Wendy's favorite quotes

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."— Dr. Seuss

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Do You Remember?

Christmas is a time of family and tradition, of love, laughter and memories. Like many of you, I'm missing someone this year and I keep thinking it's been too long since I've called--that I should call. . . . But then I remember why I haven't and that little piece of my heart breaks again. My mother's project this year was sort all the photos grandmother kept and divide them into 6 Tupperware boxes (one for each of her siblings). She asked for my help in writing a poem that would help her brothers and sisters remember their parents and the good times they shared. I thought I'd share my poem with you.
Do You Remember? 

Do you remember sweet caramel corn
And donuts by the bag full,
Mom perched on Dad’s lap like newlyweds
Embarrassed kids, loving fools.  

Do you remember Fall country drives
And lazy days by the lake
Love shared with bear hugs and BBQ’s
Coffee cake and rolls she baked.
Do you remember making snowmen
When snow fell on our lashes
The hunt of fresh snow for donut spins
Those days, our fun was matchless. 

Do you remember joy and laughter
As cards piled o’er the table
We played, Demon, Spoons, and Hearts all night
Together when ‘ere able.  

Do you remember she loved us all,
Our children, her life’s treasures
She saved each child’s card and little note,
Her love, too great to measure. 

You remember how she’d wait for us,
Count the hours till our next visit,
A smile, a touch, just holding your hand,
She ne’er wanted to miss it. 

Please do remember to share their love
With those in your lives today
Tell them a story of times gone by
Of our family’s joys those days.
Remember, though Mom and Dad are gone,
They gave us all they could give.
Our lives, each other, kind hearts and souls
In our memories, they both live.
And then Someday when we meet again
Oh the joys and sweet laughter
We’ll share new memories of times they missed
And have our own happily ever after.

By Wendy Swore, Dec 6th 2012

Some of our traditions are silly. Each year, my dad reads the Night Before Christmas . . . wrong. (Away to the windows I threw up on the sash...made a terrible mess) And the grandchildren protest and make him read the correct words. "No Grandpa! Not like that!"

We open PJ's on Christmas Eve, and trek across the field for breakfast Christmas morning at my husband's parents. One year we were snowed in and they sent snowmobiles to fetch us through the blowing snow.

In short, in quiet moments, I miss the ones we've lost, but I focus on the here and now so my children will have many happy memories as well.

My friends, this year, I wish you many happy memories. May you be surrounded by friends and family. Presents are a dime a dozen, often broken or discarded within the week, but family traditions keep you warm long after the fire burns down.

Do you have any special memories or traditions in your family? What do you love most about the holidays?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Desolation series Finale: Destined

Have you heard of Ali Cross’s Desolation series, if not, you are missing out. I was lucky enough to read a copy of her newest book, Destined, last month and I'm happy to say that it was awesome!

In Become, we follow Desi (Lucifer’s daughter) as she leaves the comfortable familiarity of Hell and travels to the real world on a mission for her father. Once there, she finds that even the Devil’s daughter can choose to become something more than what she is.

In Desolate, Desi is haunted by choices she made in the first book and dreams of her loved one being tormented in the same Hell she used to call home. When a strange demon injures her, she starts to see that choices are not as permanent as she thought—and that the power of choice is that you can make a new one every day. In order to save her friends, she must grasp them from the jaws of Hell, even if it means losing herself.

Destined is the thrilling conclusion where Desi’s friends move heaven and earth to save her. She has lived her whole life with two warring powers, darkness and light, inside her—both fighting for her loyalty. In Destined she embraces them both, recognizing that none of us are all bad or good—that our abilities do not rule our destiny, but rather our choices define us. In great battle for Asgard, involving all nine worlds, Desi finds her purpose and makes her final choice.

All three books use myths like Asgard, Loki, Valkyrie, and the Rainbow Bridge. These fantastic elements are part of her everyday life—they are family after all.  

If you enjoy a series with some deep soul searching and a constant struggle between the pull of darkness and light, then this is it.

When I first read Become, I had my daughter wait a year or two because one of the challenges Desi faces is the lure of seduction. She feels the desire and wants it, but still has a choice. I think this series is more suited to 14 years and up rather than the young YA market. My daughter loves it, but understands why I had her wait a couple years.

The author is Ali Cross, excellent writer and blog expert extraordinaire. You can check out her writers dojo here.  Notice her covers are all original work? I think they are pretty cool.

So in celebration of winter, (my most favorite time of the year because there is no farming to do) I’m giving away a kindle copy of the first two books, Become and Desolate. You can read sample pages on Amazon.
Don't forget to put Destined on your to-read list on goodreads. And snag it when it becomes available on December 12th, 2012.

 How to enter:
Just leave a comment with your email (Like: myemail AT wherever DOT com) saying which book you want! (Though I'm sure loads of good Karma will follow you if you share this to FB or Twitter or goodreads, please do, but it's not required) We'll choose a winner on Wednesday, December 12th because that's release day for Destined!



Monday, August 27, 2012

The Writer's REAL Journey

Hi all, I hope you are having a wonderful summer. I'm in full farm mode right now (picking corn everyday, picking other vegi's, weeding, watering, preparing the corn maze, selling produce at two markets and out of the garage).  But I'm still reading everyday and working on my latest WIP.

