Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Q&A with Jody Hedlund and Giveaway!

I am honored to have the lovely Jody Hedlund on the blog today, talking about her new novel The Doctor's Lady which just came out on September 1st. See giveaway deets at the end!

Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field. Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

When did you start writing The Doctor's Lady and how long did it take you?
I started writing the first draft of the The Doctor’s Lady last January (of 2010). I spent approximately 5 months writing it, doing about 5000 words a week. I had to take a few weeks off during those months to do some in-house editing on The Preacher’s Bride. But overall, the first draft of The Doctor’s Lady went fairly quickly.

Was there anything notably different in writing this book than your first?

I always fall madly in love with my books during the first draft stage. It’s not until after I finish and start the editing that I begin to fall out of love. And that was true of The Doctor’s Lady the same as all of the other books I’d written previously.

However, The Doctor’s Lady was the first book I’d written under a contract with a publisher. They gave me initial input into the book. But even with approval of my synopsis and their guidance for the story development, when I turned the finished manuscript in to my editors, they didn’t like some of the aspects of how I shaped the story.

I ended up having to spend a couple of months doing some major rewriting of the book which was very difficult. But their input and feedback has hopefully made the book into something my readers will enjoy.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers out there, particularly about the Christian fiction market?
My first piece of advice for aspiring writers is to make sure they’re actively pursuing growth in their writing skills through reading fiction how-to books like Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell or Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass. I can’t tell you how important writing craft books have been to my own personal growth as a writer. Over the years, I’ve read countless books and then practiced what I’ve learned. Without all of the study and practice, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Writing a captivating and well-told story is the foundation of a promising writing career.

My second piece of advice for aspiring writers, particularly those interested in Christian fiction, is to familiarize themselves with the industry. Study the various publishers and their websites, become familiar with authors and their styles, get to know agents and their clients. A great place to get more information about Christian agents and publishers is on the American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW) website. They have a list of agents and editors who will be attending their annual conference and what kinds of projects they are specifically looking for.

If you could buy land anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’d definitely buy a plotof land on a mountain and build a log cabin (fully equipped with all modern conveniences, of course!). And then I'd use it as a place where I could retreat for peaceful writing sometimes! It would also be an ideal place for hosting writing getaways with writer friends. So does anyone have any mountaintop real estate they'd like to sell to me? *wink*

What's one article of clothing you probably should throw out, but won't?
I have a floral print dress that I made for my honeymoon. Not only does the dress hold wonderful memories, but it was also incredibly difficult and painstaking for me to make (since I don't really know how to sew well!). I can't make myself throw it out, even though I haven't worn it in nearly twenty years, and likely will never wear it again!

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning historical romance novelist and author of the best-selling book, The Preacher's Bride. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in Social Work. Currently she makes her home in Michigan with her husband and five busy children.

Enter to win a signed paperback copy of The Doctor's Lady by leaving a comment (and your email address) below. US mailing addresses only. A winner will be drawn September 30th. Good luck!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sitting By Yourself on the Bus (aka Growing Pains)

My son started kindergarten this year. When I asked him how his day went today, a shadow passed over his face and his eyes glistened. He blinked, pushing down the emotion.

"I rode the bus by myself," he said in a small voice.

"What do you mean? Don't you usually sit with your other two friends? Were they gone today?"

"No, they were there. They didn't sit with me. I had to sit by myself."

Yep, that sound you heard was a mom's heart breaking, mostly because I know there's nothing I can do to fix it. No Band-Aid can fix the hurt that comes with being rejected. No ice pack can heal the pain of friends turning away from you.

I can't even offer him a promise that things will get better, that kids will grow up and learn the error of their ways. It still happens to adults. Not as often, sure, but it hurts just as much when it does.

We all want to belong, to be loved, to be accepted. I want to wrap my arms around him and keep him safe from the pain of the world. But I can't.

All I can do is love him, pray for him, and pray for his friends, too. And lead by example so that maybe he won't make the same mistakes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Tribute to My Fans! {{HUGS}}

You want to know the best thing about writing Between? Connecting with readers who love the book (and Aiden!) like I do. *insert enormous group hug here* Dang, I love you guys!

In honor of these fabulous like-minded peeps, I'm going to create a Fan Gallery page on my blog.

Snap a picture of your beautiful self with the book and email it to me at cynditefft at gmail dot com and I'll include your photo in the page. Feel free to be creative!

