Free book alert: Swimming Upstream

Swimming Upstream coverFormer Skipping Midnight interviewee Ruth Mancini has a great offer going on that I felt it my literary duty to share. Her debut novel, Swimming Upstream, a finalist in the 2014 Kindle Book Awards, is free for Kindle on Amazon this week!

.

A brief summary:

“I once read that the end of a relationship is like being involved in a road traffic accident. Which is quite fitting really, given what happened.”

After seven years, Lizzie wonders whether she is truly happy with her long-term boyfriend. When one wrong step and a chance meeting set off an unexpected chain of events, her life starts breaking up. On the same day that she meets Martin, an attractive lifeguard, her old friend, Catherine, re-appears. But is Martin really all he seems? And what is the secret that Catherine is hiding? As Lizzie struggles to confront the ghosts of her past, can she survive the shocking twist that will change the course of her future?

Swimming Upstream is a life-affirming and often humorous story about getting over a relationship breakup. It is also a story about female friendship, love and divided loyalties – and the moral choices we find ourselves making when the chips are down.

.

If I didn’t already own a copy, I’d definitely pick one up. Follow the links below to snag yours:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Bonus: Click here to read Ruth’s interview from earlier this year.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Just had to share – fairytale figurines

Blog - Disney characters

Someone very special picked these up for me the little one a few weeks ago. Talk about a perfect addition to her nursery … since that’s where I tend to do 90 percent of my work these days anyway!

Can’t wait to watch her spin her own stories with them someday ;)

1 Comment

November 10, 2014 · 12:41 PM

Best Halloween films for wussies (like me!)

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have a confession to make. I’m a wuss. Not when it comes to roller coasters, thrill rides, or soaring around Hawaii in a doorless helicopter, mind you. But put me in a haunted house and I might clock some poor 15-year-old “zombie” in the jaw … while screaming at the top of my lungs and flinging metal props to aid in my escape.

Yet despite all that, I love Halloween. I love the colors, the fanfare, and the ability to embrace some inner wild side for a day and not care what anyone thinks. (So yes, the same reason your nice muffin-baking neighbor is reading 50 Shades of Grey … again.) That said, I could do without the psychopaths in hockey masks. And the pea soup vomit. And the creepy  children with long black hair who move like spiders and climb out from abandoned wells.

That’s why my top Halloween movies* are the fun-creepy kind. The kind you watch with friends, quote at random times, and follow with a good night’s sleep. They aren’t necessarily for kids — just kids at heart. So grab a bowl of candy corn, pick a number, and enjoy:

1. HOCUS POCUS

Why: I’ve never forgotten that sizzling rendition of “I Put a Spell on You.” The bully situation is SO early ’90s (he calls the hero “Hollywood” and is somewhat obsessed with his sneakers). It has the only CAT I’ve ever actually liked. I still want dress up as part of the Sanderson trio someday (any volunteers?). And Bette Midler’s lips in this are just, like, Wow.

.

2. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Why: It’s a musical for people who detest musicals. It’s extremely clever. It takes two polar opposite holidays and fits them together perfectly. There’s something about Tim Burton. And the animation is entertaining on its own.


.

3. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

Why: Tim Curry in fishnet stockings and a bustier. Plus, the Time Warp is extremely catchy; you’ve been warned.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Distractions, Hollywood, Misc

Eric Wilder of The Grimm Report is in the house! And he’s got a new book!

I HumptyWhat if Humpty Dumpty didn’t actually fall from his infamous wall, as we’ve all been led to believe … but jumped? What Rumpelstiltskin’s “straw-to-gold” scandal landed him on the wrong side of the law? What if TMZ didn’t report on inebriated celebrities, but the marital mishaps of fairy tale icons like Beauty and her feral spouse?

As a huge fan of The Grimm Report – Eric Wilder’s mock-tabloid website that satirizes popular fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and folk tales — I’m extremely excited about his new book, I, Humpty (available now at Amazon). Eric’s here today to talk about it, answer some questions, and give one lucky reader an autographed print copy of the new release. Enjoy!

.

1. What can readers expect from I, Humpty? 

I, Humpty is a collection of mock-tabloid satire that marries the reality of everyday life with popular elements from fairytales, folklore, and nursery rhymes. Rejoice with the Beast as Belle grants him permission to convert the den into a man-cave. Learn why the third little pig grows weary of his live-in brothers. Follow the courtroom drama of Rumpelstiltskin’s indictment in the Straw-To-Gold Scandal. I, Humpty covers all of these stories and more.

The articles within I, Humpty were selected from a website called The Grimm Report, a fake news site featuring fairytale/current event mashups to celebrate the absurd. Creating a book gave me an opportunity to expand on some ideas I had. I invite you to take a look at the results.

.

2. How did The Grimm Report and its mock-tabloid stories come about?

A couple of years ago I took a creative writing class at a local literary institution as an extracurricular diversion. One evening my instructor challenged students to take well-known characters in the public domain and reinvent them. That week I had come up with an elaborate story, detailing on how Humpty Dumpty hadn’t merely fallen off the wall. Instead, he was a crazed thrill-seeking daredevil who jumped. Continue reading

28 Comments

Filed under Author Interviews, Contests

What’s Your Patronus?

There’s never a bad time for Harry Potter, in my opinion, but October has got to be the best. With neighborhood lawns already filling up with witches, ghosts, goblins, and all sorts of spooky … what better time for a Patronus Charm?

