Today is National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day!
Yes, unfortunately, they made a day for that, and you can read all about it here. There’s pretty much a day for anything these days. But, if for some reason your favorite thing doesn’t already have its own day, I’m sure you could just make it up and post about it on the Internet, so that it becomes a thing. Because everything that’s on the Internet is true.
Anyhow, I thought it would be fun for my favorite character, Lizzie Hart from IT’S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH, amateur sleuth and reluctant cat owner, to answer her cat Bob’s questions. Here’s what they came up with…
Bob: Lizzie, why are you such a bit—
Lizzie: Bob! Watch your language!
Bob: Fine. I hate you.
Lizzie: That’s not a question, Bob. And, I know.
Bob: What happened to the nice old lady that was here before? I liked her.
Lizzie: That was my grandmother. She died and left you in my care.
Bob: I think I would rather have taken my chances at the animal shelter.
Lizzie: Don’t think that’s not still an option, jerk.
Bob: What about that guy that comes over all the time?’
Lizzie (getting dreamy-eyed): You mean Blake?
Bob: Yeah, that must be the one. You’re getting all girly. I like him. He seems to like me. Why can’t I go live with him?
Lizzie: I don’t get that thing you two have going on. But I promised my grandmother I’d look after you, so that’s what I’m doing. Any more questions, Bob? Or are we about done here?
Bob: One more. There was a big commotion here a while back with a whole bunch of people coming in and out of the house, so I had to hide. Then you were gone for a long time and that nice man Blake came by to feed me. What was that all about?
Lizzie: Well, if you must know, that was when my boss threw me down the basement stairs and tried to kill me. All of those people were police and EMTs, and I was gone because I was in the hospital for a while.
Bob: Hmm. So making someone fall down the stairs isn’t going to kill them.
Lizzie: Apparently not. I guess all of those times you tried to trip me on the stairs were all for nothing, then.
Bob (under his breath, wishing he had a notebook and some thumbs): Note to self. Must come up with new plan to end her.
Lizzie: I heard that!
In regard to news, 2013 has certainly been an…interesting year. And by “news”, I’m speaking specifically about pop culture news, not actual news. Really, when you look back, nothing really happened in the world of entertainment but a lot of stupid crap—but that didn’t stop us from dwelling on these events as if they were life or death, and getting into WAY too many Facebook and Twitter wars over them. So here’s my 2013 Year in Review—the good, the bad…well, mostly the bad, because it’s more fun!
Best Hick Making an Ass out of Themselves
Tie: Paula Deen/Phil Robertson
In general, I like Paula Deen. Her recipes always work, and it’s fun to watch her eat butter, but she should have handled this much better.
Phil Robertson, I have no use for. I believe that Duck Dynasty has had a direct impact on beard length (and poor follicular hygiene) in my community.
It’s basically the same story. Celebrity says something he/she shouldn’t have, media has a field day with it, TV networks/endorsement sponsors get nervous and do their CYA thing, friends and family take sides (only on social media, where it’s safe), and the poop-nado of emotionally-charged memes, pithy hashtags, and dramatic Facebook rants begins.
Most Anticipated Birth
Winner: North West, Kim and Kanye’s daughter
You thought I was going to say little Prince George, didn’t you? No way. He has lovely parents, a normal name, and he’ll never have to make a sex tape for money.
And I guess there are weirder names that could be paired with West…Key, Nine, Wild Wild?
Best TV of 2013
Winner: Game of Thrones “The Rains of Castamere”
Or, as the episode is more commonly known, “The One with The Red Wedding”. Holy crap! I haven’t gotten around to reading the books yet, but I LOVE the HBO series, and this blindsighted me like I never have been before. I thought they were messing with us when they cut off Ned Stark’s head, and I didn’t fully believe that it was for real until a few episodes later. After that, I realized that no character is safe from George RR’s axe, and this episode hit me like a ton of bricks. And I was just starting to like Catelyn Stark.
Honorable Mention: The Office “Finale”
The Office is pretty much my favorite show of all time, and I’ve seen every episode at least twice, if not several times. The last season was fantastic, even with no Michael Scott. However, the icing on top of the cake was Michael coming back to be Dwight’s best man, and of course, delivering his signature line, “That’s what she said.” I never thought that phrase would make me cry.
Best Movie of 2013
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the best movie of 2013. But, looking back, I really didn’t go to the movies much this year if you don’t count kids’ movies, so unless you want me to talk about the theatrical genius that was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, I’m kind of at a loss. But hey, it’s Ian Ziering and Tara Reid. And sharks. And tornadoes. What more do you want in a movie?
