Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Review-Demonglass

(I love the cover. Hex Hall's cover is equally beautiful.)

I have been waiting to read this book ever since I finished the last word of Hex Hall (the first book in this series). I'm so glad I finally read it. Amazing. I am a huge fan of Rachel Hawkins. I love her fun, fresh voice. Sophie, the main character, is hilarious. I like a book where I can laugh one minute and feel tense the next, and Rachel does an amazing job of balancing these emotions well. A great sequel to a great series. I can't wait for the third book....sigh....but I'm going to have to, considering this one barely came out. If anyone wants to throw an ARC my way in the future, I would not be opposed to that at all. Anyone?.....Anyone?

On a completely different and totally unrelated topic, did anyone see The Voice last night? Loved it. (And not just because Adam Levine makes me happy.) The show was very entertaining.

Friday, April 22, 2011

To the Cannons!

My son's been asking me all week: "Mom, is today the day we get to see the cannons?" You see, we're going to the Grand Canyon and since my son has no reference for the word 'canyon' he's turned it into the only thing he knows that sounds like the word: cannon. He even told my daughter, "There's going to be big fireworks." Am I a little worried that when we pull up to the big hole in the earth today that he is going to melt into fits of extreme disappointment? Uh.....yes, yes I am. Oh well, at least by the end of the day he will have a reference for the word 'canyon.' I've lived in California my whole life and have never been to the Grand Canyon, so I think I'll have a new reference for the word as well.

Is anyone doing anything fun for Spring Break?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Maddeningly Unhelpful Monday--Busted

So my 4 year old son has this bad habit of stealing my 10 year old daughter's Nintendo DSI while she's at school. With four kids, I'm not usually the kind of mother that allows my children to lay claim to toys. Once a toy has been absorbed into our home, it becomes community property. The DS is a little different, though, because my kids have to spend their own money if they want one. And so my daughter saved up all her hard earned cash for over a year and was finally able to purchase one. But because I am a horrible mother and it keeps my son entertained for a little while during the day, if he emerges from her room with the Nintendo DSI, I let him play it, with the strict warning that he put it back as soon as he's done (so that we don't get in trouble).

Every day, though, my daughter calls me out. "You let him play on my DSI, Mom. Don't let him do that anymore."

"Yes, I'm sorry, he did find it. Maybe you should hide it better," I always say back.

"Don't let him play it anymore."

"I will try not to let him play it."

But sure enough the next day, he finds it again, and I tell him again, "Put it right back, exactly where you found it, as soon as you're done." (I know, I'm so bad.)

Just when I'm starting to think my daughter has some sort of sixth sense or special connection with her DSI, she tells my husband one day, "Dad, I know he stole it. He always takes tons of pictures of himself with it." She proceeds to scroll through several silly-faced pictures of my son, his tongue sticking out and his innocent expression showing him unaware that he is providing proof of his criminal act. It made me laugh so hard to see that little face, like a virtual finger print, all over her screen.

Now, can I relate this story to writing somehow? Hmm......nope. Besides that might be too helpful.

Have any funny kid stories to share? Kids make me laugh.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Movie Review/Winner

Before I get to my review of an amazing movie, I'd like to announce the winner of The Brevity of Roses. The lucky winner of this awesome book is: Christi Craig! And Christi, it was actually your tweet entry that was the winning number, so thanks for the tweet. :) I'll be sending you an email shortly to get your info.

Now, on to a movie review

Thanks to Jenn Johansson for recommending this movie to me when I called her in an 'I'm on my way to the theatre help me choose an awesome movie' panic. She came through because let me tell you, this movie is AWESOME. It's even a movie you can take your parents to and not squirm uncomfortably the whole time. I thought it might be based on a book (because aren't most amazing movies based on books?) but it doesn't look like it is.

Anyway, this isn't much of a review because I don't feel like I can tell you any details without giving things away. In fact, I went without knowing ANYTHING about it. I leaned over to my friend right before it started and said, 'Uh, do you know what this is about?' And she said, 'Not at all.' We both laughed and said, 'You better know what you're talking about, Jenn,' then settled in for awesomeness.

Friday, April 8, 2011


First, if you haven't already, please leave a comment on the post below to win a free book! Contest ends Tuesday, April 12th at midnight.

Now on to the celebration. I'm sure you've already heard the news, but if not, let me be the first (but more likely 100th) to tell you: my dear friend and crit partner Jenn got an agent! Jenn has had quite a journey to reach this step in her career and her story is very inspirational. Read about it here. Her book is amazing (and just a little...or a lot...creepy). Hopefully you already visit her blog because she is seriously funny.

In my life Jenn has been a constant source of support and level-headedness. I appreciate her so much and am so happy someone else has recognized her genius. So, Jenn, I hope you're celebrating this weekend, because you deserve it. Love ya, girl.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Author Interview/Give Away!

I have the pleasure today to introduce you to one of my favorite people/authors: Linda Cassidy Lewis. I met Linda a couple years ago at my very first writer’s group ever. After attending the group a few weeks and having a chance to read through the submissions, I remember telling my friend, Candi, on the phone one night, “Linda intimidates me. Her writing is so good.” I still feel the same way. She has a way of stringing together words so gracefully that I often read and reread whole paragraphs because I love them so much. And this book is no different. Not only the words, but the story, captivated me.

