Friday, December 28, 2012

Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend

I believe this title and cover art (done by the lovely Jolene B Perry) in itself is an introduction. Becca Ann has woven an intriguing tale that comes available January 8th, 2013.

I know several of cramming your 2012 reads into the last few days of the year that are left. Ready to grab the next novel and devour it page by page. Make Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend one of the first on your list!!!

Goodreads: ADD IT HERE!
Follwer her on FACEBOOK!

To entice you I've attached the blurb:

It’s stupid to fall for your brother’s ex. It’s even worse to enlist another’s help to win the ex over. But Brody is desperate and Hayley, his partner in American Sign Language, is more than willing to lend him a few tips.

She’s the school’s matchmaker,’ and with her bizarre and positive personality, Brody finds her easy to talk to, even about the most awkward situations. Hayley’s tips seem to be working, but as Brody learns more about his matchmaker, he starts finding reasons to spend time with her, and not the girl he thought he was in love with.

But Hayley isn’t ready to fall for anyone. Labeled the “Funny Fat Friend” within her group, her self image makes it impossible for Brody to share his feelings without Hayley shrugging it off as a joke.

Convincing her Brody can, and did, fall for the “Funny Fat Friend” turns out to be harder than simply falling in love.

Oh the sweet smell of romance! I love the concept of this novel. It's a different take on the usual 'girl crushes on popular boy and ends up with nerdy nice guy instead'. Becca Ann turns the whole thing around and makes her own concept. I can't wait to see the love connection between these two grow. It doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, and what you're hobbies are, love will find you when the time is right.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This is me making history, only not

I have several goals for 2013 and I'm going to share them on this here blog to help kick start the new year. I realize it's only the 26th but my hubby and I are staring early.

Here we go.

1 - Improve my Health

I currently live with fibromyalgia (which is why you haven't seen me on the blog a whole lot. I am so exhausted just making it through an eight hour day, that adding in cooking, cleaning, laundry, writing, and blogging becomes beyond difficult).

So what involves the health part you ask...

A. Eat Better (ridding a lot of red meat from my diet).
B. Walk and any form of exercise.
C. Try to rid stress. (Relaxing on the family drama and attempting not to worry about the wait in adoption).

2 - Successfully edit my current MG Novel.

A. Work with Taryn Albright to perfect my novel.
B. Seek advice from Ninja Illustrator, Rose Cooper, for my drawings.
C. Potentially query if good and ready.

These aren't necessarily goals for 2013. After all I'm not big on the whole 'New Years Resolution' Deal but I am big on changing myself to be a better me and the two things above is my starting point.

How about you? Any plans?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Pollyanna Plan

The lovely Talli Roland stopped in for a visit today!

A Little Pollyanna: The Power of Positive Thinking
Sounds like a late-night infomercial, doesn’t it? It almost makes me want to roll my eyes – can thinking about a situation optimistically really change its outcome? That question circled through my mind as I developed the plot of my latest novel, The Pollyanna Plan. In the book, main character Emma errs on the side of pessimism, believing it’s better to be ready for the worst. But when the worst does happen – despite all her mental preparations – Emma’s best friend convinces her to give positivity a try.
Emma’s struggle throughout the novel to view life in a different way reminded me just how hard it can be to escape our own conditioning. This is something I face every day, actually, in my own home life. Coming from a fundamentally optimistic country (Canada –or ‘La La Land’, as my husband calls it), I’ve been brought up to believe that with hard work and perseverance, almost anything is possible. On the other hand, my husband was raised in Egypt, where realism bordering on negativity is rife.
While I plunge ahead with the attitude things will inevitably turn out right, he’s much more cautious and analytical, thinking about what could go wrong. We’ve learned to meet in the middle, but our back-and-forth made me wonder if an individual like Emma could strike an internal compromise. Maybe it is possible to view life from more than one perspective, employing positivity tempered with common sense.
So does my ‘Negative Nelly’ main character find a balance that works for her, or does she became a New Age Pollyanna? Well, you’ll need to read to find out! I’ll say this, though: her journey has definitely forced me to examine my own attitudes!
Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine). Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories – complete with happy endings. Twice shortlisted for the UK’s Festival of Romance, Talli's novels have also been chosen as Amazon Customer Favourites and top books of the year by industry review websites. She’s a bestseller in Britain and the United States. To learn more about Talli, visit her Amazon Author Page, go to her website, follow her on Twitter, or check out her blog.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Q - Quiet, Splintered Comes to Town

Eleventh stop:  Butterfly Threads

On the eleventh day of Splintered, we step back into Alyssa’s everyday world, heading toward a pink brick storefront and black wrought-iron fence. Curvy black letters welcome us: Butterfly Threads.

Christmas is the one time of year when Alyssa’s boss at the vintage clothing store lets the employees have free reign on the window display. Normally, Alyssa and her best friend Jenara would pick something gothic or macabre, enticing customers with glimpses of their unique merchandise.

But after falling down the rabbit hole, Alyssa is haunted by fluorescent landscapes, much like the ultraviolet underground skate park in town where she spends most of her downtime:

(caption) Attribution:

So instead of the usual props, Alyssa arranges the store mannequin in a black light display, a tribute to the visual feast that is Wonderland.

