Friday, May 30, 2008

In-depth interview with Xujun Eberlein, author of Apologies Forthcoming

The second half of Jerry Waxler's in-depth interview with Xujun Eberlein - author of Apologies Forthcoming - is available at Memory Writers Network. Jerry asks some excellent questions and Xujun is very forthcoming (no pun intended) in her thoughtful answers. Please visit and leave a comment if you're so inclined.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Review - Candles Burning by Tabitha King and Michael McDowell

Candles Burning
Tabitha King and Michael McDowell
Berkley Hardcover
ISBN # 978-0425210284

"After her father's horrific murder, Calley Dakin and her mother find themselves exiled to Pensacola Beach, where a woman awaits their presence. A woman who understands that Calley is no normal little girl, but can't begin to imagine just how strong her bond is with her father-even after death."

I've been putting off writing this review, because honestly, I wasn't all that impressed. I bought the book on impulse, thinking it would be good, because I'd read one of her earlier books many years ago. There is nothing technically wrong with the writing. I just didn't enjoy the story all that much. In fact, it's darn close to forgettable.
(May 2006, pp 432)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

First blog stop for Xujun Eberlein's Apologies Forthcoming!

Jerry Waxler, at Memory Writers Network, has posted the first half of a fantastic interview with Xujun Eberlein - author of Apologies Forthcoming.

For more information about Xujun's blog book tour, please visit Blog Stop Book Tours.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Unplugged - off the grid... well, for the most part

We had an absolutely amazing Memorial Day weekend. The weather was beautiful and warm. We relaxed, and played and ate way too much summertime food (burgers and brats, steaks, watermelon, lemonade, strawberry rhubarb pie and probably a gallon of orange juice). I will be taking a few bike rides and watching what I eat this week. I swear, my belly hasn't stuck out this much since I was pregnant with my youngest child.

I barely touched my computer. I did check emails with my cell phone, but other than that, for the first time in a very long time, I was unplugged. It was so nice, almost like a mini-vacation, except that we didn't leave town. The strangest thing about it is that I feel like we took a two week vacation.

Today, later on, I will be posting a review of Candles Burning by Tabitha King and Michael McDowell. And, if you get a chance, check out Jerry Waxler's blog post today at Memory Writers Network. It's well worth the read.

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's Friday... and I have books on the bedside table!

The books in my to-be-read pile are as follows -

A friend loaned me all three of the aforementioned books, mostly because I realized the other night (too late for a trip to the library) that I had no reading material for before bed reading.

I am also lucky enough to have an ARC of The Smart One by Ellen Meister. I've been waiting for this for many months and I'm about 100 pages into it. The Smart One will be one of the books touring in August at Blog Stop Book Tours.

Stop by Monday for a review of Candles Burning by Tabitha King and Michael McDowell.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gearing up for June blog book tours!

I spent part of my day yesterday adding information about the June books and authors to Blog Stop Book Tours.

Interviews with all 3 authors are posted. I think my favorite part of this gig is reading the authors' answers to my questions. It's almost always enlightening and entertaining!

The very first blog stop for Xujun Eberlein's tour for Apologies Forthcoming will be May 28 at Memory Writers Network. That's next Wednesday. Please come by and see what Jerry Waxler has to say.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Great loves

Beside my love of words, I have two other passions. One is cooking, the other is music. I'll listen to anything once, and if it grabs me, I must have it available to hear - again and again.

I think I've mentioned before that our house is small. We don't really have room for a good stereo with huge speakers. Up until yesterday, my music sources were mediocre to piss poor for sound quality.

We were at Sam's Club yesterday morning, and I just happened to look over my shoulder at the electronics section. Right there, in front of my eyes, were Bose speakers that looked like the ones that come with a computer. And then, I saw the price tag - $69.00.

Those speakers practically jumped off the shelf and into the cart. I think I bounced in my seat all the way home in anticipation of hooking them up. I hooked everything up and turned them on.

I was in heaven! No hissing, no distortion, great bass, fantastic sound!

I'm considering the purchase as a business expense, mostly because I do my best work to tunes cranked up loud. I'm a very happy girl!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Something to ponder...

