Friday, January 31, 2014

A Cat Named Bob, an Interview, a Goal, and a Friday Celebration

I've been in a blog slump and unable to think of anything to write about since Christmas, so it's kind of funny that today I have enough to write about to fill several posts. 

First up, Natasha Hanova was kind enough to interview me on her blog today and I'm very happy to be featured there. Thanks to Natasha for the feature! Please visit us here

And speaking of interviews, Clancy is still psyched about the fact that he was featured on Two Fur-Peeps and a Writer yesterday. If you missed it, come see us there and see what he got up to with Sir Poops and Hair Ball and their mom Shelly Arkon.

Next is the monthly meeting of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, hosted by The Armchair Squid. The Coffeehouse is a fun and simple group where we share our favorite book we've read in the past month. Visit Armchair's site here to view participants or to sign up to join us. 

Source: Amazon purchase page

My favorite book that I read this month was A Street Cat Named Bob And How He Saved My Life by James Bowen. 

Bowen was a heroin addict living in government-supported housing in London when he found an injured street cat outside his door. He used the small amount of money he made busking to help the cat and ended up finding a life-long friend and the catalyst for turning his life around in return. 

It's no secret that I love animals and this book showcases the bond that can develop between a human and an animal in a touching and heartwarming way. While it's a very sweet and "feel good" story, it's not sappy or trite. I'd recommend the book to any animal lover, and especially cat lovers, and I think anyone who reads it will fall in love with the handsome and charming orange cat named Bob. 

Thanks as always to Armchair for hosting this group!

This is the first month I am participating in Misha Gericke's Goal Bloghop at The Five Year Project. The purpose of the hop is to share a goal that may be considered crazy by some and then keep everyone up to date on your progress towards reaching it, while also encouraging other goal seekers. Visit Misha here if you'd like to sign up and get involved. 

I decided to join this hop in the hopes that setting a deadline for myself and making my goal public would help motivate me. I'm very fortunate to have a full-time job while I pursue my writing goals but ultimately I would like to be able to work full-time as a writer. In order to do that I want to focus on finding freelance assignments in addition to working on my novels. 

While I had big plans to kick off 2014 by working diligently on this goal, it hasn't worked out that way. So I really don't have any progress to report this month. But knowing I will be reporting in again at the end of February does help motivate me and I am going to make it a point to have something more substantial to share then. I gave myself a deadline of June, 2015 to realize this goal. Stay tuned to see if I get there!

Last but never least, it's time to Celebrate the Small Things with Vikki at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author. This week I'm celebrating the end of January! This has been a month I'm glad to see end. I normally don't hate winter, but the weather we've had this year is not at all what we are used to and I've had more than enough of it. 

I will be very glad to turn the calendar over to February tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed that we have already seen the worst that winter has to offer this year. 

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Clancy Pays a Visit to Two Fur-Peeps and A Writer

Clancy found a cure for his cabin fever this week by visiting with the fabulous duo of Sir Poops and Hair Ball, stars of Two Fur-Peeps and A Writer.

We are both so grateful to the fur-peeps and their mom Shelly Arkon for hosting Clancy and letting him do something to earn his keep around here by promoting The Ghosts of Aquinnah. Clancy had such a good time he hasn't been able to stop talking about it, and all his bragging has made Nate very jealous.

Visit us here to see what Clancy got up to with SPAL and HB!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Aquinnah's Christopher & Stella and Celebrate the Small Things

Hello and Happy Friday to all!


I missed last week's Celebrate the Small Things hop, hosted by Vikki at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author, so I'm celebrating the past two weeks now.

First up, I'm celebrating that I was one of the Blog Blitz recipients last week and that was such a fun surprise! Thanks to everyone who came by here and visited me. And I want to say a special thanks to D.L. Hammons for organizing these fun little blog blitz parties.

Also, I won a copy of the Triangulation Morning After anthology from Stephen Ramey during last month's 'Tis More Blessed giveaway. I got the book in the mail this week and it was a treat to open my mailbox and see the package in there. Nothing like getting free books!

I'm also celebrating that I finally got some writing done on my WIP. It's a prequel to Polar Night and also ties in to the sequel I am planning, so I'm excited to finally be making some progress on both of them. I haven't written steadily in what feels like forever so I'm glad to finally feel like I may have beaten back my writer's block. I think this picture is what inspired me to sit my butt down and stop whining about being blocked. :D

Source: Jim C. Hines

Finally, Heather Holden drew comics of Polar Night's Danny and Aleksei for me last year and I loved them so much that I asked her if she would do another portrait for me, this time of Christopher and Stella from The Ghosts of Aquinnah. I got the finished product from her this week and I love it. Christopher and Stella are the main characters in the 1884 portion of the story. Aren't they cute? :)

If you don't already know Heather, check out her webcomic The Echo Effect. She is amazingly talented and a super-nice person to boot.

I've fallen way behind on my blog reading and commenting lately and I apologize for that, this month has just been a bit of a mess for me and my focus is all over the place. I'm looking forward to getting caught up with everyone this weekend.

Hope you've all had lots of small and big things to celebrate this week and have a great weekend ahead.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cover Reveal for Reborn by Cherie Reich

Cherie Reich is releasing her novel Reborn in May and I'm super-excited to be taking part in her cover reveal this week. Congratulations, Cherie!

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Here’s an excerpt from the prologue of Reborn:

He couldn’t forget the council’s words or how they’d cursed his fifth Phoenix Prophetess. But visions of the Kingdom of Amora in flames flashed through his mind. He could taste the ashes, like burnt charcoal, and hear her people’s screams. The prophecy of the kingdom’s destruction leaked sour bile into his mouth. The other gods, including Kisa, the Queen of the Gods, might be willing to turn their backs on their loyal people for Fate, but he wasn’t.

There was also this infant in front of him. She reminded him of his daughter. His mortal family resided in the Underworld, but he couldn’t let this child.

“I have to save her.”

“Think of the consequences, my son.”

He had. They both knew the gods would find a way to curse him and this innocent child, but the price was worth saving the kingdom.

Ignoring his mother’s shrieks, Apenth leaned over the lifeless baby again. His lips pressed against her ashen forehead, so cold to the touch. Postera clawed at his arms, but he shoved away her hands. Nothing would stop him from completing Amora’s prophecy, protecting the city named after his love.

“You are mine, little one.” His hand pressed over her heart. Electric heat flowed from his glowing fingertips. They tingled, nearly burning his flesh, but his hand remained steady. Luminosity brightened around the child and him, further blocking out Postera’s pleas. The room filled with the blinding white light.

“Live.” He commanded, pleaded.

“No!” Postera screamed as the child’s life-thread ripped from his mother’s hand and joined the pulsing jewel on her belt. The piece sizzled, reattaching to the gemstone, and transformed to blood red.

The light imploded into the child. Her flesh glowed for a moment before the room’s shadows returned. A tiny strawberry-colored birthmark in the shape of a phoenix blossomed upon the flesh over her heart. The baby’s lungs filled with air, and a cry broke from her lips.

The Phoenix Prophetess was reborn.

Author Bio: A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her ebooks include the horror series Nightmare, a space fantasy trilogy titled Gravity, and a fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms.

Her debut YA Epic Fantasy novel Reborn, book one in The Fate Challenges, will be released on May 23, 2014. Add Reborn on Goodreads here.

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