I saw this awesome post from Nathan Bransford which is the perfect depiction of a writer's journey. My daughter and I laughed so hard. I love it. Check it out, and you can thank me later.

The Publishing Process In GIF Form.

On a totally different note, here's a picture that made me laugh.

Anything fun or exciting happen in your life this summer? Tell me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer and writing

Sometimes Summer is a trying time for me.
It starts out rough....

And usually gets worse.

That said, I always find/sneak time for books. I have a book in the car, one in the throne room (AKA bathroom), one in my purse, and a bunch on my phone. If I'm waiting for anything, I read.
Reading is great, but my favorite days are when I get the outside chores done and have nothing else to do! That's when I read and critique pages from my critique group and write/work on my own writing.
So, that's what I'm up to this summer. Working, working working, with a little bit of play and writing in there.

How are you spending your summer? Getting any writing or reading done?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Storymakers Writers Conference = Awesomesauce

Agent Michelle Wolfson, me, & author Kiersten White
Kiersten later told me, "You have the coolest name!
It's a sentence. That is just awesome." She signed my book,
to "Wendy, of the cool name!" Haha.
Hello, Cyberbuddies

For those of you who saw my last post, you know that I was having a rough time, but I'm happy to report that last weekend rocked.

First of all, the classes and breakouts were superb. I loved hearing from many of my favorite authors and was really thrilled when many of them knew me by name!

I also had the opportunity to meet several agents and take a photo with a few. I tried not to be too star-struck. I don't think I slobbered or anything.

Me and Agent Holly Root
On Saturday, my pitch session went well. Here's my pitch:

"In an empire where dark skinned people rule over pale slaves, sixteen-year-old Anya is an albino.
When she defies the Gods by spitting on the Queen, she is sentenced to death, but a mute boy frees her and she escapes to find the Mix, a band of rebels that live together in peace regardless of skin color.
There, she agrees to help Galen, the young rebel leader, in a daring plot to force social change, but things go terribly wrong and the king dies.
The Queen blames Anya for his death and orders her entire village culled in retribution.
Now Anya must fight to save her home from the Queen’s wrath, but a steam powered empire with lethal tracking cats and the God’s favor is not easily thwarted.
Complete at 59,000 words, COLORLESS would appeal to fans of Birthmarked and Incarceron.
Its first chapter won 3rd place in the YA fantasy category at this conference last year. Do you have any questions for me?"
Tada! What do you think? So after that, I was already excited, and then came the first chapter contest.
My first place prize box! (I think I was still hyperventilating
 and shaking at this moment)
My story, FIREBUG took 1st place in the YA General Fiction category! How cool is that? When I read Firebug up there on the screen, a jolt went right through me! Oh boy! One of the gals in charge, who happens to be my daughter's favorite author (the awesome Karen Hoover), said that her judges said it was disturbing, but really powerful. Hehehe. *evil laugh*
James Dashner came up to me after the win and teased, "Hey Wendy, when you win a bunch of awards for all these good books someday, you'll have to say, 'it all started with that fateful dinner in 2010 when James Dashner sat at my table and bestowed his greatness upon me." We laughed--but I'm totally going to say that someday.
Thank you for being with me on this writing journey. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
What would you ask your favorite author if you could meet him or her in person? (or would you just stutter and grin foolishly?)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

May The Fourth Be With You

Or at least the fourth can be nicer to me--at least that's what I'm hoping.
As some of you know, I've had a rough few weeks:

Three weeks ago, my six-year-old step-nephew was beaten to death by his biological father. It was a horrible tragedy and we drove to Primary Children's Medical Center in SLC to say goodbye before he was taken off life support. His father claimed he only hit him once, but I saw the numerous bruises all over his little body and that's bull. He's charged with 1st degree murder and I hope justice is served. I've never experienced such anger inside as I have with this experience. I'm working through it.

Two weeks ago, my Grandma Barr died. This is my mother's mother. I was extremely close to her. She was brilliant, selfless, loving, and wonderful--everything I aspire to be when I "grow up." We knew it was coming, but it's still hard.

Last Saturday was her funeral. I sang with my cousins a medley of Coming Home, and we celebrated her life. It comes in waves for me. I'll be fine, then suddenly be ticked about something random, and end up crying because I heard, saw, or smelled something that reminds me of her. This mourning cycle thing is the pits.

I'm sharing this with you because this next weekend is Storymakers writers conference. After three weeks of tears and sadness, I'm hoping against hope that this fourth weekend will be a good one.
Once again, I have a pitch session. This time, I'm pitching Colorless, my alternate history. So far, only my two cyber BFF's (Renee, & Rita) have read it, but with their comments and editorial catches, I think it's ready for queries.

In other news, Transcendent is doing really well and has a 4.33 stars on Goodreads with over 36 ratings. Woo! On Amazon, it has 19 ratings for an average of 4 stars. Either way, our little paranormal anthology is doing well!

I hope to be back next week with loads of happy, writerly good news for you all.

