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I am jumping out of my chair excited to share my latest project and soon-to-be-published novel with you… *drum roll*
STORM!!! A young adult mystery-drama about a creative and complex teen boy. Here is the official synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Storm enjoys skateboarding, fixing broken electronics, and building things with his hands. They distract him from the tormented thoughts surrounding the circumstances of his mother’s death. But his problems can’t be avoided forever…
Since his mother’s death, tensions are high at home, the girl of Storm’s dreams is dating someone else, and an argument with his father lands him in the school counselors’ office.
Will Storm overcome his fears, let go of the feelings that have been haunting him, and reveal his long-held secrets? Can his dad ever forgive him? Will the girl of his dreams ever see him as more than a friend?
A true-to-life young adult novel teeming with mystery, romance and intrigue.
This book is full of lots of juicy drama and fun, colorful characters but it's ultimately about relationships, connections and overcoming obstacles. The story has a beautiful message - one that I believe both teens and adults will relate to.
Because this book deals with many issues that teen’s today face, I am donating a portion of the proceeds from sales to youth organizations - something that is very important to me. Some of the organizations that I will be supporting are: Born This Way Foundation, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Hey U.G.L.Y, To Write Love On Her Arms, Love Is Louder, Do Something and Half Of Us.
Storm is scheduled for print release on December 14th, 2012 by DreamFusion Press, LLC, but you can pre-order autographed copies today. Click ELECTRIC to pre-order paperback copies of Storm.
The 6-week countdown to launch starts today, which means you will have many opportunities to win an autographed copy of Storm!
Each week, I will post an activity, puzzle or question related to Storm and all participants will have a chance to win a copy of Storm - just for participating! I will randomly select a winner from the participants of each post, per week to win 1 autographed copy of Storm (6 books in total will be given away). Countdown and giveaway ends on December 14th, 2012. Limit 2 books per person.
That's it! So here's this week's activity to kick off the countdown:
Judge this book by its cover! What do you like most about the cover art? What feelings, thoughts or messages does it convey? What is the boy on the cover thinking about? Answer one or all of these questions in a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Storm!
Be sure to check back next week for an exclusive character interview with Storm himself!
This month marks the one year anniversary of a fairytale-come-to-life experience!
Last year, my debut dystopian novel, My Beginning, won the Halloween Book Festival Award! I attended an awards ceremony at the famous Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California where I mingled with press, celebrities and uber-fabulous Hollywood-ites. It was quite literally a dream come true!
I’m full of overwhelming pride and gratitude for the experience and recognition that was granted to me and my book. So in honor of this momentous occasion, I want to spread the excitement and share my award winning book with you!
I’m giving away 5 free copies of My Beginning!!!
For a chance to win a copy of my book, I’m asking all participants to share one of the following 3 links somewhere on the internet – on your blog, facebook, twitter, etc., with a fun blurb advertising my book. Don’t hesitate to amp up the spirit of Halloween!
Feel free to use an image of my book cover and/or embed book trailer if you’d like.
In order to qualify, you have to leave a comment below with proof that you shared one of these links (provide web address to the shared link). If you tweeted it, attach your twitter url; if you posted it on FB, comment with your FB url & friend me; if you blogged it, include your blog link, etc.
Giveaway ends on Halloween Night – October 31, 2012. Participants will be randomly selected via Random.org. Please make sure I can contact you to send you your prize.
Quotes…They’re everywhere! You see them in magazines, art, motivational posters, greeting cards, knick knacks, movies, clothing… and anywhere else words can be stamped. Quotes have become trendy accessories for our social media personas and maybe even our identities. So what is it about these little nuggets of wisdom (or not) that are so intriguing?
These tiny little micro blurbs pack a big punch! They resonate with something inside of us that we can’t quite find the words for ourselves or have forgotten about. Quotes give us a voice to express our true essence.Most of the time we like to borrow quotes from other people, but I wonder…have you ever quoted yourself?