If you don't have a copy of the book yet, you can order a personalized copy from me (see upper right corner of this page). I'm so excited to see pics of all of you! *hug*

Friday, September 16, 2011

YA Indie Carnival Winner!

Holy buckets of awesome, Batman! I am just full of winners today, aren't I?

Last week, the YA Indie Carnival threw a giveaway bash and today, I get to announce the winner of an ebook of Between:

Paige Bradish

Woohoo! Congrats, Paige!

If you didn't win a copy of Between as part of the YA Indie Carnival or the YA Scramble, never fear! There are more opportunities for you to win!

Reading away the days (ends 9/23)

Goodreads (ends 9/30)
Inky Fresh Press (giveaway starts next week)

YA Scramble Winners Announced!

The YA Scramble was 24 hours of insanity as a horde of folks jumped from one blog to another, collecting letters and then puzzling out the secret phrase. Readers came up with all sorts of permutations (some quite entertaining), but the majority of folks were able to work out the answer:


One incredibly lucky participant is walking away with the Massive Grand Prize of Mega Awesomeness including:

  • ARC of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (with signed bookmark)
  • Ebook of Solstice by PJ Hoover (with trading cards)
  • Ebook of The Space Between by Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Paperback copy of Perception by Heather Cashman
  • Signed paperback ARC of Anathema by Kathleen Tucker
  • Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Gift Set (Trade Paperback of Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad Journal, Minion Bling Buttons and Vlad Tote)
  • Signed paperback copy of Between by Cyndi Tefft
  • Signed hardcover of Clarity by Kim Harrington
  • ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Signed ARC of Fury by Elizabeth Miles
  • Signed paperback of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  • ARC of Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
  • Copy of The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
  • Winner's choice of 5 ebooks from a list of indie authors
  • Signed paperback of Sleepers by Megg Jensen
  • Ebooks of Soul Quest and The Guardians of Souls by Amy Jones
  • Kindle copy of Winnemucca by Laura Elliott (plus a guest post spot on her blog!)
  • Paperback copy of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

And that winner is...

Mindy Herbert!!

Congratulations, Mindy! Prepare for the onslaught of awesomeness headed your way! 

And now for a list of the other lucky readers whose names were drawn for the individual prizes...

SableLexi wins a signed copy of Clarity by Kim Harrington and a signed ARC of Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon from Irish/Gail.
Bookishly Malyza wins a signed paperback of Between by Cyndi Tefft (me!).
✯ Mirrormera92 wins a pack of Solstice trading cards from PJ Hoover.
Sarah Nicolas wins an ebook of Anathema by Kathleen Tucker.
✯ Lolawid wins a pre-order book of her choice from Kaitlin Simpson.
Janhvi wins an ARC of Loss by Jackie Morse Kessler from Jennifer Morris and a pack of Solstice trading cards from PJ Hoover. 
Britney Wyatt wins a book of her choice from Danielle Bunner's list and FIVE ebooks from a selection of indie authors from T.R. Graves.
Tamara Basic wins an ebook of Perception from Heather Cashman and a pack of Solstice trading cards from PJ Hoover. 
Roro wins a copy of Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke from Jennifer Morris.
Erin Baker wins an ebook of Sleepers from Megg Jensen.
✯ Aeicha wins an ebook of The Glassheart Chronicles from Amy Jones and a pack of Solstice trading cards from PJ Hoover.
Aimee Brandon wins a signed paperback of Winnemucca from Laura Elliott along with a Winnemucca coffee mug and a guest post on Laurasmagicday. 

Winners will be contacted soon to arrange for the receipt of their prizes. Thanks to all the bloggers who gave so generously to the event and to everyone who participated. I hope you all had fun!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

YA Scramble Wrap Up!

Okay, peeps, the YA Scramble yesterday was oodles of fun, but I am one wrung out sponge! Give us a day to draw the winners and I'll be posting the results here tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who participated! We had a great turnout and I hope you all had fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The YA Scramble is here!


The day you've been waiting for has arrived! *tosses confetti*

Instructions for the YA Scramble:
1) Visit the first blog (based on list below).
2) Read the guestpost.
3) Identify the PURPLE word.
4) Pick out the 3rd letter from the purple word.
5) Go to the next blog.
6) Repeat #3, #4,and #5 until you visited all 14 sites.
7) At the end, take all 14 of the 3rd letters from the PURPLE words and figure out the message near and dear to our hearts. HINT: The secret phrase is 4 words long.
8) Enter the unscrambled message ONCE into this form as your official entry for a chance to win some great prizes from fantastic authors and bloggers.

