Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Four or Five

1. Baby Girl is three months old now. How did that happen? She's such a sweet, happy baby. And she's been sleeping through the night for about a month now. Huzzah!

2. For some reason I'm still exhausted almost all the time. Huh.

3. SHH has been gone all week in Florida, but he finally gets home tonight. I. Can't. Wait.

4. I got a new idea for a book yesterday, and I'm really excited about it... except I'm only on page three and I'm already questioning if it's any good, or if I started in the right place, or or or... Yeah. I think I need to turn off the internal editor. And grow some confidence (which I'll be honest and admit is lacking right now). Wish me luck.

What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CLOCKWISE book launch, review, and contest!

My sweet friend Elle Strauss is launching her first book CLOCKWISE this week! I am so excited for her. I had the opportunity to read it, and let me tell you -- you're in for a treat!

Isn't she gorgeous? What an amazing headshot.

Here's the twitter hook:
“A teen time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.”
Intrigued yet?


Boy watching with her best friend would be enough excitement for fifteen year old Casey Donavan. She doesn't even mind life at the bottom of the Cambridge High social ladder, if only she didn’t have this other much bigger problem. Unscheduled trips to the nineteenth century!

When Casey gets talked into going to the Fall Dance, the unthinkable happens--she accidentally takes Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just ‘brotherly’ protectiveness?

When they return to the present things go back to the way they were before: Casey at the bottom of the social totem pole and Nate practically the flag flying from the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her little brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which, of course, she does.

CLOCKWISE is launching electronically this week and it’s only 2.99 on Amazon , £2.17 on! To celebrate, Elle Strauss is giving away five debut books by authors that you can meet on her blog tour which is happening now.

LOSING FAITH by Denise Jaden
THE CLEARING by Anne Riley
PERILOUS by Tamara Hart Heiner
THE HATING GAME by Talli Roland

How to win? Sign up for Elle’s newsletter to enter. For extra entries just comment on any blog in the tour. The more blogs you visit and comment on the more chances you have to win.

Five books, five days, five winners! Hurry and enter!

CLOCKWISE is a really fun read. I love Casey's voice throughout the story, she's a fabulous narrator. I love how Elle weaved the normal teenage angst with the abnormal stress of time travel, and even historical events into the story. This is one worth reading, especially for only $2.99!

Congrats Elle on the release of CLOCKWISE! I wish you tons of success!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thoughts about September 23rd

Today is a special day. It is the day I married my sweetheart, my SHH (Super Hot Hubby, for any newer followers of the blog), eight years ago. So much has happened since then. So many highs, and so many lows. Trials, blessings, joy, and pain. Together, all the events have created our life as we know it so far. The beauty of new life that we've created together, the loss of life that we have mourned, the struggle to survive, the happiness of living, it's all there bundled up together.

Our wedding day was spectacular (as you can see from these pictures). It was a truly perfect day.

The best part of being married to my best friend is knowing that no matter what is thrown at us, that we have each other, that we're on this journey together. He supports me, believes in my dreams, urges me to keep going if I want to give up. And I hope I do the same for him.

It is also the day that our dear friends welcomed their beautiful twin girls into the world. Today they turn six. For them, this is a day of celebration for the lives they've welcomed into their family.

But this day is not just a day of joy. It is also a day that someone I know (not closely) lost her very young son in a drowning incident. Though I don't know her well, my heart still aches for her when I think of what September 23rd means in her life. Heartache instead of joy, pain instead of happiness.

And now it is also the day that marks the beginning of a fight. The fight my cousin's dear husband is waging against cancer. They are a gorgeous, young couple, full of life and love. They have only been married for two years. He competed in Lotoja (a local insanely difficult bike race) and found out he had cancer just a few days later. The lump in his neck was not a brachial cleft cyst like I had when I was 14 (that they thought he had as well). It is stage four Alk-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma that has already spread throughout his neck, hip and possibly his bones. Today was his first chemo treatment. September 23rd for my cousin and her husband will be the day that marked the fight for his life -- the fight for their life together here on earth.

