Wednesday, December 08, 2010
This snowflake boy is a Christmas present. I designed the pattern a couple years ago, and just had to make him agin this year. He's so CUTE! Made of white fleece, fiberfil, red winter patterned fleece, lock eyes, corduroy nose, french knot mouth. (picture's not the best, but I'm not hiking in the snow for the good camera)
Another project this winter:
A denim stocking with rustic-looking patches appliqued from
Christmas print materials. The cuff is fleece, with embroidered ribbon trim. This was a gift for our favorite teen friend, so she'd have a little Christmas in her college dorm room.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
THANK YOU, MY HEATHERS!!
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Isi does what's necessary and hurts someone in the process... Lands her butt in jail, even. So this one really fits.
Other Saturday Sing-a-long posts:
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Dark, sharp-edged phrases, fast paced from the start, more action less romance, and the type of tension only a love/hate relationship can give.
HELP I'm addicted to the cracktopian!
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Alarm sirens wail above the ration line in the town center. The breathy shriek pierces my ears and a shudder slides down my spine. I should stay in my place. I should act like the rest of the Commoner puppets.
Doing what I should will be the death of me.
People in the city square freeze mid-step, identical looks of fear spreading across their faces. Life snaps to a halt, arms clutching packages to chests, mothers reining in children on their wrist strap leashes. Good little marionettes awaiting the Mentalist Guild Operative announcement over the loudspeakers. I was born without puppet strings, and with a healthy self-preservation instinct--not to mention the knife I have sheathed in my boot and the blue-steeled contraband tucked in the small of my back.
A week’s worth of ration stamps crinkle when I curl my fist around them and shove them in my pocket. I duck my head, hiding my face behind a curtain of hair, knowing it won’t shield me from an Operative. Motion soothes my nerves, gives my mind a chance to plot escape routes while I put distance between me and the Commoner crowd before the siren above runs out of breath. After the siren comes the proclamation, then comes the Operative. There is no hiding from a Seer, and I can’t risk being seen.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Hey, y'all my blog buddy Jessie Harrell has a contest going to win three of the Soul Screamers books! Color me drooling. Go and enter! I sure did...
Saturday, August 14, 2010
QUERY KICK-AROUND CRITIQUE CONTEST
And, there's a contest over on the Oasis for YA's blog to win a signed copy of Shelena Short's THE BROKEN LAKE. Our own Jessie Harrel did a very nice interview with Shelena, who seems to be a big, big sweetheart, and I know Jessie is dying of want for that book, so make her happy (jealous maybe?) and go enter, would ya??
SHELENA INTERVIEW AND CONTEST
Friday, August 13, 2010
Why is there a Willie Nelson song in the back of my head?
On the road again...
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Give and take
the wrist aches
the blade bleeds
cut it out
the precipice beckons
the feet betray
step over the edge
listening to me
no quarter given
give and take
of hurting you
no me left
tears took it all
Yes it was a dark time when I wrote this. NO I have never been suicidal. consider it "situational poetry." Feeling slightly growly today and thought it was worth a revisit. And, it gave me an excuse to use that gorgeous Victoria Frances painting. :)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Tagline: One love. Two dimensions. Only one choice.
First line of the synopsis: Random teens in Harmony Ridge are losing their sanity, and I’m afraid I might be next.
First line of the book: I sat in the shadows of the auditorium, wishing I could throttle Shaina Weston.
If I had wine, I'd be drinking it.
thou art brazen
to walk in human form.
As could my hands
the beauty that is you,
And would that I was able
to caress such muscled stone
in the likeness of a god
‘Neath my palms
in beauty’s reign,
Tis your visage
I would work
And, when the gods
fell to jealousy
would only I call my task
For your reflection
would win Narcissus’ pool,
at your feet.
I guess I should have known when I wrote this poem years ago that I was destined to write YA, because that young guy in the picture was the kind of Adonis I saw when I wrote it. Funny how hindsight is 20/20.
Friday, August 06, 2010
Here's mine for SIGHT:
The African sun and cottony clouds should have sparked happy thoughts of swimming in the azure waters with my boyfriend, Terry. But, as I took in the lush view from the hotel window, I couldn't help remembering the terrace party, our fight and him leaving me in center dance floor, alone. Phillipe, tan skin caressed by alabaster moonlight, had looked the absolute definition of 'forbidden fruit' when he'd asked me to dance. Now, feelings of guilt, dark and hard as the rocks beside the outside wall, threatened to punch up tears. Then, Terry walked in, fresh from the shower and wrapped in a towel. Sunlight poured over him, lighting his lean muscles, dancing in his damp, wavy hair and giving his smile angelic light. I smiled too, but it felt like a lie.
