Wednesday, December 5, 2012

sipswap was AWESOME!

Two fantabulous writers (Jessica Love and Kelsey Macke) had a brilliant idea a while back.

Like a Secret Santa concept, where you sign up, get a name (someone gets yours) and you buy them a mug and ship it off! Everyone loves getting a package, and I was sooooo excited to get mine! :)

This person had no idea that I love thrown pottery, and yet, that is exactly what I got. It's so beautiful, and I love how fat the handle is. A weird mug quirk I have—fat handle and fat rim. (yes, that's kind of gross!! haha)

Here is my beauty!!

It comes from a great little biz called Hagal Studio.

Here's the sip swapper is still a mystery! I hope they reveal themselves soon so I can thank them! :)

My mug went to Amanda Heger :)

Thanks for the fun Jess and Kels!! Loved being a part of it!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DUETuesday : Christmas Edition

I love duets. I love Christmas. What more reason do I need to share my most recent, fav, Christmas duet?

Dave Barnes voice is amazing, and of course, Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum) is always perfect! ;)


Friday, November 23, 2012

*SQUEE!!!* CP Cover Reveal!!!!!

My beloved critique partner and friend, Natasha, has exciting news that I'm honored to share...

her novel coming out in June with Stapphire Star Publishing has a cover!!!!!!!!
Look how purdy. *pet*pet*

I'm so excited for her. I love this book and these characters, one of whom I picture looking like this guy (must have the dreds)...

but at THIS age....*swoon* Uh, yes. Please purchase this book this summer and bookmark this page so you can come back and download this into your brain for your reading pleasure. You will not regret it. (Natasha did not endorse this image...but she most certainly did not mind. DUH!)

Ok, here's a quick, 3 minute photoshop job. 

Now that those pecs have decided for you...push this button.
Edge of Truth

And here are the details!!!!!

What it's about!

Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.

It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

When you can get it! 
             June 6, 2013 

Where you can find Natasha:


Yay, Yay, Yay!!! I can't wait to read this while holding it in my hands. Natasha is so talented, and so deserving. xoxoxo!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Duetuesday- Romantic

I love all kinds of duets, but the romantic boy/girl ones are the BEST!

This is a flashback from the early 2000's. My husband bought me this CD our first "real" Christmas together. We weren't even married then. This song makes me think of him.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

So Excited!!

I've been so busy with portraits and weddings, I forgot to post my exciting news from the past month.

I am a finalist in the Mid America Romance Writers: Fiction from the Heartland Contest. YAY!!

This year there were 11 finalists, three of which were Young Adult, (one was me!!). I have no clue how many people entered. Not that it matters, but of course I'm curious. I got two really great and helpful critique sheets, and used them to do a spit and polish before I sent it off for the final round. That round (squee) consists of a reading of your first 33 pages plus synopsis by an editor and agent. I'm so excited, if nothing else I'm excited to—hopefully—get a little helpful feedback, especially from an editor.

Still querying and waiting of course. Being busy the past couple of months has really helped take my mind off of things......NOPE, I'm a liar, it hasn't helped at all, ;) but no matter what, my ms will end up better off for the process. Not quitting!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Duetuesday- The Civil Wars *weep*

Have you heard the news? The heartbreaking, soul-shattering news, that The Civil Wars has canceled their upcoming tour due to "Internal Discord"? It was devastating to me. I LOVE THEM! One of them put a tweet out that day that said they hope to have new music out in 2013.

What does that mean???? It's already recorded, so it will be easy to release? OR they hope to actually make the music in 2013?? I hope it's the latter. OR both.

80% of my novel HEALING GRAVEL  was created or written, while listening to their music. It's only approriate to honor them with today's DueTuesday spot.

Mourn with me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

DueTuesday ~ 80's Pop Duet

Duets from the 80's are the best, and you can't get more 80's than Prince and Sheena E!!!

Prince Sheena Easton U Got the Look by docfromcpt

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sip Swap!!

