Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Guest post - Kyra Lennon - Christmas Traditions

Special thanks to Kyra Lennon for guest posting on my blog today. If you don't know who Kyra is, then you're missing out, and if you do know who she is, you're a lucky soul! She's super sweet, and an amazing author.

Take it away Kyra ....

Christmas Traditions

Blindsided is set during the lead-up to Christmas, and one of the things Jesse learns while staying with the Mills family, is that they have a lot of Christmas traditions. We all have them, don’t we? Certain things we do every year, at roughly the same time to get us in the festive mood.

One of the things I took from my own family’s traditions and wrote into the story is putting up the Christmas decorations on the first weekend of December. I don’t know if any of you have guessed this about me yet, but I am a big kid at heart! Once December hits, Christmas mode flicks on in my brain, and I NEED to immerse myself in all the seasonal goodness. The tree comes out (we have to have an artificial one, there isn’t really enough room for a real one, plus those suckers make so much mess!) along with tinsel, lights, garlands, etc. My mum and I always put on Christmas music while we decorate, and quite often, we’ll dance around a bit while we’re hanging things up!

Traditions have changed in my house since I was a kid, mainly because there are less people in the house. When I was a kid, there were more of us, and we did things differently. We still had traditions, but they’ve evolved over the years.

My newest tradition is Christmas baking. I LOVE making cupcakes, and while I am far from being a genius at it, I always like to make Christmas cupcakes, and biscuits. Last year, I had a slight crisis when I ruined a batch of shortbread. Well, I call it a crisis, it wasn’t really. It was just too ugly, misshaped, and crumbly to serve to visitors. I had to eat it all myself! :D

What are your Christmas traditions? Have they changed over the years? Have you taken traditions you had when you were younger, and introduced them to your own family? I wanna hear all about it!

Blindsided Synopsis:
After a successful first soccer season in L.A, Jesse Shaw heads to London with his best buddy, Hunter, but his world is turned upside down when a dangerous prank threatens his career and his blossoming relationship with Hunter’s cousin, Isabelle. 

Isabelle Mills lives in Notting Hill with her parents and her twin sister, Georgia. When she finds out her cousin is coming to stay, along with his famous soccer player friend, her first instinct is to hibernate until they’ve gone. However, once she meets Jesse, everything changes. He’s everything she ever wanted, but with so many obstacles in their path, can she really risk putting her heart on the line?

Author Bio:
Kyra Lennon was born on the South coast of England, and to this day, still lives by the sea. After years spent working in retail, where she met enough versatile characters to write hundreds of books, she finally took the plunge and quit her day job. Kyra's debut novel, Game On, was released in July 2012. While fiction writing has always been her passion, she also has numerous articles on a variety of topics published on prolific websites. 

Buy Links: 
Kyra Lennon on Amazon.com
Kyra Lennon on Amazon.co.uk

Find Kyra online

Thanks to Kyra Lennon for posting on my blog today, and thanks to you wonderful bloggers who stopped by!

Have a great day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Express Yourself - Quirky Quirks

List 5 imperfections about yourself that might bug others, but it's what makes you, well, you. :D

1. I twirl my hair A LOT. It's a habit I've done since I was a little girl, and for some reason, it tends to drive some people crazy... which I don't know why since I'm not bothering them any. :/

2. When we have company over, I have little cleaning spurts, and sometimes I don't even realize it. Someone will be talking, and I'll grab Clorox wipes and clean the counter-tops that are already clean, and they'll ask me what I'm doing. Er... cleaning? 

3. To some, I get my left and right mixed up. But to me, it makes sense. When someone says, "It's on the left" I question which left because I tend to look at something like I'm actually in it, so it seems backwards to others. Confused? 

4. Certain words come out odd sounding.... coffee, car, are, ground, etc. Like my R's are borderline pirate without the long drug out version of the R. Does that make sense? Probably not. *sigh* I get made fun of for my weird sounding words. :D 

5. I'm late, no matter how much I plan ahead. I know it's rude and believe me, I TRY to be on time, but gosh darnit, I have to round up four boys and my hubby, so I think I have somewhat of a pass, right?

What are some of your quirks that drive people batty?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Express Yourself - Inspirational quotes

This week's Express Yourself.....
What are a few inspirational quotes you'd like to pass to others?

Here are some favorites of mine I'd like to share...

I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 
- W.B Yeats

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up. It know it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up you'd better be running.
- Christopher McDougall

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
-E.L. Doctorow

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.
- William Faulkner

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Grestky

You should never be ashamed of your struggle because you standing here is a sign of victory.
- Christopher Toler

Each of us requires a spur of insecurity to force us to do our best. 
- Harold W. Dodds

What are some quotes that inspire you and keep you motivated?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Express Yourself - Pic of work/writing area

It's Express Yourself time!

This week's subject... 
post a pic of your work area, writing, cubicle, craft, etc. Then explain what it is that you do.

Besides writing and raising four sons with my hubby, I also work in the family business. 
No, it's not the mob, and we don't go around "offing" people. O_o 
I work at a floral shop. :)

This is my work area. It might not look like it, but out of those who work here, I'm notoriously clean. I do not like to have a messy place to work at. The others will be standing on piles of stems, petals, and greenery while I try to get my mess into the trashcan.

Designing flower arrangements isn't all that's required of me. Other things I do on a daily basis at the flower shop:  
customer service, process flowers, counsel grieving families, shoulder to cry on for said family, advice giver, poet (when someone wants a creative message on their card), computer work, window display designer, detective (when someone doesn't give a correct address or doesn't know where a funeral is located, etc.) and a keeper of secrets. You'd be surprised at the things people confess, but I've been sworn to secrecy. :D

The next photo shows one of the places I write.

