Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye this Halloween

Halloween is more than costumes and candy. Wiccans view Samhain (Halloween) as the end of the witch’s year, and a new year is always a good time to start fresh and let go of the past. It’s also considered the date when the veil between this world and the next is the thinnest. In other cultures, Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1, and it’s a time for honoring family members no longer with us.

So this Halloween I will be saying goodbye to my beloved Josephine, a cat who has been with me for more than 15 years. She passed away in her sleep Friday night. Although she had been receiving treatment for a variety of age-related diseases, it was a shock for my husband and I to lose her so suddenly. Up until the end, she remained a happy, playful, sweet girl.

She loved a warm sunbeam, her catnip-stuffed mouse toys, and bites of pork from an order of pad Thai. Christmas was her favorite time of year – “helping” wrap presents and laying under the tree. I’ll never forget her meeting her younger sisters for the first time with an authoritative hiss and swat, always the head cat in our house! Everyone who met her loved her (even her be-swatted sisters), and she loved to greet new people, more than happy to apply cat hair to their legs, coats, or purses.

Today I thought I heard her singing - she had this special meow she used when she was playing with her favorite toys. It didn’t strike me at first that the sound was out of place, but then I remembered. I hope it wasn’t wishful “hearing.” I would like to think it was her way of letting me know she was okay before moving on.

It’s heartbreaking to say goodbye to her. But I see her in my mind in the Summerland, soaking up the sun with her older sister, Madison, and… well, to be honest, I’m not entirely comforted. I’ll probably go through a ton more tissues and I’ll mistake every black shadow or dark piece of clothing as her for quite some time. But I do know it’ll get easier eventually. I was lucky to have so much time with her and so many happy memories.

Love you, Jo.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Preparedness

We’ve made it through the latest hurricane with minimal damage – maybe a tiny leak in the window – but no power outages and no flooding or anything truly bad. We got lucky. Yes, we live inland, but many of our local friends have been without power for a day now, not to mention the reports I’m hearing of trees falling on houses, cars, fences… And that’s just here in Northern Virginia. I feel awful for those people in the hard hit areas of Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and everyone else in the path of the storm.

Certainly, we didn’t do well in this storm because of any decent level of preparedness on my part. Here’s what my hurricane kit looked like:

Let me give you a run-down on it.
  • Water – This was John’s contribution, likely the most useful item here if we actually had lost power.
  • Flashlight – Necessary if I want to read my…
  • Kindle – When in doubt, read.
  • Candle and lighter – Yankee Cozy Cabin scent.
  • Settlers of Catan – An excellent board game that can be played by fall-fragranced candlelight in the event of a power outage.
  • Rum – For when we truly get bored.
  • Cat laser – For when the cats get bored.
Yes, I know. Pathetic. But you gotta think about cat entertainment when a massive hurricane is headed in your direction! What non-essential things made it to your hurricane kit this week?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Movies: Thursday 13

I’ve been watching a bunch of horror movies this month leading up to Halloween. There are a lot of great (as well as awful) movies, but here are a few of my all-time favorites:
  1. The Exorcist – This one still scares the crap out of me every time I watch it! To be honest, I can’t even put it on anymore. But it makes it the favorites list because I think (at least for me) it’s the scariest movie of all time.
  2. Scream – This movie channels all of the classic scares into one snarky, awesome, bloody package.
  3. 28 Days Later – Zombies! Need I say more?
  4. Resident Evil – Video game-inspired zombies!
  5. Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Classic horror with Winona, Sir Anthony, and the amazing Gary Oldman. This movie was awesome enough to even put up with Keanu’s “acting.”
  6. Underworld – Kate Beckinsale just plain kicks ass.
  7. The Omen – Make sure to watch the original version – so creepy! “It’s all for you, Damien!” *shudder*
  8. Contagion – This movie is so frightening because it’s so realistic.
  9. Aliens – I know, I know. It’s a sequel. Alien was amazing and suspenseful, but Alien*s* is infinitely scarier. What would you rather face: one alien or hundreds? No contest.
  10. The Skeleton Key – New Orleans and voodoo… yay!
  11. The Craft – No, this isn’t what witches really do (that would never be exciting enough for a horror movie!), but it’s just plain wicked fun!
  12. Wicker Man – Watch the classic version. Sure, it’s a campy, 70’s, half-ass musical/horror film, but the end is chilling.
  13. The Shining – Again, the original version is the best. Jack Nicholson makes this entire movie! As always, no movie can capture the nuance and terror of Stephen King’s books, but it’s a good movie in it’s own right. That being said, if you haven’t, go read the book! And did you hear? He’s working on a sequel to The Shining now! Horror squee!!!

