Friday, September 26, 2014

Big Dreams Blogfest

The Big Dreams Blogfest is hosted by myself and Misha Gericke. My long term goals are to write a million words and make a million dollars. My goal for this month was not writing related but to finish the pre-internship classes for my teaching certificate, because this would free up time and finding a stable day job will free up mental space. I accomplished this! Yay! This is the first time in forever I can say I accomplished something. I haven't decied if October's goal should be to find a job or finish rewrites on this manuscript I've been working on FOREVER. But I do know I will need to pass the special education exam in October because that will help with finding a job. As for writing, I will have more thoughts on my long term writing goals next month's update. I'm trying to think through some things right now and there is a small humanoid hanging on my arm screaming "Mommy, mommy are you ready?"

What are your goals? Are you making progress?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Romance Roundup

Here's what I'm looking forward to this week. And these are actually both out! 

 Sometimes you just have to believe...
A single crystal slipper. It was probably the weirdest gift librarian Celinda Branham ever received during a Christmas gift exchange. Who would even wear these in the real world? Not Celinda, wearer of sensible shoes and fairy tale naysayer. That said, she certainly has the requisite wicked stepmother, irritating stepsister, and empty bank account. Of course, if she actually believed in all that fantastical junk, she could wait for her Prince Charming... Only Prince Charming doesn't exist. But Preston Chandler believes in fairy tales. Oh, does he ever. All he did was spurn the advances of a certain witch, and now his sister is under a sleeping spell. And the only way to break it? Find the other glass slipper and give someone "Love's First Kiss." But when Preston finally tracks down Celinda, he's dismayed to discover that the shy librarian who owns the other shoe has no interest in anything remotely resembling magic—including love. Now he must find a way into his Cinderella's cynical heart, or lose his sister... and his only chance for true love.

Katia jumps at the chance to go to England with her best friend after Rose ditches her deadbeat boyfriend. While walking through the market, she spies a large mansion and recognizes the guy out front as her high school friend Tony. Just as they start to reconnect, Katia passes through times and lands in the arms of Lord Landon, who looks like Tony but certainly doesn’t act like him.
Soon, Katia learns that this 1815 is different from the one in history books. Trapped in a parallel world, Katia struggles to not fall for Landon but his charm proves too much for her. Just when she is about to confess her love for him, Katia travels through time yet again.
The course of love never did run smooth and if Katia can’t figure out and master the test of time, she’ll never see or friends again, or worse, never be reunited with Landon.

What are you looking forward to? What are you reading? 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Mishmash

  1. Kiss of Death- You can read Kelly Hashway's Kiss of Death for free here! Kiss of Death is the prequel to the Touch o Death series.
  2. Teaching Certification- So I finished all my classes. Again. Which means, I'm re-eligible to teach as long as I find a job. (You have to teach for one year to get certified). Let's hope this happens.
  3. Portfolio- I'm putting together a portfolio for interviews now that I'm done with the classes. It's been a really interesting process and some things I learned during these classes will help my fiction.
  4. Fiction Workbook- Some of you know I'm creating a fiction workbook for my MFA project this semester. That is starting to come along. The certification classes gave me some really good ideas for this.
  5. Educational Writing- My MFA requires a practical genre, and my practical genre is educational writing, which I think I'm going to be pursuing under another name, because it sounds fun and has a quicker response time than fiction.
So that's me this week.. What's up with you?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Mishmash

  1. Fiction Workbook- I'm turning in the outline for the fiction workbook I'm writing for my MFA today. Let's hope it gets accepted, and I make an A. Yeah. That would be good.
  2. Dance Class- The ELF hid her ballet shoes but I eventually found them, which is a good thing because we have dance bright and early this morning.
  3. Teaching Classes- I have 12 units left for my teaching certification before I'm re-eligible for the internship. I'm hoping to knock these out before September is over which should free October up for this book I've been perpetually delaying edits on.
  4. Subbing- Not in the sense you think! I have orientations for two school districts this week, so hopefully I'm getting regular sub work by next week! 
It's amazing! Looking at this it doesn't seem like I have as much going on as usual, and yet I still feel completely overwhelmed. But that's me this week. What are you up to?

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Monster Within Review

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life.
But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.
She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.
But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

This book grabs your attention right from the start. It opens up with a girl crawling out of her grave. If nothing else, you're intrigued. And it becomes obvious pretty quickly that Samantha didn't come back right. She's killing people around her (accidentally) but she never asks for help. I can understand why. Her boyfriend who brought her back is the only person she can count on, and she's worried about what he would think if he knew she came back a monster. But wow does she let it get out of control before she finally asks for help. When she does get help, it's not from someone she should trust. And while the person she trusts seems nice enough, the way she helped should have told Sam that something wasn't right with this. But again, Sam says nothing. The ending ties things up nicely, but there were some things that I thought could have been explained more fully. This is a paranormal romance different from the others I've seen. In fact, in some places it's very scary. This was a quick read, and I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nobody's Perfect

Ashelyn Drake is here today to talk about her new book.

The title of my new YA contemporary romance is Perfect For You, but let’s face it. Nobody is perfect. Honestly, that’s why I love my characters in this book so much. They’re all flawed. And really it’s the flaws that make them lovable.
Let’s start with the MC, Meg. She had her heart broken in the worst way imaginable. Her sophomore-year boyfriend made out with another girl in front of Meg’s locker. Nothing says “dumped” quite like that. Meg’s now with a great guy, but she still feels like she’s not quite good enough and fears having her heart broken again. Ash might be loyal, but Meg is constantly worried about being cheated on. Her insecurities sometimes get in the way of her decisions, but at other times, she exudes confidence. She’s really struggling to find herself.
Ash is Meg’s boyfriend of five months. He’s the quarterback of the football team, totally gorgeous, and loves Meg. He’s seemingly perfect. Notice I said “seemingly”. Ash has a temper at times and his emotions can get the better of him and cloud his judgment.
Then there’s Noah. He’s Meg’s crush of the past two years and he’s totally irresistible. But why did he have to wait until Meg was happy and in a relationship before he took an interest in her? The fact that Meg has a boyfriend doesn’t stop Noah. He exudes confidence and goes after what he wants. That makes him one of the most desired guys in school, but it also puts Meg in a really bad spot since she’s the one he’s after.
I love all three characters. Sure, they have their faults, but at the heart of it, they’re truly amazing people. Watching them discover themselves throughout the story only made me love them more. So maybe they aren’t perfect, but I think that’s sort of what makes them perfect in my mind. ;)

Book blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan isn’t very self-confident, but what girl would be after her sophomore-year boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker? 
Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two gorgeous guys at school. Sounds good, right? What girl wouldn't want to be in Meg's shoes? One cute boy happens to be her boyfriend, and the other? Well, he wants to be. And Meg? She's torn between Ash, the boy she's been with for nearly five months, and Noah who is pretty irresistible. 
But Meg is playing with fire. Pitting two boys against one another, even if she doesn't intend to, could end badly if she isn't careful. PERFECT FOR YOU is a teen romance from bestselling author Ashelyn Drake, where one girl will risk everything to find her perfect match.

About Ashelyn Drake:
Ashelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. Ashelyn also writes fantasy novels as Kelly Hashway.
Find Ashelyn Online:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Romance Roundup

Here's what I'm looking forward to this week!

He left home to escape. She made a new life out of guilt. Neither one expected to find love—but not even the Arctic can cool this steamy romance.
Maya knows she’s doing the right thing by moving to Alaska with her parents, but that doesn’t mean she has to be happy about it. Forced to give up a scholarship to a prestigious art school, she relocates to a Podunk town with one college the size of her high school cafeteria, all to help hold her family together after the death of her little sister. But a fresh start can only do so much.
Jake doesn’t like handouts and he certainly doesn’t need any distractions. Working on a salmon boat in Kodiak, Alaska is the only way to pay for his mother’s surgery back in the lower forty-eight. Juggling college courses and constant worry about his mother’s health, Jake couldn’t imagine anything else fitting into his life. That is, until he meets Maya, the sexy Californian artist who tints his world in technicolor.

Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.
Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.
When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.
This novel in the deliciously fun If Only romance line proves that the best kinds of love stories don’t follow a script.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Mishmash

  1.  Fining Hope is out!!!! You can find it here.

When insecure eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill gets caught tagging Iraq war refugee, Abrahem Yohanna's garage, she's not expecting him to act as her designated driver, hold her hair back when she pukes, or offer to be a shoulder to cry on. But she's failing chemistry and her life is falling apart, so she uses the number Abe leaves her and finds herself with a new tutor. 
The two quickly find themselves falling hard for each other. Kailee attacks a local grunt when he calls Abe a "sand nigger" and fights with her veteran brother to be with him. When she learns Abe hasn't told his family about her, she's heartbroken and the couple risks losing everything they've worked to build. To make matters worse, Kailee's previous acts make her the prime suspect in a serious crime. With Kailee behind bars and doubting his feelings for her, Abe must find a way to rescue the girl he loves and win back her affection . And to do that, he’ll have to catch a crook… 
   2. Theme- I really need some thoughts on theme. If you happen to be a teacher, what do you think would be most helpful in teaching theme to 8-12th grade students?
   3. Teaching Certificate- I bit the bullet and changed programs, so now I'm re-taking classes to be intern eligible again. But I shall survive.
   4. Insane Semester!- This semester has already been insane and really hasn't even started. I'm currently reading a textbook to learn HTML/CSS. This semester I will write five essays, read five textbooks, build a website by hand, and write the fiction workbook I previously mentioned. In addition to this I have a 5 page prospectus due very soon. I don't even know what that is. Yay. Talk about being set up for failure. LOL. 
  5. Substitute Teaching- I'm on four sub lists this semester. Hopefully, this leads to a full time job somewhere.