Happy Blogaversary, Tara

Before we break out the dip...yesterday I asked what scary things you had planned for the week, but I don't think anyone can top what fellow Omnific Author, Debra Anastasia, just went through.  She lost her house to Hurricane Irene (you can read about her harrowing adventure here). The tale ends with much to celebrate - her family is safe and she has an amazingly wonderful attitude.  So let the party begin!

Today is Tara Tyler's Blogoversary!  To celebrate she's throwing a blog party whereby we each share a favorite party recipe.  There's still time to join, if you like. Click on the icon to see who else has yummy stuff posted. Here's my contribution to the partay:



The Pits of Hell

Last week I accomplished a life-long goal.  It's something I've been intrigued by for a while now, but I was always held back by fear.  Yet the desire to do it never faded. And so, on Monday, August 22 in the year 2011, I decided the time had come.  I cast aside trepidation and finally went for it.  That's right folks---I got my armpits waxed.

And Steve Carell wasn't kidding.  It hurt like a Kelly Clarkson.

Seriously though, it wasn't that bad.  I was able to keep all screaming on the inside, and each consecutive swipe (FOUR under each arm!) got gradually less painful.  At least that's what I'm telling myself now.  I'll make no excuses for the demon tweezers that swooped in for clean up though. Still a bit miffed at them.

But the girl promised me the first time's always the worst, and I choose to believe her because it's been SO awesome not having to shave, and I plan to go back for more.  Other than some stinging that first night, it's been smooooth sailing.  :)

So, what scary things have you got planned for this week?

Is Monday, and time to get hoppin' a the weekly Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop hosted this week by Killian McRae.


What I Love About Indie Publishers

Authors have so many ways to go about getting published these days, each way having its own special factors to consider.  I honestly hadn't done a whole lot of research on publishing before I signed a contract for my book.  Everything seemed to fall into place nicely with my indie publisher, and so I took that leap of faith.

I've learned more about the publishing industry since getting my book out there and networking with other writers, but I'm still no expert on comparing and contrasting all the options.  I can, however, share with you some of the aspects I like about being with a smaller, independent publishing house.

I'll have to wait until September 1 to tell you about two things that currently have me head over heels for my particular publisher *eyebrows*eyebrows*eyebrows* but one factor I can tell you about right now:

At my indie publisher, I've lucked into an automatic support system of "sister" and "brother" authors. With a smaller stable of authors, there seems to be a we're-all-in-this-together attitude rather than an atmosphere of competition.  We applaud each others' successes and openly share what's worked and what hasn't.  When an author reaches out a hand for help, a dozen grasp back to pull her or him up.  Actually, that doesn't stop at the authors---the editors and marketing staff are right in there too.

It's a lot like what I've found in the blogging community, and it was the patient guidance of my Omnific Publishing comrades that gave me the boost I needed to navigate the intimidating on-line social networking scene---like Lisa Sanchez providing me with much needed structure for my blogging habits with the Meet an Author Monday weekly blog hop, and getting showered with #FF love from Omni-family on Twitter Fridays (even though I've been a horrible slouch in that department---I'll do better!). 

Here's another example of the kind of support I'm talking about.  In the midst of all she's got going on, Carol Oates, fellow Omnific Publishing author of Young Adult, has recently read and reviewed my book!  And what a lovely review it is. :)  Jennifer Lane and Jessica McQuinn have done the same in the past, and I get a HUGE grin on my face every time. 

Now, how about a little support from me to a sister?  
Carol recently uploaded her short story Unfinished, to Smashwords so you can sample her beautiful work for free!  

And now, 

Happy Hopping!


What I Love about "Research" and a Mini Review: Swim Recruit by Jennifer Lane

Review: Swim Recruit by Jennifer Lane
in the

Abby’s a senior in high school being recruited by Northwestern University’s swim team.  Although there’s most definitely a romantic element in this story, it’s really more about team dynamics, and Jennifer Lane, a psychologist by day and former college swimmer, gives us interesting angles from which to examine a dynamic gone terribly wrong.

Swim Recruit shows that bullying isn’t just a high-school phenomenon.  It can and does happen at any age.  Many times the bullies themselves don’t even realize it’s happening—they’ve been swept up in the flow and don’t consider the consequences of their actions.  I like that the story explores this aspect.

While Swim Recruit deals with weighty issues, Lane weaves humor and lightheartedness throughout---like in the opening airport scene, which had me cracking up as Abby's mother says goodbye to her daughter: “Are you sure you don’t want me to come with you?”  I didn’t know Jennifer knew my mom!   The characters’ fun personalities keep the story moving at an enjoyable pace, and the story ends on a hopeful note. A great read any time of year.  

And now for what I love about research

Quite simply, this:

My latest MC frequents a garden, and I'm blessed to live near suburban gem
Cantigny Park.

My "research" made for a lovely Sunday stroll with my daughter.

