Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

Today I'm posting my final guest blog post for the IN NAME ONLY summer blog tour. I've traveled to London - I WISH - and am visiting Talli Roland. And I may be telling a bedtime story over there across the pond.

Since today is the end of my summer adventure ...

My top ten thoughts about my first blog tour:

10. I'm happy I've finished writing guest posts for a while.

  9. The tour was long, but it was also way too short.

  8. I'm happy to have time now to work on my WIP again. Really work.

  7. I learned so much.

  6. But I still haven't learned the secret of what works and doesn't work promotion-wise.

  5. I'll miss meeting so many new and amazing people every week.

  4. I'm grateful to all who commented here and on the guest posts, too.

  3. I'm especially grateful that you kept coming back the whole time I was tooting my own horn.

  2. I still have my hair :)

And my #1 thought about my first blog tour:

  1. I'm ready to do another SHORTER blog tour for a new novel in the spring!



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Special

Hi, Everyone. It's Summer again.

Carol let me come back one last time so I could tell you how much Gabe, myself, and everyone else in IN NAME ONLY appreciates all the nice things you've said about our story. We thank you.

And to those of you who haven't yet read about us, we hope you'll read IN NAME ONLY soon.

Carol has only two more guest blog posts - today and Friday. Today she's being interviewed at Dames of Dialogue. And you know how she dishes the most delicious secrets in interviews. You can tell she was never in witness protection!

I'll be here to respond to your comments, but you'll read the real scoop over at Dames of Dialogue. Tell Carol I said hi.

Monday, August 27, 2012

RaShelle, the Biergarten, and the Squirrel

NOTE: Forgot the title, but it's there now.

This is the final week of my blog tour for IN NAME ONLY. I'll be guesting elsewhere and blogging here Monday, Wednesday AND Friday. I'll try to make sense everywhere :)

Today I'm visiting with the beautiful and fantastic RaShelle Workman on her blog. RaShelle has been a blog friend for a long time, and I'm talking about a couple of different things. You'll need to go over there to find out what :)

I know. I'm mean. It's Monday.

But I'm not that mean. I have photos. A couple of weekends ago, Live-In Handyman and I went to the St. Louis Day Festival in Castroville, a small town about 15-20 minutes west of San Antonio. The town was settled in the mid-1800s by immigrants from Alsace-Lorraine, and many of their descendants live there today.

The festival was held in Koenig Park, and we had to park a few blocks away. On the walk, we passed these original houses and more that looked much like them.



At the park, we were greeted by men selling tickets for a bbq plate lunch.



I should have taken a photo of the plate, but I was too hungry to take the time. The plate had smoked brisket and sausage, potato salad, coleslaw, dill pickles, and bread. The food was yummy and piled high. I couldn't eat it all, but Live-In Handyman had no problem. The lunch also came with iced tea. It was $7 or $8, I don't remember.

There was more food, for those who wished to eat a la carte. Lots of games for kids and adults, raffles, and face painting. And of course, a biergarten!


There was also music. An oom-pa-pa band, a Texas swing band, and a rock band (that was on a break when we were in the area of their stage) so I didn't get a photo.



We left, tired, full, and singing "Roll Out the Barrel" and "Miles and Miles of Texas."

Did I mention it was hot? How hot was it? When we got home, we saw this on our patio.


The temp was 103F, and this little sweetie was trying to say cool on the shady concrete.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

The winner of a Kindle copy of IN NAME ONLY from the comments Wednesday and Thursday is Talli Roland! Congrats, Talli, and you'll be hearing from me :)

And since it's that time of year, here's this week's top ten list.

My favorite top ten movies about school :

10. Grease

  9. American Graffiti

  8. The Breakfast Club

  7. Mean Girls

  6. Carrie

  5. Anything with Hogwarts

  4. Legally Blonde

  3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

  2. Good Will Hunting

And my #1 favorite movie about school:

  1. Animal House

What's your favorite movie about school?

Does it have a HOT fireman?

Want to see a HOT fireman?

My last HOT fireman of the summer is now on my Facebook Author Page.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Everybody Likes Italian

"I'm Frank."

"And I'm Rose. We're the Triolas. Our restaurant--"

"Triolas."

"Pardon Frank. He loves to interrupt."

