Thursday, October 31, 2013

November: Write it. Read it. Clean it. #COYER

Clean out your E-reader Challenge Sign-up You probably already know that November is NanoWrimo -- where you write a novel in a month.  Or 50,000 words worth, anyways.  I intend to beef up my word count this month.  But November is also Clean Out Your E-Reader Month!  Those free or nearly free books you have piling up on your Kindle?  Time to read them! 

Fantasy is More Fun and Because Reading is Better than Real Life are hosting this blog hop/challenge, so be sure to check out their blogs as well as the others participating. 

I'm not a book blogger so why did I decide to participate?  Well,  because :
1. My buddy Lexxie at (un)Conventional Bookviews told me I should, and when she talks I listen.
2. I just put Untethered out there for free.  I know how it feels to realize that your book is languishing on some one's Kindle.  So...
3. I wanted to help out other authors by reading and reviewing those books on my e-reader!

Here are five of the freebies I intend to read:

Someone Different by Kate Hanney
One Ghost Per Serving by Nina Post
Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by C.A. Verstaete
Deer In Headlights by Staci Hart
True of Blood by Bonnie Lamer

November here I come!  50,000 words to write!  300,000 words to read! (Way too much to clean.)
I will keep you posted on my progress.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

50 Pounds of Popcorn: Flash (Non)Fiction

A fifty-pound bag of popcorn squats on my living room floor.  The children sit on it, use it as a bean bag chair.  They squash it and pound its surface.  They lay their heads upon it when they watch TV.

I'm almost afraid to open it.  My husband gave it to me when his heart was full and near to bursting, so like that bag.  But, already, the packaging is pierced.  Kernels are coming out.

What happens when it is empty?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gimme Gimme Giveaway!

Untethered is FREE on Amazon from October 19th-October 23, 2013!

To celebrate, I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate!

Download Untethered HERE and enter the Rafflecopter to WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bad-Ass Book Blogger Series: Interview #2

Lexxie of (un)Conventional BookViews is our Bad-Ass Book Blogger today.  A few months ago on Google + she wrote me and said, "You live in Switzerland?  Me, too!"  We met for coffee and I was totally blown away by her utter awesomeness.  She's intelligent, extremely well-read (duh! book blogger!) as well as straightforward, candid and just plain fun.

Here's her interview: 

Why did you get into book blogging?
I first met some like-minded (and more or less same age) readers after I read Twilight and was depressed because the story ended. They told me about Goodreads, and I joined in 2010. From there, I discovered many of the users had blogs, and those blogs were beautiful, personal, with their own backgrounds, and with a lot more freedom. It still took a couple of years before I started my own blog in June 2012, but I felt that I wanted my very own book-home where I could share my love of all things bookish with other like minded people.

I know you have a family, are going to school, and regularly review books on your blog.  What’s your secret to juggling it all?
I don't think I have a recipe, really! I read when I'm not in class, for one thing, and I don't read when I can spend time with my kids. But I don't watch much TV, so if everyone else wants to do that, I'll pick up a book and curl up on the couch. When the semester is busy, I tend to read a little less, but I try to schedule three reviews per week in advance, so that I have something to share on the blog even if I'm busy in real life. And my family is pretty supportive of everything I do- I think they love my blog because I don't bug them as much about what I'm reading anymore.

As a book blogger, have you made any discoveries that surprised you?
I am amazed at the sense of community I get from bloggers. I have 'met' some people who are wonderful, and it started with books, but now we can chat about anything. I even found this one author on Twitter and Google+, and lo and behold, she lives in the same city as me, and we've had coffee a couple of times. I think blogging has made the world even smaller in some ways.

Best blogging day:
When I'm able to write a review I'm happy with shortly after finishing a book.

Worst blogging day:
When I have this feeling I should really write a review, because I have finished seven books, and written zero reviews.

