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A Year in Review

I wanted to take a moment to highlight my stories/novels that came out this year. First of all, check out my newest, just came out today.

This is available here and on Amazon as a Kindle edition. If you order it from the MuseItUp Publisher's store, you can take an extra 15% off with this code: 2011ONUS.

I have a story in this anthology. You can get it here or on Amazon.

The other anthology I have story in is the "So Long,and Thanks for All the Brains."

This book is a monster! It's over 400 pages, and I'm sure the stories are fabulous! I haven't had a chance to read them yet, but I hope to remedy that soon. It can be found here and on Amazon.

I also had a novella come out this year, "The Weeping Bride."

It's only available at the eTreasures site right now, and you can get my individual story or the whole anthology with two other stories. I edited the other two, and they're good. It's worth it to get all three.

And last, but by far from least, Life After the Undead came out this year.

This book is available here and on Amazon.

I'm pretty proud of this book, and if you haven't already, please check it out. I would love to hear from any one who's read it, feel free to post a comment or drop me an email.

It's been a very accomplished 2011. I'm very happy with what I've done, and next year is going to be just as productive. My nonfiction book comes out, I have two children's books coming out, and my novella, "Finding Eden," will be published. I've turned other stories in to the publishers, and I'm hoping to get more written. As usual, you will be filled in on all my progress.

Hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year!

Forging Ahead

Well, it looks as if my writing break is officially over. I know, I know, some of you are rolling your eyes and saying I never really took a break. That's not true. I did take quite a bit of time off. I can't stop completely or someone might get hurt.

I received edits from the nonfiction editor last Friday. Merry Christmas to me! I put off looking at them or cogitating on them because of the holidays and I was finishing a content edit. Now, though, I can't ignore them any longer.

I was overwhelmed at first. It was one of those moments that made me think, "What's the point? It's never going to be good enough." (I have a love/hate relationship with this book. This was a hate moment.) Then, I slapped myself a couple times and told myself it would only make the book better. I sat down and looked at his suggestions. In reality, they aren't that bad. They are totally manageable.

So, everything will once again be put on hold so I can mold this book into a masterpiece. I think I have to have it done by the end of January, so that's my goal. As usual, you will know how it goes!

Almost Done

Well, I survived the major holiday. Thank goodness! There was a lot of traveling involved, some overeating, and much visiting with friends and family. To end it all, we took off snowmobiling for a couple days. The first day, we had a huge group. Seven sleds with the two kids riding double. It was a blast! The next day, it was just me and my boys.

We had a relaxing morning in the room, got up and ate breakfast, then headed out. We didn't get to stay out as long as we wanted because the spouse was low on gas, but it was still a nice day. I couldn't believe how many snowmobilers were up there. Seriously, it was like Sturgis in the snow. We still had a great time, though!

I'm not looking forward to New Years. Three-fourths of the time, I don't celebrate it. I've had some really bad New Years in my day, so I just avoid it all together. It's safer that way!

There's a ton of stuff coming up in the next year for me. My nonfiction book will be coming out, hopefully the sequel will be out, and I've got some kids' books scheduled for publication. I'm sure in between all of those I'll be working on some new stuff, too.

How about the rest of you? How did your holidays go? Are you glad they're over? Are you excited for New Years?

This Week in Writing

Don't forget, eTreasures is still giving away free ebooks on their blog. Check it out!

I finished Chapter 2 of my dragon story and started on Chapter 3. Again, I haven't had much time to work on it since I've been busy editing. But that should change in the next week or so, then I'll have all the time in the world! Well, not really, but you know what I mean!

Also, I got my cover for my novella "Finding Eden" this week. It is AWESOME! I was flabbergasted when I opened the jpg. Let me know what you think!

More than likely, I will not be posting on Monday or Tuesday. Please try not to miss me too much.

Last week, I picked the boys up from Grandma's house, and we were going to Wendy's for dinner. I asked them what they wanted, and they told me nuggets. The 4 year old then goes into a discussion about how nuggets aren't real food (I don't remember exactly what he said).

I asked him, "Who told you nuggets aren't real food?"

"No one," he responds. "I just know. I'm magic."


"You know why I don't ever poop my pants at daycare?" he asks me.

"No. Why?"

"Because I have magic in my butt."

I lost it. That kid comes up with some of the funniest things!

This morning, the 2 year old got up and stood in the living room and started singing, "Let's have have a party!"

For those of you who don't know, that's a line from Toby Keith's song "Red Solo Cup."

Every time I hear that song, it gets stuck in my head. So, we'll be singing it all day!

I hope this holiday weekend you get to party, and maybe get a little magic in your butt (you can make that as dirty or clean as you deem fit!). Have a Merry Christmas!

My Multitude of Hats

I love to write. It's one of the only things that keeps me sane. As I mentioned before, it's more of a compulsion. I feel guilty when I don't do it, and I get grumpy if I can't maim someone on paper.

Aside from writing, my other passion is editing. I'm a tech editor for my day job, and I really enjoy the mechanics of language. At one point, I thought I'd never write, just be an editor. Thankfully, I've figured out how to do both.

Like I said, I'm an editor for my day job, and that involves scientific information. Nonfiction stuff, if you will. As you can imagine, my real dream was to be a fiction editor. Well, I was able to fulfill that dream a few months ago.

My publisher ran into some issues with staff. She lost some people, and fell behind getting books out. I offered my services, and I've been a content/line editor ever since. I also recently got a job at Musa Publishing working for their Urania division. It's speculative fiction, so you know it's right up my alley.

There's nothing more wonderful than being one of the first to read a new story, and then being able to help the author make that story better. I always appreciate the editors in my life, and I like being able to give back to the writing community. I'm very lucky to be able to give my time as both a writer and an editor. Now, I just need to figure out how to make it my career!

Taming the Demons

I had a bad day yesterday. I didn't sleep very well, I woke up with a headache, and when I got to work I felt like I was being crushed. I questioned my writing ability and the voices told me I wouldn't amount to anything. The feeling built and snowballed until it culminated and I got angry about the most mundane thing in the the world.

My spouse asked if I could please mail a package of products he sold on eBay. It was supposed to be simple. All I needed to do was log in to his account and print the label. It wasn't that easy. First of all, I didn't know where to find the label. I texted him, but he was at lunch with a friend (which irritated me further. If he had time to go to lunch, why didn't he have time to mail the freaking package?).

He finally got back to me and told me where the find the link. I found it, clicked on it, and was ready to hit print when it told me I had to log into his PayPal account and purchase the stupid thing. I don't have his PayPal login, so I had to text him for that. I was actually busy at work, so I didn't really have time to mess with it.

I blew up. It was the most ridiculous thing to get upset about, but I needed to vent. My poor spouse, he took the brunt of it. He didn't deserve to get yelled at, but he has broad shoulders and took it well. That's why I love him!

After I left work, I was fine. I hung out with my kids, then went to dessert with my spouse and a friend so we could talk about "Death to the Undead" (they were my beta readers). While there, I got an email with the cover for "Finding Eden." It's AWESOME! I think I can post it, but I'm going to wait for the OK from the publisher.

By the time I went to bed, I felt better. I'm doing all right today, and trying to focus on the positives. Every so often those stinking stress/depression demons rear their heads, and I have to fight them back down. We all go through it. I'm just lucky I have supportive and patient people around me who don't hold grudges!

Tough Question Tuesday

What is your favorite holiday treat?

I really like sugar cookies. Really like them. They rank up there as one of my favorites. I'm also a big fan of my grandma's fudge. Mmmm. It melts in your mouth. My grandma-in-law makes the best peanut butter balls, too. I'll pretty much eat anything sweet as long as it doesn't have nuts in it. Yeah for this time of year!

Also, keep checking out the eTreasures blog. They are giving away a lot of fun stuff! My story is already gone, but there are a ton of great writers there!

Movie Review Monday

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011)

Not all comic books can be translated onto film. That should be the lesson here. The film wasn't terrible, but it wasn't very good either. It fell into that gray area that makes you scratch your head after you watch it, wondering what you just saw, but still feeling like you were slightly entertained. There were a few chuckles in the movie, and the idea was good, but the presentation was lacking.

Seriously, by the end of the film, I turned to my spouse and said, "Wow. With those graphics, that could have been a Sy Fy channel film." They were pretty bad. Even with Brandon Routh, who is pretty yummy, there wasn't much to save the film.

I put up a link to imdb.com so you can read what the film was about. I would like to try and summarize it for you, but I'm not sure how to go about it. It follows Dylan Dog, who was a detective for the undead. He retired due to some tragic death of his fiance, who may or may not have been a werewolf. Then, he comes back to work after some antique smuggler is killed by another werewolf.