You don’t have to be a movie star or historical figure to have a quote… just be YOU! Most quotes come from beliefs, insights and experiences. What are you passionate about? What do you strongly believe in? What message do you want to share with the world? Or with your peers?
Your quote is about you. It doesn’t have to be motivational or all knowing – it just has to come from your authentic self. Turn your interests into words or stand up for something you believe in. Your quote can be simple, complex, funny, interesting, quirky or maybe it won’t make much sense at all. Get creative and have fun. That’s what it’s all about!
Is there a quote brewing inside of you? It may take a while for the right words to reveal themselves, but once you have that perfect combination – one that expresses your uber-awesome-self – be proud of it!
Share your masterpiece with friends. Stick in on Facebook under “favorite quotes” and encourage others to create their own quotes, too. There’s something really neat (and inspiring) about seeing your words between quotation marks and a “~” before your name. Embrace your awesomeness! You never know who you might inspire with your words.
I have been a busy little writer and have now added publisher to my growing list of titles. I am the proud co-founder of Anassa Publications, LLC!
It all started with a desire to give the Rocky Mountain Women Writers the opportunity to become published in a compilation. I wanted to give back to the hard-working, dedicated writers who make an effort to help our fellow members and writing community. The idea to put together a collection for the RMWW had been brewing for years, I just wasn’t sure exactly how to piece it all together.
After self-publishing a book for my son, I was inspired to go ahead and begin with the process of creating an anthology that would showcase the works of the Rocky Mountain Women Writers. I teamed up with my good friend, fellow author and RMWW member,Diana Dolan, and together we made it happen!
Diana and I had a vision for a company that would help communities thrive and give writers an authentic publication experience - thus, Anassa Publications, LLC was born!
We are currently accepting submissions for our first project titled, Anything Prose…and Poetry, too!, an anthology that will give special recognition to the Rocky Mountain Women Writers. If you are interested in contributing a story, (or two!), please check out our SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.
The submission deadline for theAnything Prose anthology is September 30th. I hope that you’ll consider sharing your stories with us!
Be sure to check out our website www.AnassaPublications.com, as we will be announcing exciting news and projects in the coming months.
Check out my new look and mosy around a bit. There are lots of handy resources, tips and ideas, as well as fun doodles, links and info about me and my projects. Stop by and say hi. I'm excited to share my new site with you!
I am super excited to announce that I have been awarded the Sunshine Award by the lovely Katrina DeLallo. Thank you, Katrina! :)
The rules for this reward are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you 2. Answer 10 questions about yourself 3. Write a post about it 4. Pass it along to 10 other bloggers
Here are the ten questions and my answers. I hope you enjoy reading them!
1. Favorite color? Red. It used to be green when I was younger, but now I love red.
2. Favorite animal? Either cats or horses. I love frogs too. Hmmm, it's difficult to pick just one!
3. Favorite number? Four. I decided this when I was very young. I'm not sure why, I think I like the way it looks and that it is an even number.
4. Favorite drink? Bhakti Chai and Latte's. Tea and coffee - slices of heaven.
5. Facebook or Twitter? I lean more toward Facebook but Twitter intrigues me. I use both - Facebook much more often.
6. My passion? Writing, miniatures and creativity of all kinds. I also love to dance. My passion in life is to spread hope and inspiration to others, particularly children of all ages. I am very passionate about helping and supporting children.
7. Getting or giving? Giving. I'm a giver for sure. :)
8. Favorite pattern? I like abstract designs and artistic versions of patterns. If I had to choose a traditional pattern - I find myself drawn to stripes in clothing.
9. Favorite day of the week? Saturday.
10. Favorite flower? Lilacs and daffodils.
Below are the 10 sunshiny bloggers I have chosen to pass on this award to. I hope you'll get a chance to stop by and check out their inspiring blogs.
Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale. ~Hans Christian Anderson
One of my favorite places to write is in my own backyard. I am constantly inspired by the colors, smells and sounds of nature. Now that spring has sprung, there are so many new wonders to behold! While frolicking in my garden, I snapped photos of various flowers with a little fairy spirit. I've added quotes for further inspiration and fun. Enjoy! :)
Each fairy breath of summer, as it blows with loveliness, inspires the blushing rose. ~Unknown
2 Comments on Fairies in the Garden, last added: 4/9/2012
I am super excited to be one of six authors participating in the Read, Write, Publish event going on this weekend! If you are in or near the Denver area, come join us for an inspiring afternoon.
Authors will share their experience, strength and hope on writing, publishing and everything in-between. Guests will have a chance to mingle and talk with authors and learn about their latest books.
We've got an awesome lineup of amazing local authors, including Andrea Costantine, Donna DeNomme, Jan Haas, Melissa Kline (me), Mary Ramstetter, Kate Denrinos-Rickle and Kindle conversion expert, Brian Schwartz.
FREE admission, refreshments, door prizes and inspiration for all!
Here are the details...
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Time: 1:00 -4:00 pm
0 Comments on Read, Write, Publish Event as of 1/1/1900
The other day I was happily typing away, making great progress on a side-story that I had been working on intermittently for months. In the midst of typing, the entire document suddenly turned into asterisks. Every single word magically poofed into an asterisk before my eyes! My story was completely destroyed within a millisecond.
I tried everything I could possibly think of to bring it back, but the document had already been auto-saved and my attempts were useless. Unfortunately, I had not saved this particular story on my trusty flash drive (which I normally do, but since it was a side-story, I didn't bother) and was not connected to my Apple Time Capsule, so all of my hard work is literally gone forever.
My world is crushed. :( I'd gotten way more attached to this side story than expected.
The program I was using is the 2011 Microsoft Word, which I chose to use because it is practical and efficient for my business as an author. Upon doing research, I found that the mysterious "asterisk attack" was a bug within the MS Word application. Supposedly, the bug has been fixed and can now be prevented with a simple software update. I am skeptical.
The good news is that I have found an awesome program called, Scrivener - a word processing program made specifically for writers by Apple. I may just have to give all of my stories a new home. :)
I am sharing this with you as a reminder to always back up and save your work in multiple formats, regardless of how big, small or seemingly unimportant. Technology is wonderful, but it can seriously backfire on you.
Lesson of the day: Never forget to back up your work!!!
Here are 6 ways to protect your precious documents:
1. Frequently save to a flash drive
2. Print hard copies
3. Email document to self or someone trustworthy
4. Back up on an external hard drive, Time Capsule, etc.
5. Create multiple saved versions on your computer
6. Regularly update software
Have you ever had technology backfire on you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
I am a romance nut! Valentine's day is one of my favorite holidays because it's the only time of year that I can get a deal on vintage and slightly used romance novels at my local library. I always look forward to rummaging through heaps of festively decorated boxes in search of a new collection.
I love the smell, feel and look of old books and those quirky, unique novels that end up being a fantastically delightful read. The book covers are in themselves a type of mini art show with so many colors, scenes and depictions. The entire experience is a treat!
This year I took home 39 books for under $10.00! The majority of the novels I chose are historical, nautical and paranormally influenced. Every year it's something different! The enormous variety of plots and themes in the romance novel world amazes me. I never knew that the genre was so diverse. There truly is something for everyone.
I'm not sure where my fondness for romance novels came from, other than the fact that I've always been a hopeless romantic. There's always a touch of romance in all of my own stories. I find that when I read a lot of romance, I tend to walk around with the "rose-colored-glasses" syndrome. Life is lighter when you add a pinch of love. :)
Here are just a few of the treasures I can't wait to dig into:
Card made from watercolor paper, paint and heart sequins.
Have you ever been so inspired or passionate about someone that you'd create little tokens of love just to make them happy? A note, words of warmth, a doodle or drawing... these gestures can mean so much.
While going through old boxes, I rediscovered paintings, writing and crafty projects that I had created for my husband when we were dating. These mementos brought a smile to my face because they reminded me of how passionate and inspired I was by our new love. I put so much time and effort into these creations because it was important for me to convey how much I cared about him.
