFire, sequel to Amazon Top Ten best seller CassaStar.  Today author Alex J. Cavannaugh is taking over the internet to celebrate the big blast off.

The goal of the party is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of CassaStar. A super fun package of prizes and books can be won during Alex's two week book tour---going on right now!  More details at Alex's blog.

In CassaFire, Byron's solitary space explorations lead him to alien ruins where he's forced to work with a new set of suspicious allies---including Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron's unique abilities.   

Available today!
Author's site
Book Trailer 


And now, because Alex invited us all to make the posts our own, I give you who I imagine as 80s Byron...he went by Tom back then. ;)

22.2.12

Double Duty

In these crazy days that seem to be suddenly (or is it perpetually?) upon me, I just love it when I can accomplish two things with one post. :)  First up is Auntie Tara's Short Story Prompt.  And I'll admit it---I'm cheating.  Rather than write a complete 250-500 word story with the February theme "Secret Admirer,"  I put forth the first three paragraphs of something I've already written.  But it is a short story and it does entail a secret admirer.

I truly did intend to write up something new, but as my mind raced with all the different possible directions I could take, I realized I already had something.  And then a new development helped me know that was the way to go (said development is part B of this here post.)

Excerpt for dear Auntie Tara:

The first night Rose heard it, she thought hooligans were in her yard playing their music too loud. She reached for her hearing aid on the nightstand and turned the volume all the way up to see if she’d recognize any of the voices. But what she heard was music. She had no idea what genre the kids were into these days, but she could be fairly certain it wasn’t the big band swing that leaked into her room through the closed window. These were the songs she and Henry used to dance to…back in the day. She turned the volume down a bit, but kept her hearing aid in that night and fell asleep with a smile.

The following evening, she sat up in her chair a bit longer than usual. She heard it again. She stood and directed her walker to the window and leaned tentatively forward to peer through the gauzy sheer, but she couldn’t see anybody. She leaned forward more and more until her forehead pressed against the pane. It was cool despite the muggy night that hovered on the other side. She still couldn’t see anything, but thought perhaps the next night she’d be brave enough to open the drape.

She was. Yet even still, she saw nothing. Her eyesight wasn’t what it used to be. But she had a new realization that night. She didn’t hear a band or an orchestra playing. It was just a voice—a rich, smooth, melodic voice. Strong and seductive. He was singing all her favorite songs. He was singing to her. She blushed immediately at the thought. Not to me, she told herself. And yet…he was outside her window. Who else could he be singing to?


I feel 99.84% confident when I say you'll never, never, ever be able to guess the identity of the mystery crooner before the moment of the big reveal---those of you who've already read the story, feel free to back me up in the comments. ;) But if you're feeling up to the challenge, here's part B:

My publisher has put my short story, Sway, as well as other wonderful short stories from the Summer Lovin' Anthologies up as FREE Singles!!!  You can download the Mobi, ePub, PDF zip file now, or hold out to see if Kindle & Nook versions come through.  Either way, I hope you enjoy the story and please do let me know your reaction to the identity of the "secret admirer."

P.S. An FYI for those who've experienced pages 60-72 of Three Daves---this one's rated G. ;)

16.2.12

Retro Recap

My smile from the Tumble 4 Ya blogfest still looms and I just can't help it---I want to share my summary observations from the fest. Think of it as an after party. ;)

The Guys:  The fellas' crushes seemed to be fairly evenly split between rocker chicks (like the girls from Heart, Stevie Nicks, and Cyndi Lauper) and the girl-next-door types.  My favorite quote from the fest is from the Armchair Squid, who said of Ally Sheedy's character in St. Elmo's Fire: "The eyes, the hair and the impish smile just made you want to gather her up in a blanket for the evening" Awww!

A notable lady missing from the guys' 80s crush list was Princess Leia:



Really boys, did ya not see Return of the Jedi?

The Girls:  I'd have to say the top ladies' choice is a tie between the boys of Duran Duran and, well, this isn't exactly a person, but...the Volleyball Scene in Top Gun.  Don't act like you don't know exactly what I'm talkin' about.  Here, Pk Hrezo has a lovely video at her place.

