Saturday, March 31, 2012

Luck Strikes Twice

No, I didn't win the mega millions, but I did get tagged by the lovely Tiffany A. White (If you're not reading her blog, you should. So, stop reading this post and head on over and follow Tiffany A. White's Ooo, right now).

Welcome back! As I was saying, Tiffany tagged me for the Lucky 7 Meme. And since I already participated a few weeks ago (you can read the post here) and have nothing to contribute this time around (no, I don't have enough written for book 3 to play again), I thought I'd do a post on 7 Things About Me.

1. I've never read Harry Potter (don't kill me and yes, I know how great it is).
2. I've never seen any of the Lord of the Rings films (see #1).
3. I don't have any tattoos.
(This is Hard!)
4. My favorite food is beef. Yes. Beef. Steak, fajitas, bbq brisket, prime rib... And if it's any kind of steak, I like it rare.
5. I was in 4-H and FFA in high school (agriculture is fun, folks).
6. I failed college algebra 3 times.
7. I've traveled all over Mexico, but I've never been to Europe.

There you go folks! Seven fun facts about me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fun Stuff

Just when I thought the warm weather was here to stay, we had a little bit of a cold snap last night. Nonetheless, it's still Spring, so in honor, check out the inaugural post of the Spellbound Scribes, where Shauna Granger warns us to Beware of the Fairy Ring. And don't forget to check-in every Tuesday for more paranormal fun!

Speaking of stories, my mother told me something interesting the other day. Apparently, my great grandmother was a story teller. Every night before bedtime, she would gather all the grandchildren and tell them a fairy tale. My great grandmother couldn't read, so all her stories were told from memory. She got her stories from her mother, who was THE storyteller. People would travel miles to hear my great-great grandmother spin her tales. And while her daughter (my great grandmother) continued the tradition, she used to hate the gatherings as she had to tend to the guests (which was often). She would refer to herself as La Cenicienta (Spanish for Cinderella!) for having to entertain and clean up after all the guests.

The stories must have been pretty good to attract all those visitors. One of these days, I'm going to have to translate them into English, although my mom says some of the stories may not be in good taste (even better)...

On the book front, I am working on formatting PARADOX for print, so for those that prefer "real" books, I should have them ready for release in the next couple of weeks.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Clicked the PUBLISH Button

It's the last ROW80 check-in and for those that are just now following me, ROW80 is a writing challenge where writers create their own measurable goals each round. This round, my goals were write everyday and publish PARADOX.

I am happy to report, I clicked the publish button late last night and PARADOX is now available!! I'm still waiting for it to go live on Barnes and Noble, but it's already on sale on Amazon! *happy dance* So for you Nook readers, it will be available sometime later today or tomorrow.

A huge thanks goes out to all my fellow ROW80 buddies who have stopped by and shown their support these last few months. There were times when I wanted to give up, but y'all kept me going! And thanks to all my readers who have also pushed me to continue on with my story.

To celebrate, I am going to take a mini-break until Round 2 (April 2) and tomorrow, I'm going to go see Hunger Games in IMAX! I really want to go to the midnight showing tonight, but I'm getting too old for that, so I'll hit the 10:30am show and skip all the crowds.

Don't forget to check out last night's post for a sneak-peak at PARADOX for insights into my madness!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

PARADOX Sneak-Peak Trivia!

It's getting near the release date for PARADOX and I want to thank everyone who's expressed how anxious they are to read it! Trust me, I am just as excited!!

I really hoped to have it uploaded by tonight, but due to some formatting issues, it looks like it won't be until tomorrow. So in the meantime, I thought I'd do a quick trivia post:

Half of the chapters are entitled after a song. These should give you guys a clue as to what to expect!
Heart of Glass
Why Can't We Be Friends?
A Little Less Conversation
Gimme a Ticket for an Aeroplane
President Song
Weird Science
Viva Las Vegas
Basket Case
Somebody's Watching Me
Forever in Blue Jeans
If You Leave

One chapter is entitled The Modern Prometheus (a.k.a. Frankenstein) as Etta's father, Dr. Victor Fleming, shares the same first name as Frankenstein's creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

One character is named after Charlene "Charlie" McGee (last name), in honor of Stephen King. 