Love collage made from magazine clippings.
"I Love..." cards made with paper, marker and colored pencils.
It occurred to me that these tokens are also abundant in books and movies. There seems to be some kind of object that is used as a sign of affection or love in many romantic story lines. In my book, My Beginning, Aidan gives Ivory a necklace, which has very special meaning.
Can you think of a movie or book that included a love token? How was it woven throughout the story?
4 Comments on Inspired by Love, last added: 2/10/2012
One of my favorite New Years rituals is to start fresh with clear goals and intentions. I've created a fun, easy writing exercise which helps to give focus and direction to these goals. Follow the three easy steps below to manifest the year of your dreams. :)
Step 1: Past – List of Accomplishments
Think of everything, big or small, you have accomplished in the past year and write it down. These should be things you feel really good about – efforts you are proud of, successes, goals met, unexpected or planned circumstances. List anything and everything that makes you feel good about yourself and what you have accomplished recently.
Step 2: Present – Gratitude List
List the things that you are thankful for in the present moment or as a whole. It could be as simple as, “I am grateful for the roof over my head, food to eat, etc.” You may have to start with the basics to warm up but I have found that it gets easier the more you write. Incorporating a gratitude list into your daily routine is a wonderful practice.
Step 3: Future – List of Goals / Dreams / Wishes
Write down the things you wish to accomplish in the New Year. Try to stay optimistic, realistic and flexible. Your list will most likely shift and change but it is nice to have some guidance and a visual reference.
Added bonus: Create a vision board of your goals, dreams and wishes. Find pictures, scenes or words that convey what is on your list and in your heart, then paste them onto posterboard. You can add to your vision board all year long.
Here's to a Happy, successful New Year! I believe in you! :)
I was one of twelve Denver authors who participated in the 2nd annual Twelve Books of Christmas Party this holiday season. The event was held at The Baker St. Pub & Grill in Greenwood Village where 200+ guests enjoyed hors d’oeurves, conversation and books!
With author and 12 Books of Christmas founder, Polly Letofsky
It's week four of the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest, which means this is the last post of the fest. I've had a blast participating in this warm, fuzzy and super inspiring fest! It's been so much fun making new writer friends, reflecting on my WIP and learning more about who I am as a writer. Thank you Juliana Brandt for hosting such a fun fest! And thanks to all of the wonderful writers who participated. You're all so talented and creative!!! :)
Here is our final prompt:
This week, post what makes writing worth it for you and most importantly, post one of your Warm Fuzzy moments. It can be a scene from a WIP, short story, poem, anything that strikes your fancy. Visit one another’s posts and enjoy the writing you find there.
The moment when my characters and I become one, when I can't tell if I'm leading or following, when I'm living and breathing writing without a pen, paper or laptop in hand - that's what makes writing worth it to me. I love it when the magic takes hold and I'm no longer in control. Writing is and always has been my escape, my nirvana, my serenity.
My favorite warm fuzzy moment or what makes me warm and fuzzy is knowing that I always have writing, no matter what. My WIP's and characters give me a warm fuzzy feeling of safety and security. I know that I can always express what I need to through writing and it can stay mine.
Take a moment to look at the trouble you get your MC into. How do you kick them while they’re down? Without revealing too many secrets about your WIP- take us through your MC’s arch. Visit as many blogs as you can and based on their exert/summary, come up with a title for their WIP. Your title can be funny or serious, whatever you’d like.
My MC's arch:
My current WIP is top-secret, so I'm going to give a short synopsis of another WIP. Here goes...
Storm enjoys skateboarding, soldering and hooking up with his brother’s girlfriend. Losing his virginity to Holly is a good distraction from the feeling that he killed his own mother. But there’s a problem… he despises Holly. Kelly is the girl of his dreams. Storm is in a tangle and the guilt that his dad lays on him only intensifies his problems. An argument lands him in the school counselors’ office where he finds unexpected friendship. Will Storm overcome his fears and let go of the feelings that have been haunting him?
This week we are supposed to post pictures or piece of music that describes our Work In Progress and answer this question: What do you look to when you write? What inspires you? How else do you use your creativity? Music? Pictures? Art?
When it comes to my stories and characters, I am extremely creative! I've been using creativity to dive deeper into my projects for years. In fact, I've even done workshops on infusing creativity into the writing process. It's what I do! So here are a few of the methods I use for inspiration:
I am so excited to introduce Sherry Ellis, who is the author of, That Baby Woke Me Up, AGAIN! and That Mama is a GROUCH! - two brilliant picture books! Sherry's talents and insights are as interesting as her books. She has become a huge inspiration to me and I am so honored to call her a friend. Read on to learn more about this courageous author, mom and musician, (to name a few). ;)
1. When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?
I’d have to say that I first considered myself a writer when I held the galley copy of my first book in my hands.It was an “ah ha” moment.Prior to that, I never really thought of myself as a “real” writer.Writing was just something I liked to do.
2. How old were you when you wrote your first book?
Do I really have to give my age?Seriously though, my first “official” book was written s
I have been using creativity to dive deeper into my stories, characters and novels for most of my life. I've learned that imagination and inventiveness can be used in all aspects of writing, regardless of what kind of a writer you are - whether you're currently writing or not. Using creativity as an aid to the writing process helps to “unblock” your mind and get to the heart of your projects... and it's fun!
This weekend I am hosting a workshop called, "A Creative Approach to Writing," at The Boulder Writers Workshop where I'll be sharing the various ways I've learned to infuse creativity into all facets of writing.
For all of my blogging buddies who aren't able to attend, I've included links in the list below to give you a taste of what I'll be sharing.
2 Comments on A Creative Approach to Writing, last added: 9/22/2011
Last week I took a trip to the Eastern United States to visit my publisher, Lucky Press, LLC, and to reunite with some writing buddies at a Highlights foundation workshop.
My first stop was in Athens, Ohio, where the Lucky Press headquarters is nestled amongst a forest of trees on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. From the moment I stepped off of the airplane in Columbus, I was pampered with first class treatment. I felt like the luckiest author in the world!
with publisher Janice Phelps Williams
During my stay, my dear friend and publisher Janice Phelps Williams took me sightseeing throughout Athens and the surrounding areas. I was enchanted by the New England architecture, cozy small town charm and hills of lush green trees.
We stopped in a place called, Old Man's Cave where multiple trails wind through massive rock formations amongst trees, bridges and old stone walkways. It was a visual treat!
1 Comments on Visit with Lucky Press, last added: 10/11/2011
The journey started with a couple of days of exploring the nostalgic west Hollywood, including taking a trek up to Griffith Observatory, mingling with crowds in front of the Kodak theater, stepping on stars on Hollywood Boulevard, and enjoying some exotic beverages and meals.
I'm participating in the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest hosted by YA author Juliana Brandt. The premise of the blogfest was so fun, that I couldn't pass it up. It's all about connecting with other writers and celebrating who we are as literary creatives.
To kick off the fest, we're supposed to answer this question:
How do you broach the subject of being a writer to other people who aren’t authors? Be it good or bad, funny or sad, share with us the best response you’ve heard when you’ve told someone you’re a writer. Also, tell us, do you tell other people that you’re a writer?
I am very proud to call myself a writer / author and love to share that fact with others. I was a closet writer for many years so sharing and owning my writing title now is very important to me. I will admit, though, I do prefer to be called an author, but only because becoming one was a dream come true for me! I don't get treated differently as a "writer" or "author". In fact, I've noticed that most people seem more comfortable with "writer."
The best response I've heard from telling others that I am a writer is, "Me too!" There are SO many of us out there! It seems to be one of those things that people don't openly admit unless someone else does - which I do - so it is neat to see others open up. The most rewarding responses for me have been inspiring children to write their own stories, connecting and inspiring people who I least expected to and making lots of new friends.