Alyssa isn’t much of one for interviews, but maybe if we corner her in the storeroom while she’s putting things away, we can find out a little more about what makes her tick.

Alyssa, describe yourself in five words.
Quiet, Stubborn, Curious, Suspicious, Loyal.

I've heard you're an artist! Tell me about why you feel the need to create, and what inspires your art?
In the beginning, it was more survival tactic than inspiration that led me to kill and preserve bugs and flowers. But I felt guilty for cutting their lives short, so I decided if I did something constructive with their bodies … something that brought other people happiness … it could be justified. I also have landscapes in my mind, too strange and morbid to be earthly, but too haunting to dismiss. Making mosaics helps cleanse those images from my subconscious, so my head isn’t as cluttered.

Can you describe your different relationships? I know you don't have a wide variety, but I've heard some very *erm* unique people make up your social circles.
Well, there’s my mom and dad, who are both amazing for the sacrifices they’ve made for me and one another. Even though Mom’s in an asylum, Dad has never given up pining for her or his dream that someday she’ll come home to us. I have the same hope, and we’ll both do whatever it takes to make that happen, although we don’t always see eye to eye how to go about it…

Jebediah Holt. My best friend. He helps me view the world through the eyes of an artist. To see beauty in sadness, and to find the goodness inside myself in spite of my screwed up life. He’s loyal, and honest. At least, mostly honest. I can’t blame him for hiding a few things from me, considering I’m hiding some really big secrets myself. Jeb is super protective, and there are times he tries to hold me back when I know I need to be leaping forward. But it comes from a place of sincere concern and affection. He spent a lifetime trying to protect his mom and sister, so it comes naturally to him. And I always know, without a doubt, he’s got my back. He’ll never let me down.

Jenera is Jeb’s sister and my other best friend. She’s a fashion designer in the making—talented, snarky, and tough as nails, but always there for me and sympathetic when I’m hurting. Probably because she’s so well-acquainted with pain herself.

Then there’s Morpheus, the magical guy twisted into a past I’ve lost track of, who lets me take chances … or more like hangs me out to dry and watches from a distance as I try to save myself. Maybe it gives him a perverse thrill to see me suffer. Or maybe he actually likes to see me excel on my own. That’s the thing with Morpheus. You never really know whose side he’s on or what his motivation is. But I have to admit, sometimes it’s nice to be turned loose do things for yourself and find strengths you didn’t know you had. Sometimes you want that challenge, and find yourself drawn to those who feed that desire. Even if your common sense says to stay as far away from them as possible…

If you had three wishes, how would you spend them?
1.       Get my mom out of the asylum for good.
2.       Be honest with Jeb about how I really feel then never keep secrets from him again.
3.       Have the ability to read Morpheus’s mind.

Can you tell me your darkest secret? Don't worry, it'll stay between us, I swear. *leans in*
*gulps* My darkest secret … is just that. Darkness. I’m drawn to it, and to chaos. They light a fire inside me.  I want to hold that power in my hands, to control it, to use it for my own devices. A part of me envies Morpheus’s lack of inhibitions. His aptitude for selfishness. I sometimes wish I had the ability to throw caution and compassion to the wind, and just let the madness loose that lives inside me.  *looks down and whispers* But I know that’s wrong, and it scares me to feel that way. I don’t want to end up like my mom…

Speaking of Alyssa’s mother, our final stop will be tomorrow at the asylum.  CrossroadReviews invites you to come along, but make sure you’re on your best behavior. Soul’s Asylum is always on the lookout for permanent guests.

Visit the The Mod Podge Bookshelf.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

K - Kreative People

Bloggers have been known to inspire others in various ways. Today I thought I'd share some of those that inspire my creativity or just something I aspire to be one day.

1. Fantastical Blogger - Alex Cavanaugh

No more info is needed. A caring individual with the ability to leave comments at lightning speed and still have enough time to tend to his amazing blog. With the blogfests and 'weekly wrap-ups' he puts together an ensemble of fun. Let us hope he never leaves our world because we'd be lost without him.

2. Big Inspiration - Rose Cooper

This amazing author/illustrator helps me navigate through the world of middle grade a little less terrified. Her work can be found on her blog, in local shops, and of course at all bookstores. From her amazing Doodle Divas to the Blogtastic Novels this girl is nothing short of amazing.

3. You had me at SOLO - Talli Roland

Her novels have continued to soar to new heights. She took a leap of faith going self-publishing and I'm more impressed every time a new book is released. She shows dedication to her writing and her fans that people should mimic. Even with a baby on the way Talli knows just how to keep a sparkle in everyone's eye.

4. Workin' the Crazy - Candyland

This woman knocks me off my feet. Her blog is a stepping stone for a needy child, military in need of entertainment, and anyone else in need of help. She has overcome obstacle after obstacle and yet even when she is still struggling through life has time for all of us. If there was a medal I could award her she'd already have it... *jots down pony award idea*

5. Literary Awesome - Jessica Bell

She created a journal that inspired others. People who hated being rejected but wrote beyond beautiful pieces suddenly had a place to call home. Jessica Bell's heart stopping work and go-getter attitude makes me excited to see what she'll be tackling next. Step into the world of The Vine Leaves Literary Journal

Monday, December 10, 2012

J - Just some Illustrations

Over the weekend Unedited Ink was born. It's my etsy shop!