"You just take too long, honey. Who, what, where, when, and why. But first I need to tell these folks who won the e-copy of WEIGHTED by Ciara Knight."

"Ooh, I'm excited. Who won?"

"Drum roll...the winner is L.G. Smith!"

"Yea! Congrats, L.G. Carol has probably contacted you already. If not, her email address is in her profile. Give her a shout."

"See, Rose? Just the facts. No rambling."

"So since you're all no rambling here and straight to the point, do I call you Speedy now? You never--"

"Rose, it's a family blog."

She kissed his cheek. "And you're a sweetheart. Go make sure things are running on time in the kitchen. I'll behave. Until later."

"Promise? The later part?" He wiggled his eyebrows.

"Go!" Rose watched the love of her life swagger through the swinging doors.

"Oh, gosh. I almost forgot. Carol's guest blogging today at Ninja Alex's blog, Alex J. Cavanaugh. She said to remind you that all commenters HERE through Thursday at 10pm CDT will be eligible for a free Kindle copy of IN NAME ONLY. Carol will announce the winner in Friday's post. Frank and I are in that book. You'll like it!

"Now I need to go get ready for the lunch rush. Between the marinara and the gelato, Frank and I will take turns responding to your comments. Ciao!"






Monday, August 20, 2012

WEIGHTED, My First Book & a Double Giveaway!

Part One

Today's post is long, but the first two parts are short, and the last is broken into sections. I think you'll read to the end :)

Today I'm at Misha Gericke's blog, My First Book. I'm talking about some of the things I do as a writer. I hope you'll stop by and say hi.

Can't get much shorter!

:::

Part Two

As a THANK YOU for supporting IN NAME ONLY and my blog tour
AND for your abundant clicks on my Facebook author page like button,
I'm doing a double giveaway this week.

Comment here on THIS POST before 10pm CDT Tuesday
to be eligible to win one Kindle edition of
Ciara Knight's WEIGHTED,
which releases Tuesday, August 21.
Winner will be announced on Wednesday's post.

Comment on my WEDNESDAY POST before 10pm CDT Thursday
to be eligible to win one Kindle edition of
my debut novel, IN NAME ONLY.
Winner will be announced on Friday's post.

You are eligible to win in both giveaways.
If the winners already have the book they won,
I will substitute a $5 Amazon Gift Card in lieu of the book.

:::

Part Three



This cover is so cool!

What's even cooler is that WEIGHTED by Ciara Knight will be released TOMORROW!

And the coolest thing? Read this blurb:


The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.


That's not even the best part. Come closer. I have an excerpt to share!


