Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Holidays!

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Seasons Greetings, all! For those of you checking back, we're still on hiatus. We hope to be return to blogosphere after the first of the year. Please check back for updates. In the meantime we want to wish you all a safe and glorious holiday season. When it comes to gift giving, remember the true meaning of Christmas and perhaps consider a donation to a charity in the names of friends or loved ones.
Wishing you peace and joy!
SIS (plus Krys!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Taking a Break

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Life intervenes so we're taking an extended coffee break.  We're so grateful for those who drop by, read our posts, and share their thoughts. Thank you, thank you! We're not going away forever, just for awhile. Check back in November for updates and quite possibly a new format. 

Be well, be happy, and drink lots of java (or something)!

Beth, Brenda, Barb/Elle, BJ/Aleena, Brandy, and Krys 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Always Remember To:

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Love with your whole heart.

Laugh out loud.

Look up at the sky.

Hug the ones that mean something to you.

Enjoy coffee with friends.

Step away and then come back.

Be considerate.

Take a risk.

Change only if you want to.

Taste the food before you add salt.

Sip rather than guzzle.

Stop what you're doing and listen.

Go for a walk...with your eyes wide open.

Never wait until it's too late.

Now you add one!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn's Blessings

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The sacred wheel turns once again
Autumn has settled across the land.

Golden, russet, and crimson leaves
Blanket the land as they fall from trees.

The bountiful harvest fills our cups
We pour them forth when we've had enough.

As we gaze in wonder at the darkening skies
Autumns blessings fill our lives.

Building fires under the moon
Dancing with loved ones, what a boon!

*Aleena Ravenwood*

May our days be blessed and bountiful this harvest season.
And may my beautiful Smurfette have a wonder birthday.

SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Conspiracy

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con·spir·a·cy-[kuhn-spir-uh-see]
–noun, plural -cies.


1. the act of conspiring.

2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.

3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.


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Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy?  Or were others involved?  Some people think he couldn't have done it alone and that parties such as the CIA, KGB, FBI, Fidel Castro, the Mafia and many others were involved.



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Was the Apollo moon landing real, or were the NASA pictures shot in a studio?



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Was Princess Diana's car accident really an accident?  Or was it some elaborate murder plan to prevent further scandal to the English throne?



Baloondebris

Alien spaceship or top secret research balloon?  What really crashed in Roswell in July of 1947?  Were there aliens aboard?  Did they survive?


Whether these events were conspiracies or not, they still make for great thought and discussion.  I always find it interesting to read all the different conspiracies that people create.  Some of them are very believable, and some of them not so much.  I guess it's all a matter of opinion.

Are you a conspiracy theorist?


SIS Bren


 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LEFT HANGING...

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I just finished reading The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  Being a vampire story, I was compelled to buy it as soon as I saw it on the shelf.  I really enjoyed the book  even though it was not what I was expecting.  My typical vampire reads have sexy men and hot steamy scenes.  This was completely the opposite.  In this story, the vampires are disgusting!!

The thing that bugged me about The Strain, is that I didn't realize it was part of a series.  I guess I didn't pay enough attention to this inside cover.  Half way through the book it hit me... great I'm gonna be left hanging again!

I have gotten way too interested in too many series!  It drives me crazy waiting for the next story to come out.  There is the Fever series -  it's the one that has me most on edge.  The Black Dagger Brotherhood  always keeps me in suspense wondering who's story is next.  I have many others that I am always waiting on.  So great... I just added another!!

Does it drive you absolutely nuts waiting on the next part of a series?  Do you like being left in suspense?


SIS Brandy

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's Your Story?

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One's imagination is as unique as the body that holds it. I posted a stunning picture at Loud Whispers this weekend and asked people to just come up with a couple of sentences about it. What story did they see when they looked at it? What emotion did they feel?
The answers were amazing and some of the stories they came up with NEED to be told. I hope they will allow the picture to inspire them further. 