There’s a sneak peak into my fears! What are your favorite horror movies? What scares you?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Blogfest 2012

Welcome to Blogfest 2012! Each blog is giving away a prize, plus there’s a grand giveaway too! Visit as many blogs as you want from September 28-30 to participate. Here’s a few blogs to check out, and make sure you go to A Journey of Books for the entire list of participants!

What am I giving away? An autographed copy of my new paranormal romance novel, Practically Dreaming! You'll also get this nifty pile of swag, including a custom book tote, a set of romance trading cards for both Practically Dreaming and my first novel, Magick Charm, bookmarks, and a charm.

About Practically Dreaming:

In a Zodiac-based world, finding a mate is easy. Falling in love is the hard part.

Astrology influences almost everything, from career choice to where people live. Even romantic matches are based solely on astrological compatibility and determined by the infallible Council of Venus.

Animal psychic Tierra has every reason to trust the Council save one. Her match with fellow Virgo, Evander, works better on paper than in person. But she stubbornly hangs on, believing their relationship will grow and develop, all the while trying to rationalize her feelings to Lachlan.

Veterinarian and Reiki master, Lachlan, hides a secret, which has kept him single for more than two years. This Pisces dreams of a happily ever after with Tierra, but believes it’s impossible for him.

Tierra and Lachlan must confront their doubts, differences, and society’s belief in the Council. Will they defy the odds and choose each other? Does astrological certainty eclipse the chance to fall in love?

To enter my contest, fill out the entry below. The only requirement is that you follow my blog, but there are a few options if you want additional entries to the contest. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Book Birthday to Goddess on the Run and The False Gwenevere!

Two new Crescent Moon Press books are being released today! Happy book birthday, Marne Ann and Suzanne!

Goddess on the Run by Marne Ann Kirk

All Fomorian Hells are about to break loose on earth, making human souls the daily special, if the Tuatha de Danaan can’t stop it.

Teagan, a Celtic demi-goddess hiding from her destiny in small-town Colorado, wants nothing to do with her mother’s forgotten realm or the drama of a battle of the gods. And Merric is forbidden fruit she’s too smart to taste.

Merric, leader of the Tuatha de Danaan warriors, has other plans. Teagan holds the key to salvation, for both him and their worlds, whether she wants to or not. He’ll do whatever it takes to convince her of her duty.

But can he find the key to her heart?

About the author:
Marne Ann Kirk lives in Western Colorado, where her husband, children, grand-children, and a herd of small animals ride roughshod over her or at least she lets them think they do. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, which she uses a bit as a writer and much less as a wife and mother. When she isn't escaping into the worlds her imagination creates, Marne can be found trying to get the last three of seven children safely through their teen years, playing with her grand-babies, baking, daydreaming in her garden, or learning to blog. Her favorite authors, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lyndsay Sands, and Kresley Cole, inspire her. Marne is a member of Romance Writers of America, and its Future, Fantasy, & Paranormal chapter. She is the Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers for 2011, of which she's been a member since 2002.

You can find Marne hanging out with some close friends and fellow writers at: 
Cowboys and Dragons at the Cafe.

