Monday, January 31, 2011

Award Shows and Book Covers

Today's Blog Tour Stops:

Today I will over at the lovely Colene Murphy's and Steena Holmes's - tomorrow is the last day of the tour so come on by and leave some comments for more entries in the super huge Grand Prize giveaway!!

For today on my blog...a confession....

I only watch award shows for the clothes.

In fact, I often only watch the PRE-award shows when the stars are arriving. I just want to see the pretty gowns and shiny bling and then I'm good for the night. It makes me feel slightly guilty as I know these nights are the most important nights of the year for the people involved, and really some of the host stuff is pretty funny.

But nope, I just watch for the clothes.

Kind of reminded me about books and their covers. A lot of people (myself included) pick (or don't pick) books by their covers. They don't care much about what is between the covers, how much work has gone into every word on every page, how important those pages are to the person who wrote them....they just care about the pretty shinies on the front cover. (Or the horrible covering on what is really a very talented, book).

I once refused to read a series that everyone I knew loved because the covers were so ridiculous IMO. I finally broke under peer pressure and grabbed one and it's now one of my favorite series. On the other side of the coin, there is a series I have no interest in reading based on the blurbs, but the covers are so gorgeous it's all I can do not to buy them all just to have them on my selves.

Am I the only one who does this? Who else watches the awards shows just for the clothes? Or buys or refuses to buy a book based on the cover?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's Blog Tour Stops

For today, I'll be visiting the wonderful Kate Karyus Quinn and later on tonight and tomorrow I'll be over at the lovely Stephanie Thornton's. Come on by and leave a comment! :)

Happy Sunday :D

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Today's Blog Tour Stops

Today I have the pleasure of being hosted by the lovely Laura Diamond and Katrina Lantz. Come on by and say hi! Only 3 more blog tour days left to gain more entries into the Grand Prize Giveaway!!

For those who have won giveaways that I will be shipping, I will begin sending those out next week once the blog tour ends :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Funnies and Blog Tour Stops

Today's Blog Tour Stops:

I have the pleasure of joining:

Mary Lindsey and Cole Gibsen

today...two of my wonderful QueryTracker friends. Stop by and leave a comment for more entries in the Grand Prize Giveaway! Only four more Blog Tour days to enter!

And now, for some funnies :D

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.
— Cicero 

I know of three ways to recognize another writer: Writers are shamelessly nosy. Writers tell good stories, even about dumb old, daily things. On most writers, the earmarks of thrift, if not outright poverty, are evident. 
— Joyce Thompson 

 (ha! this is soooo me on a diet :D )

And coming up!!! Mystery Agent Contest over at Operation Awesome! We'll start taking entries Feb 1st - our awesome awesome AWESOME mystery agent is looking for 25 word pitches for MG and YA.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tip Thursday - As IF!

Today's Blog Tour Stops:

I'll be visiting two lovely ladies today :)
Jemi Fraser
Kristal Shaff

Stop by and comment for more entries in the super Grand Prize Giveaway! Only a few more days of the blog tour before I do the drawing so don't delay :D

Now...for today's tip I've got something I'm not sure I agree with :D

"As" phrases....

As in - "Veronica burst into tears as she slammed the door."

Or - "She sobbed as if her heart were broken."

When I was just a baby writer, I was told that relying on "as" phrases was a sign of an amateur writer because these phrases can almost always be rewritten without the "as". Using these phrases was laziness on the part of the writer, a crutch. Being very fond of "as" phrases, that stung a little.

Now, I get the point. Sure...most of the time these can be rewritten. Like:

"Veronica burst into tears and slammed the door." And "She sobbed, her heart breaking a little more with every tear."

UPDATE: (for those who aren't fans of "and" :D here is another option that gets rid of the "as") "Veronica burst into tears, slamming the door behind her."

But is that necessarily a better, stronger sentence because of the absence of the word "as"? Maybe...maybe not.

