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Friday, July 29, 2016

Blogger Interview with Liz A. from Laws of Gravity



Today I have Liz A. from Laws of Gravity. Her blog is quite unique. She blogs about being a substitute teacher, shares her knitting creations, and asks intriguing questions every week. Welcome, Liz!


1. How did you come up with the title Laws of Gravity for your blog? Does it have a special meaning?

This is a rather long story. The short version: I liked it.

As for the long version…

One of the reasons I studied physics in college had to do with the history of science. Copernicus. Galileo. Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. Which all led to Sir Isaac Newton (who wasn’t that nice of a guy) and his law of universal gravitation. I so hope that Kepler actually stole that Mars data…

But that’s not what prompted my blog title. That came from a movie. A movie titled Laws of Gravity tickled my brain. I’ve never seen the movie. Not really interested. (It’s not my kind of film.) But the title… I loved the title. So, I stole it. For my personal journal.

When I started really working on my novels, I also started keeping a personal journal. And I titled it Laws of Gravity. Because.

Then, when I started my blog, I knew that’s what the title had to be. Because it was still a personal thing, just a blog where I talked about what was important to me. And I could spin some tale of how gravity is the thing that holds us all together. Gravity is the force that binds two objects with mass. And the more massive (or the more objects) the more tightly it binds.

Or, I could talk about spacetime and how gravity is the force that shapes our universe.


But actually, the title is Laws of Gravity because I liked the ring of it. (The deeper meaning gives it layers.)

2. One of your regular blog features is the Sub Files where you talk about moments you experience while subbing for a continuation high school. How did this get started?

I started calling it #subfiles because hashtags started being the thing, and it was the way I coded my tweets from school.

But the Sub Files have always been a part of the blog. When I first started (on MySpace, of all things), I had one reader, my brother. He said he liked my subbing stories best, so I focused on them.

As for the stories from the continuation high school, they began once the district started sending me there. I write about what happens during my subbing day. Those are just normal subbing days.


3. What was your very first blog post?

My very first blog post was on MySpace. May 23, 2006. I reposted it on Blogger on May 3, 2011. (I deleted the MySpace account, but I saved my blog posts from then. I reposted some of them, but many of them weren’t worth saving.) Silly Fire Drill

My first blog post on Blogger is from September 14, 2007, and it explains why I made the jump to Blogger. Newbie But I had been writing a blog for a little over a year when I posted this.

4. On Tuesdays you have What If posts. In your words: At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? How do you come up with or find these thought-provoking questions?

I wish I had a good answer for you. They just come to me. It might be from something I watched on TV. It might be from something someone said to me. Or it might just be me white knuckling it on the weekend when I’m writing my posts knowing that I need to post something…

5. You’re an avid knitter and even have an Etsy store called Zizi Rho Designs. What is your most popular item among your buyers?

I don’t know. I sell quite a few EOS lip balm holders, but is that because I have a ton of them? Many of my other designs end up being one-offs. I sell the one and then never make it again. So, it’s hard to know.

Knitted Earrings

6. What kitting projects are you currently working on?

I have three projects actively going at the moment. First, I'm crocheting some more Pokeball EOS lip balm holders. Who knew that was going to break big this summer? Then on the knitting side, I'm designing a new purse. I finally found a stitch pattern I like. And finally, I'm knitting a lacy cover for my water bottle. This has no practical application whatsoever. I just wanted to make something pretty. 

7. What are the top 5 most-viewed posts on your blog?

pattern for a crocheted peace sign appliqué—sense a theme here?

When I see other bloggers do this exercise, they always say how surprised they are at their top posts. I am not. My top posts are my free patterns, which I also link to on Ravelry (keeping them searchable for those looking for those sorts of things). I’d be more surprised if they weren’t at the top.

Because of Ravelry, I can look at what some others have done with my designs. It’s kind of fun. (The pyramid pillow prop, the water bottle carrier)


8. Share your number one tip to bloggers just starting out.

Write for you. Don’t worry about followers. If you aren’t writing a blog because you want to, you won’t stick with it for long.


