Thursday, April 3, 2014

Trusted Blog Tour

 I am excited to participate in a blog tour for the first time! It was fun getting to know Krista a little better.  We both participate in the same Facebook group, and she is always helpful, so I jumped at the chance to help spread the word about her book. Now it's your chance to get to know her!

Krista Wayment
ME: I get a lot of questions about how my book is getting published. So I'm asking you the same question.  How is your book getting published and why did you choose that method?
KRISTA: I am independently/self publishing my book. I chose to take this route because agents and editors have to sift through a lot to find the diamonds in the rough. I didn't want to leave the fate of my book up to chance. So I decided to take the risk myself and get it out there in the hands of readers.

ME: Self published books don't always have a great reputation. What steps have you taken to be sure your book is ready for publication?
KRISTA: Lot's and lot's of revision and editing. I wrote the first draft January of 2013. I then revised it. Next I had a group of writer friends read this second draft looking for little mistakes and plot holes. They gave me some excellent notes. And I revised again. Then I had a second different group of writer friends read the third draft followed by more edits and revision. The most important step though--I hired a professional editor. The amazing Tristi Pinkston. She went over Trusted with a fine toothed comb. When she was done I had lot's of fixes to make.
After that final polish, I proof read Trusted three times looking for typos. I also made sure to get a physical copy, a proof, and make sure that the cover was right and all the formatting looked good.
For the eBook version I checked the formatting in several programs and all different kinds of devices.
It was a long process and a lot of work. But because of all that effort Trusted is the best it can be. And I am proud of the final result.

ME: Dark chocolate or milk,
KRISTA: Yes. Basically if it is chocolate I love it. These days I do lean a tad bit toward dark though :)

ME: Where is the strangest place you've written?
KRISTA: Sitting in the hall way with my laptop on a step stool so I could watch my little one in the bath and still make my writing goal.

ME: Being a writer can be discouraging at times.  How do you get past those times when you're pretty sure no one will ever want to read your book? 
KRISTA: Being a writer is part of who I am. So when I don't have time to write I get depressed. It makes it rough when I'm discouraged about my writing ability. Usually what I do is start something new. Start with a clean slate and let the book I am unsure of rest for a while as I perfect my craft.

ME: Why did you decide to write for young readers (aka Middle Grade)?
KRISTA: When I was growing up I kind of skipped the whole middle grade section of the library and went straight to adult. Mostly because that is where I found the best Science Fiction and Fantasy books. Later, when I was all grown up I kind of "discovered" middle grade books and fell in love. So I decided to try my hand at writing one and loved that even more.

ME: What is your favorite book (that you haven't written)?
KRISTA: That's a tough one because I have read so many books that I love. I'll mention just a few. First, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinely and second, The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. They have both inspired my writing a lot.

ME: Other than reading and writing, what else do you do?
KRISTA: I'm a mom and part-time computer programmer. Those are my main "jobs," other than writing. I also really enjoy playing video games (especially Zelda) and crocheting.
ME: I love Zelda too! My oldest is much better at it than me, though.  

ME: What is your favorite fruit?
KRISTA: I'm not much of a fruit person, I prefer veggies. But I do LOVE kiwi, and not just because they have a cool looking and sounding name :)

ME: Where can readers purchase your book?
KRISTA: Paperback:  Kindle: 

About the Book

Renick, the fifth son of a dragon breeder, crashes into an unexpected adventure that challenges everything he thought he knew about dragons, history, and himself.

Stranded in the massive Helath forest, Renick meets two other passengers: Thane, a noble training to be a dragon knight, and Lainey, the orphaned niece of a healer. Together they survive an attack by vicious wolves, rescue a baby dragon with a broken wing, and escape from a band of dragon hunters as they make a perilous climb into the mountains. What they discover there will change everything.

And finally, for those participating in Krista's scavenger hunt, here's your dragon scale!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Teaching kids to write

My kids were once reluctant writers.  They would sit at the table and stare at a blank paper or screen for hours.  (You think I'm exaggerating, don't you? I'm not. HOURS.) I always dreaded the assignments that consisted of them writing a story.  This might sound odd, since I'm a writer, but it's true.  They couldn't even get past "Once upon a time." Often, they couldn't even get that far.  They refused to start the story with Once upon a time unless it was a fairy tale.  And they didn't write fairy tales.

I'd sit down with them and ask they what they wanted to write about.  Sometimes I'd get a blank look and sometimes I'd get a rough summary, but even with a summary it was too hard for them to know where to start.  Finally, I told them to start with a character and build from there.  So I thought I'd write a quick little story starter for other parents of reluctant writers.

