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What Am I Reading?

Opt2- Lyric Thumbnail

Writers are told they will become better writers if they are also readers. While I’m working on my supernatural, new adult novel, The Knight in Tights, and the sequel to my supernatural YA/new adult sequel to Reno Red, I’m also reading…and listening.

I’m listening to an awesome podcast of a YA drama, Lyric Mother of a Faery Tale. The podcasts will be approximately 15 minutes each—perfect to listen to on the exercise bike, treadmill or anywhere really.

I highly recommend it. Click HERE for the link.

This is Lyrics summary:

Lyric is a 16-part YA audio drama about Ashley Scott, a college student whose life is magically transformed when her family legacy falls on her young shoulders. She planned to survive the summer working odd jobs around Eden College campus, but when mystical beings and reality collide, she’ll settle for keeping her sanity.

Besides the podcast, I have been reading, too. I like paper vs. tablet. Call me crazy.

I just finished Kelley Armstrong’s Visions book 2 in the Cainsville series. I loved Omens book 1, and book 2 is even better. I will be starting Deceptions book 3, soon. The Cainsville series is adult modern Gothic.

I also just finished Hear the Wind Sing (100 pages), and the second book of the trilogy Pinball, 1973 (135 pages) by Haruki Murakami. I don’t know how to describe the works, kind of like the Seinfeld show that was “about nothing,” but the books held my interest—and isn’t that what books are supposed to do.

Next up, Louise Penny’s Still Life, a Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery. Her series was recommended to me by a friend who read it in her book club.

I recommend any books/podcasts above. Please share what you have been reading. I’d be interested to find more good series.

Sock Balls and Other Stuff

Most people may make a list of resolutions—that’s boring, and in most cases, useless. This is a list of things I’ll never understand. Maybe you can relate. If so, leave some feedback—it’s free.

The “Just Why?” List

Sock balls.

Sock Ball message

Floating soap. Ewww and why?

Floating Soap

Empty toilet rolls. Apparently, nobody wants to risk it.

Toilet paper sign

Tags in a tagless society. These jeans practically had a book inside. By this point, just include an instruction manual.

jeans-tags.jpg

Hard to read or non-existent expire dates on food. If I can’t read it, I don’t buy it. Here’s a hint for marketing departments:

  • Black on blue or red is hard to read.
  • Imprinted dates on foil get crushed and ruined.
  • Dates stamped on plastic bottles smear.
  • Stamping dates in black ink over black writing is ridiculous.

RETHINK YOUR PACKAGING. Please and thank you.

Expire date

Dog owners who don’t pick up dog poop when they walk their dogs. I’ve observed people walk away after watching their dog dump at the park. This is not acceptable. Your dog is embarrassed for you. Some bags are free and even give instructions on how to use it. You can argue that nobody picks up after the geese and coyotes at the park—or bears in a forest—or lions in Africa. Don’t be ridiculous. Your dog, your responsibility.

Dog poop bag

None of this takes rocket science, just common sense. If I did have a New Year’s resolution, the top of the list would probably be to help people get a little more common sense in 2020.

 

Wacky, Weird, Wonderful, and Helpful, too!

 
The Rabbit Hole book cover

What happens when you ask a group of writers to write something weird? The Rabbit Hole: Weird Stories Volume 1. This anthology is a wonderful collection of stories and poems that showcase weirdness.

The best part of The Rabbit Hole is that is will be helpful. A percentage of the sales will help to fund mosquito netting in countries where malaria is a huge problem. A small book at a small price can help to buy a small net to save small children from a small insect. The Against Malaria Foundation provides the nets and the gruesome statistics on malaria.

You don’t need another book? Okay, you have friends, don’t you…and white elephant gifts to buy…stocking stuffers…waiting room material…

The paperback will be released soon on Amazon, but you can buy an electronic copy now.

Enjoy the weirdness, and thank you in advance if you decide to purchase a copy.

April Blog Challenge “Art”

blog about it challengeThe Herd blog challenge continues with the theme of Art.

I decided to display art created by my talented artist friends. Most of the featured artists I met through my Nevada Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators group, and they have illustrated children’s books. One of the artists I met playing tennis and another I met from her book review blog. I have listed their websites where you can check out more of their amazing work. Enjoy!

Mayumi Kosaka has several books available featuring her wonderful artwork. Her stories and paintings are influenced from her native Japan.

Mayumi Art

Phyllis Mignard creates fun characters. For her book Draw Color Write (author Ann Pashak illustrator Phyllis Mignard), she created adorable Ro-Bits. Some are shown below.

 Phyllis art

 

Sharon Mann creates fantastic art with material as well as paint, pens, and graphics. She has a creative blog, Make Art Magic Happens where you can get a daily dose of art. She has illustrated many books including  Draw Doodle Color Write (author Ann Pashak illustrator Sharon Mann).   

 Sharon Art

Sharleen Collicott has written and illustrated several picture book series. Her illustrations are adorable, and she can even make bugs look cute.

Mildred and Sam series  

Toestomper and the Caterpillars   

Toestomper and the Bad Butterflies   

Seeing Stars   

 Sharleen Art

 Jerry Blank is not only artistic, but he has one heck of a tennis forehand. His new non-fiction, illustrated book is titled Backroads Nevada. The book delves into what you can find off the state’s major highways along with pen and ink and watercolor illustrations by Jerry.

