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Lucky 7: Lines from the 7th Page

Tonya tagged me in this fun meme, and I’m happy to play along. :)

Here are the directions:

  1. Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next seven lines (sentences??) as they are – no cheating
  4. Tag 7 other authors

My current manuscript is, of course, Thorns of Decision, which is due out June 1st. I have started initial writing on Book Four, but it’s definitely not ready for public viewing yet. :)

So here you are … this is from page 7 of the Word document — I don’t yet know what will be on page 7 of any other version. :)

“No, he doesn’t.”

“But I can’t tell him the truth!”

“Not all of it, anyway.”

She blinked. “What do you mean?”

“Okay, so obviously you can’t tell him everything. But maybe we should think of what parts you could tell him that are true.”

At that instant, the small black phone sitting next to her buzzed. The tiny sound seemed strangely ominous. Quinn jumped away from it as though it might somehow bite her.

So … guesses? This conversation is between Quinn and ? Who are they talking about? :)

Comment below if you don’t yet have a digital copy of either Seeds of Discovery or Roots of Insight. In keeping with the “7″ theme — the first 7 people to ask can have a copy of the book of their choice, in the e-format of choice (Kindle, .epub, or .pdf — basically any e-reader or computer).

Oh, and, nope, you don’t have to have the right answer to win — just ask!  But play along for fun, anyway? ;)

Now for the tagging! I can’t wait to see seven lines from some of these folks. :)

  1. Kristy K. James
  2. Cara Michaels
  3. Morgan Dragonwillow
  4. Danni Menard 
  5. Jayrod Garrett
  6. Steven P. Watson
  7. Lillie McFerrin

#wordmongering for the win! :) And Seeds of Discovery is free!

I know I’m supposed to be putting up a Twitter Tuesday blog. It hasn’t been the week for blogging for me, though.  I have been busy writing — the rough draft of Thorns of Decision is complete, and I am in the process of finding beta readers to help me begin the hard work of shaping it into something actually readable. :)

In the meantime, for today and tomorrow (March 13 & 14), Seeds of Discovery is free on Amazon! Grab a copy for your Kindle, or Kindle App on your computer or smartphone.

If you happen to have a different kind of e-reader, please know that Seeds of Discovery is DRM-free, and can be quickly adapted to a different format for free, using a program like Calibre (which is also free). Once you convert it, you can download it onto your Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, or whatever you have. :)

If you need help figuring it out, please let me know.

Roots of Insight will be available for sale in all formats sometime in mid-April, and Thorns of Decision will also be on all formats from the first day it’s released, on June 1, 2012.

If you are interested in being a beta reader/early reviewer for Thorns of Decision, please leave a comment or e-mail me! :)

It’s Not All Just Because I’m Getting Old …

It is probably mostly because I’m so often distracted, as so many of us are, between working and writing and marketing, and doing the single-mommy thing. There are so many little things that slip my mind sometimes, or the day just gets away from me.

But sometimes it’s nice to have a little reminder that lots of these things are just part of being human.

And the laugh is nice, too. :)

Tonight, my sweet Little Goose was getting herself set up to play in the living room and watch some shows, so she came and got her little bowl of broccoli from me, and I saw her, with the remote to the Roku tucked under her arm. A few minutes later there’s the whine — the kind only a four-year-old can properly muster. “Mom! What did you do with the remote?”

“Moi?”

“You had it! What did you do with it?” It was the kind of pout you can see from the other room.

“Little Goose — I just saw you with it.”

No … you put it up somewhere earlier so the babies couldn’t get it!”

“And after that, sweetheart, you had it. You were just carrying it. I saw you.”

“Well then where did I put it?” Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Back to the kitchen.

I started giggling. Immediately.

What? Oh. It was in my hand the whole time.

Fortunately, she has a great sense of humor.

And her mom’s skills at multi-tasking.

 

 

Twitter Tuesdays #2

Okay, you’ve now had a week to play around with Twitter, check it out, and get to know it a little bit. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my previous Twitter Tuesday post.)

Today I’m going to talk about setting up your profile, privacy settings, and sending out tweets.

Your Twitter Profile

Your Twitter profile is exceptionally important, and something you should work on immediately, if you haven’t done so already.

Once you’re logged into Twitter, you can click on your username, and it will take you to your profile page. The first thing you need to do is upload a picture. If you are an author, or anybody else trying to build any kind of a platform, I cannot stress enough the importance of putting a real picture there. AT THE VERY LEAST, use some kind of recognizable logo.

Even if you’re just casually using Twitter and messing around to see how it works, upload a photo of some sort, so you don’t get stuck with the weird-looking egg.

Here, also, you can choose to put your real name, your location, and your web address, if you have one.

Then it’s time to write your bio. This may be your first encounter with writing things “Twitter-style.” You have 160 characters to tell the world about yourself. That’s counting spaces and periods. If you went to college back when I did, it’s time right now to learn to quit double spacing after periods (it turns out you’re not supposed to do that anywhere anymore, anyway!)

Write whatever you want here. If you’re coming to Twitter to meet people for a specific purpose — like because you’re an author, MENTION THAT. If you’re a teacher, and you want to meet other digitally-minded educators, SAY SO. People read these when they’re looking for new people to follow.

Privacy Setting:

The vast majority of folks on Twitter do not use any privacy settings whatsoever, aside from not putting sensitive information in your profile, and blocking particular users.

It is possible to hide ALL OF YOUR TWEETS from anyone you haven’t approved (followed). It’s a little box you check on the settings page that says “Protect My Tweets.”

I don’t think there’s any point to this option. I really don’t. If you only want to communicate with certain people, it’s a lot easier to set privacy controls on your Facebook page, or stick to e-mail. You will never, ever, be able to use Twitter to its full potential if your Tweets are protected, and most of my upcoming Twitter Tuesdays posts will be useless to you.

Tweeting

Whenever you post a message, or a status update, or really communicate on Twitter at all, it is called “tweeting,” and the messages are “tweets.”

When you’re ready to send out your first tweet, click in the little box that says “compose tweet” and write whatever you want to tweet about. You have a limit of 140 characters.

I was on Facebook the other day, and one of my friends posted asking “What is the difference between sending a Tweet and posting a status on Facebook?”

The answer? When you’re a Twitter newbie, posting your first tweet — maybe there isn’t a whole lot of difference. :) Except, there is a difference. You don’t HAVE to post a status update. Twitter is a living, vital stream, filled with millions of people who all have the potential to be awesome in your life, even if you’ve never met them before. Post a status message if you’d like, but you can also ask a question! You can say “I’m new here, what do I do now?” :)

Of course, the first issue you’re going to run into is that nobody is following you yet, so nobody will see your question. :)

So … send a message instead. You can send a message to ANYONE ON TWITTER at anytime, by simply typing @theirusername anywhere in your tweet.

Try it! You can tweet to me if you’d like. It might look like this Hey, @bputtroff! I’m new here. Help!

Or read a few tweets that are in the stream from people you’ve already followed, and reply to one. Have fun, be silly if that’s your personality. Tweet @personI’venevermet That peanut butter sandwich sounds good. Did you save me one?

Jump right in. You’ll be surprised at what a welcoming place it can be, and how quickly you’ll find some kindred spirits. (And if they block you because you asked for a peanut butter sandwich, well — they’re not your kind of tweep, anyway.)

Your assignment this week is — get your feet wet. Unblock your privacy settings if you had them blocked, and start sending out tweets into the Twittersphere. Be silly, be serious, ask questions. And keep following new people. Celebrities, sure, but also make an effort this week to use the search feature to find some real people who are interested in the same things you are, and send tweets to a couple of them — even if they’re not following you (yet!)

I’ll be back next Tuesday to cover another important Twitter issue — Re-tweeting! (And I might cover Direct Messages, too!)

If you have any special questions about Twitter, be sure to let me know in the comments!

Until then … Happy Tweeting! And … if you send me a tweet this week, I’ll make sure you have at least one follower! :)

Sample Sunday (#SampleSunday)

Happy Sunday, everyone. :) Thanks for reading and following along. For those who don’t know, on Sundays, on Twitter, you can follow along with the hashtag #SampleSunday as authors post samples and excerpts of their work. It’s a great chance to find some new authors you like and find fun new things to read.

I’ve decided I’ll start participating in a new way, too, by posting #SampleSunday excerpts on my blog. :)

Here’s the first one …

An excerpt from the middle of Roots of Insight.

She stood there, still as a statue, consumed half by a paralyzing mixture of terror and anger, and the other half by another emotion entirely. Though she was rigid and unmoving, his arms still wound around her back, holding her tight. “We can’t think like that, Quinn. We don’t know what’s going on; let’s not make this worse by jumping to conclusions. Let’s assume, for now, that we’re okay. That she’s hidden us only for our safety, and we’ll find out what this is all about later.”

She swallowed, trying to get past the fear and aggravation. Her fingers trembled. It wasn’t working, trapped here in the dark and silence.

“It’s going to be okay,” he murmured against her hair.

She snapped. “Since when are you so Susie Sunshine about everything?”

He was absolutely still for just a second, before his entire body started shaking, in great, heaving motions coming from his chest. She was startled, confused, and then the silence was broken by his snorting, and the laughter overtook her, too.

Once she started laughing, she couldn’t stop, and it was clear that neither could he. They both stood there shaking, trying to keep quiet, trying to stop, but every time one of them calmed down enough to take a breath, the other would snicker, and it would start all over again. Tears were rolling down her cheeks, her stomach was aching, and she could hardly breathe, but the laughter kept coming.

