My First Guest Post


celebrateicecream

Photo Credit: Frank Selmo

 

Let’s celebrate!

<<<<<<< Go ahead, grab a cyber bite.

Sarah Negovetich is hosting me on her blog Sara Nego Writes today. It’s my first Guest Post!

Please stop by her blog to check out my 5 Tips on Managing Social Media. Thanks for your continued support. The blogosphere wouldn’t be the same without you!

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Let’s Get Organized


LGO Badge

Novel Clique, my writer’s group, determined 2012 the Year of the Agent. It went amazingly well, so we designated 2013 the Year of Social Media. We all plan to develop websites, continue to build our individual blogs, as well as the Novel Clique blog.

We’ll be busy, but maintaining a social media presence doesn’t have to be stressful. We sat down with our editorial calendar and brainstormed topics. Now, we have our group’s weekly blog posts planned for the year. It really took the stress out of figuring out what to write.

This morning alone, I changed topics three times. In an effort to find a balance between writing and the real world, we’re starting the Let’s Get Organized blog hop.

The rules are simple:

  1. Create a 4-6 week editorial calendar (here’s a cool template). If you post more than once a week, feel free to cut this time-frame in half. Unless, you’re up for the challenge.
  2. Publish the schedule to your blog. As with exercising, people tend to stick to goals when they’re held accountable.
  3. Tag three bloggers to join in the fun, then contact them to let them know about it.

The party starts February 21, 2013. In the meantime, mark your calendar, grab the badge for your blog to help spread the word and start brainstorming topics for your editorial calendar.

****NEW****

If you want to join the party, please sign up using the Linky Tool below.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest


This week, I’m participating in the I Miss You Blogfest hosted by  Andrew Leon, Matthew MacNish, and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

It’s time to tell which blogger buddies we really miss because they aren’t posting as often, or at all. It’s also time to show appreciation for the bloggers we would really miss!

The rules: List one to three bloggers you really miss and one to three bloggers you would miss if they stopped blogging. Then go leave a comment on those blogs. 

Before I start naming names, I encourage you to hop on over to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog and sign up to join the fun. He also has a list of other participants.

Now, for the bloggers I miss:

My Writing Blog. Nicole McLaughlin falls into the ‘not posting as often’ category for me and even though I know why, I still miss reading her updates. She always has something interesting and fun to read. I’ve discovered a number of new books thanks to her.

Simplicity In Volumes. I met Patricia A. Timms through a blogfest about a year ago. I enjoyed reading about her many adventures. I’m not sure why she stopped posting.

Bloggers I would miss:

There are so many people to add to this list and even though the rules say one to three, I’m gonna bend them. Some of my favorite bloggers who I would miss terrible should they leave the blogosphere include: Write On, Info Dump a la El, Author Laura Diamond-Lucid Dreamer, Melissa Maygrove, So You’re A Writer, Susan Kaye Quinn, and Susanna Leonard Hill.

These bloggers possess a wealth of knowledge and they share their thoughts/advice on the craft of writing, the business of writing, as well as other topics. Thank you all (and those unnamed) for being so awesome! I know keeping up with blog post isn’t always easy.

Looks like I have a lot of blogs to visit and comment on today. Better get started.

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Also, it’s not to late to sign up to join the EDGE OF TRUTH Cover Reveal Team on November 23. Thanks to those of you who have already signed up. I so appreciate your support! If you’re interested, please fill out this form and I’ll contact you with the information you’ll need. You can also leave a comment below, tweet me, or Facebook me. Thanks!

Getting To Know You


Today, I’d like to take a little time to get to know the people who read/follow my blog a little better, whether you’re a writer or a reader or bloghopper or tweeter or Facebooker, it doesn’t matter. I’m curious about you and the things you like to do with your time. I invite everyone to participate in answering at least one question from the list below (please remember to put the corresponding number in front of your answer):

  1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
  2. What are you reading? Favorite author(s)?
  3. Favorite all time movie?
  4. What kind of music do you listen to?
  5. List at least one blog you’d recommend to other commenters. This is where you shamelessly promote your own blog. 🙂
  6. What’s your favorite dessert?
  7. Did you dream last night? Care to share?
  8. If you’re a writer, what genre(s) do you write?
  9. Who’s your favorite fictional character, either from a book or a movie?
  10. When did you last laugh? About what?
  11. Tell one random fact about yourself.

