I’ve Moved!

Well, the time has come to move my blog to my website. I have loved WordPress and getting to know you all.  I really hope you all follow me over to my new blog. Kind of bittersweet and a pain in the butt to have to learn new technology stuff. Ack! But I’m told this will be better. We shall see. Ha! Anyway, this summer we’re in for an exciting adventure with lots of cools things planned, so come up on over and sign up. (If I ever get the sign up button working. Ha!)

Today, on my blog, we’re having a grand opening of my new website/blog by participating in the blog hop:

So please stop by and say hi, and enter to win some ebooks and Amazon gift card. See you over there!

Have a great week!

In Honor of Mother’s Day

This past week I have seen some awesome posts and videos on being a mom, so I thought I would share it with you all. Enjoy!

Children Give Birth to Mothers. Need I say more? Piper Bayard writes “Mother’s Day is the day we honor the women who were delivered by children. The women who love us more than they love themselves, whether they are our actual mothers and grandmothers, or the sisters and mentors who have come into our lives and taught us what love means.” Check it out and enjoy some Rod Stewart’s Forever Young while you’re there.

The Biologist’s Mother’s Day Song. Funny. :-)

It’s My Time to Give Back. Rhenna Morgan shares about coming full circle as she raises her own kiddos. “Go hug or kiss the little ones in your life. They’ll remember it.”

And last but not least, The Parent Rap. Hilarious. :-)

 

Have a great weekend y’all! And don’t forget about the scavenger hunt! Grand prize: an iPad Mini AND loaded with a bunch of new releases. Check it out!

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Review: Armored Hearts

Armored Hearts

It is the story of an orphaned boy who cannot walk, but discovers he can fly, and a whole new world is opened up before his eyes complete with a love he never thought possible and a danger he never saw coming.

Gareth Smyth is a cripple living with his grandfather in a world on the verge of steam powered automatons but many still cling to their traditions, superstitions, and prejudices, thus they look down upon someone like Gareth, so to protect himself, he despises everything but his little aunt who sees past his wheelchair and loves him for who he is. Then he discovers he can fly by saving a girl’s life.

The story world felt like it was set in an alternative history flavored with steampunk and fairies who sound a bit Scottish. The slight use of the Scottish dialect was done well enough to flavor the language, but not make it difficult to understand what is being said.

Gareth’s sour attitude could be somewhat off putting but I was so intrigued with the story that I had to find out what happens and how he would change. If you’ve read Winter Fae, a short story about his mom and him when he was two years old, it really helps to set the stage of the possibilities to come. Which, I loved Winter Fae so much and wanted to know more about his mother’s story, so I wasn’t sure how I would like his story, but I was not disappointed.

But I have two complaints. One, the story felt rushed and in that some things felt too easy to me, but that’s coming from someone who loves long, epic stories, ha! The second complaint, it was too short! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the story will unfold.

By the way, for those of you who are waiting for the paperback book, its coming soon! The ebook is on sale at Amazon for $.99 for the month of May. It’s also available for Nook for $2.99 at Barnes and Noble. Check it out and enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card at AltWit Press.

Coffee Brains

Good Monday morning!

coffee

WANA Commons
photo credit: thesparechangekitchen: Louise Vansleve

Ha, I can hear the yawns and the growls. Don’t talk to me before I’ve had my caffeine. Can you relate? Three Sundays ago, I was making coffee at church in one of those BIG hot-water-ready machines and I poured half of the freshly made decaf back in the water reservoir. What? Yeah, hadn’t had my usual dose of caffeine that morning. Yawn.

Recently a friend posted a link to an article about caffeine. I ignored it. I was afraid it was going to be one of those STOP drinking coffee articles. I love my tea, my coffee, but I’m finding that its helping less and less to get a good jump start on the day, except for staving off caffeine-depended headaches. And a second cup to help pull me through the afternoon just makes me jittery and buzzy. Coffee Brains. So I decided to read the article. Bingo. My lack of get-up-and-go stemmed from two reasons.

  1. I’m a mom of a spit-fire little monkey and the energizer bunny coupled with late nights, yeah, no amount of caffeine is going to fix that. SLEEP.
  2. My body has developed a tolerance for it. So I get less bang for my cup of joe/tea in the morning. Man, it sounds like I’m drugs or something. Oh, wait, I am!

So what should we do? Ante up the serving? No, this articles suggests lessening your caffeine take and saving it for the day you really need a jump start. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. LOVE me some tea in the morning, a little sugar, a little cream. Mmmm…

But perhaps there’s another way? Just maybe if I take better care of myself and eat healthier and get more sleep, would I need the caffeine? I used to shower in the morning, that helped a little but with the monkey and the energizer bunny, that won’t be happening for a long time. Now is not the time for muddled brains! I need clarity, objectivity and a color-coded schedule. I thought caffeine helped with those, but not so much anymore.