Since it was something I did overuse once upon a time, I do try to rewrite those sentences whenever they crop up in my writing. I do agree that these phrases, like anything else, can be overused. If you have an "as-fest" going on, it's going to stand out in a negative way. But that is true of any word or phrase. And frankly, sometimes the "as" just sounds better.

So is using "as" a sign of an amateur or lazy writer? I don't think so. But...I'll still try to avoid them when I can :)

What do you think of "as" phrases? Have you ever been told what I was told about them?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Randomness and Blog Tour Stops

Today's Blog Tour Stops:

I'll be at three fabulous ladies' blogs today:

L. Diane Wolfe's
Stina Lindenblatt's
and Michelle Hickman's

Stop by and leave comments for more entries into the huge Grand Prize giveaway! Stina will also be giving a copy of my book away so be sure to enter her drawing as well :)

As for me...I think I'm on the mend. I think :D However, my brain is still way to fuzzy to write anything grand or witty, so I'll take a cue from my amazingly awesome BFF Christine Fonseca and leave you with a little bit of Wednesday randomness....

  • The world will NOT crash and burn if you can't be on the computer all just feels like it will
  • Writers are seriously the best, most generous, most supportive people I have ever had the pleasure to associate with
  • You do not have to love a book that everyone else in the world is's called a subjective business for a reason...revel in your dislike of the popular ;-D
  • Castle is seriously the best show E.V.E.R.
  • Sending out proposals for books 2 and 3....actually more stressful than book 1 - who'da thunk?
  • The suckiest part about being sick - I'm in bed all day but my eyes hurt too bad to unfair is that!?
  • Each comment from my awesome readers is like a little drop of sunshine - I heart you guys....might have to do something fun in the near future to show some follower love :D
I hope everyone has an awesome Wednesday!!! Hopefully tomorrow I'll be a little more coherent  :D

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blog Chain - MC Fear Central

Today's Blog Tour Stops:

We have an awesome day on the Blog Tour today! I'll be featured over at:

Matt Rush's
Shaun Hutchinson's

Stop on by and leave a comment for more entries in the Grand Prize Giveaway! Matt will also be doing a giveaway so head to his blog for deets :D

Now, Blog Chain time. This topic was chosen by the lovely Christine who wants to know:

What is the main character of your current WiP MOST afraid of, and why?

 We aren't supposed to use an old WIP, but my current WIP is an old WIP that I'm rewriting so here goes :)

This is going to be short and sweet, but it's pretty straight forward :) Min is most afraid of being helpless...of having her choices taken away. Her whole motivation for everything she does in the book is to ensure that she is the master of her own life.

What is your MC most afraid of?

And, as promised a few days ago, a picture of the super huge Grand Prize Basket that will be awarded to one commenter from my Blog Tour!

The winner will receive his/her choice of T-shirt, a signed copy of my Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, a copy of Homework Helpers: English Language and Composition, an aluminum water bottle, a spiral notebook, bookmarks, custom pens, postcards, a calendar magnet, a mouse pad, and various other stationary items and edible treats (they aren't pictured but they'll be included because, well, I like various stationary items and edible treats) :D

The more blog tour stops you comment on, the more entries you get for this drawing! Go comment! :D

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Idea Hit and Run

Today's Blog Tour Stops:

Amanda Bonilla
K.M. Weiland

How is everyone doing this fine Monday morning? I'm...not so hot LOL My darling son was sick all week last week and decided to share with Momma so I'm feeling a bit run over. Which means instead of doing something productive, I've been spending a lot of time staring off into space.

What happens when a writer stares into space for too long?


Now, don't get me wrong...I love me some story ideas. But I've got two non-fiction proposals to finish by the end of the month, a novel WIP already in progress (well, two actually, but one is sort of close to getting finished) and a whole file full of ideas already.

But I really like this one :D However, it's just going to have to wait. Notes have been taken, a file has been created, but *le sigh* I won't be able to work on it for at least a few months.

What do you do when an awesome idea that you just totally love presents itself while you are in the midst of other projects?

