Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG and What the Heck was that, 2017?

The last IWSG post of 2017...

Asking what the heck was that seems appropriate given the ups, downs, and roller coaster loopty-loos that has been 2017.

This month's question has me pondering about all that was and is regarding this year...

As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Perhaps it is because I'm still feeling the vestiges of The Shack coursing through my veins with its healing reminders, or it is time that I get to this place, but the answer is that I wouldn't backtrack anything.

Oh, there are some things that may have gone differently, I don't know, if I'd chosen this way or that, yet, I am where I need to be and will do a better job of opening myself to the good that God has for me in whatever this is that has been going on in my writing life, mom life, spiritual life... my life.

Feel free to visit other IWSG bloggers to see how they answer this question and please share your comments as well.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Up to Christmas Day and Beyond

The day after Christmas is considered a big consumer shopping day. Actually, this Black Friday tradition is morphing into "Later on Thanksgiving Day" shopping.

There may be fist-a-cuffs over must-have items.

I'd like to invite you to a less volatile shopping moment by grabbing your copy of Sprits in the Water.
Confession time: I've been a bit wrapped up in stitiching certain things in my life back together again. It happens. Life happens. It takes time and effort to get back to normal, or something that slightly resembles it. So I just recently had a chance to purchase my own copy of this anthology so I could read the short stories.

I am so very humbled that my story, Extraordinary, is in the mix. The talent on display with each tale leaves me in awe that I get to be among such wonderful authors.

If you already have your copy, please feel free to give it as a gift. You can even choose a delivery date so the recipient can get their gift on Christmas day.

So, have you ever participated in Black Friday shopping? Are you the early shopper already ready for Christmas or the Christmas Eve shopper hunting for last minute bargains?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everyday is a day to give thanks; thanks for being alive, walking, talking, breathing...even with the discomforts that come with the basics that we take for granted.

Today is a day we get to stuff our faces in festive celebration of Thanksgiving.

From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Late, But Here in More Than Spirit


The Spirits in the Water tour started OCT 23. It goes through NOV 6. Here is the lineup. Since I had this in draft, I am at total and complete fault for sharing this late.

I am truly sorry, but please, stop by to keep up with the posts!

There's also an amazing array of giveaway items to help celebrate! (Scroll down all the way to enter the rafflecopter). Spirits in the Water is the final of the Untethered Realms Elements series. Get them all!
OCT 23
Silver Dagger kickoff with guest post by Catherine Stine & excerpt by Christine Rains
Mythical Books with guest post by M Pax "What's in the Water?"
Jazzy Book Reviews with guest post by Christine Rains "Frozen Fears"
OCT 24
Blog of Jacey Holbrand
Fundinmental
Books a Plenty Book Reviews
OCT 25
Breaking Genre
A Mama's Corner of the World
Land of Oyr
Lisa Book Blog @ LEL
YA Book Divas
OCT 26
Books, Authors, Blogs
Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read - excerpts
OCT 27
Jamie Marchant, Fantasy Author
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
Girl with Pen
Yearwood La Novela
OCT 28
Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama – GUEST POST  by Catherine Stine
Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts
Books Dreams Life
Bound 2 Escape
OCT 29
Susan Heim on Writing
Mello & June
Book Bangers Blog
Laurisa White Reyes, Author - TK
OCT 30
Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
Sapphyria's Book Reviews - TK
Meghan's Mindless Mutterings: Reviews & Giveaways - TK
OCT 31
Must Read Faster
Natashareadsbooks
Natural Bri
Spunky N Sassy
The Bookworm Chronicles
NOV 1
T's Stuff - REVIEW
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Cloe Michael's Reads Blog
Circle of Stalkers
The Blackwood Blog
The Book Town
NOV 2
Rabid Readers Book Blog
Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'
Sylv.net
Teaser Addicts Book Blog
NOV 3
Anna Del C Dye
Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom
Teatime and Books
Turning Another Page
NOV 4
FUONLYKNEW
The Authors Blog
The Pen and Muse Book Reviews
NOV 5
Triple A
Indie Wish List
YA & NA Bookshelf
***
Check out all of the amazing prizes in the rafflecopter! Enter below:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Gift in Giving

I've read that giving is supposed to make you feel good, as good as the happy-joy-joy a chocolate addict - erm - chocolate connoisseur like myself experiences when indulging in my chocolate cravings. Aside from the five pounds I gained just thinking about chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, and so, so, soooo much more, I have to admit it does my heart good to give.

