Friday, April 30, 2010

One Day Giveaway Today Only: YA Goodness and a Little Touch of Bling! Blogmania 2010

WELCOME To BLOGMANIA !            
My Blog is 3 of 122  

You’ve arrived at exactly the right time to explore lots of new blogs, all of which, ARE GIVING AWAY A VERY SPECIAL BLOGMANIA GIVEAWAY  (For One Day Only – April 30th) .
We’ve done all the work for you. No hunting or surfing. Each blog will have a number and each new blog link will have a number. These numbers will allow you to keep track of which blogs you’ve visited and how many are left to visit. Why not take a moment to make a list of blog numbers  1-122 and check off the blogs as you go.
I know you’ll want to visit as many blogs today as you can. So, if you see something that interests you on any of our participating blogs, why not bookmark that site. Later, when you have more time, you can discover all its fabulous treasures.  

Now, here are the particulars of MY GIVEAWAY and RULES:

I like to keep it simple folks. For a chance to win the Grand Prize or the First Prize just become a follower if you're not already and and leave a comment with your e-mail or some way to contact you. That's it! What could be simpler? Let's go over the fabulous prizes:

The Grand Prize consists of all three books in the Evernight series by Claudia Gray: Evernight, Stargazer and the newly released Hourglass. These books are a nice twist on Twilight and it's all about the vampires with love and romance of course. I can't say anything more or it will ruin the cool turns the story takes. I sure didn't see it coming...Nice!

The First Prize is the intense new release, SCARS by Cheryl Rainfield. This is a story of one girl's painful struggle with the aftermath of sexual abuse and the self mutilation she utilizes to deal with it. The story is pretty suspenseful and takes some very dramatic and unexpected turns. My heart was pounding in more than a few scenes. Totally unexpected.
I'm also including a pair of multi colored drop earrings. Perfect for Spring or Summer outfits. Enjoy.


Thanks for dropping by. The winners will be announced over the weekend. After you are done here, you may continue your journey by hitting up the blogs listed below. Hit the links and continue searching for book blogger bounty! Have fun!


(Blog- 1) – HOST OF BLOGMANIA) Between The Pages -
(Blog-2)– CO-HOST OF BLOGMANIA) The Black Sheep Dances -
(Blog-43) - CO-HOST OF BLOGMANIA) Books, Books Everywhere -
 (Blog-21) Amundsen House of Chaos -
(Blog-38) Parajunkee's View -
(Blog-58) A Journey of Books -
(Blog- 98) Bertram's Blog -
(Blog-16) Coupon Clippin’ Mommy -
(Blog-116) Chrissy’s World of Books - 
(Blog-23) Enjoy Life, Enjoy Now -

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sex Abuse Realities: Author Interview with Cheryl Rainfield, Author of SCARS.

1) It took you 10 years to get SCARS published. Tell us about that. Why so long?

 I think it was a combination of how much there is in Scars that people can have a hard time reading or talking about--self-harm, sexual abuse, and a lesbian character--as well as my own growth as a writer. Scars has a lot in one book, I think--especially for traditional publishers. But they're things that teens know about, things that need to be talked about.

I went through many revisions of
Scars over the years. I had to learn to be able to write in more lightness and happiness. I know my writing technique and knowledge also improved over the years.

I also think that there was some luck involved in getting
Scars published--some serendipity and timing. I found the perfect publisher and perfect editor for Scars just when they came together.

2) SCARS is a moving story. You've been open in acknowledging your own trials and tribulations with sexual abuse. How much of SCARS is your story? How much is autobiographical?

I drew deeply on my emotional truths and experiences for Scars--but it really is work of fiction. I am not Kendra. That said, I did put a lot of myself into Kendra, and I strongly identify with her. I think I'm sensitive, compassionate, emotional, and artistic like Kendra. And, like her, I'm easily hurt, yet emotionally strong--a fighter. And of course I'm a survivor of incest and ritual abuse, used self-harm to cope, and am lesbian.

Like Kendra, I coped with the trauma of abuse by cutting. The emotional pain was too overwhelming, the effects too deep. It was a coping I needed. And, like Kendra, some of my abusers taught me to cut myself to keep silent.  one now. Both provided me with some of the only safety and love I knew. But unlike Kendra, I never experienced closeness to or kindness from my abusers/parents.