I use two laptops. One for research, emails, and blogging while the other I save for actual writing and beta stuff.

On the pink laptop, my youngest put a Toy Story sticker on it for me. He "sticker-fies" everything. :) I heart my sweet boy!
Oh, and my favorite coffee mug is on the table, too... Grumpy. 

Where do you work and/or write at? 

As always, happy writing!

Friday, November 9, 2012

IWSG - Nov Post #8

I'm late for IWSG. My apologies to Alex J. Cavanaugh,  the host, and to all my fellow IWSG blogging buddies. Wednesday was a terrible day. And Thursday? Well, I was still reeling from Wednesday. So, here we are. On Friday. *sigh*
I won't drone on about what happened on Wednesday, because it's depressing, and I have good news to share, so hopefully that will trample over the sucky week!

The news... I'm finished! Yes, it took a long time. Almost a whole year. Well, minus three sporadic months that I didn't write, so really it took nine months. Do I think it will take me that long again? No, because I'm getting better at plotting and time management! :D

What am I even referring to? My MS, Wishful Thinking, is finished. I'd discussed with Kimmy (one of my CP's) about blogging the news, but decided to wait to share it for IWSG. I presented the idea to my CP's back in October of 2011 and took off from there!

The past year, my patient CP's have helped me through this process with their critiques, cheerleading, laughter, tears, phone calls, texts, emails... their help is endless. And for that, I'm grateful.
So, thanks Kimmy, Kim, and Laura! (And yes my lovely girls, I'll be sending the final round to you this weekend/next week for your wonderful eyes to peruse one last time.)

My rough pitch for Wishful Thinking:
When 17 yr old Kara McAdams discovers she's a genie, she freaks, but then her crush, Jagger Donnelly, becomes her master, making her think this genie stuff isn’t so bad.
That is, until Simone Spencer, a girl who wants Jagger for herself, gets a hold of Kara’s magic lamp and uses her wishes to make Kara’s life a total genie-living hell.

Like I said, it's a rough pitch, but you get the idea.
I'm working on a query to go out in the next couple weeks. YIKES! I'm terrified. I've done the query route before. The rejections.. sure they sting at first, but then it's ho-hum. But the rejections on the full requests? Those hurt worse. And then there's those no answer ones. I won't go there. I'm just scared. I want to share this book with the world, but what if I'm still not good enough? What if, after writing three books, my writing is still not book material?
Curse those damned "What if's" and their friends, "I can't's" .... *sigh*

Monday, November 5, 2012

Express Yourself Meme - Playlist Week

Express Yourself Meme - It's Playlist Week. Dani and I look forward to seeing your playlists... whether you're a writer and have one for your WIP/MS or if you're a non-writer, but would like to share songs that describe your life. Whatever the case, we want to listen and/or read about you!

So....what would your playlist sound like?

I have about a dozen songs on my playlist for my current MS, Wishful Thinking. I don't always listen to this when I'm writing. This is more of what would describe my book. A lot of times, I write at night when everyone is asleep. Other times, I write with chaos all around me. So I can listen to music or not when I write, but when I do listen, I usually choose this MS's playlist.

I’ll be sharing three songs from that list, and will talk more about my MS on Wednesday for IWSG, but for now I’ll say that it's a YA fantasy with romantic elements. Kara is my main girl and Jagger is my main guy. (And if you've been following my blog, you already KNOW that Maroon 5 songs will be on this playlist. :D )

***Woman by Maroon 5*** 
This song is two-fold. Not only does it describe Jagger's feelings for Kara, but also, it explains that she's something "different"... Jagger is the first to discover it.

Woman - Maroon 5
If I'd be so inclined to climb up beside you Would you tell me that the time just isn't right  And if I ever find the key you hide so well  Will you tell me that I can spend the night  Leaving your smell on my coat  Leaving your taste on my shoulder  I still fail to understand  What it is about this woman  If I could bottle up the chills that you give me  I would keep them in a jar next to my bed  And if I should ever draw a picture of a woman  It is you that would come flowing from my pen  Leaving your clothes on the floor  Making me walk out the door  And I still fail to understand   What it is about this woman  Helplessly melting As I stand next to the sun  And as she burns me I am screaming out for more  Drink every drop of liquid In the heat that I've become  Pop me open, spill me out onto the floor  Leaving your smell on my coat  Leaving your taste on my shoulder  I still fail to understand, fail to understand What it is about this woman

***Sad by Maroon 5***   This describes Kara's feelings for Jagger. She pushes him away for all the wrong--and right--reasons.

***You Give Me Something by James Morrison***
This song fits Kara and Jagger's relationship perfectly.
You Give Me Something - James Morrison
You won’t stay with me in the morning
You only hold me when I sleep
I was meant to tread the water
Now I've gotten in too deep
For every piece of me that wants you
Another piece backs away 'Cause you give me something
That makes me scared, all right
This could be nothing
But I'm willing to give it a try
Please give me something
'Cause someday I might know my heart You only waited up for hours
Just to spend a little time alone with me
And I can say I've never bought you flowers
I can't work out what they mean
I never thought that I'd love someone
That was someone elses dream 'Cause you give me something
That makes me scared, all right
This could be nothing
But I'm willing to give it a try
Please give me something
'Cause someday I might call you from my heart But it might be a second too late
And the words that I could never say
Gonna come out anyway 'Cause you give me something
That makes me scared, all right
This could be nothing
But I'm willing to give it a try
Please give me something ‘Cause someday I might know my heart.

What are your songs for your WIP OR MS? Not a writer? How about a few songs that you can pertain to your life in general? We want to learn more about you! So share away.