I don't have much, but when I give, I try to do so from my heart, which I suppose is why I get the good-feels when I give.

And so, I'm glad to share about this giveaway.

Please participate. You never know who may win.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 13, 2017

2nd Annual Bookish Whaaaaaaa?

Amazon | Nook | iTunes | Google play
That would be the 2nd Annual Bookish Halloween Giveaway at O. D. Book Reviews. Spirits in the Water is up for grabs. Click here to review the prizes and then enter the giveaway to win!!

Book Description:
A haunted journey on a riverboat, water sprites borne of pennies, preternatural creatures, ancient serpents, and the Lady of the Lake lurk in dark waters. Raging storms and magical rainbow fountains. Water is spectacularly beautiful but also treacherous.

Gwen Gardner gives us Shake, Rattle and Row. Harlow Grayson has the chance to rid herself of a pesky ghost but she must first brave a haunted riverboat and recover a family heirloom. What she finds might be more than she can handle.

Jeff Chapman offers The Water Wight. When a drowned girl changes her mind about suicide, Merliss and her associates face a fearsome, preternatural creature.

M. Pax presents The Wallows. Evernee Weems wants to escape this world in the worst way. Her daughter needs everything, the rent is being raised, Evernee’s job barely pays minimum wage, and she has little hope for better. Inside a puddle is a different reality. She jumps in, happy to trade her problems for a life in which worries don’t exist. Or do they?

Angela Brown gives us Extraordinary. Puberty hits Angelique like a gut punch and brings about a change, forcing an unexpected revelation about her past. All seems well until a vicious storm tears through her Texas community, and Angelique learns there are worse things than a little change.

River Fairchild presents You Can’t Go Home Again. A young woman, filled with regret about the past, goes on a journey and discovers more than she bargained for.

Simon Kewin offers us The Waters, Dividing the Land. Hyrn the horned god of the woodlands is learning the meaning of fear. Death magic blights the land, threatening everyone and everything. To save what he can from spreading corruption, he turns to the ancient river serpents, but they’ve grown old and distant and may not hear his call at all.

Christine Rains gives us Frozen. A necromancer is on the frozen moon of Saturn where the dead do scream.

Meradeth Houston presents The Flood. Sometimes a flooded kitchen isn’t the unluckiest thing to happen to you.

Catherine Stine offers Maizy of Bellagio. April still searches for her mother who vanished nineteen years ago from the fountain at Hotel Bellagio in Vegas. Can Maizy, a water sprite who works the fountain’s pink colors, begin to help the three generations of eccentric women tortured by this tragedy?

M. Gerrick gives us The One Who Would Wield the Sword. Nikka is supposed to be nothing more than dragon bait so a real dragon hunter can do his job, but the Lady in the Lake has other plans for her.

Cherie Reich presents The Folding Point. Aimee’s fight against those who banned paper magics has begun.

From USA Today, Amazon bestselling, and popular science fiction and fantasy authors comes Spirits in the Water, a supernatural anthology of eleven thrilling tales. Spirits in the Water is the fourth, long-awaited Elements story collection from the dynamic and inventive Untethered Realms group.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday

There are plenty of memories that stand out for me, both good and the not-so-good. This picture is from one of those really awesome times. Meeting up with Graeme Ing and Gwen Gardner really brought me so much joy. To see my writer buds, to put faces to names, voices to words we exchanged over the internet...

So. Much. Happy!!!

Have you had a chance to meet up with your author buds IRL? How was your experience?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Much More than Teen Spirit!

You probably noticed there hasn't been much from me writing-wise. If you thought I stopped writing altogether and said, "Frankenstein it all!," you could be right.

Well...

Not really :-)

While I'm not consumed with the same writing-fire that once left me blind to all else but the words that had to get onto paper, that flame remains, just cooler and a bit more bearable so that other things in my life actually, you know...

Exist.

And, because I have been doing a little bit of writing, I would like to invite interested bloggers to share about this awesome project of which I am a part. It is Spirits in the Water, an anthology edited by Catherine Stine and Cherie Reich, authored by the fantastic members of Untethered Realms.
Please click here to sign up. Is this a requirement? Heck no!!! But I would be truly humbled and grateful if you would spread the word.