Kendra is more feisty than I was as a teen. More challenging and outspoken. I fought back against my abusers, but in my own ways; I was able to be more protective of others than of myself.

Blogmania Giveway Update. Adding the Bling! Be Here Friday, April 30th!!

Hi guys. I've made the final addition to the big giveaway on Friday. I've added a colorful pair of earrings that will be perfect with all your Spring and Summer outfits. I'm going to include the earrings with the First Prize. So, let's reiterate what the giveaway is going to consist of:


The Grand Prize will consist of all three books in the Evernight series by Claudia Gray: Evernight, Stargazer and the newest release Hourglass. They're an awesome vampire love and suspense saga.

The First Prize will consist of the moving new release SCARS, by Cheryl Rainfield and the multi-colored drop earrings:

It should be a really fun time. I look forward to seeing you all here.


Instructions for Blogmania Event this Friday, April 30. Be Here!!! Awesome YA book giveaway.

Blogmania Early Bird Check List:

We want all of our visiting guests in our first Blogmania Event scheduled for April 30th to Get On Their Marks-Get Set…

It’s not time to go yet, but if you want to have the most fun and scoop up as much loot as possible, here are a few Early Bird Reminders to help you do just that.

1. Be at any of the blogs participating in the Blogmania Event as early as possible on April 30th. The easiest way to find a Blogmania Blog is to look for the Blogmania Badge.

2. This is an international event, so understand that there will be some differences in time zones. My advice is to start early and stay late to catch all the blogs.

3. Each blog will have their own giveaway requirements. Read them carefully, follow through, and then move on as quickly as possible. If you run across a blog that you really like and want to spend some time exploring, copy their URL and then visit them after Blogmania is over.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Lost One of the Best Parts of My Life this Week. She was the Sweetest Girl Ever...

One of the great loves of my life, my cat Boozie, died this week. It was so totally unexpected, I still can't believe it happened. I don't even know how it happened. I was out of town and my husband called me. He was crying so hard, I couldn't even understand what he was saying. We had two cats: Boozie and her daughter Sweetie. My husband arrived home from work late. He dashed in the house, put something inside and ran right back out to go to church. As he approached the house on his way back home, he noticed Sweetie acting strangely, standing by the gate. He got out and saw Boozie lying outside the gate, a little off from the house. I asked if she had gotten hit by a car, but he said it didn't appear so. There was no blood or any sign of trauma that he could see.

A little crowd had gathered and someone had laid two sticks across Boozie in the form of a cross. A neighbor said she hadn't noticed anything unusual happening. My husband put Sweetie in the house and buried Boozie in the backyard under a little shelter. He said he didn't want her to get wet. *tears*.

Boozie and I went through a lot together. In 2006, coincidentally, we both became deathly ill and almost died during the same time period, she with lymphoma and me with a virulent strain of bacteria that is associated with meningitis. I couldn't walk or barely move and Boozie was receiving chemo and had a feeding tube . We both lay in bed together, weak and wondering what was to become of us. But God is good and we both pulled through. I still have residual nerve damage and Boozie had to take her pills daily, but we were there for each other and moving forward. My doctor and her vet both said we were lucky to still be alive. I prefer to say we were both blessed.

I was truly surprised at how many people on my job cried when they found out. They've never met her in person, but they certainly know of her. Her picture is posted in my office and everyone knows of her adventures as a squirrel hunter, her love of rotisserie chicken and honey roasted turkey; how she knocks at the door when she wants to come in and her simple love and pleasure of just being near me as she rested and slept. My husband called her my shadow. She followed me everywhere.

Now Sweetie has lost her mother and I've lost a loving and loyal companion. We had Boozie for 12 years. Her first family moved and left her behind, then her next owner died. She had no home when we moved on the block and she made her way over to us. She finally found the love and care she so richly deserved. Life will be a little emptier now. This is a final tribute to her. We love you Boozie. You'll forever be in our hearts. Goodbye...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Blog Hopping Time! Welcome and Stay Awhile.

Friday has made it's way back around again and that means it's time to check out some cool people and their cool blogs that is. If you haven't already, stop by Jen's Crazy-for-Books blog and sign up to add yourself to the list. It's a great way to be discovered. Look around and comment at blogs that interest you.