Enough said. (Thanks, Perez.)
Best Nerd Fight
Winner: Xbox One geeks vs. PlayStation Four fanboys
At my house, at least, it was no contest. Hubby had to have both. The epic war is chronicled in South Park’s “Black Friday” trilogy, Game of Thrones style. The South Park writers are at their best as they also skewer the horrible behavior that Black Friday shoppers have become known for. And Butters is uncomfortably focused on…well, just watch the trilogy.
Best PR Stunt EVER!
Winner: Miley Cyrus
Laboring under the idea that “there is no bad press”, Miley Cyrus sure has made this her year. I guess all of the crazy hairdo and tongue nonsense technically started last year, but it all came to a head at the 2013 VMAs. You remember—the twerking, the flesh-colored plastic undergarments, the back-up dancing teddy bears, Beetlejuice—I mean, Robin Thicke—grinding up on her, the…foam finger. Just threw up a little in your mouth again, didn’t you?
Ah, yes, 2013. Decency and decorum, better luck next year.
A Chick Lit / New Adult / Rom-Com Novel by Karen E. Martin
Kate Adams has it all figured out. Five years out of college, she’s got a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing: her stylish but nosy roommate Evette, happily-married Cecie, and of course, good old Mitch, her seriously cute co-worker who’s been stuck in the Friend Zone since the day they met.
Everything is going just fine—until the night Kate crosses the line with Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. What’s a girl to do? Add to the mix a spunky little pug Kate never expected to fall for, and her neatly-ordered life is starting to look more like a dog’s dinner. Maybe her roommate has the right idea after all: forget the men, and stick with a canine companion instead.
It’s time for Kate to figure out what she really wants in life. But can she dig her way out of the mess she’s created before she ends up permanently in the doghouse?
Author Contact Info:
Karen E. Martin, M.Ed. is a full-time freelance writer/editor. She has been in the publishing business since 2004, working on books and publications for major and independent publishers, universities, businesses, and private individuals. Prior to entering the field of publishing, Ms. Martin worked as a Senior EFL Fellow (English as a Foreign Language) for the U.S. Department of State in Romania, a Junior EFL Fellow for the U.S. Department of State in Jordan, and a teacher-trainer for the U.S Peace Corps in Mauritania, Jordan, Romania, and Morocco. Ms. Martin served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years, teaching English in the Errachidia Province of Morocco. This is Ms. Martin’s first novel.
Join the Modogamous Holiday Hop Giveaway to win a fabulous Swag Pack full of prizes!
The Swag Pack winner will receive a signed copy of the paperback, tote bag, coffee mug, Christmas ornament, and more! Additional prizes include a copy of the e-book, a signed paperback, and a limited edition, signed art print of the book's cover art.
Karen E. Martin is guest posting on my blog today, and is treating us to a poem as well!
You can read all about her book, MODOGAMOUS, in the next post!
A Chat with Karen E. Martin, author of MODOGAMOUS
I’ve talked a lot in recent posts about the book and my writing. One thing people may not know about my writing is that I really love to write poetry. I have a semi-regular feature on my blog called Monday Haiku, which is exactly what it sounds like. I adore haiku because it’s a quick and easy way to be creative. You can check out some of my recent Monday Haiku posts here.
I also managed to sneak a poem into Modogamous! It’s a take-off on the ever-popular Night Before Christmas, only it chronicles the million things that are going wrong in the heroine’s life at the time. For a sneak peek of that poem, just click here!
But for today’s post, I’ve chosen to include a silly poem I wrote for kids. Every so often, I ask readers to suggest topics for me as a creative writing exercise. This poem came from a reader’s suggestion of the words “Louder Chowder.” Kid-tested and approved by my nieces and nephews! Lol…
A steaming bowl of chowder—
Mmmmm, I licked my lips with glee.
My stomach grumbled in delight
At yum-ness from the sea.
I sat myself down at a spot
That overlooked the water,
And sprinkled on a little sauce
To make my hot bowl hotter.
I lifted up the spoon
until it nearly reached my mouth,
And don’t you know, that’s right when dinner
started heading south.
“STOP!” I heard, and started
So my spoon fell with a clatter.
The soup dripped from my nose and chin;
My shirt was all a-splatter.
“What the what?!” I asked myself,
Eyes round with disbelief.
I could’ve sworn it was the soup
That caused me all this grief.
But no, the soup just sat and steamed,
The spoon lay undisturbed.
