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Tuesday, October 30, 2012 32 comments

Nov. 19 & The Reveal of the "mysterious" Blogfest


 For those following the teasing trail I have travelled in the last few months, there are only three weeks before the Linky List opens November 19 for what I promise will be a unique BlogFest.
And, now…

(Rips oversized envelope…)

I can confirm the following:

My co-hosts for this three-day BlogFest are:

      ·         The magnificent Morgan Shamy

      ·         The delightful David Powers King

      ·        The splendid Stephen Tremp.



·    The Linky Lists opens 06:01 (EST), November 19.

Dude, you just said that above… Not much in the way of “breaking news,” now, is it?

I know, but this makes it official, and more dramatic, seeing it all in bold and stuff.

I think you’re bold.

Did you just call me bald?

No, just deaf.


·         The BlogFest itself runs from December 10 – 12.

I know it's not called the "It's time to give back Fest" so what’s it called then, this mischievous BlogFest?

It’s not a mischievous BlogFest; I’m being mysterious and vague. As I am striving to pique your interest, I simply cannot share until November 19.

Hey, leave my interest alone! But, seriously, why won’t you tell me?

It's a secret. If I do share, the secret will be out

Secret? What secret? How come I don’t know about no secret?

It’s on a need-to-know basis.

Well, my knees want to know.

All will be revealed November 19

Revealed??? What? Is it a Stripper BlogFest?

No! It’s not a Stripper BlogFest?

Well, why are you taking your clothes off, then?

I’m Not. Taking. My. Clothes. Off.

Is anyone going to take their clothes off?


Ah, man, that’s no fun – and it’s Christmas, too. I thought you’d be doing something nice and Christmas-sy.

It will be fun – and Christmas-sy. It’s going to be unique, I promise.


Don’t "hmmmm" me, don't you have any other part of my mind to go to?

No, I like it here, it’s roomy, airy and empty for the most part.


And finally, to tease you just a wee little bit more, here’s our official Teaser button :)

(Thanks, Morg J and we would absolutely love to see this button spread across the wild plains of the Blogisfear.)

Pre-thanks :) for helping to spread the intrigue!
See you on the 19th J

Saturday, October 27, 2012 24 comments

Most Valuable Dad...


While I have no problem sharing my silly adventures (like searching Victoria's Secret for the perfect Mother's Day gift, it is cringe-worthy hard to talk about me when it comes to nice things that happen.

But, a very nice thing happened Friday, so there you go :)

I promised my wife I would share this, because it is only through her efforts that I won the October award for "Most Valuable Dad" from dadsinthegame.com.

You can read my wife's entry here and the blog, which is run by Cliff John, a husband and father of two boys, will soon take entries for November.

From Cliff:

Every day it seems we stumble upon a negative article about a Dad doing something he does or should regret. Media gravitates toward negative press and forgets to write about good content - not a news flash. Dads In The Game is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing Dads who shine as a father, a husband, a friend and a professional. Simply put - I want to hear about the good stuff.
I want to hear from other awesome dads or from their wives or kids. Let's start writing about the good dad stuff and fill ourselves with positive content! As a husband to a wonderful wife and father of two amazing little boys, nothing would make me happier or more motivated to be a fantastic dad then to hear about what other awesome dads are doing to enrich the lives of their family.


If you want to showcase your Dad, or know a Dad who deserves an “attaboy,” submit a picture and a small post via their Facebook message inbox or via email to dads@dadsinthegame.com.

For full details, visit dadsinthegame.com.
 Thanks, Sweethie :)
Friday, October 26, 2012 18 comments

First Anniversary of "You Know You're a Parent When..." (#12)


Before this month’s “You Know You’re A Parent When…” post, I must apologize that I haven’t replied to many recent comments.
I am WIP-minus 37 from my deadline, completely failing in my blogging duties – and I ask for your patience. All unanswered comments are waiting in a file (thanks: no-hyperlink-needed Alex.)