I've decided to try it here. It doesn't matter if you're a reader, a writer, or just a fan of imagination. Don't hold back. Tell us a little about this picture:



SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Taking the Plunge

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I like to sing. I also like to think that I can carry a tune in the shower or sing along to the radio with the best of them, which most likely isn't true. Although the thought of it is appealing on the surface, the one thing I haven't done yet is sing in public in front of a crowd. Not even once. The closest I've ever come to it is singing "Happy Birthday" at parties along with everyone else that was there.

It's not because I've never had the chance. I've been to Karaoke with friends more than a few times, and hung out with Brenda and Elle for several years while they were performing and could have probably begged/bribed my way on stage. Not once did I take the plunge, although I did briefly run the sound and lights for a band, so in addition to not singing I had the distinct pleasure of trying my best not to make -them- sound bad.

The reason I've never done it is simple: I'm chicken. Stone cold stark raving chicken. There, I said it. As much as I like to sing and the thought of a room full of people clapping in approval for me is appealing, I just can't bring myself to do it. I get too nervous and don't think I sound that good. Maybe someday I'll get up the courage and go for it, but not likely.


What artistic/creative endeavor that you haven't tried would you most like to try? Why haven't you tried it yet?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Slog through or Ditch?

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Awesome writer and my good friend Mary Stella's newsest blog post inspired this post. She's reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Please hop over to Postcards from Paradise for her humorous and intersting post inspired by the word: gallimaufry

I'm going to copy and paste my response to her because it raises a question I want to ask you.

That book and series are all the rage at my library. I figured I should read it since it's so 'great'. I downloaded sample chapters on my Kindle. Midway through the 1st chapter I decided it wasn't for me. I couldn't get into it at all. When I confessed this to people who'd read and loved it they said things like, "The first three chapters are the hardest to get through" and "The first half of the book is slow but then it really takes off" and "It's too detailed and bogged down in Swedish politics, but if you ignore all that..." and lastly, "It's translated poorly which makes for a clumsy read, but..."

Um. None of these things enticed me to give it another go. On another note, someone who read the book and saw the Swedish movie, told me the movie cut to the heart of the story and was great. I'm thinking maybe that's more my cup of tea...

Then again... that same person told me that there is a an act of sexual violence in the film that is quite brutal and goes on for some time. So I don't know that the film is for me either, although I could look away at that point. But I digress. My question for you is:

Have you ever started a book and, even though you didn't like it, slogged through anyway thinking it had to get better? If so, were you glad you pushed on? Or... if a book doesn't hold your interest do you ditch it and move on to the next read?     

SIS Beth

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Busy Life

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My days have been very busy lately. Smurfette is in volleyball four days a week. Two days of practice and two game days. She finally won a game, which was good for the team. They were starting to feel a little down about losing so many games. They practiced hard and the results were a very well played game.


Monster is having separation anxiety. She cries and clings to me when I take her to school. I have tried to walk away from her but she just runs after me. The school counselor has been very nice. He just pulls her away from me and as I walk away he walks with her to class. She stops crying as soon as I'm out of sight. It is heartbreaking to see her so upset about me leaving her. It makes me feel stressed for the rest of the day.

When I'm not dealing with my children, I'm working, cleaning house or doing laundry. I am in need of a vacation, of quiet time, of time in general. One of these days I am going to take a day for myself. A day where I do absolutely nothing, unless that nothing is something fun.

Do you ever feel that life gets in the way of, well, life?

SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Encouragement

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It seems that many people around me are experiencing difficulty in one way or another in their lives.  I sometimes wonder if it has something to do with the alignment of the planets, or some unseen or unknown force.  I think I remember hearing once that your life goes through phases.  Something like life is great for a number of years and then negative forces move in and you struggle for a few years.  If I had more time this morning, I would do some research.

But instead, I just wanted to share some positive quotes and offer encouragement to those out there that need it...including myself.

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha



It's not easy taking my problems one at a time when they refuse to get in line. ~Ashleigh Brilliant



The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears. ~John Vance Cheney



Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall. Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll. ~Author Unknown



I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!
~Dr. Seuss

Here's to brighter days for all!  Have an incredible Wednesday!
SIS Bren

Monday, September 13, 2010

Then and Now

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Remember when Fabio was all the rage? When he graced the cover of what had to be about 90% of all books in the Romance genre?