Who is the character?  
-Animal or a person?  
-Male or female?
-What does the character look like?
-What is something funny about character?

What does the character want more than anything in the world?
-It could be a thing like a toy 
-Maybe they want to go somewhere like Disneyland
-It could be getting parents or enough food.

What is in the way of the character reaching the goal?
-Not enough money
-Mean people are keeping him from his family

When does the story take place? 
-It could be a time of day or year
-It could be in the future

Where is the character?

Why does the character want what he wants?
-Did he see an amazing toy?
-Is he lonely?
-Is he jealous of someone else?

How is the character going to go after his goal?
-Does he get a job?
-Does he escape?

With all these questions answered, you have a basic outline for a story.  The child doesn't have to use the examples listed below the question, but every question must be answered in their own words. Here's a first sentence to help them get started.

All (Character) ever wanted was (desire).

From there, they can build their story. It is important that they use every answer they gave for the questions above.  This is, obviously, a tool for very young writers.  But, once a child learns how to transfer the stories in their head to paper, they will have the tools they need and you will no longer be standing in the middle of the kitchen at 10:00 pm yelling at them to PLEASE JUST WRITE SOMETHING!

Friday, February 7, 2014


My Book:

Rebel Princess
(This damsel is NOT in distress!)

"I was born to be evil.
Nice is NOT in my blood.
Besides, nice girls get locked in towers.".

Raven Perilous is like any other middle school girl--if middle school girls are usually evil princesses. The daughter of a gentle princess and evil sorcerer, Raven spends most of her time being as wicked as possible to avoid being stuck in a tower.  So when Prince Charming shows up at her school.  Raven knows she has met her nemesis.

In The Rebel Princess, loyalty, heroism, and a pinch of enchantment are perfect for conjuring up an adventure that you'll never forget.

Pre-order here

My Christmas pamphlet:

The Candy Cane Queen

(Kindle edition)

Susan Winters has a secret. Every year at Christmas time, she abandons her solitary lifestyle and anonymously spreads the joy and spirit of Christmas as The Candy Cane Queen. But this year, something's about to change. This touching story shares the important message that at Christmastime we need each other more than ever. Perfect for the whole family to enjoy together!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tween Spa Party

I'm a little behind on my blogging.  I've been working on my book and I'm so excited to announce that I am getting a book published! Rebel Princess will be out June 2014.  I will post a picture of the cover as soon as my publisher sends it to me.  I'll blog more about the book when the release date gets closer.  Needless to say, I am very excited.

I've been meaning to post my daughter's birthday party for months.  (The green grass and shorts should give you an indication as to how long!)

For my daughter's 12th birthday, she wanted a spa party.  We decided to keep it simple.  See the decorations on the side of the house?  That was all the decorating and we even already had them in the basement.  Party's don't need to be extremely elaborate to be fun. 

I did secure the table clothes with an elastic band, as you can see in the picture.  That was to keep the cloth from blowing away.  Worked like  a charm and it's kind of cute too.  Win! My daughter's friends have faces.  I just blurred them out because they're not my kids.  I blurred my daughter's face too, just so she wouldn't feel left out. They're all adorable.  You'll have to take my word for it.

The first activity was to decorate shopping bags. I got fabric markers and rulers with lettering.  They all put their names on their bags so there wasn't any confusion.  I was surprised at how long they all took to decorate their bags.  They spent a lot of time chatting about boys and camps that were coming up. They also sang funny parodies.  Twelve year old girls are too fun.  The bags turned out very cute and they were excited to take them home.  I found the canvas bags on Amazon in bulk.

Next, they filled their bags with goodies.  I found scented hand sanitizer at Bath and Body works for a dollar each.  We also found a 12 pack of flavored lip gloss for a few dollars at a party store.  Then we added all sorts of chocolates because my daughter insisted that girls needed chocolate at a spa party.

Once their bags were filled (and their mouths), we played a game of musical toes.  The pink table cloth isn't really necessary, but I thought some girls might not like sitting on grass.  It also made it easier if a bottle of polish was dropped.  For this game, I got a 20 piece lot of nail polish from Amazon for about $20. (The price has gone up since then.) The girls picked a color and I turned on some music.  When the music stopped, they painted a toe nail.  A few of the girls wanted to do finger nails instead.  I let them pick.  They all ended up with super cute multicolored nails. They got a little silly so it spread onto their toes too. 

I you're thinking of doing something like this, be sure to have polish remover handy.  Several girls wanted to remove the polish they had before painting with new colors. I had a little basket with all the polish, a bottle of remover, and cotton. It was nice doing it outside so we didn't have to worry about spills or getting remover on the carpet. 

