Thursday, 23 August 2012

Goodreads Giveaway!

This has been one hot and busy summer with having to juggle guests, promotion, marketing, and trying to get some quality writing time in to finish my next book. One wicked-awesome thing that happened over this summer was being able to hold an actual hard copy of my book, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis! It’s a total dream come true!
In June, limited edition promotional copies were published by my epublisher Musa Publishing for their authors to sell and sign at events like conventions, or school visits, or library readings, or to be used as giveaways and gifts. And this brings me to the reason for this post.

I’m offering up two signed paperback copies of my debut middle-grade/YA time travel adventure, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, over at Goodreads. All you have to do is click on the link below and enter to win. Easy-peasy. The giveaway ends August 31st, so there’s still plenty of time to surf over and enter. Good luck, and may the best reader win!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Five Days...

This post pretty much wrote itself. What would you do if your doctor told you that you only had five days left? That, short of an organ transplant, and you’re damn sure you’d never trust a diagnostic doctor named ‘House’, you only had five days to live. What would you do? What would you say? Who would you spend those last five days with?

True story. My younger brother’s best friend from high school is living this horror now. By the time you read this those five days will most likely be up. This man I speak of was no slacker in life. An Aeronautical Engineer who was part of the team who created the Canadian space arm for the space shuttle, and father of two amazing children, ages 6 and 8, he strived and lived his life with purpose and determination. As I write this, my bro is flying across the country to be with his friend, and I salute him for his compassion and loyalty. Friends like him are hard to come by.
I thought about what I would do if I had only five days left. So, short of reciting Tim McGraw’s ‘Live like you were dying’ song, I want to share with you my last five days…

·         Gather the family for those five days. Laugh, talk, remember, toast (with top shelf scotch of course!), eat fattening food and decadent desserts, have campfires, tell jokes, and cry

·         Cook a turkey, ham and roast beef dinner, invite the neighbors over, and toast again

·         Sit on the dock and watch the sunset. Get up in the morning, turn the Muskoka chairs around, and watch the sunrise

·         Awake early to write as much as I can before the family stirs to push one last story out

·         Give out any advice while I can to my kids and grandkids

·         Get as many foot and back massages as humanly possible

·         Walk and play with the dog, cuddle and stroke the cat

·         Do a private reading of my book and record it for future generations, then upload it on You Tube

·         Hold Hubby close to me before we sleep

·         Steak and lobster on the BBQ with my BFFs, and yes, more toasting

·         Feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair and the sand between my toes

·          Smell every flower, and weed the damn garden one more time

·         Take my last breath with those whom I love the most around me, and say good-bye with dignity and grace

Always remember: Life should not be lived, it should be celebrated!

Update: I wrote this post the end of June. Miracles do happen. My brother’s friend received a partial liver transplant from his sister. He is doing well, and getting stronger with each passing day, I’m told. His sister is doing awesome! She still has her brother, and his family still has a father and husband. You know, I don’t think even Hemmingway could have written that ending. 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Meet Some Awesome YA Authors...

If you’re wondering what book you’d like to read next, hold that thought, and surf by Mera’s YA Booklist starting today, August 13th! Dubbed the Euterpe YA event, you’ll meet two to three awesome YA authors from Musa Publishing’s Euterpe imprint each day until Friday, August 17th.  There will be lots of genres to choose from including dystopian, paranormal, fantasy, time travel, mythology, and contemporary. BTW – you may even have a chance to score a giveaway!
Here’s a sneak peak at each author and the blog schedule:

August 13th
The SkyHorseAuthor interview: Linda Benson

Character interview: H.L. Carpenter
Blog Post: Kaitlin Bevis

August 14th
Author interview: Liz DeJesus

Character interview: Dusty Crabtree
Blog Post: Arley Cole

August 15th
Author interview: Cordelia Dinsmore

Character interview: Mindy Hardwick
August 16th

Love SucksAuthor interview:  Alyssa Liljequist
Character interview: Sage Collins

Blog Post: Jack Hillman
August 17th

Author interview: Samantha Combs
Character interview: Sharon Ledwith

Changing GearsBlog Post: Terie Garrison
So there you have it. A great cast of 14 YA authors assembled for one week to flaunt their raw talents and books. Hope to see you there throughout the week! Cheers and happy reading!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Being an Author? Awesome! Meeting a Reader? Priceless!

So many emotions rise from the depths of your soul when you meet a reader of your book for the first time. Excitement. Anticipation. Happiness. Even fear. Will they like my book? Will they like me? Will they get the book’s theme or message? Will they tell their friends about my book? Will they share, tweet or shout about it? Stop. Pause. Hold it. It’s not about the author. It never was. It’s about the reader. And it always has been.

Once the publishing contract is signed, your book is revised, edited, formatted, and given a beautiful cover, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It belongs to your reader. At least that’s the way this author’s eyes see it. Every author dreams of meeting his or her legions of readers and signing stacks of books for them. It’s an ego boost for sure, but this feeling of meeting someone who actually wants to read a book you’ve written is so primal, so euphoric, it rates up there with having a baby, but with less pain. Unless, by chance you have carpal tunnel syndrome! Ouch!
Recently, I had the chance to meet with three fantastic readers wanting a chance to sink their eyes into the paperback version of my book. It was a surreal moment for me, meeting these young girls, signing whatever it was they instructed me to write on the virgin inside cover of my book. It was humbling. Until you’re in the shoes of an actual author, signing the actual hard copy book, you can’t imagine the emotions, the feelings that bubble up from the vat of rejections and realizations you go through as a writer. Luckily, through fate, or opportunity, or just plain hard work, I got to experience these emotions and feelings first hand, and I’m blessed that I did. Meeting your readers isn’t a job, it’s a privilege. And to me, that’s priceless.

FYI: I will be part of the Euterpe YA Event over on Mera’s YA Booklist next week! The Event runs from August 13th to 17th, with plenty of other talented YA authors for you to check out and add to your reading list. I’m doing a character interview slated for August 17th. Please leave a comment below to tell me which character from The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis you’d like me to interview. Cheers, all!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Dog Days of Summer...

Ahhh, summer. Hot. Sultry. Steamy. Sticky. Humid. I’m sweating just writing those words. Did you know that we’re smack dab in the middle of the Dog Days of Summer? Yup. The Dog Days’ dates run anywhere from July 24th through August 24th. The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the traditional period of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3rd and ending August 11th. Mmm. Better tell my dog that. He started summer way back in May.

Here are some interesting facts about the Dog Days of Summer:

·         The name ‘Dog Days’ comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, a.k.a. the Dog Star, is in close proximity  to the sun and was responsible for the hot weather.

·         The Romans considered Sirius to be the Dog Star because it’s the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog).

·         The Romans sacrificed a brown dog at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot weather.

·         For the ancient Egyptians, Sirius appeared just before the season of the Nile’s flooding, so they used the star as a ‘watchdog’ for that  event.

·         Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time where “the Sea boiled, the wine turned sour. Dogs grew mad and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.”
Being a writer, I looked up ‘phrensies’ and found it was another word for frenzy. I believe it. At times this heat has made me a little frenzied. Frazzled even. Some days it was hard to move, the air was so thick and heavy. My fingers stuck to my computer mouse pad and refused to move. I should have taken a cue from my pets, and given into the Dog Days of Summer by just chill-laxing. Stay cool for the rest of the summer everyone!

Oh, and speaking of cool, the winner of the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop is…drum roll… T. Frances! Congrats, T. Francis, I’ll be contacting you to send you an ecopy of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis in the format of your choice. Cheers!