Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Big In Japan by Jennifer Griffith--Book Buzzin' and Interview

BIG IN JAPAN by Jennifer Griffith. This one sounds entertaining, hilarious, and just plain fun. Check it out. Also, stay tuned for a guest post by Jennifer next week!

Buck Cooper, huge Texas nobody, goes to Japan and accidentally becomes a sumo wrestler. He must win the Emperor’s Cup to save The Girl!


Q. A little biographical info?
A. I grew up in Idaho, studied technical writing in college, but I never tried my hand at fiction until our first son was born. My husband encouraged me to write, and that’s when my first of four published novels came about. My son is 14 now, we have five kids and a dog (who is kind of my nemesis) and I’ve been writing ever since. 
Q. You’ve got a new book! Tell us about it.
A. It’s called BIG IN JAPAN. It’s a fish out of water story. An overweight Texan, Buck Cooper, is just a nobody. He’s overlooked in every aspect of his life. He goes to Japan in a family emergency, and there he accidentally becomes the first blond sumo wrestler. 
It’s a light, breezy story, meant to be just cotton candy fun. It’s a sports  novel, but it’s more than about sports. There’s a romance, but it’s more than a romance. This story is about Buck coming out of his shell as an overweight man and coming to realize he has something to offer, becoming the warrior he was always meant to be.
Q. What made you choose sumo? What’s sumo all about?
A. When I lived in Japan I was with some friends riding in a car and the radio was tuned to a sumo match. The teenage girl with us went wild over the results of a match. It kind of shocked me, since sumo seemed so … well, weird to me. But when I started writing BIG IN JAPAN, I had to research it, and it is really pretty cool. 
There are no weight classes, so lighter guys have to face heavier guys, and sometimes they can beat a bigger guy due to better balance or strategy. They just have to push their opponent out of the ring or else make him touch the ground with any part of his body other than the bottom of his foot, so it seems pretty simple. But there’s so much power involved. Anybody who’s interested in sumo can watch a ton of different clips of matches online. 
Q. Obesity is kind of a theme in the book, right?
A. Yes, it’s a theme, but it’s not really hammered away at. Buck has to deal with it some, of course. It seems like prejudice against fat is one of the last bastions of intolerance in our culture. We’re working our way through race relations and ageism and all of that, but we still have these fat jokes and often people who are overweight are simply overlooked and undervalued. It’s something people do subconsciously, but the challenge is still there. As a mom of five, I’ve been up and down the scale, and it’s tough when you’re tipping the higher numbers. It’s a real challenge to keep self esteem buoyed up, especially when the media and our culture are tearing away at it.
Q. How about Japan, do you speak Japanese?
A. In college I took a year and a half and lived in Japan as a missionary. It was the best! I got to live in a Japanese house, sleep on a futon, eat everything from natto (fermented soybeans) to pan-fried crickets, and speak the language. I met some of the most delightful people in the world. It was just the best experience I could imagine. Of course, the learning curve of going from speaking not a word of the language before I went to needing to speak to everyone wherever I went was pretty steep. That was tough! But totally worth it. I love, love, love Japan.
Q. How can someone get a copy of your book?
A. As of July 28th, it’s in bookstores nationwide. Barnes and Nobles especially, and independent bookstores. Plus it’s available online. My publisher Jolly Fish Press was super about getting it in all formats. It’s in both hardcover and paperback, and it’s available as an ebook, too. Yeah, so here’s a link to it. If someone reads it, I love to hear from readers, so find me on Facebook or Twitter! http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferGriffith  https://twitter.com/GriffithJen

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I'm sure many of you have seen the blog post I'll soon talk about floating around. My experience with copyright has always been with music. I remember helping my dad go through file cabinets full of music at his school, pulling out the photo copies of music and destroying them because of copyright. It took forever because the teacher before him hadn't followed the copyright laws. In that particular instance, the law violated was that teachers are allowed to make "practice copies" of the music they are working on, as long as the copies are not kept. That's just a small aspect of the music copyright laws.