The tan body, the long blonde hair, the rippling muscles...




The wind machine, the strong jaw, the intense gaze...

Yes, Fabio had his time to shine and he was bright for a very long time, but the trend has shifted. 

   The muscles are still there (that's for sure!)  But we've got a definite crop of bad boys.




Darker looks. Tattoos, tattoos, tattoos. From tribal to serpents and everything in between.


We still get an occasional blonde, but the longer tresses are few and far between.


Who would've thought that bald would make the cover? Well it has and I believe it will continue to do so.

But we don't just get the bad boys. We do get pure innocence wrapped in a very nice package. This last model may very well be my favorite of all time:






Innocent, right?


So how about you? What type do you like to see on the front cover of your book? And for those that aren't interested in this type, what about certain covers draw you to pick up a book?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's Almost TV Time

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The new fall network television season is almost here, and there are several shows that I'm really looking forward to seeing. 'NCIS', 'House', 'Chuck', and 'The Mentalist' are at the top of my list. What's on your 'must see' list for this season?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Your Mission...

Friday, September 10, 2010 4
... should you choose to accept it.

There are many thrilling aspects to writing books. Perhaps one of the most rewarding is seeing your completed novel, the story you sweated over for months, maybe years... on a shelf in a bookstore. The first time, the first book, as you can imagine is the ultimate high. But even after after fourteen published novels I still feel a sense of wonder when I walk in a store and see a Beth Ciotta book on the shelf with so many other authors. Some of them my long time faves!

I also get a thrill when someone sends me a picture of my book on a shelf. Earlier this year SIS Brandy sent me a picture of OUT OF EDEN on the shelf at a department store! So cool! Recently, reader and friend, Sherry Tew sent me this awesome pic of INTO THE WILD at a Borders in Florida!



Your misson, should you decide to accept it, is to snap a shot of INTO THE WILD (if you happen to see it in your travels) and to send it to me so I can post it and also save in my photo scrapbook. Be sure to tell me where you saw it! That's half the thrill! Oh! And phone pics are fine! Send to beth@bethciotta.com

Have a great weekend!
SIS Beth    

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thoughts

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Thoughts, both mundane and spiritual, have been written in my journal. I have just recently started to keep one. I find it a refreshing way to end my day. I pay attention to things around me more. I notice that there are messages to be heard, image's to be seen. These things might have slid by me in the past, but now that I write about the things that go on throughout my day, they seem to pop up everywhere.

Something someone might say to me could have deeper meaning. A spider on a web might be an image that can lead to a poem (or a very funny moment). A scent might transport be back in time and remind me of better times. What I experience throughout my day goes right into my journal. Some day, many years from now, someone might find my journal and be inspired by it. Through my journal and my poems, I will live forever. That is true immortality.

Do you keep a journal?
SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Recommendations?

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I am in search of a book.  Not just any book.  A book that I just can't put down.  A book that I think about constantly when I'm done reading it.

I love mysteries.  John Grisham is one of my favorite authors.  I've read many of his books and really enjoyed them.  Two of my all time favorite books are The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.  Those two books had me riveted from the get go.

I remember reading both of those Dan Brown books and taking breaks from them to go to the computer to look up things he was mentioning.  I remember trying to decipher some of the puzzles.

I need a book that has nail-biting suspense and heart-pounding action.  Anyone have a recommendation?

SIS Bren

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Small town charm

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Yesterday, we went to visit Bobby.  He lives in a very small town... if you can even call it that.  There isn't even a gas station.  On the way there, Pam warned me of the Labor Day festival that was going on.  Lots of people and yard sales and games in town she says.  She wasn't joking! 

Every other home had a sale set up.  There was people all over the place!  Some were taking part in the festivities in town.  There were game booths and food.  A man sat up on the stage singing and playing his acoustic guitar.  It was a pretty cool little festival.

Small town festivals always have a good feel to them.  They may not be fancy or elaborate, but everyone is always  having a good time.  These festivals make me think of simpler times... simpler lives.  Crafts, the dunk tank, relay races for the kids, homemade food, local talent, pie eating contests... ahhh sounds peaceful huh?

What local festivals do you like to go to?  What is your favorite part?