Don't forget to stop by Amanda and Katie's today and leave a comment! The more stops you hit, the more entries you get for that super awesome Grand Prize Basket which I swear on the breath in my poor aching lungs I will get up later today :D

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today on the Blog Tour...

I'll be over at the lovely Amparo Ortiz's - come on by and say hi! :D

And I know I promised you a picture of the totally fun huge Grand Prize's coming *pinky swear* but a couple of sick kids sidelined me for a bit. I'll get it up later on today! :) For now, head on over to Amparo's and leave a comment for another entry into the drawing and for a chance to win the giveaway she will be doing :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today's Blog Tour Stops

Today's Blog Tour Stops:

Abby Annis
Lindsay Scott

Stop by and leave a comment for more entries into the awesome Grand Prize Giveaway!

And stay tuned tomorrow for a picture of all the prizes included in the Grand Prize Basket!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Funnies

Today's Blog Tour Stops: Shannon O'Donnell - with giveaway - winner announced Sat
                                        Ali Cross-  with giveaway - ends Jan 28th

Happy Friday everyone!!! Don't forget to stop by my blog tour stops today and leave a comment for more chances to win the super, huge, mega Grand Prize pack at the end of my tour! :)

I always do the first line well, but I have trouble doing the others.
~ Moliere

When a writer is born into a family, that family is finished. 
— Czeslaw Milosz

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's Launch Day!!! Let the Blog Tour Begin!

Welcome to Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers Blog Tour!!

We've got an awesome first day! I am thrilled to be hosted today by the absolutely amazing

Christine Fonseca
Elana Johnson
Bethany Wiggins and Suzette Wiggins
and Lisa Amowitz

Starting today, every commenter along the blog tour will get an automatic entry for the huge Grand Prize Swag Basket! For every stop you comment on, you get another entry (one entry per stop). So if you visit each of the lovely ladies listed above, and LEAVE A COMMENT ON THEIR POST, you'll receive four entries for today.

At the end of the tour, I'll draw a name to select the winner :)

There will be several other opportunities to win copies of my book and swag bags along the way as many of my blog tour hosts will be featuring their own giveaways. I'll post each stop every morning and will also keep a running tab of them in the Blog Tour Giveaway tab above. Links for the giveaways and the Blog Tour stops will go live once the actual posts are up.

I hope you all join me for the tour! I'm being hosted by some really amazing people. It's going to be a blast!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Product Placement

--Blog Tour kicks off tomorrow! Getting a jump start over at the fabulous Christine Fonseca's blog with an interview. Go check it out! :) And the awesome Amparo over at the OA is having a contest to win a copy of my book and some fun swag....winner announced tomorrow! Go enter!

I've been answering a lot of questions lately about promotion...what I'm doing to help promote my book specifically. Now, my book is a non-fiction book about writing, so when it comes to promotional items I did writing type stuff: bookmarks, pens, that kind of thing. But it got me thinking about the fun promo stuff fiction authors get to do.

- Jessica Verday has perfumes that go along with the characters in her Hollow books (her MC makes perfumes)
- Beth Revis has some awesome Godspeed swag for Across the Universe
- You can get jewelry with the Mockingjay design from the Hunger Games series
- You can get jewelry depicting the different years for the House of Night series
- You can get everything under the sun Twilight and Harry Potter

So I'm curious....when writing your books, do you ever do "product placement"? Do you have your MC wear a favorite necklace that you know would be a cool promo item if your book ever hits the shelves? Do you design a special logo for your MCs rebel alliance that you know would look on awesome on everything from T-shirts to coffee mugs?

It's not something I used to think about when writing, but with the growing necessity for authors to promote their own books, and especially over the past year or so as I've been focused on promoting my own book, it has become more present in my mind as I write.

Does it ever cross your minds?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TIP Tuesday - POV

POV wasn't something I ever really thought about before I started writing. Sure, I knew that a story was generally told from a certain character's POV, but I had no idea what that really meant. As was evident by the early drafts of my first book.

My first book was a POV NIGHTMARE. I didn't wait until a chapter or scene break to jump into another character's head. Oh no. I would jump from head to head without a care in the world. I once had four POV's going on in the same paragraph.