Most movies have a copyright laws listed somewhere in the opening credits. You know, use of this video in any other manner or without the written consent of so-and-so is prohibited. Popular music that is performed has a copyright too. Just about everything out there that has to do with the arts is attached to a copyright law for the protection of those individuals who work so hard to produce their art.

Some of us, albeit unknowingly, violate copyright laws, sometimes on a daily basis. This article opened my eyes and reminded me to be careful that I don't violate someone's copyright by copying and pasting a picture or article or something of that nature on my blog. As published, so to be published, and prepublished authors, we should be aware of and respect other artists copyright. I know we will expect others to do the same for us when it's our time.

So take the time to read this article. It's a very telling post of this gals personal experience with copyright. And just be careful. In the meantime, Happy Writing.

Roni Loren: Bloggers Beware (Just a note, she is a national bestselling romance author so there are those kinds of covers on her blog.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Black Shard Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop (INT) 3 winners

Welcome to this stop for the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. Glad to have you! :) On my blog, 3 lucky winners will receive and ecopy of THE BLACK SHARD by Victoria Simcox.

Kristina's stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it's all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester's cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it's actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can't refuse.
Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends ... and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn't get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the ''Black Shard'', Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it's in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.

Entering is easy. Simply
  • Follow this blog via GFC and/or Networked Blogs and leave me a comment telling me you've done so. PLEASE make sure to leave a way to contact you. I've had several winners that I couldn't contact because I couldn't find an email address anywhere (including on their profile).

For additional enteries:
It is in your best interest to leave SEPERATE comments. Please have you entries in by midnight, Aug 1st. The winner will be contacted and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. If you do not leave me a way to contact you, I can't let you know if you've won. Please make sure there's an email somewhere.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you again soon and be sure to see what else you could win!

Possession by Elana Johnson--Book Review and Interview

POSSESSION by Elana Johnson.

I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. It kept me turning the pages although I found myself a bit confused with somethings that seemed to come out of nowhere. The characters were fun, but I did get mad at them at times for vacilating between whether or not to like each other or be mad at each other. The ending caught me off guard. My first thought was, "Well, now I have to read the second one." It was a good read that had some language that wasn't needed. I can recommend it to most anyone.

Like Elana's Facebook page and read the first 110 pages for free.

:) :) :) :

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I had suffered through something tragic in my life, and writing became the escape for those negative emotions. I first wrote my life history before turning to fiction, and I’ve enjoyed it so much, I’m still writing! And since I can’t just do something halfway, I researched how to get published, and pursued that.
Who inspires you?

Anyone who works for something and achieves it. Right now I’m watching the Olympic trials, and every single athlete I see inspires me. 
What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?

Honestly, I hope they just enjoy the story. I read for pure escapism and enjoyment, and I hope to provide that for readers.
Where did this idea come from?

I had just read UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld and wanted to write a book “like that.” But I didn’t know what dystopian was, so I had to do some research first. Once I figured it out, I knew I needed a government that looks good, but actually isn’t. So I came up with the brainwashing Thinkers and the angry girl who doesn’t want to be told what to do all the time. 
Who was your favorite character to develop?

I’ll admit that I love Jag. He’s complex, yet simple at the same time. And he does give me fits sometimes…
Any advice for aspiring authors?

My best advice is to write a lot. Practice really does make perfect in writing. 
What can we expect next from you?

Oh, many things! I have another dystopian, a science fiction tale, a fantasy, and some contemporary on the horizon!
Where can we purchase your book?

You can go to Simon & Schuster’s page, and then pick the retailer of your choice. http://books.simonandschuster.com/buy/Possession/9781442421264/from-other-retailers#book_retailers

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Transcend by Christine Fonseca--Book Buzzin'

TRANSCEND by Christine Fonseca. Take a look at this one, which will be coming soon. The cover alone has me very intrigued. :) I can't wait.

All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents’ control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart. 

Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien’s obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can’t escape and the truth of his monstrous disfigurement, he flees, desperate to exact revenge on the people that ruined his life – his parents. But, vengeance is empty. Betrayed by those closest to him, Ien discovers that the price for his happiness may be his sanity.