How completely awesome is this idea? (Thank you Jessica Love and Kelsey Macke) Do you drink coffee or tea? Are you a writer? Then join Sip Swap. Go to the link, fill out the form, and then buy the cutest mug you can find to send another writer!! Then you will get one in the mail. Who doesn't love to receive a present in the mail!? I can't wait!

(Can I use anymore exclamation marks??)

@kelsnotchels      @_JessicaLove

Sip Swap

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Intro of the Duetuesday

I have a confession. I've always had an obsession with duets. Especially duets from the 80's and 90's. I think we tend to forget some of these classics. I got to revisit some older music while writing my ms due to a characters past. It was really fun, and reminded me of so many old songs that I used to love.

So many good duets were hugely popular, and often tied to movies. Not sure why I've always loved them, the harmony, the romantic element. But I DO love them. So here is the first in the installment, and it's an oldie. It's one of the first duets I remember loving as a kid. :) (If you don't love Dolly, you. are. nuts.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

September/October Reads

Once again, I'm in the thick of it. Crazy Fall Portrait Season. This year it's also Crazy Fall Wedding Season. A wedding every Saturday until the second weekend of November.

In a way, it's been good. This fall I'm querying, and as anyone who has queried's good to have something to take your mind off of waiting. Waiting is hard.

Just thought I'd check in and offer up some reading recommendations. I'm not going to give a lot of info, just know that if the book is in the post, I think it's worth reading! ;)

TIGER LILY, by Jodi Lynn Anderson

This took me a couple of chapters to get into it, but once I did, I was in LOVE!!! A beautiful, beautiful read.

JELLICOE ROAD (Or On the Jellicoe Road) by Melina Marchetta

Don't give up in the beginning, it's worth it. It will all come together. There were many things about this book that reminded me of the novel I'm currently querying. Of course, that meant I love it, because I write things I love.

OUTPOST by Ann Aguirre

I LOVE THIS SERIES, and if possible I might have loved this one a little more than the first. Hmm. I don't know, just read this one and the first one, ENCLAVE.

GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers

I really enjoyed this, and it was an auto pick because we love Robin in our house. (little boys love the Nathaniel Fludd series.) I will definitely be reading book two.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Needing some inspiration??

This morning I stumbled upon a new blog. Don't you love finding a new blog? I mean, a good blog, where you can get lost for a couple of hours reading the archives?? Well, my laundry pile doesn't like it...but I do!

I found this one. Tiffany Moore | Life Coach

It's so inspirational and feel good. I really needed it this morning...and maybe you do too.

For a taste, I refer you to these posts. *and yes, there is some curse words in some of her blog. It doesn't bother me, but some of you may find it offensive. Fair warning.

the "be brave" fallacy

I've been wanting to tell you...

why sharing is bull-shit and you should stop being nice.


Happy Thursday!


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Perks of Being a Reader

Sometimes I think about those people that say "I don't read" and I feel very sad for them. Truth be told, when someone says that, I feel a little annoyed. It's like they've said they don't really breathe. In my world, reading is a complete necessity.

 There are some books that make this even more true for me. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky was one of them. You know that feeling, when you finally read a book and are appalled with yourself that you hadn't read it right when it came out? I know there are plenty of books out there like that waiting for me to read them. The kind of book that when you close it, the world feels different. Or no, maybe the book has just reminded you of the world you knew existed but you'd forgotten it for a while. But either way, you FEEL it.

 I read Charlies letters (the book is formatted in a series of letters to "a friend", don't let this scare you. It was perfect.) at a frantic pace. I fell in love with him as a literary character. As I fell in love with him, I mourned all of the Charlie's that must have passed by me through high school, college and even elementary school. It made me feel grateful for the Charlie's I know and love. You might assume that since this is told through the letters of a freshmen in high school, it might be simple. So not true. Charlie is brilliant and insightful, although naieve and sometimes unsure of himself. Often unsure of himself, but his words are beautiful.