(Part One:) "PEEK A...
 This is the twelfth installment of my “YKW,” series, which means I’ve been promoting my, er, lack of parental skills for more than a year…
Here in the Blogisfear, it’s normal to celebrate a year of something (blog, followers, life,) but please for all that is holy and special… hold all congratulatory comments, because after a year (or more – No. 1 Son is five)…

Wouldn’t you think my wife and I would have nailed this parenting thing, right?
Apparently not.

Let’s dive in, (but not in the bath – apart from the obvious safety reasons, you need to check the water with your elbow first – oh, and try not to fall in… because now your center of balance is off, and you’re carrying a naked, twenty-pound baby held out at arm’s length in case he pees on you.

C'mon now, this is tasty stuff.

You can find the most recent YKW posts here and here. Everything happened, and it’s all based on my daily life as a happily married stay-at-home Dad J

You Know You’re a Parent When…

·         No. 3 Son is in the high-chair, and Mama says she’s “going to let him down” and the first thing that pops into your sleep-deprived head is to tell your wife that no, no, it’s OK, you’ll do it, so you get ready to shout: “Santa’s not real! Santa’s not real!”

·         While cooking in the kitchen (as opposed to the neighbor’s front yard – *shakes head*) you are asked to count to twenty (or “up to one,” depending on the age of the Son whose turn it is.)

And while the kids play hide-and-seek in the no-nooks-and-crannies of the open floor plan that is downstairs, you are reminded that, “but it’s OK, remember, we have our invisible green poncho,” which is when you remember it’s important to chill when making chili.)
·         A smile comes to your face and you say YES! when, in the middle of doing the dishes, Mama’s voice clearly echoes all the way downstairs and into the kitchen: “What? Why did you put Buttpaste on your toothbrush?”
Sometimes, dirty dishes can be a blessing…

 ·      Upset that a “decrusted” peanut butter sandwich still remains uneaten, the question is asked of No. 1 Son:

“What’s wrong with the sandwich?”

“It’s the wrong shape.”

INNER VOICE: The wrong shape, the wrong shape??? I’ve cut the edges off, so of course it’s not going to be a neat-looking shaped sandwich.


Can I have a square shaped sandwich?

INNER VOICE: What’s wrong with a rough-looking triangle-y shaped sandwich???

OUTER VOICE: “Square?”

“Square. Yes, please, Papa.”

After eating a non-wanted peanut butter (triangle-y shaped) sandwich, you drive to Bed, Bath and Beyond and invest in a train-shaped de-crustifying thing.

Later that week…

OUTER VOICE (filled with pride): So, how’s that train-shaped peanut butter sandwich, huh? Isn’t it awesome?

It’s OK, Papa, but can I have a triangle shape sandwich, please?

INNER VOICE: Weeps, especially as you keep forgetting about the George Forman and the ability to make a grilled cheese sandwich… with cool stripes on them :)
(Part Two:) ...BOO"         HAPPY HALLOWEEN
Monday, October 22, 2012 33 comments

A Cowboy; an Indian & 1 Night in Paris ("Let It Go" Blogfest)


I'm participating in the "Letting It Go" Blogfest by our Kyra Lennon who asks:

Was there a time when you had to let go of someone or something?

How did it make you feel?

How did you handle it?

Or if that's too personal, how about writing a piece of flash fiction?

It has to be related to "letting go," with a maximum of 500 words.

Mine *is* a true story.

The laughing Cowboy spread his big hands and nurtured the medicine ball along the long rows of awe-struck customers.
Below him, the Indians watched the ball, one of four lit up by spotlights. They waited for the Cowboy – or a buddy from another ranch – to drop into the arena, run through their defense, make the jump shot and win bragging rights.

Speeding along the second-to-last row, the crowd waited for the Cowboy to work the final row.
He flew toward me, the ball barely touching the waiting hands in the wooden seats.

Rows of people craned their necks.

The shouts, “Go on, my son…” and “You can do it.”

I sprang forward, to clear the way for the running Cowboy, who sprung a huge smile and slammed the medicine ball into my back, where waiting fingers grasped the dimpled leather surface.
It was my last shift as a ranch hand-server at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Dinner Show.