There was a pretty cool huge mutated zombie, and the creature they resurrected could have been cool, but you could tell it was a guy in a suit. And not a good one. Even the werewolf "change" was lacking. Trust me, you'll just have to see it to know what I mean.

I didn't feel like I wasted my Friday night by watching this, though I doubt I'll ever see it again. I have a feeling it might be one of those films that becomes a cult classic.

Has anyone else seen it?

This Week in Writing

Want a chance to win some of my ebooks? Then check out my blog post at eTreasures and leave a comment. They'll put you in a drawing to win! Check it out. You know you wanna!

I turned in "Death to the Undead" to the publisher. It'll still be a few months, but I'm that much closer to getting the sequel out!

I finished the first chapter of my dragon story. I was hoping to start on the second, but editing has kept me away. I'll be done with the editing tonight, so I'm hoping to get some more writing done this weekend.

Other than that, I'm being lazy!

The other night, I was sitting in the kitchen. I don't remember if I was working or eating, but the 4 year old comes in and stands in front of me.

"I need to borrow your phone," he says.

"What for?" I ask.

"I need to call Santa and let him know that my brother is being naughty."

I stifled the laugh. "Oh, honey. I'm sorry. Santa doesn't take calls from kids. Only moms and dads can call to let him know you're being naughty. Besides, being a tattle tale isn't really nice, you know."

He nodded. "Well, he can still see him, right?"


"Then he knows he's being naughty and he won't get any presents." He walked off to continue playing.

Have a great weekend! But don't be naughty because Santa AND his little helpers will see it!

Having a Brain Spasm

I have no idea what I want to talk about today. I had a great blog planned out in my head last night, but darn it all if I can remember what it was this morning! It's been one of those weeks. Thank goodness it's almost over!

As I mentioned yesterday, eTreasures is running a special, but it's also doing giveaways. My book, "Life After the Undead," is one of them, along with many other great stories, so keep checking out their blog to find out how to win!

A Day of Links

The first place I would like to send you is to eTreasures site. They're running a special in honor of Christmas, so you get 12% off. Check out Life After the Undead, and my other book.

My story, The Weeping Bride, has now been combined with the other two stories, so you can get them all as an ebook for $2.99. I edited the other two stories, and they're good, so the whole collection rocks!

The anthology, So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains, is now out. My story, "Live, and Let Them Be Undead," is in there. There's also a whole bunch of other really great writers in there. I can't wait to get my copy, it's going to be AWESOME!

If any of you pick these stories up, I'd love to hear from you. You can either post a review on Amazon, or send me an email at pembrokesinclair at hotmail dot com. They'll make great gifts, too!

Tough Question Tuesday

There are officially 12 days until Christmas. Are you ready?

I'm getting there. Just have a few things still to pick up, presents for the nieces and nephew, probably some last minute things I forgot. I still have to mail packages too. Better get on that this week!

Movie Review Monday

The Company Men (2010)

I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to this movie, I was attempting to write, but the parts I did watch were really good.

The movie is about people who work in a giant corporation during the economic crisis. They get fired because the company is "downsizing," and it's the story of how they cope with that loss.

It was better than I expected it to be. The hardships and emotion were really gripping. I couldn't imagine being in some of those peoples shoes. Luckily, I never lost my job, though I was affected by the economy (who wasn't?).

The film wasn't overly long, so if you have an hour and forty-five minutes, check it out.

Friends With Benefits (2011)

Meh. It was pretty much what I expected it to be. I was hoping for a bit more humor, but it wasn't there.

The film wasn't a complete waste of time. Justin Timberlake is adorable, and I like Mila Kunis. It was the perfect mindless movie to round out the weekend. It wasn't overly long, either.

I recommend both movies if you have some extra time on your hands. And if you have something else to do while they're playing, you probably won't miss much!

Has anyone else seen either of these films? What did you think?

This Week in Writing

One of my readers finished their analysis/edits for "Death to the Undead," so I incorporated those. I'm still waiting on the second reader, who has been given a deadline of Sunday. After that, I'll incorporate those suggestions.

I edited a short story that I've been working on for a while. One more read through, then I'm submitting it. I'll let you know how that goes.

I started a new novel, my dragon story, but I haven't been working overly hard on it. Believe it or not, I'm taking a little break right now. Since it's the end of the year and I've accomplished my goal, I'm being lazy. Have no fear, it won't last long!

Yesterday, the 4 year old was having a rough day. OK, he wasn't so much having a rough day as making my day rough. Both boys slept in, so we were running a little behind. I asked the 4 year old if he'd please get dressed, help me out, and he tells me, "I want you to get me dressed!" Then proceeded to play.

If I had been thinking, I would have taken him to daycare in his pajamas, but I didn't have time for that. Plus, he picked out his clothes, he just didn't put them on. He met me half way. Sorta.

When I picked them up from daycare, he still had an attitude. I was helping his brother get his coat on, and the 4 year old ran to his room to grab his. He comes back a few moments later and tells me, "I dropped my pictures on the floor."

"Okay," I say. "Then you need to pick them up."

We head to his classroom to put on his coat.

"No. YOU pick them up," he tells me.

Well, it had been a long day, and I wasn't in the mood to be barked at. So, as calmly as I could (and, really, it was pretty calm, we were in public), I told him, "I didn't drop them on the floor. You did. If you don't want to pick them up, I guess they'll get thrown away."

He threw a fit! If I could've walked out and left him there, I would have. (I tried, but he followed after me.) It was ever so pleasant.

Later, as we're driving home, his little voice comes from the back seat. "You still love me, right?"

"Of course I do, honey. But I'm very unhappy with you right now. I'm still mad at you."

He didn't respond. I guess as long as I still loved him, all was well.

Remember, even if you're a butt head and p*ss people off, there's still someone out there who loves you. You just might need to remind them that they do from time to time! Hope you have a great weekend!

The Holidays Are Upon Us

Like it was a secret. Like stores haven't been playing Christmas music and setting up trees since Halloween. Dang commercialism!

I'm not a big fan of Christmas. I'm not going to go into details why, it's convoluted and sorted (not really, but that makes you wonder!). However, since I've had children, I've discovered there are things to like about the holiday.

1) Children are on their best behavior for fear that Santa might not bring them anything.

My 4 year old tells me all the time that Santa is watching and that he doesn't like naughty kids. I tell him that's true, but I also try to explain to him that he has to be good year-round, not just in December. I usually get a blank stare. Either way, if it helps for a little while, I'm not going to complain.

2) Everything and anything having to do with Christmas is exciting and new to kids.

The tree is beautiful, the ornaments are dazzling. The 4 year old even recognizes it's Jesus's birthday, so we need to celebrate that too. He sings carols. His excitement and wonderment are intoxicating.

3) December means it's going to snow, which means more opportunities to go snowmobiling.

It's nice to get out. We all know how much stress can happen this time of year, so I always enjoy getting away from things for a few hours.

What do you enjoy about this time of year?

Images of Public Appearances

The library program manager of the teen group was kind enough to send me images of the event. I will post them for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy!

I would totally do it again. And I hope I get the chance to!

Tough Question Tuesday

Is it wise to put all of your stories in one publisher's basket, or should you spread the love around to others?

I really like my publisher, and I'm pretty sure they like me. But sometimes I feel like I'm inundating them with my work, maybe pulling them away from other authors because I send so many stories. But that's what I do, I write.

I have a story coming out from a different publisher, and I'm contemplating sending them another. I have a submission of some short stories, but I'm not sure where to send them. Do you think my publisher wants them? Or do you think another person deserves a shot?

I'm really torn here, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Movie Review Monday

Day of the Dead (1985)

I remember seeing bits and pieces of this movie a loooong time ago. I never watched the whole thing because I didn't know what it was. That was remedied this weekend.

I really like this movie. The acting leaves a little to be desired, but the story is fantastic! And the special effects are so much better than the other two.

The premise of the film is a group of scientists and military personnel are holed up in an underground base. Some of the scientists are looking for the answers to what caused the zombie uprising and if there is a way to cure it. The head scientist is looking for a way to control the undead. There's implications that the doctor may have lost his sanity. The twitching is a dead give away, but there's also the insatiable desire to hack up the living to feed to his pet. I don't think "normal" people do that!

There is conflict between the civilians and soldiers, and conflict between all the men and the one woman. There's lots of conflict in the movie. The film was a nice look at how people fall apart, or don't, under pressure and in impossible situations. Like I said, the effects were so much better than the other films, and I thoroughly enjoyed the blood and guts.