Etta nicknames one of the characters Nurse Ratched, after One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. 

Back to the Future and The Terminator are referenced in the book. 

Etta gets her first passport and experiences her first airplane trip. 

There really is a Chocolate Lab at MIT.

(Ted, if you are reading this, THANK YOU for all your patience and help formatting PARADOX!!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Release Update & New Endeavors

I hope everyone had a fabulous St. Patty's Day weekend! Personally, I try to avoid anyplace where I have to wait in line for a beer, so the hubby and I stayed home and celebrated by grilling outdoors. Not very Irish-y, but hey, any celebration is a reason to BBQ.

And before I get into any updates, I want to thank everyone who's recently commented on my blog, FB page, posted reviews, and sent emails letting me know how much you enjoyed reading PARALLEL. It means so much to me, I have no words other than 'thank you'. Since Tuesday, I've had close to 23,000 downloads.

As for PARADOX, everyone has been asking when the release date is and all I can say is, "I don't know." I know it will be sometime this week, but I don't have an exact date. Since I outsource certain things (i.e. formatting), I am at the mercy of the wonderful folks that provide these services.

In other news, I decided to band together with three fabulous authors on a collaborative author blog. Our blog, Spellbound Scribes, will feature anything and everything paranormal. Can you be too prepared for a zombie apocolypse? Is there a magic spell to get rid of unwanted facial hair? Should witches join union? Questions like these, as well as paranormal characters and books, will be addressed. As soon as the construction dust settles, we hope you take a chance on our joint blog and follow! We'll also have other paranormal authors featured as soon as we're up and running.

My guest post how pop-culture influences my writing (and that of my main character, Etta), will be on on Wicked Little Pixie on Friday, just in time to pimp the release of PARADOX! Don't forget to cheek it out!

We're coming up on the end of Round 1 of ROW80 and as for writing updates, well, that's been on the backburner as I've been working hard trying to get PARADOX released. Does it count if I'm drafting book 3 in my head? But my goal was to publish book 2 during this round, so it looks like I'm well on my way!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Promo Updates

Last night Amazon finally matched the free price of PARALLEL! So now's you're chance to pick up a copy for your Kindle (or iPad) for FREE before PARADOX is released! Yay!

Since midnight last night, when it finally went free on Amazon, I've had over 900 downloads and ranked #447 in Free in Kindle Store!

I'm also doing a guest post over at Wicked Little Pixie (one of my favorite book blog personalities) to promote the upcoming release of PARADOX. Natasha is hilarious, snarky, and brutally honest...I'm honored to be featured on her site! I don't know when my post will be up, but as usual, I'll let you know.

Now I'm off to my favorite coffee shop Simply Sweet (where they serve my favorite bacon lattes), where I will try to stay focused for several hours while I finish up my final edits (THANK YOU faithful beta's who have sent your feedback)!

UPDATE: As of THIS morning (Wed 3/14) I've had over 10,000 downloads and ranked #11 in Kindle Store! I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but it's nice to see PARALLEL on the first page of Kindle Bestsellers (even if it is free). Even if only 1% actually read PARALLEL after downloading, that's 100 new readers!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lucky Number 7

Fellow writer Amber Clites tagged me this week in The Lucky Seven Meme. Here are the rules: Go to page 77 of your WIP, go to line 7, copy down the next 7 lines and post them as they're written. Tag 7 authors and let them know (I'll let those 7 authors know as soon as I chose them)!

The timing couldn't be better, as I'd love to give you guys a sneak peak at PARADOX. So here you go:

There's no way my dad would be part of a scheme to eliminate Taylor's parents. That's just not something I'm willing to accept. 

He knows what I was almost going to say, anyway. "No, darlin'. I don't think your dad had anything to do with her parent's death. Victor may have been a bit overzealous in testing mind altering drugs on kids, but I don't think he'd resort to murder." 

I want to believe Cooper, but I still have my doubts, even if I don't believe my dad would be a party to something like that. But if my dad isn't responsible for those deaths, then is still the question of whether or not he knew about it. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this little snippet and don't worry, I've given nothing away! PS: The photo I chose to depict lucky number seven is also a clue of what's in store!