I was very happy to see some of my own 80s crushes show up---like John Cusak (I was a Sure Thing girl) and Adam Ant (and also a Goody Two Shoes gal)---but there were two boys who were quite special to me that didn't, so I feel I must give them tribute here: 


Michael Hutchence of INXS

Egads, how did I not pick him for my #1?!?
Michael Hutchence was simply the sexiest man to ever swagger.



I was never  a big poster girl, but this guy was allowed to hang on the living room wall in the college apartment for two years:

Robert Smith of The Cure
It wasn't so much the looks, but the angsty voice, the words, the freakin' Cure. *sigh*
(Perhaps it was also the modest, unrequited crush I had on the boy who made me the mix tape featuring Robert Smith et al...perhaps.)

Okay, NOW I think I'm done with this.  But if you have any overlooked 80s lovelies to add to the list, I'll be more than happy to hear all about them. :) 

And it's Thursday, so time for the Author! Author! Blog Hop hosted by Omnific Publishing.  It's an open invite so hop on over to sign yourself up. Also HAPPY 2 Year ANNIVERSARY, Omnific!  To celebrate, Omnific is offering FREE reads!  Short stories written by their authors.  New titles will be added throughout the day, so check-em out.

13.2.12

Origins

Before I start in on the next blogfest I want to say THANK YOU to all the Tumble 4 Ya participants!  I had way more fun than I should've reading about your 80s crushes and truly appreciate each post. I'll do a retro recap later this week, but for now...

Today is the Origins blogfest hosted by D.L. Hammons, Katie Mills, Alex J. Cavanaugh and Matthew MacNish in which we explain how it is we got started on this writing thing.  Just like we've all got different writing styles/genres/etc., I'm sure we're all going to have varied Origins stories, so this is going to be interesting.

I've always been enthralled by words, and looking back, I see they've played an important role in my personal history, whether writing up quarterly reports in my former life as an investment consultant or drafting a memo for school parents in yet another former life as president of the parent-teacher organization. But creative writing didn't grab me by the throat and refuse to let go until a month or so after I finished reading the final installment of the Harry Potter series.

Rowling made it clear she wasn't going to give us more, but I needed more.  I couldn't stand the pathetic way Snape's story had ended, and I had to give him something happy in his mortal life. I only meant to scratch out a few thousand words, a scene or two...but I had to know more, and...well, as writers you know how that goes---before I fully understood what was happening, the other stuff of my life got relegated to bite-sized pieces of time so I could sneak away to my notepad or computer every chance I got.

Soon it wasn't just the story itself that held me captive, but the writing. The words, the flow, the editing, the reworking, the everysinglethingaboutit. I ended up with a complete novel-length fiction, but more important than that was the realization along the way that this writing thing wasn't just one of my fickle obsessions.  I'd found my missing piece.  And after finishing that story, I just kept going.
 
Not quite as exciting as getting bit by a radioactive spider, but I'll take it.
To see what got other writers going, click on the big O. 


10.2.12

Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest

Welcome, welcome to the Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest!  I'm so excited to see which 80s faces are going to pop up in the blogworld today.  Thank you to all of you who signed up--and so many of you who mentioned the fest on your blogs. Tim Brannan even had a contest to guess his crush! You've all made this so fun. And HUGE thanks to my cohorts, Suze and M.Pax who've made setting up this fest, like, totally radical.

Right, onto my 80s crush...  I graduated high school in 1985, so I was of prime crushing age throughout the 80s.  As you can imagine, the list of my celebrity crushes from the 80s goes on and on and on.  And yet, picking just one ended up not being as difficult as I thought it would be.  Because as I scanned through pictures and videos of my top 80s men, there was only one who still made me all giggly the moment I saw him again.

He's the one who had me glued to MTV just waiting and waiting and waiting for him. I speak of Joe Elliott, lead singer of Def Leppard.  The odd thing is, he's not at at all like anything I've ever considered to be my type...but I don't know...for me he's got that somethin' somethin' that defies explanation.

Alas, all I ever had was a photograph...