Luckily, the wonderful, kind, and oh-so-patient members of my first crit group pointed out the rules about POV. One of them told me to think of it like this: Pretend there is a camera on your MC's head. You can't see, hear, smell, touch, feel, or know anything that your MC doesn't. If you need to be in another character's head, insert a scene or chapter break and go for it. But don't hop around.

Now, I've read many books were the POV hops from character to character mid-page and sans scene/chapter break. It can be done if it's done well. But for the most part, when the POVs go hopping, it does nothing but confuse the reader.

Try not to do it :)

How are you with POV? Was it something you knew to do well right away, or were you a POV nightmare like me? :D

Monday, January 17, 2011

Exciting Events This Week!

Coming up on Thursday, the release of my book Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers!! (unless you want to order from Amazon...they are already shipping :D (clink link on sidebar if you'd like to check it out))

It's going to be a fun couple of weeks coming up. On Thursday, to coincide with the release of my book, my blog tour will be launching with a little help from some awesome friends. The first stops on the tour will be at the amazing Elana Johnson's, the fabulous Christine Fonseca's, the wonderful Lisa Amowitz's, and a little something will be going on over at the Operation Awesome blog.

If yo look up above, there is a tab set up for the Blog Tour. For a complete list of all the stops along the tour, check out that page. As the posts for each stop go live, I'll set up the links so you can follow the tour. There will be several giveaways (books and fun swag) and I'll have a list of those with links under the Blog Tour Giveaways tab.

Also! We'll be doing a Grand Prize Giveaway at the end of the tour. One commenter from the whole tour will be chosen to win a huge basket of books and swag! To enter, all you have to do is comment....the more stops along the tour you comment on, the more entries you get :) More details to follow!

So stay tuned!! The fun starts Thursday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Funnies


Lets face it English is a stupid language.
There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don't fing?
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth?
If the teacher taught,
Why didn't the preacher praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?

Why do people recite at a play?
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways
How can the weather be as hot as hell on one day,
And as cold as hell on another

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
Of a language where a house can burn up as
It burns down
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes off!

English was invented by people, not computers,
And it reflects the creativity of the human race
(Which of course isn't a race at all)
That is why
When the stars are out they are visible
But when the lights are out they are invisible
And why it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts
But when I wind up this poem
It ends.
(found at Writer's Humor)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tip Thursday - Adverb Adventure

I learned a lot of things from my first crit group. One of the first "rules" I learned was the whole "don't use adverbs" thing. I balked at this one. I just didn't get the reasoning. I LIKED adverbs. I still like adverbs. And I use them, frequently. At least in my first drafts. (Okay, a lot of the pesky little buggers DO make their way into subsequent drafts, but I really do try to keep them out of there.) :D

It took me a while to really understand why adverbs are kind of a no-no. In fact, it wasn't until I started paying more attention to them in the published books I was reading that I finally got it.

They are telling. And sometimes just plain irritating. But mostly, too telling, and often unnecessary.

For example, you could say:

"Don't do that!" Jessica shouted angrily.

1. It's unnecessary. There's an exclamation point. She's shouting. And chances are good the content of the scene in addition to her shouting have already let us know she's doing it angrily. You don't need the adverb.

2. It's telling us she's angry, not showing us. Don't just tell us....bring on the anger! Let us see her eyes flashing, her face turning red, the spit flying from her lips as she screams. Isn't that more entertaining to read than "angrily"?

Now, do you need to cut every single adverb in your book? Of course not. There are instances where adverbs are totally warranted. Like I said, I do use them. Sometimes a good adverb is the best fit for whatever you are trying to say. However, most of the time, I try to use them just as place holders in my first drafts...when I know I should be more "showing" and descriptive but feel the need to get some words out and the more descriptive phrase eludes me. But I try to go back through and replace them with something better (though, yeah, a lot slip through the cracks. Just ask my crit partners...they are endlessly slashing them (hehe I used an adverb...shhhhh)).