I’d like to end by saying THANK YOU! to all the wonderful people who stop by my blog and those who leave comments! I look forward to reading more about each of you.

Kreative Blogger Award


A big thanks to Melissa Maygrove blogger and romance writer who passed this award on to me. Her blog posts include Grammar Police Monday, features interviews with both new and seasoned writers, and other insightful information. Find Melissa on Twitter here.
The Rules:
1) Thank and link back to the awarding blog.
2) Answer the following 7 questions.
3) Provide 10 random factoids about yourself.
4) Pass this on to 7 deserving others.

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1) What’s your favorite song?
Love’s Theme by Barry White Love Unlimited Orchestra. This song lifts my spirits in ways I don’t understand. Though, when I’m writing I listen to completely different music.

2) What’s your favorite dessert?
Carrot cake (don’t judge me). My sister and Nicole are tied for making the BEST EVER carrot cake!!!

3) What do you do when you’re upset?
Serenity Now! Some of you may need to click the link to fully appreciate the term. Much like Melissa, my reaction depends on the cause. I first ask, “Is this a life-threatening situation?” and go from there. As a mother (twin boys + girl), I ask this question often, but it also applies to everyday situations as well. Plus, as writers, we should see upsetting situations as fodder for our work.

4) Which is your favorite pet?
Cats. Though I like dogs, too.

5) Which do you prefer? Black or White
Black, it’s my go-to color.

6) What is your biggest fear?
Afraid to say….

7) What is your attitude mostly?
I try to see the positive, though sometimes it’s difficult.

10 Random Factoids:

1) I’ve had the same best friend since first grade.
2) I cooked my first meal at age 4: pancakes for my mama.
3) I climb a tree every year, just to prove I still have it. I haven’t gotten around to it yet this year, yet.
4) I don’t like eggs anyway they’re cooked in a frying pan, but I’ve been told I make delicious scrambled eggs.
5) Even though the vampire/werewolf trend is on the way out (or is it gone now) I still LOVE them.
6) I love to cook, but I don’t like meal planning.
7) Until recently, I still used a VHS player almost everyday.
8) I can cross all of my fingers at the same time (which is worth four times the luck, I’ve been told).
9) Contrary to what my name will lead one to believe, I’m not Russian, but I do speak a little of the language.
10) I love to hear what people dream about, not their aspirations and life goals, but the ones they dream when sleeping.
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I’d like to pass this award to:

1) Susan Kaye Quinn, Young Adult Author [and marketing guru, seriously you could learn much from her.]
2) Carrie Butler at So You’re A Writer [She’s so funny, plus she celebrating her blogiversary. Hurry over, her contest ends soon.]
3) Nicole at My Writing Blog [I so enjoy her humor and her carrot cake.]
4) Susanna Hill [She’s a joy to read.]
5) L.L. McKinney at Info Dump a La El [Motivational post and she also provides contests links.]
6) Dawn Allen at Write On [Very informative.]
7) Rachael Harrie at Rach Writers… [for her role in connecting me to so many awesome writers.]

Please stop by their blogs to show your support!

Conference Afterglow


Novel Clique + First Tuesday members

I can’t even begin to describe how awesome OWFI 2012 was. There were a number of informative workshops. I listened to Chuck Sambuchino discuss “Perfecting Your Pitch”, attended session where agents and editors fielded questions from the audience, heard what editor Melissa Frain had to say about genre fiction, listened to a paranormal panel discuss the supernatural, and watched Carolyn Wall ‘fall into’ her characters to demonstrate how to discover voice.

WordWeavers Bartlesville + Me

It was wonderful to see the familiar faces of my Word Weaver friends, as well as  meet new people. I had a chance to meet Rebekah Loper, a blogger encountered through the Platform Building Campaign, face to face.