The book explores the idea that we are all soooo messed up in our own ways. We are all just trying to find our place in the world. All just wanting to be loved and accepted, while still finding our true self.

 I don't want to say too much about it, because I really didn't know a lot going in and I think that added to the enjoyment. I will say the ending was NOT what I expected, and I loved that about it. Loved it. It was perfect though, and I'm glad I hadn't figured it out.

 Run to your nearest bookseller, or library, and read this book. Read it before you rush out to see the movie which opens today, because as is always the case, I know this book will be better than the movie. (although the movie looks fantastic!)

Thank you again, Small Girls PR! You're the best! :) Find the trailer and spotify playlist at THIS POST from yesterday! :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Catching Up and The Perks!

What a busy month!

My own work load (photography) always increases this time of year with seniors and families. Then add the chaos of back to school and homework, then my writing and what not. I'm really tired right now.

I'm also contested out. I entered both Pitch Madness (Brenda Drake hosted!) and GUTGAA. (Deana Barnhart.) I don't know if I'll do a contest again. While they're fun and exciting, they are also stressful and add to the drama of the querying process which is hard enough on it's own. I did get some requests and some great feedback, so it was worth it, but I'm glad they're over. (For me anyway! :))

Tomorrow is the theatrical release of The Perks of Being a Wallflower! I can't wait to see it, and tomorrow I will be sharing my review of the book...which of course you should read! I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the lovely ladies of Small Girls PR. (They are fantastic!) They also shared this awesome Spotify playlist for the movie/book which is so fun!

Check it the playlist HERE. It's a great list the includes Fleetwood Mac, The Smashing Pumpkins, Simon and Garfunkel and lots more.

Come back tomorrow to hear my thoughts on the book (I loved it) and plan on seeing the movie soon!! :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Need Some Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the weather, the activities, the holidays, and of course the clothes. But most importantly, I love the food. Chili, soup, baked goods, crock pot recipes.

One of these I even broke out this weekend. It was so good, I thought I'd share it with you.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

31/3 C flour
2 C sugar
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie spice
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
4 eggs
2 C plain pumpkin (tip, I just used one small can of pumpkin. It's close enough!)
1 C melted butter
1 Bag Mini semi sweet chocolate chips (I also think white would be delicious!!)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients (this includes the sugar) in large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl beat the eggs a little, then add the pumpkin and butter. Whisk together. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour wet ingredients into dry and fold together. Pour into greased baking pans.(warning, the batter is very thick. almost like cookie dough.)
Here is the best part. This makes a lot of batter so you can mix it up. You can put it in a bundt pan (bake for about an hour and 15 min), large loaves (bake for 40-45 minutes), small pans (bake for about 30 minutes), or muffins (bake for 20-25 minutes). Of course all of these times are approximate, I just did it until a knife came out clean. you would NOT want to over bake don't leave it! My favorite is small loaves and this will make about seven. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

GUTGAA- Meet and Greet Monday

I've just started the whole "contest" part of the agent search and it seems to be fun, but also really stressful. (I entered a contest the other night at midnight only to realize it was the next day at NOON!! Ugh.

But now I've entered the GUTGAA (Gearing Up to Get An Agent) sponsored by the lovely Deana Barnhart. She has put so much work into this it's unreal. I believe you can still sign up, so get over and do it if you're looking for an agent! :)

Mini Bio- I'm 33, married, and have 3 sons. I own my own photography business and read WAY TOO MUCH! Oh, and I write! :)

Now for the questions...
-Where do you write? At my laptop at my kitchen table, or at a desk in my bedroom. I've probably done the majority of my writing at the desk.
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see? If I'm at the table, it's a window outside to my backyard. In my room it's a wall with a picture my youngest son drew when he was just learning to draw people. I love that picture. 