Set amidst the landscape of New York's Gilded Age, and inspired by Phantom of the Opera, TRANSCEND exposes the fine line between love and madness.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Internal Thought

I've been going through conference notes to refresh my brain as to what classes I have and have not taken. That's quite an interesting journey if you've never done it before. Fond and not so fond memories have been dusted off, and I've found new ways to use some of the things talked about. Here are my notes on a class I took about using internal thought to create characterization by Janette Rallison.

Using Internal Thought to Create Characterization
Reasons to use internal thought correctly
1. reveals characterization
2. reveals motivation
3. increases tension and stakes
4. is very often what editors and agents are referring to when they talk about “voice”
  • your writing will suffer and be weaker if you don’t use it

What internal thought is . . . and why it makes or breaks your book. 
What is internal thought?—The moment by moment thoughts your character thinks
1. Internal thought reveals characterization
  • write down 10 character traits your main character has
quick thinking, loyal, courageous, slow to trust, lonely, smart,
  • How internal thought defines motivation

can use it to reveal the subtle things
  • your main character is planning on stealing something. Get into their mind, and write some internal thought about why he or she feels justified in stealing the thing.

internal thought

Happy Writing!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Review--Mark of Royalty

Mark of Royalty by Jennifer K Clark and Stephonie K Williams. A bookstore I walked into had this book trailer/music video playing and it intrigued me. The back cover got me excited and I had to pick it up. It didn't let me down. I loved mystery, the characters, setting, how the story was written, everything about it. I would highly recommend this to anyone.


Book TrailerMusic Video.
At a time when royal infants are marked at birth, a royal advisor makes a terrible misstep, and an infant princess must be secreted away to save her life. Named Sarah by Miranda, the woman who agrees to raise the child as her own, the girl is unaware of her royal heritage, even though Miranda has done all she can to pair Sarah with the king's nephew, Lord Chad. But unexpected events prevent the expected betrothal. Determined to fulfill her devoted mother's wishes, Sarah reserves her heart for Chad despite her growing affections for another man. But as plots against the crown unfold, someone accidentally discovers Sarah's mark of royalty, setting the stage for discoveries that will shake the kingdom to its core.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pledged by Gweynneth White--Book Buzzin

PLEDGED by Gweynneth White. This one looks fantastic. The cover alone has me very intrigued. Stay tuned for the trailer, an interview, excerpts, and a giveaway that will be coming soon!

Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you? 
Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient promise is tearing him away. And Reuel, the demon to whom the promise was made, will stop at nothing to force Seth to forsake Erin and to worship him.
How can Erin win against a pledge so binding that it has damned countless others to the same fate she and Seth will face if Reuel wins – an eternity alone?
The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a promise. 
Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya to break the pledge that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Creating Great Characters

These last few weeks my brain has been working on overload and I haven't even been able to think about writing. I've found that my "spare" time has been spent reading friends FB posts and playing a game that doesn't take any brain power. So, I've struggled to come up with a good topic for this post. I turned to my blog folder to see if I've used up all my backup posts and found a document full of great links on character development.

For me, my characters have always developed themselves. I've sat through many classes on the best way to develop characters and nothing I've done seems to really fit. My stories tend to develop themselves and I get to know and love my characters along the way. So far it has worked for me. However, I know that my way isn't always the best or most efficient way. Here are some wonderful posts by others that give a more rounded approach to creating great characters.

I hope you enjoy and Happy Writing!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book Review--Son of Neptune

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. I began reading this book and immediately sunk down in my chair for a good read. It was easy, fun, exciting, mysterious, and engaging. I learned more about the craft of writing and just thoroughly enjoyed the story. The characters are as wonderful as the first were in The Lightning Theif and the new additions hold their own. This is a great read for anyone, especially those who love Greek/Roman mythology. It's also a wonderful example of a well excuted story arch for those writers out there. :)


Percy is confused. When he awoke after his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain-fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Somehow Percy managed to make it to the camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he had to continually kill monsters that, annoyingly, would not stay dead. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. When the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. 

