Monday, April 24, 2017

Broken But Not Dead (Promo) + My Cat Clan / Monthly Mishmash




Birthday:
On April 1st, I added to my tattoo...a ladybug, four-leaf clover, and the dragonfly's wings were colored in. It was an early birthday gift to myself. April 12th was my birthday, and I had a lot of fun with my family. We had a picnic and went fishing. 



Promo for Joylene Nowell Butler! 

Maski: Broken But Not Dead
By Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller
$4.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844385

An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

When Brendell Meshango resigns from her university professor position and retreats to her isolated cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. His racial comments lead her to believe she is the solitary victim of a hate crime.

However, is all as it appears? After two bizarre days, the intruder mysteriously disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Taught by her mother to distrust the mainstream-based power structures, and with her stalker possibly linked to a high level of government, Brendell conceals the incident from the police. But will her silence keep her safe?

Then her beloved daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

Purchase Links:

“Joylene Nowell Butler gets straight to the story, taking you from one happening to the next and keeps you turning the page.” - Martha A. Cheves, author

“A psychological thriller filled with suspense, action and drama...” - John Bell, 93.1  CFIS-FM: Prince George, BC

“Riveting and beautifully written. You won't be able to set it down.” Judith S. Avila, author

****

Meet My Cat Clan:


This is Otis:


He is a real sweetie. When I first rescued him, he didn't like to get very close. And still he shies away, but he'll sneak onto my bed at night and curl up right next to me, as if I won't notice. He loves to get petted, and he's the only one who likes my nephews. My other cats run and hide. Except for Cole, who stays out in the open and hisses at them.



Otis also goes by these names:
Baldy (He likes to lick himself a lot)
Bald Butt
Big Boy
Handsome Boy
Sweet Boy


This is Clover:


Clover is the smallest of the four, and he has a tiny meow that I like to mimic because it sounds like a long squeak. When he lies down, he first stretches his legs out as far as he can before lowering the rest of his body down. I don't know why. He also likes to touch. He'll put his paw or leg on your leg.



Clover also goes by:
Da Baby
Clovey
Silly Boy


This is Milo (Otis' Twin):


Milo is the wild one. The rule breaker. He likes to meow obnoxiously in the middle of the night. When I get up to close my door, he shoots out into the living room, because he knows he's been bad. He scratches on the carpet, even when I stand there tapping my foot, scolding. And, yet, he's a sweetie. He likes to take naps with me. All I have to say is, "Milo, wanna take a nap?" and he jumps up to follow me to the room.



Milo also goes by:
D' Milo
Pain-in-the-butt
Bad Butt
Sleepy Buddy
Fatty
(He used to be so skinny, but now he's bigger than his twin.)


This is Cole:


Cole is my baby. My big baby. He's fluffy, fuzzy, and fat. When he was a kitten, he liked to hop, so he earned the nickname "my bunny." When I say it with a high-pitched silly voice, he knows I'm calling him. He's a lover, not a fighter. When the other three have...disagreements...he's the only one who avoids it. He's so sweet, and yet he hisses at my nephews. *sigh*



Cole also goes by:
My Bunny
Fuzzy Bunny
Fuzzy Butt
Colesy



If you can believe it, they are all brothers by birth. They came from the same litter.


Collectively they go by:
My Boys
Boyzies
Piggies (when I feed them)
Stinky Butts (when I change the litter)
Bad Butts (if they are all being naughty)





And the twins also go by:
Twinies


You can tell them apart because Milo has a lighter face. Otis is darker.


You probably see a trend of the word "butt." It's said out of love.

Am I a crazy cat lady?

Possibly.

Definitely.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Kick Ass Girls of YA Blog Hop + Empowering Women - Gal Gadot aka Wonder Woman



Kick Ass Girls of YA Blog Hop

Hosted by Libby Heily. Visit other participants HERE.

The kick ass girl I want to highlight is Gabi Hernandez from Gabi- a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. 

I fell in love with Gabi while I read this book. She's so refreshing because she's not cookie-cutter perfect. Gabi is sixteen years old and facing many of the things that real kids face nowadays. Her best friend Cindy is pregnant, and her other best friend Sebastian is coming out. Her father is a meth addict, and her mother is strict. 

