Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Healthy Bloghop

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp, L. Diane Wolfe, and Michael Di Gesu for hosting this bloghop. The rules are simple:

Share with everyone something you have done that affected your health in a positive way. You can share an awesome low cal low fat tasty recipe. Post simple tips to lose weight. Or a testimony on what has helped like joining Weight Watchers. Recommend a routine like P90X or Insanity. Or stretches one can do while sitting in their office chair working or writing. We’re sure people have countless great tips and ideas they would love to share.

I sort of have a love-hate relationship with healthy living (as I imagine many people do). I whine about it constantly, but I'm also incredibly dedicated to it (in moderation). And one of the best pieces of advice I got came from a friend last year: create a standing desk.

We weren't meant to be sedentary creatures. Sitting for long periods of time dramatically increases your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and a whole host of other health issues. It's bad for your circulation and for the muscles in your legs. And let's face it: most of us don't sit properly, causing problems for our backs and necks.

I made my standing desk out of boxes and books, with a cushioned bathmat on the floor so my feet don't hurt as much. It's a little rough around the edges (and I got laughed at by my colleagues for the first couple months), but it gets the job done. And honestly, I feel better after standing for 7 hours than I did after sitting. My back doesn't hurt as much anymore, and now that my leg and foot muscles are stronger, I don't feel as exhausted at the end of the day. That's not to say I'm not still sore sometimes, and I am physically tired, but it's actually kind of nice because it makes me feel like I've done more with my day than push paper from one side of the desk to the other. I focus better, which I can't really explain but somehow seems to work.

I'm not saying everyone should go out and stand for 7 hours a day. For one thing, you should really build up to it. Until a few weeks ago, I was taking an hour-long sit break in the morning and in the afternoon, and that's after many months of doing this. Also, standing for this long really isn't for everyone. But here's my challenge to you: find an hour a day when you normally sit (be that when you're writing or paying the bills or watching TV) and stand while you do that task instead. Do it every day, or as many times a week as you can. It might be uncomfortable at first, but I think once you start to see the benefits, you'll find you kind of enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (5/28/13) and a Donation Bomb

So many people have books coming out or that just came out! I'm having trouble keeping up with everyone. It so happened that this book is exactly what I was looking to read today, so I swooped it up.

When Mabel's best friend, Amber, drags her along on a double date she finds herself falling for Lance, the obnoxious class clown whom she swore she'd have no interest in.

The only problem is, she's not sure if she's really the girl Lance is into, or if, like every other guy she knows, it's really Amber he's after. One thing is clear, if Mabel wants to be the lead in her own love story, she needs to start acting like it.

The rules for Teaser Tuesday are:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up Should Be Reading to add your link.

And the teaser:

I, on the other hand, feel weighted down. Sandbags are tied to my arms and legs, making it difficult to walk away.

The next thing of note is a Donation Bomb that Leigh Covington posted about on her blog.

David Farland (Wolverton)'s son Ben, age 16, was in a tragic longboarding accident on April 3rd, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drums, road rash, and pneumonia. He was in a coma, but has recently awakened. His family has no insurance.

Ben's treatments are already over $1,000,0000.
Ben will need extensive therapy as he relearns how to walk.

Ben's estimated hospital bills are looking to be somewhere around $1.2 MILLION! So what can we do? We can help! Even the smallest donations can go a long way when everybody gives a little bit.

THE PLAN: Donate any amount, large or small, to the Help Ben Walk Fund (feel free to donate more, if you can.)

THE DATE: Friday, June 7th!

To find out more about Ben and other ways you can help, CLICK HERE.

Also - on JUNE 4th there is a TWITTER BOMB! Spread the word and use hashtags #davidfarland or #helpwolverton! You can use these posts to get points in the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

Please help spread the word by sharing on your blog, tweeting, posting on Facebook, or any other way you know how. For those who help spread the word, one lucky person will receive an Ebook through Kindle or Nook of David Farland's book, Million Dollar Outlines! Check out Leigh's blog to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Secondary Characters Bloghop

I'm really excited about this bloghop, hosted by Rachel Schieffelbein, Theresa Paolo, Kelley Lynn, Jessica Salyer, Jenny Morris, and Suzi Retzlaff. I love secondary characters (who doesn't?), often more than the main characters. I tried to just pick a handful to list here, but it was awfully hard to parse it down (though it's easier since I'm refraining from including TV). So in no particular order...