So what is SItW about?
Book Description:
A haunted journey on a riverboat, water sprites borne of pennies, preternatural creatures, ancient serpents, and the Lady of the Lake lurk in dark waters. Raging storms and magical rainbow fountains. Water is spectacularly beautiful but also treacherous.

Gwen Gardner gives us Shake, Rattle and Row. Harlow Grayson has the chance to rid herself of a pesky ghost but she must first brave a haunted riverboat and recover a family heirloom. What she finds might be more than she can handle.

Jeff Chapman offers The Water Wight. When a drowned girl changes her mind about suicide, Merliss and her associates face a fearsome, preternatural creature.

M. Pax presents The Wallows. Evernee Weems wants to escape this world in the worst way. Her daughter needs everything, the rent is being raised, Evernee’s job barely pays minimum wage, and she has little hope for better. Inside a puddle is a different reality. She jumps in, happy to trade her problems for a life in which worries don’t exist. Or do they?

Angela Brown gives us Extraordinary. Puberty hits Angelique like a gut punch and brings about a change, forcing an unexpected revelation about her past. All seems well until a vicious storm tears through her Texas community, and Angelique learns there are worse things than a little change.

River Fairchild presents You Can’t Go Home Again. A young woman, filled with regret about the past, goes on a journey and discovers more than she bargained for.

Simon Kewin offers us The Waters, Dividing the Land. Hyrn the horned god of the woodlands is learning the meaning of fear. Death magic blights the land, threatening everyone and everything. To save what he can from spreading corruption, he turns to the ancient river serpents, but they’ve grown old and distant and may not hear his call at all.

Christine Rains gives us Frozen. A necromancer is on the frozen moon of Saturn where the dead do scream.

Meradeth Houston presents The Flood. Sometimes a flooded kitchen isn’t the unluckiest thing to happen to you.

Catherine Stine offers Maizy of Bellagio. April still searches for her mother who vanished nineteen years ago from the fountain at Hotel Bellagio in Vegas. Can Maizy, a water sprite who works the fountain’s pink colors, begin to help the three generations of eccentric women tortured by this tragedy?

M. Gerrick gives us The One Who Would Wield the Sword. Nikka is supposed to be nothing more than dragon bait so a real dragon hunter can do his job, but the Lady in the Lake has other plans for her.

Cherie Reich presents The Folding Point. Aimee’s fight against those who banned paper magics has begun.

From USA Today, Amazon bestselling, and popular science fiction and fantasy authors comes Spirits in the Water, a supernatural anthology of eleven thrilling tales. Spirits in the Water is the fourth, long-awaited Elements story collection from the dynamic and inventive Untethered Realms group.

Available at Goodreads | Smashwords | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes | Nook

Molly, aka Tiny Terror, shares a smile of thanks and says she'll try to resist nibbling at your shoelaces if we ever meet in person...but she makes no promises :-)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG and Your Writerly You

My blogger life has taken quite the hit during the last several months, but being a part of the monthly IWSG post has been a must. So here we are, first Wednesday of the month: sharing, congratulating consoling, considering what to do. Please stop by other posts and spread the love. Click here for links to other awesomeness.

Each month, you can write about whatever your writerly heart desires.
Or...
You can respond to the question of the month.

I'm going with the latter. So here goes:
Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in??

Actually, I did surprise myself. As most of you know, I write erotica. For those who don't know, just know that I write my grown and sexy mature works under a pen name.

However, I was not and still am not a Fifty Shades gal. I haven't watched the movies or read the books. But the subject matter entwined in the romance story was intriguing.

BDSM

What is it really and is it as Hollywood portray's it? So I researched. I spoke with people who lived the lifestyle. I learned to look beyond the media portrayal and look at the people. And I wrote. It was an interesting experience. I enjoyed having Degrees of Being Boss available. Maybe one day soon, I can republish it.

So what about you? Have you ever surprised your self with your writing?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG and A Lesson Learned

First Wednesday of the month brings your chance to share good news, spit fire on an issue, or commiserate with other writers who can understand your pain, genuinely congratulate you on your good thing, and be a support system that is rare to find.
First Wednesday of the month is...
IWSG

Each month, there is a question you can answer. To check out what others are sharing, click here and hop along to other blogs.
So, about that question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

There are so many lessons to learn on this journey called #writinglife. But one lesson that took some time, pain, emotional discomfort, and disappointment to learn is that comparisons can be the death of your writing career, if you let them.