-Favorite time to write? Morning, usually, but some of my favorite scenes been written late at night. That's rare though.
-Drink of choice while writing? Creamer with coffee.
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence? Iused to think i needed silence, but about a year ago I tried writing with headphones in and loved it. I wrote faster and liked what I wrote so much more on the first try. Now I always write with headphones.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?  One day my boys and I went on a drive in our small town. We passed a farm house with a big beautiful pond with a dock. By the time we got home i had a scenario with that dock in my head. Over the writing of this book the story became real around that particular event. (Which was a FOUR YEAR process. Hopefully the next one won't take so long! :))
-What's your most valuable writing tip? Get a good critique group of people that take their writing very seriously, and are very honest with you. My girls have made me SO MUCH BETTER.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Process

Happy Thursday peeps!

Not much to say today, except that I am deep into the querying process. It's full of highs and lows. If you've done it, you know what I'm talking about.

On the flip side, my wonderful crit partner, Natasha (Writes by Moonlight), is revealing a secret tomorrow!! :) Stop by and give her some love.

What do you do to deal with the drama of querying?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Unscary the Query!

Tuesday night I attended a webinar given by the fabulous agent Sara Megibow, of Nelson Literary Agency. It was based off of her popular twitter series #10queriesin10tweets. If you follow Sara, you will probably be familiar with this.I really enjoy reading when she does these. Us unpublished, unagented authors can easily become obsessed with any information that we think might give us an edge in the game. Even though the tweets are fairly vague (she can't legally give too much away, queries are private) it makes us feel like we're doing SOMETHING to send us further in the right direction.

Because people are so into it, Sara put together this webinar. If she does it again, I suggest you attend and enter your query. You never know, right? And the least that might happen is that you will learn something. Here are a few things I took from the class. Oh, and follow Sara HERE.

(To be clear...these are my thoughts based on the info given! :))

1. The writing is the most important thing. I know, I know. You've heard this so. many. times. But think about it. You are-in essence-submitting a professional letter to an agent to CONVINCE THEM YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!! So of course the writing is the most important thing! If you can't put together an intelligent thought about your book, why would they believe you can actually write your book?

2. The hook has to be good. With no hook, there is no interest. Without good writing, the hook won't be clearly expressed. You're book might very well be amazing. It might have an excellent hook, but if it isn't clear and well written in your query, you can forget about it!

3. The hook should involve WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY. All of these are important. There were some beautifully written pieces that described the character and their deep emotions. She said they were well written....BUT, what happens to these wonderful characters? What do they DO? There has to be a story. An interesting character does not a book make.

4. Good writing is not subjective. We like to coat our gentle feelings over rejections with thoughts like "this is a subjective business." I understand, and in some ways it is. Genre is subjective. Character types might be subjective. However, good writing is not subjective. Any agent will know good writing when they see it. Perfect your craft and someone out there will probably be interested in your work.

5. In addition to number 4, do your research. Since agents like to rep what they like, (subjective) make sure you are querying the right people. Do not waste that agents time (and ours, those of us who ARE doing the research) by mucking up the slush pile with your query that is for sure not a good fit. Agents submission guidelines are not hard to find. Don't think you will change their mind.

6. The slush pile is brutal. I'm going to be honest, all the queries read in the webinar were pretty darn good. On any given day if I'd picked one up ALONE, I would probably have positive things to say. That being said, when we went through query after query, it was really easy to see how it could get boring. Things didn't sound interesting, characters started to resemble each other, and good all blended together. You have to make yours stand out. You do that with good writing, a great hook, and  being sure that it's the right genre for the right person.

7. If you're not getting requests....go back to the manuscript! To paraphrase Sara, once your book is written well, and edited to it's potential, it's easier to clearly pinpoint the hook and express it with your practiced writing.

I learned a lot, and really enjoyed it. Sara was fun, engaging and very passionate about the business. Agents are people, and they want to find beautifully written stories. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Querying, waiting and getting rejected is hard. Really hard. But if I had to put all the advice I've accumulated over the past few years from other authors into one piece of advice, it is this. Don't. Give. Up.

