Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Unread Books on Your Shelf?

Do you have books on your bookshelf that you haven't read yet?

I'm willing to bet most of us do. If you haven't read them, what are your reasons? Too busy? Too many books? You keep forgetting?

I basically have two sets of unread books, and I've figured out why they're unread.

1) I bought them at a thrift shop. Whether that be a library or garage sale, I have several books purchased for 25 or 50 cents that I haven't read yet. Some I've picked up, maybe even started. But they're not so much my style, and I haven't finished them.

2) I won them. This may seem like an odd reason. Many books that I win, I'm quite excited to read as soon as I get them. But there are a handful of others that have languished on my bookshelves for more than a year. Why? My theory is that a) I didn't pay for them, so I don't feel the same pressure to read them and b) the covers don't appeal to me.

Let's talk about B. It took me weeks of wondering why I'd glance at those books and decide to read something else before I realized the covers were turning me off. Once I figured that out, I knew exactly what it was about the cover that I didn't like. One shows nothing but a plane through a car windshield, and it doesn't strike me as exciting or engaging. It's not crashing, it's just flying. It's a sight we all see many times a day. The other, and this is just me being picky, but for some reason the girl on the cover looks like she has pink eye. Unappealing.

I know this about the books, and yet I still can't get myself excited enough to start reading them. They may be very fantastic books and I need to just do it. But first I have all these other gorgeous books I got from the library... maybe later.

What are your reasons for not reading? Are they similar to mine?

And just for fun, check out this link to the 12 ugliest book covers.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


So a week ago I blogged about a book I'm working on as part of a bloghop/blogfest sort of thing. Since I was tagged, my job was then to tag five people who would also answer questions about what they're working on.

I want to make it easy on you. I'm only tagging one person. That way, you can be sure to visit each of her blog and find out more about her and her WIP.

The lucky person is: DeAnn Huff!


My whole family trooped out to the pumpkin patch on Saturday. We started with the hayride, which has definitely gone through some upgrades since I was a kid.

Besides the haunted hay ride and the mule rides and the stinky hay tunnels, we got pumpkins! The children picked wonderful long pumpkins for carving, and I picked a lovely red Cinderella pumpkin. So beautiful!

I love fall for the pumpkins. I love using fresh pumpkins in my cooking. Pumpkin eggnog, pumpkin custard, and pumpkin pie all taste wonderfully sublime when made when fresh pumpkin. And the bright orange color! It's so brilliant and refreshing!

Seriously, these pies are the best.

And with the leftover pumpkin, I've made pumpkin eggnog and pumpkin ice cream. I just can't get enough!

What's your favorite part about autumn?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Popcorning Piggies

We recently acquired two new members to our family. Two new guinea pigs, to be exact.

I feel like I could start a new series of children books based entirely on the adventures we're having with these little guys. But the one that caught me most off guard happened about a week after we added them to the household. I went downstairs in the morning to feed them and found them having little spasms in their cage. They twitched and flipped and bounced all over the place.

I tried to remain calm in the presence of my two-year-old, who simply loves them. I guided her upstairs, all the while feeling my heart in my throat and wondering how I would explain my bad pet-parenting to the friend who gave them to us. What had I done? Was it bad food? Bad water?

Being a master Googler, I got online and started searching for "twitching guinea pigs." Lo and behold, I found an answer. It's called popcorning, and it's reasonably common--when the guinea pigs are happy or excited.

Either my appearance with their daily food excited them or they are just loving our family. Either way, I felt very relieved to discover we weren't doing anything wrong with them!

Maybe some other time I'll tell you about when they escaped their cage and ran rampant downstairs...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Keep on Swimming

Sometimes, when project after project floods my mind and takes up all my time, I feel Dora's chant going through my head, only with a slightly different wording: "Keep on writing, keep on writing."

So when Donna tagged me the opportunity to talk about my latest WIP, I welcomed it. People always ask me what I'm working on now. Here it is, in a nutshell!