I think you'll find some interesting things to read here, so relax and stay awhile. Enter the giveaway below while you're at it and check in next week for two more great interviews and awesome giveaways.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Awesome Book Giveaway and Interview: Simone Elkeles, YA Author of PERFECT CHEMISTRY & RULES of ATTRACTION

If you guys keep up with my posts, you know Simone is one of my favorite Young Adult authors. She writes wonderful contemporary, realistic novels. They're full of hot love, romance and teenage angst; perfect if you're at that stage in your life or just remembering when you were. I'm so happy to have the opportunity to ask her a few questions and offer two of her novels to my terrific followers.

There will be two winners: One person will receive her breakout novel, PERFECT CHEMISTRY and the other winner will receive the sequel and newly released, RULES of ATTRACTION. Even though Rules of Attraction is the follow-up to Perfect Chemistry, it is a firm stand-alone novel and the winner will have no trouble understanding it if they've not read Perfect Chemistry first. The winners will also receive bookmarks depicting the books.

Let's move on to the interview and then finish up with the requirements of the giveaway.

1) How did you begin your career as a writer? Did it start as a hobby or did you always want to write full time? What's your educational background? Do you have an MFA?

Unlike most authors I know, I hated reading as a teen and hated English class.  I got B’s and C’s in English class most of the time.  I have a master’s degree in Industrial Relations from Loyola University-Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology. I’ve never taken a creative writing class in my life.  I fell in love with reading as an adult – specifically romance novels.  I was so in love with them, I started writing them.  Once I started writing for “myself” and not a teacher or for a grade, I realized that I loved writing and never wanted to stop.  I pretty much taught myself how to write, because they didn’t teach me how to write a book in my regular English classes.  Writing is the best profession and now I can’t imagine doing anything else!  I know I still have a ton to learn about writing and when I read books I love I think “I wish I could write like that!”  I’m always working on my craft and hope I can get better and better with each book.

2) Why did you select a Latino gang member as the love interest in PERFECT CHEMISTRY? What kind of research did you do in preparation for writing this story? Was it difficult?

I did interview some suburban gang members in Illinois.  I also talked to my friend who is a Chicago police officer who gave me information. Lastly, I looked online or made up stuff on my own.  It was hard to do the research, but definitely interesting. (some stuff I read and heard made my stomach churn, but I didn’t write about those things)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Simone Elkeles: My favorite kind of YA author: An accessible one!

Over the weekend, a neighbor rang my bell and informed me that a package had been left in her box with my name on it. When I looked at it, the return address was from Simone Elkeles, author of the awesome breakout novel Perfect Chemistry and it's sequel, the newly released Rules of Attraction. We've communicated a few times via email and I always found her to be very personable and open to dialogue, having answered questions I had for her in the past.

The package contained some swag that she sent at her own expense. I find this to be very thoughtful of her. I handed out some of the goodies to folks that help me out by reading pages of my manuscript and giving me feedback. I'll also pass along some of it to my followers with giveaways.

Simone is a excellent storyteller, and has gained increased attention since Perfect Chemistry caught fire. With her success, she has not forgotten those who put her there: her readership. For this, I say thank you, continue to give us great stories and continue to keep it fun and real with those who love your books.

I'll be posting a interview with Simone this week as well as a giveaway of her two wonderful books: Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction. Make sure to stop in and enter for a chance to win one of the two books and support a great author.


Monday, April 19, 2010

First Prize Revealed: Blogmania Update. April 30, 2010

I've decided on the First Prize for the One Day Blogmania giveaway on April 30. I'm going to giveaway the new release SCARS by Cheryl Rainfield. I just finished this book and it is a compelling tale of a girl's perilous journey to survive sexual abuse and the self-injurious behavior she utilizes to cope. It offers a wealth of resources at the end of the book for those seeking assistance with these troubling issues.  The author struggled with these issues personally and knows of which she speaks.

I'm pleased to offer this book, not only as a moving piece of fiction, but as a helpful resource as well.

April 30th is fast approaching. Don't forget to pass by here for an opportunity to get some great books.


And the Two Winners of Autographed Copies of GLORIOUS are...