Right now I have two holiday postcards I illustrated but in the next coming weeks you'll be seeing several different illustrations!

I'm having a blast trying my hand at sketching, drawing, and deciding if I like markers or colored pencils better.

So today I thought I'd share a few things I've been working on! If you show any interest in having me on your blog or wanting to possibly purchase (or request something) Let me know! I'd love to work with you!!!


This ducky is part of my 'Love is in the air' Spring Series.

The Owl You Doin' is part of my quirky animal series.

Tangled is part of my Holiday Series.

What have you been working on lately?

Author note: Should you like to have me on your blog (I'd be eternally grateful) I am more than happy to give away a few illustrations!!! A cute little postcard with their own little greeting or one that I create! We can brainstorm and I'll create the perfect card of the winners choice!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I - Insane Wish Lists

Date: December 9th
Letter: I
Topic: Wish Lists

Okay, it’s the holiday season and your children, husband, cats, and even your dogs are requesting things from you. From the latest Barbie, or video game console, to trips to their family and making your famous pot of chili.

We are constantly overwhelmed with an endless to-do list and if you’re anything like me you have the luxury of picking up gifts for the in-laws as well.
So, to mix things up a bit, why don’t you tell me what you want for Christmas? Consider this your lottery wish list. I want to hear the most outlandish, insane wish lists.

Don’t you play the lottery game? My husband and I tell each other what we’d do if we won.
I’ll go first.

1. Build the perfect house – complete with indoor/outdoor pool, library (beauty and the beast style) with a writing table, and the most elaborate bathroom. Keep in mind I don’t want my house any bigger than 2400-3000 square feet (I scare easily) oh and it must be one story. I live in Houston, I don’t want the electricity bill for a two story.
2. A trip to New York City, not sure what time of year because I’ll insist to go back.

3. Build a children’s gym (my husband and I share this one). A place to keep children active and in the fun stage of working out, we hope to bring the obesity down one child at a time.
4. Buy several gifts for Christmas and pass them out at an orphanage.

Those are the only ones that come to mind. How about you?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

H - Happy Holidays Giveaway

Date: December 8th
Letter: H

Tis the season for GIFTS!!!!!

I’ve always enjoyed gift giving. I’m a believer in giving rather than receiving (though I still live fabulous reading material throughout the year). There is just something extra special about giving things away during the holiday.
Since my book has gone into print and I just so happen to have a few copies lying around the house (yes, for my viewing pleasure). I think it’s time for a GIVEAWAY.

Up for grabs I have TWO copies (that can be personally signed to whomever you’d like – yourself is allowed) for Snowbound Hearts. Yes, this is an international giveaway!!
It’s an anthology and unfortunately it would only be my signature but all the stories are fabulous and perfect for a winter wonderland fairytale!

So, if you’d like a copy just leave a comment below and tell me you’re interested! If you’d like to tweet or facebook feel free (I’ll send you a virtual cupcake) but don’t feel obligated, this is strictly a gift for you!
Question – How is your holiday shopping going?

Friday, December 7, 2012

G - Grinch's be Green with Envy

Date: December 7th
Letter: G
Topic: Giving

Grinch’s are green with envy.

Watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas proves my suspicions.
All the humbugs in the world just need a little love. They’re envious of the family that comes together and stays together. So many families aren’t able to get together during the holidays but they still exude the Christmas cheer because they know their family would be there if they could.

Some don’t have family, period. It could be a various number of reasons but our job is not to speculate but help turn those frowns upside down (don’t judge the cliché… I’m not perfect).
This holiday season think about helping out a local shelter, befriending someone who is struggling, or give someone a pick-me-up. It doesn’t have to be big. Something as little as buying some a cup of coffee, or sharing a favorite book with someone who seems a little lost.

This is the season for giving and instead of only giving to those loved ones of yours think about branching out.
Do you have any plans to give back this holiday season?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

F - Funky Facts about Francine

Date: December 6th
Letter: F
Topic: Random Weird Quirks

Actually this has nothing to do with a woman named Francine. For that moment I wished my name started with an F but I couldn’t come up with anything that fit me. Technically this is my attempt at bringing back Truth Thursdays and I know you all adored them!!!! So let’s not wait a moment longer to dive into the ultimate weird.

1. From the day after Thanksgiving to the day they stop airing I watch Christmas movies, the Good, the bad, the ugly, and those that should be non-existent. ABC Family, The Hallmark Channel, and Lifetime are my go to channels but I’m not above seeking other channels. Hulu Plus has also allowed me to view a holiday movie during lunch.
2. If I could own a polar bear I would. I would teach him how to sled and make snowmen because I think every polar bear should know how.

3. I’m a very picky eater and anything that requires a condiment I call ‘fancy food’. My friends make fun of me because the food is in fact NOT fancy. What they don’t understand is the reasoning for the term is because it houses more than two weird ingredients (weird too me… not to you).
4. I’d eat a BBQ beef baked potato every day of the week… accompanied by countless rolls.

5. Because I don’t have an actual window in my office I made my own. One is a winter backdrop, the other is a day in the Hampton’s (I’m assuming, I never checked the location but it looks fancy).
Care to share a funky fact about yourself?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

E - Enough Already We Know You Want to Write a Book

Date: December 5th
Letter: E
Topic: Supporting a dreamer

Raise your hand if when you reveal you’re a writer the whole room says they have always wanted to write a book.