The part about the film that focused on Bub was so fun. Who wouldn't want a zombie on the end of a leash? I would. Just think of the possibilities! No one would mess with you! The way the creature was portrayed, you couldn't help feel sorry for him. You rooted for him to be "civilized" and learn to be "human" again. Then, you rooted for him to get his vengeance. Of course, it's misplaced sympathy since he'll revert and kill you eventually, perhaps with a gun, which is a very scary notion. Aren't the zombies bad enough without giving them extra weapons?

This might be one I add to my collection. It's such an enjoyable film with so much social commentary. Has anyone else seen it?

The Week in Writing/Public Appearances

I gave "Death to the Undead" to some beta readers. I'm putting them on a tight deadline, so I'm hoping to have comments by next Sunday. My goal is to have a finalized version to send to the publisher at the end of the month. Hey! It's good to have goals.

Yesterday, I mentioned I was doing a reading at the library. I'll admit, I was very nervous. If you recall, my last experience with a reading ended in six people showing up. Since I'm soooo optimistic, I figured it would be about the same this time. Especially since it was kids.

The contact with the library mentioned that they had purchased books to give to the kids that showed up. I figured 3-4, nothing over the top. You can imagine my surprise when I realized they ordered 15 (1-5!). And the best part about the whole thing, they were able to give away every single copy! That's right, FIFTEEN kids showed up to listen to me read my first chapter. The age range for the group was 11-18, but don't ask me to give specific ages because I'm terrible at that kind of thing!

I had the best time reading and talking to that group. They were enthusiastic and asked fantastic questions. They were very excited to have me sign their books. They even complimented me on how exciting the first chapter was and how it drew them into the story immediately. I walked out of there on cloud nine.

The program director mentioned that she would like me to come back, and I told her I would absolutely love that! It truly was an amazing experience, and I would be honored to do it again!

I'm going into this weekend thinking that maybe I do know what I'm doing when it comes to writing. I'm energized and refreshed and optimistic. I hope you feel the same this weekend! Have a great one!

Draggin' Behind

It's been a long week. Thank goodness it's almost over. I think I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving. But it is also that time of year. The days are shorter, so I feel like I should be in bed earlier, and holidays have a tendency to stress me out. I try not to let them, but it's inevitable. I'll survive, though. I have to!

I'm doing a reading today at the local library. I'm even on the schedule. Unfortunately, it's only for teens/tweens between the ages of 11 and 18. It should be exciting. I'm hoping for a good turnout. I'll let you know how it went tomorrow.

I was also on a guest blog this week. I meant to post it earlier, but, like I said, it's been a long week.

Looking Back and Laughing

For most of my short writing career, I've been surrounded by people who are supportive and encouraging about my work. Recently, I was thinking about the classes I took when I was an undergraduate and graduate.

The first class I took as an undergraduate was an introduction to fiction writing. I was very excited about it, and it was set up like a workshop. The students were incredibly encouraging, but the professor was less than supportive. She completely shook my confidence. I thought maybe I was wrong, that maybe I wasn't as good as I thought I was. It took a long time for me to write again. (I actually found out years later that I wasn't the only person who this professor tore down. Apparently, she viewed students as competition, so to get rid of us, she made sure we didn't want to write anymore. Nice way to abuse your power, huh?).

I did take another class as a graduate. By that point in time, the university didn't have a fiction writing program (that was started after I left), but you could petition the professor for special permission for a Fine Art's Degree. I asked, and the piece I wanted to write was a traditional fantasy story. We work shopped it in the class, and she eventually said she wasn't comfortable judging the story.

I remember she specifically asked me, "How do you want me to judge your writing?"

And I told her, "The same way you judge other books. Good writing is good writing no matter the genre."

She also pointed out that my story was going to have to have a huge dragon/human battle scene. I knew this, it was more story. Indirectly, she told me she didn't think I was capable of writing said scene. That story has been put away for a loooong time.

She eventually denied my petition, so I got my degree in literature. She was a literary writer, so she didn't feel like she could judge genre work. Either way, I got my Master's, so who cares?

Again, my confidence was shaken, and I thought maybe I wasn't as good as I thought I was. I stopped writing for a long time, focusing on editing and helping other writers. Eventually, my friend Tamara talked me back into writing, and the rest is history.

I chuckle to myself because of where I'm at now. I think about those teachers from time to time and resist the urge to rub things in their faces. I don't begrudge them, I can't. Karma doesn't like those who hold a grudge. And I think they're both successful in their own ways. I know one is, but I haven't heard anything about the other. All I can do is look at the lessons they taught me, the obstacles they put in my way, and be thankful I learned something.

Tough Question Tuesday

What weapons would you carry during the zompocalypse?

I go back and forth, but I know I want two handguns, one on each hip, a machete/other sword of some type, and then a big gun. I'm undecided if it should be a rifle or a shotgun. Rifles are nice because they don't have a lot of kick, so I won't throw out my shoulder. However, you have to be accurate with a rifle. Shotguns, you don't have to be as accurate and will probably hit your target.

The handguns would be 9 mm. Anything larger than that, I can't handle the recoil. I'm also going to make sure my spouse and his cop friend are around when the zombies attack. They're much better shots than I am!

Movie Review Monday

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

I don't think you're allowed to call yourself a zombie fan unless you've seen the George Romero films. I own Night of the Living Dead, which is one of my favorite movies. I've seen bits and pieces of Dawn of the Dead, but never from beginning to end. I remedied that this weekend.

I can see why people have written extensively and studied the film. There is a definite commercialism theme running through the movie. Other than that, it's an incredibly confusing film.

I got the beginning of the film, the characters who worked at the TV station. But I was totally lost when it cut to the cops and invading the apartment building. Who were they going after? Why were they going after him? What's up with the cop who lost his mind and started killing randomly? Why did Roger get all emotional at the beginning of the film when he had to kill zombies but was crazy about it later?

The film raised a lot more questions than it answered. It was also ridiculously long, too. Two hours and eight minutes with hardly anything happening is insane. Then, there was a biker war. WTF? I suppose the point was to show how the world devolves into anarchy when there aren't any leaders, and in 1978, I guess the greatest threat was bikers. I don't know.

At least I can say I've seen the film. I'm sure if I watched it again and picked it apart scene by scene, I would get all the nuances. However, I'm not going to do that. I don't have time.

Has anyone else seen the movie? What did you think?

This Week in Writing

I finished the first draft of the zombie sequel, "Death to the Undead." I've been doing edits and revisions. I'm hoping to have the first read through done by this weekend, incorporate the changes, then have another copy to read by next week. I'm still on schedule to have it finished by the end of the year!

Of course, it will all depend on how quickly my readers get through it and how extensive their edits are. As usual, I'll keep you informed of my progress.

Yesterday, my spouse turned on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for the boys. It was so cute to watch them watch it. They were fascinated by the balloons.

"Oooo! Look! Spongebob! It's Spongebob!"

And of course every other character they recognized. I spent the time getting things ready for family, which was nice. When I was done, I sat down and watched the last part with them. I had to mute the TV, though, because the female host was driving me crazy! She wouldn't shut up, and she kept interrupting her cohost.

By that point, the boys kind of lost interest. My spouse was putting together the turkey fryer, and that was way more fun. I pulled them away long enough for them to see Santa. The 4 year old's face lit up.

"Who is that?" I asked.

"Santa." The 4 year old said. "And he's real."

I furrowed my brow. "Did someone tell you he was fake?"

He didn't respond, but a little later says, "He's real and he's watching us."

So, have a great weekend, and be good/nice. Santa is watching you!

And the Season Starts

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a fabulous day!

Last Sunday, the spouse decided we were going on our first snowmobile trip. We bought my sled right at the end of the season, and he got his a few months ago. Neither one of us had tried them out yet, so we wanted to ride them.

Snow was not a problem. We went up above Centennial, where the road is closed, and drove in. There wasn't a TON of snow, and the wind was blowing hard, so there were some blank spots. On the top of the mountain, it was a ground blizzard, I couldn't see a thing. We pushed through, though, and the weather cleared up.

The trip up was very nice. My new sled is AWESOME! It has fabulous shocks and a seat heater. That will definitely come in handy when the boys go with us. The trip back down was disaster filled.