I'm not going to, and you shouldn't either. If you keep reading, writing, and working hard, it will happen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Great Books!

I want to start off with a random comment. I absolutely LOVE the feeling of knowing that dinner is done and cooking away in a crock pot. It is the best! Add the yummy smell on top of that...perfect day!

Now on to the two books I just read. They couldn't be more different and I loved them both.

BELLES by Jen Calonita

I'm going to be honest here, if I'd read a blurb of this book I may not have picked it up. NOT because there is anything wrong with it, it's just not usually my kind of story. The new girl/mean girl high school drama is not usually my thing. Ughh...maybe it's because these kind of books are not written for ME, a 33 year old woman. (Ya, think?) That being said, the title and the cover drew me in instantly. I snapped it off the shelf. And you know what? I adored the story, and the characters.

Isabelle was very easy to like. I loved the opening with her and Brayden. LOVED it. I related to her, and really liked how she cared for her grandmother. Mirabelle was equally well written. I didn't always like her behavior, but I liked her, and I understood her.Of course, there was a mean girl we love to hate. I have a feeling at some point we may not hate her anymore. Who knows. This appears to be a trilogy, and I can't wait to get book two soon!!

Second book was ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre

WOW, is all I can say. I LOVED this book. The writing was amazing. The world building was so good, I could picture it perfectly. The on. I adored fearless Deuce and completely fell in love with brooding Fade. This is what I think you would call Post-apocalyptic.

I'll be honest, it's a hard sell for me with a story where the romantic relationship doesn't take center stage. It's there, but she paces it well. I love it when she pulls a couple more people into the mix (wink). The setting and plot are so interesting that I was hooked the whole way through. I can't wait to get more of it!

Check these two out...oh and refer all young people to them! I've already told my friends with teens/tweens about both of them!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Turning Point

I have reached a new point in my parenting career. Last week, all three of my boys starting school FULL DAY.

I know it's probably not right to be as thrilled about this as I am. However, you may want to reread the paragraph above. See the part that said THREE BOYS!? Okay, you may now understand. Having three boys in my house is HARD! Beyond hard, it's taxing, exhausting, mind numbingly frustrating.

I love them with all my heart, but it  is such a beautiful thing to have eight hours of silence. I have lots of plans for myself this school year. Lots of writing, and lots of getting my house in shape! HAHAHAHA.

One of those might happen...I'll let you guess which.

I also recently signed up for Sara Megibow's online workshop Ten Queries In Ten Tweets. I love it when she does this on Twitter, and I'm looking forward to improving my query!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Critiques and Travel

Those are the two items on my mind today.

1. I was just 'strongly encouraged' to add another scene to my MS. This coming from my amazing critique partners. I always hear my girls out, they know what their doing. Their talented, and I know they have the me, and my MS's best interest at heart. Long story short, I followed their advice. And I LOVE it.

So I wonder, how do you feel when someone suggests a change to your work? What is your process for considering it? Does it depend on the person, the amount of work?

I guess the moral of the story is get yourself some good critique partners.

2. Tomorrow morning, at the crack of dawn, we get on a plane for Gulf Shores. Yay!! Beach and sun...hopefully. There better not be any hurricanes or I'm going to be PISSED!!! ugh.

This will be the first time my three boys fly. I'm nervous about that, but also very excited. They will love it.

Happy Thursday everyone!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cause for celebration!!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, or since last years A-Z, you may remember a post I wrote about my wedding ring. 

A couple years ago, the main stone of my ring fell out. One day, I looked down, and it was GONE! I was devastated. Beyond devastated. So was my husband. And let's be honest, a carat sized diamond is not something you rush out and replace. (Okay, not if you're my family, you don't. )

Well, good news!! My ring is all fixed!! YAY!!! It only took close to two years, but I am so happy to be sporting my wedding bands again. I had forgotten how much I missed them!! I had received such sweet comments on that post, I felt compelled to share the news with you all! :)

In other news, I picked up this book at the library yesterday. It has the most beautiful cover! Sounds like a southern Cinderella story, so I snatched it up. I'll let you know what I think!! :)What has everyone else been reading??
BELLES by Jen Calonita  

Monday, June 25, 2012

SUCH A RUSH by Jennifer Echols, Yes please!