I'm priviledged to announce two winners to receive an autographed copy directly from the author of the literary pearl GLORIOUS. It's a dynamic story that will keep you turning the page to see how this tale gets resolved. Thanks to everyone who entered and became followers. You guys know I truly appreciate that. If you didn't win, there's another super giveway available in a couple of days. I'm quite excited about it. Without further ado, let me announce the winners. They are...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

And the Three Winner's of Alex Cross's Trial are...

I can see there are some serious James Patterson fans here and you guys are very aware of his Alex Cross series. I was pleased to be able to host this giveaway and give three, count em'-three awesome followers a chance to get this newest paperback.

I thank all of you who became followers and entered to win. There can only be three winners this time, but I'm going to have more super giveaways this month. GLORIOUS is still available for another day and I'm posting another awesome giveway in the next couple of days. Stay tuned. Let's move on the the winners shall we? The three winners of Alex Cross's Trial are...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two Awards this Week. Thanks again

I was the recipient of two lovely awards this week. One is from Kate of the Disgruntled Bear blog and Melissa of Books R Us. I can't thank you enough for thinking so kindly of me and my little site here girls.

Kate is Yale educated. She has a Ph.D and is a psychologist. We first met at a writers conference last year. She has traveled the world teaching psychology for the University of Maryland. She struck up a random conversation with a guy in the airport in Turkey and ended up marrying him! They now have three tiny, cute kids and live in New Hampshire. She has a book coming out in June named MINDER. Check out her site to learn more.

Melissa is a teen author living in East Moriches, NY. She's published a book called GINGER HIGH and you can learn more about that right here. She's an ambitious young lady that is more than worthy of your time and attention. Check her out.

Once again I thank one and all for stopping by, thinking of me and my blog and making it real with these lovely awards. It is deeply appreciated.                                                              


Friday, April 16, 2010

It's that Time Again. Book Blog Hopping Time that is. Join the fun.

It's Friday and it's time to take a few moments and get to know a few of your fellow book bloggers. Jen at Crazy For Books, started this meme and it was an excellent idea. I've met some great people and read some incredible blog through the Blog Hop. If you've never done this before, let me tell you how it works. Head over to Crazy for Books, add your blog to the list and then start visiting the blogs of interest that you see listed. It's that simple and that fun. Let me know what you think. I know I'll be paying some visits. See you later.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Save the Date: April 30--A Blogmania Update

Okay guys. There's been a change in plans. I'm changing the books I plan to give away during the one day giveaway on April 30th. The Grand prize winner will be receiving three books in the Evernight series by Claudia Gray. These books are super good and a marvelous twist on Twilight. Obviously it's all about the vampires and forbidden love!

You'll get all three in the series: Evernight, Stargazer, and Hourglass. The fourth, Afterlife has not been released yet, but you'll have plenty to read until it does! I'm also including a piece of bling with this batch of great books. I'll get back to you with info on the First Prize winner. Stay tuned.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Great Opportunity for Aspiring Authors of Young Adult and Middle Grade: You don't want to miss this!

To celebrate the one-month anniversary of, the Editor is giving away a free Substantive Edit* of one Young Adult or Middle Grade fiction manuscript. Here are the rules:

1. Your manuscript must be YOUNG ADULT OR MIDDLE GRADE FICTION.
2. Your manuscript must be COMPLETE.
3. Your manuscript SHALL NOT EXCEED 85,000 WORDS.
4. Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified.
5. Deadline: MIDNIGHT, APRIL 14, 2010, PST.
6. Winner will be randomly selected.

So, just who is the editor behind It's Deborah Halverson. She's a former editor with Harcourt Children's books with over fifteen years experience working with author's and writers of all levels. She has published two award winning books herself by Delacourte/ Random House.

There are only a couple of days left. Don't miss your chance for a great and super helpful critique of your work. Best of all, it's FREE!!!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Author Uses My Review on Her Website! Cool Right?

I received a nice little surprise yesterday when I discovered that Dianne Dixon, author of the awesome novel Language of Secrets placed my review on her website . I learned this juicy tidbit from a tweet her literary agent, Alice Tasman sent out. Ms. Tasman even began to follow me on Twitter and more awesome followers are always good. Thanks Alice!

