Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Maroon 5's new album out today AND what's in a name?

It’s no secret.


If you know me and/or visit my blog and twitter, you know that I LOVE Maroon 5 ...

 and Adam Levine.     *sigh*

(These 2 pics are from the best concert ever that I went to.) *double sigh*

So, in honor of Maroon 5’s new album, Overexposed, in stores today, I thought I’d share two fun facts with you about my WIP, Wishful Thinking.

What do Maroon 5 and my novel, Wishful Thinking, have in common?

Two very important things.

1.)  Kara - my main female protag is named after Kara’s Flowers… Maroon 5’s original name.

2.)  Jagger - my main male protag is named for M5’s song Moves Like Jagger. “Brody” was my MC’s incognito name because I wasn’t ready to share his real name.
     My CP’s, hubs, and besties were the ones who knew his actual name was Jagger. They love my crazy Maroon 5 freakish self. And I heart them right back.

How do you choose your main characters names?  
Do you have particular reasons for choosing a name?
Or do you just pick and choose as the ideas come to you?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Blog Hop

It's time for the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! Blog hop! 
Thanks to Jaycee @ Jaycee DeLorenzo's Blog and Victoria @ Confessions of a Twenty Something Fiction Writer for hosting this!!!

You can go HERE OR HERE for the details and list of participants.

Kara and her grandma are characters from my current project, WISHFUL THINKING, a YA urban fantasy, as of now.  There won't be any urban fantasy stuff below, though. Just a nice time between grandma and granddaughter.

credit: istockphoto

Kara wheels her grandma into the community lounge of the nursing home. Pale yellow curtains cover the windows, filtering sunshine throughout the room. She parks her grandma’s chair near one of the sofas and flips the brake lever so Gram doesn’t go off roading during their time together.
“What shade would you like today?” Kara fishes through her purse and pulls out two bottles of nail polish. “Marvelous Mauve or Pink Passion.”
“Is that purple?” Gram’s green eyes crinkle around the edges as she stares at the mauve bottle.
“Sort of.”
“Let’s go with the pink one,” Gram says.
Kara flops down on the sofa. “So, any guys try to steal your heart yet?” She rolls the bottle of nail polish between her fingers then unscrews the cap.
“There’s only one man for me, dear.
“Grandpa?” Kara brushes a coat of pink over her grandma’s brittle nails.
“I’ll always love your grandfather, God rest his soul, but I was referring to Paul.” She tips her chin toward a group of four older gentlemen playing a card game.
            One of the men could be Sean Connery’s twin. He looks over at Gram, gives her a wink, then focuses on his game again.
“Aw. Gram.” Kara’s heart squeezes in her chest, and she smiles. “You’ve found love again.”
“Don’t marry me off just yet.” Gram swats the air. “We’ve only spent a little time together, but I like where it’s headed.” She removes a piece of paper from her shirt pocket, careful not to smear her nail polish. “But we’re not supposed to be talking about me. These folks want to hear about you. Remember?”
“Yeah, I know. The Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Blog Hop.” Kara squirms on the couch. “I don’t like having attention on me.”
“Well, you best get over that now, huh?” Gram lays the paper on her lap. “First question. Has anyone caught your eye?”
            Kara dips the brush into the bottle before moving to her grandma’s other hand. “His name’s Jagger.”
            “He wouldn’t be the same Jagger that volunteers here, would he?”
            Kara nods. “He’s not here today, though.”
            “Well, slap my tush and call me Lady Gaga. That Jagger’s a real looker.”
            “You don’t have to tell me twice.” Kara blows on her grandma’s fingernails then places her hand on the arm of the chair. “I really like him, Gram.”
            “That brings us to question two. How would you describe your hero?”
            “He’s so sweet. And respectful, confident, hot, and a great—” Kara stops then grabs a bottled water out of her bag.
            “Great what?” Gram hedges. “Kisser?”
            Kara’s cheeks fill with heat.
“Honey, I’m seventy years old. Don’t you think I’ve heard it all by now?”
“I suppose.” Kara shrugs then grins. “We’ve only kissed once, but it was amazing.” She takes a sip of her water.
“I bet,” Gram says. “Okay, boxers or briefs?”
Kara coughs, the liquid stuttering its way down her throat. “Oh, my God, Gram!”
“Hey, I’m just the messenger. Jaycee and Victoria wrote this list for me.” Gram pats the piece of paper. “I happen to like these questions.”
“Fine.” Kara stands and tosses the bottle on the sofa. “Boxer briefs.”
“What’s one thing you believe you can tell a lot about a person?”
Kara digs a hairbrush out of her purse. “How they treat their loved ones.” She slides the bristles through her grandma’s hair. “If they’re mean to someone they love, I know for a fact they’ll be mean to me. Forget that crap.”
“Smart girl,” Gram says.
Kara kisses her grandma on the cheek. “I’ve learned from the absolute best.”