Lately, the stress of getting my manuscript ready to send out has been overwhelming. My kids have driven me nuts, my kitchen's a mess, and the laundry pile needs it's own address. Life is ridiculous right now. On top of that, it's wedding season, so Saturdays are nuts. Whoa is me. I needed something to get excited about.

Imagine my delight when I found an email from the awesome ladies at Small Girls PR asking me if I'd like to read an advanced copy of Jennifer Echols, SUCH A RUSH. Well, HECK YES I would. (By the way, Small Girls has the most fantastic website, check it out!)

How gorgeous is the cover?

Until last year I didn't read a lot of Contemporary YA. (Yes, I get the stupidity of that, considering I write it.) So in an effort to associate myself with the genre more fully, I set out on reading as much as I could. One of the first authors was Jennifer Echols, and I immediately fell in love with her style.

First review is HERE.  Another one HERE.  Another one HERE.

When blogger (and fellow contemp YA writer) Katy recommended I read her more "mature" YA books, I didn't hesitate, and I loved those even more. Don't get me wrong, romantic comedies are fun, but a romantic drama is definitely my first choice. I love the flawed characters, the tension and the development of two people who are fighting the inevitable...that they are totally going to make out whether they like it or not!!!
Jennifer's latest does not disappoint.

Leah was such a complex girl, and I felt for her, I really did. She has a rough upbringing, and let's just say her opportunities are not endless, but she makes the most of them. You know what? I also liked her mother. Call me crazy, but I felt for her also. I didn't hate her, although she was a piece of work.

I won't give a lot away, but Grayson was my ideal hero. Alpha, brooding, and bossy. I know, I know. I'm such a cliche', but I'm being honest. But you have to admit, the payoff is so wonderful when you deal with these boys. Echol's does them well,  my favorite still being John in GOING TO FAR. (Because let's be honest, the only thing better than a bossy, brooding, alpha, is one in a uniform!! Yes??)

The last thing I adored about this book, was the setting. These young people fly planes, and this blew me away. I found myself googling things, and I LOVE it when a book makes me do that. It's usually only historical, so this was a fun surprise. 

The best part?? This book comes out very soon. July 10th to be exact, so I would get your pre-orders in now peeps, because this is the perfect summer read!! Oh, and I'm soooo excited to hear that Jennifer Echols has a deal to write ADULT ROMANCE!! That was music to my ears; I know they will be amazing! :) Also, another deal for more YA romantic comedies, so if you loved those, you are in luck. Point being? Lot's more of her for us, which is a very good thing.

Thanks again, Small Girls PR! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Top 10 Favorite Series

As all writers, or anyone for that matter do, I've been questioning my abilities. Am I good enough? Is my voice strong enough? Is my idea unique, big,or  interesting enough? Ugh. It's a constant nag in my mind. I know I'm not alone in this, and from what I've read, this ugliness doesn't cease with agent, publication, or multiple publications. (So let's get comfortable with this feeling, folks!)

Any way, this line of thought got me thinking about some of my favorites books. I wanted to share, but there are many. So I thought I'd break them into groups. The following are my favorite series. Oh, and I'm sure after I click "publish" more will come to mind. Whatcha gonna do?

1. Harry Potter  JK Rowling. 
    This really needs no explanation, seeing as everyone in the universe loves this series. If they don't, they're
crazy! During my prego/birthing/breastfeeding/madness years, this was nearly the only book series I read. Or book at all for that matter. It was a rough time for this book lover. But I'll tell you this. Nearly every book came out during a time of one of my babies due dates, but come hell or high water, this huge pregnant girl got herself out of bed early in the AM to get herself to Target and get her reserved copy. Oh yes she did!