Those of you who check in with me regularly will recall how fond I am of this book. I have to rank it as one of my all time favorites. It's not a happy story, but it is so well written and has an imaginative, original and intriguing premise. If you haven't read the review, check it out (March 13 post). You cannot go wrong getting this book. It's one to keep on the shelf and re-read from time to time.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend. Well, back to work on my own manuscript!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Blog Hopping Time!!

It's Friday guys and it's time to dance--right over to visit those folks who have a passion for books and all things literary. This is such a great idea, you can't pass it up. Jennifier of Crazy for Books started this thing and it was and is an awesome idea. God bless her. Head over to Crazy for Books, add your blog to the links and get ready to indulge in some book loving fun! Thanks for stopping by and don't be a stranger!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BLOGMANIA on April 30th. YA Special right here! Don't miss it!

I've acquired two of the four books I'm planning as giveways on April 30. Two of the books are new releases. One just came out last week and the other will be available in a week. I'm so excited. This is so much fun and I love putting it together.

If everything goes as planned, they'll be two winners: A Grand Prize winner and a First place winner. I think I'm going to include a piece of bling with the Grand Prize!

Stay tuned for continuing developments!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Giveaway: Alex Cross's TRIAL by James Patterson & Richard Dilallo. They'll be 3 winners for this giveaway!

Separated by time
From his grandmother, Alex Cross has heard the story of his great uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a novel he's written--a novel called Trial.

Connected by blood
As a lawyer in turn-of-the-century Washington D.C., Ben Corbett represents the toughest cases. Fighting against oppression and racism, he risks his family and his life in the process. When President Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his home town to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Love it When I Discover Books Like This. Two Autographed Copies Available. Book Review and Giveaway of a Literary Gem: GLORIOUS by Bernice McFadden

Title: Glorious
Author: Bernice McFadden
Publisher: Akashic Books
Format: Completed Book
ISBN: 978-1-936070-11-4
Price: $15.95 Pages: 239
Release Date: May 2010

Okay folks. Once again, I've had the pleasure of reading a book that turned out to be on the right side of awesome. The author sent an e-mail and inquired about a review. I don't often turn down an opportunity to read books so I was up for it. I had no idea what to expect when I recieved it from the publisher. It's not a very long book at 239 pages and at first glance, the cover didn't really tell me much about what the book was about.

If you're a writer or aspiring author as I am, you know that the gatekeepers of the literary world are not keen on prologues. They'd rather you weave that information into the body of the story itself. I'm going to do something a little different this time. Instead of giving you the blurb from the back of the book, I'm going to give you a taste of the prologue. No rule is absolute and this is an example of a prologue that accomplishes it's goal--to set the stage for a poignant, painful tale that has been all too true in the annuls of American history. Behold...

If Jack Johnson had let James Jeffries beat him on July 4, 1910, which would have proven once and for all that a white man was ten times better than a negro, then black folks wouldn't have been walking around with their backs straight and chests puffed out, smiling like Cheshire cats, upsetting good, God-fearing white folk who didnt mind seeing their Negros happy, but didn't like seeing them proud.

If Jack Johnson had given up and allowed James Jeffries to clip him on the chin, which would have sent him hurling down to the floor where he could have pretended to be knocked out cold, then maybe Easter Barlett's father wouldn't have twirled his wife and daughters around the house by thier pinky fingers and his son John Bartelett Jr. wouldn't have felt for the first time in his life to be pleased and glad to be a black man. And if Jack Jackson had let the shouts of "Kill that nigger" that rang out from the crowd unravel him or the Nevada heat irritate him, maybe then he would have lost the fight and things would have remained as they were.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's That Time Again! Get Behind the Book Blog Hop!

This is a great way for all book bloggers to connect and get to know each other. Head over to Jennifer's site Crazy for Books and add yourself to the list of blogs that are about one of our favorite things: Books and all things literary. Don't be shy, join the fun! See you there :-)

Mini Giveaway has concluded. The Winner of JUMPER: GRIFFIN'S STORY is...

Thanks guys for stopping by, becoming followers and entering this mini book giveaway. Check back this weekend for an awesome giveaway of a most lovely book. Now moving along to the businesss at hand, the winner of this interesting little book is...

Dr. Bill(William L.) Smith

Please email me your address so the book can be sent to you. If the winner doesn't respond in 48 hrs, a runner up will be chosen.

Winner was selected by RANDOM.ORG