  1. Fred Weasley/Remus Lupin/Nymphadora Tonks/Minerva McGonagall/Seamus Finnegan/Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter, JK Rowling) - OK, so maybe this one should be titled "Everyone in Harry Potter but Harry." I was going to say Ron/Hermione, but they're really more main characters than secondary, so I went with this gaggle instead. Let's be honest. The secondary characters in Harry Potter were way better than Harry. They were so well-developed and complex on their own, and they had a million possibilities. I can't even explain why I was so in love with Seamus, but I just thought he was awesome. I think it was because he burned his eyebrows off. McGonagall was stern, but she had an obvious soft spot for Harry that endeared me to her. Remus and Tonks complemented each other perfectly. Fred was hysterical (so was George, but he didn't invite a girl to the Yule Ball by yelling across the Common Room to her). And Luna was... Luna had the confidence I always wished I had. She was so weird, but she pulled it off because she knew who she was and no one could tell her differently.
  2. Dill Harris (To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee) - There are a lot of reasons to love Dill. He was goofy and weird. He loved adventures. He was brave. But the strongest memory I have from reading To Kill a Mockingbird is right after Atticus loses the trial, when Dill is so upset by the verdict that he goes outside and throws up. He was, what, 7 or 8 years old? And even he knew that the real crime had been perpetrated in the courtroom.
  3. Jeremy Danvers (Women of the Otherworld, Kelley Armstrong) - I'm not 100% sure he counts as a secondary character because Otherworld has more of an ensemble cast, but he doesn't narrate any of the main books and he only appears as the male lead in one (and a couple short stories), so I'm counting him. Jeremy's pretty much the perfect person. He's smart, he's confident, he's unfailingly selfless, plus he's got that sexy alpha werewolf thing going on. In the last book of the series, I caught myself speed-reading through parts of the book just to get back to the scenes he was in.
  4. Kyle Brooks/Ben (Mercy Thompson, Patricia Briggs) - With the exception of Harry Potter, I was trying to pick only one from each series, but I just couldn't choose between Kyle and Ben, though I love them for very different reasons. Kyle is the comic relief. He's tough in his own way, but he's better with a quick word than a physical cut down. Ben's the opposite. Plus he has that whole horrible past thing that makes characters so sympathetic. He's also fiercely loyal, but you have to dig a bit to find that part of him.
  5. Tod Hudson (Soul Screamers, Rachel Vincent) - Um, best comic relief ever? He's completely irreverent and he doesn't care who knows it, which makes pretty much every line out of his mouth golden. But he knows how to bring the serious when he needs to, and his insight is occasionally incredibly surprising.
  6. Cinna (Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins) - I wasn't going to do a Hunger Games one, but how could I not include Cinna? The sole voice of optimism in a flood of doom and gloom. He made Katniss feel better about everything that was happening and, in doing so, made us feel better too.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's favorites too!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - 5/21/13

Photo credit: Jane Green's website

It's been a busy week or two for me. Most of that time has been spent with normal life craziness, but the rest has been furiously editing Pack Mentality. See, what happened is that I wrote most of book 2 for NaNoWriMo last year, and, in doing so, I changed about half the rules I'd come up with for my world. Good, necessary changes, but the kinds of things my characters should know about in book 1.

I've still been making some time for reading though. I finished the latest Kitty Norville book (by Carrie Vaughn), and I just started Promises to Keep by Jane Green. Actually, I haven't even started it yet. It's sitting on my desk waiting for my lunch break to read it.

Callie Perry lights up every room she enters, and adores her settled family life in tony Bedford, New York. Steffi is Callie's younger sister. At thirty, she's still a free spirit bouncing between jobs and boyfriends in Manhattan. Their long-divorced parents, Walter and Honor, share little besides their grown daughters. But when Callie receives a difficult diagnosis, the family will come together for one unforgettable and ultimately life-changing year.

The rules for Teaser Tuesday are:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up Should Be Reading to add your link.