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother claims he is descended from ancient heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery—although not good enough to help the Fifth Cohort win at war games. His big and bulky physique makes him feel like a clumsy ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely—enough, even, to share the secret he holds close to his heart. 

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far north as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment in the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all of whom are destined to play a part in the most important quest of all: the Prophecy of Seven. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Twitterpated by Melanie Jacobson--Book Buzzin

TWITTERPATED by Melanie Jacobson. This is on my list. Check it out.

Jessie Taylor is furious when her roommate secretly posts her picture on the dating website LDS Lookup - furious, that is, until she spends all night instant messaging Ben Bratton, a man whose wit and warmth just might make Jessie forget the train wreck of her last romantic relationship. Their first date is a smashing success (literally), but Ben's overall awesomeness can't save Jessie from having to deal with Craig, her competitive coworker whose baiting behavior sets new standards for obnoxiousness. Determined to beat Craig at his own game, Jessie spends long office hours finishing projects and putting out fires, but while her performance wows her boss, it only makes Ben skittish- after a failed engagement to an up-and-coming lawyer, he's not about to pair up with someone who's married to her job. Will Jessie figure out how to be true to herself and take her big chance at love before it's gone with a click of the mouse?

Monday, July 9, 2012

And the winner is . . .

Thank you to all that stopped by for the Freedom To Read Blog Hop Giveaway. Random.org has spoken and the winner is . . .


I hope to see everyone again soon! Congrats to Sherry!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I have to admit that I've been struggling with this lately. I know how valuable critics are—from writers and readers just the same. I also know that someone's words can do a lot of damage. First off, let me say that everyone who has ever critiqued my work, I have greatly appreciated everything you have had to say. I've considered the comments made and decided whether or not I agree with them or not. I appreciate the time that you have spent to help make me a better writer.

That being said, the last several weeks I've found myself bristling at any comment about my WIP that has been made. There hasn't really been a reason for the reaction, other than I just felt like I was being ripped apart. Then I realized that I was taking things way too personally. My critic group hasn't been attacking me personally, just trying to help make my work better. I've discovered how fine the line is to being able to take feedback graciously and how to misinterpret the help as attacking.

As writers, we need to be able to develop a thick skin. If we ask for feedback, take it, graciously. Even if it's harsh. Then later on decide if we agree with the criticism or not. Don't bite back or you might not continue to get honest feedback, which is really what we want. It's what makes us better writers. (Just a little side note I've discovered. If one person says something about your work, you can decide whether or not you agree with it. If three people say the same thing, I'd suggest seriously taking a look at what they are telling you.)

So even if you're not a writer, be honest it what you say. If you didn't like something, say it—although you'll probably want to have a reason why you didn't like it. If you are asked to critic someone's work, don't be afraid to give your real opinion, just don't be offended if the writer doesn't agree with you.

Here's a few tips to critiquing someone else's work:

  • Be honest
  • Find out what they are looking for—i.e. grammar, content, fluency, all of it
  • Keep the person in the loop. Life can get busy. If it's going to take you longer than expect, tell them so they don't think you've forgotten about it. I can't tell you how many people have said they'd critic something for me, I send my stuff, hear from them once or twice, but they never finish. If you can't finish, tell them.
Nathan Bransford had a great post on the 10 commandments of editing someone's work. It's wonderful. Be sure to take a look at it. In the meantime, HAPPY WRITING!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Variant by Robison Wells--Book Review

VARIANT by Robison Wells. What a book. I couldn't stop turning the pages. The twist was amazing and I didn't have it exactly figured out, which was really nice. The characters were fabulous. I loved them right away, however, I wanted to throw the book across the room at the end. I don't like cliff hanger endings. It left me with more questions than answers and I'm not sure I want to read the rest of the series until the last one comes out because I'm afraid they will all be that way. I can't recommend this for everyone because there is some brutal violence in it, but overall it was an enjoyable read.


Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.
He was wrong.
Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.
Where breaking the rules equals death.
But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape--his only real hope for survival--may be impossible.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges--Book Buzzin

GATHERING STORM by Robin Bridges is on my list to read.

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?