Author Autograph Success!!!!

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I have been writing fan mail to actors for at least a year and a half now. And I have gotten some great replies. Once in a while Mr. C is able to find an address for one of my favorite authors.

When we first started printing off photos to send, he started making custom cards. One of these was sent to author Jodi Picoult and I was stoked to get that back signed by her.

Today I went to the mailbox, and there was an envelope for me. I knew it was an auto since it was one of the SASE* I included in a letter, but I had no idea who. I could tell it was an older one. One of the first letters I had written.

I was a very happy chick when I opened it.

author auto charlaine

Charlaine Harris!

I got hooked on the Sookie Stackhouse books years and years ago. WAY before True Blood ever hit the small screen. I was hooked on them and ate up every book that was out. When I got caught up, I kept an eye out for release dates. I would buy the hardcover, because I was way too impatient to wait until it was printed in soft cover.

So when we started writing fan mail, she was one on my list. I love her novels and I had to write her. So I was thrilled today to get this. It took 418 days to get here. It was worth the wait!!! 🙂

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Writer Gears Are Rusty But They Are Turning

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With October around the corner, there’s a lot on my mind. I love fall and all that comes with it. And usually part of that is prepping for NaNoWriMo.

Until yesterday, I didn’t even know if I was going to do it or not. None of my recent ideas or projects I wanted to start interested me. With the wedding officially less then a year, I have a lot to do and get done for it. I feel stressed, and NaNo is for sure an added stress and time bandit.

I was at work, cleaning up and the like when all of a sudden an idea hit me. Something fun. Something I think I can get really creative with. And it excited me!

I haven’t written a heck of a lot this year. I’ve had personal issues and a lot has been put on the back burner. It made me sad that my ‘writer brain’ was sitting, getting rusty, and I wondered if I would ever use it again.

Right away I scribbled a few notes down before my next client came in. I don’t have a whole lot planned out, not even a full skeleton. But I have something to start with. A basic idea and two characters. That’s enough for me to get into my novel prep!

Over the next few days and over the coarse of October, I will build and create my main characters, and do some world building. I will work on character sketches, create a story board on Pinterest, a ‘Novel Bible’, and do a lot of brainstorming.

So, fellow writers, have you decided if you are taking part in NaNoWriMo? If so, do you have an inkling as to what you’re writing about, or still in “maybe I will just wing it” mode? Do tell! 🙂

Your Input Wanted!

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Recently I did an interview with my friend Cruellatrix. Before I conducted the interview, I did what anyone would do: brainstormed. And, I reached out to some geeky friends of mine on Facebook, to see what they would ask. Some of their question were the same as mine, some I didn’t use (simply for the fact she would have had a list of thirty questions if I didn’t cut it off!), and others I added to my ever growing list.

I will be doing an interview again in the future. This time with a pretty fab author!! I have already started brainstorming. And this is where YOU come in. This time I wanted to reach out to all of you lovely people! 🙂

If you could an author anything, what would it be?

Your question(s) just may end up on in my official interview! 🙂

The Seventh Crow

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I’m just about to pop over to Kickstarter, and back the latest novel by my friend and talented writer, Sherry D. Ramsey.

“The Seventh Crow” is a YA fantasy adventure, a book that I can’t wait to get into my hands. I read the first chapter of it a few years ago, and I have been waiting for the moment where I could read it in its entirety.

Want to know what the gist of the book is? I found this blurb over on Kickstarter.

“A talking crow, a forgotten world and a young girl’s quest to regain her memory, her power and protect the people she cares for.”

What’s not to love??

If you are interest and want to get your own copy, check it out here and watch the video.

Added bonus: Not only do you pre-order your book but there are various and cool perks to each pledge level! 🙂 New stretch goals have also been added!

7th crow

International Women’s Day

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For once I am actually on top of things, and not worrying about being late like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

Today is International Women’s Day, and I have chosen to honor it with my favorite thing in the world: books.

