Monday, November 12, 2012

Cindy M. Hogan

My good friend Cindy M. Hogan allowed me to interview her here as her new book, Created, comes out. Cindy is a Director with me at iWriteNetwork and one busy momma, writer, marketer extraordinaire!

1- Why did you first start writing? 
It was all because of a crazy dream, not knowing anyone in the movie business and getting a bit schizophrenic. Basically, I had this ultra-real dream and thought it would make a great movie. I discovered, I didn't know who to tell, so I started writing down what I dreamed. That's when the characters in my story took over my brain. 

2- What do you do to continually hone your craft? 
I read all kinds of craft books about character arcs, descriptions, scene structure, etc. I also go to workshops and conferences. Most of all, my critique groups teach me so much.Oh, and writing, and analyzing that writing.

3- How do you market yourself and your books?
I have a blog, a FB page, and use Twitter. I am also a member of a lot of online groups that I participate in on a daily basis. Occasionally, I do blog tours, contests, and guest posts. Most of all, I think interacting with people you adore or admire is the best marketing tool, ever.

4- What is your favorite part about being a writer?
There is nothing better than the satisfaction of writing a scene that deeply moves you in one way or another, where you find yourself holding your breath, crying or shouting with joy. It's also fun to get fan mail everyday. :)

5- How do you fit writing, marketing and everyday life all together?
Scheduling-which I'm horrible at. You have to know when to say no for sure. It's all about balance. I make a list everyday-because I love the satisfaction of checking something off, and try to decide the most important things. I do them first. Some days I just don't get to everything even when everything on my list is important. While I try to keep up with everything, sometimes things fall through the cracks. When that happens, I know I'm out of balance and need to rearrange a few things. It's so important to have a heart to heart with yourself every week. Ask yourself if what you are doing brings you joy. If not, make the necessary changes.
BTW- I never spend more than one hour on social media except when I'm doing some sort of promotion. Social media can take you away from what is most important-writing.
Suggest three books for us (other than your own.)  :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cozy up!

My parents are buying a new house and they are doing some remodeling before the big move. I helped with a little design perspective, here's the fireplace I designed. It's not done yet, still needs paint and the carpet needs some fixing too but the overall look is there.
There's more to come, stay tuned! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

The doTERRA Story

Here's a short video about DoTERRA. It talks about how they source the plants to make the oils as well as a couple uses.

Monday, October 22, 2012


This past weekend I taught a class on iWriteNetwork on how to use Animoto. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a drag and drop video maker. You can sign up and get more options template and music wise for only $2.50 a month($30.00 annually) to $20.75 a month ($249.00 annually) or have limited templates, sound and length (30 sec only), but still, there are plenty of good choices for free. You can register at once you make your video you can share it via email or social media.
Here's one I made:

Make your own slideshow at Animoto.

These can be for anything; book trailers, author profiles, blog tours etc… let your imagination be your guide.

Step 1: Register your account. Go to
Step 2: Choose a style/template for your video
Step 3: Click on the small type below the purchase button that says Make a 30 second video for free
Step 4: - OPTIONAL – Watch the Anamoto tutorial video, or close the box, continue to step 5
Step 5: Add pictures and/or video clips **Only use pictures you own the copyright for**
Step 6: Add desired text.
Step 7: Drag text to desired location.
Step 8: Add music.
Step 9: Preview your video, it will take a minute to buffer first, be patient. When you watch it this time, the quality isn’t as high as it will be in the final product, don’t worry.
Step 10: Title your video, and give a description.
Step 11: Click the Produce button.
Step 12: Now you can watch your video!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Essential Oils

So what exactly are essential oils and how are they used? Here's what I know:

Essential oils are liquids distilled from plants--from different parts, not just the leaves. It can be from bark, flowers, seeds, roots etc... But you need to know that not all essential oils are the same, there's purity to consider as well as therapeutic value. It depends on the part of the plant that was used, soil condition, organic or not, region/climate/altitude, harvest time/method and distillation process. It's a lot to think about but it's important because you could be paying for something not as potent or even artificial.
DoTERRA is Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). This means they actively pursue the purest quality and highest grade possible.
Essential oils have been around for thousands of years as mankind's first medicine. Manuscripts from China talk about usages and alabaster jars have been found filled with essential

Now that you know what it is here's why they work:

Essential oils are so small on the molecular level that it's easy for them to absorb into your skin. They are lipid soluble which mean they can go through the cellular wall, within 20 minutes they can be metabolized into every sell in the body, being processed like other nutrients. Essential oils are powerful antioxidants and create a unfriendly environment for free radicals. They can be used topically, aromatically and internally.