"By necessity every book must have at least one flaw; a misprint, a missing page, one imperfection....the Rabbis...point out that even in the holiest of books, the scroll resting inside the Ark, the Name of Names is inscribed in code so that no one might say it out loud, and chance to pronounce properly the Word that once divided the waters from the waters and the day from the night.... As it is, some books, nearly perfect, are known to become transparent when opened under the influence of the proper constellation, when the full Moon rests in place. Then it is not uncommon for a man to become lost in a single letter, or to hear a voice rise up from the silent page; and then only one imperfect letter, one missing page, can bring him back to the land where a book, once opened, may still be closed, can permit him to pull up the covers around his head and smile once before he falls asleep."
-Midrashim, by Howard Schwarts

Monday, May 19, 2008

Review - The 7 Triggers to Yes: The New Science Behind Influencing People's Decisions by Russell H. Granger

The 7 Triggers to Yes: The New Science Behind Influencing People's Decisions
Russell H. Granger
ISBN # 978-0071544375

"Everybody knows that the best way to persuade people to reach the “Yes” response is by using logic and reason, right? Wrong. According to the latest research in neuroscience, most people respond to emotional cues rather than rational ones. Instead of using facts and figures to persuade, you should be tapping into the brain’s internal triggers for making decisions. With the new technology of realtime brain imaging, scientists have been able to pinpoint seven of these emotional triggers.

Activating one or more of the other person’s triggers will make you a master persuader in every aspect of your life. You’ll learn how to motivate a “Yes” response from clients, coworkers, employees, and entire organizations."

This book was brought to my attention a couple of months ago. I made a point of asking about it at Barnes and Noble and bought the only copy available in the store. If you're a psychology buff and interested in how human dynamics work, buy this book. Not only is it enlightening, but it's also entertaining. There's a great story about Bill Gates that made me laugh out loud.
(December 17, 2007, pp 240, $24.95)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bedside Table Books

I only have two books on the bedside table today.

I've finished Labyrinth - it was just as fun as the first three in the series! I'm about halfway through Little Heathens, and I'm enjoying it so far.

Look for a review of The 7 Triggers To Yes by Russell H. Granger on Monday morning.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blog Stop Book Tours - June

June should be a fun and exciting month! Three authors will be touring their books with Blog Stop Book Tours.

I have some terrific bloggers lined up to review the books, and hopefully the authors will be available for comment and questions.

I will also be interviewed by Erika Geiss on her radio show Cyber Savvy. And, in the same week, I'll be an exhibitor at the WAH Expo where I'll be talking about Blog Stop and book marketing and promoting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Whatever works for you...

I mentioned last week that my husband is building me a corner office unit. I am totally ecstatic about this, for many reasons - not the least of which is once it's installed, my work life will be much more efficient.

As my business grows, I'm spending more and more time at my desk. My desk is about five years old (a cheapy we picked up at Target), and it's beginning to be a bit wobbly. The pull out drawer for the keyboard bit it a while ago, so I have no work space for actual writing with pen and paper, because my keyboard is on the desk.

The shelves above my desk are not within easy reach. I have to stand up to retrieve anything from them. The bookcase I'll have in a week or so will allow me to have my planner and binder within grabbing reach while sitting.

My laptop computer will have a nook in the office unit, as well. As it stands, I only use the laptop sporadically, because the stand it sits on is too low for my chair. I usually go to the living room with it, and it's literally sitting on my lap.

Everyone is unique in their workspace layout preferences. Whatever works for you, works for you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Late in the day...

A few things I've been thinking about today.

1.) People speed up and down our side street all day long. There are at least eight elementary school kids who play together in the evening here. This is a known fact. I hold my breath every time a car goes by.

2.) I am waiting to hear back from an editor about a piece I wrote months ago, and was supposed to be published in the March issue of their publication. No word yet.

3.) Why is it so hard for some people to practice common courtesies? Like when plans change, let the people involved know they've changed.

