Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Weekend SIllies!

Happy New Year! The Weekend Sillies are early this week because January 1st kicks off the voting in the Book Trailer Contest!

cat

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures

funny pictures of cats with captions

Final days to enter your book trailer in the CONTEST! Voting starts Saturday.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Week to Enter Your Book Trailer!

One week left - don’t miss it!

Rules for submitting a trailer to the contest:

You must be the author of the book
The book’s release date was 2009-2010
It is available on YouTube (so you can supply the html for posting here)
You have not won another trailer contest where you received compensation
One entry per author.

How to enter:

Leave a link to your trailer on YouTube in the comments section, along with the name of your book, your official author name, and the date of release
Contest open from today until December 31st
I will post a weekly update, including trailers submitted.
Voting will begin January 1 and end January 9.
Who votes? YOU guys do! But only one vote per person and please no voting for yourself!

Prizes:

3rd - The donation of my YA series to the public or high school library of your choice.
2nd - The donation of my series PLUS almost twenty other new book to the public library of your choice.
1st - The donation of my series PLUS a $25.00 Amazon gift card.

Some awesome entries so far, and couple with some massive view counts on YouTube:

1 - Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood by Melissa Hart (October 2009)



2 - CassaStar by Alex J Cavanaugh (October 2010)



3 - River Passage by p.m.terrell (Fall 2009)



4 - Dead is Just a Rumor by Marlene Perez (August 2010)



5 - Dead Politician by Robin Spano (September 2010)



6 - A Note from an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker (June 2009)



7 - 24 Hours London' Guide Book: Top Tips from London's Only Hour-by-Hour Guide By Marsha Moore (June 2009)



8 - Fire and Cross by Enid Wilson (December 2010)



9 - Dream Man by Nancy J. Parra (January 2010)



10 - Night Watch by Mary Montague Sikes



11 - Three Daves by Nicki Elson (February 2010)



12 - Freezer Burn by Gayle Carline (July 2009)



13 - Bella by Steve Piacente (August 2010)



14 - In Celebration of Elastic Waistbands by Christee Gabour Atwood (October 2010)



15 - Leaving Home, Going Home, Returning Home by Jason Alster (December 2009)



16 - The Seventh Blessing by Melissa Buell (December 2010)



17 - Santa's Village Gone Wild! by Christopher Dearman (November 2010)



18 - Game Boys by Rochelle H. Ragnarok (November 2010)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Sillies!

Everyone have a great Christmas and try not to let your cats destroy the house.

funny pictures - why yes,  I am full of holiday cheer

funny pictures

funny pictures - OMG  getitoffgetitoffgetitoff

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures - Betcha ai can reech da top in one jump.  Wanna see?

funny pictures of cats with captions

Funny Pictures - Cyoot Kitteh

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures

funny pictures

And I have a Christmas excerpt up over at Sia’s Thoughts Over Coffee

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Blog, Notes, and Merry Christmas to All!

Blogging is light this week due to the holidays, but I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. (Spunky the cat would wish you happy holidays, but he's a little tied up at the moment!)

Since my book series has now come to a close, I decided I no longer wanted to maintain a website for The Circle of Friends. However, since it still gets a lot of visitors every week, I opted to move it here to Blogger and have the domain point to the blog. (Posts will occur 1-4 times a month.) You can view it HERE. I spent the past few weeks setting it up and moving images, so please take a look and let me know what you think! I'm really happy with the new look.

Don’t forget my Book Trailer Contest!

And the Weekend Sillies will post as usual - Christmas style!

Merry Christmas!!!

Go listen to some Trans Siberian Orchestra!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Prestige of Book Awards

There are thousands of book awards handed out every year and in most countries.

Award winning (or placing) books stand out, although that alone will not sell a book - the author and publisher must still promote the title.

If you or your publisher are interesting in entering a title, here’s a couple that are still accepting entries:

IPPY Awards
Deadlines: $85 per category Oct. 31, 2010 until Jan. 8, 2011, $95 per category Jan. 9 until March, 19, 2011
69 subject categories

The Eric Hoffer Award
Deadline: January 21st of each year
Nomination Fee $45, Many Categories, Individual Press Awards

IPBA Benjamin Franklin Awards
Deadline: December 31, 2010 - for titles published September 1 – December 31, 2010
IBPA member – $90 per title, per category, Non-IBPA member – $190 for first title, which includes one year’s membership in IBPA; $90 per title, per category for second and subsequent entries. 56 Categories

Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Deadline: Books must be received by March 2, 2011
$75 for first category, $50 for second. 60 Categories

eLit Awards
Deadline: January 17, 2011
$80 per entry, 59 different e-Lit categories

For a listing of other book awards, visit Book Spot, Book Reporter, or Google the words “Book Awards.”

Always do your research before entering any contest!

And don't forget the Book Trailer Contest - see sidebar for link to enter!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Weekend Sillies

Don’t forget my Book Trailer Contest! If your book was released in 2009-2010 and it has a book trailer (made by you or someone else - doesn’t matter) go HERE
to enter it in the contest.

funny pictures-Do I LOOK like I give a hoot?

funny pictures-Gud morninz!

funny pictures-Yur lemonade..  It'z a bit tart.

funny pictures-Ikebana

funny pictures

funny pictures-My get-up-and-go

funny pictures-I'm not

Funny Pictures-MORTAL WOMBAT

Funny Pictures - Santa Cat

funny pictures-No, the hangover is not too bad. Is that my coffee? Could you find me my sunglasses? And could you possibly not breath so loud?

funny pictures-How u spell  'annihilate'?

funny pictures-WELCOME

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Book Trailer Contest and Entries So Far

Book Trailer Contest!

Are you an author with an amazing book trailer?

Does it put other trailers to shame?

Is it the best thing on earth since sliced bread?

For the first time ever, I am hosting a book trailer contest, open to any author with a book trailer. Whether you created it yourself, hired a professional, or your publisher created it, you may enter your trailer.

Rules for submitting a trailer to the contest:

You must be the author of the book
The book’s release date was 2009-2010
It is available on YouTube (so you can supply the html for posting here)
You have not won another trailer contest where you received compensation
One trailer per author

How to enter:

Leave a link to your trailer on YouTube in the comments section, along with the name of your book, your official author name, and the date of release
Contest open from today until December 31st
I will post a weekly update, including trailers submitted.
Voting will begin January 1 and end January 9.
Who votes? YOU guys do! But only one vote per person and please no voting for yourself!

Prizes:

3rd - The donation of my YA series to the public or high school library of your choice.
2nd - The donation of my series PLUS almost twenty other new book to the public library of your choice.
1st - The donation of my series PLUS a $25.00 Amazon gift card.

Entries so far:

1 - Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood by Melissa Hart (October 2009)



2 - CassaStar by Alex J Cavanaugh (October 2010)



3 - River Passage by p.m.terrell (Fall 2009)



4 - Dead is Just a Rumor by Marlene Perez (August 2010)



5 - Dead Politician by Robin Spano (September 2010)



6 - A Note from an Old Acquaintance by Bill Walker (June 2009)



7 - 24 Hours London' Guide Book: Top Tips from London's Only Hour-by-Hour Guide By Marsha Moore (June 2009)



8 - Fire and Cross by Enid Wilson (December 2010)



9 - Dream Man by Nancy J. Parra (January 2010)



10 - Night Watch by Mary Montague Sikes (April 2010)



11 - Three Daves by Nicki Elson (February 2010)



12 - Freezer Burn by Gayle Carline (July 2009)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Book Trailer Contest!!!

Book Trailer Contest!

Are you an author with an amazing book trailer?

Does it put other trailers to shame?

Is it the best thing on earth since sliced bread?

For the first time ever, I am hosting a book trailer contest, open to any author with a book trailer. Whether you created it yourself, hired a professional, or your publisher created it, you may enter your trailer.

Rules for submitting a trailer to the contest:

You must be the author of the book

The book’s release date was 2009-2010

It is available on YouTube (so you can supply the html for posting here)

You have not won another trailer contest where you received compensation

How to enter:

Leave a link to your trailer on YouTube in the comments section, along with the name of your book, your official author name, and the date of release

Contest open from today until December 31st

I will post a weekly update, including trailers submitted.

Voting will begin January 1 and end January 9.

Who votes? YOU guys do! But only one vote per person and please no voting for yourself!

Prizes:

3rd - The donation of my YA series to the public or high school library of your choice.

2nd - The donation of my series PLUS almost twenty other new book to the public library of your choice.

1st - The donation of my series PLUS a $25.00 Amazon gift card.

And if anyone would like to donate a prize to the 1st place grand winner, please let me know!

Okay - show me your best book trailer!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Finding Your Muse

Our muse is an intricate and complex creature. She can fill our heads with the most glorious images. She inspires our fingers to frantically record the scenes unfolding in our minds. Unfortunately, she can also turn elusive, hiding when we need her the most.

How do we find our muse again? We can stare at our computer screens and just hope she will return. We can force the issue and spend hours pounding out meaningless words. But, if she’s not responding, then we must turn to our creativity to bring her out of seclusion.

Here are six tips for enticing a shy muse:

Music - It stirs the soul. Select music that will invigorate the emotions. Revel in the joy and excitement. Feel moved by the sorrow and anger. Focus on the images the sound inspires. Submersion is important, so either headphones or a loud volume is suggested for a complete experience.

Visuals - A picture is worth a thousand words. We tend to be visual creatures. Photo books and the Internet are great resources. Look for inspiring scenes that connect to the story. Perhaps waves crashing on the beach, a busy downtown street, or a camel in the desert. Get lost in a beautiful piece of artwork. These images can take us to new places and reveal the heart of our story.

Reading - Books are a great source of knowledge. A scene in our favorite author’s book might ignite our imagination. A dialogue exchange can send our character’s conversation in a divergent direction. Descriptions can help us envision our own settings. Perhaps it’s the author’s writing style and voice. Even a writing tips article or book can provide fresh ideas.

Alternative location - A change of scenery does wonders for the spirit. We can take a long walk or drive and just let our minds wander. A vacation, even a simple day trip, takes us away from surroundings that might feel stifling. Our soul will feel refreshed upon our return. If we have the opportunity, viewing our story’s location brings clarity and a sense of realism. We must always remember a notepad and pen as well!

Movies - A means of escape. For two hours, we get it all - music, visuals, a storyline, and a new location. Stuck on a love scene? Try a romance. Character development? Drama. Action scene? Thriller or action-adventure. Out of this world location? Science fiction or fantasy. Attacking multiple senses at once, movies can jump-start our emotional involvement and commitment.

Exercise - It does a body (and mind) good! Physical activity requires effort and focus. Our mind empties and grows clear. An idea hidden by all the internal and external ‘noise’ suddenly comes to the surface. If we are tired or feeling lethargic, exercise will invigorate us. At the very least, we can pound out our frustrations on something besides our keyboard!

Next time your muse plays hard to get, try one of these tricks to capture her again. Muse hunting season is now open!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekend Sillies and TSO Bonus!

Time for some cats, Christmas, and TSO!

funny pictures

funny pictures-Ok, I gives up, where are all the Cookies and Spam I heard about??

funny pictures-Goggeez  r  liek  slinkeez.  Der  nawt  much  funz  til  u  trow  dem  downz  da  starez.

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures-Romeow was throwin rocks at mah window...

funny pictures-POINT COUNTERPOINT

And last weekend we got to see Trans Siberian Orchestra for the fifth year in a row! If you've never seen their Christmas production, you are missing out on the greatest concert experience known to man.







Thursday, December 09, 2010

Book Bloggers

Ever wondered about the process? Ever wondered the best way to approach book bloggers? Ever stopped to think these people are human, too?

After seeing this account of what not to do when contacting a reviewer at Feathered Quill Reviews, I asked a couple book bloggers about review books and etiquette.

First, Michelle at the Red Headed Bookchild tells us how she solicits books and provides some great tips for other reviewers:

I started my blog with a lot of previous connections to the publishing world because of my job as bookstore manager. So I was able to request books to review without a lot of the normal channels. I was also sent stuff in advanced due to my strong relationships.
BUT through the months I have discovered other outlets and there have been only a few that I have solicited myself due to extreme interest in the title.


For publishers, I keep it simple and sweet. I introduce myself, briefly mention my interest in title or genre, and readership (followers and other places I post). I thank them for their time and that's it.


For authors, I tend to gush a bit more and explain my love for their books. This has only resulted in one author setting me up with her publicist. I don't ask to review when I contact authors atleast I haven't yet. I come at them as fans and if they want to promote themselves further and send me along, then great!


I like working with both. With my previous connections, Book Blogs.ning and going to BEA, my need to request is...well, not there. I get approached plenty with wonderful books to review and I feel fortunate now that I can pick and choose.


Always be kind, to the point and thank them for their time. Don't tell them your whole life story and don't ask for too much.

Debbie at Debbie’s World of Books has tips for authors and publishers who are seeking reviews from book bloggers:

Sure, I have a few pet peeves when it comes to requests.
1. Address me by name when you send a request (and the correct name!). You would be surprised even with my blog containing my name in the title people still get it wrong.
2. Include a synopsis. It bugs me when all they include is a title and I have to go hunt down the book description to see if I'm interested especially if it's a smaller title and hard to find the synopsis.
3. If they want a book reviewed by a certain date please include that. Often I have my reviews scheduled out months in advance so don't expect me to read a book and have the review up the next week.
4. Research a blog for their review policy. If your book doesn't fall into the genres stated in the review policy then please don't send a review request.


As for dealing with authors or publishers I would have to say I would prefer dealing with the publisher and publicist. This is something new. I used to love dealing with authors until I had some attack me for not liking their books. I try to be constructive in my review if there were parts that bothered me and wasn't trying to be mean. So now I prefer to work with the middle man so to speak.

Thank you, ladies! Both Michelle and Debbie are really nice people and maintain great blog sites, so please take a moment to visit them.