Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Medeia and Trisha tagged me. Here are my answers:
Do you think you're hot?
Nope, mostly I just feel old.

Upload a picture or wallpaper you are using at the moment.

This is a picture from our October 2010 family trip to Florida.

When was the last time you ate chicken meat?
Last Thursday I had homemade cashew chicken.

The song(s) you listened to most recently?
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry - not by choice, but because I was riding in the car with my teenaged daughter.

What were you thinking as you were doing this?
My spring allergies have officially kicked in for this year (as I sneeze yet again!)

Do you have nicknames?
My husband calls me Suzy. My mother and some of my aunts used to call me Sue Ellen. When I was a kid, my siblings and I had matching nicknames - Mary was Mud, Carrie was Cud, Judy was Jud, I was Sud, and Ed was Ud. We still use those sometimes.

Tag 8 blogger friends (you are it!)
1. Kelly Polark
8. Hema

Who's listed as number 1?
Kelly Polark. Kelly's Dear Diary posts, real entries from her childhood diary, are among my all-time favorite blog posts.

Say something about number 5.
Old Kitty's comments on my blog ALWAYS make me smile. :)

How did you get to know number 3?
Jackee was my first follower that I didn't know before I began my blog. A few months later, when I wanted to link my blog to my Facebook page, I emailed Jackee and she explained it to me. We've since become crit partners and great friends!

How about number 4?
I met Brian through Sharon (#2) She said she knew a cat with his own blog. I had to check that out, and now I love my visits to Brian's blog!

Leave a message for number 6.
Congratulations again on finding your agent - yay!

Leave a lovey dovey message for number 2.
Sharon, you're one of the nicest people I've ever met - thanks for being such an amazing friend!

Do number 7 and number 8 have any similarities?
I met both Dawn and Hema when we participated in a Skype seminar with agent Mark McVeigh.

This was fun! How about you? Do you have any nicknames?

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Can Comment!

NOTE: If you're looking for my Power of Tension blogfest entry, please click here.

At least, I think I can (comment, that is). I've left three comments so far this morning and Blogger seems to be working for me, so I hope I can keep going! I seem to have lost my Follower gadget, but I'm hoping that will return in time as well. :)

I apologize to everyone who commented on my Power of Tension Blogfest entry and has not yet received a return visit from me. I haven't been able to comment since Monday, but it seems to be working now so I promise to get around to all your blogs at some point this weekend. Thanks for your patience!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I've got a pretty quiet weekend planned, just dinner with some friends and a bbq at my sister's house on Monday. How about you?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Power of Tension Blogfest

This week, Cally Jackson and Rachel Morgan are hosting The Power of Tension Blogfest. We are to post an excerpt (300 words or less) that drips with tension and leaves the reader wanting to know more. My entry is from my epic fantasy, In the Seventeenth Year. Enjoy!


“They’re coming up the walk,” the limping man said.

Keenan ignored the excited murmurs buzzing through the room. None of the others knew the reason for the meeting. Moira dismissed their questions, saying only that she would explain everything when Ellis and Garrick arrived. They gave Keenan curious stares, but Moira did not introduce him, and his sullen manner successfully discouraged any attempts at conversation.

Keenan steeled himself as he watched the door. After contemplating Moira’s story all afternoon, he still he did not know what to make of it. He would never have believed it, save for one fact: Father did not deny her claim. On the contrary, he knew exactly what she was talking about.

What interested Keenan most was that his supposed “mother” had kept his brother. If she could keep one son, why not both? Why did she leave him to face Father and his dagger night after night, while she and her other son lived a peaceful life just one hour away? If Moira was telling the truth, and he could only conclude that she was, then his mother possessed the coldest heart in all of Fairfax.

The door handle jiggled. Keenan felt a twinge of excitement, despite himself. What were these people, his “family,” like? Would his brother look like him? He had not thought to ask if they were identical twins.

“Here they come,” Moira whispered in his ear.

The door swung open.


That's it! Thanks for reading, and please click here for links to the rest of the entries.

Have a great Monday, everyone! Did you do anything fun over the weekend? I finished painting the basement (whew!) and spent Sunday at Six Flags.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Colors

I'm no photographer (though I wish I were!), but I was making dinner the other night and I looked down and thought the colors were just so pretty I had to take a picture. One of my favorite things about spring is visiting the fruit stand. After a long winter, it's so nice to have a plentiful supply of fresh fruits and vegetables!

What is your favorite thing about spring?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Musings

1. Gardening done, and I got it finished on Friday evening before the rain came! Which was great, because it then proceeded to rain the entire weekend and watered my new plantings. It's funny how much more I appreciate rain after I've been gardening.

2. I took my kids to see Soul Surfer yesterday. I could tell from the previews I would like it, and it ended up being even better that I'd hoped. I guess it's the mom in me, but it made me very emotional. My favorite part was when they showed photos of the real Bethany Hamilton and her family at the end. My kids all gave it a thumbs-up as well.

3. We ordered the flooring for our basement on Saturday, and today I start painting the walls. We're turning it into a rec room for the teenagers in the house. This should be a good opportunity to let those creative plotting juices flow. :)

4. I just won over at Deniz Bevan's The Girdle of Melian blog for her 500 Posts Contest. Thanks so much, Deniz!

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Any big plans for the week ahead?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Plotting and My Garden

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I'm a plotter through and through. Some people don't need a road map to get through their novel, but I do. I know this about myself, so I'm willing to take the time to work out a detailed outline of my plot. And for the most part, I enjoy this part of the process.

