Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Virtual Book Tour #13: Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

Today's virtual book tour stop brings us to author L.A. Tripp's blog, with an article I wrote about being judgmental. This is dedicated to some writer friends I know who have been the victims of this very thing. Take a look and I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Virtual Book Tour Stop #12: A Vision to Die For, An Excerpt From Serenya's Song

Today's stop at The Book Hoard gives us an intimate look at one of the things that makes Serenya so special. And there's a giveaway too, doncha know!

Amy Lee as Serenya? What do YOU
think? Comments welcome.
It’s not like she didn’t have enough on her plate, with a cold, cruel husband who’s threatened the lives of her family and friends, and a growing love toward Jayden, the man she has to practice music with each day. Not only does she have to hide her feelings for him, but she must wear gloves to hide a birth defect that’s made her the subject of ridicule.

As if that were not enough, I gave Serenya the power to interpret dreams. This ability has been helpful to her and others at times, like when she interpreted a teacher’s dream and helped prevent a fire in the local school. But, the vision she has in this particular excerpt is far more vivid, and there seems to be no clear way to prevent what lies ahead.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Virtual Book Tour Stop #11

Thanks to Tricia Kristufek, we're back on the virtual tour for Serenya's Song, and looks like we're stopping in again at The Wasted Witch. Come wet your whistle and meet another character from Summerwind. But, watch yer back, she's a feisty one!

If you haven't read Serenya's Song yet, you can comment there for a chance to win an e-copy! Here's the linky:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

An Interview with Rebecca Barray, 1st Place Winner of the May Flash Fiction (MFF) Contest

Everyone, please welcome fellow full-time mom and writer, Rebecca Barray, to Unwritten for some one-on-one questioning. Rebecca's entry in the MFF contest actually made my blind judge (my hubby, who is not blind) cry. It takes a strong story to make that man cry, let me tell you. And once you read Rebecca's entry, you'll know why:

MFF#13: "A Child Needs His Father" by Rebecca Barray

Let's get down to business, shall we? Tell us about yourself. Who's that woman on the other side of the screen?

Wow, this is a tough one. I’m not entirely sure who I am most of the time. I love spending time with my family and playing with my babies. I love to read, pretty much anything and everything I get my hands on. I love to write fiction and learn about writing as much as I can. I’ve recently discovered the fun of photography, too, and it’s a great way to capture my little ones in time.

Where did the inspiration for your winning story come from? 

With this story, and most of the flash fiction I write, I start with a very deliberate idea of where I want the story to end. Of course, by the time I finish, it probably couldn’t be further from that idea than if I’d deliberately tried to avoid it. I knew I wanted to tell a story of a father’s goodbye, and I wanted the father to be a really good guy. That's all that made it from start to finish in this one. I had envisioned the father running away with the child, despite being a good guy, because he knew that the child would be unsafe otherwise. But in the middle, I thought, “What if he could just keep the kid?” And thus, “A Child Needs His Father” was born.

For me, the writing bug bit in back in 2009 and hasn't let go since. When did you start writing fiction?

I’ve been writing off and on, since middle school. I had such a fantastic time writing fiction for a project in 7th grade that I never really stopped. I didn’t really consider it more than a fun hobby until about a year ago. My two small children were 6 months and 2, and my oldest was starting middle school. I found I was drawn to write more and more. I still do it mostly for myself, but I’m starting to work on a novel that I hope to publish one day.

On your blog, entitled, Becca's Blog, I see a section called 'On My Nightstand', and there are a few familiar writing resource books there. Do you have any favorite writing resources you can recommend?

Buy it HERE!
I don’t know if I can pick a single favorite; there are so many great ones out there. Stephen King’s “On Writing” is a great one disguised as more of a memoir. James Scott Bell’s “Plot and Structure” and “Conflict and Suspense” from the Writer’s Digest Series on Writing Fiction are both extremely helpful when it comes to structure. Another favorite that covers pretty much everything you need to know about storytelling is “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks.

If I've been asked this once, I've been asked a million times: How do you, as a full-time mom of three, have time to write?

That is a question I get asked often, as well. I don’t know about you, but with two toddlers at home, I don’t HAVE time to write. I have to MAKE time to write. On a really good day, I can slip in an hour in the morning, a couple at naptime, and another hour or two after baby bedtime. That, of course, excludes any days that my husband or older son would like to spend any time with me.  Clearly, I don’t get a lot done.

Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite genres?

I tend to be attracted to fantasy and/or romance. The House of Night series, by PC and Kristin Cast, is one of my YA favorites. The Sookie Stackhouse series, by Charlaine Harris, and The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, by JR Ward, are my favorites on the adult paranormal side. In Romance, I just discovered Megan Hart’s “Stranger”, and I now NEED to read every book she’s ever written.

Are you working on anything now, and can you tell us about it?

As I mentioned earlier, I recently started working on a novel. It’s basically about a shy teenage girl that discovers she’s a long lost fairy princess. Can she overcome her shyness and discover the secrets of her family tree in time to save her newly discovered kingdom from a dark and sinister rival? (Okay, I know it’s a little heavy on the clichés, but I am just starting, and by the time I’m finished, it’s anybody’s guess what it will be about.)

Would you like to share an excerpt?

Here’s where my fairy princess enters into the world of Faery for the first time:

I began to take in this fantastical whole new world. If I had been colorblind, it wouldn’t have been half as startling. Many things had familiar shapes: grass, trees, flowers and streams, though with vastly different colors. Everything shone like it was lit from within. Bright, white light streamed down and warmed me from two suns, one low and one hanging high in a soft pink, cloudless sky. The air was heavy with a wild mixture of strange fruity aromas and almost no breeze. My mouth watered and I imagined the scent belonging to a plump fruit, full of a sweet juice that ran down my chin with every bite. A gurgle drew my attention to a small brook flowing with water the orange color of sunset back home. Everything seemed to slow as I spun around with my arms outspread, trying to take it all in at once. There was such a feeling of peace as I took a deep breath and a smile stretched across my face. Every few steps I wanted to stop and inspect something. There was a cluster of blood red flowers that swayed even though there was no wind, as if they were slow-dancing to some melody that I just couldn’t hear. A long line of tiny birds, the size and color of golf balls, marched like ants, high among the feathery, lavender leaves of a tree. When the small leader opened its beak, the tinkling sound of bells came out and every single bird in line stopped frozen. If I hadn’t just seen them moving with my own eyes, I would have sworn they were concrete statues. A little farther along, I came to an odd tree. The stiff, navy branches seemed to be slotted. As I stood bewildered, a light wind brushed across my bare arms. Suddenly, a strange music filled the air and small, furry animals the same cerulean blue as the grass darted around beneath the branches, snatching falling seeds as soon as they touched the ground.

Last but not least, here's a random question: What do you order when you eat Chinese food?

Oh, I love Chinese food! I don’t get to eat it nearly often enough, but, when I do, I always get General Tso’s Chicken with fried rice! I LOVE IT!!

Thanks so much, Rebecca, for sharing all these juicy tidbits with us today. I wish you a ton of success!

Thanks so much for your fun contest and wonderful prizes! It’s an honor to be showcased here on Unwritten!!!


Rebecca Barray is a stay home mother of three (four if you count her extremely child-like husband). She loves fiction and spends her precious little spare time reading, writing, learning about writing, and thinking about writing. She also likes to take pictures.

Becca’s Blog is where she shares her goals, tips, and dreams. She’s also been known to share mommy moments, as well as bits of her latest fiction love: romance, poetry, or fantasy. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Need Books for 20,000th Hit Giveaway!!

I'm about 300 hits away from 20,000. I celebrated both my 5,000th hit and my 10,000th hit with huge giveaways. So, what the heck? Let's do it again! Please see this link to see what my 10,000th hit event was like:


Authors donate a certain number and format of their books. Readers comment and win on a first come, first serve basis. I keep up with each one as its taken and cross a line through the entry when a title is gone. I send each author the winner(s) email addy to send their prize. 

I'll separate by genre, along with title, book cover, and how many are available. Then, I'll link it to the blog/website/store where they can go to read a description. 

So...authors, if you want to participate, please send your book titlecover, and a good link so readers can find out more about it. Also, I'll need to know how many copies you can give away and in what format (print, .pdf, .mobi, .prc, etc). 

If you have any merchandise you'd like to offer (posters, mugs, etc), I can list that too. Just include what and how many in your e-mail. 

***DO NOT send me your book files or merchandise. I'll send all winners to you.*** 

Please put 20,000 Hit Giveaway in the subject line and send an e-mail to with all the information requested above if you want to participate. Thank you in advance!!!

The 20,000th hit will be here very soon, but I'll give you a deadline. I'll stop taking donations on July 31 and will launch the event on August 1. Feel free to contact me with any questions. 

Virtual Book Tour Stops #9 and #10

Tired yet? It's a Virtual Book Tour twofer today!! Come read my guest post about why YOU should give fantasy romance a chance. There's also a giveaway:

And the second of today's Virtual Book Tour Stops! Another run-in with one of the cast members of Serenya's Song. Who will it be THIS time? Come find out and you could even win a free copy of the book!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Random Post

It's all fun and games until a monkey steals your clipboard.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Virtual Tour Stop #9: Guest Post at School of the Ages

The virtual tour continues with a visit to author Matt Posner's blog and a guest post I wrote, entitled, "1,000 True Fans--Who Needs 'Em Anyway?" See what I have to say about it and show me some love, groupies!

Click HERE --->

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Virtual Book Tour Stop #8: Interview at Fangtastic Books

Today's virtual tour stop brings you an in-depth interview with yours truly. Do go check it out and say hi!!

Click the linky below:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Virtual Tour Stop #7: Guest Post at This Author's Life

Guest Post & Giveaway: This week's first tour stop has us stopping in at The Wasted Witch again to wet our whistles and to meet another of the cast of Serenya's Song. Go say hello to him, and each commenter (if you haven't already read it) will have a chance to win a copy of the book! 

Just click HERE --->An Evening With the Cast of Serenya's Song, #2: Jayden

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Interview with Cristena Rehn, 2nd place winner of the May Flash Fiction (MFF) Contest

I'm very happy to have Cristina Rehn here today in the hot seat. Her second place MFF entry was entitled "Banished", and you can read it here:

MFF#6: Banished by Cristena Rehn

Cristina is a fantastic writer I met through Writer's Village University's F2K program, a free six-week writing workshop. For more information about it, click HERE.

Have a seat, Cristina and tell us what you do when you're not writing.

I’ve worked full-time at a non-profit member association representing municipal public health departments for the last eighteen years.  My work is varied and includes quite a bit of writing.  Other than my lengthy commute, I love it.  My non-paid work hours include the usual family things: cooking on the nights my mom doesn’t, pretending I care marginally about housework enough to ensure we all have clean clothes and dishes, running around to my daughter’s activities, snatching a few romantic moments with my husband, and dealing with my stalker cats.

Your blog is called Quiet Content. I've heard rumors that you are a lover of quiet, as is the rest of your family. So am I, but with three kids at my house, it's a rare commodity. Is quiet something you've had to work hard at maintaining, or are you all naturally inclined toward silence?

Having only one shy girl keeps the noise level down, for sure!  My husband, daughter are all introverts, to varying degrees, so we’re all inclined towards silence - though we have our chatty periods too.   My mom lives with us and is an extrovert, but gives us our space.  I also come from a family of ministers (Step-dad, Sis and Mom – I think it’s the world’s most thankless profession), so there were always quiet periods at home needed to recharge.  Being single into my mid-thirties, and living alone much of that time, also acclimated me to long hours of quiet time.  I still crave it and carve some out each day.

What genres of books do you enjoy reading, and which works/authors have inspired your writing?

I’m all over the map with genres. I like satirical novels, literary novels, mysteries, YA, sci-fi, adventure, fantasy, romance.  I love history and read a good amount of non-fiction, particularly anything about Theodore Roosevelt, a fascinating character!  My writing to date is YA focused. John Green, Holly Black, Barry Lyga and Libba Bray are favorites who inspire my work in that genre.  I’ve also read all the works of Christopher Moore, James Thurber and Stephen Fry because they make me laugh out loud.  The older I get, the more I prefer books that entertain me, rather than those with weighty and sad deep truths.  There’s enough of that in real life.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you've participated in NaNoWriMo. It seems like every writer but me has done it. Can you tell those of us who haven't heard of it or haven't participated, exactly what that is and what you like/dislike about it?

Click HERE to check out NaNoWriMo!
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  The challenge is to write a 50,000 (or more if you’re prolific) word novel in the month of November.  You validate your word count, but they do not keep any records of your work, and there are cool prizes (generally discounts to writing related products and services).  They also hold Camp NaNoWriMo – two sessions this year in June and August, and Script Frenzy for script writers.  November 2011 was my first NaNo and I won!  

I liked the challenge of a goal that forced me to keep writing even when inspiration waned. It’s also a great opportunity to interact with other writers, with its “We’re all in it together” vibe. People across the world participate, and although I didn’t attend any, many places set-up local in-person write-ins to meet and work with others in your locale. My daughter participated with me in the Young Writer’s Program, where she could set her own word count. She’s nine and she ended up with a 5,000 word story, dictated to typist Mom.

The hardest part for me was not editing as I wrote. I tend to churn out a few chapters, then spend some time editing what I’ve written before moving on to the next part of the story. You can’t afford to do that when you’re doing NaNo, if you want to make your goal. Another challenge was that my family supported me until the reality of the benign neglect of them that NaNo requires hit. Support waned rapidly by the second week of November.

Are you working on any novels/stories now, and can you tell us about them?

I have a few “finished” first drafts that I’m ignoring until I’m ready to start the revision process.  For now, I signed up for June’s Camp NaNoWriMo just for fun.  I’m way behind and unlikely to reach the magical 50,000 word count, but I’m working on a YA story called Camp Vamp.  I’m doing this one seat of the pants, no outline or plan.  The story: Two friends enroll in a summer camp for night-owls: gamers, would be astronomers, future lounge lizards.  In case the title hasn’t clued you in, it turns out that the counselors and other campers like the night for more sinister reasons.  Expect Vamps, Weres and Ghosts.   I suspect zombies to pop up at some point too.  For my August Camp NaNo, I plan to turn a story I wrote for the Writers Village University F2K Fiction course (when we were classmates!) into a novel.  It’s a novel that revolves around the setting and circumstances of a major flood that devastates a rural community - which happened in my community last August.  I’m working on the outline and character sketches now.

Don't look now, but here's a random question: What's the best costume you've ever worn?

It’s a toss-up between Bunsen Honeydew of the Muppets (w/ a friend as Beaker) in 7th grade, and The Jolly Green Giant and Sprout with my tall husband taking the lead role as the JGG and short me as Sprout.  We hope to do the Heat Miser and Cold Miser this coming Halloween.

Finally, would you like to share an excerpt from one of your projects? 

Sure!  I already sent off my first page critique prize and received great feedback, so I’ll share an excerpt from that.  This is from my November 2011 NaNoWriMo project, titled “Take the Consequences”:

Of all the things in life to be late for, a funeral has to be the worst. Miri sighed and scanned the grassy fields along the roadway for hidden hazards. Driveways.  Squirrels. Errant cows.

Seemed like she was always late.  Late learning her ex-boyfriend, Daniel, was a cheating bastard. Late getting the hell away from her control- freak mom. Late realizing that those two things were not unrelated. Her life-long bent towards compliance finally snapped - too late.

But late to her aunt’s funeral topped the rest, though she'd never met Aunt Aga, her last living relative on the Oneiros side of the family.  Not living anymore, dummy.  You’re it. 

Miri meant to visit - once she turned eighteen and Mom could no longer tell her what to do.  Her mom’s lifetime of lies replayed in her head:  They were horrible after your dad died, sweetie.  Thought we weren’t good enough for them.  They don’t care about us at all.

Maybe it some of it was true.  Miri had just turned two when he died.  True or not, she believed Mom, until she intercepted the mail on her sixteenth birthday and discovered that Aunt Aga sent her a birthday letter and gift each year, without fail, along with an invitation to visit.  An invitation Miri swore she’d accept when she was old enough to be out from under Mom’s thumb.

So much for good intentions.  I'm freaking nineteen now, it's my first trip to Auburn, and Aga's dead.  Miri gave herself a mental smack. 

The endless fields morphed into a blacktopped rollercoaster of twisty hills and curves.   Miri jerked her steering wheel and her brain back on track as the lane made a hard left. 

This better be the right road.

Thanks so much for stopping in, Cristena! I wish you the best of luck in all your writing goals!

Cristina Rehn lives in Upstate NY with her husband, daughter and mother.  A full-time job, a full-time family  and two demanding cats don't leave much time for writing, so it's still a hobby.  She hopes someday she'll shine and polish up something enough to be published, but for now she just enjoys learning from other writers about both the craft and the business.  Her hobbies are writing and reading, and eking out as much solitude and silence as she can to do both.  Her daughter banished her from birthday parties years ago. 