So, have you ever had something really bad happen to you that was followed by something really good?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth... and a Winner!

My 5 Kidlets with my parents.
Princess celebrated her birthday in
Love all the faces, especially
my littlest one's. So funny.
I've been notably absent from the blog for a few weeks, but I've got a better than average reason why. I went to Disneyland! Yahoo! We packed up our five kids and my awesome parents (extreme good sports) and drove the 16 hours to the Magic Kingdom. Some people can make it there faster, but we drive a 12 seater old Ford van that protests mightily at anything over 65mph.

What made it especially fun is that the kids had NO IDEA it was coming until the day we left. I told them that their ailing great grandmother wanted them to wash every tombstone in the cemetary behind her house because she loved to walk there and wanted it clean. My awesome kids were not only willing to do this huge task, but kidlet #4 even packed pink washcloths so she could wash with her favorite color. They thought it would take the whole week. *Evil laughter*

4 of the 5 Kidlets used the force to fend off
Darth Vador and Darth Maul.
The Force is strong in our family.
Kidlet#3 cracks me up! And yes,
Splash Mountain is my favorite ride!

The answer to that age old question:
"Where did I come from?"
From the store of course.
So that morning, we drove to my parents for breakfast and told them we wanted a picture in the driveway with grandma's poster, but as they unrolled this long scroll, it said, "Swore Kids, You Are Not Going To Logan. You Are Going To . . . . " and then the garage door behind them opened to reveal a big poster "DISNEYLAND!" with fun little things and balloons that I got from the dollar store. They were so shocked they stood there dumbfounded. "What? Really? What?"

When it sunk in, Kidlet #4 started screaming and running all over the place while Kidlet #2 just hugged me and cried. It really took most of the trip there before they really could wrap their brains around the fact that they really, really were going. I'll post the video later.

We put the Disneyland poster in the back window of the van and wrote "Or Bust!" on it and all the way there, people honked and waved--some even hung out the window of their cars with their hands clasped together yelling, "Take me with you!" It was so much fun.

Anyway, I'm remiss on announcing the winner of my last giveaway!

And the winner is . . .

Sarah (AKA IdentitySeeker)

Congratulations! Let me know what book you'd like and it's yours!

I hope you've enjoyed these few glimpses of our fun.

What was the best vacation you've ever taken?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Blog Hop and Hunger Games

Okay, so is anyone excited about The Hunger Games movie coming out next week? We are counting down the days at our house and Kidlet#1 has finally convinced Kidlet#2 to read it.

Can I just say that I'm thankful for awesome books and for Hollywood people who decide to make movies out of them? I've watched the previews and I think they've got a great cast.

Are any of you going to the midnight movie? We, alas, must wait till the next day because the kids simply can't stay up till 2am and remember anything they've seen, but we'll be there bright and early for the matinee!

In celebration, I've decided to do a giveaway.

The winner will get to choose from the following ebook choices:

Book 1 of the Hunger Games

Sweet YA Paranormal anthology. Have you read it yet?

My kids always raise their eyebrows at this one, but despite the cover, it's not a romance. It's an awesome urban fantasy.
This is the 1st in the Mercy series, one of my all time favorites.
A collection of essays discussing the deeper implications of the Hunger Games.

How to enter: Make sure you follow this blog, then leave a comment with your name and email. Tada! You're entered.

You can earn extra entries if you post about this elsewhere, just let me know where.

I'll draw a winner April 2nd.

Want more prizes? How about Amazon gift cards and a Kindle Fire? Check out the March Blog Hop! You can jump in anytime you want!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Got Fire? Kindle Fire Giveaway & Benefit for St. Jude's Childrens Hospital

Rita J. Webb, the publisher of Transcendent, Tales of the Paranormal, is hosting a Kindle Fire giveaway! Click here to enter on her blog.

There is no purchase necessary to win, but if you do decide to buy Transcendent this month (February), it ups your chances of winning and 50% of profits go toward St. Jude's Children's hospital.

How cool is that?

Transcendent is a YA anthology that includes a whole selection of clean paranormal themed stories including Spectre, one of my stories, and Strike, which I coauthored with Rita.

As of today, Transcendent is moving up the Amazon rankings really fast!
In the Love & Romance, we are #7, right
after the Twilight books. In Fantasy & Magic, we are #6, right after the
Rick Riordan books...
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in
Kindle Store)
#6 in Books > Children's Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy & Magic
#7 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Children's Fiction >
Literature > Love & Romance
#12 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Science Fiction,
Fantasy & Horror > Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic

I've never had a book be on the lists like that before. It's pretty exciting!

So, good luck people! I hope you win!
Have you used a Kindle Fire before? What do you think of it?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, For All Of Us.

I’ve just finished reading EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLYCLOSE, A Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.