Hyper Round:

1. Favorite time to post blogs? 8 AM       

2. Blogger or Wordpress? Blogger

3. Do you host guests?
Yes, although I discourage it. (Too few readers to make it worth it.)

4. Where are you when you’re blogging?
Sitting on my bed. But if I have an easy class, I may write out a post while watching them work and type it in later.


BIO:

I am a writer, a knitter, and a substitute teacher, not necessarily in that order. TV is my background noise of choice while I work on whatever project comes to hand. I'm currently working on a novel about a wizard with self-esteem issues. 

LINKS:


Thank for you being my guest, Liz!

Please leave Liz a comment. J


Monday, July 25, 2016

P - Playground / Deleted Scene from Seismic Crimes





When you’re a writer, you end up cutting unnecessary scenes from your book that are extra fluff. In Seismic Crimes, I had written a playground fight scene. It’s a flashback on Donovan’s childhood and gives us special insight into what he was like as a kid, and what he had gone through having a drunk, worthless father and a mother who had to raise him alone. I adored the scene but ended up having to delete it because, although it was cute and funny, it didn’t add to the story.

I always keep whatever I end up having to delete from my projects. So now I can share this scene with you!

Deleted Scene:

On the day before Christmas break, Donovan’s class, along with the other fourth grade classes, ventured outdoors into the cold. A carpet of gray clouds smothered the sky. Snow flurries danced through the air, swaying from side to side as they fell. Donovan ran around the playground with his group of friends. Being free, after being cooped up all day doing silly art projects like making reindeer with his feet, felt great. He didn’t even care that it was freezing. The fact that winter break was a few hours away and counting made playtime even more delicious.

Donovan was in a heated game of tag when someone shoved him from behind and he fell into the snow. The fall caught him off guard. His hands dove through the snow and frozen pieces of mulch stabbed his palms. He turned over to look up at his attacker, a boy with a twisted, angry face.

Donovan jumped to his feet and brushed snow off his clothes. “What’s your problem, Miles?”

Miles crossed his arms over his one-too-many-cupcakes belly. “You’re my problem.”

“I haven’t done anything to you.”

“You didn’t have to. Your face is enough to make me mad.”

One of Donovan’s friends laughed from behind him. “You’re mad that you’re ugly and 
Donovan’s not?”

The surrounding children joined in with hoots and hollers.

“Shut up!” Miles stepped forward, getting toe to toe with Donovan. “I don’t have to explain why I don’t like you.”

Donovan glared into Miles’ mucus-green eyes. “If you’re in my face you do.”

“Alright, Donovan, I don’t like you because you’re a bastard. Your dad is a dumbass drunk and your mom is a whore.”

Donovan couldn’t care less what anyone said about his biological father—or sperm donor, which was a more appropriate term for the man who wasn’t in his life—because there was a safe bet he thought the same things or worse. But the moment anyone said something about his mom—a beautiful, sweet, loving woman—he snapped.

He launched himself at Miles, taking him down as if his body was full of gooey frosting. His fist pounded Miles’ face once, twice, three times before a recess monitor yanked him off Miles. Blood streamed from Miles’ nose like cherry filling squirting from a jelly donut. The principal suspended Donovan for two days following Christmas break, but the punishment didn’t bother him in the least. Punching Miles felt good. He didn’t regret getting into a fist fight, and he knew he’d do it again.


To read more from Seismic Crimes, go to Amazon.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

O - Officer Burnett + Quotes




Officer Burnett is a good guy who only wants to do good. He knows that officers aren’t always popular among the people, especially with Donovan whose brother (an Internal Affairs Investigator) was murdered by corrupt cops, but that doesn’t stop him from doing whatever he needs to do to serve and protect. Including becoming an ally to Donovan. He’s one of the few cops Donovan learns to trust in Seismic Crimes.

Officer Burnett is kind, easy going, and has a big heart. Here’s a few snippets of conversations featuring Burnett.