Interview with Angie Ballard, 3rd Place Winner, May Flash Fiction (MFF) Contest

I'm very pleased to have Angie Ballard here today, where I can interrogate her mercilessly like I do all my interviewees. Angie wrote a wonderful flash fiction story for our MFF contest. If you'd like to read it, click here:

MFF #11 by Angie Ballard

Now, let's get to the nitty-gritty and find out about the woman who calls herself The Jammie Girl?? Love your blog title. I've been snooping over there, and have to ask. Are YOU a Jammie Girl? Do you hang out in your jammies until noon, like some people I know? (I made it to the shower at 11:40 today!) 

My blog title began as an inside joke, because I'd worked for years as a nurse, getting up at 3am every morning and relishing my days off when I actually could wear jammies at long as I liked.  I discovered quickly that I wasn't the only person out there who felt they were more productive if they wrote, cleaned, cooked, or whatever all before changing out of pajamas!

Tell us a little about yourself, Angie. What do you do when you're not writing?

 I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and am a graduate of the University of Kentucky.  I've been married twenty-five years, and have two sons, ages twenty and thirteen.  And, no, we didn't realize at the time that having our children seven years apart would guarantee us a teenager in the house for fourteen straight years.  I love to cook, I'm a voracious reader, and I have two large dogs I spoil unashamedly.  Right now I'm off work recuperating from my third and fourth cervical spine surgery, so the rest of my hobbies are on hold for a bit.

For those not in the know, I met Angie when I joined Louisville Romance Writers, our local chapter of the Romance Writers of America (RWA). How long have you been a member there, and can you tell us about the benefits of joining a local writers' group?

I have been a member of LRW for two years and I can honestly say I have never met a more supportive group of people, both personally and professionally.  If I wasn't active in a writing group it would be too easy to take my writing less seriously because I wouldn't be basking in the literary successes of the other members or being held accountable for whether or not I'm really making an effort to write and be read.

Who and what are some of the authors and books that have inspired you most?

I write Women's Fiction, and some of my favorites are Jennifer Crusie, Mary Kay Andrews, and Dorothea Benton Frank.  But I also own everything Stephen King has ever written and would probably buy and enthusiastically read his grocery list given the opportunity.

You've written a cookbook entitled: Tight Budget, Tiny Kitchen, and No Time: How to Eat Well in Your First Apartment. Boy, I wish I had that when we first married and lived in that rinky-dink one bedroom. When did you publish this, and what inspired you to write it? 

When my eldest son went off to college two hours from home it was very traumatic (for me - not at all for him).  Since I tend to show my affection by feeding people it was so hard to know he wasn't having his favorite home-cooked meals.  Of course he was perfectly happy living on pizza and Taco Bell, but I put this book together as a sort of labor of love for use in his first off-campus apartment.  The tips and techniques are ones I use myself since being off work an extended period of time quickly renewed my interest in living and cooking frugally.

Let's hear about your novel-in-progress. I have to say, I think the whole group was smitten with that first paragraph you read during our April meeting. I've been hungry for tater tot casserole ever since! What's the title, genre, and gist of the story?

It's called Lordale, which is the name of the little beach town in which most of the story is set.  It's Women's Fiction, slanted more toward Commercial Fiction than Literary Fiction.  I believe in the reader getting a happy ending :)  The main story revolves around Maggie, a middle-aged woman who has finally gotten everything she has worked so hard for, but realizes she may have sacrificed too much along the way.  Her young friend and neighbor, Amanda, mirrors Maggie's struggles as she deals with a busy career, the huge responsibility of being her mother's caretaker, and an unexpected romance.

Do you have an excerpt you'd like to share?

The next morning Maggie woke up the same way she usually did: to the tap of toenails on the hardwood floor and the touch of a cold nose on her arm.  She pulled on her crumpled shorts and T-shirt from the day before, laced up her running shoes, and grabbed a bottle of water and an old tennis ball.  Sam, her plump chocolate lab, was doing the potty dance by the back door by this time.  It was barely dawn, but Maggie never minded Sam’s early wake-up calls - she’d always enjoyed the hour or so of solitude waking up before everyone else provided.  Sam’s brisk trot set the pace for their warm-up, and Maggie turned back a few minutes later to admire the two sets of footprints - one human, one canine - that were the only ones marring the perfection of the early-morning sand.

