Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm Doing Something Right...Part One.

Hey guys. I've gone longer between posting than usual because I've been crazy busy over the past week. This is a busy season in the book publishing world, especially in New York City. BEA (Book Expo America) was taking place at the Jacob Javits Center and I was attending the Backspace Writers Conference. If you are an aspiring author, I can't recommend a better conference for you to attend than Backspace. It is chocked full of literary agents, authors, editors and publishing professionals of all types and they're there to help you make your dreams come true and become a published author.

Honestly, people leave Backspace feeling one of two ways for the most part: you're either super happy because you heard really good stuff about your writing or you've pretty much been told (nicely) that your writing sucks and it's back to the drawing board. I am happy to say that I received very positive feed back and left the conference in the happiest of moods. This was not the case last year when I was clearly making newbie mistakes (too much backstory anyone?) and hadn't fully honed the craft of creative writing.

They held a contest modeled after American Idol in which three literary agents (two of which represent the authors of The Art of Racing in the Rain and Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction)  decided who would make it past the first round and the audience would then decide the winners. I'm tickled to say I won second place!  When I was called up to get my prize(a fifty dollar gift certificate), I knew I was doing something right.

So many people approached me afterwards to offer me congratulations and tell me how much they liked my writing it was down right embarrassing. And I wasn't even the first place winner, but I sure felt like it! I can't imagine being any happier. Someone said I was the "star" of the conference. I don't know about that, but I'll tell you one thing, I don't know how any celebrity could be arrogant. To receive that kind of attention is incredibly humbling to me. I felt like I wanted to do more than say "thank you" effusively, over and over again, but that's all I could do. I guess writing a good story that people will enjoy is the next best thing.

This past week, two agents expressed interest in reading pages from my manuscript. Now this doesn't mean they're going to ultimately like the story or want to take it on, but at least I know I'm headed in the right direction and I'm getting positive nibbles.

Well thanks for "listening" guys. It's back to writing!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Release Day! INFINITY-CHRONICLES of NICK by NYT Bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon. Book Review and Giveaway.

Title: Infinity-Chronicles of Nick
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: Griffin/St. Martins Press
Format: ARC
ISBN: 978-0-312-59907-2
Price: $17.99  Pages: 464
Release Date: May 25, 2010

Sherrilyn Kenyon is a prolific writer of a number of paranormal series. Infinity: Chronicles of Nick, a teen novel, is the first in a series for young adults. It is a prequel of sorts, telling the tale of one of her adult characters from his earlier, formative years.

Nick Gautier is a fourteen year-old boy from a single-parent home and the wrong side of the tracks. His classmates at the private school he attends on scholarship never let him forget it, either. Each day is a struggle to find acceptance from his peers, seek understanding from his mother, and keep himself on track so he doesn’t let her down. Nick always knew his father, incarcerated, was a monster and a threat. He just didn’t know he should take it literally.

One fateful night, Nick turns back from joining his so-called friends in a scheme to make a few extra dollars the wrong way. It’s cataclysmic and the beginning of a new era in Nick’s life. If he thought he had it rough before, he hasn’t seen anything yet. He’s about to learn that a lot of creatures exist beyond what mortal man can see or believe and they’re all after him. He just doesn’t understand why. Life’s about to get a whole lot better and a whole lot worse.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New York Times Bestselling Author, Sherrilyn Kenyon: Queen of the Paranormal Introduces Her First YA Novel: INFINITY-CHRONICLES of NICK

As some of you well know and to those of you who don't, Sherrilyn Kenyon is a pioneer in in the realm of writing the paranormal. She is an international best seller of a number of series; some of which include: The Dark-Hunter, Lords of Avalon, The League, Brotherhood of the Sword among others.

Her first teen novel, Infinity-Chronicles of Nick is going to be released tomorrow and I want to give you a taste of it here. I'll be posting a review and possible giveaway so stay tuned and click on some of the links below to enjoy the preview of things to come.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review of a Debut Novelist: The Boneshaker by Kate Milford: A Steampunk Tour De Force

The Boneshaker by Kate Milford        
(Clarion Books, May 2010)

The first thing one notices about The Boneshaker is its eye-catching cover art. It’s vibrant, intricate, and unusual. It immediately draws the reader in. As the story unfolds, readers will be pulled back to that cover more than once as they try to locate the figures they read about.

