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Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekends are way too short!

Who's with me?

Random weekend quotes:

The worst thing ever is making it through the work week only to be sick on a Saturday. ~Unknown

Always strive to excel, but only on weekends. ~Richard Rorty

There aren't enough days in the weekend. ~Rod Schmidt

Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless. ~Bill Watterson

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Reivew: Hunger Games

I've been meaning to write this review for a while. I read the books years ago, not quite when they were unknown, but long before Mockingjay was released. Now I can't say I've been looking forward to the movie. I'm a big fan of books but not so much a fan of the books-to-movies aspect of it. They always screw something up.

Having seen Hunger Games, I'm very pleased to say the transition from book to movie was seamless. I enjoyed it very much, and given that the book was told exclusively through Katniss's point of view, I think they showed what went out in other places (the Capital, District 11 and 12, even behind the scenes at the Games themselves) without taking away from either the single POV or giving away too much from the other books.

Will I watch it again? Possibly. I did enjoy it, but I think they cut out several parts that showed the utter cruelness of the world. We'll see-I might have to be in the mood to watch it again. The big question is will I see the other movies they're already starting?

I don't know. I hated Mockingjay--it was gratuitous and pointless, and I thought she rushed it to make a release date without thinking of either her story or her fans. I enjoyed Catching Fire, so will probably see that.

Especially if Donald Sutherland is in it again! Oh man, was he a great President Snow! Now, granted, I think they did a fantastic job with all the casting, but he was the absolute best of the bunch.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Because it's true

“Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine, and valleys of frustration and failure.”

~Calvin

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Guest: K D Grace

IR: Favorite place to write outside your office space. Or if it is your office, what distractions do you try to avoid while writing?


KD: I seldom write outside my office space. However I can write anywhere. In fact I'm writing this at the hair dresser waiting for the colour to take. But I can't think of any place I'd rather write than at home. I make far better espresso than any coffee shop I know. And I don't know any coffee shop where I can work in my underwear if I'm so inspired. Besides my office space has a comfy black recliner in which I can kick back with my laptop, my espresso, with a fab view of the back garden and just get on with it.

I'm very tunnel-visioned when I'm writing. I very seldom get distracted. I think the house could fall down around my ears and it wouldn't phase me until I finished my chapter.

IR: Do you have any background noise while writing? TV, music, annoying neighbors you try to block out?

KD: I used to write with music in the background, but now I write in silence. I don't know what brought about the change. I think to some degree it may have to do with the fact that I read everything I write out loud now, and it’s hard to read over the music. I do enjoy the bird song that I usually hear from our back garden. We have feed tables and a bird bath, so we're rewarded by gorgeous serenades.

I'm not easily distracted by noise when I'm in the zone, though if I'm overly tired, television and people talking loudly are very distracting. Since I write mostly at home and am able to control my environment, telly and people talking are usually avoidable.

IR: Favorite sports: Winter or Summer? Or none at all?

KD: I'm a long distance walker, which I do year-round here in Britain, though granted the walks are much longer in the spring and summer when the days are longer. My husband and I walked across England last summer on the Wainwright Coast to Coast path. It took us fourteen days averaging fourteen miles a day. It was one of the most amazing experiences ever!

Walking is not only my sport of choice, but I consider it a part of my work. I walk my stories. Most of my best ideas happen when I'm walking. If I'm stuck or having a problem with a scene, I go for a walk, and when I get back the problem is solved. I've come home from long walks with whole stories, whole sections of novels in my head ready to write.

We're fortunate enough to live right off the beautiful North Downs Way, so I can step out my door and walk for miles. It's brilliant.

We're planning another long point to point walk this summer. So much to walk, so little time!

Thanks for having me on your site, Isabel. It's been a pleasure!
Thanks for stopping by! It's always fascenating reading what others do for fun, and while a cross-England walk sounds great, I have to ask...where'd you sleep? Because this writer does NOT camp!

Blurb:

American transplant to the Lake District, MARIE WARREN, didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, ANDERSON, and night visits from a demon. To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the ELEMENTALS, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.

DEACON, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against TARA STONE, coven high priestess, and will stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, TIM MERIWETHER, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.

More info & buy links

About the Author:

K D Grace was born with a writing obsession. It got worse once she actually learned HOW to write. There's no treatment for it. It's progressive and chronic and quite often interferes with normal, everyday functioning. She might actually be concerned if it wasn't so damned much fun most of the time.

K D's critically acclaimed erotic romance novels, The Initiation of Ms Holly, The Pet Shop and Lakeland Heatwave Book 1: Body Temperature and Rising are published by Xcite Books and are available from all good paperback and eBook retailers.

Her erotica has been published with Xcite Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and Scarlet Magazine.

Find out more about K D Grace on her website. She's also on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

My thoughts for this week center on gardening. I'm a little late this year getting everything ready, but then I went to sleep one New Year's Eve and suddenly it was April. No not literally. But ever feel like that?

I' beginning to think it's because I plan things in advance so time moves faster...or feels like it. Or I could be crazy. Never rule anything out!

