Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Go Vote for a Christmas Story!

I entered a story in the 2012 Christmas Story Contest over at LDS Publisher.

Today is the last day to vote on which stories you think are the best.

I can't tell you which story is mine, but I'd be your best friend forever if you'd go take a look and vote for the stories you like best. 

If you happen to recognize my writing voice, please DON'T vote for me just because we're friends. Only vote for mine if you really think it's the best one. 

You can vote anonymously if you want, so I'll never know... and even if I do know, I promise I won't be mad if you don't vote for mine.

A few things to know about this:

  • You don't have to read every single whole story entered in the contest. LDS Publisher says to just read the first few paragraphs and if you don't like it, move on.

  • Every comment, including votes, enters you to win one of the books shown in the sidebar as sponsors this month.

  • If you help spread the word on your blog or social media, you can enter to win an ebook copy of either Checkin' It Twice or Stolen Christmas. You can use the Rafflecopter form below to get your points.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


There are the books everyone has heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures, just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, but that you might end up loving.

This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags five other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag five new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

I was tagged by Julie Coulter Bellon. You can learn more about Julie on her blog, where you can then connect with her on Twitter, and even Pinterest.

This blog hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author’s current work in progress, so here’s a little info about my current project:

First, before I answer any of blog hop the questions, I have to tell you that my book is a work in progress (WIP). That means, it's not finished. I have about 20 WIPs but I'm so good at procrastinating that it may be awhile before I get any done. However, Julie (author of multiple books, two of which I've reviewed here on Inksplasher, All Fall Down and All's Fair) twisted my arm on this blog hop thing.

Although I don't have any published fiction, I have published several game and word puzzle books (yes, all the Scatterbrains books are mine); a schmaltzy book of poetry, titled Totally White & Other Poems of Life & Love; as well as the Ancient Civilizations Resource Binder, a cross-curriculum reproducible workbook for middle graders (originally published by Swift Learning Resources, currently being revised for republication under the Miles Ahead Learning Resources imprint).

So. Okay.

1: What is the working title of your book?
Tough question to answer because I'm working on several right now and most of the time I don't title them until they're done. But the one I have the most energy for right now is imaginatively titled: The Truly Hayes Mystery Series, Book 1.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was on a writing retreat last summer at a cabin in Idaho. I took a short morning constitutional up a hill and heard some dogs barking. The following conversation ensued between me and logic-brain:

Me: Oh, no! What if I turn this corner and there are some giant, rabid dogs and they're barking because they want to chase me down this hill and bite me??

Logic-Brain: That's stupid.

Me: Okay... Oh, no! What if these are zombie dogs who have a taste for  brains and blood, and they're barking because they already have my scent, and they are coming to eat me?!?

Logic-Brain: That's even stupider.

Me: Um. Okay... Oh, no! What if those dogs are barking because they're tied up in the back of a pick-up truck and their master is dead behind the wheel, the victim of some nefarious activity that led to his murder, and he's been dead and in the truck for days, and he's starting to smell, and there are flies, and the dogs are hungry and scared?!?!?!?

Logic-Brain: That might make a good story...

3: What genre does your book fall under?
Cozy mystery. I love cozies that are tricky and warped but that don't have a lot of blood and guts.

Ergo, no rabid or zombie dogs in this one.

Just rotting corpses.

And flies.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That's easy. I always find shots of actors for my character bios, to help me remember what they look like and to cement their voice and personality in my mind.
Geena Davis as Truly Hayes

No, this is NOT Hillary Clinton!
It's Emma Thompson as Truly's cousin and friend.

Alan Rickman as Truly's husband, Russell

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A flea market find leads Truly Hayes and her cousin, Helen, into mystery, mayhem and murder. (dun-dun-dun)

6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Well, first I have to finish it—and then we'll see. I'll probably try the traditional route just for the marketing advantages. If it doesn't get accepted, then I'll publish under my own imprint.

 And speaking of my own imprint, even though Rosehaven (my publishing company) isn't fully functional right now, I've still managed to publish a few things over the years. I have currently published several puzzle books under the Scatterbrains name. (I know. I know. I already told you that, blog, my rules.) I've also recently acquired the LDS Publisher Press imprint and published Checkin' It Twice, a Christmas anthology that is new this year, and republished Stolen Christmas, the first anthology that was published in 2009.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still working on it, along with two others—a contemporary YA mystery and a YA fantasy. I trade off when I get stumped. Whichever I finish first will actually be my first full-length fiction work, not counting a novella I wrote in high school. (And no, we REALLY aren't counting that one.)

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I see it as similar to Josi Kilpack's Sadie Hoffmiller series or maybe Lorena McCourtney's Ivy Malone series. Truly is in between those two age-wise.

9: Who inspired you to write this book?
I've always liked to write and make up crazy stories. Got me in LOTS of trouble in high school. My mother and my sisters always encouraged me to write, as did a couple of teachers. I have three really close friends and a wonderful writers group who keep telling me I need to write more seriously (Actually, they tell me to quit whining and making excuses, and to just WRITE IT ALREADY!). I think I'm finally at a place in my life where I might be able to actually finish something more complex than a blog post.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, since it's not done and I'm still working on plotting, I'm not sure.

But I can tell you that my puzzle books are pretty fun.

***End of interview questions***

Here is a list of authors who will be joining the hop for week 26, starting December 19th. I hope you’ll visit their blogs next week and learn more about their books. Maybe one of them will become your new favorite author!

1. Michael D. Young, author of The Canticle Kingdom and The Last Archangel. He also has a short story in Checkin' It Twice. (His is the lead story.) Visit him at

2. Amie Borst, co-author of Cinderskella, to be released by Jolly Fish Press, fall 2013. Her short story, A Soldier's Christmas, is also in Checkin' It Twice. Visit her at




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shhh! Don't Tell Dad!

Remember how my Dad gave me his old Jeep and Megan & I went back to Kentucky to pick it up and hosted one of my first lollapaloozas here?

Well, Dad said I wasn't allowed to mess up the Jeep. No sticking a bunch of stuff all over it.

He didn't need to worry. I'm not one to put cutsey stickers on my car. You'll never see one of those  little stick figure families gracing my back window. No political stickers. No "Save the Whatevers."

License plate frame, yes. I've had this one for 15 years:
Yes, this is an actual photo of my actual license plate.

 It's one of the only slogans I can fully, whole-heartedly support.

That may be why I don't have a tattoo—because I can't decide on one that I love enough to live with forever. 

Bumper stickers fall into the same category for me because no matter how hard you scrape, you just can't get those suckers off!

And I'm just not a bumper sticker kind of girl.

Stickers on my Kindle?
Actual photo of my actual Kindle. The same one I sleep with nearly every night.


Stickers on my laptop?
My old Mac laptop that I dearly love but is missing several keys.

Of course!

Stickers on my cell phone?
Okay, I don't really have this cell phone cover but...

Totally Would!

I'll even put stickers on my skin.
My actual leg with an actual air-brushed dragon tattoo on it.


But my car? 

No. Way.

Until I got this for Christmas. 
Actual sticker on my actual Jeep window.

Need a closer look?

There it is! For the viewing pleasure of all the cars that drive behind me.

(Amazon. They have them for every state.)

Is my sister an awesome gift-giver or what?!?!