Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Goodness

If you are hanging around the Blogosphere this weekend because of work, bad weather or just lack of plans. There are some cool things you can take part in today and Monday.

The first stop you have to make is the Tour de Troops from An Indie Book Collective. I'm working my way through it in between writing and blogging since my husband is working.

It's simple: visit the author’s blogs, make a comment, and receive the coupon code for a free copy of their eBook. The tour starts at one blog, then we go from there to the next one by clicking the link provided. You can start with Day 1 and catch up if you wish. The main blog with the information is here:

"Every comment gets that person the title being given away at that particular blog PLUS one to a troop. Readers can even designate a particular troop to give it to if they desire. All participating authors have graciously agreed to donate however many eBooks are requested.

We’ve all donated $15 of our own money to help purchase the Kindles! In addition, we want to give as many KINDLES to as many troops as possible. This means that we need your donations! Did you know that eBooks are one of the TOP requests made by our troops? Let’s get them what they so desperately want—together!"

Next, stop by Diane Wylie's place and check out what she is doing:

In honor of Memorial Day, Diane Wylie is donating a portion of A Soldier To Love to an organization that offers support to fallen soldiers.

"For every copy of my Civil War short story, A Soldier to Love, that is sold, I will donate 50 cents of the 99-cent price to It is an organization that honors our fallen heroes and helps their families."

You can read an excerpt and find more information on her website:

You could also stop by The National Jukebox, which is a very cool online resource at

The Jukebox includes more than 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925. Content will be increased regularly, with additional Victor recordings and acoustically recorded titles made by other Sony-owned U.S. labels, including Columbia, OKeh, and others.

Remember that a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time on Monday. Take a moment to remember those who've served our country.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Infernal Device: Steampunk Art

Last October I blogged about Art Prize, including the awesome Steampunk Pig (you can read about him here.) I just found out that this year there is going to be another awesome steampunk exhibit that will have moving parts. The video below explains:

The Infernal Device is a collaborative project by American painter and engraver Myke Amend, Enginartist Steve Brook, and Steam-machine Sculptor Todd Cahill. You can find out more about them here:

ArtPrize is an open art competition, giving away the world's largest art prize. Part arts festival, part social experiment because the winners are decided solely on a public vote. Art festival runs Sept. 21 through October 9 this year in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The artists are registering right now, so they don't have a searchable list of who will be there. I'm hoping there will be other steampunk entries!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Slam Poetry is the Coolest

I love when teachers make literature and/or poetry fun for their students, but more than that I especially love when they help kids express themselves. My oldest son, who's a senior, took a poetry class this year, and not only did he love it, he and a friend who was in the class too, read their poems at a poetry reading at our local theater. They were among poets of all ages, including one who'd been writing poetry for 8o years. This was such a cool event! Here is a picture of Steve and my son Chuck giving me their "poet" pose:

I want to share my son's poem not only to brag a little bit on him, but also because his feelings reflect my own. During the last 10 years or so I have seen and met more kids who were living with parents that didn't want the responsibility of having children. I've seen kids walking to school alone that were far to small to be on their own. I've seen kids come to school dirty, eating candy or popsicles for breakfast. As my kids got older I met teenagers that were bright, creative and basically on their own. Giving a child a bed to sleep in does not mean you are a good parent. Kids need to know they are loved and safe. I can't tell you how many times I've wished I had a home large enough to take in kids that I've met who needed a place to stay where they would feel that way.

(sorry about the formatting..."slam poems are best heard, not read" as my son told me:)