SIS Brandy

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

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The coffee's brewing. There's a storm outside. The sound of thunder woke me this morning as it rumbled past my window. Ahhh...It's a good day. Many don't care for a storm on a holiday, but I wouldn't be one of those. Today I'll cozy up on the chaise with a good book and then I'll do some writing of my own this afternoon.

And that's all I've got for ya, folks! 
Enjoy your holiday!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Autumn Memories

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Autumn is by far my favorite season, and here's why. I was born and have lived all my life in a city in central Florida, which pretty much has two seasons a year, spring and summer. This past winter was an exception to that, but it's pretty rare. Some of the leaves here do change color with the seasons, but they're still pretty dull. About the only real giveaway that Autumn has arrived is that it's less humid and the mosquitoes become less numerous. A few of the churches in this area have fall festivals, but they're pretty much just carnivals.

About 25 years ago my parents bought some land near Asheville, NC after we took a family vacation there to see some property that my sister and her husband owned in the area. Almost every year after that until very recently, we always went back in late October right around the time the leaves were changing. We would rent a cabin up in the mountains and over the years made many fond memories, from horseback riding and whitewater rafting to gem mining and craft fairs and fall festivals. Even though we went every year for several years, it never got old.

There's something magical about a small town autumn in the mountains. The brilliant yellow, orange and crimson leaves contrasted by the turquoise blue of the sky. The clean, crisp smell of the air mingled with the scent of damp earth and leaves. The bounty of the harvest and numerous handmade arts and crafts on display at the roadside markets and fall festivals. Sitting on the porch of a cabin in the mountains at night gazing up at the multitude of twinkling stars overhead, a cup of hot spiced cider in hand.

I seriously need to stop now before I get too nostalgic! What are your favorite memories relating to Autumn?   

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

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A list of my holiday plans...

1) Write blog posts
2) Create and send promo newsletter to my subscribers
3) Work on new proposal until it's done...write, brainstorm, edit, write, edit.

#3 will take the majority of every hour over the next three-four days

If perchance I fnish early or if I severely need a break, I will watch one of the four movies I brought home from the library (hoping for inspirartion). Oh, and of course, I'll squeeze in eating and sleeping.

I don't mind being holed up in my writing room over the holiday.

1) Hurricane Earl is pushing up the coast. Not that we're expecting horrible fallout. But it is grey and gloomy and the forecast is heavy rain and wind. Who wants to be out in that?

2) The sooner I finish this proposal, the sooner my agent can submit it. Currently two editors/houses are waiting to see this particular proposal. Talk about incentive!    

So off I go to write, write, write.

What about you? How are youspending the holiday?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Averting Catastrophe

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Day: Sunday



Time: After dinner

My husband and I were in the kitchen getting ready to wash the dishes. The girls were in their room fighting (they were supposed to be cleaning). Suddenly, Monster started to cry. She yelled for me and said something accidentally broke. I go upstairs to see what 'accidentally' broke. Monster, who had become angry with her sister Smurfette, threw a blanket onto her own bed and broke an arm made of plastic off of a solar system that hangs over her bed. The solar system that I had spent a whole day painting and putting together.

Monster was crying hysterically, saying that her solar system was ruined forever. I told her that I would try to fix it with duct tape. I took it downstairs, dug around for some duct tape, and wrapped some around the broken arm. That didn't work. The planets were too heavy. I looked at Monster's sad face and knew that I had to come up with a way to fix her solar system. She loves anything to do with outer space and would be devastated if it couldn't be fixed. Plus, she wanted me to buy her another one but I don't really have the money for that. (And I didn't want to spend another day working on it.)

Then it hit me. Dowel rods! Long wooded sticks that are used for many things, including crafts. I grabbed the center of the solar system where the plastic arms go into and hopped in the car in hopes that the store would still be open and I could find a dowel rod small enough to fit in the holes.

Lady luck shined upon me that day. Not only was the store open, I was able to find dowel rods that fit. I bought two of them and went home to fix that darn solar system. I sawed the dowel rods in half with a steak knife (don't laugh, it worked). I put the four sticks into the center and hung the planets in the correct order. (Yes, Monster made sure they were right.) When I was done hanging the planets I took the solar system upstairs and hung it over her bed.

After the solar was hung and her tears dried up, I had a talk with my little Monster. " No more throwing things when angry with sis and please fess up when you do something wrong." I told her that the solar system didn't accidentally break, she accidentally broke it.

That's one catastrophe averted. I'm sure there are many more to come. Have you had any near catastrophes lately?

SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stress Relief

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The bills, the kids, work, car troubles, computer problems....The list goes on and on.  I am so stressed right now, I could scream and scream and then scream some more.  Usually they say, when it rains, it pours, but in my case.....it's a freakin' category 5 hurricane.  I swear!  Calgon....take me away!

Anywho....I just sort of had a melt down, so I slapped some leashes on my two best furry friends and out into the night we went.  We had a very brisk walk and walked quite a long time.  I'm not sure that I was able to get rid of all the stress, but it sure did help.  When I'm done with this post, I should probably go out again and maybe this time run.... or maybe I'll just finish the glass of wine I have sitting next to me.  That's a much better idea. 

Normally, I am productive when I'm stressed.  I boot up my laptop and start writing...ah, but as I mentioned...computer problems.   My WIPs are on my laptop and it isn't working at the moment.  Probably should make copies of those, huh?

So...instead of writing on my laptop, I'm in my son's room, trying to type very quietly as he sleeps.  I don't think it's working.  He seems to be stirring around a lot.

I know this isn't all that thought provoking, but I need to wrap things up before I wake up Happy.  My question to you is...what do you do when you are stressed? (Somehow I think we have asked this question before here at SIS, but alas, I am old and my memory sucks!)

SIS Bren

P.S.  Someone help a SISter out...I can't even paste my pic because that's on my laptop too!  :(

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shameless Self-Promo

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Popping in to let you know I'm being interviewed today at READING WITH TEQUILA. Oh, and there's a giveaway too! Hop over and check it out!  

SIS Beth

Monday, August 30, 2010

I Can See It

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Ah, yes. The finish line is in sight. Yesterday I had a very productive writing day. One of many in the past week. The end of this book is near and I'm already starting my happy dance. Sure, I'll have to go back and make some pretty major revisions, but to know the bones are there and that I know every in and out of the story is a complete treasure to me. I had hoped to continue the momentum today, but unfortunately I have to go to my day job. No worries. I'll just jot down notes and then start writing again tonight. I so want to finish this one!

And since I'm in such a positive mood, I'd like to share these quotes. I challenge you to share one too!

Oliver Wendell Holmes~~
Man's mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimension.


Erma Bombeck~~
It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.



Chinese Proverb~~
If you get up one more time than you fall, you will make it through.



Ferdinand Foch~~
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. 



Sheila Graham~~
You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world. 



SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Saturday, August 28, 2010

And the Winners Are....

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Congratulations to Edie Ramer and Tura Lura

Thanks to handy dandy random number generator, you won signed copies of my romantic adventure, INTO THE WILD.  Please email your mailing info at  beth@bethciotta.com  I'll send out your books pronto.  Thanks to all who chimed in for the giveaway!

Now.... scroll down for today's post written by Bro Krys!

SIS Beth

Under Pressure




When it came time to brainstorm for today's blog, I came up with what I thought was a good topic. Then I read BJ's post and that took care of that. Great minds think alike, I guess. So that left me with Plan B. Unfortunately I didn't have a Plan B. Undaunted, I thought about my life and what's going on with me at the moment that I could blog about.

Nada.

So I perused the local and national news stories for some gem that I could post that would spark endless conversation or lively debate, or both.

Zilch.

Still not giving up,  I thought about the television shows and movies that I've seen lately, and the books I've read. Surely that would inspire me to write at least a halfway decent Blog.

Nope.

It's now Friday night and I'm left with that sinking feeling that no matter what I do, I'm not going to come up with anything good. The dreaded creative block. So I'm going to do what I normally do and make the best of the situation, for what it's worth. As a creative person, which I believe we all are in one way or another, what do you do when you want/need to come up with an idea or inspiration to be creative and it's not happening?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Something To Talk About (and a giveaway)

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Once upon a time writers wrote the best darn story they could and their publisher handled most, if not all, of the promotion and advertising.