What do you think? Yay or nay? Are you a coffee, tea, or a pop person? (Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m from the North.) What do you do to get a jump start on the day? Any of y’all use B vitamins or supplements?

Well, here’s to a great start for the rest of the week. And no, I won’t be cutting back on my caffeine intake at this point, I’m only drinking a pot two cups a day. :-D

A Link Feast

Alright, I am going to attempt this link feast via iPhone. I am in a season of my life (until August) with limited Internet data, but I’m not going to let that stop me. Ha! So here are some really awesome things this past week or so, and some really cool stuff coming up.

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Lisa Tawn Bergren is hosting a Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt with a grand prize of  iPad mini loaded with 30 ebooks! Including speculative fiction authors: Anne Elisabeth Stengl, R. J. Larson, Jill Williamson, and John Otte. How cool is that? So mark your calendars, it begins May 17th and goes through the weekend.

The other day I stumbled upon a link from my writerly friend from down under (one of the places I would love to travel, thanks to Crocodile Dundee & Man from Snowy River). Debbie Johansson discusses The Writer’s Legacy on her blog, and it really has me thinking. Check it out!

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Speaking of traveling, Lesley Carter of the Bucket List Publications recently posted about their travels to Petra!!! Must go on my bucket list as well. The hidden city of Petra inspired one of my dwarven cities. :-)

Well, that was way too much trouble via phone. Ha! So I had to hit a wifi spot. Thanks to my friends for putting up with me. Ha! My phone wouldn’t let me hyperlink the links within the text. Now what would be the point of a link feast without links to click on, duh!

If Twitter is overwhelming or you’re caught up in the number game, check out Kristen Lamb’s post on I LOST THREE Followers–Twitter Tips To Keep From Going Crazy. She has wealth of information on anything social media, and with WANA International, there are classes to help you learn the ropes of connecting in cyberspace.

I wanted to give a little shout out to the semi-finalist over at the ACFW’s Genesis contest. If you like historical romance, keep an eye out for  Gabrielle Meyer. I have a feeling she’s going to take the world of books by storm. She’s already landed an agent, has an awesome blog and a big heart. I couldn’t be more happy for her! :-)

I recently connected with Ralene Burke via cyberspace, and she has also made it to the semi-finals in the speculative fiction category. Very cool stuff, and very excited for her!

oathbreakers covertif

Back in January, Fantasy-Faction did an exclusive cover reveal for The Oathbreaker’s Shadow by Amy McCulloch and the story sounds intriguing. And isn’t that an awesome cover? Well, I just happen to stumble upon The Great Big The Oathbreaker’s Shadow Preorder Giveaway. Unfortunately, its not available for US residents, yet. But if you’re in the UK or the Commonwealth countries, check it out!

Armored Hearts

Monday, I interviewed authors Melissa Turner Lee and Pauline Creeden, and we talked about how two different authors worked together to create a fantasy steampunk story. Armored Hearts ebooks are on sale for $.99 through the month of May in celebrating its release. Don’t forget the $100 Amazon gift card giveaway! 

Well, that’s it for now, if you have some awesome newsy events or giveaways going on, please share in the links below. Have a great weekend!

Digital Art

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It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned anything about my creative endeavors, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been creating. I’ve been working on some character sketches that I hope to share with you all soon. And I’ve been playing around with digital art.

My hubby recently bought me a new laptop because my old one was biting the dust and with it came this awesome new paint program and a ton of headaches. Ha! Learning something new and not having the same software as I have had before, it’s been a bit challenging and hair-pulling, but I’ll eventually learn the ropes…

That said, I’ve been playing around with this paint program and it is so cool, aside from the fact that I’ve lost three canvases I was working on already. There is no instructions, no manual! Not that I would read it, but still. Ha!

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Anyway, I’ve decided to open an account on Deviant Art. jstarshine, if you’re interested. Have yall seen that place? There are so many talented artists and photographers and creative types over there. One of my writing, critiquing pals is an awesome digital artist. She goes by NetRaptor over there and has a website/blog as well with a tutorials on how to mess around with Photoshop. Check her out if you get the chance.

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So what kind of creative endeavors have you been up to lately?

Interview: Creeden & Lee

Armored Hearts

What do you get when you cross a paranormal romance author with horror? Armored Hearts. Melissa Turner Lee, author of Difference Between Night and Day, The Earth Painter, & The Man Painter, teamed up with Pauline Creeden, whose short stories have been called creepy, mysterious, and suspenseful, labeled as horror, gothic, steampunk, just to name a few.

Well, I invited them here today to share a little bit about themselves, their writing process, and their new release, Armored Hearts.

Welcome Melissa and Pauline! Please tell us a little about yourselves. What makes you tick? Favorite hobbies, T.V. shows, foods, drinks? Do you have any pets? Kids?