She is Mexican-American but feels as though she's not Mexican enough for her family and not white enough for Berkeley. What we're reading is her diary. She talks about race, ethnicity, gender, weight issues, bullying, rape, and sexuality in a real, though-provoking way. She also finds passion in poetry. My favorite parts of this book was reading Gabi's poems.





****

EMPOWERING WOMEN

Every month I am highlighting an empowering woman. This month it is:


Gal Gadot

Image from Wikimedia
License Author Gage Skidmore

Gal Gadot played Wonder Woman in Batman Vs. Superman. Everyone loved her performance and said she was the best part of the whole movie. So, it’s no surprise that they decided to do a Wonder Woman movie (set to release June 2nd). Before she became an actress and had her break out role in the Fast and the Furious franchise as Gisele Yashar, she had a far more fascinating life.


Gal Gadot is Jewish and was born in Israel. When she was 18, she won the 2004 Miss Israel Competition and competed in the Miss Universe Pageant. Two years later, she served two years as a solider of the Israel Defense Forces.
“You give two or three years, and it’s not about you. You give your freedom away for a while. You learn discipline and respect. The things I’ve been through as a soldier prepared me to deal with career things as well.”
Following her time in the army, Gal studied law.

If you’re still doubting that she’s a bad ass, how about this: She’s a motorcycle rider and did most of her stunts in the Fast and the Furious movies. On top of that, she’s a mom and the second-highest paid actress in Israel.

The fact that she’s the first non-American to portray Wonder Woman makes me love Wonder Woman that much more.
“It is so important for girls and boys to have a female, strong superhero to look up to.”

 Inspiring Song


This song is about bullying by Elise Estrada. Listen to it! The song and video are dedicated to Amanda Todd who committed suicide when she was 15.



QUESTIONS: Who is your favorite Kick Ass Girl of YA? Do you like Wonder Woman? Did you watch the Fast and the Furious movies?



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Using the A to Z Challenge to Market Your Book / IWSG



Not on Goodreads?
The IWSG book club is a good reason to join.

Don’t do much on Goodreads?
This is an excellent way to dip your toes in a little more.

Not enough time in your day?
We read one book every two months.

OUR GOAL: The Insecure Writer's Support Group (Book Club) is for writers to read/learn about the writing craft. In this book club, we will swap back and forth between non-fiction writing books and fiction books that demonstrate how to do certain aspects of storytelling. 

No promo. No review or beta reader requests. 

Just writers reading books and discussing those books with other writers.


The book we're reading for April/May is Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams by Heather Sellers.



**The discussion will start on May 17th.**

For more details and to join: Book Club


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers.

April Question:
 Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

Of course, I have! Why not???

The very first year I participated in the A to Z Challenge, I used it to network. My blog was in its third year with very little readers. By the end of the Challenge I had 32 new followers!

In 2015, my theme was disasters after my Disaster Crimes Series, which got a wonderful response. A couple of times I promoted Hurricane Crimes in my posts. Then, later in April, when Ghost of Death came out, I shared the cover art, blurb, and links for it at the end of each post. 

Last year, I did not participate in the Challenge, but Seismic Crimes had it's release day in April. As a matter of fact, it came out on S day. How perfect! I set up a Google Form and asked if any bloggers participating in A to Z would like to add a little promo for my book in their S post. I don't remember the exact numbers, but I had around 20 (+) bloggers sharing the info for Seismic Crimes in their A to Z post that day.

When there's something like the A to Z Challenge, or even IWSG Day, you SHOULD use it for marketing and networking!



OPTIONAL MAY QUESTION: 
What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

Reminder: The questions are optional and meant as a prompt if you struggle with what to post. You don't have to answer a question if you don't want to. :)


Monday, March 27, 2017

Reactivating My Creative Self / Monthly Mishmash




Reactivating My Creative Self: 

I finished writing Flaming Crimes (Book 4) in November with the push of NaNo, but I haven't started book 5, or edited book 4. I haven't written anything (other than emails and blog posts) since mid-November. The reason for this is depression and stress, a deadly combo for creativity. 

But I've been working on reactivating my creative self slowly.