*scans blog room*
(All hands are raised besides one gentleman in the back of the room. He’s blushing and walking slowly away with his back toward the exit – I’m guessing he was going to say he’s always wanted to write a novel – we wait for him to leave).

Moving on.

I’ve decided that I will have a small empty notebook on hand (or at least try too) and an extra pen (always have those) handy because the next person who say’s “Oh I have this idea” or “I’ve always wanted to write a book” will have those items in their possession to begin.
Maybe they need motivation. Maybe they’re just saying it because they don’t know how else to handle it. Or… maybe they genuinely have a brilliant idea and rather than stealing their idea and them trying to sue me I’ll give them the opportunity.

Either way I want to see the reaction I’m given. This will allow me to gauge what the underlying reason for the comment is. Aren’t you all curious?
Next writerly agenda item up for discussion - What could one do if they say they wish they had time to read, any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

D - Don't You Wish You Were Awesome

Date: December 4th
Letter: D
Topic: Feeling of Defeat

Good news. You’ve already reached awesome status by stopping in. Why, because I said so and I’m the labeler of awesome.

I suppose you could say I’m like a King making someone a knight but way cooler because to be awesome means you don’t have to fight in a battle to save your King and his Kingdom which could be more stressful than cool.

You’re welcome.
The reason I chose this AWESOME topic was because there are times in writing (or in life) where you just don’t feel 100%. You’ve lost your game and you’re feeling inadequate.

 I know when I first start a novel I’m very hard on myself. The minute the muse is gone I punish myself by being angry that the words aren’t coming which sends the writer’s block into an even deeper pile of crap to dig through.
Why are we our own worst critic?

We have so many goals and aspirations it’s hard to bottle it up inside, but I’m going to try it. In 2013 I plan on having a few mason jars in a room. They will have labels such as “Ridding Writer’s Block” and “Stop the Negativity” and “No ideas are bad ideas”. They’ll be the jars that block out the bad and keep me in the good.
Each time I say I suck I need to write on a sheet of paper something I’ve accomplished. It can be as simple as “I wrote 500 words”. What is great about this is it allows your mind to tackle one negative and replace it with a positive. Once you do this enough times the negative thoughts will ultimately battle themselves and the jars won’t be needed.

But for now, rather than continually beat myself up for having a bad day I’m creating a positive space by putting all the ugly in a jar.

Chocolate also works.

How do you cope with the negativity and pressure you put on yourself?

Monday, December 3, 2012

C - Cats are nocturnal as are Writers

Date: December 3rd
Letter: C
Topic: A Writer's Mind

It is 3 am. Your alarm doesn’t go off for another two hours but you’re wide awake and full of ideas. The average human being will use the restroom and return to bed ridding the thoughts from their minds and fall back asleep.
Writers don’t have that luxury (at least most I’ve come across). When the idea pops in your mind you don’t want to forget your potential meal ticket, you have to get up.

What if it’s the missing piece for your current novel? The connection you’ve been trying to come up with for the past eighteen days has just shed light on the plot they’d hope you’d consider and now at 3:11am it’s ready to speak.
You figure that your cat was once nocturnal and you trained them to sleep at night and stay active during the day… can’t you do that with your mind?

Then a new idea springs up and instead of jotting only the first idea down you now have a full chapter you should be writing.
I’m a bit dramatic when an idea comes to me… it’s a little like this:

I jump out of bed.
Grab the notepad and pen by my bed.
Reach for invisible lamp.
I walk to the writing table and trip over cat toys.
Fumble for lamp.
Turn it on.
Husband wakes, “What’s going on?”
I mumble “Wri-amdutng-idea-amdign-gobacktosleep”
Husband snores.
Jot idea down.
Climb back in bed.
Stare awake.

When are we to sleep?
I suppose when we’re dead.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

B - Beary Fabulous News

Date: December 2nd
Letter: B
Topic: Writing Progression

The holiday season has brought my writing muse back. Oh how I’ve missed Julie Andrews, the one constant in my life who sends me positive vibes and sings me a tune when I seem to have lost my way. She has channeled my inner middle grade goddess and I’ve been tackling fairy tales and zombies for the past month.

Oh and did I mention I’ve become somewhat of an illustrator? That’s right with the inspiration and drive from the lovely Rose Cooper I’ve begun illustrating my current WiP, The Untimely Death of The Sugar Plum Fairy.

So much fun!!!

To top that off my first chick lit short story is now in Print. You can snag Snowbound Hearts, both ebook and print on I’m overjoyed with each stage of the writing process. I am beyond grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way and look forward to many more.

I hope to see all of you in writing land… or in 2013 I’ll find myself in query land as well! What fabulous news do you have to share?

Was NaNoWriMo a success?

Are you dabbling in a new genre and loving it?

This blogger wants to know so spill!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A - Girl who loves Holiday Romance

Date: December 1st
Letter: A
Topic: Holiday & Romance Reads

Welcome to My World where It Started with a Kiss. I was told to Build A Man and Construct a Couple. So much for coming Home For The Holidays! All I want For Christmas is a little Mistletoe Mambo.

