Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's Have a Memorable Holiday by Getting Back to the Basics!

Collage of various Christmas images, made from...Image via Wikipedia


This is a repost, however it holds the same sentiment as it did when I first wrote it. As I read over the words, I realized that many things I'd hoped would get better for so many by now are the same or worse.

There is still hope....we just need to pray a little harder and louder. He is listening......




With the busiest season upon us, we all know what it's like to prepare for the Holidays. Running here, running there, with too much to do and too little time. We all want to make the Holiday perfect for our children, grandchildren and our entire family. This is so much easier said than done. Our hearts are in the right place, but our focus is lost somewhere, between what we want to do and what is actually possible to do, be it, physical or financial. Getting "back to basics" may save us from a feeling of being overwhelmed.

There is a financial burden on many families this year, who are unable to make it a merry and bright holiday for their children. At least, not in the way they think they must. What we need to remember is that "back to basics" is not a bad thing. It can be a delightful way of celebrating a very old-fashioned Holiday. And could be the coolest thing that your children have ever experienced. We have to remember that our little ones expect a lot of gifts to be there, under the tree, because that's what we taught them to expect. Maybe, now would be a great time to teach them that "other" lesson. You know, the one, where we have to work a little harder for what we want. The one, where we need to be happy with what we get under the tree, but more importantly, what we already have.

They can learn about the gifts of the heart, when they help a senior with their groceries. Or shovel a driveway for them and watch the smile of relief on their face. Or volunteer to babysit for a single mom, so she may have time to prepare for her family's Holiday. How about visiting an orphanage or working in the kitchen of a homeless shelter for a day. I think it's important that our children grow up knowing that it's a big, big world out there and it's not always pleasant. But we can help make it more so, by giving a little bit of ourselves to someone in need.

I want to wish everyone a Very Happy Holiday and a Very Merry Christmas!


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hushed Blog Tour from Nov. 28 - Dec. 31

HUSHED by Kelley York coming in December, 2011!   
About the Author





Kelley was born and raised in central California, where she resides with her lovely wife, daughter, and an abundance of pets. (Although she does fantasize about moving across the globe to Ireland.) She has a fascination with bells, adores all things furry – be them squeaky, barky or meow‐y – is a lover of video games, manga and anime, and likes to pretend she’s a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or maybe a mermaid.
Within young adult, she enjoys writing and reading a variety of genres from contemporary with a unique twist, psychological thrillers, paranormal/urban fantasy and horror. 
She loves stories where character development takes center stage.

Be ready for Author Interview, Q&A, and Book discussions.

Pre-Order Hushed at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Touch" by Jus Accardo

Touch (a Denazen Novel - Book One) released on October 24, 2011, as an e-Book, is now available in paperback.


"When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen‐year old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.
Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.


Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. Dez and Kale team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.


A secret Kale will kill to protect."


  
Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Her readers will love to learn what I learned about Jus! Read on...


When did you start writing and why? 
I think the very first thing I wrote was an alternate ending to a book I read as a child. I didn't like how the author ended it, so I decided I could do better myself. I was hooked after that.

How did you know you were ready to write a novel?
 

I don't think there was any actual awareness. I wrote my first complete book when I was
fourteen (in notebooks) and just kept going. Obviously the early stuff is something I wouldn't show to a slug, but I still have each and every one. Some of the characters have been recycled over time, as well as minor story ideas. The Denazen Corporation was actually born in a trilogy I wrote several years ago. It's something I'd like to revisit at some
point.

Where do you find inspiration to write? 

Everywhere. You can walk into the food store to grab milk and eggs and come out with an awesome story if you pay enough attention. A single song can inspire an entire book.
Secondhand Serenade's, Fall For You, was the inspiration behind one of my
NaNo projects.


Do you have a favorite place to go when you write and what does it look
like?
 

I write best at my dining room table, actually. As for what it looks
like? It probably seems like a messy, unorganized disaster scene, but to
me, its perfection.


How organized are you when you begin a new project, whether it's a short story or a  novel? Do you outline everything or are you a "pantster¨? 

Me? Organized? That's hysterical! I'm the kind of person who writes notes on everything and anything within reach. I need to jot down a phone number? I grab the corner off a newspaper. Need to make a note on a plot idea while in the car? I write it on the back of my hand.

What is the one thing that makes you take a project all the way from
beginning to end without giving up?
 

The characters. If I can't get the characters out of my head, I have to stick with it. I usually know pretty early on if something's not going to work. If the voice is weak, then the story just isn't going to unfold.

What advice would you give a writer aspiring to be an author?
Writewritewritewrite. Then? Write more. Do not give up! Every word you write brings you closer to your goal.

What else would you like to share about your writing journey? 

It's been a wild, surreal ride. Each day, I continue to be blown away by all of it. I have to be the most impatient person alive. Really. I get impatient before there's anything to be impatient about. Starting a career as a writer involves a lot of waiting. I think it almost damaged my brain, but it was so worth it.

What is one thing that you would love for your readers to know about
you?
It doesn't have to have anything to do with writing, but it can if
you wish. 

Hmm, K I believe in animal rescue and shelter adoption! Strongly. If you're thinking about bringing home a new friend, please, check your local shelters! There are so many amazing dogs (and cats) out there that need a warm, loving home. Trust me, they'll be eternally grateful and shower you with slobbery kisses and sneezes of love. All of my dogs have been adopted from a shelter or taken in from a rescue foundation or situation with the exception of one (which is a very sweet story. She's the relative of my girl who I lost 2 years ago, a friend tracked her down!).

Are you working on the next book, yet and is it a sequel to "TOUCH"?
I've just turned in TOXIC, the second book in the Denazen series. Between editing that one, and wrapping up a Denazen novella, I'll be starting the third soon, which I cannot wait to do!

Thanks for letting me hang out with you today, I had fun!


Well, Jus, you are an absolute delight! Thank you for sharing your time with us. You have given your readers a lot of insight into your writing process and I know that will help aspiring writers move forward with their projects.


Touch can be found on Goodreads to add to your must read list.

Available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Entangled Publishing













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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Celebrating the release of Lonely Hearts by Amanda Stephan

Amanda Stephan has been busy on Novel Launch today celebrating the official release of her novel Lonely Hearts, published by TreasureLine Publishing. 

 See what people are saying about Lonely Hearts

I LOVED this story. From beginning to end it kept me totally enthralled and wondering how it would all work out. Loaded with zippy dialog and great characters made for a fun and very satisfying tale.  I felt happy, sad, excited, angry, and frustrated. You know a story is good when it has that effect. The theme running though our story is 'things may not always be as they appear'. It's a great reminder that man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart. If you enjoy an easy-to-read, fun and entertaining story with a great message I highly recommend Lonely Hearts.
~ Sherry Kuhn ~ Avid reader and Reviewer

 This book will capture your heart and like Becky’s kids, your heart will flip-flop as you embrace one bachelor then the other for Becky. Who will win Becky’s heart and how will the others handle her decision? This book is full of hope, anticipation, optimism, faith, and possibilities. If you have lost a love, this book will restore your faith that the possibility of true love has not withered as a flower in the hot summer sun. Amanda will capture your heart from the first page with this delightful story. 
~ Theresa Franklin, author of Journey to Fulfillment

You’ll find yourself nodding with delight at Becky’s courageous reactions, cheering her on and sighing with her during her ups and downs of life. But even in the fresh humor that sprinkles through her experiences, you’ll admire her rare quality to uphold what’s important.  Although romance wasn’t a priority, God’s ways usher Becky to unforeseen encounter with what often is inevitable when you trust in God’s lead, hold on to your convictions and are deliciously surprised in the end. ~ Janet Perez Eckles, author of Amazon #1 bestselling, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta, Judson Press, 2011



Read Amanda's interview below and find out why and how she wrote this beautiful Christian romance:



When did you want to become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?


I have always written. If I couldn’t find a book to read, I’d write my own and hide them away for later perusal. Writing is just something that I do because I love it and it’s therapeutic. J


What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?  

My latest work of fiction, Lonely Hearts (which will be released in October of this year through TreasureLine Publishing) was inspired by my love for and the antics of my children, as well as my husband. I’m a huge family person and I often wonder how people can completely miss the point of being a parent and in love with their kids. I feel sorry for people like that!


Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I guess it would be more like half real, half imagination.


What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?

Lonely Hearts is a sweet Christian romance, so I drew from people and situations that surrounded me. There are a lot of things that I write down in my books that are actual happenings and I just didn’t want to forget the memory because it was too funny or it was too sad.


Where do you go to do your research?  

Oooh, I guess this is bad, but people watching can be an awesome resource for writing works of fiction! ;) There’s a wide variety to choose from!


Are you currently working on any new book projects? 

After Lonely Hearts is released, I'm going to pick up my newest creation that my publisher just picked up ~ the Slade Series. Book one of the Slade series is Choosing to Love which is about a woman that is tricked into marrying the wrong man. Choosing to Love is followed by Intent to Harm and finally ends with Death by Obituary. I'm slowly making my way over to the Dark Side because I've heard they have more cookies. And I *love* cookies!


Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?

Get to know other authors out there. Make friends, leave comments on blogs, become acquainted with readers so when it’s your turn to be published, you already have people who know you. AND! Don’t be friends with someone because of something they can do for you. Nothing turns people off more than users. Do unto others what you would want done to you.


What is your favorite work of literary fiction and why? Do you have a favorite literary author? 

 I am torn between two. Pride & Prejudice (of course) because I’m a hopeless romantic) and Jane Eyre because Ms. Bronte’s characters were so strong, it’s difficult to leave them behind when you’ve finished reading their story.

Website (http://www.booksbyamanda.com 
You can purchase Lonely Hearts at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Lonely+Hearts+by+Amanda+Stephan&x=15&y=15
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