Participating Blogs - all must be visited:
Kaitlin Simpson
Kathleen Tucker
Jennifer Morris
Cyndi Tefft (You're here!)
Melissa Layton
Megg Jensen
Laura Elliott

Jennifer Morris from Books Make Happy Reviews is guesting on the blog today!

Hello there everyone!! I’m so excited to be here on Cyndi’s blog today! I’d like to say a big, BIG thank you to her for putting this event together, and for hosting me.

So… YA fiction. Today’s Young Adult books are full of fantastic stories based around amazing characters.  There are hardships, and triumphs, and romances, and heartache, and mythology and realism, and honesty and incredible imagination. YA authors create characters we love, stories we love, and give us places and times we can lose ourselves in.
All of this sounds EXACTLY like what I would say about some of my favorite ADULT fiction. In fact, some of my favorite adult fiction authors write for the young adult audience as well! How handy is THAT? Teens that read, and fall in love with a particular author, have an ever increasing chance to find more from the same author when they transition into reading adult fiction. I don’t know if this has always been as widespread as I find it to be now. I don’t believe it has. But I can count on two hands, and be in need of additional fingers, the authors I can think of just off the top of my head that write in both the YA and adult fiction genres. (Let’s name a few, shall we? Richelle Mead, Deborah Cooke, Jackie [Morse] Kessler, Jennifer Estep, Wendy Delsol, John Grisham, James Patterson, Gena Showalter, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michelle ROWEN, Rachel Caine, Lilith Saintcrow, Rachel Vincent, Dina James, Ridley Pearson, Stephenie Meyer, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr… and there are others, shall I go on??)

My question is… what prompts an adult fiction author to enter the YA lit world? What draws them into writing for a younger audience? Is there a different procedure or mindset for writing for YA? Are there any drawbacks or limitations? These are a few questions I asked a couple of authors who were included in the list above:
1 - Did you start your writing career in YA, or did you come into this age group later? If you came into it later, what prompted the change?

Dina James: I came into the age group later at the encouragement of a former editor. It was so much of a prompted change as a "please try this I want to see what you do." I tried it with a short story and the rest just followed. I never intended to write YA. I just sort of fell into it.

Wendy Delsol: I started writing adult fiction. My first two novels (attempts, perhaps the accurate term) were in this genre. THE MCCLOUD HOME FOR WAYWARD GIRLS was the third novel I wrote. While it was making the rounds with agents, I decided to give YA a go. I wrote STORK in five months, and it was the project with which I found my agent. The decision to try YA was equal parts experimentation as a new writer and market driven.

2 - Do you approach writing adult novels and YA novels differently? Is there a different preparation necessary? A different mindset during the writing process?

DJ: Yes I do. When writing YA I'm constantly aware of "adult situations" and actions, especially dialogue. Where I can have my adult character do and say things I'm accustomed to, younger people think and respond differently, as they don't have the life experience to draw on an older character might. For instance, I can't have a 14 year old playing a video game that was around before they were born (unless of course it's that character's hobby/collection/obsession, whatever, but that can be justified in the story), or driving a car (legally) or drinking alcohol (again, legally). So you have to think about those things. If your character needs to  get somewhere across town and they can't drive, you have to find a way to get them there. The bus, a friend, portable hole (yeah, I know, my geekdom is showing!)... so you do have to think a little differently, but nothing that varies too much.

WD: I write YA in the first person because I think this perspective best mirrors the psychology of a teen. At the crossroads between childhood and adulthood, experiences are up-close and personal. So far, I’ve written my adult fiction in third person with close perspectives from multiple characters. I tend to use a multi-generational cast as well as flashback scenes to really get into the dynamics and history of the relationships. I’m not sure the preparation—i.e. the get-to-know-you period between the writer and character—is any different. It’s all about fleshing out your protagonist(s) until they feel unique and authentic.

3 - Are there any benefits to writing for a YA audience? Any drawbacks?