Recently Goodreads changed their policy on reviews, taking away and not allowing reviews that focus on the author of a book rather than the book itself.  There has been an uproar in the blogging community.  What is your take on this issue?
Actually, that policy was already in place. If a Goodreads user had a review about author behavior, it was hidden so that only friends could see it and not all Goodreads users. I think what has bloggers in an uproar is that Goodreads has always allowed users to personalize their bookshelves. I have shelves for different things, one is called 'school-stuff' another is called 'Swiss-authors', etc. Some bloggers have been very unfortunate when writing a negative review, and have been attacked by author(s). Some have even had their personal information, like their real name, the place they live, a photo, restaurants they go to etc publicly outed on a website. After this first happened, some bloggers made Goodreads shelves called 'badly behaving author' and other things meaning more or less the same thing. Some authors were upset to see their books shelved in a certain way, and one author misconstrued some of those shelves and said that reviewers were threatening her. Things snowballed pretty fast, and there were some web-articles about all of this that did not tell the whole story. The author in question later came back and apologized, saying she knew those shelves had nothing to do with her personally, and that the shelves she had mentioned didn't exist for real. Of course, none of those web articles told that story, and I'm sure Goodreads felt the pressure. Then, instead of directly contacting reviewers, Goodreads deleted shelves, and if those shelves were exclusive, the reviews disappeared as well.  One shelf that was deleted was called 'due to author'. And most of the reviewers who had their shelves deleted were among those who had been targeted and had their personal information spread on the internet. I was very sad to see Goodreads go back on everything they have been telling readers for the three years I have been a member there. And I am no longer posting my full reviews there, even if I have never had a shelf called 'badly behaving authors' or anything like that. The shelves I have that has something about authors in their name is 'fave-author' and things like that. Needless to say, none of my shelves have been deleted…

How do you feel about Indie authors and self-publishing?
I think it's great that it's possible to self-publish, and I have met some awesome indie authors since I discovered their existence. I do think it's very important that indie or self-pub authors use an editor, though, because if I pay for a book, even if it's only $0.99, I want to read correct grammar, and no plot-holes etc. I think it must be very hard to get your book out there for self-pub and indie authors, though, because there are a lot of new books released each year, and the authors who have a big publishing house behind them get more publicity in mainstream media.

Do you take review requests?  If so, where can authors contact you?
I do take review requests, but for the time being I'm quite backed up. There is all the proper information on by blog, and I ask that authors who send me an e-mail read my review and rating policy as well. Because if I read a book I got to review, I will post my honest review, even if I don't particularly like what I'm reading. That's really important to me, I will not pretend I loved a book if I didn't, but I try to not be too harsh.
Thanks so much for having me over today, Katie! This was fun. I hope I didn't get too long-winded.

Thank you, Lexxie for taking the time to answer.  I'm happy to have you on my blog.  See you for coffee? :)  

And the rest of you, please pop over and say "hi" on Lexxie's blog: (un)Conventional BookViews

And if you want to see Lexxie's review of Untethered, it's HERE.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Simple Joy

Oreo and Noodles
Any of you who have either followed me on this blog or on Facebook know two things about my life:

1. My husband suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm a year ago and the entire family is still trying to find their footing after that.

2. We got new kittens a couple weeks ago.

The cat my husband had when we were married died just this summer.  She was old and sick.  It was her time.  We loved her, but after all the vomiting on carpets and scratching up furniture and night time meowing, we decided No More Pets.

Um. Yeah. That lasted two months.
The house was clean. Finally.
But it felt empty.

And now we have these two crazy, crazy kittens tearing around the apartment, ruining the curtains and chewing through the cords on all our headphones.  These crazy, crazy kittens who attack the drawstring on my pajama pants and the shoestrings on my husband's work shoes.  Crazy kittens who make my daughters laugh out loud and put away the iPad to dangle string in front of these furry guys. Kittens who, through being nothing but themselves, have managed to make us all feel like a family again.

Simple joy has been returned to this household.  We all have something to look forward to when we come back from being away.  We all have something to talk about at the dinner table.  We all have the same thing to complain about at 1 a.m. when our felines fancy an all-out-knockdown brawl.

Life's not perfect. (Is it ever?)  And yeah, I'm not too thrilled about the curtains.  But I find myself smiling twice as often as I did before.  That alone makes it all worth it.  I like myself a lot more when I'm smiling.

My family likes me more, too.

The kittens? I think they'd be smiling if they could.  They purr, anyways.
And we love to hear it.