The Santa Drag took a little to get into the Christmas Spirit but lucky for me there was a Taste of Chocolate as my Christmas Treat. Boy do I love Chocolate Kisses.

Happy Holidays to all my writer friends who wrote these delicious tales to make this post possible!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Hog

Happy day before December 1st (also known as November 30th).

I'm back to blog world and I am back with flying colors.

Expect visits, comments, and outlandish posts... why? Because it's my blog and I've always loved mixing crap up.

So what's planned for December??

The twenty-five days of holiday hoggery (basically saying that up until the 26th of December you'll see me every day stopping on Unedited)!!!!

Aren't you excited?! I know I am!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Writer Love

Just stopping in to tell everyone to give to writers this Christmas. If it's a small as a query critique or beta-reading a full length novel, give the gift of greatness by sharing some of that writerly knowledge I love about you!!!

My Christmas list???

Help send books to a group of soldiers - Courtesy of Candace Gangers good-heartedness.

Helping narrow down character illustrations for a friend.


Does anyone need a book to be reviewed? Or how about a query critique? Tell me what you need below and I'll be spreading the love one request at a time!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Day I Became Awesome - PART ONE


Snowbound Hearts, Valentine Delights, and When Love Aligns are my first three published works through Still Moments Publishing.

All began as e-books (two still are), and I felt so accomplished!

Yesterday my copy of Snowbound Hearts arrived and this round it was in PRINT.

That's right, I don't get to watch all of you obsessively hug those newly bound books you so love and enjoy. I actually get to partake in the ritual!!!!!!!!

So what does that mean? Well... I blogged about it.

Right now my book is at the office with me and I am doing an 'BOOKS BIG DAY' that I will showcase tomorrow. It will show exactly what happens on a books big birthday celebration. After all, we always see what author does but why doesn't the book get to be in the awesomeness??

What good news do you have to share? PLEASE! I've been so out of the blogging world I feel left fault, yes, I needed the break, but I DO STILL CARE! SO SPILL!!!

PS - If you have a moment to like them on the amazon page I'd greatly appreciate it! We love exposure!!!! Happy THURSDAY!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt

A big welcome to the fabulous, Jen Tucker. She'll have your busting a gut in no time with her wonderful novels - The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and her newest novel The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt.

Let's dive into the fun! 

1.      What ridiculous shenanigans do we get to embark on next? Lord knows if panties are on the table first there are darker secrets hiding in your laundry basket.

I sense that I am among friends and it’s safe to tell you, right?  I seem to have these ridiculous days when my husband, Mike, leaves on long business trips.  The shenanigans find me!  I pinkie promise I do not go looking for them.  I had a dentist try to tell my three kids had a total of seven cavities, ants invaded my kitchen, and my dogs decided it would be a great day feast on ant traps.  I also shared my “party trick” in the new book and recalled meeting Grammy award winning rocker, Seal, in Las Vegas.  That weekend was one you will want to live vicariously through me.  

2.      With Halloween around the corner, what's the most ridiculous costume you'd wear if you knew you could get away with it?


Oh wow!  Honestly, I think I’d like to be a giant piece of pizza, or a Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Cream Pie.  One year I dressed up like Cruella DeVille and scared the pants off the neighborhood kids.   *Jen snickers*      

3.      Are you one who enjoys the holidays because you enjoy your family time or because you expect a ton of good stories to be told and you'll have your nancy drew hat on investigating what to write about next?

Oh.  My.  Gosh!  You scare me how well you know me!  Mike and I just took our buddy, Ben, a Purdue University student, to dinner.  I adore him!  He’s like the son I never had while I was 21 years old.  We wanted to spend time with him, but yes I had ulterior motives.  Ben has THE BEST stories about things that have happened to him in his 20 little years on the planet.  SIDEBAR: I cannot tell you details now, but you will see Ben on a wildly popular reality show this fall.  I’ll be sure to give you a heads up about it when I can.  Anywho…after Mike and I parted ways with him, I got in the car, buckled up, and said, “I’m totally using that crazy birdbath story in my new book!”  No one is safe from Jen Tucker…  No one! 

So back to my Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson issues, right?  I love the holidays!  It’s about cheesy sweaters, double dipping in the ranch dressing with your veggies, and too much eggnog.  If something interesting happens, in my presence, between the pumpkin pie and mistletoe months, it’s fair game fodder.

4.      If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?
Let’s go take a photo!  I’ll show you the inside and outside.  It’s like a two-fer!

On the outside, we have some crazy photo booth wedding pics starring me, hubs, Gracie, and my BFF, Nancy.  You will also find a painting by Gracie titled Pancake Daddy, and a drawing she made in kindergarten featuring her and her boyfriend, Matt Lau-wee (Lauer) just to name a few little goodies.  On the inside, you will find some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray, left over mac & cheese, and Gracie’s Hello Kitty cup with this morning’s milk inside.  My fridge leads an exciting life.

5.      Do you wear pants while you work?

Much to my husband’s chagrin, I do wear pants.  Poor fella.  They are usually of the yoga or denim variety.

Quick Five

1. Princess or Wicked Witch – Princess with wicked tendencies J

2. Pumpkin Spice Latte or Hot Carmel Apple Cider – I gotta go Hot Carmel Apple Cider.

3. Rain boots or Snow boots – Ugh, the pressure!  If I could have Gracie’s Hello Kitty boots in my size, I’d go rain boots for some serious puddle jumping.  I love my Uggs though, and cannot betray them.