From the back cover, “Nine-year-old Oscar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.”
The cover is brilliant, not because of the interesting way the titles go up the fingers, or the visual lines that draw us to the boys eyes again and again, but because that face is ours. The day the towers fell, we stood with our hands over our mouths as if hiding could make it all be less real, less scary, less terrifying.
Just flipping through the book is fascinating. The pages break every “rule” with blocks of solid text filled with conversations where he said, “Something,” and someone else said, “something else,” and it all smushes together without tabs or paragraph breaks—all while giving glimpses of a beautiful broken boy trying to make sense out of a senseless loss. “Oskar?” “I’m Okay.” “Don’t go away.”
As the pages flip past, the style changes, becoming all aligned left, and then spaced out, missing in chunks, and even written on top of each other. But every broken rule is deliberate, thought provoking, and wonderfully done.

Interspersed with the text are pictures of locks and keys, of doors, tattooed hands, and random things, of a man falling from the tower. . . .
And then the last pages, after the story runs its course, the same falling man, but with the pages reversed so when you flip them, the man falls up, not down. Up, up, up—back to when the world made sense, before everything scary happened extremely loud and incredibly close.
The people we meet in this book are broken, each in their own way. Their struggle to carry on shines from the pages and we root for them, pray for them, cover our faces with them.
I cannot read this book without remembering that day, and how it was for me. I didn’t deal with it well. I know that. You can see previews for the movie they made of this book, but I'm not sure I want to see it. I’ve avoided the 911 movies and specials for more than a decade because I didn’t want to live through it again, but this book called to me, and for the first time, I was ready to go back to that day. It feels like a mish-mash of things that shouldn't be real, but are, that have no business being in the same world together.
We woke to the sound of the phone ringing: Mother yelling on the line, “Turn on the TV; the whole world’s gone to Hell!” We rush to the television and watch the early breaking news of the tower on fire, struck by a plane. An accident, a terrible, terrible accident. We watch the smoke and wonder. My husband dresses for work and leaves. Bye. Love you. Be safe. I watch the second plane hit the tower. Crash, Boom. The news rewinds it, makes us watch it a thousand times. Not an accident. Terrorists. My children wake up, first the baby, then my toddler. I dress for work, it’s harvest time after all. Time to go pick corn. I should pick the corn, but instead, I gather my babies on my lap and feed them bottles as we snuggle under the blankets. The Pentagon is hit, burning. Are you going to pick corn today. Yes. Later, later. There is a little left from yesterday. The world is burning. Can’t you see? Don’t you know? A plane went down in a Pennsylvania field. Would you like carrots with your potatoes today? Yes. Tomatoes too, please. The tower falls. I stand and cry, my hands over my face, my eyes peeking just over the tips of my fingers. No, no, no, all those people. Oh, God. Oh, God. Three dozen ears of corn please; I have to go pick a row. I’m picking corn as the world is burning. How stupid, I think. People are buried, coated in dust, choking, falling, waving shirts for the helicopters that won’t save them on the roof, and I’m here. Picking corn. I finish the row, give them the corn, gather my little ones, and watch the other tower fall. No words. Only tears. We watch it fall in playbacks. It falls a thousand times.
I still have the VHS tapes of that day. I recorded it. I will never watch it.
My daughter saw me crying today, as I finished the book, and said her teacher cried on September 11th last year. Broke down and told her story in class—that her fiancé was in that tower. That he never got out. That they were to marry in November of that year. That she will never marry or find another because we only get one soul mate in this world and that was him. That was him.
How foolish, I think, that I can live in the middle of a corn field, thousands of miles away, knowing no one who died, and still feel a little bit broken from that day. And then I think. Maybe we’re all a little broken from that day. Maybe that’s what has made this book an international best seller. We see the broken boy and we want him to be okay. Because if he can be okay, so can we.
My grandmother remembers Pearl Harbor like a snapshot. Everything she saw, heard, wore, and ate from that day. My mother remembers JFK. For me, it is 911. What moment in history affected your life. Did you ever feel even a little bit broken by events a thousand miles away?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Show the LOVE and Win Prizes!

It's time to spread the news!
What's better than attending an awesome writers conference? How about getting huge prizes just for talking about it! Storymakers is hosting an amazing contest, and I should know, because I WON this contest 2 years ago. I was treated to a seat at the table with some of the big names in publishing and I loved every second of it!

The following is from Storymaker's blog:
"Ah, love ... don't you just love love? The month of February is the best month of all for celebrating love ... no, not because of Valentine's Day, silly! It's time for the Show Your Love contest in conjunction with the LDStorymakers Writers Conference!

"Prizes: Three lucky people will win seats at a star-studded VIP table for Friday night's dinner. That's right - Kevin J. Anderson, Molly O'Neill, Holly Root, Michelle Wolfson, and Kathleen Ortiz will be your dinner companions. I recommend watching for parsley between your teeth. You're responsible for getting yourself to and into the conference, and we'll take care of the rest (except for the parsley) because we're good like that.

But that's not all - let me break it down for you.
First Place Prize: Seat at the VIP table, a query critique, and two-page manuscript critique

Second Place Prize: Seat at the VIP table and a two-page manuscript critique
Third Place Prize: Seat at the VIP table
Fourth Place Prize: Query critique and 10-page manuscript critique
Fifth and Sixth Place Prizes: Query Critiques
*Our special thanks to Holly Root, Lisa Mangum, Michelle Wolfson, Kirk Shaw, Kathleen Ortiz, and Weronika Janczuk for donating our prizes!"