My spouse decided to get a little adventurous and went off trail. He cruised up a hill, and on his way down, slammed into a rock. Over the handlebars he went. A while later, we were cruising in the borrow ditch, and decided to head back up to the road. The incline was pretty steep, but I figured I could do it. Instead of hitting it straight on, I turned to soon and tipped the snowmobile. After we got it righted and started out again, my spouse hit another rock and flew over the handlebars again.

I have to admit, once I found out he was OK, I laughed. You would have done the same. Watching him sail through the air, he kind of looked like a ginger bread man, arms and legs sticking straight out. It was comical.

So, our first trip out wasn't the greatest, but that won't stop us. We'll give it a few more weeks, hope for more snow, then do it again!

"Seduced by Darkness" by Cher Green

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Geneva Chilton, warned against human contact, betrays her family in order to be close to the world she longs to join. Intrigued by an artist's work and his ability to capture life on canvas, Geneva steps too close to the boundaries and discovers love, but what price will she have to pay?

Lewis Hunt, intrigued by Geneva's beauty and determined to capture it on canvas, discovers he needs more. Lewis needs the real woman behind the beauty. His course leads him to her, but also to danger. How hard is he willing to fight for a woman of darkness, a vampire?

Cher is a fellow author with eTreasures publishing. Both of our stories appear in the Brides and Dark Secrets Series, along with "Ketchikan Man" by Ciara Lake. I had the pleasure of editing both stories, so I can tell you they're good! Check them out when you get the chance, and don't forget to order mine!

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
Theme would be the inspiration for Seduced by Darkness. eTreasures Publishing requested a Dark Bride story, so my mind went to work. Geneva presented herself from the beginning - the dark, sexy vampire who longs for love. Lewis also came quickly, the painter, longing to escape his own sort of darkness. Honestly, everything else fell into place as I moved from scene to scene.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
Two weeks total, but this was with a deadline to meet. It's amazing how different writing is when someone else is waiting on the results.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
You never know where the wind might blow me. I'm currently working on a story about a woman who's forgotten her past and her ability to see ghosts. When faced head on by both, she also finds herself face to face with death.

Q) Where can readers find you?
www.chergreen.com, chergreen.blogspot.com, and tarotbycher.blogspot.com

Tough Question Tuesday

Are you ready for the holiday?

I was, then plans changed, so now I have to go to the store to get a bigger turkey. That really irritates me. I wanted to know what the plans were last week so I could be ready. I hate this last minute run to the store crap. But I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.

Movie Review Monday

Outpost (2008)

This was one of those movies that Netflix suggested I would like since I like zombie movies. The description sounded interesting, so I put it in my queue.

One of the other reasons I choose to put this on my list was because Ray Stevenson is in it. I really like him. Ever since I first saw him in HBO's Rome, I've been fascinated. His character in that show was awesome! There's a bit of a crush there, too.

One of the other actors in the movie, Richard Brake, I've always imagined to be a great Liet if my book was ever made into a movie. Sadly, he's a bit too old. And I highly doubt my book will ever be made into a movie!

The story is about a group of mercenaries who are accompanying a shady businessman to an abandoned military outpost in the woods. As the movie progresses, the audience realizes something nefarious happened in the bunkers. Nazis conducted bizarre experiments there, and the subjects might still be lingering around.

Honestly, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to this movie. I was anxious to finish a chapter, so I was writing at the same time. I don't think I missed much. There were some Nazi zombies, but they were as cool as the ones in Dead Snow. There were some interesting scenes that could be creepy (I don't scare easily, so I wasn't creeped out by them), and some blood and gore, though not a lot. How they destroyed the "zombies" was a bit confusing, but I might have understood more if I actually watched the film.

I highly doubt I'll watch the film again. It obviously couldn't hold my attention. Has anyone else seen this movie?

This Week in Writing

Last weekend and the beginning of the week, I had so much motivation. I cranked out four chapters and was ready to do more. Then, as the week progressed, the boys decided they weren't going to sleep through the night. The 4 year old and the puppy woke up to throw up on two different nights, and the 2 year old refused to stay in bed. By Wednesday, I was burnt out.

Everyone slept wonderfully last night, so I'm hoping to have a little energy to at least finish the chapter I started. It would be the fifth one this week. I'm so close, so very close. I think I have four chapters left and I'm done with the draft. As you can imagine, I'm itchin' to finish it!

This week has been fairly hectic with the lack of sleep and general grumpiness. I'm sure my kids did something cute and funny, but I can't remember anything. My brain has been rattled. Either way, have a fabulous and productive weekend!

Making It

I went over to a dear friend's house last night, and we sat around talking about writing and everything under the sun. Mainly writing, though. I've known Tamara since I was in grad school, and she's always been such a positive influence on my life. She's actually the one who got me back into writing after a professor shook my confidence.

Tamara is one of those cool people who has an agent with a prestigious agency. However, even with the agent, the road hasn't been paved in gold. I don't want to bore you with all the details, but just know there have been some issues that are just now (hopefully) being resolved. I tell you what, though, once the dust settles, she's going to be BIG!

I always enjoy hanging out with her because she's always so positive. No matter what's happening or how she's feeling, the glass is always half full. She's a great influence. I've decided that if I ever make it big, it will be because of people like her. And, technically, maybe her. She has a lot of contacts in the publishing world, and I might need to exploit them! *smile*

The actual act of writing may be a solo act, but the publishing community is so much larger. I'm so thankful for all my friends, fans, and the publisher. I wouldn't be anything without you!

Dark Moon Presents: Zombies!

Amazon link

I love to read. If I could figure out some way to make money reading, I would have done it long ago. Same with reviews. I love finding new stuff. Sadly, I don't have a lot of time, so I have to force myself to do it.

I found out about this book through one of the groups I'm a member of. You know how much I enjoy zombies, and I figured I could squeeze it in, so I decided to review it. What an awesome collection of stories!

It amazes me how people look at the same subject so differently. Every story in this book was unique and fun. The vast majority of them left me thinking, "Wow! I would have never thought of that!"

I can't even pick out a favorite because I enjoyed them all so much. The first story is told from a dog's perspective, which was really fascinating. It's called "Bouvier des Mort" by Shannon Farrel. Then, there was one about a guy addicted to Facebook. That one took a really creepy turn. Oh, and there was one about people who had been zombies but were cured. They were in a type of group therapy class. Fabulous!

I don't want to give away too much of the stories because I want you to be able to experience them on your own. If you enjoy the zombie genre, I definitely recommend checking out this book. I looked forward to reading it every night!

Tough Question Tuesday

How important is it to know what an author looks like?

I'm generally curious to know what the person behind the words looks like, and I form an image in my head of who I think that person is. Usually, I'm way off base. But knowing what someone looks like and enjoying their work are two different things.

When I first started getting published, I was pregnant with my first child. I decided to go with a pen name so I could be found online and so I could have a bit of anonymity. As my career progresses, I find myself doing more and more public appearances, and being faceless is no longer an option. However, the last hold out I've had publishing my picture has been online. (Although, if you know Jerrod Brown, you'll see me with my book and his painting.)

So, I'm wondering: how long can I keep my image out of the limelight, and is it hurting me by doing that?

Movie Review Monday

Before I get to my reviews, I wanted to point out some blogs that I was featured on this weekend. The first is at Tony-Paul, and he highlighted my video. If you go to his main page, then click on the Guest Video link, you'll find it.

The second is a review from my target audience. You can read it here. I was a little surprised to hear her say it was scary, but happy too. I never thought of my book as scary. That made me feel pretty good!

I had a lovely, relaxing weekend and was actually able to watch two movies!

The Change-up (2011)

I love Ryan Reynolds. He's so cute and funny. Jason Bateman is really good, too. This movie is about two friends who've known each other since grade school. One is a driven, determined family man, and the other is a screw up who sits around and smokes a lot of pot. One night, they go to a bar to watch a baseball game. While peeing in a fountain, they comment about how they want each other's lives, and they get switched.

The premise of the film is nothing new. The characters learn about each other, sympathize with each other's lives, and then want to go back to their own. There were some very touching parts in the movie, and it was also hilarious! Cliche or not, I laughed my butt off!

I would definitely recommend this one if you're looking for something upbeat and funny. Like I said, it has it's sentimental side, but the laughs pull you through until the end of the film.

Puss in Boots (2011)

I decided earlier in the week that the boys would enjoy seeing this movie. My plan was to go to the 2D version, but it only played once during the day, and it was during the football game. No matter. The 4 year old kept his glasses on for the 3D version and enjoyed it immensely. The 2 year old had some issues, but what can you expect? He still watched the film.

This movie was fabulous! Even my spouse chuckled, which takes some effort. The story was easy enough for the kids to follow, yet it had some inside jokes and references only adults would get. I love when cartoons do this. I love when they cater to the entire audience.