We've all done this comparison thing a time or two...or twenty.
Comparing our books to other books of similarity.
Comparing our sales to other authors.
Comparing our writing style to other authors.
Comparing our writing journey to other authors.

It isn't that comparisons are bad. It's actually quite nice to compare and find similar characteristics in your own book that can be found in commercially successful novels. Being told that your writing style is enjoyable and that you capture the voice of the main character like such-an-such successful author is flattering. It can be helpful to see where you stand in order to set attainable goals.

But when you get wrapped up and tangled up in the comparisons, it's easy to lose focus, to lose your way because you're so lost in comparing your everything to all else occupying the world. Writing loses its fanatical hold on you. Perfection is an impossible finish line you struggle to reach. Your writing journey is no longer yours since you've given it over to the obsession of comparisons.

So what do you do?

Well, what I've done is take a step back when I realize that I'm caught in comparing my work or my journey to others instead of letting my characters speak through me. I give myself permission to know it's okay for me to be me. I'm not meant to be the next J.K. Rowling. I'm not meant to be the next anybody else.

I am meant to be my best ME.

How do you deal with comparisons of your writing, sales, and your journey to others?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG and the Writing Voodoo

First Wednesday of the month means it's time to post for IWSG. We can share in some good news, support each other in the less than happy news, and just be there for each other. Click here to visit other blogs.

If I don't post at any other time in the month, I post on this day. It's like even while life is crazy demanding, I'm drawn to my blog by a need to be a part of this - this something greater than me. In a way, that's part of my answer to this month's question:

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I said "I quit" twice.

The first time was after I'd written my first novel length story. It wasn't until after I finished the story that I noticed a lightness to my bearing. So many of the negative emotions I'd held onto behind breaking up with my fiance, losing my mother, and making a series of stupid decisions had drifted away during the writing process. It had been my own therapy. I thought the story was the best next thing since sliced bread until I submitted it to a contest (no revisions, no beta readers, no nothing lol!!) and had that bad boy red-lined so horribly that ink dripped from the paper. I was in my early twenties then and turned my focus back to what I thought real people had to do to make a living...and got a job.

The second time was after I self-published my first story under my pen name. This time, I'd gone through the process of doing revisions and had a second set of eyes on it, but this was before I'd learned about the ebook hitting the scene and around the same time of my divorce. I was focused on just trying to make it as a newly single parent.

I can't help wondering if this writing thing has cast some kind of voodoo over me, because in 2012 I self-published again and went on a rampant streak publishing other titles under my name and my pen name for a little while. Seems like a Ground Hog's Day version of me being a moth, writing the flame, and I'm lured to its fire on repeat. Even now, while I'm dealing with some things and only writing sporadically, my stories hover in my mind, waiting patiently for me. And this time, I have no desire or intentions of quitting.

So what about you? What's your answer to today's IWSG question?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


MARKED BEAUTY by S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.

Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.




About the Author
S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.
Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads

Giveaway
This is a #hashtag giveaway, where two lucky winners will receive a FREE eBook of Marked Beauty upon its release.
To participate:
  • Share one of the premade images via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or write up a blog post using one of the images.
  • Include #MarkedBeauty in your description.
  • Optional for extra entry: include Add to Goodreads (with link) in your description.
***Posts MUST contain the hashtag #MarkedBeauty for entry into the giveaway or we won’t be able to find you.


Pre-made tweets
"A lust 4 life energy. An ancient curse. One soul's journey thru death 2 find the cure." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0

"Uncovering some secrets can kill you, or worse ... steal your soul." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

An ancient race. A timid girl. And a journey to the in-between. #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

The giveaway begins May 17th and will be open until May 23rd. Winners will be announced May 24th via social media.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG and NOT Feeling Like an Author

I missed IWSG last month so I buckled down and got this post done because I did NOT want to miss another month. IWSG has been a source of maintaining sanity, being able to share on my blog and visit others each month. Click here so that you can hop along to other IWSG participants.

There is a question this month and it's mentioned at the site when you go there, but I wanted to share something a little personal.

I haven't tweeted in many weeks.

I haven't posted on Facebook about any of my books in what seems like months.