There you go. How cool is that? For rules and details, please check out their post.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out Storymaker's website --if you put your cursor over the conference tab, it will scroll down so you can peruse that info. They are also on Facebook.

So here's a question for you. If you could sit and have lunch with ANYONE in the publishing industry, who would it be and why?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Are Writing Conferences Worth It?

LDStorymakers I've often heard writers question the value of writing conferences. Are they worth the time, money, travel, inconvenience to attend? My answer to all of the above is a resounding yes! Let me explain.

I have been active in the online writing community for about five years, especially on goodreads. I thought I was doing everything I could to connect with writers and advance my writing career. When a neighbor mentioned the Storymakers conference, I thought it would be fun, but had no real expectations.
Me, Sheralyn Pratt & Kimberley Little
The 2010 Storymakers conference, in Provo Utah, rocked my world. I met awesome writers whose books I'd already read like Jessica Day George, James Dashner, Dan Wells, David Farland, Aprilynne Pike, Anita Stansfield, Stephanie Black, and loads more.
Me with Don Carey & Tamera H. Heiner
(with red eye, *sigh*)
I also made connections with the publishing side of things. I had lunch with Krista Marino, the editor for Random House Delacorte Press, and in 2011, I became friends with Lisa Mangum, author of the Hourglass Door trilogy and editor for Deseret Book.

The classes were helpful and extremely relevant to my needs as a writer. They have breakouts to address every stage, published or aspiring, because no matter who we are, we always have room to learn.
Me with Lisa Mangum
(People say we look alike.
What do you think?)
Me laughing with Melissa Cunningham,
Jordan McCollum (across)
& Cathy Witbeck
Another HUGE plus for attending is that all attendees are invited to become a part of Authors Incognito, a sister group to Storymakers. Now I am a part of a whole online community that I didn't know existed. Now when there are contests, workshops, conferences, and other writerly things happening, I hear about it. I have editor friends who can beta read my manuscripts, people to comiserate when my muse flies the coop, or when I get one rejection too many on any given day.
How can you attend Storymakers this year? Check out their registration here for details. You meet some of the writers who are going on this blog.

If you live too far from Provo to make the drive, I suggest you find a writers conference near you and go for it. Your writing career will thank you for it.

Have you ever gone to a conference? Or wanted to? What did you take away from the experience?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On Little Wings, Giveaway & Interview With Author Regina Sirois

Regina Sirois

Have you read this book yet? If not, seriously, put it on your to-read list right now on goodreads. We'll wait. Done? Good. Let's continue.

My good friend, Danyelle Ferguson, mentioned that her friend's book was shooting up the charts at Amazon and had landed right on the website's front page. I popped over to see it and downloaded the free sample.


She has the coolest way of wording things. Imagine the refreshing honesty of Sarah Plain and Tall, but with modern eloquence meshed with laughter that both touches the soul and lightens the heart.

The characters are rich and endearing, from the best friend that was so ugly as a child that the church matrons prayed for the poor dear, to the Jacks, a trio of elderly salt sailors that would have gotten along perfectly with Statler and Woldorf of the Muppets unless the subject of politics came up, then there'd be blood in the water.

Regina is as sweet as her book and was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

Share with us a 60 word pitch for your book.

Her mother isn't an only child. Her aunt has thirty seven freckles. And life just stopped making sense for sixteen year old Jennifer. It will take one forbidden journey, an octogenarian movie star, three old pirates and one scarred genius to put it all back together again. If that's even possible.

When did you consider yourself to be a real writer?

I'm still working on it. :)

What writer would you like to emulate and why?

Dodie Smith. Whenever I think I wrote something decent I read her and get schooled!

Where are you from? Does that impact your writing?

I came from heaven, like everyone else. Like everyone else I inherited the desire to create. It impacts every word that I write.

Have you ever wanted to quit? Why didn’t you?

Yes. I quite all the time! I didn't write anything but my blog for over a year. I decided I wasn't a writer after all. One little comment changed my mind and got me here. A teenage test reader told me she missed my book and wanted to read it again. She lit a little fire under me.

Well. Regina, I'm sure glad you changed your mind! For the rest of this interview (including my favorite answers, like her thoughts on how her book became such a smash hit on Amazon) be sure to check out www.onfictionwriting.com on January 4th-10th when her interview will be featured on the website.


Would you like to read On Little Wings for free? Yes? Awesome.
We're giving away 2 free ebooks!

To enter, follow this blog and leave a comment with your email
(youremail AT wherever DOT com).

Tada! You're entered.
Just fot fun, tell me who your favorite author is.
Winners will be announced February 16th

Don't want to wait? Snag it here now.
Now show Regina some love! You can find her blog here
(Her blog is mostly about life, not books)
Her website has her more professional side and you can enter her contest to win free, inscribed paperback. She's also on Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is Your Blog Easy To Follow?

I'm stalking you. No really, I'm trying, but some of you are hard to find!

If you are a follower of this blog, then chances are that I have already clicked on your picture to try and follow you back, but surprisingly, many of you--even authors who I KNOW have great blogs out there--have no information on your blogger profile.