There was conflict and a scary monster, but it wasn't so scary that the kids were climbing the walls. In fact, the 4 year old didn't even climb out of his seat. He was transfixed. He mentioned later in the car that it was a little creepy, but he didn't have nightmares, so it didn't bother him.

The real-life cat quirks they gave the kitties were priceless! It made me want to buy a pair of boots for my cat, although I'm sure she would never wear them! I totally recommend this film, even if you don't have kids. It was incredibly funny and highly entertaining. We'll definitely own this when it comes out on bluray!

This Week in Writing

I finished two chapters and started on a third. I'm on chapter 15, and I'm thinking 7 or 8 more and the story should be done. Of course, it all depends on how much more the characters need to tell me. I'm still on schedule, as long as nothing detrimental happens, so I should have a draft done by the end of the year.

The Great Sock Scare of 2011

Ryder is getting a lot more comfortable in our house. Which means he's acting like a puppy. The other night, he had a lot of energy from being in his kennel, and he was bored because we ran out of bones for him to chew on. I was in the kitchen fixing dinner, and I glanced out into the living room. The puppy had something white, which looked suspiciously like a sock, in his mouth.

The 4 year old decided to be helpful and started chasing the dog around, yelling at him that he was bad and to drop it. Ryder thought it was a game. I was trying to get the 4 year old to stop chasing Ryder and get the dog to come to me so I could get whatever out of his mouth. While I was distracted with the child, he gulped the object down. And I mean gulped.

"Was that a sock?" I asked the 4 year old.

"Yes!" he tells me.

"Are you sure? Could it have been his bone?"


He then proceeded to burst into tears and have a slight meltdown. As calmly as I could (which, trust me, wasn't very calm), I explained to him that Ryder was going to be fine. I told him we would keep and eye on him and take him to the vet if anything happened.

"If it gets bad, honey, they'll have to do surgery."

"How do they do it?"

"They put the dog to sleep, and then they cut open his tummy. Then, they'll take the sock out."

"And he'll live?"

"Yes, he'll live."

Life was so much better after that, and the 4 year old calmed down.

The next day, we were getting ready for daycare. The 4 year old was on his brother's bed getting dressed, which meant the 2 year old had to be up there too. He climbed onto the bed and pointed.

"Ewwww," he says.

I look, and there's a huge pile of puke on his comforter. And right in the middle of it all, the sock. Needless to say, everyone breathed a sigh of relief and went on with their day worry free.

Sadly, the event hasn't taught the dog anything. This morning, he threw up one of my spouse's socks. *Sigh* Have I mentioned I'm not a big fan of puppies?

I hope you all have a great weekend. Try not to swallow any socks!

The Walking Dud

I've watched and been entertained by my share of terrible movies. I'm a fan of slasher films, B movies, and creature features. I have pretty slow standards. I can usually find some redeeming quality in a film or TV movie. Lately, I've been having trouble finding that quality in "The Walking Dead."

The first season of the show was all right. I didn't think it was stellar, but there was room for improvement. I came into the second season waiting (hoping) for that improvement, but I've been disappointed. I know I'm not the only one, either. I've had numerous discussions with my coworkers about the show.

Here are my issues:

1) Get some new cars. The world has been destroyed, no one is going to be mad if you steal a brand new car off the lot. Stop fixing that craptastic motor home from the 1970s and get a vehicle that will provide protection and get them somewhere. Find a tanker truck full of gas and take it. That way, they won't have to worry about gas for a long time.

2) Where are they going anyway? The world is destroyed, there's nothing left. If the CDC is any indication, there won't be anyone at the military base they're trying to get to. Find a nice little haven that is zombie free and fortify it. Eventually, they're going to have to start rebuilding, might as well get a head start.

3) Think logically about a situation before running into it head on. There's a zombie in your well, the water is already tainted. Even if that thing had been wrapped in plastic, I still wouldn't recommend drinking the water without sanitizing it first. Step back, assess the situation, and be smart. Don't wrap the rope around the pump, it's not a weight-bearing structure. They're on a farm, isn't there a tractor somewhere? C'mon, people. Think!

Besides, if the well is tainted, would it eventually taint all the water? I mean, the water in a well comes from the ground, and there's usually an aquifer, so wouldn't all the water on the farm be bad? I could be wrong, I'm not an expert in wells and underground water systems, but that seems like an issue to me.

4) If someone tells me I can't have a gun on their property during a zombie apocalypse, I'm flipping him the bird and leaving. Either that or pointing my gun in his face and daring him to take it from me. Yes, yes, I know. They owed him for saving their child, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. C'mon, people! Think!

5) Why would they let their child approach a wild animal in the woods? Especially a deer? They are not docile creatures. They are actually extremely territorial and have been known to attack humans. Even if the deer wasn't going to attack, why risk having it run away? Do you know how long a deer could have fed that group of people? Of course, knowing them, no one would know how to prepare it and it would have gone to waste. Survival, people. You do what you have to to live!

I get that this season is attempting to focus on the human reactions and interactions and what has to be done to survive, but they don't have to be so stupid about it. They can still be smart and have feelings.

Anyone else have any opinions on the show?

That Which Does Not Kill You

Is probably going to make you really tired.

Daylight savings time never used to bother me. Yeah, there was an adjustment period while my body got used to the change, but otherwise, I continued on with my life. Back in my drinking days, fall daylight savings was the best because there was an extra hour at the bar.

Now, however, I'm trying to figure out what the hell the point of daylight savings is. My kids don't get it. They don't know how to tell time, so you can't explain to them that they have to stay in bed for a little longer. Their little bodies tell them it's time to get up, even if it's an hour earlier. Once they get up, they get the dogs up. It's possible to get the boys back to bed, but once the puppy is up, he's up. You can't explain to him about daylight savings, either.

I've been dealing with the fallout since Sunday morning. It's only Wednesday, but, trust me, it feels like it's been over a week already. Thank goodness the kids eventually adapt, or else I wouldn't make it!

I think it's about time we re-evaluated the whole daylight savings thing. I mean, not everyone in the states even participates in daylight savings. It would save me a couple hours of sleep...

Tough Question Tuesday

Why didn't someone remind me to post a picture of the new dog?

Could you have said no to that face?

Movie Review Monday

It's been a while, but I actually had the chance to sit down and watch a movie this weekend. However, I wish I wouldn't have!

Hereafter (2010)

If someone could please explain this movie to me, I'd greatly appreciate it. I got the whole thing about wondering whether or not there is something after death. I got that there was and George could talk to dead people. What I didn't understand is why it needed to be over 2 hours long.

Maybe it was my frame of mind. Maybe I was just tired, but I couldn't finish the film. It seemed so quiet to me. There was barely any dramatic music, and long shots of sad faces. I know that was supposed to be the point, to highlight the turmoil these people are going through in their lives.

Personally, I didn't care about the characters. I felt sorry for the twins and their home life, but not really enough to feel anything when the one died. And George, well, I didn't have enough background about his life. Same with the reporter.

I know how it ends, even though I didn't see it. I know George gets together with the girl and gives the twin closure. Hooray! Through death they were able to make connections in real life. Perhaps that was the whole point of the film?

Has anyone else seen it? What did you think?

This Week in Writing

I have a guest post up. Check it out.

This week, I finished two chapters in my zombie sequel. It's still been a little hard to get back into, and motivation has been fleeting, but I'm getting there. It's pretty much the only thing keeping me sane right now. And, trust me, that's a very thin line!

Earlier this week, the boys and I were driving home. This song was on the radio. If you don't want to click on the link, the song is "Am I the Only One" by Dierks Bentley. There's a line that says, "Is there anybody out there wants to have a cold beer, kick it til the morning light?"

From the back seat, I hear, "Ew. I don't want a coke beer," from the 4 year old.

"You don't?" I say. "Why not?"

In complete serious, he replies, "Because I don't want to kick it til the morning light!"

I rolled!

Have a great weekend, and don't be the only one who wants to have fun!

I'm Such a Softy

I'm not a big fan of dogs. I like them all right, especially when they are other peoples, but I prefer cats. I'm not going to go into reasons why. Those of you who are cat people already know, and those of you who are dog people will never understand.

So, that being said: our family acquired another dog (I'll post a picture of him tomorrow). I fought hard against having another puppy in the house. Do you know how hard it is to potty train a dog AND change diapers? It's not fun. I prefer not swimming in excrement.