I picked it up and huffed a sigh,
My mind was quite perturbed.
“I must be going nuts,” I thought.
“I swear I’m hearing things.
Next thing you know, I’ll start to think
I’ve heard a clam that sings!”
I loaded up the spoon again
With chunks of steaming stew,
And once again, I heard it: “STOP!”
NOW what was I to do?!
I took a breath to calm myself
And put the spoon back down,
Then quickly looked this way and that—
Nobody was around.
“Is something in there?” whispered I
Into the bowl of soup
(feeling silly, oh so silly!
Surely I’d been duped).
But lo! Behold, a voice arose
From in the steaming crock.
The voice was just a whisper now;
I hardly heard it talk.
“Psssziiiibbbdiiziiib,” it whispered,
As I strained so close to hear.
“What’s that, you say?” I asked it back
And leaned in with an ear.
“Pfffiiigaaarooooo,” it croaked out,
And by now I felt frustrated.
“You must say it louder, chowder!”
And I sat back and I waited.
And then the voice piped up and said
As plainly clear as day,
“I say good chap, please dump me out
Just over in the Bay.
“It’s warm in here, and I’m afraid
I’m feeling rather steamy.
A clam like me’s not meant to be
In liquid quite so creamy.
“So be a good bloke if you would;
Return me to the waves.
I’d rather not be late for lunch;
That’s no way to behave.”
So with a sigh I slowly stood
And overturned the dish
Into the churning waves nearby
Where Clam could join the fish.
I walked back to the table, dazed,
My stomach still a-rumble.
My mind still reeled in disbelief,
My thoughts were still a jumble.
The waiter came and took the bowl,
And I just paid the bill.
Not one small bite had crossed my lips
But I had had my fill.
So next time that you’re craving soup,
Rethink your choice, my friend.
Perhaps it’s not the clams you want.
Here’s what I recommend:
When your stomach’s growling
and it’s time to break the bread,
Please save yourself some trouble;
Have the onion soup instead.
The Plot Thickens – A Novella
Sémya Slotin Mystery #1.5
By Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Expected Release Date: December 27th, 2013
Polliannah’s side of the story…
When Polliannah Koch met John Allen, she thought that she had finally found her Prince Charming. But when John Allen set his sight on Polliannah Koch Guryev, he knew his days would be numbered if he weren't careful. He had a job to do and the beautiful Miss Koch Guryev was his insurance policy. But things got out of hand and he had to leave London for his safety…but not without her.
Polliannah held her breath and tried to make herself as little as possible. She could see their living room through the bathroom’s mirror but she couldn't make out what they were saying. They were arguing and she knew that it was about her. The man pulled out a gun and Polliannah closed her eyes. Her last memory of John would not be his execution. No, it would be the day he entered her store and caught her dancing, their first kiss or the first time they made love or–
Three shots were fired through a silencer and Polliannah heard the body fall on the floor. She held her mobile and the gun against her chest and started to pray as the man was looking around the rooms. The same prayer she used to do every time she found her mother unconscious and was not sure if she was alive or dead. If there was a God for a hard-core addict like her mother there got to be one for a hopeless romantic like her. Gospodi zashchitit menya … Gospodi zashchitit menya…Today cannot be my last…
Bird Of Prey
on sale at 99 cents
This year has been unexpectedly fantastic for me as a writer. Looking back, there are so many things that have happened on this wild ride, and there are so many people to thank. A year ago, I never would have believed that in 2013, I would publish a novel, get a publicist, hit #1 on a few bestseller lists, sell nearly 5,000 books, and finally land an agent. None of this would have been possible without the help of countless people. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to thank a bunch of people!
Sarka-Jonae, my publicist, has worked tirelessly to get me into the public eye and also to come up with a promotional plan to get IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH on at least one bestseller list for four months in a row! Also, thanks to the entire SJ Publicity crew (Lilian Roberts, Angel Sefer, Carolyn Ridder Aspenson, Jami Deise, Ruth Mancini, Holly Martin) for sharing posts, info and tweets about my book.
Ethan Ellenberg, my new agent, believed in my work enough to offer to represent me, and he is currently working with several publishing houses to get me a book deal.
My husband Matt and my friends, Karen Franklin, Lisa Hart-Gray, Lisa Cook, and Jennifer Kroeger, have helped me by proofreading and working on my cover design. They have all spent a lot of time and energy working with me on proper grammar, plot flow, and striving to make my books an easy and enjoyable read.
Author support groups, especially Chick Lit Goddesses on Facebook. We help answer each other's questions, cheerlead, and promote each other, and have a great time doing it. It's a fun group of ladies.