CHAPTER ONE

Subject: Raeth Arteres
Date: March 8, 2185
Species: Neumarian
Status: Captured

Tick-tock…tick-tock…I clutch the sides of the steel bed in my cell and push up on my elbows. The clock, with its bronze rim, hangs high on the wall, taunting me. The long black arm of the second hand struggles up the side of the enormous disc, ticking away the last few moments of my life.
Tap…tap. Footsteps, two by two, march to the cell door. Sucking in a long breath, I embrace the rhythmic sounds of the airship, with the occasional interruption of an engine sputtering.
Tap…thump.
The Queen’s unmistakable gait interrupts my dream-like state. It matches the sounds of the ship, as if she is an extension of the heap of metal propelling us across the desert wasteland.
“Open the door.” Her voice echoes down the narrow hall.
Tick…
The hand struggles to reach the twelve. If it doesn’t make it, maybe the door won’t open. It teeters and shakes, then slides straight up in unison with the door.
Tock.
“Be quick, before the parasite uses her curse on us.” Her raspy, artificial voice sends a quiver to my core.
A guard races in with a handheld device and points it at my neck. I’ve been collared like a dog. I clutch the slick metal ring around my neck, pulling it from my skin, but current zaps through my shoulders and my arm juts out to my side, shaking. Searing pain runs along my veins.
After all these years of my brother hiding me, it was inevitable I’d get caught.
Darkness swirls deep inside, brewing a storm. I can’t remember what it will do if I release it. Is it a gift, as my brother told me, or a curse, as the Queen believes? All I know is that if I unleash it, the Queen will have what she wants, so I push it down deep, keeping it hidden from her.
A man in a grey coat approaches with a syringe in his shaking hand. His left eye has been replaced by a bronze implant that clicks as it grows wide. I concentrate on remaining calm. “I-I see you s-still need me.” It is a struggle to speak against the rising will of the gift trapped inside me.
“Need you? I only need your wretched, cursed body. We must ensure your kind never threatens the world again. When I’m finished, you will serve me, and only me.”
Acid boils up in my throat but I force it down. The beast caged inside me longs for release.
“Make her cease that ridiculous tapping,” the Queen orders.
The guard grabs my hand and pulls me down on the bed. I hadn’t noticed my fingers rapping against the metal. My body sometimes has a mind of its own. A way of keeping me focused when my brain no longer can.
Princess Semara edges into the room. “Mother, must we—”
“Silence!” The queen whirls on her. “Do you question me, Semara?”
“No, Mother. I only wish to discover the truth about the Neumarians. It will help us in our fight to—”
“The truth? The truth is they are parasites that suck the life out of people, and no one on Earth is safe as long as they live.”
The long needle penetrates my arm and icy liquid shoots up my veins. The room spins. Focus. I must concentrate if I am to keep my secret.
“Take her to the Alteration Room.” The Queen smirks, her flaming-red hair dancing above her head and her mechanical eye widening to a pool of pleasure.
“N-no. I w-won’t—”
The Queen’s skirt billows with her movements. A cold metal hand brushes my cheek, sending a tremor down my arms to my fingers. “Tell us what we want to know, and you will be returned to your people unharmed.”
Princess Semara dances from foot to foot. Yards of red and black material sway with each step. Her eyes plead with me to tell what I should know, but can’t remember.
Or maybe I do, but am not allowing myself to.
“I know n-nothing.”
The edge of the Queen’s knuckles catches my cheek. A trickle runs down my face, the odor of my blood matching the smell of the ship.
“Take her.” The Queen stalks to her daughter. “And no lasers. Do it the old-fashioned way. No anesthetic.”
Tears well up in Princess Semara’s eyes, but she blinks them back.
“Take my daughter with you as a witness,” the Queen says to the man with the needle. “You’ll serve your Queen Mother, won’t you, darling?”
“Yes, Mother,” Princess Semara whispers. Her pale arms wrap around her black corset as if to hug her fear inside.
My stomach flops and the dark swirl inside me means to escape. I rock back and forth, trying to subdue it. “N-no, p-please. You must not—”
Thump…tap.
The Queen’s metal leg beats against the floor with every other step. Soon, I will be the same.
“Please, don’t l-let her,” I plead.
The Princess remains still, the corners of her lips arched down, marking her smooth face.
“Bring the gurney,” the grey coat yells out the door.
Squeak…squeak.
The screech of the wheels makes the hair on my arms stand at attention. Will my robotic leg mimic the high-pitched noise each time I take a step? Does it matter? Even if I escape the ship, my people will see me as a Slag now. Never again will they look at me as one of them.
Arms snake beneath me. My body lifts and lands on a coarse, white-sheeted surface. The gurney under me bounces.
“Raeth, please, you must tell my mother what your people are plotting.”
“They plan n-nothing.”
The grey coat pushes me down the hall. “Lies, that is all they do, tell lies and torment our people. They should all be exterminated.” His face hangs over mine with a derisive smile. Glaring lights fly past overhead until we turn into a room.
Doors swish, sealing shut behind us. Massive silver devices hang from the ceiling and walls. This is the Alteration Room, with all the tools of torture pointing in every direction. Why do they alter themselves, shove techno-implants into their bodies? Terror ripples through every muscle and my hand taps in a soothing rhythm.
They lift me from the gurney and strap me down to a cold, solid surface. Silver bands snap around my wrists, ankles, and head. Salty tears flow down my face and over my lips. Princess Semara wipes them away.
“Why do you fuss over her? You are a princess. If your mother saw you—”
“I only clean off what could interfere with the lasers.”
“You heard your mother. There will be no lasers.” The grey coat spins on his heels and stalks behind a wall. “Besides, I’m taking her leg, not her eyes.” A deep chuckle echoes in the room. “Not this time, anyway.”
My heart races so fast I wonder if one of the machines is pulling it from my body. I try to lift my wrists to clutch my chest, but my hands remain bound by my sides.
“There isn’t much time.” Princess Semara holds up another syringe. “This will keep you from suffering while he—he—”
“Removes my l-leg?”
“Yes.” Semara wipes a tear from her own face. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to see you suffer. Why won’t your people let us live in peace? Why do you want to harm us?” Her voice shakes and her lower lip trembles. Does she not believe her own words?
The deep revving of an engine brings the blackness close to the surface. I clutch my fists and scrunch my eyes shut, trying to free my mind from the squealing sound I know to be a saw.
My body shakes and rattles the metal binds.
The pinch of a needle causes my eyes to shoot open.
Princess Semara stumbles back from the table.
My insides feel gushy and my head floats despite the restraint.
I taste something sour and click my tongue. The saw quiets for a moment and the grey coat stands over me.
He grins, revealing crooked teeth. “Last chance to tell us of the plans to overthrow the Queen.”
My eyelids grow heavy. He slams his fist down on a large orange button, and the blades rotate at a rapid speed.
He lowers the saw and I hear screams. My screams.
Then darkness.
:::
Ciara writes to ‘Defy the Dark’ with her fantasy and paranormal books. Her debut novel, The Curse of Gremdon, was released to acclaimed reviews, securing a Night Owl Top Pick and five stars from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Also, book I, Rise From Darkness, from her debut young adult Battle For Souls series, secured glowing reviews and won July Book of the Month from Long and Short Reviews.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She's backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.