Now, here are the rules of this particular carnival: You've just graduated from high school and your awesome parents have taken you and your boy/girl-friend on the trip of a lifetime to the Seychelles Islands off the coast of Africa. This (picture above) is the view from your hotel window. You have ONE paragraph to describe the setting, and you can use only ONE of your senses. Go...
(then come back and share the link, so we can see what you've done!)
Sound - by Nikki Taste -by Jessie Touch - by Sheri Smell - by J.A.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I think we as authors often pitch ourselves in similar battles. We set ourselves up for frustration and plummeting feelings of sick, sticky failure when we face down our writing nemesis. We become Gandolf, and we face our beast of shadow and flame--our battle becomes...
First, we need to fall out of love with our own words. If we let go of what we think is so damn brilliant, and peer through the pretty word glamor, we can see what's beneath. We need to realize that scene or snippet of dialogue we love so much doesn't necessarily belong in the synopsis. The synopsis is the story of the story, it is a blending of story arc, conflict arc and romantic arc, and their resolutions, and yet still be engaging enough to make readers want to keep reading, and then read the entire book.
Yes, I know. Daunting. The Blarog in the shadows of our Writer's Doom.
We need to be Gandolf. We need to realize in facing our nemesis, we face our fear. And, in many cases, our fear controls us, makes us (and our synopses) weak. I found a magic talisman that helped me battle my Balrog and win. I wish to pass this weapon on to you. Knowledge. A friend pointed me to this link, I signed up (IT'S FREE), and then downloaded a synopsis writing guide that took the fight out of my Balrog, and gave me the weapon to slay my nemesis.
Fighting the Synopsis of Evil? Go to Denise Vitola's site and sign up for her newsletter. When you do, you can download her HOW TO WRITE A FICTION SYNOPSIS THAT SELLS. Her guide was the magic I needed to triumph.
With this magic, you too can become like Gandolf, do battle, best your nemesis and temper your writing wizarding mettle. Gandolf became clean and White. Hopefully, you can become triumphant, you can become represented, and perhaps some day you can become a published author!
Direct link to Denise Synopsis Guide.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.
Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.
Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a strong of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.
Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair tries to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.
So, if you're in the market for a summer read, check it out!
LINKS TO PURCHASE:SIREN ON AMAZON
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
- A book tote made by me
- Autographed copy of Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
- Captivate by Carrie Jones
- Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
- $10 iTunes gift card
- $10 Barnes & Noble gift card
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
've told y'all I can get compulsive, and stalkerish over submissions. The best way for me to avoid those tendencies is distraction. Well, I've been questing through the archives of WIPs looking for one that sings. WIP after WIP, nothing. No arias, no choirs of angels. But, one constant whisper, a soft 'pick me! pick me!' A concept I've been dragging around and chewing on since 2008.
It is NOT paranormal. *gasp* No vampires, no werewolves or other mythical creatures. This one is almost sci-fi, with medical disorders, different dimensions and physics. For example, these definitions are in the front of the book:
[sin-uhs-thee-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh]
A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces th
e visualization of a color.
The state of a system in which an abnormally large vibration is produced in response to an external stimulus, occurring when the frequency of the stimulus is the same, or nearly the same, as the natural vibration frequency of the system.
Right about now, you're probably thinking, 'but AE, that doesn't sound interesting.' Trust me, if I could pour everything in my brain out for you right now, y'all would love it. Magic, dimensional shifts, intrigue, romance, secrets and family heritage...
Still doubting? How about a sample to whet your appetites?
EXCERPT from RESONANCE:
I sat deep in the shadows of the auditorium, wishing I could throttle Shaina Weston.
Razor straight blond hair, ice blue eyes and, worst of all, Shaina had a pitch perfect voice. Despite my monster case of jealousy that she was singing with my boyfriend, I had to admit she deserved lead soprano in High Street honors choir. Something in the tone of Shaina and
“Look at them,” I whispered to my co-rehearsal crasher and best friend. “They’ve got to be hooking up off stage.”
“No way.” Autumn shook her head, then thumped my shoulder. “He’s totally into you.”
“I used to think so.”
“What do you mean, ‘used to’?” She waved a hand at
Singing like angels together, I thought miserably. Music and I aren’t on speaking terms.