Last but not least, everyone gets a random question when they have an interview here. Yours is: Do you have a food that you love, but most people find repulsive? Or alternately, do you hate a food that most people love?

Is there a word for pathological fear of coconut? That would be me. I won't even eat chocolates from a box that's marked just in case someone put a coconut one in the wrong spot by accident. Bleh!

Thanks so much, Angie for sitting in my interrogation chair today. I wish you the best of luck with your writing and everything else!

Angie Ballard is a nurse, mother of sons, and dog-lover who got started writing with her blog, The Jammie Girl, which is part chat with a girlfriend over a glass of sweet tea, part conversation overheard in the grocery store checkout line, and part Thanksgiving dinner with the crazy branch of the family.  Although her only published work to date is a frugal cookbook she is currently writing her second novel in the Women's Fiction genre when she's not wasting time on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Virtual Book Tour Stop #5: Guest Blog and Giveaway at Roxanne's Realm

Stop #5 brings us to a little tavern called The Wasted Witch in the quaint town of Summerwind. You never know who you'll meet here. Come find out, and don't forget to tip your waitress! Just click on the link below:

Roxanne's Realm: Guest Blog and Giveaway with Mysti Parker

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Virtual Book Tour Stop #4: Promo at Flutey Words

Me in Costume at Karen's Book
Barn & Java Stop, LaGrange, KY

I've got a twofer appearance today, so you can stop in at author/flutist Aubrie Dionne's blog and say hi! Also, please share this one via Twitter, FB, etc if you have a chance. And I'd love to see a comment or two over there :) Just click the link below:

Virtual Book Tour, Stop #3: Guest Post at The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

On Stop #3 of my blog tour, I'm tackling an issue a lot of us full-time moms face: returning to work after raising kids. I've even quoted two real-life friends in this article. Feel free to click on the link below and share your experiences!

The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom: Guest Blog by Author Mysti Parker: Would You Like Some Guilt With That? Navigating the Emotional Waters of Returning to Work After Full-Time Mothering 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Virtual Book Tour, Stop #2: Guest Post at Sarah Mäkelä's Blog

On our second stop, you'll learn the intimate details of why I'm so fascinated with elves. It might have something to do with this guy right here:

Plus, I'm giving away a copy of BOTH A Ranger's Tale AND Serenya's Song to one lucky commenter, but you have to click on the link below and leave your comment there. Prizes to be awarded at the end of the tour!

Sarah Mäkelä: Guest Author Mysti Parker: Elves are People, Too—A Love Story by Mysti Parker In 2001, a little movie called “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” hit th...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Virtual Book Tour, Stop #1: Interview at Books, Books, the Magical Fruit

Pack your pretend suitcase, grab a real cup of coffee, and journey through the blogosphere with me. Our first stop is a wonderful book blog with a very cool name. I'd be so grateful if you left a comment over there. So, click on the link below to reach our first destination!

First Stop: Books, Books, the Magical Fruit: Blog Tour - Author Interview 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Serenya's Song Hits the Virtual Road!

On Monday, June 11, I'm kicking off my tour of the blog-o-sphere with Serenya and crew. We'll be doing interviews, guest posts, giveaways, and you'll see some new reviews! While busy beaver me works steadily on each day's assignment, check out the schedule (subject to change):

**Don't miss my "mini-series", featuring the cast of Serenya's Song. Each one is labeled "An Evening with ___"below.**

June 11 Interview
Books, Books The Magical Fruit

June 12 Guest blog
Sarah Mäkelä – 

June 13 Promo
Flutey Words

June 13 Guest Blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

June 14 Guest blog or Promo--An Evening With Serenya
Roxanne’s Realm

June 15 Review
Title of Blog-A Bibliophile's Reverie

June 18 Guest blog--An Evening With Jayden

June 19 Interview
Fang-tastic Books

June 20 Guest blog
Matt Posner

June 22 Guest blog
The Speculative Salon: 

June 22 Guest blog--An Evening With Sebastian
Shelley Munro

June 25 Guest blog--An Evening with Lillyanne
Musings of a Writing Reader : 

June 26 Guest blog
~Margaret @ The Book Hoard

June 27, Guest blog
Tripp Randomly Writes

June 29, Guest Post, 
Paranormal Romantic Suspense, 

July 3 Interview and promo

July 3 Review
Books, Books, and More Books

July 3 Guest blog
Fiction Fascination --An Evening With Douglas

July 3 Interview

July 5 Guest blog and review--An Evening With Cevil Delmarr
For The Love Of Film And Novels

July 6 Interview
Marsha Moore’s Blog Illusions of Intimacy

July 7 Promo

July 9 Promo
Simply Infatuated

July 9 Review
WTF Are You Reading?

