Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guardian by Rachel Morgan

Hey, just wanted to let you know that Rachel Morgan's first book in her "Creepy Hollow" series GUARDIAN is free as an e-book on Amazon today and tomorrow. 

I just finished reading it and I really enjoyed it.  I haven't written a full review yet but I'd give it four stars and I'll be getting the next two books for sure.
So go get the book.  You won't be sorry!

In celebration of the release of TRAITOR,

for today and tomorrow (05/26 and 05/27) you can download

GUARDIAN for free from Amazon!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

GUARDIAN, the first novelette in the #CreepyHollow series is FREE till the end of this weekend!

Guardian by Rachel Morgan

Friday, May 25, 2012


This is what you see cruising down Sunset Blvd:  $10.00

This is the Renaissance Faire version:  1 Groat?!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Went to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire this weekend.  This is the closest I'm ever going to get to time travel.  Basically, the Irwindale Dam gets converted to the town of Port Deptford, England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Here is the Queen.  It is about 90 degrees out and she's got brocade on and layers of clothing on. I felt bad for all the costumed performers.

Anyway, lots of pomp and pageantry.  And despite the heat, I had a really good time.  But when I was sorting through pictures, some things started to bother me. 

Like the wands for sale. Um? Harry Potter?

They had a joust!  It was fun to watch.  It reminded me of those old western shoot-outs at Universal Studios Tour.  Can you guess which knight is the hero and which one is the villain? 

They even had sword fighting complete with fake blood!  Real crowd pleaser, this jousting.

But hold on! Weren't knights and jousting part of Medieval Times?  (I only know this because of the dinner show called "Medieval Times", and you know, I've seen "Camelot" a few times.

And there was this fellow standing at the exit.  Isn't he a pilgrim?  Dusted off his costume from Thanksgiving?

I like this photo for the sign in the back, and the sunglasses the lady on the right is wearing.

Beautiful Blogger

Sheri L. Swift
at Finding Joy in the Journey has gifted me with the Beautiful Blogger Award. 

I've been following her blog for a while now.  She's a published author with a book called "Legend of the Mer".  Mermaids!  Love it!  Check out her book cover.

Anyway, here are the rules for this award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random things about yourself.
3. Nominate 7 fellow bloggers for the Beautiful Blogger award.
4. Inform the bloggers of their nomination.
5. Include the award images in your blog post.

Like before, I'm not going to nominate any bloggers.  It is too much like a chain letter.  Letters? Remember those? lol  Just, if you feel like it, I would love to learn 7 random things about you.  Consider yourself tagged if you want to share, either on your blog or in the comments.

Okay so seven MORE random things. (I think there was a lucky seven-type thing going around as well) and I think I used up all the good random things before.  But there's nothing I love more than talking about myself...  Hmm, I'm reading these back and they are all kind of embarassing.

1. I'm the 'junkyard' for the family.  Anytime anyone wants the latest and greatest in technology, I end up with the old item.  So I have an assortment of computers, televisions, printers, cell phones.  You know something is old when the price of the printer cartridge is more than the printer.  And you know when cell phones didn't have screens?...

2. When I first met my cousin M (I think I was 7, she was 4 and she's going to kill me), she'd just gotten off a 10 hour plane ride, and then another half hour car ride.  She got out of the car and threw up in our garage.  Frank and beans.  Still remember that's what she had eaten for lunch...

3. When I was 11 we played ouija board at my friend Natalie's house.  She lived in an old old house and it seemed kind of creepy to me.  Anyway, I asked the board the name of my first boyfriend and it answered 'STEVE'.  Sure enough... a few years later...

4. I worked at an ad agency that won this little piece of business called Microsoft.  I worked on these small brands called 'word' and 'excel'.  And I used to be jealous of the girl who got to work on the cool brand - 'flight simulator'.  We used to fly up to Seattle to present to the various communication managers.  And there was a weird guy in the corner named Bill who I thought was strange (because he rocked back and forth in his chair throughout the entire meeting).

5. I won a "Presidential Scholar" award and went for a week to D.C. where they put us up  at Georgetown University.  I got there and found my roommate's BVDs scattered on his bed.  Yeah, my real name gets me into a lot of these type of situations.  I think I ended up with a room of my own because of this...

6.  My cat Chester likes to interrupt any phone conversation by meowing loudly.  He's very talkative.  He just won't stoop to doing it on cue.  If I tell him to 'say something' into the phone he'll do the opposite.

7.  My latest obsession with desserts is red velvet cupcakes from Dots.  Which leads to belly fat, which leads to gym...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


No, not referencing about the Twilight book or movie.  There was a solar eclipse Sunday and able to witness it. As you know, you're not able to look directly at it.  But here are some photos:

We made a little hole in a piece of paper and then held it up to the sun.  The little crescent in the middle of the tree trunk?  That's the eclipse.

And all these crescent shadows?  This is the pattern made by the eclipse through the trees.

I thought it was pretty cool.  The lady is dressed in costume because we were at the Ren Faire.  I took a gazillion photos.  More tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blog slump

Been having a bit of a blog slump here.  Sister's b-day, brother-in-law's b-day, Mother's Day, father's b-day, my b-day all fall within a 2.5 week period.  It is worse than Christmas.  Plus a good friend had her bridal shower in there too.  I am glad it is over!!!

My real name means 'May'.  So on my actual b-day, I took the day off and went to the apple store and got the new ipad.

It has a freakingly awesome camera.  (My original ipad didn't have a camera).  Here is an ipad photo of my two sweeties - Charlie on the left and Chester on the right.  They are both twelve this year, which makes 'em like 60 in cat years.  Note to self - they need to start on the senior cat food.  Note to self - training them not to jump on the bed isn't really working...

