Contest, My Books

DAY 1—The Brevity of Roses or An Illusion of Trust GIVEAWAY!

1-dotWelcome to Day 1 of my end-of-May giveaway extravaganza! Starting today, Friday, May 24th, I’ll be giving away ONE eBOOK EACH DAY for five days. Which eBook, you ask? Well, you get a choice between The Brevity of Roses or its sequel An Illusion of Trust.

brevwidget2You’ll have five separate chances to win because it’s a new giveaway each day. If you don’t win today, you can enter again tomorrow or the next day or the next—five drawings in all! And if you win one book, you can enter the next day to try for the other.

IMPORTANT: Since these are five separate contests, you must follow the entry instructions each day you want to be entered in the drawing. Entries DO NOT carry over to the next contest.

All eBooks are in the Kindle format, but you don’t have to own a Kindle to read them. The FREE Kindle app is available for every major smartphone, tablet, and computer.

AIT_widgetSo, how do you enter? You enter by clicking one of those social media icons below to share this post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. And then leave a comment here to let me know where you shared.

Each day’s entry period runs from midnight to midnight (PST) and Random.org will choose the winners.

READY … SET … GO and good luck!

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Congratulations to our Day 1 winner, Laura Best!

Contest, My Books, Promotion

A Giveaway Heads Up!

5-dot-2Calling all readers! This brief post is to give you a heads up on the biggest giveaway ever done on this blog. Starting Friday, May 24th, I’ll be giving away ONE eBOOK EACH DAY for five days. Which eBook, you ask? Well, you get a choice. You can win either The Brevity of Roses OR its sequel An Illusion of Trust.

You’ll have five separate chances to win because it’s a new giveaway each day. If you don’t win on the first day, you can enter again to win on the second or the third or fourth or fifth days—five drawings in all! Be sure to come back on Friday for full instructions on how to enter the first giveaway.

See you on Friday!

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Blog Stuff

Sorry about the spam

A particularly vicious spammer latched onto my blog this week. I’ll call it an IT because this spammer isn’t even selling anything. The URL attached to the myriad of names IT uses links to a Facebook verification page. So what the purpose of this attack is, I don’t know. But according to the WordPress forum, my blog is not the only one being attacked by this same spammer.

I know many of you have seen these fake comments pop up in your WordPress dashboard or been notified by email that someone has responded to a legitimate comment you made on my blog. I’m sorry about that. WordPress uses a spam blocker called Askimet, which until this onslaught, has worked extremely well—and actually still is. In the last seven hours, IT posted 193 spam comments on my blog, but Askimet only missed 25 of those. Apparently, they’re  coming in so fast Askimet just can’t keep up.

I thought I had IT stopped by using the first part of the IT’s fake ID in a Comment Blacklist “block”, but early this morning IT launched a new onslaught again. I woke up this morning to those 25 new spam comments that got through Askimet and posted on my blog.

To keep my blog from being cluttered up with these nasty things, I’ve temporarily turned on comment moderation—which I hate. Hopefully, IT will get bored with my blog and move on soon.

Blog Stuff

Seven Pathetic Random Things

It’s Monday, so I’ll start this blog week with sunshine. A sweet writer friend, Darlene Foster, sent me the Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you for this pretty award, Darlene.

The rules say I have to list seven random things about myself. I presume these seven things should not be repeats from previous awards posts, which complicates the situation. I thought about this for almost two weeks and never came up with anything interesting, so this is what you get:

  1. I have no fear of spiders, mice, bees, etc. I’m not fond of snakes, though.
  2. The second cat I owned had a very short neck. He was the Silvio of The Cat Sopranos.
  3. I can’t eat salmon. It gags me.
  4. It’s almost impossible for me to fill out “favorites” lists because I’m so indecisive.
  5. The first movie I remember seeing at the theater was Elephant Walk with Elizabeth Taylor. I was five. My mother didn’t have a babysitter. The only scene I remember is when the elephants destroy the plantation.
  6. I consider myself a good speller, but nine times out of ten, I misspell occurred.
  7. I have at least one clear memory of all twenty-eight apartments or houses I’ve lived in since I was eighteen months old. Unfortunately, only two apartments were outside the U.S. (Germany) and all the rest were in only two U.S. states (Indiana and California). How exciting would it be to say I’ve lived in twenty-eight places around the world?

So, that’s it. Isn’t that a pathetic roundup of random things? I think it’s safe to say there’s not a memoir in my future.

As usual, I’m supposed to pass this award on to other bloggers (10-15 in this instance), but I’m not going to name anyone. If you want, slap this pretty award up on your blog and list your seven random things—then leave me a comment to let me know to come read yours.

Blog Stuff, Characters, Fiction, Novel, Writing

You Won’t Be Anonymous, And I’m Not Crazy

I’ve noticed that some of you who take the time to leave a comment have become somewhat anonymous. Since WordPress made changes to their comment policy last month, now, unless you’re a WordPress blogger, the avatar that appears next to your comment might not link to your blog. That’s unfortunate because the real reason you bother to comment is in hope someone will click your avatar and visit your blog. Right?

Okay, it’s not the only reason, but it’s a benefit. I don’t mind at all. And I discovered I can help you out. That is, if I know the address of your blog, I can help. I finally noticed that from my dashboard, I have the option to edit the email address or link-back URL in your comment. So from now on, if you leave a comment and it doesn’t link to your blog, I’ll try to correct that.

I’ve said many times on this blog that I find it necessary to edit as I write. It’s almost impossible for me to move on when I’m aware that a sentence is clunky, or I’ve made a poor word choice, or otherwise phoned it in. I’m not saying I never do those things, but when I know I’ve done one of them, I have to fix it before I can continue writing. It’s the same when I know I’m not going deep enough into a character, I fuss and fume until I break through.

But something weird has happened as I write my current novel. I know I’m leaving out things and I’m okay with it. In some scenes, I’ve skimmed the surface of my main character. I know there should be a lot going on in her head, but I’m not exploring it yet. She’s doing things, saying things, but she’s mostly shut me out of her head—if you know what I mean.

That seemed just plain crazy to me because that’s not the way I usually write. Always before, though I wrote the dialogue first, I’ve just as clearly known what my characters were only thinking. This new, seemingly chaotic, way of writing bothered me, but I’d delayed so long already on this book that I had to keep writing.

Then I started to feel excited about these missing pieces of narrative, as if I were waiting to open a gift. Recently, I’ve been hearing passages of my character’s thoughts, and they were worth the wait. I’m not sure where they’ll fit in the book yet, but I wrote them down. For now, what can I do but write and look forward to all my future gift boxes?

FREE BOOK: If you missed getting a digital copy of The Brevity of Roses on the free days in February, you have another chance. Tomorrow and Friday (May 3-4), you can download it free from Amazon. Remember, you don’t have to have a Kindle to read a Kindle book, just install the free reader for your computer or smart phone.