So gardening. Got my bulbs last fall from Brecks, planted them, and this spring they really did grow! It was a beautiful sight. Next step is vegetable garden. The plan is carrots, green beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers (bell), and potatoes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Guest: KAREN MUELLER BRYSON

* What's your ideal, I want to spend a month, vacation spot?
My husband and I live outside of Phoenix, Arizona, which has two seasons: hot and very hot. Our area is also part of the Sonoran Desert, which is extremely dry. When we vacation, we like to go places that are lusher and cooler than the arid desert. My husband and I had the opportunity to visit Hawaii for our Honeymoon (over a decade ago now!) and I would certainly welcome the opportunity to go back, if I had an entire month to enjoy the islands!

On our Honeymoon, my husband and I visited Maui for a week and then stayed in Kauai for a week. If I were to return for a month, I would probably want to spend the time on Kauai, the “Garden Isle.” Not only is Kauai one of the most breathtaking and beautiful places in the United States, the weather there is nearly perfect all year long. Kauai has miles of pristine beaches, wonderful mountain views, luscious plant life and amazing waterfalls. Even if you’ve never been to Kauai, you’ve probably seen the island depicted in film. The island was featured in the musical, South Pacific; the blockbuster, Jurassic Park and the recent Academy Award winner, The Descendents.

My husband enjoys golfing when we vacation, so while he spends time on the fairways and greens, I can relax on the beach with a good book, warm breeze and frozen drink in hand. Then we can spend romantic evenings together, dining and taking long, moonlit strolls on the beach.

Excerpt from Twyla’s Last Trip:

Lucinda peered intently into her microscope until Bunny's voice blared from the intercom—again. “I'm sorry to bother you, Lucinda, but Mr. Yates is on the phone. He says he won't hang up until he speaks with you personally.”

Lucinda took a deep breath, stood and exited the lab. She marched over to the reception desk and ripped the phone from Bunny's grasp.

“Lucinda Starr,” she growled into the phone. “How may I help you?”

Thirty-year old T.J. Yates, the epitome of all things country, spoke to Lucinda from his cell phone. “Miss Starr,” he said. “I know we've never met but I've been your mom's attorney now for nearly a decade.”

“Will you please get to the point?” Lucinda interrupted. “I'm in the middle of an extremely important experiment.”

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your mom has passed away.”

Lucinda flinched slightly but then it was back to business. “And what does this have to do with me?” she asked.

“Well, Miss Starr, you are the sole beneficiary of your mom's estate.”

“Estate?” Lucinda snorted. “My mother was a cat lady, who lived in a trailer.”

“Miss Starr,” T.J. continued. “I don't think you understand.”

Before T.J. could finish, Lucinda slammed the phone into the receiver and hurried away.

T.J. looked at his cell phone dumbfounded. People never hung up on him, especially women.

Dakota, his two-year old bloodhound, glanced up from her doggie pillow and gave her head a tilt.

“I think this requires a little trip up to Chicago,” T.J. said.

Dakota just yawned and plopped her head back down on her bed.

Excerpt from One Last Class

Thirty-two year old, Zak Spencer was sound asleep in his tousled bed, naked, except for the thin white sheet that covered the lower half of his body. Zak had been aged by recent disappointments but remnants of his boyish good looks were still visible. Elvis, Zak’s two-year old basset hound, snored on the floor next him.

Mindy, a 40-something cougar, slowly rose from the bed trying not to wake Zak. She carefully removed her clothes from the floor then snuck over to a corner chair and grabbed her purse for a quick escape.

But when Mindy tripped over Elvis and he let out a yelp, she crashed to the floor.

Zak awakened and noticed Mindy was no longer next to him. He scanned the room but didn’t see her anywhere. “Mindy?” he called.

“I'm down here.”

Zak peeked over the end of the bed and saw Mindy on the floor clutching her clothes and purse.

“What are you doing down there?” he asked.

“I tripped over your dog.”

Elvis wagged his tail.

As Zak rubbed the sleep from his eyes, he said, “You're leaving already?”

Mindy pushed herself up from the ground and tried to cover her nearly naked body.

“But it’s so early,” Zak continued.

“I've got a lot to do today,” Mindy lied. “I'll call you. I promise,” she blurted as she hurried out of the bedroom.

Zak jumped out of bed and pulled the sheet as a covering as he tried to catch Mindy. But she was quick. She had already made her way through the apartment and grabbed a jacket from a hanger next to the door before Zak caught up to her. Zak was now tangled in the sheet as he tripped up to Mindy and said, “You don't have my number.”

As Zak scrambled for something to write with, Mindy admitted, “I'm not really going to call you.”

Zak was genuinely hurt. “Why?” he managed to get out.

“This was fun and everything but I really don't want to date a former Malibu Boy. It's so last decade.”

“But…” Zak searched for something more to say.

“I've got to go,” Mindy shouted as she bolted out the door.