Unlike most guys at Concord Senior High, music was my boyfriend
“Two left feet and can’t carry a tune in a bucket,” my mom used to say.
Pushing back into the padded seat, I waved Autumn closer. She inclined her auburn curls until we were inches apart and I was choking on her heavily applied peaches-and-cream body spray. I tried to point out the shimmery evidence I saw floating between Shaina and
Autumn turned, eyebrows tipped and rising over her nose when she looked me in the eyes and said, “I see you need two Tylenol and a good night’s sleep.” Her tone said, ‘I see you need to put on a straight jacket and check into the rubber room at the psych ward.’
She sank back into her seat, watching the choir rehearse for Regionals, the three-state wide competition on Saturday. Occasionally, Autumn’s gaze shifted to me, eyes shadowed, brows pinched like she questioned my sanity. Honestly, I wondered, too. The longer
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I don't know about you guys, but I drag my books with me everywhere. And, I'm pretty damn nutzo about wrinkles, scratches, etc, so I decided to figure out a tote to protect them. Since the creativity vein has switched channels and is dumping into the sewing outlet, I decided to make book totes from reclaimed blue jeans. The one pictured above would be a snug fit for a Twilight sized novel, but will easily hold two novels of Shiver's size, and since it's one of my favorite novels EVER, I used it to make the pattern.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
As usual, pic snitched from DeviantArt, this time from LilSunCloud
Lovely blogger and YA writer pal Sheri Larsen tagged me. TAGGED ME. I haven't been tagged in ages. No. Scratch that. I get tagged alllll the time, so don't feel sorry for me and decided to tag me more. *_*
I've been tagged to answer FIVE QUESTIONS, five times each. Then I'm supposed to tag five people. So, here we go...
Question 1: Where were you 5 years ago?
-training a lab puppy
-battling my first, and worst flare up of rheumatoid arthritis
-working on edits to Nuermar's Last Witch, my first published novel
-watching way too much cheerleading, thanks to my daughter
-in a pool, in a yard without close neighbors, maybe close to Lake Michigan
-visiting friends and family and not worrying about time or funds
-taking long naps ^_^
-avoid melting in the heat (I hate hot weather)
-plan/pack for vacation
-plot destruction of evil zombies with my writing partner
-write, write, write
-Honey Nut Cheerios snack mix
-popcorn chicken and sweet chili dipping sauce
-hot dogs cooked over a fire until the skin crisps
-squishy pretzels and caramel
-set up a foundation to pay scholarships to kids going into college for language arts
-donate to local libraries
-pitch headfirst into a bin of stuffed animals at Build-a-Bear Workshop and just go NUTS! (I've got my eye on the Amur Leopard)
And now the five people I'm supposed to tag...
NO ONE. Fly and be free my minions! *snort* As if I had minions... Dare to dream.
Monday, May 24, 2010
***Image snitched from trenchmaker on DeviantArt**
Have I ever told y'all I'm not the most patient person on the planet? Yeah. Not so much.
Well, the other week I finished the two-book summary for the sequels to Foresight. Big fun coming let me tell you: nightclub, concert, possible cat fight, a world in chaos, a quest through Hades... Then, after the Nickelback/Shinedown/Breaking Benjamin/Sick Puppies concert, which totally ROCKED, my old nemesis (arthritis) returned, torturing me until I became a whiny lump of uselessness by the weekend.
Given the lack of focus lately since the flare up of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I've spent a good part of the afternoon
Best thing I could do would be to bury my head on the sequel, right? There's this really fun shower scene coming...
But before I go, here's another funny stalker pic
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
check out her fabulousness at her DeviantArt gallery
I'm in the process of buying this picture for a new website and blog header ^_^
I'm looking ahead, kicking around a few story ideas to play with once I've handed FORESIGHT off to my agent for review. I have a dystopian fantasy stalking me, and a more of less sci-fi fantasy snapping at it's heels. Then, there's the guy based YA my boy's friends are begging me to write. I have this half-finished contemporary western I fell out of love with, too. Oh, I can't forget DRENCHED, either. *sigh*
Back to the end game of the first Reaper story. And I really should figure out a series title--been considering Thanatos Academy. (*snicker* Thanatos = Death) Though, that'll most likely change in an editor's capable hands.
Okay, I'm really, seriously getting back to writing now. Play time's over.