4. Chocolate cake or Cheesecake – That’s kind of like asking me to choose between my children, JJ!

5. Pumpkin Patch or Apple Orchard – I love going to the apple orchard where we hop on a hayride to the pumpkin patch.  See, you can have it all!  Thank you, JJ, for letting me pop over, Red Rover.  I had a blast XOXO 

Jen Tucker has never met a gluten free cupcake that she didn’t like.  A former teacher and educator, she has worked with children in school, hospital, and enrichment settings. In her years at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, it was Jen’s job to bring the “hands on fun” into the visiting exhibitions in the galleries.  Jen broke away from writing children’s books and thematic units in 2011 with her memoir, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out which was a semifinalist in the humor category in the 2011 Goodreads Book Awards. She is a monthly guest blogger at the website, Survival for Blondes where she marries humor with preparedness. Jen lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband, Mike, and their three children. 
You can purchase (AND SHOULD) Jen’s latest book, The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt, here.  You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, her blog or on her website at Princess with a Pen. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

One Boy, No Water

Another guest post by another amazing author at Jolly Fish Press. I love featuring writers who have a passion for writing as much as we do! I'll let her take it away!!

One Boy, No Water Finds One Home, No Shibai

Some of life’s most momentous events turn on the smallest of things, like already wearing mascara or where you sit in a room.

I’d just scrapped 80,000 words of an unfinished adult novel, set in Hawaii with a lot of Pidgin dialogue, in favor of creating a self-published YA/MG series based on the same characters, when I heard that Jolly Fish Press was speaking that night at our local writers’ group. Chagrined that I hadn’t attended in years, but hoping to pick up a tip or two and figuring I was already dressed, I headed out the door.

The presentations were good, but I was listening with self-publishing ears. Trapped in a corner, I couldn’t sneak out without disturbing everyone. I was wondering about a back door when Christopher Loke, JFP Executive Editor, announced he wanted to hear about our books.

I quit fiddling with my keys and focused on what everyone said, adjusting what I planned to say based on Chris’s responses. I took a deep breath and pitched the series. I felt like I fumbled and stumbled since I was still in the process of creating the story and identifying the audience. My jaw hit the floor when he thoughtfully said, “I can sell that. I can definitely sell that. I’d like to see it.”

I tried to shrug it off since he’d only heard, not read, but it niggled enough that I sent off a submission package expecting it to be rejected. (Pidgin? Really?) Some feedback and a nice note was all I hoped for.

Two weeks later, when Jolly Fish Press asked for exclusivity and whole manuscript, I didn’t believe it. I actually called Chris to ask him why. He laughed, then described his vision for the books, the audience he wanted to reach, and how he would put the books in their hands. I finally began to understand that he believed in me and these books far more than I did myself—he saw greater things for this series than I ever imagined. A week later I signed a five-book deal with Jolly Fish Press for the Niuhi Shark Saga. It hasn’t slowed since!

Lehua Parker is the author of the highly anticipated ONE BOY, NO WATER, book one in the Nuhui Shark Saga. It tells the story of a boy who was found on a reef near the shores of Hawaii. Plagued by a strange allergy to, ironically, water, Zader must learn to not only come to terms with who he is, but what he is. ONE BOY, NO WATER is available as an eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover through all major online retailers and local bookstores near you. Visit to take the first step into a world of Hawaiian legend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happiness comes in small packages

Happy Wednesday everyone. It's been awhile since I've shared any updates of my own. With my current illness issues, a back log of ALL the requests from Guest Bloggers (you have not been forgotten), and writing I'm maxed out. However I'm not here to talk to anyone about that today.

Today is all about adoption.

For those of you who are not aware, November is National Adoption Month. I plan on making a few shirts through Vista Prints so that in a few weeks should you decide to sport a shirt your state you can! It's been a very long experience but it's important to stay positive and so far it's paid off.

Last week we were offered an opportunity from a potential birth mother. She's happy, healthy, and was adopted herself. She is exactly what Trevor and I look for to add to our family.

This is the hard part. We don't know if she feels the same way... yet.

Our opportunity book was sent over and this week it is up to her to decide what families she thinks would make a good home for her child. We hope that it is ours, however we need to keep our head up high.

Our adoption agency lives by two mantras...

1. If they thought how we thought, they wouldn't be in this situation.
2. If this family does not accept you that means it is not your baby.

Now in real time these are not as easily acceptable but as time continues to pass you begin to understand just what they mean. My hubby and I are coping how we know but for now we are EXCITED to share that we are at least in the running for this birth mother. We hope she chooses us and I hope in the next coming weeks I get to tell you that we're expecting. But for now, we are hopefully in love with the thought of having a baby next February.

Monday, October 1, 2012

From Pigtails to Chin Hairs; A Memoir & More

The fabulous Becky Povich decided to stop by and share her love of writing! Here she is!
Although I proclaimed for years that I wanted to be a writer, I never did anything about it. It was much easier to say I wanted to write, but I just didn't have the time. That way, I couldn't possibly be a failure. It was just a dream and didn't seem like a practical one. (Practical dreams? Isn't that an oxymoron?!)

