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!!!