Friday, April 09, 2010
The partial count has jumped to five. I die every time I think about it, then have to shock myself back to life, dust off and get back to work.
I've changed the sig line of my emails to a quote from my main character: "Death was in my blood, the devil in my details." Echo is a descendant of Greek gods, and becomes embroiled in a ego war between to teen Reapers, falling in love with one despite her father's warnings. Tense, sexy, dark humor, big fun! I can't wait until I can share some snippets of FORESIGHT with y'all.
Well, back to the edits recommended by my agent, and laundry, and dishes, and cooking and cleaning... Glamorous, no?
Friday, March 12, 2010
The past couple months have been a whirlwind! I'm with Talcott Notch Literary Agency. My agent and I decided on revisions for DRENCHED, and in the meantime I pitched the partial for my YA Reaper story to her. Well, she loved it. LOVED IT. She advised me to put everything aside and get her a synopsis, and then finish the book.
I whipped out the synopsis and sent it to her last week. She posted the rights for FORESIGHT on Publisher's Marketplace and queried editors. In a few days time, we had two requests for partials. So, Echo and Chael are at two big publishers right now and I am totally freaking, geeking and Greeking out!! (And, no, don't ask because I won't tell who they are. I'm superstitious like that. And rejections can still come, and then where would I be?)
So, I sit, nose to the grindstone, fingers to the keys and forsaking pretty much all else until the book is done. Being on submission is a friggin rollercoaster! Good thing I love wild rides. ^_^
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference - by Terry Kate
March 19-20 - Special Author Day the 21st
Since starting my site Romance in the Backseat I have faced a number of hurdles that closely resembled mountains. I learned and the more I learned, as often happens, I realized the more there was to know. Publishing is a complex business and bloggers, reviewers, and sites like my own are beginning to play a role in that industry. Authors are the face of publishing, as are their books, but blogs are a great resource to get information out to readers.
Here is the problem that slowly built the more insight I got from talking to publishers, authors and bloggers - There are only so many readers online and they can be hard to find. How do you know you are reaching them, and if we are how can we do more? So I decided to take on the huge undertaking of organizing a conference that would allow those of us looking to share books, and promote them online to compare notes and get on the same page.
There is a reason for the World Business Forum, the World Social Forum, and other meetings where groups are working in the same area, with the same goals and can benefit from greater understanding. I hate to say it since it is so cliche, but knowledge is power and the publishing industry and book sales need some power behind them right now. So here is the other details and specifics.
Information - http://www.romanceinthebackseat.com/bbpcon.html
Attending Simon and Schuster, Dorchester, Liquid Silver Books, Lyrical Press, The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Midnight Showcase Fiction, and more. There are industry professionals like literary agent Lori Perkins, Tiffany James the director of the awesomely exciting RomCon Convention
Thank you and I look forward to answering any questions. - Terry Kate
What inspired the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference?
Working online. I got tired of being frustrated and bashing my head against the wall. Being clueless is not as fun as the movie would lead you to believe. There are so many great blogs and talented bloggers and reviewers out there talking about books that I desperately wanted to get everyone together to learn from them.
When I talked to the publishers and house publicists and learned they felt the same way I decided to take control of what I could control, which is learning more and sharing what I have learned with others. A conference seemed the perfect place to do that. And since we are all online folks hosting the conference online just made sense.
What are the benefits of an Online Conference?
There are three main ones. First, I have been able to get the most amazing panelists since they do not need to travel. The Conference is set up that you can listen to panels live or at a more convenient time. I think the addition of audio panels beyond the forum discussion will make the Conference closer to the experience of a live event.
Second comes the information that will be permanently profiled on attendees in the Ning, where the written end of the Conference will take place. Publishers will have access to information about bloggers, bloggers will have the opportunity to meet with publishers that might be new to them, and the authors who come in Sunday will be able to access this information as well. Right now it is very difficult to find bloggers and reviewers, harder still to discover those that may be a great match for what you publish or write. This conference will build a data base by the bloggers attendance.
Number three is cost. Physical Events have travel expenses, often hotel costs, meals, and the price of registration. All together they can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars. $20 for 2-3 days of expert information, networking, and having your profile seen by all other visitors. I may be biased but I think it is a bargain, what with all the giveaways and prizes. Grand Prize is an E-Reader.
Who will be there?