This is a tale of unusual elements. It mixes steampunk and magical realism. For those that are not familiar with steampunk, it is a subgenre of science fiction and speculative fiction. The Boneshaker, and stories that utilize such historical fantasy are set in the Victorian era and incorporate technology that is not common to that time in history.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Awesomeness of a Lovely Award. My Thanks Knows No Bounds.

I was privileged to receive a most lovely award from an even lovelier lady this week. That lovely lady is Priya from The Plum Bean Project. She's written her first novel called Exit, The Actress and it will be published by Touchtone Fireside, an imprint of Simon and Schuster.

I am always amazed when I receive an award for my blog. I don't take it for granted that someone, one of you passing my way, thinks it's worthy enough to receive recognition. I truly thank you. I now want to pass on the greatness to someone else; five someones as a matter of fact.

There are stipulations to receiving this super award. To accept it, you must leave a comment on the post you were nominated on, make a list and post the last five books you read, then pass the award on to five other bloggers. Your mission, if you choose to accept it has been clearly stated :-) Now go forth and spread the book blogger goodness!

The last five books I read were:

Insatiable by Meg Cabot
Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone
Infinity-Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw
In Free Fall by Juli Zeh

Now on to the five fab blogs I've selected to be awarded:

Precious of Fragments of Life 
Kavyen of Reading between Pages

I pass this lovely award along to other lovely ladies. Check out their blogs and spend some time digging in. Enjoy.

Thanks again for thinking of me Priya!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Blog Hop for Fun and New Adventures

The Book Blog Hop is such a simple but ingenuious idea to get to meet other bloogers and learn of blogs you may never have otherwise. We have Jen over at Crazy-for-Books to thank for this. She came up with the idea. Add your name to the list on her site and then start to visit the blogs you see. It's interesting and informative. I pay a visit to all who visit me and love doing it. Enjoy guys!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sexually Transmitted Diseases are alive and well: Beware!

I was speaking to a friend of mine not very long ago. Life has not been so good for her of late. She contracted herpes and has been living in misery ever since. She is often in tremendous pain and has to be very careful not to get stressed because stress triggers outbreaks; hard not to get stressed when you're in tremendous pain. It's a vicious, bitter cycle and has ruined the life of a lovely, gentle soul who works hard to better the life of others through her work professionally as well as in her personal life.

Sometimes she feels suicidal.  She took antidepressants because of the sheer physical agony she experienced. She changed her diet and that seemed to give her some success, but then she became stressed out because of family problems and what happened? You guessed it. A new outbreak. Now her doctor says it may take months to reach her former state of equilibrium and get her system under control again.

Not a happy way to live. Even if you're married, if your spouse is not faithful, you're at risk, but this message is particularly for the single girls among us. If you're going to do it,  please protect yourself. No amount of pleasure is worth the pain and misery if you contract a nasty little bugger that makes you want to tear your private parts out. And I got that straight from the source. It's that bad. You literally want to rip out your nether regions and start over again with fresh, working parts.

Don't let anyone do this to you, no matter how good they look, how sweet they talk and how much they say they love you. You'll regret it...big time.

Love ya!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sparkling Sunday Shopping: Sneak Preview of Giveaway Goodies: BLOGMANIA-Sept 15 & 16. Be Here!

I'm starting a new feature to highlight the goodies I'll be giving away in the Fall edition of Blogmania. It will be held over two days this time (9/15,16) to give people more time to hunt through the treasures up for grabs. I've been fortunate to get some generous and thoughtful sponsors to donate to my giveaway, so it's going to be an awesome event!

Seeking sponsors has given me the opportunity to find some truly wonderful shops that are offering very unique and often one-of-a kind pieces. You all know I am all about YA and smoking teen love, so that's going to be my giveaway theme. During Sparkling Sunday Shopping (SSS), I am going to highlight my sponsors and let you see for yourself, what kind of great stuff they have. Your giveaway prizes are going to come from these shops, so stop in, look around and bookmark them for some fun shopping of your own!