Ciara is extremely sociable so please feel free to connect with her at her blog, website, Twitter, Goodreads, or Facebook.

Upcoming books in The Neumarian Chronicles:
Escapement (Book I) - Early 2013
Pendulum (Book II) - Mid 2013
Balance (Book III) - Early 2014

Other books by Cara Knight:
Battle for Souls Series
Ascension of Evil - Coming in October

:::

Part One Reminder

Today I'm at Misha Gericke's blog, My First Book. I'm talking about some of the things I do as a writer. I hope you'll stop by and say hi :)


Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things about trees:

10. They're tall

  9. They're strong

  8. They provide shelter

  7. They provide food

  6. Birds, squirrels, and monkeys love them

  5. So do cats

  4. They live a long time

  3. They don't talk back

  2. People enjoy looking at them

And the #1 thing about trees:

  1. Some like to watch us:




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Strong, Silent Type

Before we get to the heart of this post...THANKS TO ALL OF YOU for bring my Facebook Author Page to more than 100 likes! I'm grateful to you and thrilled :)

Watch for new giveaway rules on Monday!

Now on to today's character interview.


:::

Carol: Hi, Ryan. You're a U.S. Marshal. Is that correct?

Ryan: Yes, ma'am.

Carol: How long have you been a Marshal?

Ryan: I'm not at liberty to say.

Carol: Do you like your job?

Ryan: Yes, ma'am.

Carol: Does it often take you away from your family?

Ryan: I'm assigned to an office, but I travel.

Carol: A lot?

Ryan: When needed.

Carol: How long have you known Summer Newcombe?

Ryan: We met through a mutual acquaintance.

Carol: That doesn't answer my question.

Ryan: Shrugs.

Carol: Is Ryan your first or last name?

Ryan: You know I can't answer that question.

Carol: Is Ryan even your name?

Ryan: Silence.

Carol: Are you going to answer?

Ryan: No, ma'am.

Carol: I see nothing's changed with you.

---
See why characters can be so frustrating sometimes?

Today I'm visiting with Rebecca J. Clark at Once Written, Twice Shy. She wants to know if I'm shy. What do you think?

Ryan is going to be here to answer your comments. I'm going to keep watch on him, though. If he gets too OCD about this closed-mouth thing, I'll be back.

Got that, Ryan? You need to make friends here. These are good people.

Ryan! Take off the body armor. Now!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Coco-Nutty Monday

Many thanks to all of you who LIKED my Facebook Author Page over the weekend. I'm still short of 100 LIKES by six.

Tell your friends! Six more LIKES and I'll hold another giveaway here. And post another fireman there.

Today I'm at J.L. Campbell's blog, The Character Depot, talking about...drum roll...are you ready?...CHARACTERS!