We have got an amazing list of publishers - Simon and Schuster, Dorchester, Liquid Silver Books, Lyrical Press, The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Midnight Showcase Fiction, and more. There are industry professionals like literary agent Lori Perkins, Tiffany James the director of the awesomely exciting RomCon Convention, and a few more I can not name yet but I can say it will be an honor to have them there.
What do you hope attendees will walk away with?
I hope everyone leaves motivated to spread the word about books and bring more readers online. They will leave with a better understanding of how the industry works, and where we can all improve our personal sphere online. Last but not least a technical understanding. Without knowing things like site stats, basic design information, and a few other tricks of the trade, it is hard to know whether you are being effective online.
And authors, what will be directed towards them?
Authors are perhaps the most important factor and have the greatest opportunity to reach out to readers. The panels from Friday and Saturday will be available to them, and be an amazing tool in helping them get insight into what publishers and bloggers are doing online to promote books. If we are not organized we can not help authors. That is the whole purpose of the Conference to be better at what we do. After the issues have been laid out the Conference open to authors so they can have access to the Blog and Review site profiles and find bloggers and reviewers that are a good match for them. It may not be the biggest blog on the block that helps you sell books, it is just meeting others who share the same interests and have readers looking for what you write. There will be panels for authors Sunday as well.
All the info and registration can be found on my site here - http://www.romanceinthebackseat.com/bbpcon.html
And feel free to email me questions or suggestions,
Thank you to Nicole for having me!
Romance in the Backseat
Saturday, January 23, 2010
“You want to dance with me.”
“Oh no I do not.” I caught Trip’s disbelieving gaze and stirred the air by my right ear like the guy standing to my left was crazy.
The music pumping through the speakers morphed into an industrial grove á la Depeche Mode. The slinky kind of tune I loved to get lost in. Chael ruined the moment, pulling me from my seat and shoving me out to the center of the dance floor. I spun to face him, ready to spew some nasty comments. His expression shut me up. Intense, gorgeous and tortured. “Just be quiet,” he growled in my ear once he’d spun me and pulled my back to his abdomen. “And let me lead you.”
Instinct told me to argue with him, but his sense of rhythm pummeled my instinct into a submissive pulp.
Girls pray for guys who can dance. All I have to say is, thank God for Chael.
If rhythm is a language, dancing is a dialogue and Chael was fluent. He spoke volumes without saying a word, every phrase of speech a dip, sway or grind of his hips. Maybe it was the heady mix of hating him and being turned on by him, too, but by the second line in the lyrics, I succumbed, melting against him in an intimate physical conversation.
One arm cinched across my chest, Chael held me tight, his fingers splayed over my shoulder with no air between us, just heat and thin layers of cotton. At the end of the first stanza, he slid his hand down the side seam of my shirt and jeans. Holding my hips, he pushed my knees down and out with his as we snaked toward the floor. The bridge to the chorus led us up, his hands cruising my curves, hooking my elbows to turn me to face him.
I took the lead and a naughty thrill when his eyes flared a wild, searing blue. The club, the world, telescoped down to the two of us. Chin down, I peered at him through my eyelashes, winking as I ghosted his body lines with my hands. Coming close enough to feel his breath on my lips, I cupped his face and blew him a kiss. Then, baiting him to chase me, I spun and took a step away.
His fingers circled my wrist, turning me, pulling me back tight to him. One hand hooked my right knee and pulled it toward his hip, the other hand braced the small of my back. Chael leaned into me, curve on curve, breath on breath before his lips grazed the V-neck of my T-shirt.
I sucked in a breath, heart hammering against the anvil of my ribs.
The loathing I’d felt dissolved in the heat he brought up in me. When he said, “We work well together,” I didn’t argue. I hardly noticed the song fading, but the whoops and catcalls of his gang of friends were impossible to miss. My cheeks burned. I wanted to hide, run back to my table with Trip. No such luck. Chael used his arm around my back to reel me in, and turn me like a prize fish for his guy friends to gawk at.
A couple whistles. One ah-oo-ga. A bunch of mildly obscene hand gestures proved he had their approval. Too bad mine was slipping the longer we weren’t dancing. And once his hand left my hip, sanity a.k.a. my loathing of him, returned. Suddenly, a long, hot shower sounded really good...maybe a loofah for my brain, too, to scrub out the tingly, excited thoughts his closeness brought on. Chael looked down, his gaze on a sightseeing tour of my physical attractions. A soft, husky tone colored his voice when he said, “I think you look great tonight.”
“Yeah?” I snapped, stepping away. “Well, I don’t think I like you looking.”