Um, and royalty checks? I did a rather piss-poor job when I was marketing because sales were always rather low then and are non-existent now (no exaggeration).

Actually, I got off of Facebook for Lent but cut it short to support The Un-Included Club's bid for the Seeds of Change grant in hopes they could make the first cut.

I haven't blogged as often as I used to.

There was a time where my daily schedule was one long day of ridiculousness from morning until midnight:

  • working a full time job
  • at home helping my daughter with homework
  • tweeting throughout the day even with some tweets pre-scheduled using Hootsuite
  • posting on Facebook about life and being positive and the availability of my books for young adults and the grown and sexy
  • researching marketing ideas and how I wished I could afford most of them but couldn't
  • jotting notes about new stories
  • working on the ones I needed to finish
  • blogging, reading blogs, and leaving comments
  • critiquing several writers works


Most days now I...

  • steal as much sleep in the morning as possible
  • work a very busy and exhausting full time job (had a different less active one a couple of years ago)
  • spend time with my daughter watching TV and reading
  • enjoy some Netflix and cuddles with my furbaby, Molly
  • every now and then get in some writing time.
  • go to sleep


You see what's missing in that new line-up? No marketing. None. It seems that from 2012 through 2015 when I was doing various things to market my books, all I managed to do was take time away from my daughter. Odd, since I got into this writing thing because I wanted to show her the importance of going for her dreams. Perhaps it is because she's becoming a teen and has grown so much I am fearful of missing anything at all.

So yeah, the writing hasn't stopped but I'm not feeling like an author. Actually, what would you say it means to be an author?

Please share your thoughts in the comments and let's have some chocolate while I deal with this and work my way back to my author-state-of-mind.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG and Perfection

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Click HERE to get to the link where you are able to visit various other blogs.

And...to Perfection.
Growing up as the younger sister to the popular neighborhood jock and older nerdy sister to the cute and adorable mellow-and-chilled chick, I added the unnecessary burden of pursuing perfection. Not in everything I did, but when it came to school, I had to have perfect grades, high standardized test scores, and excellence. This wasn't anything my mom asked of me. Truthfully, she only ever wanted me to be happy and would talk with me to keep me sane in those moments when I didn't quite outshine others intellectually.

Over the years, I've learned to curb this pursuit of perfection with a pursuit of happiness, which is one of the reasons I love to write. But perfection is a beast with deep and tangling tentacles, difficult to uproot, and I find myself struggling with my first drafts because of it. 

What about you? How do you deal with writing your first drafts? Do you go through painstaking edits as you write or do you chug the whole thing out then go back to clean things up through revisions?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

First IWSG of 2017

It's the first Wednesday of January, which means it's IWSG posting and sharing time. It's also the first IWSG of 2017. To get all the details and for the list of other blogs to visit and comment, click here.

With 2016 gone and 2017 here, reflecting on the past is on my brain. My thoughts have taken me back many years to a night when I was a 19 year old college student. That evening was ripe, I was stoked to dress for dancing and visit a couple of clubs with friends.

But such was not meant to be.

That night brought the beginning of a pain that, unfortunately, doesn't show signs of ever leaving, rather ebbing and flowing with my emotions. It could be described with all manner of words, but not exactly captured, no matter the wordsmith phrasing. And it was a screeching hard stop to my life as I knew it.

Since that night, I've learned to start life over. I've had to do it a few times, such as when my marriage fairy tale crash landed in reality and I became a divorced, single mom.

Seems there is a need to begin again, only this time, regarding my writing.

I'm a little scared.

Actually...

A lot scared.

It would be so easy to let go of this writing thing, to enjoy having published myself and being published by a few small publishers...

To just -

STOP.

But the ideas won't stop coming. The characters won't stop speaking. And, well, I love this. Even though I suck at marketing and selling books, I'm a story teller. So here I go, beginning again.

If your writing world is doing great, I pray 2017 continues to bring you good things and prosperity.

If you're anything like me and your writing world more closely resembles a beautiful catastrophe, know you are not alone. I recommend seeing the movie Sing. Seriously. It's a cartoon movie but believe me when I say it has a heart-touching message, quite a few, actually.

I've got a lot of work ahead of me for 2017, but what about you? What are your hopes for 2017? Are you struggling with something? Feel free to use the comments section to vent a little. We all need to get things off of our chests sometimes.