The False Gwenevere by Suzanne Shanken

Imagine living with hundreds of people in a large fortress, but you are practically invisible. This is the life of Gaenor aka Nora, an outcast fey child rejected by her mother and abandoned by her father. After her twin sister, Gwenevere, marries King Arthur, Nora journeys to Annwn and is now the center of attention for the first time in her life. For everyone but Nora believes she is part of a long awaited fey legend.

Merlyn sends Lancelot after Nora fearing that she is in danger. But Nora's not like the other damsels Lancelot's known. They were merely a means to an end; damsels rescued at Merlyn's behest in order to uncover the mysteries of his own lost past. However, Nora possesses courage and determination, compelling Lancelot to break his rule about avoiding romantic complications.

Once in Annwn, the pair must unite against an evil sorcerer who threatens everything.

About the author:
Suzanne received a university scholarship by winning a short story contest and earned bachelor degrees in both British Archeology and Ancient Religions. Her love of writing found a home in the university newspaper and while student teaching creative writing classes. Suzanne studied Arthurian legends extensively in college. Her goal was to write tales where the Arthurian women are good and not depicted as villains.

She is currently working on another fantasy romance about Morgana le Fey. In this story, Morgana is the protagonist, instead of the usual plots with her being an evil sorcerer.

As a history buff, Suzanne enjoys attending Renaissance Faires where she participates in battle reenactments and archery competitions. She lives 7,000 feet up in the mountain community of Big Bear Lake, California where primitive nature is a constant inspiration for expanding her metaphysical studies.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy Book Birthday to Fairyproof and Demons of the Sun!

Two of the talented authors at Crescent Moon press had their books released this week. Happy book birthday, Constance and Cindi!

Fairyproof by Constance Phillips

When Monique finds out her brother, Kieran, is planning her future with the one fairy she wants nothing to do with, she seeks refuge in the human world. Now Kieran fears she will be the next victim in a string of murdered fairies and is determined to bring her home.

Hiding should be a breeze. She can control any human with a flirtatious smile and an attraction spell. Until she meets Daniel Elliot, the only human who's immune to both.

A year ago, Daniel's fiancée disappeared with the engagement ring, an Elliot family heirloom. He's ready to move forward with his life, but his mother's obsession with retrieving the ring makes that impossible. Then Monique walks into his office to apply for a job.

Daniel and Monique can't deny their attraction, but will the reason he's Fairyproof be too much to overcome?

About the author:
Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff. When she's not writing about fairies, shifters, vamps, and guardian angels, she's working side-by-side with her husband in their hardwood flooring business.

Constance is actively involved in her local Romance Writers of America chapter (MVRWA) and the Southeast Michigan chapter of the United States Pony Club. When not writing or enjoying the outdoors, she loves reality television or can be found at a Rick Springfield concert (just look for the pink Converse high tops).

Demons of the Sun by Cindi Madsen

Persephone didn't ask to be the guardian of Hades Dagger, an artifact Hades forged to turn demons into daywalkers and wants back. She didn't ask for the demon blood running through her veins that allows her to touch the thing, either. And she definitely didn't ask for Jax, a cocky Warrior, to barge into her life and proclaim himself her bodyguard. Suddenly, she has to deal with all three, along with an increase in demon attacks and the fact members of the Order of Zeus keep turning up dead.

When demons tell Persephone that she's one of them, she's appalled. And a little intoxicated by the power she feels when they call her their queen. Telling Jax about her demon side might turn him away from her forever, but something bad is brewing, and if Persephone doesn't figure out something, and soon, she'll be responsible for unleashing Hell on Earth.

About the author:
Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Cat Who Hates Me

I’m a cat person. Some of my friends even jokingly call me the Cat Whisperer because I pretty much get along with all of them. I love cats and they love me… mostly.

My dad’s cat, Katie, does NOT love me. She hates me. With a passion. Now to be fair, she pretty much hates everyone with the exception of my dad. She tolerates my mom, but probably only because Mom feeds her.