I debated going to Denny's for the free birthday Grand Slam Breakfast but decided I woke up too late and would be breakfasting with the senior citizen crowd which would have been kind of depressing.

Instead, for lunch I went and got a Whopper with Cheese, Fries and a coke.  Yeah, and chocolate cake too! That's about a gazillion calories, but I figure it is okay on your b-day. 

A-A-A-C-K!  I'm turning into the Cat Lady...  Okay no more cat pictures (at least this post.)

And then I got tickets for Barry Manilow at the bowl for Fourth of July this year!  If you follow this blog at all, you know I'm a FANILOW so tickets to Barry is like the ultimate of ultimates.  At one time I think I had three of this album (yeah, people just kept buying it for me).  I think I still have one somewhere...

But the above and work are all excuses for the lack of posts recently. I promise to do better.  Really...
And I've been reading a ton of books and I owe a ton of reviews, here.  Apologies, to anybody whose review is still outstanding. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Colors Like Memories" Blog Tour Stops Here Today

Today I am honored to be hosting Meradeth Houston as part of the blog tour for her brand-spanking new novel "Colors Like Memories".  I first started following her blog when she started posting photos from her travels to Spain and then Japan.  So I asked her to write about how her adventures inspire her writing. 

Take it away, Meradeth!

Thanks a million for hosting me today! I’m pretty stoked to get to talk about two of my favorite things: traveling, and my writing :) Before I forget, I do have a contest running for my blog tour—all commenter’s are entered into a drawing for two copies of my book, and one person will win a $25 giftcard to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. There are more details on my home blog, if you want to check it out!

Those of you who have seen me around the web lately may know that my husband and I have been on a Grand Adventure the past few months (it deserves caps, trust me!). After finishing our schooling, we decided to take advantage of the rare time we have right now where we’re not tied down by jobs, kids, a mortgage, you know, normal life kind of stuff. So, we took off. It was all rather last minute (everything with my husband is last minute…) and we headed to Barcelona, Spain. We were there for over two months, living in an apartment downtown. We had a blast, got to know the city, met tons of great people, and otherwise had a wonderful time. We recently packed up and came to Japan and we’re now starting all over again in Kyoto. Can I just say that I adore Japanese food? Yum!! Alright, I’m really not trying to make people jealous. I swear. There were a lot of crappy things that had to happen for us to get off our butts and Carpe Diem. Buuut, I’m really glad we did :)

Okay, so what on earth does this have to do with writing? Well, that’s a really good question. I don’t know about you, but visiting new and different places always gives me ideas for new stories. Or, stories about characters that I already know and love. I can’t help but wonder just what my main character would think of a certain store, a painting, of if she’d enjoy going to the beach more than the new museum exhibit. And experiencing new things, especially different ways of living (hello living in a big city as opposed to a small town, or living in a traditional Japanese house), always provide interesting details for future stories, or create new ones in and of themselves. I find this particularly helpful when I’m writing about the Sary, mainly because they’re immortal and regularly get shuffled around to different parts of the world. It really helps fill in fun little details when I have some experience with whatever they’ve done!

And, then there’s taking photos. I may have a little obsession with this :) I’m including a few of my favorites from Spain and Japan (so far). I have a bunch more on my blog, haha! I find them personally inspiring, just because they remind me of fun things I’ve done with my hubby.

Barcelona. Photo by Meradeth Houston

Japan. Photo by Meradeth Houston

Inquiring minds want to know: do you have a place that you’ve visited that inspired a story or book?

A bit about the Colors Like Memories:

Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.

Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.

Release date: May 11th 2012 from MuseItUp Publishing.

A bit about Meradeth Houston:

Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:
  • She’s a Northern California girl. This generally means she talks too fast and use "like" a lot.
  • When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
  • She’s been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she’s so happy to get to share her work!
  • If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.

And here is where you can find her and her novel:!/MeradethHouston

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A to Z reflections

For the most part I am really glad to have participated in the A - Z challenge.  I say for the most part because I ran into a little issue right at the end where work got so busy I didn't have time to post.  I made up for it though, writing three posts during Saturday and Sunday.

If I do it again next year, I will have it all written before I start (ha! famous last words).  I also don't know that I'd attempt to do a whole story again.  That W,X,Y stretch was pretty hard for me.  And I had to add an epilogue to get everything in.

But the good thing I learned is that I have it in me to write everyday.  I will attempt to be more than an egg ( anyone?)

And I got a whole story out of it.  Rough, but the plot points are worked out.  I decided to try and write it properly (thus I took it down from the blog).  I wanted to add whole sections but I'd need more than 26 letters to fit it in and my posts were way to long already.

I enjoyed visiting all the different blogs but I think maybe some kind of way to categorize the posts would be helpful.  Time was in short supply and I wasted a lot of it visiting blogs that I didn't have anything in common with, and would probably not be interested in visiting mine either.

But I found some great ones too - telling stories each day were my favorite.  Here are the ones I went back to every day:

Christine Rains - wrote a whole story over 26 days.  I loved it!

Cherie Reich wrote little flash fiction pieces each day.  I also have one of her books "Defying Gravity", which I just finished.  Good stuff

Rachel Morgan also wrote little episodes each day.  I have her book too.  About to start.

Jessica Sayler did this thing where she'd put up a word each day and asked readers to submit a sentence each day.  At the end of  26 days, she had a whole flash fiction piece.

And of course, I never mentioned the hosts of this blog challenge.  So rude.  Here they are:

A to Z Team for 2012 (you can find links to their blogs on the above site)

Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out,

Alex J. Cavanaugh,
Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs,
Jenny Pearson at Pearson Report,
Matthew McNish at The QQQE,
Tina Downey at Life is Good,
Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie,
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude,
Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse,
Elizabeth Mueller,
Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs,
Karen Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain,
Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small.