Luckily, Ryder is 3.5 months old, so he's already potty trained. He's a pure-bred black lab, and he comes from the same litter my spouse wanted a puppy from in the first place. He was bought by someone else, then it turned out they couldn't have him, so they were going to take him to the animal shelter. In rides our family on a white horse with armor gleaming.

Ryder is pretty dang cute. But that's how puppies suck you in. If they were ugly, no one would want them. The boys are thrilled to have him, especially the 2 year old. Now, he has someone to sleep in his room with him. (Riddick, the other dog, has slept in the 4 year old's room for a long time. The dog wards off the monsters!) All morning I've heard, "That my dog. He seep me!"

Even though I'm not a fan of dogs, that doesn't mean I want to see them suffer. But I also know I can't save them all. Taking in Ryder is my small contribution. Plus, it makes all the boys in my family happy, and that makes me happy!

Exciting Announcements

First of all, the paperback of Life After the Undead is now available at Amazon. I don't know why the Kindle version isn't showing up, but I've emailed the publisher to remedy the situation. If any of you read it and want to leave a review, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I've also received the cover to a novella that's scheduled for release in December. The story is called The History of My Wishes, and it's a vampire story. I don't normally write vampire stories, but this wouldn't get out my head. I've posted the cover below, and I'll let you know when the story comes out.

I know a lot of authors who are gearing up to participate in National Novel Writing Month. I thought about it, but I don't have the time. I'm working on a story as is, but I can't add anymore pressure. Someone might die if I added more pressure. Maybe someday I will participate in the event, but, right now, I'm happy going at my own pace.

For those of you who are participating, how do you keep yourself motivated? How do you keep from tearing your hair out or climbing the bell tower?

Black Nail Polish Is So Hard to Remove

Aaaah! Another successful Halloween. I just love this time of year, especially when we don't get dumped on with 10 feet of snow. Granted, it's supposed to snow today, and that's fine. I don't have to go out in it!

The boys discovered yesterday the joys of going house to house. Normally, since we live in a college town, the university puts on a "Safe Treat." Different groups and organizations on campus set up tables and hand out candy. It's lovely when the weather is terrible, but, as you can imagine, it's a zoo. Kids as far as the eye can see, and it gets hot.

The boys tolerate it because of the candy, but it doesn't take long for them to be overwhelmed. We left fairly early, then Grandma took them around her neighborhood. That was the coolest! We had to do the same when we got home. Sadly, only four houses on our block had lights on, but they had enough candy.

We even had some kids show up at our house, much to the dog's chagrin. Luckily (and sadly), it wasn't very many, so I'm stuck with leftover candy. Dang! I should've gotten something I liked! Oh, well. I don't need any more candy.

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday. Now, we get to look forward to Thanksgiving! Yum!

It's Probably a Curse

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and watch out for little ones!

As you may recall, I was in my hometown this weekend to do a reading. The library was so excited about me coming, and they thought they'd have a great crowd. Six people showed up. Three were from the library, and two were my family. A seventh showed up 5 minutes before I was done with my stuff.

This always happens to me. I plan on having some kind of party or celebration (or an interview on the radio), and no one comes. It happens to my mom, too. We've decided it's a curse. Or maybe we smell bad. We haven't decided.

Either way, it wasn't a total bummer. I did sell some books, and word of mouth is always the best promotion. With a little luck, they'll tell their friends, which will lead to some sales. You have to start somewhere, and the bottom is the best place. The only way to go is up!

Plus, I was able to network. The librarians told me they'd try and get me into some classrooms. I'm sure I'll have a bigger crowd then, but they'll probably be bored to tears. Well, some of them will be interested, and some will be in hell. *sigh* Such is life!

And the Final Winner Is...

AMBER! Hooray! You only have the choice of the mouse pad, but you'll enjoy it. I know how to get it to you, so don't worry about emailing me!

This was the last drawing for the month. Thank you to all who participated! I'm thinking about doing a trivia game in December with more lovely prizes. I'll let you know what I decide in about a month!

This Week in Writing

I finished the first round of edits on the nonfiction and emailed the chapters to the editor. I probably won't hear anything for at least a month (if I'm lucky). That's fine with me. At least it's done and out of my hair. For now.

I starting working again on the sequel to Life After the Undead. It's been a little difficult to get back into, but once I get going, I'll go. I'm still hoping to have a draft done by the end of the year.

Speaking of Life After the Undead, the print version is ready. HOORAY! You can order it here. I'm very excited!

Yesterday, my mother-in-law had a bad day. She told me about it when she dropped the kids off at the house, and she proceeded to get upset. I gave her a hug and told her it was going to be all right. When I pulled away, I noticed the 4 year old staring at me wide-eyed.

"Why is Grandma crying?" he asks.

"She had a bad day, honey. It's all right. You've had bad days before, right?" I told him.

He nods. "Yeah. I have."

My MIL stayed for a bit longer, then when she left, the 4 year old was standing on the couch. He looked at me with sad eyes and says, "I had a bad day, too."

The 2 year old echoed his sentiments.

"I'm sorry, babies." I said. "Do you need a hug?"

They both nodded and wrapped their little arms around me. The world seemed to become a better place after that. They may have had a bad day, but they made mine by being so loving.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend, but if it turns out bad, I hope someone is there to wrap you in a hug and make everything better.

Coming up Pembroke!

The last few weeks have been fabulous! I've signed three contracts, and I got another one in my inbox yesterday. I heard from the publisher, and my print book is now ready. The link isn't up on the publisher site yet, but I will let you know when it is.

I got to be a participant in the convention last weekend, and this weekend I'll be in my hometown doing a reading at the library. You can check out the story in the paper here.

Things are on a high note right now, and I'm lovin' every minute of it! This positive outlook thing is really working!

Final Day of MileHiCon

I've only had on person comment so far. I know a mouse pad isn't that exciting, but it's free. You know you want it!


I attempted to balance hanging with my family and geeking out all weekend. I did pretty good, and everyone had a great time. My spouse was incredibly supportive, and I'm so happy he went. I couldn't have done my reading without him. The kids had fun checking out the artwork and some of the people. However, we were all very tired on Sunday, so we decided to leave after my panel.

The panel was called "I Didn't Mean to Borrow," and there were five of us talking about influences and fan fiction. Basically, we talked about whether or not we "borrowed" from other works intentionally or unawares. For example, in my first novel, Coming from Nowhere, I intentionally used elements from Star Wars and Blade Runner. But sometimes, you don't realize you've borrowed things until someone else points them out.

It's hard not to borrow. As one of the panelists pointed out, our work is the sum total of experiences and influences we've had throughout our lives. Yeah, more than likely, our stories are going to be similar to something else out there.

Another panelist talked about how there are seven basic plots to a story, and all narratives fall into one of those categories. So, really, every story is going to sound like another story. The thing we as authors need to be wary of is not plagiarizing. (Which, honestly, most of us are.)

We also talked about fan fiction and people creating works based off our stories. Personally, I think it would be cool to know I influenced someone like that. It would mean I was making an impact. I would also love to write fan fiction. I have an Aliens story planned out in my head. Now, I just need to figure out how to get it published! (And write it, but I don't want to waste my time if no one wants it!)

I really enjoyed my experience at MileHiCon this year. I hope I found some new fans and people check out my work. If nothing else, I did give people a name. Only time will tell. Keep your fingers crossed!

MileHiCon Day 2

I have a guest post up. You can check it out here.


The first panel I went to was called "How to Interview." The panelists all had some type of experience in journalism or magazine writing, and they gave some great pointers on how to question your favorite author (or anyone, for that matter). The biggest point they made was to make sure your questions are specific.

For example, questions like "Who are your influences?" is a general question, which will get a general response. They suggested asking questions like "Your story seems to have influences from Piers Anthony. Is that true? Was it intentional?" Things like that. It is very specific and will get a specific response.

Listening to them gave me some ideas of how I want to conduct interviews on my blog. I'm guilty of asking general questions, as I'm sure most of us are. Now, I just need some time to hone my skills. And some guinea pigs!

The second panel I attended on Saturday was about podcasting. I went to one last year, but I thought I'd see if anything had changed. Nope. It's still incredibly time consuming and costly, especially if you want your recordings to sound good. I pretty much decided I'm not going down that road. I don't have the inclination or the time to do it right.

The third thing I sat through was "The Science of Superheroes." This one was fun. Mike Brotherton, the same guy who taught the Launch Pad Workshop, lectured. Basically, he talked about super powers and how the majority of them are not feasible from a REAL science perspective. Well, duh! We knew that. But he also talked about ways they could be fixed to make them more plausible. And there are some heroes out there who do have more realistic powers (Batman anyone?). Like I said, this lecture was entertaining, and a good way to end my afternoon.