Dozens of authors and bloggers have graciously let me guest post on their blogs, either during promotions or during my two blog tours. I've also had quite a few interviews and book spotlights on literary websites, online newspapers and magazines, and print newspapers as well. You are all appreciated!
I'm thankful for all of the friendships I've made with fellow indie authors around the world (I'm looking at you, Deb Nam-Krane and Sarka-Jonae!). I love how the Internet has made our world so small that we are able to get to know each other from so far away.
And lastly, I'm thankful to my readers--all of my friends, family, and thousands of people I've never met all around the world for buying IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH and taking the time to read it. Nothing means more than people spending their precious time to allow me to entertain them.
THANK YOU ALL!!!
It's an exciting day for my good friend, Sarka-Jonae! Her debut novel, BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS, is launching today! She got herself a publisher, and she's making her dreams come true! It's a wonderful book, so please go out and get your copy today! Buy links are at the end of this post.
Between Boyfriends was 11 years in the making, and finally on 11/11 Booktrope is launching the chick lit novel.
Book Title: Between Boyfriends
Author: Sarka-Jonae Miller
Genre: Chick Lit, New Adult
Release Date: November 11, 2013
At first glance, twenty-one-year-old Jan Weston has it all: a gorgeous boyfriend, fun friends, and wealthy parents who take care of all those pesky credit card bills.
Then her boyfriend dumps her, her friendships fall apart, and her parents cut her off. Suddenly without money, without a man, and without a plan, it's time for Jan to grow up.
Determined to get her life back on track, Jan decides it's time to make it on her own. Can she find her way as a single lady in San Diego? Can she fix her friendships, her job prospects, and her hair? And can she keep her vow that she'll never date again, even after she meets a guy who just might be perfect for her?
BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS is a sexy, hilarious story of living life, finding love, and growing up... but not necessarily in that order.
Praise for Between Boyfriends:
"This book is the ultimate chick-lit read--a light-hearted romp focused on the travails of Jan, a college student dumped by her boyfriend, an SDSU student. The moment proves an epiphany, as Jan resolves to stop dating and find fulfillment as a single woman." - East County Magazine
Between Boyfriends "presents a unique twist on the chick lit genre." - Hollywood & Vine magazine
"Over the course of the book, Jan, who is in her early 20s, begins to grow as a person and even strikes up a true friendship with a man, a first for her." - Rancho Santa Fe Review
"Cut off by parents? Not got a boyfriend? That's the formula for a chick lit hit." - Indie Author Land
"The book teaches both subtle and obvious lessons about friendship, relationships, responsibility and decision making." - The Masquerade Crew
"Between Boyfriends is a delicious slice of chick-lit! Snappy dialogue sets this story apart from the pack as it follows a young woman who, financially cut off by her parents when she fails to attend school, learns that life is more than her Amex card, and reunites with a mother who has endured her own brand of pain." - Jan Moran, bestselling author
"BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS is a great read. It's got everything you'd expect in a chick-lit book: good friends, fun, and a little romance, but the thing Sarka-Jonae adds to this story is a journey." - Caroline Fardig, bestselling author
Sárka-Jonae is a novelist, publicist, and journalist, among other “ists” there aren’t room for. Her novel writing career began with Between Boyfriends, an edgy chick-lit book for women who’ve been ”between boyfriends”, which is much cooler than being single.
SJ is a graduate of Syracuse University. Before writing full-time, she was a personal trainer and massage therapist, helping people tone up, slim down, and chill out. In her free time, Sárka-Jonae loves to dance in flash mobs, in music videos, on speakers, or at home in her underwear. She practices kung fu and yoga, was briefly a Buddhist nun, and travels extensively for ”research”. She’s a huge animal lover and has been vegan since 1999. She’s committed to respectfully unveiling the truth about the horrific way factory farms abuse animals. SJ lives in San Diego with two cats and two dogs.
Social Media Links:
I have the most wonderful news to share with all of you--I just signed with a literary agent! I am now officially represented by Ethan Ellenberg of The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency. I still have to pinch myself to realize that it really did happen!
So what's next?
My agent will begin the process of selling my series to a publisher. With any luck, that will lead to a book deal, and I'll be a traditionally published author! Right now, I've got my nose to the grindstone, proofing my manuscripts, writing synopses, and tweaking my bio. For now, though, IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH is still available through all of the normal channels.
Thanks to all of you for your support and well-wishes! I will keep you posted on our progress!