DJ: When I was first asked to try a YA story, I balked at the idea. "But I don't write for kids," was my immediate response. Encouragement followed and, despite my reluctance and apprehension, I gave it a shot. I didn't like it. I felt it was restrictive. I couldn't do the things I was used to, etc. In my adult writing there's sex, kissing, blood, guts, and gore. Then I started looking around at what the genre really included. YA is everything adult writing is, only it's through the eyes of a younger person. How young people see things. They are not sheltered from life's trials and tribulations because they are younger. Things that seem small and insignificant to an adult ("this person doesn't like me") can be world-shattering for a teen or tween. Young people react to stress and the world in general in ways different from adults, and seeing things through their eyes is interesting. In YA, there is still sex, kissing, blood, guts and gore. It's just the reactions by the characters that are different, and the graphic depictions are toned down.

The only drawback I can think of is the consciousness of the effect your story will have on young people. Books meant so much to me growing up and I admit to having been influenced in my choices by a novel or two. The only solution is to try not to think about it so much that you end up writing a "cotton" novel - one in which your character is wrapped in cotton so as not to be wounded by the story's events. Just be aware that what you write can (and most likely will) affect someone in some way. You can't control that, so don't worry about it and just write.

WD: There is an excitement for, and interest in YA that is a definite benefit. Readers and bloggers are passionate about the genre. They’re also more likely to follow a character through a series of books. From a writer’s perspective, there’s no drawback to that kind of enthusiasm.

4 - Do your YA novels draw your adult fans, or do you have two distinct followings?

DJ: Honestly, I have no idea. I think they're combined, really. I know there are young people who enjoy my YA, and adults who enjoy it too, but I'm not sure about the young people enjoying my adult writing. Good question. Clueless author.

WD: Given that it has been less than a year since my first book (STORK, a YA) was published and only weeks since my first adult novel (THE MCCLOUD HOME FOR WAYWARD GIRLS) released, I’m still building a following. I do hope eventually for crossover between the two genres.

5 - Have there been any surprises writing in the YA genre? Any myths you've busted, or unexpected issues you've had to deal with?

DJ: Myths I've busted: "You can't do that in YA." Oh yeah? Whatever the situation, someone has written it in YA and it's been fine. Swearing, sex, abuse, violence, whatever. You can have and do whatever you want in YA that you'd do in adult writing, but it has to be "suitable for the audience." Think of it like the movie ratings. G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, X. In YA, you're aiming for that G - PG-13 range. This means that you can have some violence and language and so on. It just can't be horrific and graphic or extended. Unexpected issues? I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, and I didn't expect to develop a series out of it. (Or continue it, for that matter...)

WD: The biggest surprise in writing YA has been how many readers and reviewers are adults (which lends itself to my hope that there will be crossover fans). I think it speaks to the universal, coming-to-age themes of YA. Even years later, adults relate to and remember their own teen years.

6 - Is there anything else you'd like to share about writing YA in addition to adult novels?

DJ: All YA really means is that your lead character is under the age of 18. That's it. Just because the lead is about a young person doesn't mean the book won't appeal to an audience outside your target. Just write the book.

I’d like to thank (with big hugs, chocolate, tea and whatever else makes them smile) Dina James and Wendy Delsol  for their insight.
Now… a question for you… What authors do YOU love that write in both the YA and the adult genres? What do you think are the major differences? Similarities? I’d love to hear your thoughts. AND… 2 lucky commenters (randomly selected) will win books from authors who write in both genres!!! One person will win an ARC of Jackie Morse Kessler’s LOSS (3rd book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series and one person will win a copy of Deborah Cooke’s FLYING BLIND (1st in the Dragon Diaries series. Both books will be donated by their authors and mailed directly to the winner. (Please include your email and first name in your comment so you can be reached if you win. If you don’t, you will NOT be eligible.)

**Did you find the word in my post in purple caps?**  You need to collect the 3rd letter of that word, along with the 3rd letter of the purple words in the blog posts of the 13 other YA Scramble participants, unscramble the letters to discover their hidden message, and fill out THIS FORM to enter to win the Massive Grand Prize Of Mega Awesomeness! What’s in the Massive Grand Prize Of Mega Awesomeness, you ask??
  • ARC of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (with signed bookmark)
  • Ebook of Solstice by PJ Hoover (with trading cards)
  • Ebook of The Space Between by Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Paperback copy of Perception by Heather Cashman
  • Signed paperback ARC of Anathema by Kathleen Tucker
  • Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Gift Set (Trade Paperback of Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad Journal, Minion Bling Buttons and Vlad Tote)
  • Signed paperback copy of Between by Cyndi Tefft
  • Signed hardcover of Clarity by Kim Harrington
  • ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Signed ARC of Fury by Elizabeth Miles
  • Signed paperback of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  • ARC of Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
  • Copy of The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
  • Winner's choice of 5 ebooks from a list of indie authors
  • Signed paperback of Sleepers by Megg Jensen
  • Ebooks of Soul Quest and The Guardians of Souls by Amy Jones
  • Kindle copy of Winnemucca by Laura Elliott (plus a guest post spot on her blog!)
  • Paperback copy of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Don’t forget to leave your comment on this blog to enter to win my individual prizes before you head out to the next site. Good luck, and have FUN!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The YA Scramble is tomorrow!