I've been doing a lot of reading and research on areas of interest:

- writing/writer's block
- organic cleaning
- how to make your own beauty products
- gardening
- Irish myths and lore
- Wicca

All of these topics have helped to awake my brain. I still haven't started writing or editing my books, but I've acquired new motivation when I had ZERO motivational drive for months. This is GOOD news!

Photography:

I purchased a digital camera from a pawn shop. It's a slightly older model, but it's the kind I've wanted for years. I've been learning the ins and outs of this camera and photography in general, another passion of mine (aside from writing).

Spring Cleaning:

I got a new desk. My old desk was wooden, and I couldn't move from side to side without rapping my knees. Ouch! My new desk is glass with room for me to move. 

To prep for my new desk, I went into a cleaning and organizing frenzy. I threw out A LOT that I didn't need. I often asked myself, "Why am I keeping this?" 

Looking at my desk now, I am amazed at how sparse it is. Doing this cleaning made me feel so much lighter.


My new desk.

I used the glass from my Hurricane Crimes Cocktail recipe for pens.

This box has the little odds and ends from my desk, like my calculator.

My new desk has three glass tiers attached to it. This is on the bottom.
The notebooks I need are organized in a mesh box I got from the dollar store.
That big binder is my mom's book, which I've been helping her with.

This lil guy has my computer paper, envelopes, and other office supplies in it.

I also used the same paper for behind my bookcases. And, yes, I do have two
witches' broom sticks. I made them for Halloween.
And, yes, again I do love pumpkins.

Note: I didn't put my old desk on the side of the road, though. I moved it into my living room. It now holds the books, board games, and school supplies I keep for my nephews. :)

Recycling:

I ended up shredding a TON of papers, which I stuffed into paper bags and put into my recycling bin. You're welcome, Mother Earth.

Do you have old ink cartridges? 

Empties4cash.com will pay for your used ink cartridges and the shipping, too! It's even free to sign up. I created an account, printed out my free shipping label (after verifying how many I had and the type through email), put it on a manila envelope, and sent off my ink cartridges. The kind I have is worth .25 each. You need to have a total of $5+ before they'll send you a check. They prefer to get 8+ when you mail in your empties.

Do you throw out your used pens?

I've known about The Pen Guy for years, and I've been saving up pens to send his way. The Pen Guy collects pens (even markers and highlighters) and creates amazing works of art with them. After my move a couple of years ago, I forgot all about the box of pens I had been saving, but I found them during my cleaning spree and I'll be sending them to The Pen Guy. I'll also start saving them again. 

Can you imagine how many pens writers throw away? Yikes!

Gardening:

I've been prepping for gardening (which I do in April). And I've started to build a spot in my backyard to use as a peaceful "getaway." It's been rewarding being outdoors and seeing the progress I've done.

Book Club:

I also created a book club for IWSG. You don't need to be an IWSG member to join. And you don't need to be a book writer, either. All types of writers are welcome. Join HERE!



QUESTIONS: What are you researching (for fun, work, or your book)? Do you recycle? Have you done any spring cleaning?



Monday, March 20, 2017

Diverse Characters - E + F + G



INTRODUCTION:

There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol




Here are the diverse characters for E:


Egyptians 

Image from Pixabay

Elderly

Elves


Image from Pixabay

Eskimos (Arctic Natives, Inuits, Native Alaskans)

Exotic Dancers

Extraterrestrials 


Here are the diverse characters for F:

Fairies

Farmers

Finns (Individuals from Finland)

Individuals with Freckles

French Individuals

Foster Children/Foster Parents 


Here are the diverse characters for G:

Gay Individuals

Gamblers

Geeks

Geniuses

Germans

Germaphobes

Ghanaians (Individuals from Ghana)

Ghosts

Giants (Fantasy)

Gnomes

Goblins

Gods/Goddesses

Gothic Individuals 

Image from Pixabay

Greeks

Image from Pixabay

Gypsies

Image from Pixabay


SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with E, F, or G, let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.

Have you written about a character from my list?



Monday, March 13, 2017

IWSG Book Club on Goodreads! + Books for Writers - Writer's Market



Not on Goodreads?
The IWSG book club is a good reason to join.

Don’t do much on Goodreads?
This is an excellent way to dip your toes in a little more.

