Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5, 4, 3, 2, 1... A to Z

Yes, five days to go and then A to Z is here. I'll be completely prepared by this time tomorrow. I'm looking forward to having new friends visit here and finding more out in the blogosphere.

Even though a three veteran of A to Z, I have some concerns going into the month of April. I'm over 20K into my next book and I would like to keep the momentum going but I know I won't have as much time. It's also that time of year when I need to get a lot of yard work going. Between the weather these past few months, there's a bigger mess than usual in the yard. With such a cold March, including snow yesterday, I've started nothing outside. More demands on my time. I want to really give max effort this year and have imposed stress on myself about it.

Last year I didn't get around to all the blogs but I hope to do that this year. But I want to do it at a pace that I can enjoy the experience. My minion duties won't be a burden and I intend to visit all my regular blog buddies and also visit back anyone who visits me. That leads me to some tiny bits of advice.

Make a strategy for your experience. Decide how many blogs you can visit and enjoy. Some days you might not reach your goal but on other days you might do more. You can use Sunday to catch up or use it as a day to step away from the keyboard. If you can manage, don't so all your visits in one session. Visit some and then do something else. Come back to it later if you can.

I'd like to wish Terri Rochenskie good luck with your upcoming release, Love's Sorrow. Beautiful cover, isn't it. Her release date is April 21st.

My last bit of advice it to take a break between now and next Tuesday. This is my last post until April 1st. Are you ready? Any last bits of advice? Do you rest on Sundays or catch up? Do you have a strategy?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stephen Tremp: Science And The Supernatural, or E=Mc2

It's my great pleasure to introduce Stephen Tremp today as part of his blog tour for Escalation. You don't want to miss this one. I certainly didn't. Please read my review on Amazon along with lots of others and you'll be convinced. So take it away, Stephen.

What Is Your Why? Can you define a platform you can build your brand on? For my platform, I want to help bridge the gap between science and the supernatural in order to help explain the universe and our place in it. For my brand, I want people to associate wormholes and portals between our four dimensional world and other dimensions that most likely exist, with me and my books.
I can think of no greater division between people than science and the supernatural. All too often, both parties draw a line in the sand that might as well be as wide as the Grand Canyon, then take separate sides and shout out just how ignorant each other are. 
Let’s explore this a little deeper.
Little Johnny won’t go to sleep. He’s sure there is a monster under his bed. Little Susie cries out in the middle of the night. She knows she saw a creature in the closet. Your crazy aunt Edith swears she sees angels protecting you and the rest of the family members.
An over active imagination? Unfounded fears? Flashbacks? Maybe. Maybe not.
Since man has walked this Earth, people from every culture claim to have seen, heard, and even touched beings that can only be described as not of this world. We live in a four dimensional universe of up and down, left and right, back and forth, and time. At least, that’s all we can perceive with our five senses.
But what if there are more dimensions? Certain scientific theories seem to support and even predict such things in a most elegant way. And there could be a whole lot of wonderful, strange, and terrifying beings that live there. Well, if so, no worries. At least they’re there and we’re here. Right?
 Excerpt from Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan, after an encounter with good and evil beings not of this world 
“If angels and demons are hyper-beings, creatures that exist in extra dimensions, then they can manifest themselves as angels of light. Perhaps they can easily roll right out of additional dimensions of hyperspace as light, or pure energy. Then they convert to mass in our three-dimensional universe as a being we can perceive with our five senses.”
But how can they do that? Albert Einstein was way ahead of his time. E=MC2. Equal means the same. Energy and mass times the speed of light squared are the same thing. So once again, an angel or a demon could step back and forth between dimensions at will (as long as they have authority to do so). Energy to mass, or a physical being that can be seen, heard, smelled, and touched. Then from mass right back into energy and poof, they’re gone just as quickly as they appeared.
So perhaps those monsters or angelic sightings we saw as children were more than imaginary. Kids. Their innocent minds are not as polluted as ours when it comes to viewing and perceiving the world we live in.

Stephen Tremp is the author of the Breakthrough series. Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, paranormal, action, horror, and even romance.
Stop by Stephen's blog and find more of his insightful thoughts on science and our future.