Though, the thing that sets OWFI apart from many other conferences is the opportunity to attend Buzz Sessions with speakers/presenters. My critique group and I (along with a few other attendees) had the opportunity to hang out with agents Lousie Fury, Emmanuelle Morgen, and Jessica Sinsheimer and discuss things like market trends, the benefits of

Agent side of Agent/Editor panel

acquiring an agent, what to expect in an agent/author relationship, and that some agents actually visit blogs as well as search Twitter and Facebook of potential clients before making offers. *waves hello*

The keynote speaker Steven James had me laughing so hard I snorted during the ‘JOY’ part of his speech. Long story short, bad things aren’t a travesty for writer’s, it’s material. He also read snippets of rejections letters, which were funny in retrospect.

On both Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to pitch my YA paranormal novels EDGE OF TRUTH and BLINK to three agents. All asked for material. My critique partners also successfully pitched their work to agents.

Novel Clique post Awards Banquet celebration

The conference ended with an Awards Banquet on Saturday. Everyone in my critique group placed in one category or another. My short story ZOMBIE KIBOSH CREW earned 2nd Place in the YA Short Story category (find extended, published version on Kindle or Nook or print).

Overall, I’d say OWFI is an excellent conference and attendees get so much back for the conference cost.

Have you been to a conference lately? Which one and what did you like about it? Or perhaps you’re planning to attend a conference in the future? How did you decide which one?

The Writer’s Voice


(view source)

I entered another contest! The Writer’s Voice is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.). The gist of it is, writers “audition” by posting the plot summary from their query as well as the first 250 words of their manuscript. Then the blog hosts pick their teams and the agents come in to vote later down the line. Click any of the above links for more details.

And here is my entry (tasha #119), from my YA paranormal EDGE OF TRUTH. Enjoy!

Plot Summary: In the year 2248, a free-spirited teen under a dictatorship struggles to control her power to trigger earthquakes. At least, until her best friend is kidnapped. Rena Moon lives in a divided society where the wealthy enjoy life in the Eden bio-domes, while everyone else lives under strict enforcement of Synbots in Hollowcrest. Rena fears detection because no one knows what happens to Others once apprehended. She believes she’ll find refuge in Eden. Though property is available for anyone who can afford it, strategic oppression prevents Hollowcrest residents from saving enough to buy land.

During an excursion into the forbidden Westrock where Rena vents, i.e. triggers earthquakes, she unearths an antique packed cave. It’s enough to help her family escape poverty. However, Topaz, a Buyer from Eden, kidnaps her best friend, Blaze. He wants the relics’ location and proves he’s willing to torture and kill for it. Intent on saving Blaze and retaining her claim, Rena joins forces with Nevan, her 6’3”, body sculpted from physical labor, secret crush. During the rescue, Rena’s anxiety triggers a massive earthquake, which propels Nevan into a crater. Determined to ensure at least Blaze’s safety, Rena must stay in control, decide what moral boundaries she’s willing to breach with her powers, and what losses she can live with.

First 250

Rena Moon wished she could swap places with the canteen, held tight and pressed to Nevan’s lips. The drained container echoed against the table when he set it down and said something that made his friends laugh.

“Come on,” Rena said to her best friend, Blaze. “Let’s move closer.”

“Why are you whispering? He can’t hear us.”

“Habit.”

“The vantage point is better from there.” Blaze pointed to a shaded spot across Transit Plaza. “It’s outside his peripheral. We can stand closer, maybe within hearing range.”

“Loving your attention to detail.” While stealing glances at Nevan, Rena shouldered her backpack and strolled beneath uniform trees.

“Sweet Mother Earth,” Blaze nudged Rena’s shoulder, nearly knocking her off balance in excitement. “They’re gonna do it, again. He’s picking up the spoons.”

“Wha…?” Transfixed, she watched his biceps flex as he shifted and rested his forearms against the edge of the recycled plastic table.

After glancing down both sides, he nodded, once, twice, three times. Someone tapped a set of cups, creating a deep, resonant beat. Nevan joined in, drumming the spoons and knocking his wrist in perfect rhythm to bring the music alive.

With her gift to detect ground vibrations, Rena honed in on the cadence Nevan produced. Every tap thrummed through her, uniting her with his song on a level no one else could know. It drew her toward him, as if he’d attached a melodic tether to her with the intent to reel her in.