That was before my time.

I've been published since 2001. Even then an author was expected to invest time and money into self-promotion. Today... let's just say expectations are pretty intense. The average author is responsible for arranging their own interviews, news features, blog tours, newsletters, and booksignings. To order and purchase promo items such as bookmarks, book trailers, excerpt booklets, and (if they so desire) giveaways such as pens, notepads, buttons, etc...

A website is a must and a blog is pretty standard. Presently there's a big push for the author to engage in social networking via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and readers' sites such as Good Reads, Shelfari, and Library Thing. Although I don't know the percentage, I'm pretty sure most of the ads you see in industry magazines and readers' websites are purchased by the author. And I'm here to tell you that can get really expensive.

Kudos to the authors who have the resources and time to cover and keep up with all, or even most, of the above. I truly envy and admire those marketing dynamos. Between working a full time job and writing two novels a year, I've had to learn to pick and choose. I've tried different things over the years. Some promo efforts work for me. Some don't. Presently, I'm convinced that the thing that lifts sales most is 'word of mouth'. I see this at work all the time at the library. One patron tells another about this great book they read and suddenly that person has to have it, reads it, loves it, and tells another person and so forth. Word spreads via blogs and social networks too. A personal recommendation is a powerful thing.

I want readers to talk about me, or rather my books, and especially just now my September release INTO THE WILD.  So this time around I'm focusing on stirring up talk by giving away my authors copies. So far I've done this in my personal blog, Twitter, and Facebook. I also have a couple of guest blogs and interviews lined up and I'll give books away there too. Mid September I'm attending an Independent Bookseller trade show and I'll give away probably 30 - 40 books there. It may sound a little crazy because I guess you could consider those lost sales. But I truly believe that giving away books will generate sales... that's if the story is good.

I had a blast writing INTO THE WILD and the fact that it was voted TOP PICK by RT Bookreviews gives me hope that the story will win many a reader's heart. Hopefully, they'll be so charmed by Spenser and River's romantic adventure that they'll say to a friend, "I just read this really great story!"

This is one call she can’t resist…


When River Kane's fiancĂ© abandons her at the altar for being too conventional, she's heartbroken. But everything changes when her estranged archaeologist father sends her his journal—filled with cryptic maps and a note indicating he's in mortal danger. Worried, River faces her greatest fears and flies to the Amazon to find him. But she needs a guide. Someone completely unlike danger-seeker Spenser McGraw.


A charismatic treasure hunter who thrives on risk, Spenser hosts the popular TV show Into the Wild, dedicated to locating lost treasures and mythical icons. But River's father's life depends on discretion, and too-sexy Spenser is all about publicity. Forced to team up, they embark on a jungle adventure ripe with temptation and danger…ultimately discovering a hidden treasure that could alter history—and a steamy love neither expected.
* * *

In an effort to 'get people talking' I'm giving away two signed copies of ITW here at SIS. For a chance to win, just comment and mention one of the last books you read that you think we just HAVE to read!

(winners chosen at random and announced Saturday morning)

SIS Beth

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Autumn, I am waiting

Thursday, August 26, 2010 5
This morning, while I walked my youngest daughter to school, I noticed that there was a different feel to the air. It was cool and crisp, just like Autumn. I loved it. I am not a Summer person. As Barb says, I'm allergic. While I do like the warmth of the Sun, I don't like the scorching heat or the humid air. I don't like that it stays light for so long. I enjoy Summer most when it is dark and the stars are shining. I can light a fire, roast marshmallows and watch for shooting stars.


I feel more energetic and alive in the cooler seasons. I love Autumn and Winter and adore the warm sun of Spring after a long, cold Winter. During the Summer I could hibernate. If there was a way, you wouldn't see or hear from me all Summer long.

I am eagerly awaiting Autumn as the hot Summer ends. I will resume my walks in the woods. I will be a lot happier ( I'm grumpy when I'm hot ). Best of all, I will be more creative in the cooler months to come. Autumn, I am waiting, I will dance for joy when You are here to stay. All hail the coming of the Autumn winds!!