Thanks to M’s Bookshelf and  Sky’s Book Corner for finding this neat little quiz that predicts what your unique magical guardian would look like. A cat? A horse? A phoenix? I apparently share the latter with Dumbledore. Can’t go wrong with that!

Click here to find out yours!

2 Comments

Filed under Distractions, Hollywood, Misc

Ebook news: Desperately Ever After is a #1 Amazon Best Seller (times three!)

Surfed on over to Amazon yesterday to check the status of my 99-cent sale and saw this:

Amazon  rank 49 on 10-01-14

Yup, that’s #1 in women’s humor, #1 in women’s fantasy, #1 in paranormal fantasy, and #49 throughout the entire Kindle store!! Dare I pinch myself?!

It’s a Kindle Countdown sale, so the 99-cent price will go up to $1.99 early Friday morning (EST) and then back to its regular $3.99 on Monday. The clock is ticking ;)

 

4 Comments

Filed under Desperately Ever After, Events

Once Upon a Time returns!

once-upon-a-time-season-4

(Warning: This post may contain spoilers from season 3!)

Summer may be the season of leisure, but there’s something truly magical about autumn. The kaleidoscopic carpet of red and yellow leaves. The smell of stripped earth. The early sunsets. The brisk nights. And the return of our favorite TV shows.

This year, however, winter descends early as the fourth season of Once Upon a Time returns with a new face in tow: Elsa from Disney’s hit film, Frozen. Will the cursed Snow Queen play a villain? A hero? A romantic rival to the long-awaited and much-celebrated “Captain Swan?”

What’s more, will the Evil Queen slide right back into her old ways now that her flame’s wife is back? Now that yet another “happily ever after” has been yanked from her grasp?

Many questions hung in the air as season 3 ended in May. Thankfully, the answers will finally start coming tonight!

Reminder: The drawing for a Once Upon a Time DVD (season 1) and a signed copy of Damsels in Distress (Book 2 in the Desperately Ever After series) ends at midnight (EST) Sunday, September 28. Click here to enter

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Distractions, Hollywood, Misc

Desperately Ever After dream cast — and an extra shot at Once Upon a Time

Aside from securing a seven-figure book deal or winning a Pulitzer, the coolest thing I can imagine as an author is to one day watch my work come alive on the big screen. To see the jewel-toned spires of Carpale’s skyline. To hear Rapunzel’s rants against “true love.” To join in as others cheer Belle’s growing independence, laugh at Cinderella’s vengeful “masterpiece,” and roll their eyes at Penny’s helicopter mother-in-law.

Unfortunately, Hollywood hasn’t called just yet. But just in case, here is my Dream Cast* for the Desperately Ever After series. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared! ;)

(Contest Bonus: Leave your own picks for an additional two bids in the Once Upon a Time/Damsels in Distress giveaway. Details and instructions at bottom of post.)

.

THE LADIES

"Emmy Rossum, 2011" by MingleMediaTVNetwork

“Emmy Rossum, 2011″ by MingleMediaTVNetwork*

Belle (Beauty and the Beast): Emmy Rossum

During the course of the series, D.E.A.’s Belle goes from a sweet, naive, ingénue to a strong, independent, kick-ass woman. I’ve loved Emmy Rossum since she played innocent Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, but her performance as Fiona in Showtime’s Shameless really blew me away.

.

.

"Kristen Bell" by pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA

“Kristen Bell” by pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA*

Cinderella: Kristen Bell

For D.E.A.’s Cinderella, I picture an actress who shines playing the super smart, responsible, sophisticated woman who tends to bite off way more than she can chew and gets crazy paranoid when the slightest things go wrong — but still remains cute and lovable the entire time. For those of you who’ve seen When in Rome, all I have to say is “fountain breakdown.” For those who haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?

. Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Contests, Desperately Ever After, Hollywood

Yes, there is good in the world

Despite my résumé, I’m not a huge fan of today’s media. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying there aren’t loads of wonderful, ethical, idealistic journalists out there who want to make a real difference in people’s lives. In truth, this is probably the case more often than not, but they’re usually not the people who hold the purse strings. And those who do, unfortunately, seem to believe that sensationalized violence sells better. That evil should be slapped under a microscope and analyzed and theorized and replayed and dissected to the point where it’s absurd. That the monsters deserve more attention than the martyrs … because human beings are innately fearful … and that is an easy quality to exploit.

But I could go on about this forever and get nowhere. (As many, many others have done.) So instead, I’d like to share some of the sites I found last weekend, after I wiped CNN from my bookmarks and went on a search for “positive” news. They might just help you remember that for every horrible thing that happens in the world, there are a million other reasons to smile.

1. The Good News Network: This site gathers stories from around the globe. In addition to categorizing its stories by region, the Good News Network also makes it easy to find whatever your aura needs at the moment–be it cute pets, a good laugh, or a hero. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Distractions, Misc

Contest alert: Desperately Ever After and Once Upon a Time giveaway!!

A few months ago, Chick Lit Central recommended the Desperately Ever After series for anyone suffering from “Once Upon a Time withdrawal” during the summer break. So with OUAT returning in twelve days and the print version of Book Two (Damsels in Distress) hitting the cyber bookshelves today, it seemed the perfect time for a little giveaway magic!

Up for grabs: one signed copy of Damsels in Distress and a brand new DVD of Once Upon a Time’s first season.

To enter, click here or on the graphic below. The giveaway runs through September 28, when the people of Storybrooke officially return. (My apologies, but due to shipping costs and the format of the DVD format, only U.S. addresses are eligible.) Best of luck!!

blog giveaway

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized