Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Catch Fire!

Today is the Catch Fire Blog Party, celebrating the release of CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh! The goal is to help CassaFire “catch fire” on the best seller charts and achieve the success of the first book, CassaStar. There’s also a special package of prizes being given away at the author’s blog (copies of CassaFire, CassaStar, tote bag, mug, and bookmarks) as well as book giveaways during his two-week blog tour. See Alex’s site for details:http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/


Here's a blurb on the book:

CassaFire
by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities. 

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

And it's available now at these locations:


Check out the super cool book trailer;


Congrats to Alex and here's to CassaFire's book birthday!! Don't forget to hop over to his blog for the giveaway!

Have you read CassaStar yet? If so, are you excited for the sequel? What other books are you looking forward to releasing? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tag, You're It!

Okay, so Courtney Pearson over at Writer by Day, Mommy Always tagged me and wants to know my answers to a few questions. In other words, she tagged me ... and now I'm tagging YOU!


Here's the questions:

1. Plotter or Panster?


Big time plotter... BUT a lot of my story comes from drafting spontaneously, I've just got my outline and characters all mapped out beforehand. And if there's world building, I plot a good 2 months before writing. But I get as much of a high from plotting as I do from pantsing, it just makes the revisions a heckuva lot easier when I've plotted ahead of time. 


2. Who is your fave character and why?


Tough to choose only one. But a few are Hannibal Lecter, Scarlett O'Hara, Count Dracula, Edmond Dantes from Count of Monte Cristo, Hermione Granger, Matilda, Samwise Gamgee, Legolas, Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair ... just to name a few. Each one is multi-layered so they feel real in my mind.


3. Name 2 things within arms reach


coffee and cell phone


4. If you could go back and do anything over again, what would it be?


I'd go back to like age 8 on Christmas morning and just feel that joy again... just for a day ... but wrapped in love and family and no worries. And I think I got a really cool game that year... Merlin. Anyone remember those handheld electronics? And an 8-Ball ... I got one of those too!


5. Date with a celebrity, who would you pick?


This has changed over the years for sure... but at present, I'd pick something really geeky like George Lucas so I could convince him to a hook a sister up with some film connections. ;) 


6. What is your fave song?


Sheesh, I can never give just one answer. I am widely eclectic. I love everything from New Age to Techno to Classical to Classic Rock to Jazz to Alternative. But just to throw an answer out, for now, I'll say Little Star by Madonna... not Lucky Star ... Little Star... It's a song she wrote for her daughter when she was little and it's a song I sing to my daughter all the time. My little girl loves it and sings it with me. So cute. 


7. What genre do you write in?


I write for kids: YA, MG  and within that age group, I write contemporary, fantasy, light sci-fi, suspense. I love all genres too!


8. Fave thing to do other than write?


Dance, any kind of craft with my hands, travel, read, watch movies, swim


9. Coolest thing you've ever done?


I've gotten to do some pretty cool things all over the world. I've climbed the Great Wall of China, walked barefoot through the Taj Mahal, rode an elephant through the jungles of Thailand, scuba dived beautiful reefs in Hawaii and Mexico, sipped cappuccino on the Spanish Steps of Rome, taken a gondola ride through Venice, gazed on the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Michelangelo's David and Sistene Chapel, hiked a mountain ridge in Alaska, horseback riding in Costa Rica and Montana, okay okay... you get the idea.  I've been blessed to do a lot so far.


10. Coolest place you've ever been?


Um, see above for a few on the list... lol


11. Favorite quote? 


"Less is More." Mies Van der Rohe   It just applies to almost everything in life. 


Okay, so now it's YOUR turn! How would you answer these questions? Either do so in the comments, or post it on your own blog and let me know so I can check it out! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dear Sea Witch ....

This month on the Blog Chain, Amparo wants us to post a love letter to a villain. How fun! And I have lots of fave villains, but this particular letter is to someone very near and dear to my heart .... I give you,

                                                                         THE SEA WITCH

Dear Ursula,

Okay, sister, I'm gonna give it to ya straight. My dogs are barkin' ... and I don't mean those furry four legged friends, I mean my feet. I'm done with all the walking, running, dancing. I want to SWIM! Please oh please give me fins! I was never truly a land-lubber--my heart just ain't in it. Deep down inside I've always known I was meant to swim. The ocean's my true home. It calls to me every time I see it ... the sound, the smell, the salty taste on my skin.