Not enough time in your day?
We read one book every two months.

OUR GOAL: The Insecure Writer's Support Group (Book Club) is for writers to read/learn about the writing craft. In this book club, we will swap back and forth between non-fiction writing books and fiction books that demonstrate how to do certain aspects of storytelling. 

No promo. No review or beta reader requests. 

Just writers reading books and discussing those books with other writers.

**The first book will be announced on April 1st.**
**The discussion will start on May 17th.**

For more details and to join: Book Club


*******************


The one book all writers should know about is…Writer’s Market. I have told many aspiring authors about this book when they ask me how they can get published. It truly is the “most trusted guide to getting published.”


Every year, a new edition comes out. Each book has a comprehensive list of book publishers, consumer and trade magazines, contests and awards, and literary agents. In the beginning, there’s also articles from bestsellers and industry experts on how to develop your author brand and promote your book. The articles’ subjects are different in each edition.

One thing you can always count on is their sample query letters for fiction, nonfiction, and articles. They offer real query letters that worked or didn’t, and they explain what caught their attention or ruined the query for them. I love to see these query letters.


Another book like Writer’s Market is A Guide to Literary Agents that also comes out with an updated annual version. If what you’re looking for is an agent, this is the book for you! The agent section in Writer’s Market is tiny, but you can be sure that A Guide to Literary Agents lists all the agents in every genre. I’ve used this book many times to build my list of agents.


These two books are priceless for writers.

For UK writers, check out Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.


There's also:

Poet's Market
Children's Writers and Illustrator's Market Book
Novel and Short Story Writer's Market


Note: I don't buy these books. I check them out from my local library. ;)



QUESTIONS: Do you use these books? 
Will you be joining the IWSG Book Club? :D


Monday, March 6, 2017

Empowering Women - Lady Gaga



Every month I am highlighting an empowering woman. This month it is:

LADY GAGA


Image from Wikipedia. Source marcen27
Tony Bennett & Lady GaGa 6 License


Lady Gaga wasn’t always understood when she first rose to musical power. Her outfits were crazy and her performances and videos were controversial. I always liked her, though, because I appreciated her creativity and what she was doing.

Remember the legendary meat dress?
“If we don’t stand up for what we believe in, and if we don’t fight for our rights pretty soon, we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones. And, I’m not a piece of meat.”
Then there’s her first MTV VMA performance for Paparazzi. At the end, she’s lifted into the air, bleeding and convulsing. 
“I just knew I had to bleed to death for four minutes on TV…I wanted to say something about how the celebrity sort of has this inevitable demise that we love to watch. But are we killing them or are they killing themselves?”
In 2011, she debuted her song “Born This Way,” a song about love and equality. From the beginning, she fought for LGBT rights. She wrote “Born This Way" in ten minutes and recorded it around the world on her tour bus. This song isn’t just for the LBGT community, though, but for people of all races.

 What about the video and that egg she journeyed in down the red carpet:
“…birthing a race within the race of already existing cultures of humanity—that bears no prejudice and no judgement.”
She started the Born This Way Foundation to help teens struggling with depression and to feel comfortable in their skin.

In recent years, she gained considerable recognition for her tribute to Julie Andrews, her National Anthem performance at Super Bowl 50, her tribute to David Bowie, and her role as the Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel, for which she won an Emmy.

This year she did the Halftime Show for Super Bowl 51, and in my opinion it was the best Halftime Show ever. She opened it by singing "This Land is Your Land" while a fleet of drones created the American flag behind her. And it was neat to see the dance moves from her music videos come back to the stage. 

At the 2016 Oscars, she performed “Till it Happens to You,” her song dedicated to victims of sexual abuse. Gaga was sexually assaulted when she young....
“I didn’t tell anyone for years because I didn’t tell myself for years. And my soul was burnt out until it was gone. And then you have to admit you were in pain, and that you died in a way, but you are in control to bring it back, and there are people in the world who’ll help you.”
Please watch her Oscar performance. Every time I’ve seen it, I’ve been reduced to tears.


Inspiring Song:





So whether you understand her in the moment, you have to admit that she has a way of getting her message out there.


QUESTION: What do you think of her performance?



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