Quote #1:

“I’m Officer Burnett and I’m just trying to get the facts. Two of our men called in a murder of an Internal Affairs investigator and cited you as the suspect they saw at the murder scene. Then you fled from them. Now you’re here, and you’re telling us you and the woman out there killed one of our men in self-defense. You’re lucky we didn’t stun you on sight. Why don’t you tell us everything from the beginning? You said your brother called you. Why don’t you start from there?”

Quote #2:

Burnett held the door open for her. Donovan stood and she went to him, needing contact with him. He hooked his arms around her and pulled her into his body. She closed her eyes, thinking about how close he had come to being charged with murder.

They may not know each other well, but already, she couldn’t imagine her life without him.

After a moment, a throat cleared. “Seems like the two of you are pretty close.”

Beth peeked up at Donovan’s grin. “Natural disasters can bring people together,” he told Burnett.

“They sure can.”


To read more from Seismic Crimes, go to Amazon.



Monday, July 18, 2016

Domestic Violence Awareness + A Love That Disturbs



I'm at the IWSG blog with 
Insecurity Buster: Book Signing Fear


Domestic abuse can result in an extensive amount of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. If you're a writer, it’s important to tackle all 3 if your story deals with domestic violence.



Writing About Domestic Violence by Chrys Fey


1. Physical Abuse

Victims are pushed, slapped, hit, punched, and kicked. Objects are often used as weapons against them, or they are threatened with a gun or knife. They can have bruises that they cover up with long sleeves even in warm weather or offer weak explanations after a moment’s silence. They also get random injuries that can’t be explained.

2. Mental Abuse

The victim is stalked, intimidated, blackmailed, given ultimatums, and gas lighted (made to believe everything is her fault, and that she’s crazy because the abuser is playing tricks on her, lying, and manipulating her.) Abusers can also check in constantly, record her car’s mileage, read her text messages, and listen to her phone conversations. This could lead the victim to not go anywhere or talk to anyone.

3. Emotional Abuse

Abuser can tell her she’s ugly, stupid, fat, a bad parent, etc. Crude words could also be used against her. He can say these things so often that the victim believes them.

Victims have to deal with being put down all the time in public and in private. She is scared, jumpy, depressed, lonely, and obviously unhappy.

Image from Pixabay

Other Forms of Abuse:

Social Abuse – the victim can’t see certain friends or family members.
Financial Abuse – the victim doesn’t have control over her money.
Sexual Abuse – the victim is forced to do sexual acts against her will.

Warning Signs:

- Abuser constantly criticizes her.
- Bruises and injuries.
- Abuser blames victim for everything.
- Victim is threatened all the time.
- Abuser accuses victim of flirting or cheating.
- Victim is on edge or becomes quiet when partner comes into the room.
- Victim can’t go to school/work.
- Victim can’t see family/friends.
- The abuser controls everything (phone, car, money).


NOTE: Men can be the victim in domestic abuse, too.

Image from Pixabay

Aside from abuse between partners there are these types, too:

1. Child Abuse

As shocking as it can be to think about, there are monsters out there who abuse children physically, mentally, and sexually. Abused children will run and hide when their abuser is around, cry, or become quiet. Some are so emotionally damaged that they may become voluntarily mute. They will have odd bruises on their bodies and may be frail from a lack of food. They may not sleep well and could have dark circles around their eyes and fall asleep in class. Their grades could also slip.

2. Relative/Sibling Abuse

This is one that I’ve experienced…a close relative or sibling could become abusive such as a child to their mother, a brother to a sister, an uncle to a niece or nephew, etc. And many of the things mentioned earlier can qualify here, too. 

3. Animal Abuse 

Any abuse toward an animal including beating, starving, and leaving them outside without water (or inside a locked car with the windows up).


QUESTION: Do you have a personal story? If you’d like to share your experience with domestic abuse, you can. I’ll listen.

Chrys'Story: My half-bother verbally abused me and threatened me all the time with words and objects. He also caused my mom physical harm. I’ve also seen my sister abused by her ex-husband.