Katie - Can't you just see the disdain for me on her face?

It still kills me though, every time I visit them, I try to play with her, try to feed her, try to pet her, all with no joy. If I get within two feet of her cat tree, she starts to growl! If I get too close, she swats me.

As for my dad, he gets along with most any animal, especially, of course, his rotten cat. My cat, Luna, however, doesn’t like him very much… but he has been known to spit gum at her occasionally… don’t ask!

Luna - The epitome of cute.

It occurred to me today that cats and readers have something in common. Not that they growl and swat me! But because what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person… or cat. How many people love love love 50 Shades of Grey? Yeah, soooo not me. But I adore The Stand by Stephen King and I’ve found quite a few scathing reviews of it that I completely disagree with. Taste – and the love of a cat apparently – is subjective.

So the next time I get a less-than-glowing review, I’ll try to keep Luna and Katie in mind. And I’ll do my best not to growl at the reviewer.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The LOOK Challenge

Loni Flowers has asked me to join in the LOOK Challenge. Before I talk about the challenge, let me encourage you to drop by her blog and check out her debut novel, Taking Chances.

Now on to the challenge! Here are the rules:
  • Find the first usage of the word "look" in your work in progress and paste the surrounding paragraph(s) into your blog.
  • Invite as many people as you want to take part in the challenge with you.

I’m excited to share with you a brief peek at my work in progress, Gypsy Magick, a novella sequel to my first book, Magick Charm. This story is about Megan Beaty, the sassy police office who helped out the twins in my first book. Her ex-partner, Roberts, has spitefully spread nasty rumors around the department about her. She’s also been secretly dating Pete, the owner of Voodoo Pete’s, a bar in the French Quarter. A body showed up behind Pete’s bar and Megan has been called in to investigate:

            If she thought her reputation was bad now, it would devolve into horrors she couldn’t imagine if she admitted to dating a murder suspect. Oh my God, murder! she thought. It was easier to be detached about the situation when she wasn’t closely involved. No, Pete was no murderer, she was sure of it. The problem was, the gang of cops outside were itching to find the culprit. The murder was gruesome and the body had been seen by enough people that the department was certainly under pressure to arrest a suspect quickly. Someone like Roberts wouldn’t look any further than the surface.
            A murder, appearing to be voodoo related, occurred only a few steps outside a seedy voodoo bar. The proprietor has a well-known reputation for being a voodoo practitioner. Suspect number one could easily be railroaded.
            Megan shook her head at the thought. No, that would never happen if she was involved in the investigation. She wouldn’t allow it.

Here are a few authors whose current works in progress I’d love to check out! Want to play along?
  1. John Marani
  2. Amy Turner
  3. Kendall Grey
  4. Kinley Baker
  5. Louann Carroll
  6. Lindsey R. Loucks
  7. Jean Murray
  8. Katie O’Sullivan
  9. Shawna Romkey
  10. Patricia C. Lee

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogosphere. I’m so pleased to have been awarded one by Loni Flowers, author of Taking Chances! Go check out her blog here.

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  • Link back to the person who gave me the award.
  • Answer the following questions.
  • Nominate ten bloggers for the award.
  • Link my nominees to the post and let them know about the award.

On to the questions!

What is your favorite Christmas/festive movie?
Scrooge with Albert Finney. This is actually a musical version of this classic story, and it has long been a tradition in my family to watch it at the beginning of the holiday season each year. The songs are great too – “I Hate People” is darkly entertaining, of course sung by Scrooge himself. “Thank You Very Much” is catchy, plus it turns a funeral into a huge dance number. Not many musicals can boast that accomplishment!

What is your favorite flower? 
I love sunflowers because they’re so pretty and cheery! I also love purple flowers – for example, I had irises in my wedding.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?
Diet Coke! I swear, they must put crack in it or something, I love it so much!

What is your passion?
Aside from writing? I love biology, especially marine biology! Manatees and sharks are my favorite. Really, I’m a fan of virtually any kind of animal. I have three children who happen to have four paws and whiskers! I also enjoy sewing, making jewelry, and video games (especially The Sims 3 and Skyrim).

What is your favorite time of year?
I’m super psyched because fall is coming up soon! I think fall has all the best clothes – pretty autumn-y colors, sweaters, and boots. I love watching the trees change color, getting ready for Halloween (my favorite holiday), and letting the cool breezes come in through the screen door.

What is your favorite time of day?
Night. Let’s be clear – I am so not a morning person! The only thing that keeps me from being homicidal in the morning is coffee. At night, I get to curl up on the couch with my husband, my cats, and my laptop. I usually get my best writing done right before bedtime.

What is your favorite physical activity?
The words “favorite” and “physical activity” do not belong in the same sentence, in my opinion. But if I have to choose something, it would be what I call a zombie shamble. Let me explain! I have this great app on my phone called Zombies, Run! It’s an audio story that puts you in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. People in the story with you and some friends on the radio help you navigate around to pick up necessary supplies, complete missions, and essentially outrun zombies. The point is to help you exercise and keep you running. Well, I don’t run; I walk. So I’ve taken to calling it my zombie shamble when I do go out for some exercise.

What is your favorite vacation?
New Orleans! This city has so much soul, history, and life! You can either tour the city, seeing museums and the aquarium, shop, have a drink on Bourbon Street, or just relax at a sidewalk café, people-watching.

Here are some of my favorite bloggers and my nominees for the Sunshine Award:
  1. John Marani at Metaphysical Meanderings byJohnnieTwoBrows
  2. Amy Turner at Lyre’s Musings
  3. Samantha Harvey at Ask A Witch
  4. Marne Ann Kirk at Cowboys and Dragons at the Cafe
  5. Cindy Young-Turner
  6. Penelope Marzec
  7. Dottie Taylor at Tink’s Place
  8. Jenn Nixon
  9. Constance Phillips, A Writer's Musings
  10. Hildie McQueen, Writing by Moonlight

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Swimming Through a Hurricane

I’m in central Florida this week, visiting my family for my mom’s birthday. All is fantastic with the exception of one thing – the hurricane. It’s coming through this week on the day I was supposed to be flying home, so I changed my plane ticket until Friday just to be safe. As it turns out, the storm seems to be headed farther west than was initially thought, but I’m here for the duration.

So yesterday I found myself floating in the pool watching the clouds go by. Already, some serious winds were blowing in. Today, it’s not exactly safe to be swimming in the pool, and tomorrow I expect it to be even more interesting. Just so long as there's not enough rain to have to be swimming outside the pool!

Hopefully, we won’t lose the power. Not only would that kill the air conditioning, but reading is challenging at night without a light! I’m getting a lot of reading done right now. We can’t exactly go out anywhere, so we’re chilling with a pile of novels.

If we do lose power, I won’t be able to get online, so I’ll take this opportunity to give you one last chance to get in on my book giveaway. It ends at the end of the day tomorrow. Go here and enter!

See you on the other side of the storm!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Practically Dreaming Giveaway

There’s a couple days left to get in on my GoodReads giveaway of a paperback copy of Practically Dreaming. Just follow this link to sign up! In addition to the book, you’ll get a handful of swag and a book tote I had printed especially for this book release.

While you’re over at GoodReads, please do me a huge favor and vote for Practically Dreaming in a list of “Good Books to Read in 2012.” I’m currently #7 on this list! Just click on the tan button just underneath the book title that says “vote for this book.” Get me to #1 and I’ll hold another giveaway here on my blog for a copy of the Practically Dreaming ebook!

Want to check out a little excerpt? As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of manatees and whales and especially sharks. I’ve been thinking about them a lot because last week was Shark Week – a holiday around my house that ranks only just second to Halloween! So with that in mind, I hope you enjoy this scene, in which Lachlan takes Tierra diving:

            Tierra looked around her again and spotted a swirling school of tiny grey fish moving quickly in a group. She had never tried to connect with a fish’s mind and wasn’t even sure she could, but she reached out now. At first, she didn’t think it would work. Fish didn’t see those same mental pictures cats and dogs and birds did. They didn’t feel emotion in the way people understood it. A fish’s dominant sense was instinctual. It took Tierra a moment to recognize it because instead of a picture or an emotion coming from the fish, she simply felt an overwhelming imperative. This instinct was far more overriding than any she might feel now, which would be tempered by intellect. What she got from the school was a single thought, as if shouted from a megaphone. It translated roughly to something like “swim fast!”
            She would have turned and fled as well had she not recognized it as an alien thought. The question of what had triggered the flight instinct made her wonder if she should do some flying of her own. She tensed her muscles to swim toward the surface, but Lachlan’s hand on her arm stilled her. She turned to look at him, saw him staring at something in deeper water, and turned to see what he was watching.
            The queasiness she’d felt on the boat slammed back into her along with a colossal dose of adrenaline. Her breath came faster and bubbles from her regulator streamed toward the surface. She looked up, seeking the outline of his boat. They had come away from it quite a bit. Retreat was out of the question. She wasn’t as fast as the shark swimming out of the shadowy depths of the ocean.
            Lachlan got her attention and pointed to the reef beneath them. A couple more hand gestures and his message was clear. Their best chance was to sink to the ocean floor and remain as still and calm as they could. She nodded and Lachlan took her hand and slowly began to move both of them to the sea floor.
            What kind is it? Tierra wondered. Grey, reef, white, blue, bull, thresher? A part of her believed it was imperative she know the exact type of shark about to eat her. Maybe it was just a way for her mind to make sense of the situation. She had always been one to rationalize her fears. This particular fear, however, was about seven feet long, a dusky dark brown color, and headed straight toward her. Its massive head swung back and forth in the current.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blog Love

It’s been a busy week, but a fantastic one! I had my very first book signing for Practically Dreaming at 13 Magickal Moons in Occoquan, VA.

Me and store owner, Samantha Harvey, next to a selection of Crescent Moon Press books!
Thank you, Dave Kula, for the pic!

I’ve also begun making my way around the blogosphere. Today, Cindy Young-Turner was kind enough to host me for an interview on her blog. Please stop by and give her blog a little love as well as these other blogs who have been kind enough to support my book release this week. Thanks you, everyone!

Cindy Young-Turner (post 1 and post 2

Trindie Books (Magick Charm was their Book of the Day!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Practically Dreaming is Here!

Today's the day! Practically Dreaming is officially for sale! Here's a little about the book and a peek at the beautiful cover Jeannie Reusch created for it:

In a Zodiac-based world, finding a mate is easy. Falling in love is the hard part.
Astrology influences almost everything, from career choice to where people live. Even romantic matches are based solely on astrological compatibility and determined by the infallible Council of Venus.

Animal psychic Tierra has every reason to trust the Council—save one. Her match with fellow Virgo, Evander, works better on paper than in person. But she stubbornly hangs on, believing their relationship will grow and develop, all the while trying to rationalize her feelings for Lachlan.

Veterinarian and Reiki master, Lachlan, hides a secret, which has kept him single for more than two years. This Pisces dreams of a happily ever after with Tierra, but believes it’s impossible for him.

Tierra and Lachlan must confront their doubts, differences, and society’s belief in the Council. Will they defy the odds and choose each other? Does astrological certainty eclipse the chance to fall in love?

Amazon: Paperback and Kindle
Barnes & Noble: Paperback - Nook coming soon

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Putting it in Perspective

Let me catch you up on the latest happening here.