The YA Scramble starts tomorrow (Wednesday, September 14) and runs for just 24 hours. A total of 14 awesome bloggers are participating in the craziness, and they are contributing a boatload of prizes just for you!! Can't you feel the love??

Here's all you have to do to win:

Visit each blog on the list, collect the third letter of the purple word from each, then unscramble the secret message! Type the message in the Google form along with your email to be entered to win a HUGE GRAND PRIZE pack!

Just look at this outrageous collection of awesomesauce:
  • ARC of The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (with signedbookmark)
  • Ebook of Soltice by PJ Hoover (with trading cards)
  • Ebook of The Space Between by Alexandra Sokoloff
  • Paperback copy of Perception by Heather Cashman
  • Signed paperback ARC of Anathema by Kathleen Tucker
  • Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Gift Set (Trade Paperback ofEighth Grade Bites, Vlad Journal, Minion Bling Buttons and Vlad Tote)
  • Signed paperback copy of Between by Cyndi Tefft
  • Signed hardcover of Clarity by Kim Harrington
  • ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Signed ARC of Fury by Elizabeth Miles
  • Signed paperback of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  • ARC of Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
  • Copy of The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
  • Winner's choice of 5 ebooks from a list of indie authors
  • Signed paperback of Sleepers by Megg Jensen
  • Ebooks of Soul Quest and Guardian of Souls by Amy Jones
  • Kindle copy of Winnemucca by Laura Elliott (plus a guestpost spot on her blog!)
  • Paperback copy of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

And that's just the Grand Prize! There will also be prizes at individual blogs along the way, so be sure to leave a comment as you hop from one blog to another, collecting those purple letters.

Help spread the word on Twitter using the #YAScramble hashtag! See you back here tomorrow, when the chaos kicks off. Good luck!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Q&A with P.J. Hoover & Massive Giveaway!

Get ready! Today, I'm interviewing the fabulous P.J. Hoover (mwah!) and you get the chance to win a boatload of prizes. Woot! So let's get this party started, shall we?

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. Her first novel for teens, Solstice, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, and The Necropolis, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.

The indie publishing process can be a wild ride like a rollercoaster (hey, that's why we're carnies)! What twists and turns (both good and bad) have you been through so far?
Ups are having people tell me they love the story. Downs are the opposite J But that’s okay. At least people are reading which is why I chose indie in the first place.

How are you marketing your book? Any specific tips or strategies you've found particularly helpful?
Truly, I’m trying lots of different things and seeing what works. I participated in a blog tour, I use twitter and Facebook, and I also run a blog of my own. But I think the funnest thing I did was make trading cards for SOLSTICE with hidden content tied to each page. You can read all about them here: http://www.pjhoover.com/trading_cards.php

If you had to give five reasons why someone should read SOLSTICE, what would they be?
  2. SOLSTICE has red-hot romance to make your world sizzle.
  3. Mythology, anyone? It's like opening Pandora's box without the consequences.
  4. Ever wonder why summers are getting hotter?
  5. It's $2.99. That's less than a latte and lasts a whole lot longer.
Just for fun: If you could buy property anywhere in the world (price is no object- you can tell I love fantasy!), where would it be and why?
I’d either pick a nice piece of property in Tahiti, or I’d go with somewhere very close to DisneyWorld. I love the beach, but I also love the Haunted Mansion.

What's next on the horizon for you?
Just to keep writing and see what comes next. I have lots of projects and ideas I’m working on, but I’m not a kiss-and-tell kind of girl. That said, I do plan to write a sequel to SOLSTICE!

Good luck to you and thanks for stopping by! 
Thank you so much for letting me be on your wonderful blog. I'm super honored!


All of the YA Indies are interviewing each other, so check out my interview over on T.R. Graves' blog.

And now for some giveaways! *rubs hands together*

It's easy peasy to win. Just leave a comment below along with your email address AND tweet using the #yaindiecarnival hashtag! Visit all the blogs to increase your chances of winning! Open internationally, winners announced September 16.