All info is from Modern Essentials, A Contemporary Guide To The Therapeutic Use Of Essential Oils, Second Edition

Monday, October 8, 2012

Good Books

It seems like reading for me comes and goes in waves. I will read like 10 books one week and then nothing for the next. I'm sure part of it boils down to the fact that life is life and it gets busy. But here's a couple books that I've recently read and enjoyed.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Friday, October 5, 2012

I love all things natural and side-effect free. I garden organically, bike everywhere I can and even go natural with having babies, so when I first learned about doTERRA I was very interested. Once I tried it myself I was hooked. This blog isn't only about doTERRA but I will feature their products often, If you are interested in learning more about it and try it for yourself you can click here:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy Tears

Thanks to Gabbie at DesignMom for posting this. It made me cry happy tears. I thought I'd post it here for you too.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall Wreath

I'm starting to want cooler temps, cardigans, boots and pumpkin cookies. How about you?

This is the first year I've put a wreath on our door. I guess I didn't put one out because I never had them on our door when I was younger. But now I've made one that stays in the living room for the spring and summer and one that's on the door, same: spring/summer. Now I need a fall wreath. I've been looking around for inspiration, here's what I've found.

This is from Pinterest so I don't know who owns the image--if you know let me know and I'll add it. :)

      This is from I love the top left and middle left wreaths they are fall with out being only Halloween you know?

This comes from I love the little sign inside the wreath.

And this last one is from I think the simple design looks nice and quick to make too.

Do you put out a wreath?

Which do you like?

Friday, August 10, 2012


How connected are you? As a writer do you believe you must be connected to be successful?  I do.
There are three main places that I believe you must be present to be considered connected.
Blog or Website
I've been told that even though I don't have a website that I need to purchase your name as a domain, and to start blogging. It's a good way to reach out to those you wouldn't be able to otherwise.
You should have a fan page for you as an author and if you want, have a personal page.
You must be on twitter and following people, tweeting and gaining followers of your own.

Word of warning though: If you are only ever posting quotes or talking about your own book(s) you will not have a large following and people may loose interest. Getting others to talk about your book is the idea, and you talk about theirs. Be you and be personable. :) GOOD LUCK!

So what other ways have you heard that you should be connected?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

People's people

As we write we try to develop characters who our readers will relate to. We want the reader to cry laugh and worry with our characters right?...... RIGHT! :) So how do you do that? 

I have three ideas:

1- Believable reactions
Allow the teen age girl to wallow a bit after loosing her love-of-the-moment boyfriend, or walk on air when the guy of her dreams asks her out. We can relate to those reactions, we might even remember feeling like that ourselves.
2-Don't over use your emotion words
If they only shrug, feel butterflies and bite their lip to show emotion the reader is limited in feeling that deep down too. (And you wanna make them feel it deep down.)
3-Be True
IF your character arc is from shy to bold don't let the character stand up to the school bully in the first act, work your way there. If it feels outside the characters realm of behavior the reader will notice and be pulled out of the world you're sharing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Author Spotlight

Molly Cochran
A New York Times bestselling author of more than 25 books, though Legacy is her first for young adults. Legacy is about Katy and life at her new school in the town her never-spoken-of deceased mother is from. As she tries to sort through family secrets, her complicated love life and fitting in at school, all while keeping the  town she's grown attached to from destruction.

To get a copy for yourself and check out her other books click over to B&N:

Or visit her website at:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Spotlight

I know, I'm late. Kiddo #3 turned two and I forgot to post, sorry. But here it is today! :)


Her second book SURRENDER came out yesterday! (See I should have posted on time.)

It's set in a dystopian world where the thinkers are in control and everyone follows the directions. Well, almost everyone.

Elana also has some awesome short stories told by characters in the series, so head over to her blog and check those out too!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Feature

Anyone else feeling this way?

School's out. Seniors graduated. The joy of summer is here. This time of year always feels like a new birth of opportunity to me. My kiddos are little and they are just starting their formal educational careers, ones I hope they'll appreciate and enjoy. Others are near the middle, deciding majors and roommates. Some finished, moving excitedly toward that goal they've word so hard to achieve: a real job.
 The weather is warm, people are optimistic, and I can sleep in--if the kiddos let me. :) Happy summer to everyone!

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Little Pick Me Up

Since my return from the lovely NYC I've been crazy busy. Or maybe it just feels that way after a vacation, life happens right? Never waits or eases you back in. But busy is good and normal around here. As I was checking blogs this morning I happened upon this in a post from DesignMom she asked if it made anyone else cry happy tears....yes, it did for me. Not only that but it is just the pick me up I needed today. Watch for yourself, did you cry happy tears? Have you ever been a part of something like this?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Feature

I'm at the LDSTORYMAKERS conference this weekend and headed to NYC on Sunday so here's to New York!  :)

And an extra for you're listening pleasure!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Spotlight

Kady Cross

I loved her cover first. I actually didn't even read the back cover blurb (Is that bad? Someone worked hard on that, I'm sure.) So I jumped in with both feet and started reading, then I was happily surprised that it is a steam punk. How I didn't catch that from the title and cover, I don't know. But it's actually the first steam punk I've ever read and I really enjoyed it! Now I need to get to B & N to get the second one, The Girl In The Clockwork Collar. My mom has read that one already and really liked it so I am even more in need of a copy for myself. :)

To visit Ms. Kady at her website click here:

To pick up a copy of these or her other books visit:
So have you read these? Or have you read other steam punk books you'd recommend?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Author Spotlight

Sarah M. Eden

I loved her books before I ever met her. She writes historical romance and they are among my favorite clean/hilarious books. You can let your 12 year old read them and not worry about anything in the romance being too much. She first self published her stories several years ago before being picked up by a publishing house who decided to re-release them all. I love that! And I love getting each new story as they come out. Visit her trailer park on her website for trailers for each book. :)

To purchase a book for yourself:
To visit Sarah's website click here:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Photo Inspiration

Today's fun is photo  inspiration. Look through the photos, Which character are you most drawn to? What would their story be? Does it fit in the genre you usually write?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Author Spotlight

Ally Carter    Author of a couple of my favorite series. When I want a light hearted, quick read I can go to either her Gallagher Girls Series or Heist Society Series. They are well thought out, laugh out loud funny and keep me waiting for the next book to roll out. If you've read them you understand how funny it is: "Spy."

Visit her website here:

And purchase your own books here:

So Have you read any of her books? Which are your favorite?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Feature

Here's a 90's mix of boy bands for your viewing and listening pleasure :)

Backstreet Boys

N Sync

98 Degrees

So do these bring back memories for you too?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Author Spotlight

Lauren Oliver
 I picked up Delirium purely on the cover photo. I started reading and couldn't put it down. It's a cleverly written dystopian that keeps you on your toes. The next day I picked up Pandemonium, (they are hard to put down. . .can you tell? :) ) and was pleasantly surprised that it was just as twisty-turny as Delirium. I look forward to the next book, anxiously. To read more about this author click on the link : 

And to get your own copy of Delirium or Pandemonium click here:
(She also has a couple other books out, I haven't read them though but I plan on it soon! )
Have you read any of her books? Which ones and what did you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Author Spotlight

Michael O. Tunnell

I am part of a book club of over 60 people and Candy Bomber was one of the books we read. I think it's safe to say that it was of the most liked books this year. I'm glad it was on the list because I don't go into the non-fiction section too often but I loved it too. 
 Michael has bunches of other books, check out his website for lots more info.  :)

Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Author Spotlight

Jennifer L. Armentrout
So I didn't know much about Obsidian when I first picked it up. I liked the book cover so it was already a maybe. I haven't read an alien book recently, so I thought I'd give it a go.
I really liked it! Daemon is a jerk but not really....does that make sense? Are all the girls nodding and the boys shaking their heads?  :) He is very protective of his sister and the others like him(also endearing) and thinks that if he pushes Katy away, despite how he's drawn to her himself, everything will be fine.
Since we've all read a book before we know how this is going to go but it's a really fun ride and had a couple things I didn't see coming. I love it when that happens. :) I'm defiantly going to keep reading this series.

    To get your hands on your own copy---just do it, you'll love it---follow the link below:                      

For more information about Jennifer or to see more about her other books and all other things she posts visit her blog and website:

Onyx, number 2 in the Lux series is slated to come out August 14th 2012
Mark your calender now :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Feature

Today's trio is book/movie inspired. Can you name them all?

Taylor Swift (feat. The Civil Wars)

Christina Perri


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Author Spotlight

Becca Fitzpatrick 
I found her book Hush Hush a couple of years ago and waited (not so) patiently for each subsequent book to come out. I love this series! First I love that it even is a series. I enjoy the story love the characters and her writing style so I appreciate that there are more books to enjoy. And second, the covers are beautiful. I think they really suit the stories and characters. I like that because, as one who does pick books by their cover (though there have been exceptions) a pretty/amazing cover makes it easier to pick up. :)

Her Hush Hush series is: Hush Hush, Crescendo, Scilence, and in Fall 2012, the fourth book comes out: Finale

You can learn more about Becca here:
You can purchase her books for yourself here:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Photos and Writing

I am the type of person who is greatly effected by visual, audio, and textile stimulation. I've always learned better with hands-on lessons. I'm sure to some my writing blog full of music videos doesn't connect and seems misplaced, but they are two peas in a pod for me. I can't think of what to write without music playing and inspiring me and I can't help but think up a story for every song I hear. It's the same for photos. I see a whole world encased a snapshot and can find a storyline in every painting. I frequently stroll through local art galleries and always come out with notes and ideas for current WIP and new projects.

So lets play a game. Try to think up a short synopsis for each photo, It'll get your creative side going and you may just think up the next New York Times Bestseller. :)
Here goes:

How did it go?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Feature

Sorry for the lack of posting this month. We've had a sick baby, did you know they could get Roseola more than once? I didn't and man, the second time around is much worse! But since everyone is feeling significantly better I can resume posting. Here's the super compressed version I would have wanted to post:
Author Spotlight: Cassandra Clare  I adore her books (The Mortal Instruments Series). Originally I didn't have them on my read right now list, more the read when you get a minute. But my sister and mom convinced me to give them a go earlier. I am so glad I did. Cassandra builds a beautiful, creative, hilarious world that I love reading. The characters a perfect and you get to travel along with them through these amazing cities through out the Shadowhunters world--hidden from all us normal people of coarse! Here is where you can get your hands on a copy of your own:

 I hope everyone enjoyed Valentines Day. I for one like that we have a day set aside to remind us how lucky we are to have amazing people in our lives, not just in a spouse, significant other or boy/girl friend but in amazing neighbors, friends and family. <3

So it's already Friday again so here goes:

Middle Class Rut



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Author Spotlight

My oldest is a blooming reader and she and I like to go to the library and get short chapter books to read together and on our most recent trip we picked up The Hundred Dresses by

 Eleanor Estes  
We read it and at the end I asked her what the story was about. She told me the highlights and things that happened along the story then she said, "It's really about being nice to others even when they are different then you because everyone needs a friend." ---insert happy mama tears here--- "And that not saying something when someone else is mean is just as bad as being the mean one." By George she got it!! I'm so proud.  :)

So if you haven't picked up a book by Eleanor Estes you should. She has quite a few available and my daughters and I will certainly be checking out her other offerings. Here's a link:

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Desk

So my writing style has been cramped these last few days/weeks. I have been using a hand-me-down desk and it's gradually breaking. First it was the drawer underneath the top( usually holds the keyboard) but since I only use a lap top, it's ok to be gone. then a piece of the side drawer broke off but the pencils, pens, rulers, batteries didn't fall out so...still good-right. Now the drawer slides have broken completely off and the top drawer sits on the lower and they slide together. If I'm not careful when I open and close it the top drawer can fall off the back and I'm sitting under the desk picking up everything.

I want a new desk, and lucky for me, I actually kinda need one now. SO I have been looking over my options. I want something stylish but it has to be functional. I have a bunch of magazines, notebooks, and handouts etc.. that I like to have close by while I blog or work on books. I also really like office supplies and have quite a collection of pens, markers, a couple staplers, and note cards/sticky pads etc... so there needs to be plenty of drawer space.

I've looked though some internet ideas, what do you think? What do you use?


Friday Feature

Here are some throwbacks:

Def Leppard

Led Zeppelin

Deep Purple

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Author Spotlight

 Kristen Chandler

If you haven't yet read a book by Kristen get to it! I have had the opportunity to meet Kristen a few times and she's a welcoming, open person with an outgoing personality. The kind of person who can pick up a conversation with anyone, and has a great laugh.

Her books aren't the typical YA fare, The wolves are just that-wolves and in girls don't fly, it's true. They don't. So without the norm YA paranormal/fantasy thing how do they keep your attention?

They are well written, the pacing keeps you going and the characters are completely lovable. I like that you can tell she researches the topics and you actually learn a few things along the course of the story. They are clean reads which I can appreciate and recommend with out worry.
Click on the links to purchase her books, and to visit her website!