Pauline: Thanks for bringing us on, Jennette. I think that our combination keeps us both in balance. She’s the yin, and I’m the yang. Together, we have a better chance of keeping things moderated. In life we’re quite opposite, too. My house is quieter as far as kids are concerned, since I have only one 12 year old son, but we also have a menagerie – 16 horses, 4 cats, 2 dogs, 2 chickens, 3 goldfish, and a lizard, so I guess the pets are my hobby. And TV wise, I don’t watch much, but I Netflix shows that I like – Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, and the Walking Dead, for example.

Melissa: Yes, we are different. She’s a dog person. I would be a cat person if I wanted to have a pet. But there is no room at my house for one more living thing with 3 boys and a husband and a tiny house. I think more fairy tale and Pauline thinks more creepy horror and somehow it works. I watch a little TV. Doctor Who, Beauty and the Beast, Orphan Black. That’s about it for spare time here.

Who are your favorite authors, books, style, genre?

M: I’m a fan of Paranormal Romance. Stephenie Meyer got me started but I don’t think I write like her. She’s a lot more wordy. I really enjoyed Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices and the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.

P: I read a lot of fantasy/suspense/thrillers – I love CS Lewis, and anyone who visits my fan page on Facebook will know my favorite modern author is Neil Gaiman.

How did the two of you get together and decide to write a steampunk fantasy?

P: I’ll let Melissa answer this one as it was her idea.

M: I had a character come to visit me in my head. He was in a wheelchair and was from Edwardian England. Then I got to know the woman in his life. She was American and gadgety. It was steampunk so I knew I needed help and Pauline happens to be a very talented steampunk writer. I asked her and she agreed.

So, who had the idea? Where did Armored Hearts come from? Tell us a bit about this story.

M: My stories always start with characters. They show up uninvited and I ask them who they are and what is going on. I’m nosy when it comes to people taking up residence in my head. There was this Englishman in a wheelchair who had abilities that could not be explained and a girl who made gadgets and an assassin.

Can you share with us a little bit about the writing process and how the two of you worked together?

P: We had a lot of brainstorming sessions, and then Melissa wrote the first draft. Then we brainstormed some more, and then I took it and added a bit. Then we discussed what needed fixing, and Melissa did the third draft. We went back and forth on this project. But Melissa did the most work, as it was her idea. I have a Contemporary Romantic/Suspense novel I’ll be taking the reins on that we’ve done some brainstorming sessions with and will be working on it later this year as well as AH2.

M: We also made a board on Pinterest so we had the same faces, places and such in mind as we wrote.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing Armored Hearts? What was the best part of writing it?

M: Opening up to new ideas is hard but Pauline came up with great stuff. Places we needed to go back and add action or a death that I would never think of doing on my own. I think it made it stronger and not too frilly nor too dark.

P: The challenge of collaboration is that there is compromise. Sometimes I had an idea that Melissa would shoot down, and I’m sure that I shot down one or two of hers as well. But I think the end result was better than either of us would have had happen on our own and with only our own ideas involved. The best part was the research. I started watching Downton Abbey in order to immerse myself in the sort of culture that surrounds Armored Hearts (at Melissa’s suggestion). And the period is beautiful and romantic.

Who is your favorite character and why?

P: Jessamine – she’s so strong, confident, and clever. I wanna be her when I grow up.

M: Tabitha—I wish I were sweet like her and liked math.

What do you hope people walk away with after they finish reading the book?

M: This may not fit the tastes of those who are already into steampunk, but I think it will answer the question, ‘”What is steampunk?” for those who read more mainstream.

P: So much of steampunk is all about the mechanizations and political atmosphere. I know that our goal in this book is to introduce the ultra cool world to the romance and fantasy crowd in a way that is much more palatable than I’ve ever seen it done.  

And just for fun, if you could go back to experience any place in history, where and when would it be, and why?

P: Much of my writing is to my former self. If I could go back in time and smack the 18 year old me and tell her to grow up and get serious, I think I would. Just like horseback riding for me is not “for fun” but I want to get something done in the process, I’d choose to visit myself and see if I could get her more serious about God…and seeing my Daddy again would just be a bonus.

M: Maybe the 90s. It’s when I grew up, fell in love, got married. It was a time of lots of firsts. Life wasn’t so foreign to me then. Maybe that’s why I’m writing a book set in the 90s called Forever Layla. It will be for those more into romance than who read for adventure. Fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife might like it. Nicholas Sparks meets Sci-Fi minus the depressing ending.

Thank you Melissa and Pauline for joining us today!  

Would you like to connect?

Melissa Turner Lee

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Goodreads

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Pauline Creeden

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Goodreads

Website/blog 

Have a great week everyone!