About the Author:
Karen Mueller Bryson is an award-winning screenwriter, produced playwright and published novelist. She has been writing since she learned to read and fell in love with books! Karen is the creator of Short on Time Books, a series of fast-paced and fun novels for readers on the go. When she’s not at her computer creating new stories, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Short on Time Books
PRIZE INFORMATION

Karen will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenters during the tour and to the host whose post has the most comments (excluding Karen's and the hosts).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Change. It's been on my mind lately. Changing seasons (good), changing writing brands (good), changes at work(good & bad), changing all sorts of things. How do you deal with change? Do you like it or hate it?

A lot of people get impatient with the pace of change. ~James Levine

Always remember that the future comes one day at a time. ~Acheson

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. ~Arnold Bennett
 
Change brings opportunity. ~Nido Qubein
 
Change is the only constant. Hanging on is the only sin. ~Denise McCluggage

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. ~Leo Tolstoy

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Please welcome Harlow Coban with her first release, Life in Death.

* Dream vacation

 A summer in Italy.  I've always been inexplicably drawn to Italy, even though I've never been there.  The history, art, and culture has always been a strong draw for me.  I've often felt like I was meant to live abroad.  Maybe I did in a past life if you believe in reincarnation. 

When I was 12, my favorite Aunt moved to Basil, Switzerland.  She wanted me to visit, but my parents never sent me.  She had died by the time I reached adulthood.  I truly believe had I gone, I wouldn't have returned to the US.  I often wonder how different my life would have been then.

* What made you self-publish and has it been easier or harder than you expected?
  
The primary reason I self-published was because it was a much speedier, easier process and I maintained control over the final product, which was extremely important to me.  The marketing aspect of self-publishing has been a little more difficult than I envisioned.  I'm employing ever tactic successful indie authors have employed and am still having difficulty getting my book out to the masses.

* If you had the opportunity to cast anyone in a movie based on Life in Death, who would it be?

Julianne Margulies as Kari Marchant
Gabriel Macht as Detective Rance Nicolet
Danny Aiello as Detective Cobb

Blurb:  When a girl that social worker Kari Marchant places in foster care is brutally murdered, she’s compelled to learn why. Her quest for the truth pits her against friends and coworkers. As Kari works to solve the horrific plot, more people die. She’s been targeted for death and she doesn’t even know it. How far should she go to learn the truth—even if it threatens her life?

When homicide detective Rance Nicolet meets Kari, his attraction to her is powerful—and the feeling is mutual. But things between them go terribly wrong when Kari’s old lover is found murdered with a letter from her in his pocket. The evidence against Kari is damning. Rance’s personal and professional lives collide. Does he blindly believe the woman he’s falling in love with or follow the evidence no matter where it leads?


EXCERPT :
“Frost. Call on line one.” The voice boomed overhead and interrupted Scott Frost mid-climb. He jumped off his truck, pushed up the sleeves on his dingy green work shirt and walked to the phone mounted on the wall, his face a scowl of irritation.

He grabbed the receiver. “Hello.”

“They found Patience,” his wife, Andrea, whispered.

Mammoth garbage trucks rumbled and shook the walls as they rolled out into the street for the day’s work, their giant bellies hungry for trash. Scott strained to hear his wife over the noise.

“I told you never to call me here.”

“Do you know what they did to her?” Her voice rose an octave.

"Hold it together.” He clenched his fist and resisted the impulse to smash it through the wall. “She’s the one who ran off.”

“She didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserves that.”

The phone slipped a bit in his sweaty hand. Tolerance had never been one of Scott's virtues, and what little he did have waned with each whiny word his wife uttered. “It’ll all be over soon, you know that.”

“They won’t let us out.”

He gnashed his teeth together until the noise in his head drowned out the roar of garbage trucks. The pumping of his heart escalated and Scott imagined he could feel his blood pressure rising.

“Damn it, Andrea, take a valium. These people are dangerous. They’ll kill us if we flake out.” 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Harlow Coban was born in Kansas City, MO, but grew up in Denver, CO. She relocated to North Carolina five years ago with her husband, two dogs, and 16-year old twins.

She shares a birthday with the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. In keeping with his legacy, she is currently working on taking over the world. Harlow’s positive attitude and fresh take on life are her tools and conquest is certain.

She spends her free time writing, dancing, traveling and defending mailboxes from her 16-year-old twins’ driving.

Her debut novel, LIFE IN DEATH (February 2012), is a murder mystery which pulls from real-life situations from her own family history. She felt compelled to share her story with the world while offering a thrilling, entertaining, and amusing escape for readers.

In keeping with her commitment to improving the lives of children, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club in her home state of North Carolina.

She loves to connect with her readers and can be found on Twitter (@HarlowCoban), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Harlow-Coban/174596219285270), Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com) and her website (www.HarlowCoban.com).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PRIZE INFORMATION

The authors will be giving away one prize at every stop which may include (but isn’t limited to):

Amazon Gift Cards
Book Lover Note Cards
Journals
Kindle Cover
Book Tote
Hunger Games Trilogy

Additionally, she’ll be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to the host whose stop has the most comments (excluding the author’s and the host’s).

Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner

Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner
Goddess Fish Blog Tour Partner