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Books written by my favorite female authors, which include some of my most favorite female characters.

I could have picked a bigger stack of books for this, but then I wouldn’t have been able to get them all in one photo. So I narrowed it down to my top faves.

‘Lover Eternal’ is my favorite book written in J.R Wards ‘The Blackdagger Brotherhood’ series, which features Mary Madonna Luce, who is compassionate, kind, and has a heart made from gold.

‘One’s Aspect to the Sun’ is written by Sherry D. Ramsey. Sherry’s novels and short stories always feature strong and interesting characters. I love Captain Luta Paixon, and her secret. (Wouldn’t it be nice to never look older then your thirties?!)

I’ve loved Jodi Picoult since I read ’19 Minutes’, which is a heartbreaking story that hits too close to home for some. I love how she shows the story for everyone’s aspect, and not just one or two POV’s. In stories such as ’19 Minutes’, seeing those extra POV’s adds depth to the story. Bonus Points: I wrote to her and she signed my card I sent. 😀

Jane Austen. If I could have picked an era to live in, it would have been hers. ‘Sense and Sensibility’ is the novel that made me fall in love with her. I’m a sucker for romance, and I have watched the movie and read the book countless times. The Dashwood sisters remain near and dear to my heart. Although sometimes I have wanted to kick Marianne right in the caboose.

Being the sucker I am for vampires, the supernatural and romance, my guilty pleasure is the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. Although one of her books, towards the last of the series had me irked at the fantastic author, I have still loved each and one of these books. Charlaine has been one of the authors who inspired me to write dark fantasy/paranormal romance, and Sookie will always be one of my favorite female characters. (I’m a book or two behind. Don’t tell me if Sookie did something to fuck shit up.)

J.K Rowling inspired the world and our imaginations with Harry Potter. And what better female to honor today in the fictional world then Hermoine Granger, the bookworm/book smart/street smart lady full of sass who kept Ron and Harry in line. I am happy that someone had the sense to pull her manuscript out of the trash and seen it for what it was and is: pure gold.

Sophie Kinsella has always made me laugh with Becky Bloomwood’s antics, and made me cry in ‘Remember Me.’ No matter what book of hers I am reading, she never fails to entertain me and leaves me wanting more.

Another author that fills my love of dark fantasy is Karen Marie Moning. I started out reading her Highlander series when a client of mine recommended it to me. I devoured them quickly and moved on to her Fever series. The Fever series features MacKayla Lane aka Mac. She’s a girly girl who loves pink, who is thrown into the world of the supernatural and discovers she has a rare talent. I loved watching her transform from Mac 1.0, to the killer mac 5.0.

These are some of the ladies and characters who have inspired me and continue to do so. Aside from my mom of coarse 😉 Where would we be without those women who loved us no matter what and stuck by our side?

What female authors/ characters have inspired you?

Book Review: The Murder Prophet

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MP-cover-FINAL-webBack Cover: Kit Stablefield is a detective with a secret and a crush on a guy she knows only online, in a future where magic is a part of everyday life. But when millionaire Aleshu Coro walks into the offices of Darcko and Sadatake with a message from the Murder Prophet and fourteen days to live, everything changes.

Suddenly Kit is questioning the decisions of her past, trying to find out if the man she loves is, in fact, a man, and hunting for a murderer and a mysterious seer. With her eighty-six-year-old grandmother insisting on helping out, and a sentient goose who simply won’t stop pestering her to watch his “killer” video game moves, Kit has more than her hands full as she races against the clock to prevent Coro’s murder…and possibly her own.

My rating: 5 out of 5

My Review: I am a HUGE fan of Sherry D. Ramsey, and not just because I happen to know her in real life. I have read quite a few of her stories, including her break out novel ‘One’s Aspect To The Sun.’ And even though some of her stories aren’t typically in the genre I read, she never fails at capturing my attention and drawing me deep into the world she has created.

If you love science fiction and fantasy, then this book is for you! It has an intriguing story line with strong and interesting characters.