That night, I had my first reading. I was incredibly nervous. Seriously, I almost threw myself into a panic attack. Good thing I know how to talk myself down! I'd never done a reading before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. There were six of us reading from our work, and it was pretty informal, so that helped a lot. My mom was encouraging and told me not to worry about it (she always says that, and she's usually right). When it was my turn, I read "Life After the Undead" like I did for my recordings. I put in the voices and just had fun. I only had 20 minutes, and I didn't even get through chapter 1!

Saturday ended fairly late. By the time I got back to the room, I was ready for bed, and fell readily asleep.

MileHiCon Review Monday

Last week's winner of the drawing decided to take the tote bag, so I have a mouse pad left. Put those comments in for a chance to win on Friday!

This past weekend was MileHiCon down in Denver. Last year was the first time I had gone, and this year I got to be a participant. I did a meet and greet, a reading, and a panel. I also went to some panels. The convention was 3 days long, so I will spend 3 days talking about my experience.


The first panel I went to on Friday was one talking about the publishing industry and options open to authors. The main topics of conversation were ebooks and self-publishing. I wanted to go to it because I wanted to see how others felt.

One of the panelists had been a traditionally published author waaaay back in the day. After so many years, his books went out of print, and he decided to revive them as ebooks. He said he felt like he was 20 again with all the interest in his stories. He was revived and ready to write more. He talked about traditional publishers and how they stifle authors and how the model needs to change. By having the option of ebooks, self-publishing, and small presses, it gives authors more control.

It was fascinating. One panelist made the remark that self-publishing is no longer being stigmatized like it had been in the past. Back then, it was called "vanity publishing," but no more. They discussed how there was freedom and control when an author published their own books, but there was also a lot of cost. You have to pay for an editor, for the cover, and formatting. And the chances of you becoming well known are pretty rare. However, they said that if you are already a well-known author, self-publishing might put more money in your pocket, and you don't have to worry about a company holding you back or taking away control of your work.

They suggested the best approach might be to find an indie publisher. That way, you wouldn't have to incur a huge cost and they have editors and cover artists on staff. You still have to do your own promotion, but that's the case with any publisher.

After that panel, I did "Speed Date an Author," which is where a bunch of authors sit around and people come in to meet us. I don't really think Friday night was the best time to do it because there wasn't a lot of participants there. Saturday afternoon might have been better. I did talk to a few people and networked with other authors. It was fun. You know me, I love to talk about myself and work!

And that concluded my Friday. I went to dinner with my family after that and turned in early. I had an adrenaline crash. I always get so excited coming to these things!

"Galaxy Games: The Challengers" by Greg R. Fishbone

Before I introduce my guest, I wanted to announce this week's winner. Congratulations, DIANA! Please email me at pembrokesinclair at hotmail dot com and let me know what prize you would like. I have a tote bag and mouse pad.

Now, on with the show...

I had the pleasure of attending the Launch Pad Workshop with Greg. Now, I have the pleasure of introducing his new book.

The Galaxy Games series is written by Greg R. Fishbone and published by the Tu Books imprint of Lee & Low Books. In this hilarious middle-grade romp through space, eleven-year-old Tyler Sato leads a team of kids representing all of Earth in a sports tournament against alien kids from across the galaxy.

Book #1: The Challengers is available now!

Greg R. Fishbone is an author of galactic fiction for young readers, including the Galaxy Games series of humorous middle grade sci-fi novels from the Tu Books imprint at Lee & Low Books. Greg also serves as an Assistant Regional Advisor for the New England regions of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, is a two-time NESCBWI conference co-director, and founded of the Class of 2k7 debut author group. This summer he participated in the NASA and NSF-funded Launch Pad program at the University of Wyoming, intended to provide authors with better knowledge of astronomy and theories of science literacy. Visit his website at gfishbone.com for more information.

As part of the book tour, which you can access information here, Greg has puzzle pieces. Here is mine:

Greg was also kind enough to answer some questions. Enjoy! And check out his book!

Q) What inspired you to write this story?

A) I was put on the spot at a writing conference, where I was asked to pitch a middle grade sports series. I think it's a great exercise for authors to consider a new genre in the context of their own unique style and personal experience. For me, I knew that one of my strengths was humor and my interests were in team sports and aliens, so I ended up with something that was all my own.

Q) How long did it take you to write?

A) I wrote a first draft in about a month. Then I spent seven years revising it until it sold. There wasn't much of the original text that survived the process, but the premise remained remarkably constant.

Q) Can you talk about the story's evolution and publishing history?

A) Some of the major changes were in the format and the time frame. My first draft was a chapter book, about 15,000 words long. The published book is an older middle grade about four times that length. The original story started as Earth was recruiting its first team for the Galaxy Games sports tournament, but an editor remarked that she'd be even more interested in the story of how aliens came to Earth in the first place, the offer to compete, and the world's reaction. That's the story that appears in The Challengers and she was right--it's a much more exciting place to start.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?

A) I've finished a draft of the second book in the Galaxy Games series which raises the stakes, introduces some new characters, and takes readers on a roller-coaster ride through the galaxy.

Q) Where can readers find you?

For more information check my website at http://gfishbone.com or the Galaxy Games series site at http://galaxygamesseries.com. There are also some great posts this month that you can find through the blog tour site at http://galaxygam.es/tour and also a few contests you can join.

The Week in Writing

I have a guest blogger tomorrow, so I thought I'd fill you in on all the exciting stuff today.

As I mentioned yesterday, I received my two contracts for my kids' book earlier this week, and yesterday I received my contract for the zombie anthology I'm appearing in. The anthology is called "So Long and Thanks for All the Brains," and my story is entitled "Live, and Let Them Be Undead." It's scheduled for release in December. I'll let you know when it comes out.

I finished the first round of edits on the six chapters of my nonfiction book. I need to add some stuff to the introduction, then I'm done (for now). I'm plan to work on the sequel to the zombie novel.

If things keep sailing smoothly, I should make all my self-imposed deadlines! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

On Tuesday, I had to take the boys to the dentist. We don't have a pediatric dentist in town, so I had to drive 45 minutes to the next town. For some reason, the 4 year old thinks he has to eat everywhere we go, so on the way out of town, we got McDonald's. I had a coffee, but I was waiting for it to cool because, for whatever reason, they heat it to the temperature of lava.

I was cruising down the interstate, preparing to take a sip, and hit a bump. Way more liquid got into my mouth than I anticipated, and it burned.

"Son of a beaver!" I squealed. "That's hot!"

"Are you all right?" the 4 year old asked.

"Yes, honey, I'm fine. Thank you for your concern."

"That beaver was hot, huh?"

I just laughed. How else do you respond to a question like that? I hope you all have a great weekend, and don't burn your mouths with any hot beavers! (Get your minds out of the gutter!)

How Quickly Things Change

I woke up in a ridiculously bad mood yesterday. Part of it was from lack of sleep, part of it was from my schedule being changed, and part of it was from who knows what. By the time I went to bed last night, I was floating on cloud nine.

Mid-morning, I received a call that started the brightening of my day. It was encouraging. Late afternoon, I talked to a library that I'm setting a reading/presentation up at, and the librarian was so nice and excited about having me, I couldn't help by smile. By evening, I opened my email to find contracts for my kids' books. I was so happy, I did a little dance in the living room, making my boys squeal with delight (which also helped improve my mood).

It's amazing how fast things can turn around, and when you least expect it. It goes both ways, of course, but I really prefer it going up (who doesn't?). I'm going to spend today relishing the good fortune of yesterday. Has anyone else had any wonderful news lately?

Tough Question Tuesday

Do you dress up for Halloween?

For me, it depends on the year. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. This year I'll be dressing up, which will be fun. We decided on a theme at work. We're going to be witches (Yes, we realize the irony. That's part of the charm of our decision!). That always helps so I don't have to use my brain to come up with an idea!

Theater Review Monday

Michelle decided to take the pdf copy of my story, so I have a tote bag and mouse pad left. Put in those comments so you can win one at the end of the week.

My novella, The Weeping Bride, is available today. You can buy it here. It's only 99 cents, so you should give it a try. It was my first attempt at this kind of story, so let me know what you think!

The spouse and I spent the weekend getting caught up on watching our recorded TV shows. We had a nice backlog to catch up on. I'm happy to report I'm now caught up!
Since we didn't watch any movies but I did go to the play yesterday, I thought I'd tell you about my experience.