Now for the update: I've received back comments from one of my beta readers and expect to get more feedback from the others soon. I am just itching to get PARADOX off to my lovely editor so I can publish already!!

As for the FREE promo, the Amazon/B&N price-bots are not cooperating with me and so at this time, PARALLEL is only available for free on iTunes. I'll keep you guys posted!

Have a great ROW80 week everyone and have a Happy Daylight Savings Time (I hope y'all remembered to move your clocks forward...I didn't)!

Friday, March 9, 2012

My New Love...

I want to thank fellow writer Jessica Frische, who commented on my blog this past week and brought some much needed insight into my life: I can stream television shows/movies directly to my TV! When she told me that she hooks up her iPhone to her TV, I was like, "WHAT? I CAN DO THAT??" So, with a little bit of research, I decided that hooking up my iPhone wasn't an option (because I get too many calls that will interrupt my feed), so I dug a little further and discovered Roku. HUH? Yeah, I never heard of it until a few days ago.

It's the size of a hockey puck...seriously. 

My office TV doesn't have cable, or any channel for that matter, so I've been relying on DVD's. So, a quick trip to Best Buy and I can now stream Netflix to my TV! It took a few minutes to set up and now I can watch tons of shows while I'm busy writing. Right now in my queue, I have Buffy (my missing 3 & 4 seasons), Angel, Firefly, Heroes, Doctor Who, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and Charmed...ALL SEASONS! (Think I have enough?)

Thanks again, Jessica, for rockin' my television viewing world.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Free Promo!

Just when I thought I wouldn't have anything to report today, I find I'm capable of even surprising myself. PARADOX is still in the very capable hands of my beta readers, my editor is waiting in the wings, and my formatter has me in queue.

Okay, that's old news, now for the real update: I will be putting PARALLEL up for FREE! Yup, you heard me. I placed it free on iTunes last night and depending on how it takes for the price-bots to match it Amazon and Barnes & Noble, it will be free on those sites as well. I'm not sure how long I'll run the promo, again, I'm leaving it up to the wonderful price-matching wizards, but it will definitely coincide with the release of PARADOX.

On the writing front, I have begun to outline book 3. While I'm not an organized writer by any means, I like to draft our an outline of ideas and pants my way into a story. But what I have so far, I like, and if things get a little confusing in the first two books, wait until book 3 is released!

This is a quick post, as I am off this morning to spend two glorious days camping! We're staying in the area, but it will be nice to get away and if I'm lucky (okay, unlucky) there won't be any wi-fi available and I can truly take a break.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Update

I've nothing new to report since last week, unless I want to sound like a broken record. Finishing up the last edits on PARADOX before I send it out to my beta's today. You heard me, TODAY!

I was beginning to go crazy, as I normally hide in my little cave (i.e. spare room/office) and watch dvd's as I edit. I've been watching the same episodes of Buffy over and over and I was just about to pop in Season 1 again, when yay!, my Season 5 & 6 Buffy Box Sets came in the mail yesterday. Now I can finish edits with new episodes! (Well, not 'new', since I've seen every episode, but you get the idea). Thank you Amazon! Now, the only seasons I'm missing are 3 & 4.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Little Pug is Famous, Yo!

If you read my blog a few weeks back, I mentioned that our pug, Guapo (see pic), was going to be featured in an article for the Journal Sentinel! Well, the real star of the piece is my hubby's cousin Alicia Rheal, who is an arist in the Madison, WI area.

Photo by: Kristyna Wentz-Graff

Alicia is uber talented and she did a previous piece of our other pug Gus as a wedding gift to us a couple of years back. The portraits she paints are actually made out of wood, instead of canvas, and she cuts and paints them into life-size works of art.

Guapo finally arrived a few weeks ago and he's settling in just nicely by the fireplace :) 

There's even a video of Alicia working on Guapo's portrait in her studio in Madison! It's really neat to see her work and talk about her upcoming projects (a life size cow!!).

So, if you're in the market for a portrait of your furred loved one (her prices are very reasonable and quoted in the article), you must check out Alicia's website at