*Share this post to pass on domestic violence awareness.


***


BOOK BLAST FOR MEDEIA


A LOVE THAT DISTURBS by Medeia Sharif
Evernight Teen, June 17, 2016
Purchase from Amazon (merchant sites will be updated on the author's site)

Maysa Mazari is alarmed by her mother’s talk about arranged marriage. As a hijab-wearing Pakistani-American, she wants to find love on her own. Her judgmental Muslim clique has protected her from racist taunts, although the leader is turning on her as Maysa strays from the group because of her attraction to Haydee.

Haydee Gomez is a former gang member and juvenile detention student. Now living with a clean-cut aunt, she wants to turn her life around, even though one person will never let her forget her roots—Rafe, her abusive pimp. Haydee attempts to pull away from a life of prostitution when she develops feelings for Maysa, although Rafe isn’t willing to give her up too easily.

Finding themselves in danger from Maysa’s friends and Haydee’s pimp, it’s apparent their love disturbs everyone around them as they fight to stay together.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon


Friday, July 15, 2016

Scene Spotlight for A Witch's Journey by Tena Stetler



Today I have Tena Stetler, The Wild Rose Press author, as my guest. She is telling us about her newest release A Witch’s Journey. Check out those muscles on that cover! ;) 

Welcome, Tena!


Title: A Witch's Journey
Author: Tena Stetler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: June 15, 2016


BOOK LINKS:


SCENE SPOTLIGHT:

Leaning over, Lathen’s arms enveloped Pepper calming her angry energy. “You okay?”

She nodded. A faint orange glow emanated from her palms slowly spreading to her fingers. A tiny spark snapped at the tip of her pinky.  His large hands eased over hers to stop the progression of sparks. A vibration of feet pounding the ground had them both glancing up as a uniformed police officer sprinted toward them.

Lathen listened while Pepper gave her statement. He added what he saw and they were released. On the drive to the cabin, Pepper rested her head on his shoulder, his arm wrapped around her. Nostrils flared as he inhaled her citrus and wildflower scent mixed with the adrenaline that fueled her flight or fight response, now diminishing as she relaxed against him.

For the first time since that terrible day his SEAL team’s mission had gone horribly wrong, the sensation of phasing had thrummed through his body as he shoved his way through the crowd to get to Pepper. He actually had to restrain the response. Could I have phased? Was the overwhelming desire to protect Pepper so ingrained, his wolf’s physical ability to shift kicked in? He didn’t have the answers tonight, but… Restless in the seat, he flexed his torso and leg muscles. A coiled ready-to-spring sensation felt familiar. A slight smile crossed his lips.

Pepper tilted her head up to peer at him. “Uncomfortable?” She tried to slide over giving him more room, but his arm tightened around her pulling her closer.

“Never felt better in my life,” he said confidently. The predator awareness was back, and he reveled in it.

Her eyebrow arched in question as he felt her eyes linger on him and shot her a quick glance.

“So has trouble always followed you around?” he wanted to know.

“…Nooo, well, not exactly. At least not to this level. You’re aware of the final incident in Salem, but the ten years prior was calm, except for deadbeat boyfriends.”

“Which, I am guessing, is why you learned to defend yourself so well. Magic didn’t do it for you?”

“Magic is hard to use in the presence of mortals. Besides, it’s forbidden. You know that.”

Lathen raised an eyebrow. “Someone forgot to tell Mr. Green or Mr. Bonchard. And what about those flying feathers the night Tom showed up at your place?”

She shook her head. “I still have no idea what happened that night. Must have been the cabin or land, some kind of protection enchantment that triggered it. Glad no one else saw. Need to talk to Ashling. Seemed the feathers took on a life of their own.”

“Oh—Green saw, all right. He was babbling about all kinds of things as they took him away.”

She shrugged. “Strange, if he’s any type of magical creature, he’d know better than to say such things.” Pepper looked up at him, her forehead creased. “Things just don’t add up.”