Looking back, I realize I actually wrote a great deal all through my life. I just didn't look at it that way. As a young girl, I had several pen pals and I loved composing my letters to them. As I grew up and moved from home, I wrote to family and friends. One year I surrendered and decided it wasn't tacky to write the Generic Christmas Letter. That very first one got rave reviews. Hmm, maybe I'd stumbled onto something here!

A few years later, I was the drapery coordinator at a large company. I took it upon myself to type newsletters to the sales and customer service departments. I loved the challenge of making the letters informative, interesting, and humorous. At times, I received compliments, yet it never occurred to me that
this was writing, this was something I was good at, this was something exciting and rewarding.

Then in May of 2001, my estranged father became very ill and was near death. The emotions that came over me were so powerful and unexpected I felt the need to write about them. I sat down at my desk and the words just flowed out of me and onto the keyboard. A writer was born.

That story was accepted by a local newspaper for their guest opinion column, and eventually by Chicken Soup for the Soul. I fall asleep every night and wake up every morning, thinking about nothing else: Writing! I can't even remember what I used to do or think about all the time…..oh, I guess it was probably housework… please don't ever stop by unannounced!
Becky is currently finishing her memoir, "From Pigtails to Chin Hairs; A Memoir & More." It's both poignant and humorous anecdotes about her life, some from the recent past, therefore the "& More" part of the title. Becky can be found at and her e-mail is

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bigger-Than-A-Shopping-Mall GIVEAWAY

Today, I invite you to celebrate with me!! The fabulous Sheri Larsen signed with Literary Agent Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary! And because our literary community is so freaking fabulous and generous, she's having a Bigger-Than-A-Shopping-Mall GIVEAWAY!! The giveaway consists of:
  • two separate Rafflecopters with multiple giveaways
  • and one grand prize Rafflecopter giveaway - to enter for the grand prize, you must enter either giveaway #1, #2, or both.
There's only one mandatory entry. Everything else is up to you!! I know Rafflecopters can be a pain, but it was the only way to organize such a huge giveaway. The giveaway is open until September 27th. WINNERS will be announced on September 28th. (Entrants may win more than one prize!)
Thank you so much for entering, spreading the word, and celebrating with me!!

Links to Rafflecopters:
What are you waiting for?! DIVE IN FOR ALL THE FUN!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Hook In The Sky

Guest posts are officially live today! I'm excited to share with you the blogging world and all the amazing people that have stepped into my office (aka my inbox office) and decided to make a pit stop to Unedited. It's my honor to share their thoughts and works with you!

Let's dive in!

A HOOK IN THE SKY is a BB novel - for Baby Boomers as YA novels are for Young Adults. It explores with irony and compassion the issues facing « coming-of-old-age » - an echo across the years of those haunting Young Adults , including questions of identity after a lifetime of work, how to start a second life in a different career and threats to long-standing marriages that have sunk into boredom. 

Robert, a dashing Frenchman who’s just retired, attempts a second life as an artist. His old-fashioned figural paintings appall his much younger, artsy American wife. They fight over art - he’s square, she’s cool - but what is at stake is their relationship. Until he’d retired, neither had been aware of the differences. The marriage quickly unravels, but that’s only the beginning of Robert’s problems… After a period of separation marked by sexual adventures and disenchantment, Robert attempts to remodel himself as a contemporary artist to win back his wife. He dreams up a weird installation called a "Hook in the Sky" that could change their lives forever but wreaks havoc around them...

The novel is based on the author’s personal experience after retirement. It draws on her memories of coming up against Contemporary Art, a whole new world after her 25 years of work in FAO, a United Nations agency where she had ended her career as Director for Europe. Thus the novel goes beyond post-retirement issues and also seeks to answer questions like what is the meaning of Art and what is the real place of Contemporary Art in our lives.

Where the novel differs from the author’s life is that she is still happily married to her Sicilian husband after 35 years.

Claude Nougat is the author of several  books, both fiction and non-fiction. She is also a published author in Italy and in Italian.  She maintains a blog and is a figurative painter, often designing her own book covers - the case with this one which depicts the contemporary art installation invented by Robert to impress his wife: a pile of ladders reaching up to a hook set just far enough from the topmost ladder so that it can't be grabbed, a fitting symbol of the human condition and our perennial desire for transcendence.

Link to purchase: Amazon - Presently at a special low launch price of $2.99 (until end September – hurry to take advantage)

For more information about the book: Click here! The info is complete with pictures of Robert’s paintings (actually the author’s!) including of a beautiful naked woman - this is young, mixed-up Nour who will play an important if unexpected role in Robert's life.

And some photos of the Umbria Robert loves and that he runs back to whenever his problems overwhelm him (which is quite often) can be found HERE.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Open for Interviews and Guest Blogs

With the recent blog break I've come to realize that rather than ignoring all the fabulous people I've met over the years I'd open up shop and allow you to share something dear to your heart!
1. Have a new release you'd like to share?
2. Never had an interview and would love to answer some quirky questions?
3. Have a cause you'd like to get the word out on?
4. Are you an agent, publishing house, or writer that just wants to share more about themselves?
5. Read an awesome book that you'd like to review?
6. Are you frustrated with your work and need advice?
7. Want to share a recent piece of work?
8. Are you a blog designer and want to share your work?
That's right, Unedited is a place where people should feel free to come and share their thoughts, frustrations, questions, and fun. This is open for more than just writing. If you're a photographer, crafter, jewelry goddess, heavy thinker, latte drinker, and want to stop by PLEASE email me! I'd love to have you share with us!
So... how easy am I making this? SUPER EASY! All you need to do is write 'OPEN FOR BUSINESS' in the subject line and email ME: jenniferdaiker(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll start the process! I'd love to meet some wonderful new people and help those I already consider my family! So stop in today!