2. Outlander Diana Gabaldon
    I'm about to get sentimental up in here. I love these characters with every cell of my being. LOVE them. Jamie and Claire are real to me folks. Real. This series has a huge cult following, and let's be honest, it has it's critics because Diana does not hold back. (If you've read it, you know what I mean.) But that is exactly what I love about these books. They are real, raw, and perfect in every way. And long. Yay! I'm gonna forgive her for making us wait so long, because perfection is worth waiting for. Plus I've seen her speak in person, and her writing process is insanely unique and awesome. Do your thing, I'll be waiting!

3. The Rose Trilogy Jennifer Donnelly
    I wish every book I read captivated me like these did. First off, historical is an easy sell for this girl. It's my go to flavor, every time. She put me in this time and place so effortlessly, I nearly had to blink my eyes to get myself back in to 2012 (or whatever it was at that time.). My poor children...because I was gone. I loved ALL three books protagonists but I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for Syd.  *sigh* I fell in love. I really did. If you like suspense, romance, history and amazing tension...try these books. You will not be disappointed.

photo from

4. Wideacre Philippa Gregory
   If there is one character I LOVE to hate and hate to love, it's Beatrice Lacey from Widacre. How twisted the tale is. But oh Ralph. I adore him. Once again, this has some (clears throat) morality issues, but get over it. These books are insanely amazing.  In fact, I need to do a reread.

5. Pillars of the Earth  Ken Follett
  I'll go on record saying that I don't often read books written by male authors. This is not a concious choice, it's just a fact. I would guess because most of the genre's I enjoy are written by women. This is one of those exceptions. Good heaven's I loved this book and it's sequel World Without End. I really don't know which I liked better. They were both amazing. Have you seen the miniseries for Pillars??? Terrific!! Reader insight...he has a character map on his website that makes me want to weep!
 6. Sugar Daddy Lisa Kleypas
   When someone asks me for a book suggestion, this is what I go to. EVERYONE loves it. The story is touching, the characters beautifully developed, the guys hot, and the ummmm, physical interactions are really good. *grin* Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite romance authors, historical and contemporary. I could read these books over and over.

7. Black Dagger Brotherhood  J.R. Ward
   This is where you need to check your judgement at the door, because I'm not having it! These books will draw you in like nobody's business. I love when I find a fellow fan, and we can discuss with glee. It's like we have a wonderful dirty secret!!  (OLBFF? You feel me?) J.R. knows how to spin a tale and tap into every woman's fantasy. I'll admit the gangster lingo makes me laugh sometimes, I would now have it no other way. I love these guys and their shellans! ;)

8. Gardella Vampire Chronicles Colleen Gleason
    Vampires, slayers, and cute boys. I'll take it. I believe the author herself has called this series Buffy meets Pride and Prejudice and I agree. Fancy balls, stakes hidden in her dress, and a sexy love triangle. Sold. This series is really exceptional! I read it after the first three had been released and I recall driving to Borders three times in a week. (R.I.P Borders)


9. The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
    Yes, I loved this series, as did many of you. It was so different. I was pulled right in, eyes wide through the whole thing. Want to know something ridiculous? I still haven't seen the movie. UGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  Right? At this point I'll be waiting for the DVD. I know, I know.

10. Twilight Stephenie Meyer
     I know it has become the thing, especially in the writing community, to discount these books as 'not good'. I don't agree. These books sucked me in with the rest of the world. Do i feel as strongly now? No, I don't. Do i want to re-read? Not really. In fact, I didn't even see the last movie in the theater either.  But I can't deny that I fell in love with Edward Cullen. For the way i ripped through these four books, it would be disingenuous not to include them in this list.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My wip in photos

I'm in editing mode on my wip. It takes place in a small town, on a farm. With a cute farm boy.

I came across this website. Please don't ask how, I'll be ashamed, but I'll be honest and say the bare chested guy is what got me there. Use your imagination. :)

But, how fun are these pics? All courtesy of FARM BOY brand.

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