This novel has so much that I loved. I was hooked right at the beginning when we met Trip, a talking goose who is addicted to video games (and happens to have KILLER ninja moves). Then there is the mysterious man who goes by LemurCandy, an AI with some pep, a group of co-workers who are all very different but manage to work well together, magic, and a mystery when a millionaire has his life threatened.

‘The Murder Prophet’ is full of twists, suspense and secrets, and I was engrossed in the story. The only reason why I hadn’t finished this quicker is because life got in the way. (It has an unfortunate way of doing that sometimes, doesn’t it?)

This was a great read overall. I am really looking forward to the next book and finding out what adventures Kit Stablefield goes on next!

I really wish I could convey just how much I loved this story. With being home sick, I’m not functioning at high capacity. 😉 So if you really want to see for yourself how good it is, go grab yourself a copy and dive in! 🙂

Oh, and as for my Goodreads challenge of reading thirty books this year, I’m on track and this makes five books finished. How many books have you read so far this year?

Book Review: The Laughing Corpse

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Yesterday I finished reading ‘The Laughing Corpse’, book two in the ‘Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter’ series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

The Book Jacket:

Harold Gaynor offers Anita Blake a million dollars to raise a 300-year-old zombie. Knowing it means a human sacrifice will be necessary, Anita turns him down. But when dead bodies start turning up, she realizes that someone else has raised Harold’s zombie–and that the zombie is a killer. Anita pits her power against the zombie and the voodoo priestess who controls it.

In The Laughing Corpse Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried-and some people better off dead…

My Review:

I am a huge fan paranormal (fantasy/romance/horror/mystery) and when I read book one in the series (‘Guilty Pleasures’) I was hooked on the characters and where the story was going. If a book has vampires, zombies, witches and the like, I’m anxious to get it in my hands.

This book however…my feelings are as mixed as the other reviews I’ve read. And to be honest, it was a bit of a let down.

Just for kicks I looked online, to see how others felt about the book. The book has gotten everything from one star ratings (“TERRIBLE!” is one observation), while others have given is a five star review. (“Best book I have read,” was another thought on it.) Me? I am going to have to split the difference and give this a 3 out of 5.

There were parts of the plot that were fast paced and kept me interested. There were some great characters that came into play, like Jean-Claude, the vampire who wants Anita as his human slave. Then there is Anita herself, a strong female character who I love even though I sometimes want to slap her (her sass can come off as bitchiness, in my opinion.) Then there were the villains, my favorite being Dominga Salvador, a strong voodoo priestess. I would have liked to see more of her and what she could do, but I guess when you can have zombies do your dirty work, you can hide a bit.

There were parts, especially in the middle where it ran a bit long, that the plot lost some steam here and there. I’d skim along because I just didn’t care and wanted the story to “hurry up and get better.”

Also, when you are reading a book about a vampire hunter, it would be nice if she, oh I don’t know, at least had more interaction with a vamp aside from getting hit on. But zombies ruled this novel so there wasn’t much time or a chance for her to deal with bad vampires.

I am totally cool with gore. Both on the big screen and in books. My main issue with the gore in this novel dealt with the death of a child. That gore I really didn’t want to read. So that’s my least fave part of the novel.

My favorite part though, was pretty effing cool. Anita is an animator, which means she can raise the dead. And she raised an entire graveyard. The earth shook as hundreds of zombies began to climb out of their grave. She put them all back of coarse, when she was ready.

This book took me months to read, so that tells you right there my interest level. When I picked it back up again a week ago I was determined to finish it. But when I love a book, I devour it pretty quickly. (Unless life gets in the way. It has a way of doing that from time to time.)

Even though this was not even close to being my favorite book and I gave it a three star rating, I will still continue to read the series. It did have an interesting plot over all with a few twists added in. I also enjoyed the first book and want to keep going.

Have you read this? If so, what are your thoughts on it? I’d also love to hear if you read other books in the series and what you thought of them.