(Tomorrow I’d be a ‘50s rocker-server at Annette’s Diner, also at EuroDisney.)

Picture Courtesy: Richard Lovelace

I’d seen the show many times and had talked to the Cowboy.

“Kid, your plan will be the greatest – if you can pull it off. I’m in. I’ll let our team know.”
He clapped my shoulder and strode away, laughing. At me??

Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis
During the show, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Buffalo Bill and the buffalo were on form as the stagecoach escaped yet another close encounter of the Wild West kind.

Dessert was cleared. The medicine balls went to the back row of each ranch. The Cowboy worked the crowd, and as he sped by, he shouted, “You’ve got one chance. Make the shot, kid.”

The Cowboy continued toward the end of the last row – now passing an imaginary ball to the bemused punters.
As the Indians watched the Cowboy, I hugged that medicine ball like it was my Momma and jumped into the arena.

The undefended teepee was about fifty feet away.
Oh. My. Gosh.

I’m going to do this.
 I took off and reached the teepee without trouble.

I prepared to take the shot.

My ranch hooted, hollered and pointed. One Indian turned… and saw a waiter about to make The. Shot.

“Dude, what the heck* are you doing in here?” (*Not the actual word.)

I looked at the teepee.
Dang that thing was high.

“Hey, now, what are you doing? You can’t take the shot.”

I took the shot.

And jumped as high as I could... I let go, and watched the ball as it sailed and then teetered on the very edge of the hoop.
My fingertips needed to only graze the ball and claim victory for the Blue Moon Ranch. I jumped.

I grazed air.

The ball fell, bounced off me and rolled along the dusty earth.
I scrambled, grabbed and turned, but the element of surprise had left the building.

I was crushed by a tackle from the Indian who flattened me with no mercy.

The ball squirted away, and I lay there as another ranch's Cowboy put his ball away.
I was crushed.

Twenty years later, I’m letting go of my dissapointment.

White men can't jump.

Cast of Buffalo Bill's Wild West/photo by Greg Auch

Thursday, October 18, 2012 29 comments

Book Launch: THE MISTAKEN by Nancy S. Thompson


Today is a special day!

I get the honor of kick-starting the Blog Tour celebrating the release of THE MISTAKEN by our very own Nancy S. Thompson.
Thanks for hosting, Mark.  I enjoy your ever-optimistic content and humorous take on life.  Let’s get started, shall we?
Sounds like a planJ What inspired you to write your book - when you had never written anything ever before?
It was a new song I had just downloaded, “Hurricane” by 30 Seconds To Mars.  I was struck by the lyrics:  Tell me, would you kill to save a life?  Would you kill to prove you’re right?  It made me wonder: what could drive a genuinely good man to commit a violent crime, and could he ever find his way back to the man he used to be? 
What's been your road to publication - including querying?
I didn’t write with the intention of seeking publication; the idea just sort of grew on me.  After finishing my second draft, I starting researching how to improve my craft, write a query, and build a platform.  After meeting several wonderful critique partners and polishing my manuscript, I drafted a query and emailed in three one-month bursts spread out over nine months.  I also queried one small press, which resulted in a book deal with Sapphire Star Publishing.
Why have you decided not to pursue an agent - bad experience - or just not the right "fit?"
Impatience mostly!  Once I directly queried a publisher, got a request for a full, then a book deal, I didn’t feel I needed an agent, at least not for this book or its sequel, though I’m not opposed to reexamining the issue later.
What have you done to build your author platform - challenges and setbacks?
I use Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, but mostly my blog.  From there, I reach out to other writers like yourself.  They’ve taught me how to improve my craft, informed me of countless resources, and held my hand when I was feeling down.  Blogging can be a challenge time-wise, but so far, I haven’t experienced any setbacks.         

