Sunday, June 30, 2013

Looking For An Awesome Way To Celebrate July 4th?

Tired of the fireworks?   Still full of BBQ from Memorial Day?  Just need a break from the same ol' Independence Day routine?  Well, look no further than the fiction of Eric J. Krause who, this July 4th, will be giving away a copy of his YA fantasy featuring two of America's favorite pastimes: baseball and... aliens? 
Way Over the Line tells the story of baseball legend Jessie Campbell... or at least it would if he were a legend.  Unfortunately, he's terrified of the ball. Though he can make great running catches, if a ball is hit right at him, he'll duck out of the way. And forget about batting. When he and his best friend, Ryder Gonzalez, are abducted by space aliens, the boys learn that the aliens want Ryder to play in the huge Intergalactic Over the Line Tournament. Jessie is only along for the ride. He soon learns, however, that this won't be a simple spectator sport. He'll need to deal with horrors such as space pirates, and, even worse, actually participating on the field. With the help of Ryder, his alien teammates, a cute girl from another planet, and even Mickey Martell, the best baseball player in the Universe, Jessie must learn to push away his fears and focus on learning how to better play the game--both mentally and physically.

And if all of that wasn't enough pressure, there's also whisperings that he may be the fabled Chosen One, destined to bring the championship to his team.  (Amazon)

So now you're all wondering how you can get this amazing tale, right?  Well, you can get the e-version right now by going to Amazon and downloading the Kindle version, going to Barnes and Noble and downloading the Nook version or going to Smashwords and downloading the PDF or just viewing it online. 

But, if you're like me, and you abide by the adage that those e-reading people "can pry my paperback from my cold, dead hands", then you should try to win a free copy.  There's three ways you can do that:

1)  Go to Eric J. Krause's Writing Spot and leave a comment on this post simply saying that you'd like to be entered to win.
2)  Go to Facebook and do the same there.
3)  Follow @ericjkrause on Twitter and retweet his giveaway tweets (they'll all say "RT to enter").

Super easy right?  So, go see Eric, enter to win and you may end up with your very own copy of this awesome story.  And what a Happy Independence Day that would make!
If you can't wait until the 4th, you can download the Kindle version right now or buy it for the Nook if that's your tablet of choice.  Or, if you don't have a tablet, it's available in multiple formats over at Smashwords.  But if, like me, you're still reading paper copies of everything because "you can pry my paperback from my cold, dead hands" then you can enter to win a free paperback copy on July 4th.  Here's how:
- Go to Eric's Writing Spot and leave him a comment on this post just saying "hi" and some variation of "can I have your book?" in the comments and you'll be entered to win.
- Go to this Facebook post and do the same.
- Follow Eric on Twitter @ericjkrause and retweet his tweets about the giveaway.  (The ones that say "RT this to enter!")
Couldn't be simpler!  He'll do the random drawing on July 4th and alert the lucky winner that they've got a copy of the book waiting for them over at Eric's.  (He may even sign it for you if you're real nice!) 
So what are you waiting for?  Head on over to Eric's and enter to win!  Cause even if you're still doing the whole firewroks and BBQ thing, you gotta admit it'd be even better with aliens!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Six Word Saturday: Oh My Gosh- I'm So Excited!

This is the brilliant idea of Cate over at Show My Face who challenges you to write a story about your life in just six words.  Go check it out to learn more.

Oh My Gosh- I'm So Excited!

On Monday I participated in the very fun Thrill of it All blogfest in honor of Tara Tyler and Heather Gardner's book releases.  (Don't forget to pick up a copy of Maguire's Corner from Amazon and stay tuned for Tara's blog hop tour starting next month!)

You can imagine how thrilled I was to find this tweet on Friday morning announcing that I, C.M. Brown, Christine Rains and CD Coffelt had won!  It's sort of a big deal for my writing to get that kind of recognition and I'm incredibly psyched about it!  A giant thanks to Tara and Heather!!

I'm also really excited at the prospect of an awesome, amazing, glistening and gorgeous new header topping my blog, courtesy of Ms. Tara herself.  I've got an image in my mind that I've been marinating and will soon consult with Tara to see how she can transform that into something visual to top my blog, so definitely stay tuned for that.  

Congrats to everybody who participated in this awesome event, and to Tara and Heather for their publishing success!  It was a ball!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Celebrate The Small Things for the End of June

It's that time again!  Time to celebrate the small things with Viklit and all the other awesome bloggers out there!  Click on the link to join us!