Currently, he’s not selling paintings online, but you can contact him directly at http://www.goblankart.com/. 

Jazz Impressions: oil on canvas, framed, 48”x30″, Celebration:  oil on canvas, framed, 48”x30″, Tango: oil on canvas, 28”x40″, Lennon: Mixed media original. 22”x28”, Pirates: Mixed media original, 22”x28″, Einstein: oil on canvas, 20″x20″

 Jerry Art.jpg

Natasha Murray  lives in England. She is the author of several books including 3004 and Jack Solar’s Journal. Her Authors, Readers, Good Books and Book Promotions blog features book reviews (she provides free reviews to indie authors-check her guidelines) and author interviews as well as a page of book promotion ideas. Check out her books on the blog, too!     

Natasha Murray Art

 

Ashley’s Bookshelf – Reviews and Interviews

Dagger&Brimstone quotes6Author Interview by Ashley’s Bookshelf

Ashley’s Bookshelf has been awesome in posting author interviews for indie authors. You can read about Town from Hell at Ashley’s Bookshelf, my favorite character from the book, some writing quirks, and my advice to writers.

Ashley’s Bookshelf, listed as a reviewer on The Indie View, features in-depth book reviews for paranormal, sci-fi/fantasy, romance, Christian fiction, YA, mystery, and suspense as well as cover reveals.

 

Just Books Character Interview of Racer Roane

Dagger&Brimstone quotes7The story of “Dagger & Brimstone: Town from Hell” is told from Racer Roane’s point of view. He and his girlfriend Arloe Vitteo experienced the worst vacation ever when they chose to go to Winthrop, Nevada, over glittering Las Vegas. Unlike Vegas’ motto “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” this book tells all about Winthrop, the town from hell.

Just Books caught up with Racer Roane to get an interview about the experience. Read all about it at Just Books blog. You may find out what the factory really is, why the coyotes won’t go near the town, and why the remaining residents are more than a little strange.

 

 

Fallen Over Book Reviews Author Interview

DAB Page 7Read an excerpt from Dagger & Brimstone: Town from Hell at Fallen Over Book Reviews. It will give you an idea why the coyotes won’t venture into Winthrop.

Also, learn more about Town from Hell’s author with Fallen Over’s interview questions.

Have you ever had a nightmare and were able to remember it?

Nevada and Its Ghost Towns

Read about Nevada and its ghost towns and semi-ghost towns on the Totally Addicted to Reading blog. The guest post features the book Dagger & Brimstone: Town from Hell and the reason the story was set in Nevada. Click here to see the book trailer.Welcome to NV 5 small

Pairings That Go Well Together

The right pairings of anything can make a spectacular combination. Mouth-watering combos that prove the point include pretzels and ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate, and apples and caramel. Duets that combine musical artists of different genres, such as country singer Kenny Chesney with rocker Pink (Setting the World on Fire), can create wonderful results as well. In writing, plot points are also paired, and the combinations can make or break a story.

Winning and Losing – A Game of High Stakes

Well-defined plot points, or plot elements, are what give a story depth and stir emotions in a reader. The most important element that a character needs is a goal or problem, which must be resolved by the story’s end. A goal cannot stand alone. It is paired with another element, consequence. Failure to attain that goal or solve a problem leads to the consequence. If a character is willing to do anything to avoid failure, a story will have high-stakes tension. Life and death situations are an example of a high-stakes goal/consequence.

A Good Rollercoaster Ride

Along the way to conquering a goal, a character must have smaller successes and failures. These plot points are called requirements and forewarnings. The combination of these is what gives a story the rollercoaster effect—humps to get over, picking up speed downhill, sharp turns—the fun stuff that leaves a rider (and reader) on the edge of their seat. Requirements give readers a sense of relief that the protagonist is well on his/her way. Forewarnings are setbacks that make a reader turn the pages to see if the protagonist is going to get out of another jam.

Pairings: Dog Quiz

Now for the fun stuff. Speaking of things that go well together, some pairings in the dog world can make adorable pooches. Take the following quiz to see if you can determine what these hybrid canines are. Answers are at the bottom of the blog. No cheating, and yes, there are duplicates.

On a side note, most of the pictured dogs were rescues. Rescued does not mean damaged—it just means a wonderful dog hasn’t met the right person. Consider a rescue when you are ready to adopt. I can personally give you five good reasons why, and four of them are pictured here.

Hybrid Dogs

A  Jack-A-Ranian (Jack Russell Terrier/Pomeranian)

B Aussiedor (Australian Shepherd/Labrador Retriever) looks like an Aussie

C Aussiedor (Australian Shepherd/Labrador Retriever) looks like a Lab

D Chiweenie (Chihuahua/Dachshund) Also known as the Taco Bell dog meets a Weiner Dog, no her ears aren’t Photoshopped!

E Morkie (Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier)

F Doxiepoo (Dachshund/Poodle)

G Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever/Poodle) A large, standard poodle and light golden mix

H Chiweenie (version 2) This one looks more like a dachshund

Not Vamps this time…

Dagger&Brimstone quotes5

Racer finds out what’s under the step. You can, too.

Dagger & Brimstone: Town from Hell. Amazon .99 SALE.