And to download Escalation: The Adventures of Chase Manhattan At Amazon
Thanks, Stephen. So readers, do you think there are other dimensions? If so, what will we find there? Have you checked out Stephen's blog and followed his tour?




Friday, March 21, 2014

A to Z Theme Reveal

Writerly Sam organized this great idea of theme reveal. Last year I had no trouble coming up with a theme. I tossed three different ideas around this year and outlined some posts until I decided on one. A little over a year ago I led an online class about world building. As someone who writes and has published multiple fantasy and science fiction series, I always do world building. My posts are mostly a series of questions.

Because the list is in alphabetical order, my questions are not in order of importance for building a world. Minor details will be mixed in with major ideas. I hope the list will help someone creating their world for their book or short story. Even contemporary stories set in small towns 'world build' as the author creates that make believe village.

As you check out the different themes posted today, my advice is to take a chance on a blog not in your area of interests. It's tempting for me to only look for blogs that are about writing but there are lots of other wonderful blogs to follow. One of my favorite blogs, The Happy Whisk, posts mostly about cooking. I love that blog and Ivy is so funny, she makes me smile every day. You're going to find some lovely bloggers with great things to say. Just my humble advice.

Do you have a theme this year? Do you have a favorite blog that isn't about writing? Do you have an interest in world building?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One Great Place to Be

Today I'm being interviewed at Ellie Garratt's blog. She asks very interesting questions. I hope you stop by and say hi to me and Ellie. I'll also give a shout out to The Marine's Queen.

Today and tomorrow I'm working on my A to Z posts for the IWSG blog. I only have to do four of those and have some outlines jotted down. Less than two weeks to go.

A little bit of ice this morning and then hopefully I can stop complaining about winter for at least six months. Sorry you had to read my whining for this past season. I won't even complain about the heat in the summer. I hope to hear the geese flying south soon. No sign of any bulbs poking their sprouts above ground yet.

Now for a little advice from my Old Farmer's Almanac planner. For a good-tempered relationship, buy an engagement  ring on a Wednesday.

My outline is all done for my next book though I don't have even a small idea for a title. I've been helping my husband with some of his work, letting my own fall behind.

Do you know Ellie? Do you remember what day of the week you became engaged on? What signs of spring have you seen? 

Monday, March 17, 2014


This weekend I finally finished all my A to Z posts for this blog. I've had them outlined but hadn't taken the time to sit at my desk and put the hours needed into scheduling them. This weekend, especially on Sunday, I made my goal and focused on it like I was working on the last chapter of the novel.

Focus is one of my strengths though I can also procrastinate like a pro. I have to feel the pressure. I wanted to get my A to Z posts completed so I could concentrate on the outline of my next novel. I always used my time running to think about my current works. This one has seen a lot of miles and I'm anxious to type those lovely words, chapter one. I know I won't get very far on it during April but even tiny progress will help me stay focused. Now that I have those posts all ready, I can focus on writing.

I still have to finish my posts on the group blog, IWSG. The group is participating in A to Z also so I hope you remember to visit. And check out the new post at IWSG today.

Hopefully today is our last snow storm of the endless winter. I'm ready to name our little bit of acreage Winterfell. If I see an ice wall growing in the back yard....

But Frozen comes out on video tomorrow so I guess I'll at least watch some snow and ice for another day. Did you do any writer related work over the weekend? Have those posts ready? Are you a focused person when working on your writing?

Happy St. Patty's Day. No green beer for our house or Irish whiskey.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Fun Times

How about a few notes of appreciation and shout outs for today. Toni DePalma is kicking off her blog tour for her newest release, The Devil's Temptation. This is on my TBR list. Love that cover and here's a short blurb.

Fighting the Devil brought Cooper and Grace together. But without a little evil to spice things up, the everyday life of a normal teenager is pretty dull. A summer job crewing on a billionaire’s yacht in sunny Italy might be just the ticket to rekindle passion. While the setting is perfect, the winding, sinister back streets of Naples are also the perfect playground for a scorned Lucifer to wreak havoc. And if evil doesn’t rip them apart, the sultry billionaire’s daughter and the sexy First Officer might be what it takes to finally destroy Cooper and Grace’s love forever.

Buy The Devil's Temptation today.

A special thanks to Crystal Collier. I won a book on her blog. I'm very much looking forward to reading Scotland's Guardians by Katharina Gerlach. Watch for my review.

A little wisdom from the Old Farmer's Almanac to think about this weekend. "To avoid nightmares smell your socks before going to bed." Let me know if that works.

Hopefully next week I'll be sharing the news that I have my A to Z posts finished. Those are my weekend plans.

Don't forget to read those wormfest posts. They're all so thought out as we embrace the future at the same time we have concerns of where it might take us.

Congrats to Alex J. Cavanaugh for reaching 2,000 followers. Just wow!

Saturday I drive my daughter to the train station so she can return to college in Boston. Sunday I drive my son to Penn State so he can dive into those last seven weeks of his college career.

Are your weekend plans as exciting as mine? Any special shout outs you want to share?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Newest Excuse

Wormhole fest post here.

It's not difficult to find methods of procrastination or make excuses for indulging in them. My best one this week is that my children are on spring break and I'm in full mom-mode cooking and giving them some special care. But each morning when I wake up, surprised at how late I slept, I'm reminded of a more scientific rational for not getting more of my A to Z posts ready this week.

Statistics show that the recent time change to Daylight Savings Time is really slowing me down. Some of the things we can blame on the recent loss of an hour's sleep?

How about higher blood pressure and more chance of heart attack until we adjust? More care accidents occur. More wasting time on the web when we should be working. Overeating. More headaches. Just about every study points out lower productivity at work. Even the stock market supposedly reacts with a bit of a nap.

I can vouch for lower productivity on this home front but I'm not sure I can blame it on that lost hour.

As a sports family, we've always loved this time change for giving us that hour of daylight in the evening so we could 'play ball.' And after this vicious winter, the extra sunlight will be appreciated.

Just as there are many negative things connected to this time, some studies also show that once you adjust to the change, you'll be happier as the hours of natural light extend into evening. That's my next excuse. How can I write when it's so sunny and warm out?

Did the time change bother you at all? All adjusted by now? Did you notice any of the above mentioned issues? What's your biggest rational to procrastinate recently? Have a good one I can use?

Don't forget Wormhole Week. Join the fun as we speculate on our technological future.

Monday, March 10, 2014

2014 Wormfest

What an exciting Monday. Let's start with Stephen Tremp's kickoff for his Escalation blog tour. He's visiting Alex J. Cavanaugh today and will appear here later this month. Good luck to Stephen.

This week is also National Wormhole Week. The Wormfest blog hop is hosted by Stephen Tremp, Alex J. Cavanaugh and L. Diane Wolfe. This years science theme challenge is to name one technological advance that you believe will greatly benefit mankind and also one that might set humanity back. Find the full list of participants on any of their blogs.

I didn't even have to think about this one as a former educator. Each year more and more educational opportunities become available online. It's wonderful. Probably most of you attended a traditional school like I did. We had a choice of three foreign languages at my old high school. Today I would have hundreds of choices. Your little school doesn't offer a certain science class, go online and find it. Attend college online. My son has done all his master's work online. It's convenient, saves money and seems of infinite possibilities. The advantages to online education are too numerous for a short post.

Many, maybe even most high schools, already offer some courses online or an entire cyper curriculum for their students. Some have hybrid learning courses where they meet with an instructor some classroom meetings but most learning is with their computers. For the properly motivated eager learner, these type of learning environments can be great. But the unmotivated student often needs the presence of an actual teacher to offer encouragement and guidance. Not all students will have equal access to all the educational options no matter how much we vow to make that happen. Could the future of educational as an online entity create a gap between the best and brightest and even the average student? Will the important social skills learned in schools become a thing of the past? How far will technology go in limiting personal interaction?

I think we're already within the educational wormhole. Good or bad? What do you think?

I hope you'll share your wormhole thoughts this week. Remember to visit Stephen Tremp and follow his blog tour and the Wormfest. Also visit L. Diane and Alex J.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Highly Creative

Once in a while I'll follow a link to one of the Huffington Post articles. I'm never sure how scientific their lists are but they do make interesting reading. They like putting numbers in their posts. I would actually read more of their stuff if their pages didn't take so long to load sometimes. Too many adverts.