And a few here and there aren't going to kill your story - they might even help. So don't go axing all the adverbs in your manuscript just yet....but, try to pay attention to what you are doing the next time you put one in. Does it really need to be there? Is adding it making your sentence too telling? Can you show whatever you are trying to describe better?

One thing I have noticed is that adverbs in dialogue tags are almost always unnecessary. She said, angrily. He said, amusingly. I said sadly.

These emotions can almost always be better conveyed through the characters' actions and the dialogue itself. So, while it is something I will probably always struggle with, it is a "rule" I finally agree with and will continue to work on.

How do you feel about the "adverb rule"?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blog Tour Grand Prize Sneak Peek

I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek of some of the items that will be in the Grand Prize Swag Basket for my blog tour (which will be launching NEXT WEEK!!!)

Pictured above we've got two different T-shirt designs (one a little more girly than the other) :) ; a water bottle; a calendar magnet, some bookmarks, a few different designs of mouse pads, and, of course, a copy of my book :)

There will be a few other items as well, but I wanted to give you a little taste of what will be given away.

Stay tuned for next Thursday and the launch of the tour!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Write Like You Mean It

(an oldie but a goodie :) )

Quote of the Day: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received is: “Write with authority.” 
~Cynthia Ozick

This quote reminded me of a conversation I’ve had with a few friends. Especially those who write non-fiction. You know, it can be pretty intimidating to be seen as the expert on something…even if you ARE the expert. But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that no one is going to take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously.

There have been many times in my life, in writing this blog, writing my non-fiction book, writing guest entries, answering questions on a variety of things, writing news releases and other things for my brother’s company, that I’ve sat there and thought, “What am I doing? What if I mess up? What if I don’t know as much as I think I know?” My doubts about my own knowledge and abilities have siderailed me many times. There have been times when I’ve felt like a total fraud and I just knew that someone was going to call me on it.

But you know, I DO know what I’m doing. I’ve been writing for a long, LONG time. Do I know all the answers? Of course not. But I do know a lot. I’ve got enough education and experience that I should be confident in my abilities. But that isn’t always the case.

You know how to deal with that? Fake it. Push through it until those feelings of inadequacy go away. No one is going to have confidence in you unless you have confidence in yourself. If you see yourself as the expert, as the authority, others will as well.

So, what is the easiest, most effective way of writing with authority? It’s simple. With this one little act, your writing will go from sounding hesitant and unsure to being strong and authoritative. Remove statements such as “I think,” “Maybe,” “I believe,” “In my opinion,” from your writing. Those phrases weaken your authority and calls what your saying into question.

For example, look at these sentences:

1. I think you should put a thesis sentence in your introduction.

2. Your introduction must include a thesis sentence.

Both statements say the same thing, but the first one makes it sound more like a hesitant suggestion, like maybe you aren’t sure. The second one decisively gets the information across in a sure and authoritative way.

1. Maybe you should change the wording of this sentence.

2. The wording of this sentence would be stronger if you changed it.

1. I believe the right answer is B.

2. The right answer is B.

It’s simple…a minor little tweak, but the effect is profound. This is now one of the main things I check when I edit my work. I do occasionally use these phrases if I’m trying to be gentle about something, like in critiques – but only if it’s something I don’t feel strongly about.

Put your knowledge out there. Make your statements, share your expertise. And don’t be wishy-washy about it. Even if you don’t feel 100% confident in yourself, write like you do. Write with authority and you will be seen as an authority.

Do you write with authority?

Monday, January 10, 2011

When A Little Becomes Too Much

So, I just finished reading the newest book in one of my favorite series. I loved it, as I've loved all the books, devoured it in a day and a half (only because I started reading it on a weekend and didn't have as many kid-free reading hours), it was as awesome as all the previous books and as all the future books will be (I'm sure).


There were several instances in the book where some other books and movies were mentioned. I was amused at first, but then there was another reference (to another book), and then another one (this one to an older movie so they had to sort of explain it), and then another book  (again, with too much explanation...though I suppose kids younger than me *coughcough* might need the explanation), and another, etc, etc. There were quite a few.