Hair (1970s)

I first saw this movie in high school. Yes, movie, not the play. I loved the music so I bought the soundtrack on tape (yes, tape, not CD) and listened to it until it broke. I kind of forgot about Hair for a while as I went to college and started a family, then my mom told me it was going to be in Denver on stage. I squealed with delight.

The story focuses on a group of hippies who are protesting the Vietnam War in a haze of drug use and sexual promiscuity. The majority of them burn their draft cards, but Claude is torn between his hippie life style and wanting to please his conservative parents. He decides not to burn the card like everyone else.

The music is fun and upbeat, and a few of the songs made it into popular culture. The story has a lot of dark undertones to it, and it doesn't necessarily glorify the hippie generation. It shows heartache and trials.

The play was nothing like the movie, with the exception of the basic storyline and songs. They also added a few new songs I hadn't heard before. There was a nude scene in there, which wasn't that big of a deal. The lights were dim, so you couldn't see much. There was also a lot of references to drugs. And a bad trip. All part of the generation. I really enjoyed it. There is definitely something to be said about live performances and experiencing the theater.

I can't wait until my boys are old enough to take! However, I doubt I'll take them to Hair until they're waaaaay older!

This Week's Winner Is...

MICHELLE! Hooray! Please email me at pembrokesinclair at hotmail dot com and let me know what prize you would like. I have the mouse pad, tote bag, and a pdf of my story left.

There are still 2 weeks left in this month, so there are still 2 chances to win a prize. Get those comments in to be included in the drawing!

This Week in Writing

I finished the edits to chapter 1 of my nonfiction book and emailed them off to the editor. I also finished chapter 2, and have been working diligently on chapter 3. I'm hoping to get feedback on chapter 1 next week, but we shall see. The editor is very busy.

Next week I'll be in Denver at the MileHiCon. I'm doing some panels this year, so I'm really excited about that. Plus, I get to geek out. Can't beat that!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!


I've been in contact with the publisher recently. My story, "The Weeping Bride," is coming out next week! Hooray! It's my paranormal romance (my first attempt at one), so I would love it if you checked it out and told me what you thought. As usual, I will give you buy links when they are out.

So far this week, I have two people in the drawing for prizes. I'm sure they don't mind being the only ones in the hat, since it gives them a better chance at winning, but I really want to give my stuff away. Remember, the more times you comment, the more chances you have of winning something cool.

Don't you want to win one of my prizes?

Could I be Busier?

This month is crazy for me! The boys have dentists appointments, I have a conference, and I'm trying to set up appearances at some libraries to promote my new book. I've been to family birthdays, and I'm going to a play with my parents (Hair. I can hardly wait. I've wanted to see it since I was in high school!). And, for crying out in the night, don't forget about Halloween!

On top of all that, I'm trying to get edits done. I don't mind being busy, but it does mean I have to schedule properly. I still have my normal duties to take care, and things can get hectic in my house. But I'm not overwhelmed. Yet.

How does your month look?

Tough Question Tuesday

Perfect chance to get some comments in!

What is your favorite Disney movie?

When I was a child, it was Sleeping Beauty. My sister and I would watch and rewatch the scene with the fairies as they're making the birthday cake and dress. We loved it!

At one point, I went through a phase where I didn't like Disney. I thought it was predictable and childish, but I got over it pretty quick. The movies have a lot of adult humor and the boys enjoy them.

Now, I don't think I could narrow it down to one. I love most of the Pixar films, and the Princess and the Frog had spectacular music. The list might be shorter if I picked the films I don't like. But that will take me a minute to think about...

Movie Review Monday

Before I get into today's review, I wanted to remind you about the contest. Miss Vixen decided to take the coffee cup, so there is still a mouse pad, tote bag, and copy of my story. Leave those comments for a chance to win!

Bridesmaids (2011)

WTF? I thought this movie was supposed to be funny. I wanted to see this movie for a long time, and after I watched it, I was disappointed. It has moments of being funny, but otherwise it was tragic and sad.

The story is about Annie, who has bad luck with relationships. She is dating a guy who sees her as nothing more than a sex buddy, then finds a cop who is willing to have a relationship with her, but she messes it up. On top of all that, her childhood friend is getting married and wants Annie to be her Maid of Honor.

Not only is she unlucky in love, but she lost a bakery business, so she's pretty much destitute. Her best friend lives in a different tax bracket, and trying to negotiate the wedding and deal with the other rich friends proves to be very trying and stressful. They eventually have a falling out and Annie hits rock bottom.

There were some moments in this movie that were funny, but not many. As I mentioned, it was mostly tragic and sad. I was also a little offended by the film. I'm not going to delve into a whole discussion about it here, but I'm wondering if the movie was actually made for women. Here's my reasons why:

1. Honestly, how many women find toilet humor funny? I know there are a few, but I'm not a huge fan. I'm guessing it stems from the fact that I still have to change diapers and deal with poo on a daily basis, so it's really not a point of hilarity for me.

2. Why does a man have to define the woman? Annie spends the entire movie looking for a man to be with because she obviously can't make it on her own. She owned a bakery at one point, which she opened with her boyfriend, but when that went under, he left. She fell into a deep depression and bounced around from one bad relationship to another. At the end, instead of finding a way to open the bakery back up, which would have been a great ending, she decides to try and make it work with the cop.

In the scheme of things, yes, he was the best option, if she wants to be domesticated. I had a huge problem with the scene after they hooked up. Yes, he was nice and made her a cup of coffee, then "surprises" her by getting stuff for her to bake. Really? So he's saying, "Hey, baby, I had a great night with you last night, now get in my kitchen and start cooking." I would've walked out too!

3. There are more than 3 types of men in the world. According to the film, you're choices are the man who wants nothing more than sex from you, the one who wants to domesticate you, and the one who is so hung up on his ex that he can't imagine being with you. Granted, there are those types of men in the world, but--shockingly--some of them can and are a lot deeper than that.

Okay. That's as far as I'm going to go with that. I had some other issues, but I don't want to start a rant. Have any of you seen the movie? What did you think? Am I completely off base here?

And the Winner Is...

MISS VIXEN! Congratulations! Please contact me pembrokesinclair at hotmail dot com and let me know what prize you want!

Thank you to all who participated, but don't forget: we're not done! Three more weeks of fabulous prizes, so get those comments in!

This Week in Writing

I've been busy doing edits. Again. I was nervous about starting the revisions on my nonfiction project. I felt overwhelmed and void of ideas of how to fix it. However, I started working on it, and I feel a lot better about what I'm doing. I might actually have some of idea of what I'm talking about. Of course, that was the first chapter, I have five more to go. I'll let you know how it goes.

The other night, I picked up my boys from their grandma's house. If you recall, it's been one of those weeks where I had a hard time finding motivation to work. As I drove down the street, the four year old says, "I need some engergy."

"Really?" I asked. "Are you a little tired? You need some energy."

"Oh, man!" he replies. "My legs are so tired! I definitely need some engergy."

I couldn't help but laugh.

I hope this weekend brings you lots of engergy. Have a good one!

Overly Shy

As some of you know, I had a run-in with a nefarious publisher. He didn't start out evil, it was only over the course of time that I found out about his exploits. As is human nature, I didn't want to believe he was that awful. He was always so nice to me, so I told myself it was a mistake, it was someone else.

Then, when I found out he stole the cover to one of my novellas, I couldn't lie anymore. Then, when he published my story in an anthology after I withdrew, and sent and email calling us authors a**holes, I got angry. Apparently, he's still up to his old tricks. Authors are taking action against him, though, and if you want to participate, check out this blog.

Normally, I'm a pretty cynical person. I don't believe in the goodness of humanity, and one of my part-time jobs reinforces daily how low some people will sink. Don't get me wrong, I know there are good people out there. My friends are the best in the world, but I don't have very many. I'm picky in that sense.

Recently, I decided to submit some stories to different publishers. I like mine, and they really enjoy putting out my work (albeit slowly), but I thought I'd expand. Distribute my eggs to different baskets, if you will. I'm very diligent about researching publishers, and most of them are fine and respectable, but I found myself getting panicky about picking a place. What if they are evil? What if they steal my work? I forced myself to take a breath, and I sent out the submissions.

I received a couple rejections and two no replies. Nothing earth shattering, and it was a relief. Maybe they won't steal my work. In the end, I sent the story to my publisher. I know I can trust them. I'll slowly try to expand, but if something's working, why fix it?

Don't forget, tomorrow morning I will have the first winner of the contest. I will put all comments made on Friday into the hat for next week.