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently has a long descriptive list of creative people. Of course, I had to compare myself to those habits. I surprised myself by seeing myself in some but not all of them.

I do daydream and I tend to observe everything around me. I don't want to miss anything. I like some, need solitude at times. I like being alone, not always easy growing up in a big family and having one of my own. I admit to asking the big questions though I don't get many answers.

I don't fit them all. I'm not a big risk taker but I think we'll all do less of that as we mature. I hope. A few of the others don't fit me either. I guess I'm a somewhat creative person, not quite qualifying as highly creative. If you have time, go to the article and see how you rate in the creativity rankings.

Thanks to all the wonderful visitors for IWSG on Wednesday. It was a fun and busy day. Don't forget Wormhole blog hop starting on Monday.

Do you think you're highly creative? Disagree or agree with Huffington's list?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

IWSG: Little Things

Welcome to March's IWSG post. Thanks to Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this wonderfully supportive group where we can all share, whine and encourage each other. If you haven't joined the IWSG Blog or the IWSG Facebook Group, give it a look. You can find the entire list of today's bloggers on this site page.

I just submitted the last book in my Recon Marines series to my publisher. I'm giving myself a little breathing room before diving into the next series. During this time I'll be preparing my posts for April's A to Z blogging challenge, doing some promo for my friends here and also doing bits of promo for my latest releases.

Promotion stresses me. I don't like the time it takes away from my writing. I'm not comfortable with blitzing Twitter or Facebook. (Won't mind if you like that page) I feel like I'm imposing on my friends when I ask them to promote for me. And I certainly don't like spending money to do it. I've been trying a different approach lately.

Little things. An appearance here and there. A mention now and then on Facebook or Twitter. Today, the very generous Michelle Howard is hosting me on her blog. I'll be talking about dragons to promote my latest fantasy release, First Dragon. Two weeks from now, I'll be somewhere else. Is it enough? Maybe not but I feel comfortable and less stressed. During this month, I'm trying to find one new thing to try each week. I have long lists of ways and places to promote.

My advice today is find your comfort zone. Take charge but don't stress yourself. Please visit Michelle Howard today. She's also running a giveaway during the week with an entry for all comments.

Does promotion stress you out? Any little thing you advise to do? Did you join IWSG blog or Facebook yet?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Busy March

I'm excited about March. I have so many different things scheduled for here and other places this month. And I have my April A to Z posts to get ready. So far all I have done are the outlines. My biggest advice to newbies is to do all your posts ahead of time. More on that later this month.

Don't forget to visit the IWSG blog today for a new post. If you haven't joined you should. And don't forget Wednesday is the monthly IWSG blog hop.

I'm also looking forward to getting Recon Marines III to my publisher this week. I'm feeling a little sad at ending the series but I usually feel like three or four books are enough. On the good news front, Recon Marines II, The Marine's Heiress, if finally available on Amazon Kindle and other ebook retailers.

One of the new shows I've enjoyed this season on TV is Almost Human. I watched it at first just because I like Karl Urban, but the science fiction aspects of the show kept me coming back each Monday. Two weeks ago, they introduced Chromes. Chromes are 'perfect' people as a result of genetic engineering. They have excellent health, intelligence and, of course, they're beautiful. How could I not love a show with that plot point when it so closely resembles some of the epigenetics ideas I use in my Recon Marine series?

Tomorrow, Brandon Sanderson's book, Words of Radiance, the second in The Stormlight Archive fantasy series. The first book was over a thousand pages long. Thanks to Amazon, I received my copy of the second book on Saturday and it's 1081 pages long. I can't wait to dive in. Sanderson is an incredibly prolific writer and everything I've read by him is good and has many unique ideas. His world creation is amazing. Sorry if I'm gushing a little but he is on the top of fantasy writers in my

Are you familiar with Sanderson? Have you Almost Human? I've heard vicious rumors that it might be canceled. Did you visit IWSG yet? Do you have those posts for A to Z done yet?