4.) It's been grey and cloudy here most of the day. The older I get, the harder overcast weather is on me. If the sun is shining, I am productive. It it isn't, all of my work seems to take me forever.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Many hats

The husband is back to work and the kids are at school. I am back to work. Although I am finding myself feeling like a Jill-of-all-trades, hence the "many hats" title.

Today, I am an editor, a website maintenance person, a blog book tour coordinator, a writer and last, but not least, a homemaker. This morning is for business, this afternoon home and family stuff.

My Mother's Day was lovely. The weather was perfect, I had time alone and with family and my husband gave me a breathtakingly beautiful rose bush for my front garden. I also had the chance to read a book - Nice To Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers. This is one of my recommended must reads for the summer. (Is anyone else reminded of Katie Holmes back in her Dawson's Creek days?)

That's all for me today. Gotta get to it!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Another busy day

So it turns out that the frame on my brand new eyeglasses is defective. The bar between the lenses is skewed and the glasses sit lower under my left eye. I'll be taking them back sometime today.

The upshot to this is I get to stop by Barnes and Noble, as it's right across the street. I want to pick up a copy of the newest Percy Jackson book, and look for a couple of other things.

Hubby is back to work on Monday. It's been nice to have him around, but I need to get back to my routines. We'll be putting the screens in the windows this weekend, so that we can open the windows during the nicest parts of the warm spring days ahead. I saw an 80 degree day in the ten day forecast!

Summertime is coming!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A new twist on book marketing...

"Avon A, an imprint of Harper-Collins Publishers, has teamed up with the fashion-forward handbag maker, The SAK, for "Book in a Bag"--a year-long giveaway of The SAK's chic bags filled with the newest "fashion fiction" by writers like Kerry Reichs, Marian Keyes and Jean Reynolds Page."

This could be fun! For more information, click here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Home Depot

I don't usually blog this late in the day, but... the husband and I went shopping at the Home Depot today. We bought pine boards and ply for my new office unit. The desktop and shelves will be polyed birch-topped plywood, and the supports will be knotty pine, to match my existing bookshelves. I can't wait to see it finished! Then I had work I had to finish up. And now it's almost supper time. It was a good way to spend the day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Review - Ready, Aim, Specialize!: Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money! by Kelly James-Enger

Ready, Aim, Specialize!: Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money!
Kelly James-Enger
Marion Street Press, Inc.
ISBN # 978-1933338248

"Contrary to what you might think, you needn’t be a PHD, or recognized "expert" to focus your writing in a particular area. Your educational background, life experience, and interest in certain subjects can all be translated into a writing-related specialty."

There are many books available about freelance writing, but Kelly James-Enger provides fantastic information on how to capitalize on your own specialty to carve out a niche for yourself as a freelance writer. The writing is clear and concise, but also fun! Ready, Aim, Specialize! includes 20 queries that garnered assignments and an appendix of resources. This book has been added to my reference shelf!
(November 2007, 256 pp, $16.95)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Vacation... all I ever wanted... sorta.

My husband is on vacation this week. He'll be building me a corner office unit to replace the haphazard desk, bookshelves, printer stand set up I have now. We'll also have the chance to spend some uninterrupted time together. That doesn't happen often.

So, this morning, we'll be running errands and getting things done around the house. This afternoon, I'll be working and he'll be putzing in the gardens.

Look for a review of Ready, Aim, Specialize! by Kelly James-Enger tomorrow morning.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May book reviews

So far, I will be reviewing...

  • Ready, Aim, Specialize! by Kelly James-Enger
  • The 7 Triggers To Yes by Russell H. Granger
  • Candles Burning by Tabitha King and Michael McDowell

and 1 more to be announced at a later date.

It's Friday, I have work to do. Enjoy your weekend folks!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day!

Today is my brother's birthday. So, happy birthday, Chuck. I hope it's a great day for you!

Other than that, I have a full day booked. I have to work on a project for a friend. I have to work on stuff for the June tours for Blog Stop. I have to prioritize my to do list, because this is the last month the kids are in school. I need to decide which books I'll be reviewing in the next few weeks. Lots to do - I feel like Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh.

Have a fantastic Thursday!