Now, it wasn't the fact that these other books were mentioned that bothered me. It's kind of funny the first time a rival series is mentioned. But mentioning two or Kind of like telling the same joke over and over.

As for the movie, it was a very popular movie that came out in the 90s. I dunno...I figure if you have to have a line after the "punch line" explaining who was in the movie or what it was about, then it kind of kills the purpose of having it in, you know? Plus, I've heard you shouldn't put specific media references in for that exact reason. Because a decade from now, a kid reading your book won't know who Brad Pitt is or what kind of show Friends was, so the reference won't make sense.

Then again, the kids reading it the day it comes out might get it.

What do you think? Should you include specific media references or drop other book's names in your novel? Pros? Cons?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Game Two Winner and Blog Chain Time!

First off.....congratulations to Game Two winner....

Toni Kerr!!!

Shoot me an email and I'll get your prize pack out to you (upon the book's release of course :D)

Second - my day on the blog chain :D

Our wonderful Sandra asked the question this round and she wanted to know:

What do you think your strengths and weaknesses as a writer are? Did you have to develop your strengths, or did they come naturally to you? How are you trying to overcome your weaknesses?

This one I had to think about. I mean, it's stuff I've thought of before. My weaknesses I'm pretty familiar with :D I love adverbs too much; I repeat things like crazy (even though I'm aware of this and try to watch for it); I take breaks that turn into month long vacations, that turn into several months long vacations (I really need to stop doing this...I might finish more than one book a year if I could reign it in...working on it :D); I don't have enough confidence in myself and my work at times (working on this one too).

How do I overcome them? Work, work, work, practice, practice, practice :) And being aware of what they are so I CAN work at them :)

My's always so much easier to pick on the bad stuff - but, I think I'm pretty good at descriptions. Sometimes I put a little too much in there :) but for the most part, I think I do okay. I think my dialogue is pretty good - I get a lot of compliments on it.

I think one of my biggest strengths is sheer stubbornness.....I just don't give up. Sure, I get discouraged (a lot), and take breaks (many and far too long), and I teeter on the edge (I'm usually the one throwing the parties), but eventually I pull myself up by my quill straps and get back to it. Whether it's finishing a book, querying through hundreds of rejections, tackling a rough edit, or rewriting a book I just can't let go of, I'm pretty good at sticking with it.

Check out what our awesome Eric had to say yesterday and head to the lovely Amanda's blog tomorrow to see her answer :)

So what about you? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Friday, January 7, 2011

MAJOR Puzzle Hints and New Blog Features

Okay, this was supposed to go up at 7 this morning...but apparently it was saved as a draft instead of a scheduled post even though I hit Publish. Curse you blogger!!!

Anyhow...I promised you huge hints for the Game Two you go :D

The answer to number 1 is - resources

The three things I'm looking for, the three things that will help make writing an essay or paper easier are the answers to numbers 3 (starts with an "L"), 4 (which starts with an "o"), and 9 (starts with an "n").

Now go fill out the form! :D Contest ends tonight! (Click here for post that has the form)

So, seeing as how it's a new year, I'm going to add a few new features to the 'ol blog. Bring a bit of helpful substance back to the fun :) Tutor Tuesdays and Tip Thursdays will start up beginning next week. I'll share as many helpful hints, tips, secrets, and what have you, that I've learned over the years. And Thursdays I'll try and help out with some non-fiction goodness :) And of course, Fridays will be for our Funnies :)

This year is already off to a great start! I hope I can spread a few smiles and a little help along the way :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Game Two for Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers Release Celebration!

Sorry for the delayed post this morning....I got a bit distracted by a few shiny pretties that showed up with the nice FedEx man today :D Look, look, look!!!!

*happy sigh*

Okay! On to Game Two!!