Are you a Summer or Autumn person?

SIS BJ aka Aleena Ravenwood

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wahoo! It's Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5
Not that it means anything to me that it's Wednesday.  I just felt like saying Wahoo!  I'm a gomer like that.

I had the opportunity to watch a couple of movies this week.  I rented both from the Blockbuster box at the local grocery store for $1.  One was great, while the other was almost a waste of my $1.

We were in the mood for a comedy and decided between The Bounty Hunter and Date Night.  The box was out of Date Night so first we rented The Bounty Hunter starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler.

From IMDb:  Milo Boyd, a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, reporter Nicole Hurly. He thinks all that's ahead is an easy payday, but when Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder cover-up, Milo realizes that nothing ever goes simply with him and Nicole. The exes continually one-up each other - until they find themselves on the run for their lives. They thought their promise to love, honor and obey was tough - staying alive is going to be a whole lot tougher.

My husband asked if I thought Gerard Butler was a good looking guy.  I said "ehh....not really".  Then came the scene where he walks out of the bathroom with just a towel wrapped around his waste.  I said, "He just got better looking". 

Sadly, that's about the only good thing I can say about The Bounty Hunter.  It wasn't awful, but I wasn't all that entertained.

The next night, Date Night, starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell was in.  I had my fingers crossed.

From IMDb:  Phil and Claire Foster are a couple who have been married for several years. Their days consists of them taking care of their children and going to work and coming home and going to bed. But they find time to have a date night wherein they go out and spend some time together. When another couple they know announce that they're separating because they're in a rut, Phil feels that he and Claire could be too. So when date night comes Phil decides to do something different. So they go into the city and try to get into a new popular restaurant. But when it's full and still wanting to do this, Phil decides to take the reservation of a couple who doesn't show up. While they're having dinner two men approach them and instructs them to stand up and go with them. They think the men are with the restaurant and want to talk to them about taking someone else's reservation. But it appears the couple whose reservation they took crossed someone and the two men work for this person. The men are after something, but whatever it is they don't have it.

In a case of mistaken identity, the couple end up running for their lives, trying to find what it is these two tough guys want.

We really enjoyed this movie.  There were quite a few lines that had us laughing out loud.  I thought Tina Fey and Steve Carell were great together and I can almost see a sequel.

Hope your Wednesday is wonderful, and if you have any recs, please share!

SIS Bren

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Day at the Faire

Monday, August 23, 2010 22

My family and I attended the Renaissance Faire in Bristol, Wisconsin. It was a first experience for all of us and one we all enjoyed. I think our favorite part was the jousting, though if you ask Drama, her favorite part was all the shops. That girl never tires of browsing. Here are some of my favorite pictures:

The gentleman above was my absolute favorite costume of the day. The feathers, the leather, the boots, the tights...I loved all of it! The best part? He had a smile on his face every time I saw him. He made me think of the word "jolly". Good for him!

During the joust, we were all told which knight to cheer for depending on where we were sitting. The knight above is the one Drama and I chose. She informed me that she didn't care who they told her to cheer for, this knight was hers. I applaud her independence and her choice!





Is it any wonder why this was Drama's favorite knight? I must say the girl has taste! When she saw him sitting by this tree shortly after the joust, her face lit up and she insisted on a picture.







My son, Comedy, chose these 2 guys as his favorite characters. I wasn't surprised. They really do look like superheroes or maybe even villains. Either would be fine with him.


The man above actually hand crafts these amazing leather "costumes". The craftmanship was superb. Comedy wanted a pair of those clawed gloves. Unfortunately I didn't have an extra $200 laying around. 


This lady (pictured above) was a hoot. Man, she had to be sweating her arse off.


And this picture is absolutely priceless. Nothing was going to stop this gal from getting her Renaissance on. I had to do a double take, but, yep, that's oxygen she's toting behind her. You, go, m'lady!

How about you? Ever attended a Renaissance Faire? What's your favorite part? If you haven't been, I highly suggest you do so. It's really a lot of fun. I'd like to go back next year, but this time I'd like to be in costume!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi