Thursday, June 28, 2012

Interview Time. Even in the Holidays :-)

I'm heading to Cape Town tomorrow, so I should be packing a suitcase, but instead I'm in bed with my laptop telling you fine folk to head over to Lynnette Labelle's blog to check out my latest interview :-)

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guess the Wacky Word! A, B, C

Do you know the game Balderdash? Speaking from personal experience, if you play this game with the right kind of people in the right kind of mood, it can be utterly hilarious! You should really get it if you're into board games (and I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm a board game kinda person :-) ). Anyway, I've decided to start a little online version of Balderdash :-) I'm going to look for weird, unusual words. The kind of words I've never heard before. I'll post several different definitions, and then you get to vote for the definition you think is correct!

PLEASE don't Google the word! That kinda defeats the point. Just take a wild guess, vote, and see what other people have picked. I will post the answers in the comments so you can see if you're right, so PLEASE don't look down there until you've voted!

Today's words are aeolist, bathykolpian and causeuse. The poll widgets are below for you to vote on. (If you're reading this post in an aggregator such as Google Reader, you may need to click through to this blog in order to see the polls.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cover Reveal for Ciao by Author Bethany Lopez

Today I get to help reveal the cover of Ciao, the third novel in the YA series Stories About Melissa, by Bethany Lopez :-)

Melissa has had a fantastic summer, hanging out with her friends and making new ones. Life as she knows it will change when they all come together to begin their sophomore year at Dearborn High. Connections will be made and friendships will be tested. Will Melissa’s family and friends be able to help her through the challenges she will face in the upcoming months.

Bethany says: "For the cover of Ciao, I have used an original photo, taken by me, based on one of the scenes in the book."
Cool :-) 

~  ~  ~

Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult novels. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her contemporary Young Adult series, Stories about Melissa. Ta Ta for Now! and xoxoxo are available now. Book three, Ciao, will be released in Aug 2012.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Never Surrender (Even When it's Seriously Hard Work!)

As part of the celebrations for the release of Elana Johnson's SURRENDER, I'm posting about a time I did not surrender!

As Theresa Milstein pointed out, in real life where we don't have heroic battles to fight, our 'never surrender' moments come from simply refusing to give up when confronted with life's day to day struggles. Heck, even getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle for me! (Well, it is dark and cold in the mornings now, so it's understandable, right?!)

But I've been thinking over the things I've been through in life, and I don't think there has ever been a time where I have striven so single-mindedly, had such a definite and clear goal, as in my matric year at school. Sheesh, I had NO life that year! I had always done well at school, so obviously I decided that I needed to get an A in every one of my subjects (how's that for an attempt at over-achievement?! Ha!). So, yeah. I had almost no life and worked REALLY, REALLY hard. I still look back and marvel at the amount of dedication I had ... (it didn't quite carry through to university!)

I did not surrender to exhaustion or stress, and I got there!

And now I've decided this post is a good excuse to unearth some old(ish) photos from my matric year.

The one and only school photo of me that isn't completely hideous!

Matric class of 2003 :-)

Matric dance. I'm not sure how my date would feel having his face plastered on this blog, so, yeah.
One of my awesome friends made me a calendar for every day while we were writing finals. Every day I got to open a little window and there was a chocolate with a message attached to it. Super cool :-) (And I saved every single message!)

Congratulations, Elana, on the release of SURRENDER!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

REAL Winter in Durban!

Winter in Durban generally isn't a big deal. Sure, you get some chilly days, but you also get days where you see people walking around in shorts and T-shirts. So we get super excited about stuff like snow because in Durban it never happens!

Last night there was a storm. A big one. It hailed. Now, we get hail in Durban sometimes, that's not too weird, but I have NEVER seen this much hail! It looks kinda like snow! (Which, of course, makes me excited!) It was scary, though. I mean, that much hail, for that long? The poor plants, and the cars, and the people who don't have homes...

I know you guys in the northern hemisphere deal with this (and for worse) every single winter. But yeah, it was a big deal for us :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Winners of TRAITOR! (And it's the Comrades Marathon!)

Happy Sunday, everyone :-)

Last week, as my Random Act of Kindness, I ran a giveaway for 4 ecopies of TRAITOR, which was released just over a week ago.

Here are the winners!

Sharon Mayhew
Megan Williams
Michael Di Gesu
Michael Pierce

Thanks for entering :-)

PS - I said last week that on Friday I'd do a more detailed analysis of how the free downloads and resulting sales went, but I've been sick (and feeling positively crappy) since Thursday night. So ... maybe later today. Maybe tomorrow!

~  ~  ~

In other news...

Did you know that today in South Africa is the day the Comrades Marathon is being run? Tagged as the "ultimate human race", this is a marathon I've grown up knowing all about. When I was younger we used to get up early to watch the start on TV, and then follow it for most of the day. My parents have run it several times (my mom twice, my dad six times) so I've also been on the side of the road supporting. It is ... well, an incredible and emotional experience - and that's coming from a supporter, not a runner! It's far more emotional (and, uh, physically painful!) for them!

I've copied a few details from the Comrades history page:

Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and sinew and mental strength to conquer the approx 90 kilometres between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham.
The pain, agonies, death and hardships of his comrades which he witnessed during those awful days left a lasting impression on the battle-hardened soldier, especially the camaraderie engendered among the men in overcoming these privations.
Clapham asked for permission to stage a 56 mile race between Pietermaritzburg and Durban under the name of the Comrades Marathon and for it to become a living memorial to the spirit of the soldiers of the Great War.
The Comrades Marathon is a cherished national treasure and attracts thousands of runners, spectators and television viewers every year. We invite you to participate in this great event and experience the world's greatest race.

And I promise you, when that lead runner runs into the stadium, and the music swells over the loudspeakers, and the crowds of supporters are wildly cheering him on as he heads toward the finish line, exhaustion and joy etched into his features ... Yeah, you'd find it hard not to get a little teary-eyed! And this year is the first year since 2003 that we've had a South African male winner! Quite exciting for us :-)