And now for Kara's song....

If Jagger could choose one song to sing to Kara, to calm her fears, to help her let go and trust him, "Home" by Phillip Phillips would be the song he'd choose.

And that's all for this excerpt. Thanks so much for reading!

And please go HERE to check out one of my CP's cover reveal. So excited for Kimmy! Go show her some love! :) 

Cover reveal ... TRIANGLES

I'm beyond thrilled to help one of my lovely CP's, Kimberly Ann Miller, with her cover reveal for her awesome book TRIANGLES, to be released June 18, 2013 by Spencer Hill Press.

Here's the blurb:

A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle--a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who's practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser's suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she's full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that one of these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question--how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?

And now for the cover...

Isn't it gorgeous?! And the story is brilliant!

You can learn more about Kimberly Ann Miller by clicking on her name.

If you want to add TRIANGLES to your Goodreads to-be-read list, click HERE.

Monday, June 18, 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Winners and Honorable Mentions

Thank you for participating in our first blogfest! It was so fun reading all the excerpts and getting to know bloggers better.

There were a ton of good entries which made it hard to choose. And if you know me, you know that decision making is my nemesis.

Thanks, also, to Danielle for co-hosting this blogfest with me and for the gorgeous buttons. Love them!

On with this before I babble on for too long...
Below, are my choices. You can find Danielle's choices @ Entertaining Interests.



Clare @ Clare Dugmore Writes

Laura @ Stranger Than Writing...

T @ That's What She Said

Congrats you three! Please feel free to post the Honorable Mention badge on your blog if you'd like. You all had amazing fight scenes! So powerful. I loved them all. Thanks for sharing them with us.

And the WINNER of a $10 email giftcard to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and the Blogfest Winner Badge (below) for his awesome First Fight Scene is:

James @ James Anderson's Blog

Congrats, James!



Andrea @ The Enchanted Writer

Angeline @ Angeline Trevena

A.J. @ A.J. Locke

M.J. Fifield @ My Pet Blog

Congrats you four! Please feel free to post the Honorable Mention badge on your blog if you'd like. You all had lovely first kiss scenes! They were swoon worthy, and I heart them all. Thanks for sharing them with us.

And the WINNER of a $10 email giftcard to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and the Blogfest Winner Badge (below) for her beautiful First Kiss Scene is:

Kyra @ Write Here, Write Now

Congrats, Kyra!

Thanks, again, for making us feel welcome and participating in our First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest! You all rock!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest Day 2

Today's the 2nd day of the First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest hosted by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and me.

Share your 1st KISS scene on your blog. It can be a peck on the cheek or a full fledge kissing session, whatever you want to share. Then make sure you visit the other blogs in the blogfest and give them some positive feedback. (Go HERE for more details about this blogfest.)
Dani and I will choose winners and post them early next week. By the awesome fight scenes that we've already read, we have our work cut out for us.

My 1st kiss scene will be from my current WIP, WISHFUL THINKING. It’s a YA urban fantasy, and I'm writing it from two POV's. Jagger is my male protag and Kara is my female protag.

**Please keep in mind -- this is in the rough stages and normally, my CP's only get to witness my work in this stage... a chaotic mess. But I decided to be vulnerable and share with you fine folks.**

WISHFUL THINKING excerpt from Jagger's POV

We head to the Ferris Wheel that almost touches the nighttime sky. Yellow, red, and blue lights flicker from it, like they’re competing with the stars above. The closer we get to the round ride, the more it looks like a hamster’s wheel—for a giant.