Have you clicked on your little avatar picture before? Do you know what comes up? When you use blogger, up in the right hand corner, there should be a little picture of you or else a box that says "sign in." 

Take a moment to look at your profile there. If you don't have a working blog link listed under "Links" then your would-be fans, like me, can't find you!

Email, where art thou? More than once, I've had a winner of a giveaway that left no email in the comments, and who has no email listed on their profile. The result? I had to pick a different winner and they missed out!

Multiple and outdated links! Many of you who do have a link listed on your profile, have multiple, but outdated links. Several blogs even say "We moved! Go to our new location!" But it was YOUR blogger profile that sent me to the outdated link in the first place.

Repeat after me: Updated blogger profiles are good for me. Updated profiles help me win prizes. Updated profiles drive more followers to my blog.

*Virtual pat on the back* Excellent!
If you've never looked before, you might wonder what the links are under "Sites I've Joined." These are blogs you follow, but that information doesn't help me find your blog.

So, as your humble, would-be stalker/follower, I urge you to check and update your profile on blogger.

Did you do it? Were you surprised at what you found?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My eBook Aha Moment

I'm a bit of a book freak. I love the way they smell, the way they look on my shelves, the way they feel in my hands. I take them everywhere; doctors, dentists, kid's school--anywhere I think I might have a spare minute to wait.

The idea of ebooks never interested me at all. You can't touch them, stack them, hold them, love them, look at them on your shelf, read them in the tub....  You see? what is the point?

Just to try, I downloaded a book last year onto my iphone and read it, but I couldn't get into it and I eventually gave up reading. I decided the screen was too small and it just wasn't as good as a regular physical book.

Well, this week, on a whim, I downloaded On Little Wings, by Regina Sirois. And....*drum roll*... I loved the book, and didn't care one whit that I had an ecopy.

I know it's stupid for me not to realize it at the time, but apparently it wasn't the ebook format I hated last year, but the book itself. (No, I won't tell you which it was.)

I like the instant gratification offered by ebooks. No waiting, no shipping, just BAM! There's your copy. I also liked the price. 2.99? Sweet deal for such an excellent book.

I still prefer hard copies, but I'm branching out. You can see from my goodreads bookshelf picture that I read  mostly YA, but a little of everything else as well.  

So tell me, what are some really good ebooks you have read lately? I'm in the market. (Who knew?)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winners of the Transcendent Giveaway!

Special thanks to everyone who entered the Transcendent giveaway. If you would like another chance at winning, be sure to check out the publisher's contest that runs till January 15th. More than 25 prizes will go out in that one!

And the winners are....

Drum roll please....

Kristin Feliz with goodie bag #1

Jennifer with goodie bag #2


Diana with goodie bag #3

Congratulations ladies!
And thanks again to everyone that entered!

That's a fun way to start out the year. What New Year resolutions have you made this year?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Indie Book Fair! Sweet New Books for Your eReader.

I am one of 30 bloggers participating in this Indie Book Fair! Read on; it's pretty cool.
Did you find a new Kindle, Nook, or iPad under the Christmas tree? Browse the Indie Book Fair and find a new ebook to break in that reader! These great new books were released Nov 2011-Feb 2012 by Indie authors, priced right so that taking a chance on a new author doesn’t have to break your wallet. (Check out the previous Internet Book Fair for other great Indie finds.)
[Indie = self-published or small-publisher, for the purposes of this post, because no matter how we’re published, we’re all in this together, trying to get the word out about our books]