September 23rd is just another day on a calendar for many of you, I'm sure. But it means so many more things to me. A day of joy and remembrance, of pain, of endurance, of loss, and life, and those that have passed on and that which is still to come.

Most other days are just that to me, dates on a calendar. But to someone, somewhere it means much more than that. I guess I need to remember that more often if a stranger seems rude, or jubilant, sad or full of smiles.

So to my cousin and her husband: we love you. We know you can beat this. You are strong, and young, and full of faith and hope, and God will bless you, I know it.

To the mom who is mourning the loss of her baby three years ago (though I doubt she reads this blog): though I barely know you, our prayers are with you. I can't imagine your pain or how you stay so kind and sweet to everyone around you, from what I've seen the few times I've been near you since then. God will bless you as well, I know it.

And to my husband: Thank you. For being you. For loving me. For giving me the last eight years, and for all the years yet to come. I love you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Motivation

"Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks. "
- Johann Gottfried Von Herder

So tell me, how do you create the sparks to ignite your 'fuel?'

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

EVERNEATH blog tour!

I am SO excited that I got to be a part of the EVERNEATH blog tour. I adore Brodi, she is so genuine, funny, talented, funny, nice... well, basically she rocks. She has worked so hard to get to this point, and I am so so happy for her. I first met her when she was requerying agents after deciding things weren't working out with her first agent. Talk about a hard decision. But obviously it was the right one, because now her book is almost here! If don't already follow her blog, you are missing out. So go rectify that RIGHT NOW. I'll wait.


Okay, done? Good. Now, on to her book.

First of all. OH MY HECK, am I the only one drooling over that cover? I just want to stare at it. Can't wait until it's on my shelf!

Here's the synopsis (from goodreads):

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

So, what did I think of it? Well, here's what I wrote on Goodreads (I gave it 5 stars btw):

"I don't give stars anymore, but I absolutely had to on this one because HOLY CRIMINY it deserved it! BRODI!! I LOVED it. If this isn't on your TBR list yet, you'd better add it. Now. Couldn't put it down (which is saying a lot with a 3 week old). Dark, beautiful, hopeful, devastating, fabulous, refreshing and new. I won't say more so you can experience it for yourself in January. Way to go, Bro."

Can you get any higher of a recommendation than the fact that I had a 3 week old baby, and I stayed up until 2 am trying to finish it?? Yeah, I don't think so either. I have a total book-crush on Jack. My only complaint is that I have to wait so long to read the sequel! :)

Be sure to check back to Brodi's blog for more links as the blog tour continues, and mark your calendars for January 3rd when you can get your hot little hands on this gem.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Inspiration

Here's a great quote to start off this new week:

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will." - Vince Lombardi

I have oodles of will, so I should be good to go, right? How about you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Looking for joy along the path

I don't know about you, but there are times when I'm so focused on my goals (aka the "end results"), that I lose sight of the joy in where I'm at right now. I've made a conscious effort to find more happiness in the journey in the last few months, and it has made a big difference. I don't beat myself up as much for not getting everything done as fast as possible. I take more time to breath, to see, to listen, to feel.

As I was running with my mom and sister last weekend (6 miles, woot woot!), we came upon this beautiful sight. It was a perfect moment--a nice cool breeze, we were all feeling really good, the sun was just coming up... it was lovely. I dare say it was the best run I've ever had to this point.

Isn't the fog weaving through the river bottoms just beautiful? We thought so, too.

But not all runs are this wonderful. My sister and I ran on the same path last night and nearly every step was a struggle. She had a blister that was bleeding, I was exhausted, but we pushed through and did our 4 miles. And we were still able to find the joy in the run, even if it was harder than the previous time.

Life is like that - sometimes it's easy to see the beauty and joy in our path, other times it takes a lot more effort. With running, with trying to get published, with being a mom, with all aspects of my life, this is true.

How about you, do you find it easy or hard to find joy in your journey?