Finally, finally, she managed to pull in a breath at the same time he did. They clutched each other’s arms tightly, trying to regain control. They hysterical giggles kept threatening to break through, but at last they were calm.

William softly cleared his throat. “Only one of us can freak out at a time.”

She nodded. “Agreed.”

And then, somehow, his lips were against hers. Softly, at first, his bottom lip grazed her top one. She knew, in the part of her brain that was still capable of rational thought, that she should have been surprised by this, but it wasn’t thought that drove her now. Her mouth responded on its own, as did her hands, reaching around him, clutching the back of his thin shirt.

He pulled her body closer with one hand, the other finding the back of her neck, under her hair, his fingers gently caressing, twining in her hair …

There was a loud thud directly overhead. They jerked apart, as if shocked by a jolt of electricity. After an eternity, his hand found hers again, squeezing it tight as they listened to the footsteps crossing the floor above.

 

Don’t forget, you can always check out more samples from the Dusk Gate Chronicles by clicking on the menu bar above. You can also check out the books on Amazon by clicking on the pictures of the book covers to your right. Happy Sunday! :)

To My Nook and Other E-Pub friends…

For a number of reasons, at this time I am releasing Roots of Insight only on Kindle at this time (paperback will be released in a couple of weeks). Seeds of Discovery is also currently only available in Kindle format.

You do not need to have a Kindle in order to read a Kindle-format book. You can also read it on a FREE Kindle App on your smartphone,  iPad/iPod or on your Mac or PC with either a Kindle App or the Cloud Reader.

The Dusk Gate Chronicles books are also DRM-free, which means you can choose to convert  them to a different file format (there are free software programs that will do this) and load them onto any kind of e-reader using the USB cord.

Loading the book using a USB cord is known as side-loading, and is extremely easy. Once your e-reader is plugged into your computer with the USB cord, it will show up as a drive or storage device. You need only to drag and drop the book file into the right file on your e-reader, and it will show up in your library with all of your other books.

Finally, if you don’t want to convert it, or can’t figure out how, you can also contact me, by e-mailing me at

breeanap at gmail dot com

If you forward me a copy of your e-mail receipt from Amazon showing your purchase of Roots of Insight, I will be more than happy to e-mail you back with an .epub version of the book that can be loaded on your Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, or other .epub-based reader using the USB cord (again, you can do this yourself, but this way, you won’t have to figure out how to convert it.)

At the current time, Seeds of Discovery is under an exclusive distribution agreement with Amazon, so I cannot send you the .epub file, but you can convert it yourself.

If you need any other help or assistance, please feel free to comment here or to e-mail me.

I appreciate the support of ALL of my readers, regardless of what type of device you own, and I will do my best to keep my books accessible to all.

Getting close …

The release of Book Two – Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight is getting closer … 17 more days! :)  In celebration (and because I’m too busy preparing for the release and doing the wonderful Christmas thing with my sweet Little Goose to be very creative with blog posts), I’ve decided to re-run some of the awesome reviews and posts others have done.

Really, I don’t know where Seeds of Discovery would be right now if it hadn’t been for some of these folks who were willing to take a chance on a new book and then share their thoughts with the world. One of the very best things that has happened as a result of publishing Seeds of Discovery is the amazing new people it has brought into my life. Just as wonderful, is the few “old” people I’ve been able to reconnect with as a result of the book as well.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and thanks for being on this journey with me!

And here is a re-post of my very first video review … thanks so much to S0rceress0! Please don’t forget to check out her awesome blog review site, E-Book It Reviews

Number one Contemporary Fantasy and Children’s Fantasy

Wow! This has been a whirlwind day … a whirlwind month, really.

I just realized that I haven’t blogged since right before Thanksgiving, and I know that’s bad, LOL. In reality, a lot of it is because this is a challenging month for me personally, and it wasn’t long after Thanksgiving that another family member of mine passed away, and my thoughts have been in a jumble.

So, rather than post about my random introspection, I’ve been focusing my efforts on Dusk Gate. :) Book Two is written! There will be some heavy editing over the next few weeks, and then it will release on January 9th! Some of you who have been helping me with my Amazon promotion of Book One will be receiving free advance copies!

In case you were wondering … the official title for Book Two (since, unfortunately, I can’t call it Book Two forever) is … *drumroll* Dusk Gate: Roots of Insight.

And now for the really big news…

Yesterday, I put Seeds of Discovery up for free on Amazon, intending it to be a one-day promotion. But when the day was close to over, the book had hit the top ten in both the Contemporary and Children’s Fantasy categories. So, I thought, what the heck. I’ll leave it free for another day, and see what happens.

Number. One. No, seriously. As of this exact moment — 10:07 P.M., the book is the number one bestselling free book in both of those categories. And, if I can actually type this without falling out of my chair … it’s #103 in free books overall on Amazon.

I am amazed and grateful and shocked, and a million other things right now. Oh, and my house is a TRAINWRECK because every single time the kids were happily absorbed today, you can guess what I was probably doing. LOL.

And, um … the book will be free tomorrow, too. :) Tell your friends. (please!)

Breaking Dawn broke mine …

Or at least my pre-dawn. :(

This is a rant, and this is NOT a spoiler-free zone. You’ve been warned.

I’m just going to admit it. I am a 34-year-old well-educated mom who, yes, bought tickets to the midnight screening of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, and went out into the darkness with one of my mom BFFs, all excited to see this latest installment. No, we didn’t dress up in our old bridesmaid dresses, or even our white makeup and black cloaks (even if we’d wanted to… everything in either of our houses that resembles any of that stuff has long been confiscated — and ruined — by little girls).

And … I was crushingly dissapointed. Really, I need a coffee IV today for that? About halfway through the wedding, I started wondering if the whole thing was a practical joke aimed at Twilight fans, like  maybe the director and the actors were literally making fun of the people sitting there in the audience.

Not that those of us sitting in a theater at midnight to watch a teenager marry a sparkly vampire don’t deserve a little ribbing… I just thought it would come from other sources than the film itself.
While there are some decent moments … the actual wedding ceremony itself is quite beautiful, most of the movie leaves much to be desired.

Gone is the subtle humor of the first three movies. The only few glimpses of that we see in this movie are from Billy Burke’s portrayal of Charlie. (I, for one TwiMom, am Team Charlie all the way). His speech at the wedding is the one truly sweet, purposefully humorous moment of the entire movie. (Whichever editors left the rest of the wedding speeches in should be forced to sit and watch it on repeat for days).

There are two other moments in the movie worth watching. The first is when Edward watches Bella come out of the bathroom in a revealing negligee and he falls over laughing, and the second is when he “hears” the baby inside her for the first time. The rest of the movie made me want to pull my hair out.

I get that the source material may have been a bit challenging to work with. Breaking Dawn is far and away my least favorite of the Twilight books. There were plenty of moments in it, though, that could have been fun and fanciful to watch on the big screen. And director Bill Condon ruined nearly every single one of them.

The best parts of the books and the other movies, in my opinion, are the tender little moments that happen between Edward and Bella. I’ll tell you now that the engagement scene in Eclipse surpasses the honeymoon scene by leaps and bounds in terms of sweetness, emotion, and even passion. Heck, the scene in Eclipse where she cuts her finger and he kisses it has more tenderness and genuine connection than any scene in Breaking Dawn, with the possible exception of the scene where he’s kissing her swollen belly — and the audience is overly shorted on that one.

The thing is, I didn’t go into the movie expecting Oscar-worthy material. I didn’t intend to leave thinking “wow, my life was changed by that two hours.” I had realistic expectations, I thought. I was more than willing to suspend my disbelief, and just immerse myself in the rich world of fantasy love. And I just … couldn’t.

I thought that Kristen, Rob, and Taylor did as nice a job as they could possibly have, given a lackluster script and a director who clearly has no love for the story. Billy Burke, for his part, stole the show in the scenes where he appeared. Everyone else… well, it might have been more entertaining (and no less like a self-parody) had all of the actors been replaced by muppets. Or CGI wolves whose internal conversations we can hear.

Eclipse left me craving more time with Jasper, Alice, and Emmett, but all three characters are nearly nonexistent in this installment. And don’t even get me started on Renee, who completely ruined every scene she was in.
I am one disappointed – and tired – mommy today.

Oh… and if you were planning on breaking out the cloaks and makeup in your support of the Volturi — so prominently featured in all of the promo clips and trailers (every single one of the trailers is far superior to the movie) — you, too, will be sadly disappointed. You’ll need to stay in your seat through most of the glaringly obnoxious flashing red and white credits to even see the Italian vampires.

Daily Writing Progress, Week Two: Tuesday

How many words did I write yesterday? 1,070  – a little over 1/10 of the way toward my goal of 10,000 words for the week.

Today’s beginning word count: 14,803 – I’m getting close to hitting the mark of having 1/4 as many words done on this second book as Book One has altogether, although I expect Book Two to be longer than Book One, possibly significantly so.

 

For those curious, the part of the draft I’m currently working on has Quinn back in Eirentheos, reuniting with some of my favorite people, notably Linnea, Mia, and the ever-adorable Emma.  There is, of course, a good amount of Thomas (what fun is it without Thomas?), and we’re getting to see some of the great side of William that isn’t always there…. I’m having too much fun.  Gotta get back to it.

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