Note: Links are given for Amazon, but most authors publish across all e-book formats. Click on the author’s name for additional purchasing options, including paper copies.
For Your Browsing Pleasure
Contemporary (Adult)
Build a Man by Talli Roland (Chick Lit) 
Slave to the rich, rude and deluded, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she's a high-flying tabloid reporter. Unfortunately, every pitch she sends out disappears like her clients' liposuctioned fat, never to be seen again. Then she meets Jeremy Ritchie -- the hang-dog man determined to be Britain's Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between -- giving Serenity a story no editor could resist. With London's biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy's progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success, even going undercover to gain intimate access to Jeremy's life. But when Jeremy's surgery goes drastically wrong and Serenity is ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, she must decide how far she really will go for her dream job. $0.99 on Amazon
The Golden Sky by Elisa Hirsch (Memoir) 
The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later, after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a little girl and another baby on the way.  Our son was born with the type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. The “death home” gave him a really nice funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief.  Cade got into drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and I kicked him out of the house. That was how I met: Earl (an old man and unlikely best friend), the “big sag” (a middle aged woman who still flashed folks), Todda (the stripper next door), and Chris (a cowboy who fell in love with me). It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another chance.  But could our marriage recover from the death of our son? $2.99 onAmazon
Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts (Contemporary Romance) 
Jason Vanderholt is the hottest actor under thirty with legions of screaming fans. Chloe Winters is a college student who hasn't gotten around to watching most of his movies. When they meet by chance, he is smitten, but it just isn't her fairytale. In fact, it could be her worst nightmare as her past, attracted by the bright lights of the media, comes back to haunt her. $0.99 on Amazon
Historical Romance (Adult)
The Duke’s Divorce by Anne Gallagher Available late January 2012
A simple trip to the Scottish Highlands finds the Duke of Cantin with a bride he does not want.  With her impeccable beauty and fiery disposition, Fiona takes Society by storm.  As their prearranged divorce proceedings draw near, can Fiona change his mind? Check author's website.
Literary Fiction
String Bridge by Jessica Bell 
Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a 'proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage—and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits ... $6.99 on Amazon ALSO:  Music Sample!
Sherwood Ltd. by Anne R. Allen
Sherwood. The name immediately conjures up images of Richard Greene, Michael Praed and Russell Crowe. Or maybe that sly fox in the Disney version. Only, in Anne R. Allen's latest rom-com mystery the fox is a coyote and there's no Robin Hood. Or is there? In her usual inimitable fashion Allen peels back the layers, one hilarious subplot after another, until you just never know what's real and what's not. Rather like the Robin Hood legend. When the Manners Doctor, Camilla Randall, flies into Robin Hood airport with a suitcase in one hand and a book contract in the other she thinks she's leaving all her problems behind and is about to start a new life. If you look very carefully you may just spot the Sheriff of Nottingham, Maid Marian and even Little John hidden away. But as for Robin Hood himself... You'll just have to read it and find out.  $2.99 on Amazon
Short Stories and Anthologies
The Initiate (Cloud Prophet Trilogy) by  Megg Jensen (YA Fantasy)
Over a thousand years ago, the gods left Eloh's people and took their magic with them. To win back their favor, her people sacrifice ten female initiates every ten years. No has ever survived. There has never been a Chosen One. Forced into becoming an initiate, Eloh will try to find a way to beat the odds, stay with her boyfriend, and survive the fires that threaten to consume her. But will her lack of faith in the gods and her disbelief in their magic doom her to a painful death? $0.99 on Amazon
Eight by Karly Kirkpatrick (YA Paranormal Short Story Collection)
Prepare to be thrilled and chilled by Kirkpatrick's eight short tales in EIGHT. These eight stories, while short, pack a big punch. There are demon spirits, zombies, and even some human baddies. Each story comes complete with author's commentary. It also includes the previously unreleased short Grenades. $0.99 on Amazon

{CoverComingSoon} In His Eyes by The Indelibles (YA Anthology) - Available February 14th
Just in time for Valentines Day, The Indelibles bring you a one-of-a-kind young adult anthology! Twenty original short stories, all from the point of view of our favorite male characters - some are old flames from our novels and some were dreamed up especially for this anthology. Let these imminently crushable, swoon-worthy guys show you what romance looks like – in his eyes. Add to Goodreads TBR
The contributors to IN HIS EYES include award winners, frequent “Top 100” placers, and hot 2011 debut authors: S.R. Wells, C.K. Bryant, Elle Strauss, Susan Kaye Quinn, Jessie Harrell, Magan Vernon, Lisa Nowak, Heather McCorkle, RaShelle Workman, Ali Cross, Karen Amanda Hooper, Cory Putman Oakes, Laura Pauling, Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Sarra Cannon, Katie Klein, Cheri Lasota