The line flows quickly, and when it’s our turn, we hand the ride attendant our tickets before taking a seat in a faded blue cart. The carnie pulls a black safety bar down to our laps then pushes on a lever like he’s shifting gears on a Mustang. Our cart floats backwards, letting on the next two victims.

Kara opens her bag of cotton candy and tears off a huge chunk. When she puts it to her lips, my own mouth waters.

“Would you like some?” She removes more pink fluff from the bag.

“Sure.” I grin.

We stare at each other as she pushes a piece into my mouth. I eagerly accept, licking my lips in appreciation.

The ride inches its way to the top then stops, giving us a perfect view of the carnival below. The wind’s stronger up here, which carries her vanilla scent that I crave along with it.

Our feet dangle like discarded puppets. She crosses her left ankle over her right and slips more cotton candy over her lips. I shiver, but it’s not from the breeze or this wobbly cart.

It’s because I want to kiss Kara. Now.

I scoot closer to her, which causes the cart to rock even more. She tilts her head toward mine, and I slide my thumb along her bottom lip, removing traces of sugar.

I’m at a loss here, not knowing if I should ask her for a kiss or just dive right in. What’s wrong with me? I’m acting like I’ve never kissed a girl before. Maybe it’s because I’m about to kiss someone that I actually care about.

I lean my forehead against hers. “Would you mind if I kissed you?”

“No,” she whispers.

“No, I can’t kiss you or no you don’t mind?” I realize I’m making this entire process difficult, but I don’t want to screw it up.

“No, I don’t mind.” She wraps her arms around my neck. “I want you to kiss me.”

My heart's beating so fast, it's like I just chugged a case of energy drinks.

I move my right hand to her cheek and close my eyes before touching my mouth to hers. Her warm lips mold to mine then part open, giving me consent to kiss her deeper. My tongue tangles with hers, and she lets out a soft moan. Or is that me? She tastes so good that I’m pretty sure if she hadn’t been eating cotton candy a few minutes ago, she’d still taste just as sweet.

“Finally,” she says against my lips.“I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now.”

“Me, too,” I say as I breathe her in.

I go to kiss her again, only my lips meet nothing but cool air. I open my eyes. Kara’s gone. Like M.I.A. gone. It’s like she was never even here with me, which I know she was because I can still taste her on my tongue.

My stomach jumps into my throat. Visions of her falling off this rickety piece of shit flip through my mind. I peer over the cart, praying like hell I don’t see her body on the ground.

If I killed Kara because of my stupid hormones, I won’t be able to live with myself.


There you have it. Thanks for taking time to read it. Make sure you check out the other First Kiss excerpts for this blogfest.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest Day 1

Today's the 1st day of the First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest hosted by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and me.

For today, share your 1st FIGHT scene on your blog... lovers spat, a banter back and forth, a battle scene, a classic fist fight, etc. It can be verbal, flirty, fists, magic, and so on.
For Thursday, share your 1st KISS scene on your blog. It can be a peck on the cheek or a full fledge kissing session, whatever you want to share.

**The First Fight and First Kiss scenes do not have to be from the same WIP.**

Want to join in on the fun? Go HERE for details.

For my First Fight blogfest, I'll be using a scene from my YA Sci-fi, BREATHE FOR ME.

This story has a few fist fights, but I decided to go with a mild flirty banter between my MC Hadley and one of her love interests, Gage. She's supposed to be walking to class, but becomes distracted...