And she even got in some driving practice on the way home. *gulp*

Here we are at Monday again, time for the Meet an Author Monday blog hop, which is hosted today by fabulous Irish vixen Carol Oates.

It's a chance to see what's up with authors from around the globe.

Hope on & hop along.


Guten Tag, Meine Liebster

Tara Tyler gave me an award!    

The Leibster Blog <3 award was created especially for blogs with less than 200 followers.  Apparently, liebster has multiple translations ranging from favorite to dearest to sweetheart. Either way, I'm honored Tara bestowed this on me.  Thanks!

I pass the Liebster Love on to five worthy blogs:

Karen G and L.A. DeVaul at Celery Tree 
This the the blog for the upcoming  cozy on-line bookstore by the same name.   The blog is a great resource for writers with the latest facts and opinions on the world of publication and writing.

Wendy at Fabulosity Reads 
Wendy is a power reader, and we get to benefit by getting her great insights into an eclectic assortment of books.  She'll even let you look into her book bag! 

Cherie Colyer
Cherie is a writer with her debut novel slated for publication this upcoming winter.  At her blog she shares wonderful information on what she's learning along the way. 

Britta at Witty and Pretty
Britta is a foxy dish whose fun, honest posts on style and whatnot always seem to be a positive boost for self image.  She's got another great blog at Gardening in High Heels 

Susan Oloier at Memoirs of a Writer 
Susan has a wonderful way of mixing in writing topics with the rest of life. She also has a separate blog that chronicles the challenges and triumphs of her son who has Trisomy 18 (a chromosome disorder): My Life With Zane  

A visit to any or all of these Liebster Blogs would be well worth your time.



I consider myself a Harry Potter fan, even if perhaps I haven't quite earned the "atic."  I loved the books, read most of them more than once, own a collector's edition of Beedle the Bard, saw all the movies, wrote a novel length fanfiction to cope with the series ending, and heck, even started up a Harry Potter Finer Things Club with my sister and nephews.

But I have limits, and honestly...the idea of Pottermore creeps me out.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a brilliant marketing strategy for Rowling Inc., and I admire good business, but come on, when is enough enough already?  Or is it just fickle me that thinks this way?

Irregardless, my attention has been stolen all of the sudden by a whole 'nother P-man.  If its a fresh iteration on a magical English boy you're looking for, I've got an excellent recommendation for a series of books that scratches that middle grade fantasy itch.  It doesn't get as deep and dark as the Harry Potter series (ahem, Suze) but it's got plenty of colorful and scary characters and is so much fun, not to mention hilarious.

I speak of the Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.  It's an alternative universe prequel to Peter Pan and answers all sorts of questions I've always had.  If that's not enough to entice you---the stories include talking dolphins.  Talking dolphins!

Barry and Pearson didn't intend to write a fourth book, but they had so many fans ask for it, they drummed up some fantastic inspiration and wrote Sword of Mercy.  I'm not quite finished with it yet, but it's probably my favorite of the series.

Prize Announcements:

Congratulations to Liz Fichera on the recent release of Craving Perfect, and on a much lesser scale for winning a signed copy of Three Daves and a little 80s mood music over at Liza Sanchez's Romance Author blog.

Thanks for entering to win, Liz, and thanks for hosting me, Lisa.

And congrats to me for winning two books!  The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed at the super fun Chick Lit is not Dead blog
Sondrae Bennett's Arctic Winds in the Sizzling Summer  Author Extravaganza.

I'm excited to read both!

Since I'm so book happy today, I'd like to share a couple photos of Three Daves and the Summer Lovin' Anthologies on tour at RomCon in Denver with other OminiBook Buddies.  Much thanks to Omnific Publishing's hard working marketing staff. 

The lovely Killian McRae is hosting today's 
Meet an Author Monday 
blog hop.  

It's your chance to hop on and hop along to mix & mingle with new-to-you authors and those you already know and love.


Dinosaurs, Monkeys and Authors, oh my!

Today I'd like to direct you to a few authorly places:

With the eBook revolution, are signed books going the way of the dinosaur?  No way! says Marcus Clearspring, author of Writing Investigated. He's got an interesting guest post over at Arlee Bird's place about   Electronic book signing.   If you check it out, please be sure to let me know if you think this is something worth trying. 

Here is an excellent post by The Fallen Monkey on the top three grammatical errors she sees in manuscripts, complete with a punctuation cheat sheet.  The article is concise, clear, and provides great examples. The Monkey is a  former high school English teacher, current manuscript editor, and all around cool chick.

At Thoroughly Smitten, you can read my take on one of the most famous couples in literature:  Fictional Felicity:  Rhett & Scarlett (by far the least authorly post of the four---be warned!)

Omnific Publishing has started an "Ask an Editor" feature!  Stop by and ask a question to be answered by a professional editor.