Last month, I designed and ordered new Romance Trading Cards, bookmarks, and book totes for my upcoming book release on the first (Want one? Pre-order a book at 13 Magickal Moons for my first signing this Saturday). Things were getting a little stressful with all the planning for promotions, reviews, and all that type of thing that goes with a new book, and I was worried I wouldn’t have everything set up before the release date...

And then I got a call from my husband at work. His legs had suddenly become numb and weak. He couldn’t stand and fell, hurting his shoulder. He spent the rest of that day and the next two in the hospital. In the meantime, my parents jumped in their car in Florida and arrived at my house sixteen hours later to help keep me sane. After a number of tests, we discovered John has some problems with a few discs in his back, and after an epidural injection of cortisone, he was cleared to go home. To try to manage the problem long-term, we have to follow up with an orthopedic doc. We’re also going to start the Atkins diet to take some pressure off the spine by losing weight. We’ll start next week after our anniversary dinner, at which I plan to eat tons of carbs!

In short, it all seems to be okay for now at least. But likely this diagnosis will have a larger effect in our daily lives than the book ever could!

Lesson learned: when things get a little stressful, I need to try to put it in perspective. Is having the book promotion stuff ready to go on the exact release date really that important? Nope. I’m just happy John is safe. The promotion/review/blog tour thing will happen a bit at a time over the next few weeks, and I’m good with that.

Now… since things are calming down a bit, can I ask for a little help getting caught up (but I'm not stressing, I promise!)?

First and foremost, any Reiki, healing energy, positive thoughts, and prayers for my husband’s recovery would be so incredibly appreciated!

Second, the tiniest bit of book promo help: Will you drop by Amazon and click the "Like" button by Practically Dreaming's title? Thanks!

And third: Do you have a book blog? If you’re a reviewer, I’d love to send you an e-copy of my book. Or maybe you have a slot on your blog this month for me to drop by and chat about my book, astrology or pets (the big themes in this book), or give a little interview? Email me at jenniferwellsauthor[at]gmail[dot]com – and thank you!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jumping on the Book Bandwagon

I’ve often picked up a book because a friend recommended it. Strangely, I’m sometimes obstinately opposed to reading books that everyone recommends. I think of it as the book bandwagon. OMG you have to read it! It’s the best book ever written in the history of the universe!!! Their over-the-top praise and extra exclamation marks do not move me. Yet occasionally I’ll change my mind and join the bandwagon-book-reading masses. A firm recommendation from a friend usually does it, but then there are those other times when I just have to see what all the fuss is about. This has happened to me twice recently with different outcomes.

The first one of the bandwagon books I tried was – say it with me because you know what’s coming, right? – 50 Shades of Grey. Let’s be clear: I don’t have any problem with erotica. In fact, I used to review erotica novels for RT Book Reviews. But I admit, I didn’t finish it. I found the characters in 50 Shades kind of irritating and the writing only okay…ish… – just my opinion. On the other hand, I know there are plenty of people who swear it is a fabulous book series and love, love, love it. I gotta ask though, is this the first erotica novel they picked up? Try the erotica by Bertrice Small, Sasha White, or the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice instead.

The second time I’ve jumped on the book bandwagon recently has been for Game of Thrones. So many people have recommended this to me, yet I resisted. Huge, sweeping fantasy epics aren’t usually my favorites. I think it was the guy at my eye doc’s office who changed my mind. He was talking about how much he loved the HBO series, and when I made a reference to the book series, he looked surprised. He had no idea it was a book first. That told me one thing – it must be a fabulous story, because here was this guy who thought it was so awesome he was actually now considering picking up the book, even though he admitted he hadn't read a book in years (and isn’t that a sad state of affairs?). So I’m mid-way through book one, and I agree – the story is fantastic. I’m sure I’ll read them all, now that I’m an epic fantasy convert. I have since seen the first episode of the TV series and it looks great too, but I don’t want to get ahead of the books, so I’ll wait on the rest of it for now.

What’s your take on 50 Shades and Thrones? Have any new book recommendations for me?