Nineteen different books and some swag were included in the giveaway at last count! Check the list of goodies you can win here. And spread the word! #yaindiecarnival

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do Not Watch While Drinking Hot Coffee!

This is about the stinking funniest thing I've ever seen. Scotland FTW! Eleven!
Thanks to the fabulous Juli Helms for passing along the link!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

By Special Request (drum roll please...)

Lindsay Rae from The Violet Hour is one my Twitter BFFs and she requested the recipe for taties 'n eggs (which is a meal oft mentioned in Between). My hubs wrote out the recipe and so I have it here to share with all of you!

Taties 'N Eggs

2 Lbs  (900 grams)  Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 Tbs  (30ml)  Vegetable oil 
8 oz.   (225g)  Breakfast or Country sausage
2 oz.   (50g)  Shredded Cheddar Cheese
8 Large eggs
1 Tbs  (15ml)  Butter
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (230 C).  Cut the potatoes into even cubes approximately ¾ of an inch square (1.5 to 2 cm).  Potatoes can be peeled or the skin can be left on for a more “rustic” meal.  Rinse the cut potatoes under cool water, drain well, and dry on towels.  Place the potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with the oil, and toss to coat thoroughly.  Place the potatoes on a cookie sheet and roast until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  

While the potatoes roast, brown the crumbled breakfast sausage in a skillet over medium high heat.  Drain the sausage on paper towels and reserve.  Wipe out the skillet and add the butter.  When the butter stops foaming, add the eggs, cooking for about 2 minutes.  When the whites begin to set, add 2 Tbs (30 ml) of water and cover the skillet.  Cook, covered, until the whites have set and the yolks are still soft, about 3-4 minutes more.  

Place the hot, roasted potatoes, the drained sausage and the shredded cheese into a large serving bowl.  Top with the eggs.  Using two large spoons cut the eggs into the potato mixture, mixing all the ingredients into a rough hash.  Season with salt and pepper and serve! 

Makes about 4 servings


Friday, September 2, 2011

In Which I Dispense Advice (Yikes!)

If you're new here, welcome! *waves* Every Friday, I get together with a host of fabulous ladies who are YA Indie lovers and we blog on the same theme. This week's topic is 3 tips for YA authors.

So, uh... yeah. I'd like to tell you I have this thing down, that sales are through the roof, that Diana Gabaldon Herself has called me up to see if I'd like to get together. Well, that hasn't happened. Yet.

Which brings me to...

Lesson Number One: Dream big but don't forget your goals.
When I published Between, it wasn't because I knew it would be The Next Big Thing. In fact, I knew it probably wouldn't. My main goal was to get it out there, to share this story I love with others who might love it, too. So as fabulous as it would be to say that I'm a bestseller (and that day might come), I can honestly say that I've accomplished what I set out to do. And that's pretty damn awesome.

Lesson Number Two: Make friends.
No one is going to read your book unless they come across it and it's your job to help make that happen. Marketing in the indie world is about making friends, connecting, sharing, and encouraging. While no one likes spam, if you sprinkle in tweets or Facebook posts about your book, people will often help spread the word through comments, retweets and likes. Say thank you and return the favor when you can!

Lesson Number Three: Don't stop writing.
You got on this crazy carnival ride because you had a story to tell, right? Once you've told it, start telling another. And another. You can spend all of your free time doing Lesson Number Two (I will be the first to admit that Twitter is addictive!) but if your new friends love the first book you've written, they're going to want to read more. So be sure to carve out some quality time with your muse. And if your muse happens to wear a kilt, all the better!

Check out some words of wisdom from the rest of the crew!

Danny Snell's Refracted Light Reviews
Patti Larsen Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, The Hunted Series and the Hayle Coven Novels.
Courtney Cole Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
Wren Emerson Author of I Wish and a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
Nichole A. Williams Author of Eternal Eden, and the upcoming Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles.
Fisher Amelie Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
Laura Elliott Author of Winnemucca and the upcoming 13 on Halloween
Amy Maurer Jones Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
Rachel Coles Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms.
T. R. Graves Author of Warriors of the Cross.
P.J. Hoover Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis.
Alicia McCalla Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free
Heather Cashman Author of Perception
Abbi Glines Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys
Cidney Swanson Author of Rippler
Cheri Schmidt Author of Fateful and Fractured