See how original I can be on a Monday morning? I knew you'd think so :)

I hope all of you will pop over to The Character Depot and say hi. I mean, it's Jamaica and rum punch and palm trees and...me!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

The top ten things that are hot:

10. Summer

  9. The Sun

  8. Jalapenos

  7. A Sauna

  6. Fire

  5. Cheese on a Pizza

  4. An Oven

  3. Coffee

  2. Dogs

And the #1 thing that's hot:

  1. Firefighters

See the latest Friday's HOT Fireman on my Facebook Author Page.

I'm not above begging for a few more likes over there, so if you haven't yet LIKED my page, I would appreciate your click now.

I'd like to reach 100 LIKES before the end of August. Help me make that happen, and I'll do another giveaway here!

And post one last HOT FIREMAN of the summer over there!

As you can see, I'm not above a little bribery either. I have no shame :)



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let's Talk Favorites

¡Hola Amigas!

I'm Chica.

Aren't the interwebz the best invention ever?

I mean, how else could I talk to you? You're human. I'm a Chihuahua.

I belong to Maxie. She's been my human since I was a puppy. She lets me cuddle in her lap. Maxie has a soft lap. And its warm. Do you like laps? Laps are my favorite thing.

Unless I have a chew. Or a squeaky toy. Or a Milk-Bone.

Or the times we go for walks. I love walks. Do you like walks? Walks are my favorite thing, too.

Oh. Carol isn't here. She left this note:

Hey, everyone!
Today I'm visiting Hart Johnson at Confessions of a Watery Tart. AKA Alyse Carlson, author of The Azalea Assault. She's interviewing me, and you know her. You may learn something you would never have guessed about me. One more thing, please. I'm dogsitting Chica, Maxie's Chihuahua. She's a feisty little thing, so don't let her get into any trouble while I'm out. I'll see you Friday. Thanks.
Carol

Uh-oh. Squirrel!



Monday, August 6, 2012

Christine Rains is Fearless! What Else is Possible?

My blogging buddy, Christine Rains, has released her new novella FEARLESS.

Abby White was seven years old when she killed the monster under her bed. Now she slays creatures spawned by the imaginations of children, and the number of these nightmares are on the rise. Neither she nor her guide - a stuffed hippo named Tawa - know why. With a gorgeous fae fighting at her side, she must avoid distraction and find a way to become truly fearless.

Christine writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She is also hosting the What Was Your Childhood Monster Blogfest August 7-9. Zip over and sign up while there's still time.



:::

In still more !!exciting!! news ... I'm over at Julie Flanders blog, What Else Is Possible? Hope to see you at Julie's!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday's Top Ten

Top ten Olympic Events for Writers:

10. Book Put

  9. 100-Word Dash

  8. Wrestling for Agents

  7. Sailing to the Bestseller List

  6. Wordy Weightlifting

  5. Chapter Cycling

  4. Hockey Puck Paragraphing

  3. Balance Beam Blunders

  2. Midpoint Hurdles

And the #1 Olympic Event for Writers:

  1.  Triwritelon




There's still time to comment at Get Busy Writing to be eligible to win a copy of

IN NAME ONLY!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Maxie and the Ultimate Sacrifice

UPDATE #2: My post is now up at Donna's. Just a late start :) I'll see you there!

Oh, my.

You must pardon me, as I am not the fastest typist. Who would have thought I would ever be on a blog? A stage, yes. But never a blog. Carol said I must, so I am here.

My name is Maxie Lamar. I am soon to be 80 years old, but I still think of myself as a young woman. Most of the time.

I understand from Carol that she told all of you on Teresa's Journaling Woman blog about how I first appeared to her. There was no other way. Carol is a dear, but there are times she is as dense as the new granite Charlie used to update my kitchen.

Today Donna Volkenannt is hosting Carol at Donna's Book Pub. Carol told me what she would be blogging about. But Chica started barking at a seagull, and I didn't catch everything she said. So it will be a surprise for all of us.


UPDATE: I'm not sure what's going on, but my guest post isn't up yet at Donna's Book Pub. I've emailed her, but as yet there's no response. I'll keep you updated. 


:::


In other news...

Madeleine at Scribble and Edit is releasing her novella today. ULTIMATE SACRIFICE is the story of Lyndsay and Ben, two young lovers caught up in war. Get your copy today!