And let's not forget about all those trippy fish and brain corals. A feast for the eyes! Sure, I know the water's cold and I'll get sick of seaweed salad and sushi for every meal, but I'm willing to sacrifice. And I realize I won't get to see my family all the time, but there's these things called shell phones now. I'll call, I promise! And hey, if you can swing turning the whole fam's feet into fins, I'll be your personal slave .... um, okay, not really... but I'll do a lot of work for you, like dust your cave or polish your pearls or whatever. I'm talkin' mega elbow grease right here. Don't doubt the dedication.

I know you've got it in ya, Ursula. Work with me now. I got a little girl who wishes on stars to be a mermaid and a son who wants to be a professional diver. We got this. And yeah, I know, I know.... there's your price to discuss. Well, I'm open for negotiations. Take my word for it, you don't want my voice... although I'm sure Hubby would beg you to take it. But I've got other attributes, aside from my impressive tidying abilities .... I'm pretty darn good at making up fish tales. BIG ones too. And who doesn't need a good fish tale?

Well, actually, I need one. A fish tail. Which is why I'm writing you this letter. Only you have such awesomely impressive power, and only you, I'd consider making such a barter with. Forget that little mishap with Ariel. You and me, we'll reclaim what you lost. And if I'm lying, I'm a fish faced urchin, and I'll bow before your veloptuous greatness forever.

Come on, girl. Hook a sister up!

I'll be waiting. You've got my shell number. Use it.

Your humble servant,

PK

The SHE-POWER that is URSULA

How about you? Which villain would you write to and show your love, and why?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Getting Hot in Here!

Happy Valentine's Day!! Also known as, Single's Awareness Day. LOL

 Today is also the Is it Getting Hot in Here blogfest, hosted by Cassie Mae and Hope Roberson. And they want to see posts of kisses that could melt butter. Click on the pic below to get to blogfest HDQ, but don't go yet ....



I'm posting a first kiss between two of my characters from a YA contemporary romance story I wrote a couple years ago called Starsong. Just to set the scene before I post the snippet, Wynonna and Sami are sixteen and although come from totally different backgrounds and cultural beliefs, they've found a common thread through music. In this scene, they've met at the lake on Fourth of July, originally to practice music, but something else happens ...

  I can feel his presence like he's already touching me. The hairs on my arms are standing up like a static current just settled over my skin. I look at his face, his eyelids are heavier than before. Thank God it's dark, I'm sure I'm blushing right now.
            “You reminded me how much I love to sing,” I say.
            “You didn't need me for that. You just needed to find your voice.”
            “Maybe. Guess it was kinda stupid of me to stop singing—just cause of my mom.”
            “We all do stupid things sometimes.”
            “Oh, so you agree with me then? That figures.”
            His face looks serious.
            “I was … just teasing you ...” My heart beats faster.
            “I know,” he says, inching closer to me. “I know you have this thing with your mom, and some time I'd like to talk about it, but not tonight.”
            The first of the fireworks whistles through the night, then pops and crackles over the trees. Neon colors splatter across the sky, reflected by the lake, and drawing my attention away for only seconds.
            I look back at Sami, his face is only inches from mine. “Fireworks,” I say.
Duh. Way to be Captain Obvious, Wynonna.
            Sami says nothing. He takes one of my hands in his, then the other, standing in front of me now. His hands are warm, skin smooth. I can smell the sandalwood on his clothes.
            He raises our hands between us, our fingers intertwining slowly, then palms pressing together with more force. And that's all it takes—a single touch to trigger the feelings that have built inside of me. We embrace. I allow my hands to run up along his back, feeling the warmth of his body, welcoming it.
            A gasp escapes my lips. I didn't know he'd feel this good. He caresses my arms, my back. Still our lips haven't met. Something so erotic stirs inside me—a swirling of emotion and desire like I've never felt. He pulls just barely away from me. I search his face for a sign.
            His eyes are blazing like embers, making my insides twist into a knot. His face approaches mine. Our lips touch, blend, unite. His mouth is like comfort food—warm, nourishing. I let the passion inside me take over my body, kissing him harder, deeper. He lifts me up, our lips still locked together, as he carries me.
            Fireworks still whistle, pop, and crackle overhead, but I can't tell if they're from my body or from the pyrotechnic display. I don’t care which it is. All I care about is Sami here with me, our bodies together.