This week I'm celebrating:
- Having survived the wedding last week.  (It was tough, but we made it!)  Now there's only one more to go and we're through the obstacle course!
- The upcoming long weekend (4th of July Thursday and I took the day off of work on Friday) because boy, do I need a break!
- Despicable Me 2 comes out July 3rd!!!!  Despicable Me, for those of you sadly unaware, is the cutest movie ever in the entire history of cute movies.  I'm serious.  The minions alone are enough to make you squeal but add in Agnes and her giant unicorn and I'm DONE!  Thus why I find it hard to describe how excited I am for the sequel.  Suffice it to say, I'm pretty excited.
And now you all know what I'll be doing during the long weekend.  You can expect the review to be posted here as soon as I've witnessed this sure-to-be wonderful movie.  *beams*

Well, that's it!  Now hop along and keep the celebration going!


Thursday, June 27, 2013


Saturday night and we made it a point to stay up all night.  Not because there was stuff to do all night, and not because we couldn’t sleep, but simply because it was a sleepover and that’s just what you do.  The irony of this was something I often pointed out to others when I wasn’t invited to sleepovers.  But if we’re being honest here, staying up all night was the greatest thing that could ever happen to me… when it wasn’t happening to me.

So when I finally got the invite to tag along to Suzie Jenkins’ house with my best friend Zoë I was blissful.  This was it- my chance to finally see what the other girls were doing on the weekends while I was home with my parents learning how to play scrabble.  I admit that it was exciting when I ended up with a double word score but a little part of me died every time my father reminded me of how much I was learning every time we played.  Learning is just not something a normal, healthy kid should be doing on a Saturday night.

I had brought extra supplies, preparing like a soldier about to go off to war.  Energy bars, Red Bull, even caffeine pills I’d snuck out of my brother’s dresser when he was out doing whatever awesome things he does that he will never, ever invite me to.  Jerk.  I brought my favorite board games, my cutest teddy bear and my only sleeping bag.  I wore the pajamas with the large cartoon lion face on the shirt which matches the little rainbow colored prints on the pants.  And I asked my mom to drop me off rather than walking me to the door.  Cause, you know, that’s a little girl thing to do.

The house looked like a mansion with more windows than I could easily count and a giant stone walkway up to double doors with intricate patterns on the windows.  I felt like Dorothy stepping out of her newly wrecked house, but I could have used just as much courage as the lion needed.  When she answered the door, Stacey Jenkins looked ridiculously gorgeous given the planned activities for the evening, and the lack of cute boys.  But that fit perfectly with the mansion in the private cull-de-sack with the huge windows and- was that a pool in back?

She smiled at me and said how overjoyed she was that I could come (which was so clearly not true because the only reason she’d let me come was because she and Zoë were in swimming classes together) and invited me in.  The inside of the house was like an opera house with stairs on either side of a circular wall leading up to a balcony on the second floor and a giant chandelier hanging overhead.  Everything was light and dreamy and rich and I felt terribly out of place.

But then Zoë ran in laughing and jumping, accompanied by several other girls who I’d only ever admired from afar.  I don’t know if it was the light or the way they’d started doing her hair but she looked like one of them, as if she’d belonged there all along and had been visiting my world.  She sang my name rather than saying it and hugged me as if that were how we always greeted each other.  I held onto her, scared to let go.

Then Rachel Gibbons said how pretty my hair was- my absurdly thick, horse-like hair- and how jealous she was.  I didn’t know what to say.  It had never occurred to me that my hair could be considered pretty, especially in comparison to the other girls with their delicate curls or natural blond color.  I managed to mutter a thanks and kept the smile plastered on my face as if my life depended on it.  My mother’s voice always telling me to smile finally coming in handy.

Stacey Jenkins smiled at me and it made me freeze.  There was something about that smile that looked strangely like the face my dog- Buster, a husky-lab mix who shed all over our house- made before he chased my poor cat Chelsea around the yard.  She said that she had a great idea and looked at the other girls as if sharing a secret.  Then in unison, as if they had practiced, they all squealed “Makeover!” and Suzie took me by the hand, as if that were a normal thing to do, and pulled me into the living room.

I felt the same way I did when we went water tubing and I was pulled off course by the heavy current, and went down the wrong fork in the river.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hanging Up

You call me up on the phone
while I’m on my way to work
and leave another vaguely hysterical voicemail. 
That panic in your voice
letting me know
you’re on the cusp.

Your emotions
encroaching on my space.
Suffocating me.

And part of me wants to call you back, right away.
To try to comfort you.
Try to counsel you.
Try to save you.

But then the anger boils up to the surface.
The chaos,
the drama,
one crisis after another.
Your word-
It’s all so familiar to me.

And I remember
who I am now
and who
I no longer choose to be.

So I tuck the phone
back into my pocket
and drive on.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Write Club- the Clock is Ticking

So, I know that you all already know about the hard core competition that D. L. Hammons came up with, right?  The one where 32 writers will go head to head in twice weekly bouts?  The one where you get to choose an awesome pen name and watch your story fight it out without fear of exposure?  The one that has a cut-off date to enter in only five days?!?  In case you don't, please go here immediately and read all about it. 