But...it's not the actual writing. And I miss the writing. When I'm writing, I can sit down and lose myself in the story for hours. I don't get easily distracted. But when I'm plotting, it seems I'll look for any excuse to get out of the chair. Just yesterday I cleaned the inside of the refrigerator, did the laundry, baked two batches of banana bread, and did the grocery shopping. This weekend I may even (gasp) do the gardening my yard is so desperately in need of. All while I'm supposed to be plotting this new novel.

I think it's probably that plotting doesn't feel concrete. I'm not increasing my word count. I'm not editing my way through a list of chapters. I'm just playing around with ideas, and even though I'm making progress, I can't really see it. As someone who thrives on daily to-do lists, this makes me antsy.

What about you? If you're a plotter, do you enjoy the time you spend plotting? How long do you spend plotting a new novel? If you're a pantser, how much time do you spend thinking about a new novel before actually starting to write?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vallar Winners!

The winners of five free e-copies of Cindy Borgne's sci fi novel Vallar are...

1. Hema Penmetsa
2. Lydia Kang
3. Robyn Campbell
4. Anita Miller
5. Medeia Sharif

Thanks for entering everyone! Winners, watch your email - your coupon codes for your free copies will be arriving soon! And thanks to everyone who entered!

I hope all you all had a wonderful Mother's Day! I spent mine playing board games with my mom. We're both board game fanatics, but no one else in the family shares our addiction - they can't stop us on Mother's Day, though! My younger daughter made pancakes for breakfast and my older daughter made tacos for dinner. Whether you're a mother or not, did you do anything special for Mother's Day?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Shopping Spree!

Woo hoo! Look at all those beautiful books! I took my eleven-year-old daughter on a shopping spree to Barnes & Noble yesterday, and we both came away with full shopping bags. Some of these were suggestions you guys gave me a few posts ago, so thanks again for the wonderful recommendations! I'm excited to get started, but right now I'm beta reading a fantastic MG novel written by one of my uber awesome critique partners, so these beauties will have to wait a little while longer. :)

If you missed my interview with author Cindy Borgne, click here for your chance to win a copy of her sci fi novel, Vallar.

And click here to read Carolina Valdez Miller's review of Possession by Elana Johnson and enter her giveaway for a signed ARC.

So, have you taken any shopping sprees lately? What did you buy?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meet Cindy Borgne, Author of Vallar, and a Giveaway!

Today I'd like to welcome Cindy Borgne to my blog. Cindy's currently conducting a blog tour, so I invited her to stop in and chat today. Here's some information on Cindy's new book, Vallar:

Sixteen-year-old Ian Connors works for Marscorp, using his psychic ability to give the organization an advantage over other groups angling for control of the embattled planet. The people of Earth have abandoned the colonies of Mars due to a dwindling of their own resources. The leaders of Marscorp believe that by pooling the planets assets, they will be able to gain enough power to force their way back to Earth.

Ian's job is to use his visions to locate smaller organizations in order to plunder their valuables and incorporate their masses. But a disturbing vision and a horrible loss cause Ian to doubt his loyalties to a corrupt, dictatorial admiral.

Unwilling to be a pawn in the Admiral's dangerous game, Ian must find a way to escape and protect a girl he sees himself with in the future. His only hope may lie with a new organization known as Vallar - an alliance of rebel organizations willing to fight for their survival. (380 Pages)

So, Cindy, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m from Macomb, Michigan. I’ve been writing since I’ve been about fourteen. Then on and off for many years in between raising two children. It’s been within the last seven years that I’ve become determined to stick with it. I write mostly science fiction and fantasy. I’ve been a stay at home mom for several years, but I’ve had a few day jobs such as web-designer, freelance editor, computer instructor, and I was once a payroll clerk for a school district.

What inspired you to write Vallar?

It was a combination of two things. In the story, the main character Ian, has the ability to foresee the future. So I put him in him a situation where he uses his ability for the wrong reasons, but he doesn’t realize it at first because he’s being manipulated. When he doesn’t realize it, he has to get away from the people using him for their own greed. The second reason is in the beginning of the story Ian sees himself with a girl he’s never met. I enjoyed experimenting with his desire to be with her based on a vision. It’s also is a forbidden type of love, and I had fun writing it.

Can you tell us about your writing process?

I always flesh out the plot and characterization first, so my first drafts are light on description. Once I know the plot is solid, I go back in and add all the details. Then I edit it several times. I put it up for critique, and I continue to edit it. I even listen to it on my Kindle to catch errors. I pretty much pound the thing before I publish it.

Do you have any interesting writing methods or quirks?

I always start out with an outline because they help get me going, but I never have been able to stick to them. Some things on my outlines work, but other things don't or I come up with better ideas.

Are you working on any new projects?

I want to finish a sequel to Vallar. Plus I would like to write a fantasy/historical novel set in the mid 1700’s.

And where can we find Vallar?

It's at Amazon, Nook and Smashwords. It's easiest to go to my website to find all the links: http://www.cindyborgne.com/ (click here).

And it gets even better - Cindy's giving away five free e-copies of Vallar! Just leave a comment on this post by Sunday, May 8 to be entered in the drawing (please include your email address). Five lucky winners will receive a coupon for a free download of Vallar from Smashwords. Winners will be announced on Monday, May 9.

Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting today, Cindy! And you can visit Cindy's blog by clicking here.