by Charles A. Hyde III

“Kids these days.”
Adults mumble in incredulity,
Recalling a simpler time when children were more respectable,
More lovable, more probable to be tolerable.
They wish that little Johnny would just mow the lawn,
Suzy would take out the trash,
Billy would clean his room,
Brittany would eat her veggies.
And maybe it's true--
But I believe that they have been blinded by a sheaf of nostalgia,
A love of misremembered memories,
Concealing their true motives and recollections.
And it only grows worse as their precious gems reach maturity--
The teenage wasteland that is America enrages them so they cannot even speak.
Yet are these kids any different than their high and mighty parents?
They, too, had many tales of love,
Tales of conflict,
Tales of woe,
Tales of heartbreak and repair.
Tales of their first prom, their worst date,
Their first fight over a girl that wasn’t even worth it.
And yet they persecute the prodigal sons and daughters of my generation,
Preferring to harshly disable them,
Hold them to high expectations, but then bring them down.
Now, I understand that there are good parents,
Role models, heroic figures that would throw themselves upon a grenade for their kin.
And they may be a majority--
Dear God, I hope that they are.
But this is not about them.
This is about the father that causes fractures in their family, physically and formatively.
This is about the mother that makes her masterpiece feel meek and misunderstood.
This is about the parents that should not have been.
Dammit, this is about the so-called “adults” and their never-ending hatred,
Their loathing,
Their putrescent distaste for the good in life.
They wage war, and send the kids they disrespect to fight it.
They allow predators to roam the streets,
And in some cases, they are the predators.
They are responsible for the world,
Not us.
No, not us.
Not yet.
And I hope that when we inherit this disillusioned planet,
We do a damn better job running it than them.
So, to sum it all up, to add up my points,
To break it down for you, in just three words, a simple phrase:
“Adults these days.”

This picture is my son, me and our friend Doowy, who showed up for support and to keep me company.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Featured Book: Take Me Away

I can't imagine how exciting it would be to submit a story, only to find out it's release day is less than a month later. Of course it's also a whirlwind of activity as the author puts together the promotion. Tina has amazed me with her organization and amazing energy as I watched her put everything together for her newest release.

I told her the cover alone will sell this story:) Be sure to watch the trailer below...the ending makes me smile every time.

Take Me Away
by Tina Donahue

She’s everything he escaped…and all that he desires

Three years ago, Kyle turned his back on a pro-football career and being the target of tabloids or gold-digging groupies. Craving privacy, he gets it at his roadhouse in Northern California until Lexi Sands invades his life. Indulged and surely phony, she’s exactly what Kyle fled.

An actress since childhood, Lexi’s fresh out of an anger management program, court-ordered when she lashed out at a badgering paparazzo. Weary of the press’s harsh scrutiny, she sees Kyle’s secluded cabin as the ideal place to hide out and him as a damn-near perfect alpha male. Deliciously virile. Protective. Principled. She offers him serious cash to let her stay for two weeks, assuring there will be no complications or touching.

Yeah, right. Passion flares, along with tenderness. Kyle recognizes how lonely Lexi really is, while she’s falling hard. Through intimate days and impassioned nights, they explore their most shameless needs, until a cruel betrayal exposes their growing love, forcing a choice neither anticipated.

Read an excerpt here:
Buy Take Me Away:

Tina Donahue is a multi–published novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work; she has reached finals and/or placed in numerous RWA–sponsored contests. Three of her erotic novels were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Young Author Writes of Zombies

My daughter won the Young Author award again this year, but her subject matter changed drastically. Last year she wrote an essay on the care of cats, which was nonfiction. This year in 5th grade she decided to go the fiction route with a story entitled Zombie High School. No, I did not help her with the theme choice. I seriously did not know what she was writing until it was almost finished. Here is a little bit of her story:

"AJ!" I replied without looking. "How was your trip to your aunt's vacation crypt?" she asked.

I was about to answer when a group of cheerleaders passed by. I hoped more than anything the cheerleaders were better than middle school and that they were nice. They walked up to us, what looked like the head cheerleader said "Ewww FREAAKSS!" She admired her stupidly perfect nails. How does she keep them from rotting?

I looked at my brown, mushy, decaying fingers. My nails were dirty and cracked. I sighed, for once I wanted to be...well to be pretty. "Hey AJ, " I whispered, "when was the last time we got pedicures?" AJ thought for a minute, "well, 1,000, 2,000, well we got that one thing but it wasn't a pedicure." she mumbled.

"5,000 years, " she whispered back. I sighed again.

This is Emily and SHE is not a zombie:

She came home the other day smiling because some of her classmates asked if she was working on a sequel. I think a writer has been born:)