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal by Lani Woodland, Melonie Piper, Rita Webb, Wendy Swore, Melanie Marks, Heather McCubbin and Evan Joseph (YA Anthology)
Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the décor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories. Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you. Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction. $0.99 on Amazon
Young Adult
Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn (Paranormal/Science Fiction) 
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her. $2.99 on Amazon 
Bound by C.K. Bryant (Paranormal Romance) 
When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia,has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive. $3.99 on Amazon
Become by Ali Cross (YA Urban Fantasy)
Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she Becomes the evil she despises and the good she always feared. When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her Choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is a reason to want to change—something she’s never had before—a friend. $3.99 on Amazon
Exiled by RaShelle Workman (YA SF Romance) 
Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them. An alien princess exiled to Earth. An arrogant boy. One week to get back to her planet or she'll die. And, her only chance for survival? She must help the boy find his soul mate. Piece of cake! $0.99 on Kindle
The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle (Urban Fantasy)
Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with an aunt she’s never met. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with “channelers”—a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands. Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they—and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Soon, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad though. $4.99 on Amazon 
Destined by Jessie Harrell (Retelling) 
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear. As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.  $0.99 on Amazon
Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller (Paranormal Romance) 
Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . . until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold. As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her.  Violently thrust into a magickal realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own. Will love prove thicker than magick? $3.99 on Amazon
Untraceable by S. R. Johannes (Thriller) 
Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape  and find her father. Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves. $2.99 on Amazon
Rival Demons (Book 5 of the Peachville High Demons Series) by Sarra Cannon (Paranormal Romance) Available January 20th
After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Order of Shadows, Harper finds herself thrust into the strange and beautiful world of the shadow demons. But crossing through the portal doesn't mean she is safe. The Order of Shadows is determined to bring her home and transfer the Prima line to the Harris family. They send their most vicious hunters after Harper. Hunters who will not stop until they have found their prey. Determined to keep her safe, Jackson takes her deep into an underground world filled with dangers of its own. Here, Harper will begin a journey that will teach her more about herself and her own path than she ever imagined possible. Add to Goodreads TBR
The Legend of Victor Standish: Under a Voodoo Moon by Roland D. Yeomans (Urban Fantasy/Romance) 
Can love kill? Yes ... if you love a ghoul who hungers for your flesh only slightly less than she does your heart.  Yet to the lonely street orphan Victor Standish, who has risked his life for a meal, to find love (even for one magical French Quarter night) is worth dying in the morning. $2.99 on Amazon All profits go to the Salvation Army.
Getting Sideways (Book 2 in the Full Throttle Series) by Lisa Nowak (Contemporary) 
Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody’s making every effort to get his life back on track—writing for the school paper, searching for the perfect girlfriend, and counting the days until he gets his drivers’ license—but there’s no escaping the nightmares that haunt him. A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction. Until Cody realizes he’ll have to live up to Race’s legendary status. But that’s the least of his worries, considering he doesn’t have his dad’s permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep Race from discovering his lie until he can convince his dad that racing’s safe. Yeah, sure. That’ll be easy. $3.99 on Amazon
Tangled Tides by Karen Hooper (Sea Monster Memoirs) 
Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one. When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious. Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans. $4.99 on Amazon
Here by Denise Grover Swank (SF Romance)
Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before. Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.  $2.99 on Amazon
The Veil by  Cory Putman Oakes (Paranormal Romance)
Seventeen-year-old Addison Russell is in for a shock when she discovers that she can see the invisible world of the Annorasi.  Suddenly, nothing is as it appears to be—the house she lives in, the woman who raised her, even the most beautiful boy in town all turn out to be more than what they seem.  And when this strange new world forces Addy to answer for a crime that was committed long ago, by parents she has never known, she has no choice but to trust Luc, the mysterious Annorasi who has been sent to protect her.  Or so he says . . . $7.99 on Amazon
Embrace by Cherie Colyer (Paranormal Romance)
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him. Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. $6.99 on Amazon
Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos (Paranormal Romance)
Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. But Alora secretly conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear. Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. Can Julia bargain with fate? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy. $3.99 on Amazon 
How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon (Science Fiction) 
High school senior Alex Bianchi's estranged father gets her an internship at Circe Operations Center to pad her college applications. But Circe isn't your typical military base. It's an alien-run operation center and not all of the aliens are friendly, especially the one that tries to kill Alex on her first day. When Ace, a dark-eyed Caltian, enters and saves the day, she can't help but be drawn to him. Can these star-crossed lovers survive when they're on the brink of intergalactic war? $2.99 on Amazon
Fireseed One by  Catherine Stine (Science Fiction/Thriller) 
Fireseed One is a journey into a tricked-out near-future earth where 18 year-old Varik has inherited a vast ocean farm, following the suspicious drowning of his Marine biologist father. When Marisa, a beautiful and devious terrorist, destroys the world's food source, Varik is forced to travel to a lethal hotzone, teeming with dangerous nomads and a strange cult to search for a magical hybrid plant that may not even exist. The catch? He must take Marisa along, the only person who seems to know way, way too much key information.  $2.99 on Amazon 
The Missing by M.A. Leslie (Paranormal)
Eight-year-old, Ethan Doyle is just a normal kid whose biggest problem in life was to fight for the attention of his busy parents from his older twin siblings. But, after his aunt and uncle tragically die, his family takes in his teenage cousin, Kelsey, and moves to a spooky old, manor house in a new town. At first, everything seems fine, but when he begins to see and speak to a spirit named Lucas, his biggest problem becomes, just staying alive. Lucas was ten years old when the spirits of the house came to him and asked him for help setting their spirits free. Unfortunately, he never made the deadline and as a result the spirits took him and made him a part of the house as well. As he soon finds out, the only way he can save his own soul is to save the souls of the missing boys in the house. With his own deadline in place, Ethan enlists the help of his cousin Kelsey to solve the twenty-year-old mystery of THE MISSING. $0.99 on Amazon
Princess Kandake by Stephanie Jefferson (Fantasy) Available February 1, 2012
In Nubia a woman can be whatever she chooses. At 14, Kandake knows exactly what she chooses...Prime Warrior of Nubia. But her grandmother has said that she will follow her father on the throne. Refusing to abandon her warrior dreams she continues to train. When her brother is kidnapped, Kandake learns she must be both queen and warrior to win his release! See Author's Website 
Middle Grade
Blink of a Dragon by Eisley Jacobs (Fantasy)
Discovering she’s connected to dragons is one thing, but when another dragon is caught hanging out in the fifth grade, Meia thinks things couldn’t get any worse. Is she ever wrong! Trouble is brewing in the cosmos and Deglan believes this new dragon holds the answers, but his hopes are crushed when the leader of the exiled dark dragons ambushes them. The fate of the dragons and possibly the whole world falls to Deglan and Meia as they search for the only creature powerful enough to send the dark dragons back into the abyss. What they encounter along the way makes the adventure worth fighting for. $6.99
How's that for a lot of wonderful books to choose from? Have you read any of these books yet?