I'm signed up to read and very excited about it but also planned to enter the ring- which is where I got stuck.  "Wait-" the inner critic jumps.  "You mean you actually want to enter your story to see if it would win?  Yeah right!  You wouldn't even make it into the first round of 32!"  And the (sometimes) small voice that defends me falters, believing those poisonous words.

Posting here is one thing.  It's my blog, there's no one else around writing fiction and poetry.  And if a piece doesn't fly I don't give myself time to wallow cause I push on to the next post.  But a competition?  One where my writing will be directly compared to other writers- ones who are actually talented?  Well that's a whole other ball game.

Or is it?  I've had a motto which has been working pretty well for me around here.  "Do it anyway"  (And now, if you're a Ben Folds Five fan like me, you've got that song stuck in your head, right?  You're welcome!)  I've talked about how it works for me before and without repeating myself too much I'm gonna talk about it again.

I don't really believe that I can do any of the stuff that I do on here.  I can't do flash fiction, I can't write poetry and I certainly can't expose myself to the world.  And yet, I do it anyway.  And every single time I do I get rewarded for my bravery.  And those are some hard facts my inner critic can't argue with.

So I know that I can't win Write Club.  Heck, I know I can't even get picked to start the first round cause I know that nothing I write will be good enough.  But i'm gonna write anyway and enter it anyway.  Cause regardless of whether or not my piece does well in the comeption, it'll be a solid win against that pesky inner critic of mine.

I hope you all choose to participate cause I expect it's gonna be a ball.  Plus, you still got five days to get that piece written...

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Thrill of it All Blogfest

Today's thrilling blogfest is hosted by the amazing Tara Tyler who is celebrating her soon-to-be-released novel Pop Travel coming out on July 7th by popping up all around the intarwebs- keep your eyes peeled as you hop about over the next few months to see interviews, reviews, guest posts and lots of other exciting things!  And co-hosting is the equally fantastic Heather M. Gardner who is celebrating her recently released novel Maguire's Corner available on Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo!  Please check them out today!

For my thrilling entry I went with the love side of things and composed a poem.  I hope you all enjoy it!

His Sweet Breath

He looked so tranquil
like a still, serene pond.
The pale morning light
gave the whole room a bluish tint
and promise.

His chest
all soft pastels
and touchable skin.
His lips slightly parted,
his sweet breath
warm on her shoulder.

Like this
he was nothing but possibilities-
and she could project onto him
any future her imagination could birth.

But in the harsh light of day
those dreams would vanish,
vanquished by the light,
like shadows at noon.
And the stark landscape of reality
would steal this cerulean world.

So she slid her naked body off the bed
holding her breath
as the sheets caressed her,
sending a lingering shiver through her lithe form.
She grabbed her dress.

She allowed herself one last,
longing look at this gentle world.
Then turned the latch
and slipped out.

And that's it!  It's probably different than you were expecting but hopefully enjoyable nonetheless.
And now, please hop along to read the other thrilling stories!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Celebrate The Small Things- Out of the Office

Thanks to Viklit for hosting!

Well, it's Friday and today I'm out surviving a friend's wedding.  (I'm writing this Thursday night, before heading off to a rehearsal dinner.)  So forgive me for taking a little longer than usual to stop by and celebrate with you all- I promise I will be around towards Sunday-Monday-ish.  But in the meantime, let's celebrate!

New Form  I finished learning Kong Sang Koon (a.k.a the mother of all Pyung Ahn forms) on Tuesday and it is awesome.  It's hard and there are a few moves that my brain can't quite make sense of yet in a "how the hell do I get my body to do that?" sort-of way but I've got the pattern down which is a big accomplishment.  Now, let me rep it out say, ten thousand times, and I'll get the hang of it.  And eventually, it'll look as cool as it looks when I watch other people perform it and then I'll really celebrate!

New Med Records OS  The new program for all of our clinical charting went live on Monday and it was, as expected, a nightmare.  There were documents that hadn't been built yet, critical functions that weren't working, overwhelming confusion and more calls to tech support than our hospital normally sees in a year.  BUT, and here's the celebration, it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  I was actually able to complete all the notes, treatment plans and census updates I needed to.  It took a whole lot of tech support but all of the consultants on campus were extremely nice and understanding, even when I called them for the third time that day.  And while it's still a long way from where we need it to be in order to do all our required documentation smoothly it's in significantly better shape than one might expect.  Plus the first week is always the hardest so that's a big reason to celebrate!

New Married Couple  If you're reading this Friday afternoon then there is a newly wed couple in the world celebrating- in a BIG way- their nuptials.  And I am celebrating with them.  'Nough said.

Well, that's it!  Now, as always, hop along!