Hey thanks so much for stopping by here and reading! I love your comments and always return the favor, even if it's a day or two late. :)


Are you also participating? If so, leave me your number and I'll check it out. Or is their a kiss from a particular story, book or movie or TV show, that really melts your butter? Please share ... and have a day filled with love!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back to My Roots ....

Today's the Origins blogfest with almost 200 participants letting it all hang out: what prompted us to start writing, blogging, pursue writing dreams, etc.


Click on the pic above to get to blogfest HDQ and check out all the entries ... BUT before ya go, let me tell you a little about how I knew I wanted to write stories ....

Basically, while all the other little girls my age were taking dance and cheer classes, I was alone in my room making up stories and drawing characters. I loved stories more than anything. Maybe because I'd sit in the back yard swing with my dad for hours listening to him tell me stories--some of which he made up, some of which were re-tellings. Either way, they sent my imagination soaring out of control.

I still have everything I ever drafted or drew as a child, and this year I hope to start a project for an early reader/chapter book based on a character I created as a child.

As for my mom, she was, and still is, a book-aholic. She reads anything and everything and her books are shelved like trophies in her library at home. So between my mom's excessive reading, and my dad's over-the-top storytelling, I was destined to snuggle up to fiction-writing like a cozy blanket.

And after I realized I was narrating my walks home from the bus stop, I knew I was always going to be a writer. As I grew older, I realized I needed to experience life before my writing could be taken seriously. So I yearned for wisdom and experience. I went to school, I traveled, I met lots of people, and then one day in my early thirties I decided it was time I take my writing seriously.

And I haven't been able to stop ever since.

So that's my origin story. How about you? What's yours? 

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Tumble 4 Ya

Today's the Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest and I'm posting a bit on my crush from the 80's.


What can I say about the 80's? I went from an 8 year old to a teen during that decade, so it was smack dab in the middle of my growing up. And although I had many crushes, the one I remember as being the most intense, involves this scene right here:


Yep, that was just about the time puberty hit for me, and seeing all those glistening muscles left me drooling. I had a crush on every single one of them. Honestly, I've never been a fan of Tom Cruise's acting, but he was hot stuff in the 80s, as was Val Kilmer, who later rocked my world playing Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's The Doors.

So there you have it. I would've tumbled for any one of these babe's back when I was a freckle-faced, metal-mouthed, Aqua-net-plastered tween entering full teen-dom.

Don't forget to click on the cassette tape above to get to blogfest HDQ and see the other entries.

How about you? Who was your 80's crush? Or if that was after your time, looking back, who rocked your world? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hodge Podge

Hi, friends! I've been locked away in my dungeon, knee-deep in beta reads and revisions, and I've been neglecting the ol' blog here.

Just wanted to share a few blogfests happening around the blogosphere that I'll be participating in next week, and  there's still time to sign up for them.

First: Nickie Elson is having a Tumble 4 Ya blogfest where you post your 80's crush.

DL Hammons is hosting an Origins blogfest where you post on when and how you discovered you wanted to be a writer.

Cassie Mae and Hope Roberson are hosting a Valentine's blogfest where you post something romantic. ;)

And I wanted to share this link on overdone things in YA/MG fiction. I found it on Jess's blog Falling Leaflets. She has a wealth of resources for writers, so be sure to check her out!

I'll be watching Cupid's Connection very closely the next couple of weeks. Lots of great queries and opening lines being judged by a panel of agents. Check out this awesome new platform for writers to present their work. It's similar to Miss Snark's First Victim, but it's brand new and there's a great vibe going on there.

And just for fun, here's a pic I took a few months ago at our garage sale:


                                                                               My angels. lol!

I'm scuttling back to my revision dungeon now.... see ya soon!

Do you have any blogfests or cool links to share? I'll mention them in my next post!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Write, and You May Die ....

Run, and you'll live ... at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this one to that, for one chance... just one chance to come back here and tell anyone who believed you couldn't do it, that they may not believe in us, but they will never take the belief we have in ourselves!!!


What will you write with that freedom?

Now get out there and write as free men and women!

Find more posts today and on the first Wednesday of every month at