What is the working title of your book? Inevitable

Where did the idea come from for the book? I have no idea. I usually don't. Where do our ideas come from? A song, a smell, a thought that suddenly goes wild, and then you can't even remember the beginning inspiration, just the heady excitement of the idea. That's how this one was. That's how most of mine are.

What genre does your book fall under? Paranormal suspense? Paranormal romance? Seems a bit pretentious to call it paranormal romantic suspense...

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Jayne, my MC, would be played by Olesya Rulin. Isn't she darling?? 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? The scent of death follows Jayne like a plague until she discovers she has inherited the powers of an ancient goddess.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? If everything goes right, I'll try my hand at self-publishing early next year!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? About three months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? It's similar to the idea behind Numbers and The Mark. But also very different.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Here's the opening paragraph:

The smell always hits me first.
I noticed it right when I opened the office door, and I paused. It's a lemony smell, like walking through a citrus grove. Growing up in New Jersey, I didn't know much about citrus groves, but I was sure that's what it would smell like. Every time I smelled the lemons, I knew death was in the air.

And of course part of the fun is I get to tag new people. Watch for it! I'll have some people for you to visit next week!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reluctant Readers in Your Classroom?

Not saying my book is the answer but... it might be!

I got this awesome feedback today from a teacher in Illinois. (Warning! There are spoilers in here!)

I have both of your books in my class room and I can't keep them on the shelf. Every Wednesday we have reading day. I asked this particular class to write ten analysis statements about what they read. The idea is to get them to look at it from a writing pov instead of just recalling what happened. While this particular student didn't follow that, I think his responses to this book are wonderful! I included all the wonderful mechanical errors for you. Smile
1) Oh my God its getting hella intense
2) first what happened Sara is adopted her real name is Abigail Collins
3) the twins names are Ricky and Neal Collins
4) the Grandma never got custody of Abigail therefore her getting adopted by Sara's parents
5) Sara also got raped i think
6)the reason I think that is cuse she is beign soft and back in Canada she wasn't seen for a whole day.
7) Another reason I think she was raped because she is PREGNANT!!!!
8) I'm finishing the book this weekend.
9) I want to read the next one. Mama J you better reserve the next one for me!!
10) All I have to say is oh my GOD!!!!
He REFUSED to read before this class, and this is the first book he has read since elementary school. 
Kudos, Tamara! Thank you for your books. 

Seriously. This is why we write, isn't it? I can be a happy person today. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cover Lift

This would be like a face-lift, but... for a book.

I am excited beyond words to share with you the brand new covers for Perilous and Altercation!

Are you ready? Drumroll, please....

The ebook already sports these fantastic new covers. The print book will have them around Christmas!

What think ye??

Monday, October 1, 2012

Taking away from a Writers Conference

So a few weekends ago was the very first, very awesome Midwest LDStorymakers Conference. Having been out to Utah twice for this conference, I was ecstatic when I heard they planned a trial run of a conference closer to my house. In Kansas! Only three hours away!

Of course I had to go. These conferences are phenomenal. The speakers always have wonderful insight and lots of humor. The feeling is one of encouragement and inspiration. The Midwest conference was no exception. Being in its first year, it was very small. But actually, that was quite helpful. Other than the presenters, I didn't know the attendees. I didn't feel overwhelmed by all the new faces. Rather, I was able to meet new people and interact with most everyone.

But the very best part was how I felt while I was there. I felt inspired to write more. I felt encouraged to keep going. I felt surrounded by kindred spirits who often battle the same discouragement that I do, and yet are unable to stop writing.

There must be something behind this passion that makes us continue even when nobody is telling us how awesome we are, or patting us on the back and saying good job. In fact, sometimes it's in the very face of opposition and jeers and snide remarks that we bolster up our courage, boot up our computer, and trot out that next chapter!

Whether this is a curse or a blessing, I'm not alone. There's no better place than a writer's conference to show me that scattered around me are other people who share my crazy obsession. It's a wonderful feeling, and I can hardly wait for my next conference.

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