For every essay I detail in the book, I tell my readers to do three things...three things that will make writing that dreaded essay much easier. This puzzle will give you the answer to those three things. Solve the puzzle and enter the answers in the form to enter the drawing for Game Two's prize! It's a crossword puzzle, so there are more answers than just the three of course, but the three answers you are looking for are three things that you actually do or make when you are preparing to write an essay or paper. I'll give you a bigger hint tomorrow if anyone needs one :D

So! Click HERE for the puzzle.

It should show up (if it doesn't, please let me know). Ignore the part on the bottom, just pay attention to the actual puzzle and clues. You should be able to copy and paste to Word or just hit print if you want to print it out.

Then enter the three correct answers in the form below and I'll draw a winner from all the entries :)

Game Runs - from Wednesday Jan 5th through Saturday Jan 8th 11:59pm EST

Winner Announced - Sunday Jan 9th

Prize - Signed copy of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers and various fun book swag including bookmarks, a mousepad, a calendar magnet, a few other fun things, and maybe a t-shirt (to be delivered once the book releases)

Bonus! All entrants receive an extra entry in the Blog Tour Grand Prize Drawing for an enormous prize basket of books, swag and goodies!

Have fun!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Game One Winner!!

Well, asking for writing horror stories from a group of writers was apparently not that great an idea LOL No one seems to have any essay horror stories, which I kind of find hilarious :D Sooooo, I took all the comments from that post, along with some people who filled out the form (but didn't have a story) and let do it's magic and the winner is.....

Jemi Fraser!!!

Congrats Jemi :D Email me at authormichellemclean(at)yahoo(dot)com and I'll get some fun swag and a copy of my book sent out to you (as soon as it's released, of course) :D

Stay tuned tomorrow for Game #2!

Monday, January 3, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge

(Essay Horror Stories contest runs through 11:59 pm tonight! See yesterday's post to enter! Prizes include a signed copy of my book and fun swag including bookmarks, calender magnets, mouse pads, and more!)

Okay, so I toyed with the idea of joining the 100 book challenge for this year. But, I barely made the 52 book challenge last year and only did that because I counted a crit partner's novel ('s not published but is under contract and it WAS a whole book....and a very good one too!)

So, this year I'm going with the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge again. Which I always find more difficult than I expect, because I know I read more than 52 books a year. But, I can't count rereads....I can only count books I've never read before.

I'm off to a great start! It's only Jan 3rd and I already have 1 and a half books read :D

Wanna join the challenge!?

I'll keep a running list of my books on my side bar like I did last year. I hope you join in!

Have you read any good books yet this year? I know we are only 3 days in but, come on.....I know some of you have!! :D

Winner of the Essay Horror Story contest will be posted tomorrow! And as entries are sparce (apparently the people I hang out with over here are a little strange like myself and enjoyed writing essays....though I forgot a few due dates and had a couple horror stories along the way) :D I'll probably just pull a winner from the comments left on that post (scroll down to Saturday's post for deets!) Details on our next game will go up Wednesday!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Game One on the Book Release Countdown!!

Welcome to 2011!!!!

And let the games begin :D

Game One - Essay Horror Stories

Tell me your worst essay story ever - did you work for weeks on a paper just to have your dog eat it the morning it was due? Did you forget about your essay till the morning it was due so you had to scribble something on the back of your old math homework? Did you stay up all night to write it and then sleep through your class the next day? Ever turn in an awesome essay...only to get a less than awesome grade? Or tell me about your roommate's or brother's or friend's horror story....I've heard a few paper-shredding whoppers....see if you can top them! :)

Lay it on me! The Best worst story wins :D

Contest Runs - from Saturday Jan 1st through Monday Jan 3rd 11:59pm EST

Winner Announced - Tuesday Jan 4th

Prize - Signed copy of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers and various fun book swag (to be delivered once the book releases)

Bonus! All entrants receive an extra entry in the Blog Tour Grand Prize Drawing for an enormous prize basket of books, swag and goodies!

TO ENTER: Fill out this form and you are entered! :D

Sooo...How did everyone's New Year's Eve go? Anything exciting going on for you in 2011?