Please pass on! Consider this Paying it Forward to all those wonderful people out there who helped me when I was down or wanted to share my exciting news! It meant the world.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's been awhile.

Almost a month.

Though the break is allowing my personal life to breathe I still feel like I'm missing something. That being said the leave will continue due to health issues but I'll still post when I can.

Or when I'm lonely.

What have I been up to?

1. Visits to the doctor.
2. Watch trash television.
3. Writing my sitcom episodes... five to be exact.
4. Reading books.
5. Reviewing book.

What about you? Tell me. The couch is open and I'm all curled up with my blankie ready for a good story!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The People vs. Sour Patch Kids

Do you all remember the time I said ‘Sour patch kids are a lot like writing, some moments are sweet, others sour, but all are delicious’?

Well insert life where writing sits and you have yourself some people who disagree. Right now on Facebook there is a debate happening - The People vs. Sour Patch Kids.

Too many lives have already been compromised and the fighting must stop.

These adorable little runts are wreaking havoc across the nation. They’ve managed to ruin weddings, dinner parties, not to mention they love hijacking boats, and especially going kitty-back-riding. Are you seeing the chaos?
What say you? Do you stand for these little minions ruining people’s lives or do you have something to say about this epidemic.

Take your stance!
Are you for… or are you against?

Tell me your experience with Sour Patch Kids and two lucky winners will walk away with a t-shirt and a bag of candy.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A CASE? Upload photos or videos showing damages caused by a Sour Patch Kid… HERE!!!!!

FOR THOSE WITH WRITERS BLOCK OR PLAYING THE PROCRASTINATION GAME VISIT HERE. Like the page, trust me... on days you don't feel like being productive the cases will keep your mind negative free with all the giggle fits that are sure to come.

And remember... no matter how bad things get keep a few sour patch kids around, they provide good entertainment.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where do we belong?

Writing is for those who chose to live tortured lives.

I adore picking up a pen and pad of paper and going to town. The beginning of our writing journey is an amazing one. You feel empowered, enriched, and alive as you feverishly work to write all the thoughts that have crept in your mind.

There does come a point where you'll have read your piece over a million times and at times you find yourself missing the passion you felt when the idea first came to you. You know it's brilliant, you know you loved it and it worked six months ago, so what's the problem?

As writers do we truly dig ourselves into a hole?

My problem as a writer is finding out where I belong. Is there the capability of belonging in more than one place? I really enjoyed writing short stories and novels, however my recent endeavor has breathed more life into my work than I ever would have thought.

Screenwriting. I love it. But I don't want to give up the novels and short stories. Is it to much? Am I taking on too much as a writer, or should I continue to go with my writing gut. The one that tells me a writer truly can have it all. That along the way I'll eventually find what path is best for me.

Today it's screenwriting but tomorrow that could change.

Do you know where you belong?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Guest Blogger - Jennifer Griffith

Finding a publisher is an author’s dream, and finding a publisher that’s enthusiastic about your book and a great fit is a dream come true!

A happy accident befell me last October. For the previous two years I’d been writing then polishing BIG IN JAPAN, my sumo wrestler novel, and it was ready to go. I’d just started the querying process, shooting letters off to agents hither and yon, when one afternoon I was surfing Facebook. A friend in my writers group posted that she’d been at a meeting where the presenter was a fresh face in publishing. Something zinged inside me. I messaged her to ask all about it, and she filled me in.

A new publishing house, Jolly Fish Press, was just about to open its doors, to launch its website, and to start taking queries for fiction, including mainstream fiction.

My manuscript and query were ready to go, and I sent it that day.

A couple of weeks later, they requested pages, another couple of weeks and they requested more, and then they requested the full. In December, Christopher Loke (executive editor) called me in the evening to break the great news that they loved my book. One jolly phrase still resonates in my head from our conversation, “We were sitting in our editing meeting and couldn’t believe we got the golden manuscript right off.” The golden manuscript! Mine! Yeehaw! I could tell they believed in my book, and they were publishing it in the way I’d always hoped. In total, from that first query until I had the pen in my hot little hand signing my publishing contract, about two months passed.

I love a small press. The relationships can be close, and there’s a family feeling. To me as a writer, that’s what matters. JFP, from the get-go, has been like coming home. May they sell a gazillion copies of the books they’ve selected and have decades of jolly success!

Jennifer Griffith is the author of BIG IN JAPAN, her fourth novel, which will be released through Jolly Fish Press on July 28th and tells the story of Buck Cooper, an obese Texan, invisible at work and in love until serendipity lands him in Japan—right in the middle of a sumo match. BIG IN JAPAN will be available as an eBook, Trade Paperback, and Hardcover through all major online retailers and local bookstores near you. Visit for more info on Griffith’s book tour, social networks, and more.