Back of book blurb: "Jalal Vaziri has looks, money, women—and a habit of running from reality. When he abandons New York and reinvents himself as a poet in a California beach house, he thinks he’s running from a father who hates him, a career mistake, and endless partying. A fresh start is what he needs. And after an intriguing woman enters his life, he believes all his dreams are coming true. But that dream dissolves into nightmare, and Jalal flees again. Only this time, his retreat is blocked by a woman who challenges him to face that it’s himself he’s trying to outrun."

Now on to the interview:

How long have you been writing?

L: From childhood, of course, but as an adult, I wrote a novel almost twelve years ago and briefly considered seeking publication, but real life intervened. Then, almost exactly three years ago, I wrote a short story that eventually grew into my novel The Brevity of Roses.

How did you come up with the idea for Brevity?

L: I had a dream about a young man who was genuinely more attracted to an older woman than one his age. He was such a strong personality, and his motivation intrigued me both in the dream and for days afterward. I told a friend about the dream and she suggested I explore it in story form. Obviously, the inspiration outgrew the short form.

K: Ah, the whole “dream” scenario. I obviously need to get better at dreaming.

I know you painted the cover (which is gorgeous), how come you hogged all the talent in life and left me with none? No, but seriously, how long have you been painting? Do you love it as much as writing?

L: I’ll ignore the ridiculous statement that you have no talent and just say thank you, I’m glad you like it. I discovered very early that I could capture a good likeness of faces, and, since my teens, I’ve concentrated on portraiture. The photo-realistic technique I adapted, both in graphite and Prismacolor, is so multi-layered it’s considered painting. But to me, it’s more about precision than creation, so no I don’t prefer it to writing. Fiction writing is how I truly express my creative side.

Aside from writing/painting, what is your favorite thing to do?

L: Hmmm. This is the hardest question you’ve asked. Since I’ve started writing for publication, I don’t really do anything else. Time spent with my family is my only other real priority. I grow roses, bake bread, and hope to get back to a little beading this summer.

K: “I do nothing else…oh, except garden and bake bread and make jewelry.” Refer to previous question about hogging talent. ☺

Best writing advice?

L: Don’t listen to writing advice. Seriously, after you have a working knowledge of grammar and story construction. Close your ears and just write, write, write. That’s really the only way to develop your unique voice.

What do you spend the most time in, PJs or Jeans (Or the very fashionable alternative: Pajama jeans)?

L: Those Pajama Jeans commercials crack me up. I’ll confess, some days I stay in my pjs so late in the day it no longer seems worth getting dressed.

K: I have a confession, too. I actually want a pair of pajama jeans. For reals. Because then when I leave the house at 2pm when the school nurse calls (or something) and have to show up to school in sweats, at least some people will be fooled into thinking I’m wearing jeans.

Guilty pleasure?

L: A food: potato chips and yellow mustard. An activity: I often stay up until midnight just to watch “Friends” re-runs.

K: Love “Friends”. Thank you so much, Linda, for putting up with some ridiculous questions and for writing such an awesome book.

Now, readers, you have an opportunity to win a signed copy of this lovely book! (I know a lot of my readers buy for teenagers, so just a little disclaimer: this is not a YA book. There is a sprinkling of language and adult subjects.) For a chance to win, just leave a comment. Tweet about the contest for an additional entry. Good luck! And happy reading.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Maddeningly Unhelpful Monday--The fun way to a bruised shoulder

I know you've woken up many a morning and thought to yourself, 'Self? What is a fun way to get a bruise on my shoulder?' Perhaps you had no answer to your very important question. I know because I, too, have asked myself this question many times. I could only come up with ways that didn't sound very pleasant. Today is your lucky day because last week, I figured out the answer.

First, you must convince some sucker to take you shot gun shooting even though you know nothing about shooting. If you can get a hold of some fake official hats, even better.

Before shooting even one round, make sure you get some pictures, because let's face it, life isn't about experiencing things, it's about how those experiences can turn into blog posts.

Next have someone trained and professional teach you how to use the gun. And, finally, put the shotgun against your shoulder, make sure no one is standing too close (and you have in earplugs) and shoot. Tada! Bruised shoulder. It's really quite simple. And fun.

When you're all done, take some more pictures.

These are some of my very favorite people (from left to right): Stephanie (My baby sis), Me (I guess I count as one of my favorite people), Candi (My bff), and Nicki (My dear friend. We told her she had to stand a few steps away from us because she can shoot a gun better than all of us combined and we were jealous.)

(This was me realizing how bad my shoulder would hurt in the morning....or maybe I was just trying to lick Nicki, I don't remember and can't be held accountable for my actions at that point because I had let my fake FBI status go to my head.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

April What?

It took me reading several different posts in several different places to realize that today is April Fools' day. After reading a few, I thought to myself, wow, everyone is extra silly today. And finally (when someone actually used the words April and Fools in the same sentence) I was like, OH, everything makes sense now. Yeah, apparently taking a long road trip with my sister where we drove all day and then stayed up until 2:30 am every night takes my brain several days to get back from. So, I've decided that instead of the post I had planned for today, I had better wait until Monday when I can see if actually makes sense. And now that I know the date, I will adopt the appropriate attitude of not believing anything anyone says.

So do you guys do anything for April Fools'? Do you play tricks on your kids? What was the best trick that you were a part of (either as the tricker or the trickee?) I need to get my kids good when they get home to make up for the fact that I forgot.