Why do you love critique partners - especially the super tough ones?
Writers who critique my work see what I can’t because I’m just too close, too ignorant, or perhaps too belligerent.  I had twelve CPs for The Mistaken, six of whom were exceptionally talented.  Three of them were tough and relentless, questioning my logic, asking me to clarify, pulling stuff out of me I never knew existed, and allowing me to richly layer both the characters and plot.  My story would’ve been quite thin without them and definitely not publishable.  Every writer needs a tough CP!
Thanks, Nancy, and may I be the first to wish you *much* success with your debut novel, and hope to see many more in the future - and that's no mistake :)

Visit Nancy’s blog, follow, and leave a comment during her book tour for a chance to win an ARC of The Mistaken.  Plus, 5 runner-ups will each win an eBook.  

You can also find her on her publisher’s website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook. 
Here are several buy links for THE MISTAKEN:


Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble


Praise for The Mistaken:
“A deliciously slow burn that builds to a ferocious crescendo, Nancy S. Thompson's THE MISTAKEN kept me riveted until the very last page. Tyler Karras is a complex and flawed protagonist, and his redemptive journey makes him the perfect anti-hero. This psychological suspense is a standout, and I can't wait for Thompson's next book.”
~ Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP and FREAK

“Nancy S. Thompson's debut novel, The Mistaken, is a first-rate thriller full of hair-raising twists and turns.  Pursued by the police and the Russian mafia in San Francisco, brothers Tyler and Nick Karras are fascinating, fully-drawn, desperate characters.  The action is non-stop.  Thompson's taut, intriguing tale of revenge, mistaken identity, kidnapping and murder will keep you enthralled and entertained.” 
~Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of DISTURBED and TERRIFIED

“Fast-paced and emotionally gripping - once the ride begins, you won't stop reading until it ends." 

~Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of CASSAFIRE and CASSASTAR

                                     The Mistaken Blog tour continues tomorrow with:

10/19:  Alex J. Cavanaugh & Arlee Bird

10/22:  Carrie Butler & Jeff O’Handley

10/23:  Julie Musil

10/24:  Donna Weaver & Melissa Maygrove

10/25:  Matthew MacNish

10/26:  LG Smith

10/27: Aimee Jodoin

10/29:  Heather M. Gardner

10/30:  Lisa Regan

10/31:  Jennifer Hillier
11/19:  Arlee Bird

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 49 comments

"DINYB" BlogFest & a Sweet Award :)


Hosted by the fabulous Ciara Knight and that guy I call "No-need-to-hyperlink Alex," I’m participating in the Did I Notice Your Book BlogFest today.

The idea is to post about a book you’ve noticed.

The book I noticed (and really enjoyed reading) is Oppression by Jessica Therrien.


Here’s a synopsis taken from Jessica’s blog:

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal.

For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability.

Or so she thinks.

Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her.

Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to centuries of traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

YA paranormal romance/adventure is generally not my reading genre, but I loved this book and can’t wait until part two of the Children of the Gods series comes out this FebruaryJ
You can find Jessica’s Goodreads info here or more info on Oppression here.

Livia, over at Leave it to Livia, dropped the Super Sweet Blogger Award in my lap the other day, which was a big surprise, as I’m not what one would call a sweet person.

 I’m more into spicy, eye-watering hot foods than sugary deserts and when it comes to eating out, “My eyes are way too big for mah belly,” he said in a Scottish accent.
However, as there are no “I. Need. More. Rolaids. Stat.” or “Help! My Eyes Are Bleeding” awards being handed out, I am honored to accept, but must apologize for the boring answers:

1. Cookies or cake?
Neither. My Mama says I’m sweet enough.

2. Chocolate or vanilla?
Neither, but if I was being tortured, I’d smear chocolate to numb my fingernail-less nails.

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?
Tiramisu. It’s my only dessert of choice, unless you count a *good* Irish coffee, but none of that green stuff on top, please!

4. When do you crave sweet things most?
Evenings, if you must know. One piece of dark chocolate with a glass of red wine tends to keep the doctor away.

5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?
“Bah humbug.” That's a sweet right? :)


I'm passing this on to the following three people, in the hope their answers are more substantial than mine J
Kirsten over at A Scenic Route
Tammy over at Tammy Theriault
Suzi over at Literary Engineer

 Have fun everyone, and for all you published peeps, I hope many people notice your book today - and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and th-[WARNING! INK CARTRIDGE DEPLETED]

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