The truck slowed to a stop in front of the cabin. “We’ll remember this Fourth of July for years to come,” Lathen commented with a frown.


QUESTIONS:

1.    Where does this scene take place?

     The attack took place when they were watching the town fireworks, now she is answering questions; a picture of Lathen’s Truck; and the McKay Cabin he pulls up in front of. 

Lobster Cove Fireworks

1.    Which actors/actresses would play the characters present in this scene?

Lathen played by Chris Helmsworth, Pepper played by Molly C. Quinn.

2.    What inspired this scene?

The desire to show the character’s strong side while being there for each other. After an attack on Pepper, I wanted to show Lathen and Pepper handling the stress of the situation in a supportive manner. I thought up the scene while day dreaming about the story in the sunroom watching my parrot, then bounced the ideas off my husband.  

Lathen's Truck
3.    What do you love the most about this scene?

     Lathen’s ability to calm Pepper and be there for her, at the same time discovering that his life is changing again. His abilities and emotional state are healing. And the magic. I love scenes with magic, guess that why I write paranormal romance.

4.    Was this scene difficult or easy to write?

     It was easy, the scene before it was difficult. Pepper is a strong woman and she can take care of herself, but you have to balance that with her caring nature. Lathen has so many things going on mentally and physically that he is trying to overcome, yet he feels he has to be strong for Pepper.

McKay Cabin

BLURB:

Pepper McKay comes from a long line of powerful witches. Unfortunately, magic brings her nothing but trouble. She learned the love of wildlife rescue and rehab from her Aunt Ashling. After graduating from college, Pepper works for Salem Wildlife Sanctuary and lives from paycheck to paycheck until she inherits the McKay property in Lobster Cove. With the family land and resources, she dares to dream of starting her own wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

Lathen Quartz, a former Navy SEAL turned handyman maintains the enchanted McKay property for the McKay estate. But someone is trying to steal the McKay magic. Lathen offers to help Pepper achieve her life-long dream of building a wildlife center. During the long hours spent together on the project, their mutual attraction can’t be denied. But each harbors a deep, dark secret. Will they overcome their demons and give love a chance?


AUTHOR BIO:

Tena Stetler is a paranormal romance and cozy mystery author with an over-active imagination.  She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, Tena sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures telling her their tales. Colorado is her home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-year-old box turtle.  Any winter evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn.  During the summer you can find her cozied up around a campfire with a good book. 

AUTHOR LINKS: 



Thank you for telling us about this witch’s journey, Tena. ;)

Please leave a comment for Tena!



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Night #1LineWed



If you’re on Twitter you might have heard about #1LineWed, a Twitter Chat that happens every Wednesday. Each week there’s a new theme. Kiss of Death @RWAKISSOFDEATH announces the theme a few days before. You search your current WIP for the theme and share a line (or up to 140 characters). This post was inspired by #1LineWed with the theme of Night.


Check out the Night lines from Seismic Crimes:

-       He found himself dreaming of avenging his brother during the dark of the night and in the silence of morning.

-       The halo of light it created didn’t help to lessen the darkness of the night; it punctuated the gloom.

-       He smiled sinisterly. “Meaning I know what hotel he sleeps in at night.”

-       Buildings rose up around them, magical and romantic in the night with squares of light like stars spotting the tall structures.

-       The elevator whisked them up and broke into the night sky, granting them a bird’s eye view of the cityscape.

-       “They better be found by nightfall. I don’t want a dead detective’s little brother and some b**** bringing down everything I’ve created.”

-       She had stayed stitched to his side the entire night, and she had more of an effect on him than the pain medication the nurses had given him.

-       Then she unwound the wrap holding his ribs, revealing a pattern of bruises like red and purple fireworks in the night sky.

-       The nightmare that started with Hurricane Sabrina’s arrival was finally over.


QUESTIONS: Have you ever participated in #1LineWed?
Which is your favorite line above?



To read more from Seismic Crimes, go to Amazon.




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