Excerpt from BREATHE FOR ME
I pluck off a yellow rose from a shrub and inhale its perfume scent.
“That’s illegal,” a male voice whispers from over my shoulder.
My heart tries to jump out of my chest, and I drop the stem inside the bush. I spin to see a hot guy giving me a sexy smirk.
“Picking flowers is illegal?” I point at his Aerosmith T-shirt. “But it’s acceptable for you to wear that instead of the required uniform?”
“I have on my uniform.” He pulls a white oxford shirt out of his back pocket and slips it on. He buttons it, covering up Steven Tyler’s enormous mouth. “See?”
With his messy hair and wrinkly shirt, it’s like he just rolled out of bed. And I’m totally liking what I see.
Must. Not. Act. Boy-crazy.
I reach inside the shrub to retrieve my fallen rose. Thorns dig into my wrist, and I jerk my hand out. “Dammit.” Beads of red pool out of two deep cuts, staining my skin.
The cute guy slides his hand down my arm. “You’re bleeding.”
“I’ll be fine.” I try to yank my arm free, but his grip is firm.
He inspects my wrist then frowns. “I don’t see a wound, though.”
Thanks to my ability to heal quickly, any outward evidence of my cuts are gone. The pain, like my wrist is on fire, is worthless proof.
“I get it.” He smirks and runs this thumb over the inside of my wrist. “You wanted to ask me out and this was your way of breaking the ice.”
I jerk my hand out of his grasp. “You wish.”
His arrogance pisses me off.
And is a total turn-on.  
“My mistake.” He picks off a new rose from the bush and holds it out for me to take. “Truce?”
I push his hand away, but can’t stop my pulse from overreacting.
“You’re a feisty one, aren’t you?” He tucks the rose in my hair, behind my left ear. “I’m Gage.” He studies my face and rubs his lips together. “And you are?”
Totally infatuated. “Hadley.”
Gage walks backwards. “Nice to meet you, Hadley.” He winks then heads toward Puppis Hall, leaving me to drool in private.
Thank you for reading my excerpt. Go check out the other First Fight excerpts for this blogfest! Dani and I will be posting the winners early next week.

Monday, June 11, 2012

One day until the First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest

Just a reminder... the First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest begins tomorrow!

Bouquet of Books

Share your 1st FIGHT and 1st KISS scenes in your MS’s, WIP’s, or real life experiences. 
We want to read and experience them all! Make us feel what your characters or what you felt... from the sting of the fist hitting the face to the taste of that first kiss.

Details for the First Fight/First Kiss blogfest:
  • Follow our blogs, Dani @ Entertaining Interests & myself, if you haven’t already.
  • Sign up for the blogfest using the linky thingie below.
  • Display the gorgeous First Fight/First Kiss Blogfest button on your blog. You can grab the code off to the side on my blog.
  • Post your 1st fight entry on June 12, 2012.
  • Post your 1st kiss entry on June 14, 2012.
  • Hop around to the other blogs and comment on their wonderful 1st fight and 1st kiss scenes.

The First Fight/First Kiss blogfest will go as such:
  • Post 1 will be on Tuesday, June 12 - Share your 1st FIGHT scene on your blog... lovers spat, a banter back and forth, a battle scene, a classic fist fight, etc. It can be physical or verbal, fists or magic. Whatever you want.
  • Post 2 will be on Thursday, June 14 - Share your 1st KISS scene on your blog. It can be a peck on the cheek or a full fledge kissing session. Whatever you want to share.

**The First Fight and First Kiss scenes do not have to be from the same WIP.**

Prizes? Absolutely!

Dani and I will each pick our favorite scene from each day. That’s 4 prizes total, folks. What are the fabulous gifts for the winners? $10 email-giftcards to Amazon or Barnes & Noble so you can choose that book you’ve been wanting or download it to your Kindle or Nook.
There's still time to sign up! Sounds like fun, right? So what are you waiting for? Enter using the linky thingie below and pass the word around.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tears gone wild

I’m a crier. And I'm totally fine with that. Some things just tug at my heart strings, and I can't stop...
Here are four recent crying moments I'd like to share... 

My 5 year old – I'm in the middle of folding clothes when it hits me. Someday, it'll only be me and the hubs. Our boys will be out in the world, developing their own lives, which is part of life, but the thought still chokes me up.

My 5 yr old kneels in front of me and asks, “Does laundry make you sad?”

I laugh through tears. “No, honey. I don’t mind doing laundry.” Which isn’t a lie. I LOVE laundry. I’m warped, I know. Anyway…

“Who's going to do my laundry when you're too old?” he asks. (LOL)
“You will,” I say.
He scrunches up his cute face. “I don’t know how to do laundry.”
“I'll teach you.”
He sits there for a few seconds, then asks, “Can I go outside?”
“Only if your brothers go.” He’s not allowed outside by himself, being only 5.
“Guys, Mom says to go outside and play.”

Errr....um, okay.

Five minutes later, my 5 yr old wanders in with two fistfuls of dandelions. “These are so you don’t get sad anymore.”