After the game, I had them each add a bottle of polish to their bags.

Instead of cake, we did cute little cupcakes and ice cream bars.  For the cups, we put temporary tattoos on plastic cups.  They looked pretty fancy.  Most of the girls took their cup home instead of throwing it away.  I froze green punch in a star shaped ice cube tray and poured the lemon lime soda over it.  It was a huge success. It was cute and tasted really good.  I also had plain water available for the girls who didn't like soda.  The frozen punch worked well in water too.

I worried that we wouldn't have enough activities, but the girls spent a lot of time chatting, singing, playing with balloons, and taste testing chocolates so it filled up most of the time.  Once my daughter opened her presents and all the cupcakes were gone, the two hours were over and it was time for the girls to go home.

It turned out to be quite a successful party. The girls had a great time and I didn't spend a boatload of cash.  Win!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our rights

Please enjoy this nice drawing of a cat.
(No offense to dog people. I like dog people.  We can disagree about pets and still be friends.)
I've been seeing a lot about politics lately.  Every issue has two sides and both sides seem to hate each other.  I try to keep this blog politically in the middle. (Actually I avoid politics like the plague.) But something has been bothering me lately so I have to blog about it.

I'm an American and American's have rights!

-People have the right to believe or not believe in God, gay marriage, abortion, Republicans, Democrats, spicy food, junk food, etc.
-People do not have the right to mock, torment, name-call, or bully people who disagree with them.
-People have the right to refuse to work for an event they find morally wrong. (Seriously, would you want someone who thinks your relationship is an affront to God taking your wedding photos or making your cake?)
-People have the right to refuse to perform an action they find morally wrong, even if society believes otherwise.
-People have the right to spend their own money to support causes they believe in.
-People have the right to have their business judged on the product, not on the owner's political beliefs.

Disagreement does not equal hate. We can disagree.  It's okay.

We need more people like Keshia Thomas.  Haven't heard of her?  Go here.

This is why it bothers me when people boycott a business for 'social' reasons.  Chick-fil-A has a lot of employees that rely on the company to feed their families.  They all have their own social beliefs.  Why would you boycott a restaurant because the owner donates money to a political group you disagree with? He didn't donate money to keep gays from getting jobs or housing.  No.  He donated money to keep marriage traditional.  He has the right to that opinion. The owner of Amazon has does the same for gay rights.

I patronize business based on the quality of their products.  I eat at Chik-fil-A, shop at Amazon, and I plan to see Ender's Game.  Let's end the hate.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Super Easy Link Costume

I was walking my cute 3rd grader home from school on Tuesday and he told me they were going to have a superhero day and he needed a costume.  I said that sounded like fun.  When was the day? Turns out it was that Friday and he needed me to sew an entire Link costume. (I agreed only because he's going to use the same costume for Halloween.) Link is the hero in the Zelda video games.  There are also *graphic novels available. 

I've come to smash your pots and take all your rupees!

On Wednesday, I went to the store and bought the green undershirt and an XL men's shirt.  I put the XL shirt on my son and marked the places to cut and sew with chalk. (I was short on time and my camera is broken, so I made a lovely drawing to show what I did.)

I took the sides in and used a sleeve to make his hat.  I didn't hem anything. It gives it a rough look.  Also, I don't have any green thread.  It wouldn't have been pretty.
 I cut and sewed while my son was at scouts.  He tried it on on Thursday.  We added the belt and boots.  My husband took the picture so you can't see the boots. And he's wearing the whole outfit today.  Whew!

He couldn't have his sword or shield at school. They will be part of his costume for Halloween.  The light and dark green are swapped, but we weren't going for accurate on this costume.  We were going for fast. 

* A quick note on graphic novels.  They are more than just comic books.  Many of them are on a 5th - 6th grade reading level.  They are perfect for kids who read on a higher level, but have a shorter attention span.  They are also perfect for older kids who struggle with reading or kids that just enjoy reading them. My 9th grader still likes them. (He lets his little brother and sister check them out, though.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

You may be addicted to the internet if . . .

1. You go through withdrawals every time your WiFi light blinks.
2. You posted pictures of your child sitting on the potty (for the first time!) on Facebook.
3. You've forgotten how to use a phone book.
4. You are seriously considering getting a waterproof phone so you can take it in the shower and not miss any new tweets.
5. Your children set the house on fire while you were checking Pinterest.
6. Your first impulse, upon seeing a massive zit somewhere on your body, is to take a picture and post it on Instagram.
7. Fresh air hurts your lungs.
8. You get tired while walking from your computer to the bathroom.
9. You constantly compare real life with a video game.
10. You turn every occasion into a tweet.