What can I say? I'm apparently a sucker for pleather pants and red legwarmers. And that's to say nothing of the unnecessary terrycloth wristbands and sleeveless Union Jack tee w/ billowy scarf. But enough about Joey Bear, I'm off to see which 80s star makes you all giggly.

7.2.12

80s Sighting: No Limit Arcade

Just when I was thinking I ought to do some sort of reminder post about the big Tumble 4 Ya blogfest this Friday, I got hit with another 80s sighting!  This morning the local news featured the No Limit Arcade in Algonquin, IL, featuring 80s arcade games: Pac Man, Frogger, Asteroids, TRON, Space Invaders, Ms. Pac Man, Robotron...and I'm sure I'll suck at them just as much now as I did then.  What's especially cool though is that the teens are digging the retro video games too.  My 14 year old can't wait to go---but he's holding out for verification on Donkey Kong.

Here's a graphic from the No Limit Arcade website to get you into 80s mode while you write up your post telling us all about your 80s Celebrity Crush for the Tumble 4 Ya fest on Friday (sign-up is conveniently below if you still need to do that).  I'm totally pumped, stoked & psyched to see who y'all pick.



Look at all these 80s babes we're going to get to look at!
THIS FRIDAY, Feb. 10

4.2.12

Amazon Tag Party

This weekend, Francine Howarth at Romancing the Blog is hosting an Indie Author Tag Party, i.e. a bunch of us signed up to tag each other's books on Amazon.  A Tag is a key word or words readers associate with a book. The higher the number of readers selecting a specific keyword, the higher that book moves on the list in searches for that keyword.

And tagging is so easy!  Just click on the link each of the authors have provided at their blogs, scroll down to the list of tags and click on all those you think apply to the book (you have to be logged into Amazon to tag).

Below is my link
(You can tag even if you're not signed up for the fest *wink* *wink*)



The keywords I most covet are:
Love
Romance
80s
1980s
college life
Chick Lit
New Adult
humor
comedy




Here's the link back to the fest so you can continue tagging others

Thanks, Francine!

And in other news, if you have an excess of Middle Grade and Young Adult books about, please follow the link at the top of my sidebar for more information regarding a wonderful MG/YA book donation project being organized by Julie at A Tale of Many Reviews.  Aaand for fun & frivolity check out the Tumble 4 Ya (Who was your 80s Crush) Blogfest to be held next Friday.

1.2.12

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Welcome to this month's edition of Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of none other than Alex J. Cavanaugh---who's going to light the Blogosphere on fiyah at the end of the month with his Catch Fire! event to celebrate the upcoming release of his second novel, CassaFire.

Hey, I didn't realize until I started typing this that Alex's event ties in with what I want to talk about today.  See, it's my observation that most of us writer types aren't the greedy sort.  If money was what we were after, we'd spend less time writing and more time doing whatever it is people do to make gobs of cash. So all these efforts to promote our books aren't really about money at all---they're about doing right by our story, doing whatever we can to get it out there so it can reach and entertain the types of readers it's meant to reach and entertain.

That's a powerful incentive, but there's always something promotion-wise we could be doing, and it gets exhausting. Ever since my first novel was released, I've repeatedly told myself (and my kids and husband) "Okay, now I'm done promoting." But then a new idea will hit me, some avenue left unexplored...or simply a hair-brained scheme that strikes me as fun, and I'm at it again.  Is it like that for anyone else?

I also realize, however, that at some point I've got to drop the reins and let my book either take off, tread water, or sink all on it's own.  I can only control so much. With my book's two-year anniversary coming up later this month, and with a brand new manuscript calling for my attention, I honestly feel ready to do that.  But...there's just...one more...thing...

I've not given my Amazon presence much attention, so before I officially put Three Daves on autopilot, I'm going to try to figure out a non-obnoxious way to ask people to post an Amazon review---any advice on that would be much appreciated!  Also, I keep hearing the Amazon Tag thingies are important for "You might also like" recommendations.  In that regard, Francine Howarth at Romancing the Blog has come up with a brilliant idea---a Tag Party!  It's going on this weekend so there's still time to sign up.  It's a great way to help your book & help other authors at the same time.