I kiss him on the cheek, and he helps me put the dandelions in cups and vases.

My 9 yr old - I help out the two coaches (aka my hubs and my brother) with their baseball team. This entails being in the dugout, telling the boys the lineup, keeping scorebook, doing the teammom thing.

My son hit his first homerun on Wednesday. It was amazing, and yes I cried behind my sunglasses. When he came off the field from touching home plate, he got choked up. After the boys patted him on the back and told him great job, he came over and wrapped his arms around my waist. We hugged and cried together.

He didn’t care that a bunch of 9 yr olds were there. In fact, they didn’t care that he cried either. One boy said, “It’s okay. I cried on my first homerun, too.”

How mature are these boys for being 9?! VERY. I wish they could always feel this way about showing emotion and hope they will always see that crying is okay.

My 11 yr old - He got his braces off the other day. When I saw him smile for the first time with them off, my eyes watered.
Me:  “They're beautiful.” (referring to his teeth)
Him:  “Mom, do not cry here. You’ll embarrass me.”
Me:  “I can’t help it.” I wiped the tears away then kept asking him to smile.
Him:  “This is going to get old.”

Later on that night, he said, “Sorry for telling you not to cry earlier.”
“It's fine, honey.” And it was. I get it.
“I wasn't embarrassed,” he said.
I hugged him, and he went on his way. My hubby says boys can't stand to see their mom's cry. So I vowed to try to hold back, but pretty sure, because I'm a crier, that's going to end up not happening.
My 14 yr old - He graduated from 8th grade. At the ceremony, he received six awards. I was so proud of him and happy for him that I cried.
Afterward, I wiped all traces of crying off with a tissue.
He hugged me. “Don't cry, Mom.”
“I'm not.” I mean, I thought I'd covered it up pretty good.
“Your eyes look like it,” he said.
I reached up to feel that I was crying again and didn't even know it! Jeesh!
“They’re happy tears,” I said.
He smiled. “I know.”
Are you a crier or do you have other outlets?
Do you get choked up easily or does it take a lot to get your water works going?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

IWSG - June - post #3 Time management and Support

The purpose for the IWSG - Insecure Writer's Support Group - is to encourage one another and share things that we're dealing with in our writing ventures.
The host, Alex J. Cavanaugh, states it best: IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! To join, click on the IWSG pic below and post on your blog the first Wednesday of every month. Go sign up and meet some awesome people.

I’ve caught myself saying I need more hours in a day to get things done. But do I really? The more I think about it the more I realize it isn’t that I need more hours in a day. I mean, let’s be real. I have 24 hours a day to work with. That’s a lot of time.
What I need to do is work with the hours I’ve been given....
This requires a schedule, which I do have to some degree, but I decided that a revamping of sorts is in order if I want to get my WIP finished.  I've failed two writing goals so far with it, so I needed to get back on track.
With work, family life, house stuff (cleaning, laundry, and the like) and the boy’s baseball season in full swing **pun intended** I’m left with writing at midnight. Which I love, please don't get me wrong.
But on the days I have to get up before the sun because of a busy day/evening ahead, the midnight writing tends to take its toll. Those days require toothpicks to keep my eyes open. Oh, and coffee. Lots of coffee.
My hubby suggested that I set aside two hours a day/night to write so I can finish my MS. I tried to protest, because I couldn't fathom how it'd work. He said everything would be fine...and he was right (darn it!) For example, the evenings that our sons have games and after we return home and everyone's retired, I stick to my midnight writing routine.
But, on the days they don't have games, he takes them to the ball diamond while I write for a bit. He says it’s a win-win-win. They’re getting extra practice, I’m getting writing done without staying up so late all the time, and best of all, he's spending quality time with his boys. God, I love that man.
I know for a fact that if I didn’t have the love and support from my hubby, then finishing my WIP would be so much harder. But he believes in me, so now it’s time for me to believe in myself, right?
This book isn't going to write itself. And I wouldn't want it to. I want to finish it because I love to write, I heart my characters, and their story is begging to be told... so I'm off to write some more before turning in for the night. And coffee will be needed in a few hours. :)

                Do you have a writing schedule that you'd like to share?
                Do you have a support system that you're thankful for?

Check out other bloggers at Insecure Writer's Support Group.