And the teaser:

Steffi elbows her hair out of her eyes before grabbing a frying pan, splashing olive oil liberally into it and scraping the finely chopped onion into the oil. Ignoring the sweat running into her eyes, she spins around, hurrying over to the counter opposite, where Jorge is slicing spring onions.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - 5/14/13

I'm not going to lie, I had to check three times to make sure it was actually Tuesday. But since it is, here we are. I'm actually in between books at the moment, so I'm going to do this week's TT from Pack Mentality, the first Capitoline Hill book. I don't have the cover to put up yet, but it's almost done, and I'm really, really excited about it.

Pack Mentality is up on Goodreads now, so check it out here.

The Mid-Atlantic Pack has a problem: there’s a man-killing werewolf loose in their territory. As a Guardian—a protector of the Pack and its Alpha—Quinn Dunlap is one of the people tasked with finding him and eliminating the threat… by any means necessary.

But what Quinn finds isn’t the big bad wolf; it’s a scruffy, scared boy named Elijah who was bitten three months ago and has been running ever since. So instead of the typically accepted execution he probably deserves, she takes pity on him and brings him home to the Pack Alpha, a firm but fair werewolf named Geoffrey Reynolds. Geoffrey’s always respected Quinn as a good judge of character, and this time is no exception. He lets Elijah stay, but he makes it clear that the boy is Quinn’s responsibility.

Quinn doesn’t want Elijah to be her responsibility. She doesn’t even want to be her own responsibility. When she left five years ago, she had honestly never thought she'd be moving back to Capitoline Hill, a decidedly not hilly compound in New Jersey. So maybe it's time for her to accept that sometimes you have to go home again, no matter what the saying is. And maybe, maybe, it's also time for her to get over some of those fears that drove her away in the first place. But when someone attacks the Pack, Quinn finds out that everyone, even her Alpha, is afraid of something. And sooner or later, those fears always come back to haunt you.

The rules for Teaser Tuesday are:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Then hit up Should Be Reading to add your link.

And the teaser:

With another sigh and a nervous glance at me, Eli stripped down and crouched to begin his change. Out of courtesy, we didn't look at him, but after a moment he said, "I can't do it with all of you here."

Trick sighed in exasperation. "Maybe it is like going to the bathroom," he said. "You got a shy bladder?" Eli flipped him off.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cover Reveal: Friday Night Alibi

Hey, guys, check it out! Cassie Mae's NA book has a cover! Also, a really awesome-sounding plot and an expectant fan (well, probably more than a few of those)!

Rising star Cassie Mae introduces New Adult readers to a practical soon-to-be college freshman who seems to have everything—until a special guy shows her what she’s been missing.

In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.

Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black, and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.

Advance praise for Friday Night Alibi

“Totally entertaining with as many swoon-worthy moments as hilarious ones, Friday Night Alibi is a must-read.”—Jolene Perry, co-author of Out of Play

“A fun, funny, and fantastic story, this is one you will read in a day, and pick up to re-read again the next.”—Kelley Lynn, author of Fraction of Stone

It comes out on July 29th, but you can preorder it HERE.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Big news!

OK, first off, I want to apologize for falling off the planet in April. I rather spontaneously moved at the beginning of the month/end of March, so the last few weeks have been a study in entropy. But I'm almost settled now, and I'm starting fresh in May. I'm refocusing on my writing and making more of an effort to edit Capitoline Hill (again).

Which brings me to my big news...

After a lot of thought (and a few long conversations with K.S. Lewis at varying levels of panic), I've decided to take the plunge and self-publish The Capitoline Hill Chronicles! I'm doing it for a variety of reasons: the timing seems right to publish a werewolf book, a speaker at the writers conference I went to in March really swayed me, there were several rather blatant signs from the universe, and, mostly, it just looks like fun. I always thought my pride needed a traditional publishing deal to make me feel like I was a successful writer, but having watched other self-published authors, I'm starting to realize that there's a lot more to it than that.

So I'm going to give it a whirl. I'll be posting more details throughout the summer, but right now I'm shooting for a late summer/early fall release. Which will mean mid-late summer blog tour, if anyone's interested in hosting me and/or my characters (more details on that as it gets closer as well). And I have a whole bunch of other fun things planned along the way.

How were all your Aprils? Looking forward to May?