Today, let's check out Ox Original Art Jewelry by Patsy Oxley . Patsy has beautiful jewelry. One of you will be winning on of her pieces and the rest better shop and snatch up one of her originals before they're gone!:

OxOriginalArtJewelry's Shop Announcement

Welcome! Ox Original Art Jewelry seeks to seduce one's sense of color, texture, and design by creating original pieces of wearable art. I combine fragments of natural and organic images found commonly in Colorado with precious and semi-precious metals and gemstones in ways that express their individuality and uniqness. My purpose is not to conform, or to imitate, but to utilize nature's own sense of originality, contradiction, and understatement in pursuit of artistic expressions of the ordinary made extraordinary, the usual made unusual, the common become uncommon.

Now, let's check out Making Time TC by Janice Johnson . She makes specialized clocks and one of you will be winning one of those as well. Stop in her shop and browse around!

makingtimetc's Shop Announcement

Hello and welcome to Making Time TC. Come in a stay a while! I hope you enjoy browsing through my shop.

See new listings and receive FANS-ONLY specials by becoming a fan at

Would you like CUSTOM WORK done, or have a QUESTION OR REQUEST? Please contact me. I would love to work with you.

SHOPPING TIP: For larger photos, shop in "gallery" view. 


I'll be highlighting more great shops next week!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

And the Two Winners of THE SWIMMING POOL are....

Thank you so much guys for entering this giveaway and becoming followers. I can tell by the comments that you are really feeling this book and looking forward with anticipation for the winners. I'm not going to make you wait a moment longer. The two winners of The Swimming Pool are...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And the Two Winners of Autographed Copies of WIND WARRIOR are...

Thanks so much for all who entered and were supportive of a new author on the scene. I know Cynthia Roberts certainly appreciates it and will repay one and all with a good story you can lose yourself in. Now on to the winners. The two fortunate winners of Wind Warrior are...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway: THE SWIMMING POOL by Holly LeCraw: The Beauty of Language. Two Winners for this one.

Author: Holly LeCraw
Publisher: Double Day
Format: Completed Book
ISBN: 978-0-385-53193-1
Price: $25.95; Pages: 307

I'm going to deviate somewhat from my usual style of writing a review. I usually will provide the readers with the blurb from the book to get the juices flowing, but this time I'm only going to provide a mere hint...

At the bottom of the closet, among the dust bunnies, was a half-crushed shirt box. It felt light, and he opened it expecting to find nothing or, at most, some old, ill-considered birthday gift. But instead, neatly folded, there was a woman's bathing suit...Yes. He remembered...

Why, you may ask? The Swimming Pool is that kind of a book. It's quite literary in it's sensibilities and is written in language that should be savored and pondered upon. It reminds me of crusty French bread, freshly made, that one eats slowly and with great deliberation, stopping to chew and study the delicious depths of it.

It's a story of love, death, deception, mystery and suspense. These elements weave and intertwine with each other, leaving the reader to contemplate and fill in the voids. The story speaks to you in whispers. It is not a plot driven novel. It plunges the reader into the complex inner world of the characters as they try to sort through their myriad emotions and motivations: A husband and wife having an affair, the lust and longing of a young man; a son, that still haunts him years later, post partum depression, murder, death, possible suicide...revenge.

As a therapist, I was especially interested in the inner workings of the characters. Some readers like a story well tied up and clean at the end, but reality often doesn't work this way. Ms. LeCraw acknowledges this as she takes the reader through a meandering journey through characters who seem to have it all, but are missing a key ingredient: happiness and fulfillment.

The author, Holly LeCraw is a master of utilizing evocative and beautiful language. More than once I re-read passages just to turn the words over in my mind, play with them, consider them; a lovely turn of phrase here and there. As an aspiring author, this book is an excellent example of writing as art; of using language as a live and creative force.

Two winners will be selected. If you would like to learn of that which I speak and secure your own copy, become a follower if you're not already, post a comment and your e-mail or someway to contact you. That is all. Savor this book on a quiet afternoon with something delicious to eat and drink by your side.

The giveaway ends Sat, May 15 2010

Thanks to Judy Jacoby of Doubleday for making the books available.


Friday, May 7, 2010

For the Love of Books, Hop Over Here!

It's Friday and that means it's time to  take a few minutes and make the rounds to visit fellow bloggers old and new and see what everone is up to. Jen over at Crazy-for-Books started this meme and it was an excellent idea. Go to her site to add your blog to the list so folks can find you and then check you out. Be kind enough to return the favor. You'll meet great people and even better blogs doing this. Have fun and see you there!

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Springtime and Romance is in the air: Author Spotlight and Book Giveaway of an Autographed Copy: Cynthia Roberts, Author of WIND WARRIOR. Two Winners for This One!

I'm going to do something a little different today and let the author talk to you in her own words. I'm putting the spotlight on on a romance author, Cynthia Roberts. Ms. Roberts has written the historical romance novel WIND WARRIOR, the first in a five book series. Ahh...but I'm getting ahead of myself. Ms. Roberts, would you please do us the honor...

Hello everyone.  Like all of you, I lived and breathed reading romances … it filled many long and lonely evenings when my husband worked nights in law enforcement and I was raising my children Jason and Alyssa (now 31 and 29) and filled an empty void much later when my “Cinderella” marriage came to an unexpected end.

I’m a true believer that when tragedy strikes and you’re standing on the edge of that precipice and all you see is darkness looking back at you, faith lies in knowing one of two things will happen.  You can either let fear consume you, roll up into a ball and block out the world or, you can take a leap of faith and learn how to soar like an eagle.

Wind Warrior first came to life 12 years ago when I was meeting my greatest challenge to simply survive head on.  I received so many rejections throughout that time frame I could have wallpapered a small room in my house.  I nearly gave up on my dream.  That is, until I realized it just wasn’t my time.  I needed to live through and get beyond the pain in my own life before I could transform that experience into the kind of passion and emotion I wanted my readers to feel personally through my writing. 

Wind Warrior is book one of five of my Iroquois Series and will officially be released by Tate Publishing June 15th.  It is, however, available now for purchase through Tate’s website.  I hope readers find it as enthralling to read as it was for me to research and bring to life.  Book #2 Captive Heart is expected to be released the end of this year. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mozal Tov...and a Good Time was Had by All...

This has been such a busy couple of days, but a lot of fun. Friday I went to see the King Tut exhibit. It was really captivating to see artifacts up close that were over 3000 years old. I'm a big lover of flea markets and antique shops and this was the ultimate in vintage treasure hunting! They showed a 3-D film and also clips of the scientists testing the mummy for DNA to determining his paternal parentage. They tested other mummies and proved who his father and grandfather were. Fascinating.

I also ordered a cartouche necklace in sterling. The symbols will depict the name of my much loved and departed cat Boozie.  It'll be made in Egypt and delivered here in a few weeks. Another tangible symbol of her greatness and importance to me.

I attended Dylan's Bar Mitzvah yesterday. He is the son of my dear friend Elissa.  You can tell she is having one of her proudest moments as a mom. Dylan spoke Hebrew flawlessly and led the service without a hitch. Both mother and son are big readers and Elissa will read just about anything. If it's a book, she's reading it. Her only complaint is she can't find enough boy fiction books to buy for Dylan. As a result, he ends up reading a lot of non-fiction. So, come on aspiring writers, lets see if we can come up with some inspiring stuff that boys want to read!

Elissa is so supportive of my writing and is genuinely excited when I tell her of my developments along the long road toward publication. A true friend.

I'm going to try to get some writing done today. Haven't had a chance to do much over the last several days. Have a good weekend everybody.

And The Two Winners of PERFECT CHEMISTRY and RULES of ATTRACTION are...

What a weekend. Whew! There are winners galore. First there were the two winners of Blogmania 2010-the Spring edition and now I'm able to award two more winners of the awesome books from Simone Elkeles. I'm not going to hold you in suspense any longer girls. The winners of PERFECT CHEMISTRY and RULES of ATTRACTION are...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

And the Two Winners of Blogmania 2010 are...

Thanks to all the awesome people who stopped by, followed and entered the first Blogmania Giveaway Extravaganza. It was truly a fun, community experience that turned out way bigger and way better than I could have ever imagined. It was all because of you, all of you who joined in and made it the special day and blogger event that it was. God bless you all.

As you know there are two prizes: The Grand Prize which consists of the three books of the Evernight series and the First Prize which consists of the new novel SCARS and the multi colored drop earrings. I'm excited to announce the winners so without further ado let's do just that. The winner of the Grand Prize is...