July 9 Promo
A Great Book Is The Cheapest Vacation –

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review of Better Than Catnip by Ruth J Hartman

Better Than CatnipBetter Than Catnip by Ruth J. Hartman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, one of my favorite sweet romance authors has delivered a story as warm and fuzzy as the cat on the cover. Don't let looks fool you, though. This story takes us deep within the bowels of a terrifying place...a cat shelter!

Ok, so not so terrifying to most people, and not to Roxy, the heroine of the story. Unfortunately, for 11-year-old Derek, who's been forced to volunteer at the shelter or face juvenile detention, it's his worst nightmare. And that's a shame, because Derek's single dad, Max, is one fine specimen of a man. He and Roxy hit it off, but their future together is questionable, since Roxy cannot give up her cats, and Max cannot force his son to overcome his fear.

I loved the reality of this situation. One could imagine themselves in Roxy and Max's shoes. Mrs. Hartman writes in such a way that their desire for one another tugs at your heartstrings, but you feel sympathetic toward Derek, who really does try his best. The characters are genuinely flawed--Roxy being awkward around teens and clumsy, and Max (a high school basketball coach) being a loud Sasquatch at times. I particularly love that these quirks provide both laughs and conflict as the two of them try to make it work in what at times seems to be an impossible relationship.

I highly recommend this book, and any of Ruth J Hartman's works, to all the sweet romance lovers out there, young adult and beyond. And if you're an ailurophile (cat lover), I'm sure you'll find it purrfect!

View all my reviews

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Busy Beaver Is Busy

It's Thursday, I think. Since I've not had a new post in a few days, I thought I'd assure you that I'm still alive and kicking. Between taking my kids here and there for summer fun, I'm working on promotional activities. I've decided not to force any fiction writing for the remainder of the summer, but to focus on writing up guest blog posts for my blog tours, since I can only get a few minutes of uninterrupted thought.

If the bug bites in and makes me write some fiction, then I shall surrender to the bug's direction. Meanwhile, look for these upcoming events:

1. Interviews with the MFF Contest winners.
2. Live events--check out the "See Me Live" page at the top of the blog. If you're anywhere near those areas, I'd love to see you.
3. Virtual blog tour from June 11-July 9 through Bewitching Book Tours. I'll be all over the blogo-sphere and I'll be posting my stops here each day. Stay tuned for the schedule.
4. Virtual blog tour from July 15-21 through Page Turners Book Tours.

Starting next week, look for posts each day. I hope you have a great summer!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Drum Roll Please....

During a busy and fun weekend, while I chatted it up with some fab folks at the Lori Foster Reader/Author Get-Together, I put my blind judge (my hubby, who is not blind at all) to work on our MFF contest judging.

I printed out each entry, removed names and titles, except for entry number, and even formatted them in a similar fashion. Hubby sat in our hotel room and read them all, then marked 1, 2, and 3 on his picks for our winners. I had no influence on his choices, but I'm very happy with them, nonetheless. That being said, you ALL did a fabulous job. I was uber impressed with how much variety and creativity you peeps put into these 13 entries. I'm already looking forward to another contest.

Don't you just wish I'd get to the winners already??? I'm such a stinker.

Without further ado...the winners of Unwritten's May Flash Fiction (MFF) contest are...

1. A Child Needs His Father by Rebecca Barray
2. Banished by Cristina Rehn
3. MFF#11 by Angie Ballard

Winners, you will receive these fabulous prizes:

1st Place: One print copy of The Emotion Thesaurus by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman, One print copy of The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, one first-page critique by one of the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, and an interview on Unwritten!

2nd Place: One PDF of The Emotion Thesaurus, one first page critique by one of the authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, and an interview on Unwritten!

3rd Place: An interview on Unwritten!

Everyone send a big woot, woot to these fine writers for their fabulous work. And please stay tuned to Unwritten for even MORE contests in the near future....