Friday, August 30, 2013

Golden Leaf Finalist!

Yay!  I found out on Sunday, that my book, SCENT OF MAGIC is a finalist in the Golden Leaf award given by the New Jersey Romance Writers.  If the name sounds familiar, that is because I've won this award before for STORM GLASS and TOUCH OF POWER.

When I told my husband about this honor, he made a crack about not seeing the nomination on the news that night.  I didn't think it was funny.  I thought that was being rather jaded - "oh, just another nomination, no big deal"  type thing.  Well, I don't take anything for granted and to, me, being nominated or winning an award is still as exciting as it was when I first started publishing.

After 21 years of marriage, he picked up on my...disappointment in his reaction. (Yes, it took over 20 years to train him ;)  He brought me flowers and made me a card.  Except he couldn't remember the exact name of the award, just that it had something to do with nature.

Here's a picture of the flowers and card:

I like the sound of the Pink Daffodil award - I want to use it as a prize for something but I'm not sure what.  Any ideas?

And here's what the Golden Leaf looks like:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dabbling in Pictures

At times, I think of myself as a photographer.  My travel pictures have appeared in magazines along with my articles, but I'm still at the point and shoot stage.  I'd love to learn more and buy a nice DSLR camera, but that would require more time and passion that I'm willing to give at this point.  I've learned that I'm a dabbler in everything but writing.  Plus what I managed to do with my Nikon Coolpix has been fine for me.

Every year our small town hosts a fair and every year I've entered photos into the contests.  Some years I do great and win a few ribbons, other years nothing.  This year, I entered in these six photos.  One of them won first place and one of them earned third place.  If you're the first to pick/guess the right ones, I'll send you a set of the new editions of the GLASS books!  Please leave info so I can contact you.  Yes, it's open international and I'll leave it open until next Monday, September 2nd.

Central Park, New York City, Fall 2012
Entered in the Landscape category

Gorilla behind Glass at the NC zoo
Entered in the Animals category

Lily's Shadow - Walt Disney World
Entered in the Flowers/Plants category

Seashell on Duck, NC beach
Entered in the Still Life category

Grainy Face
Entered in the Any Other category

Wall of Mirrors, Walt Disney World
Entered in the Structures category

What do you think?  Which one won First Place and which won Third?  Leave a comment and enter the contest!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Playing in the Mud!

Yep, I'm a dirty girl ;)  On Saturday, I participated in the Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run - a 3.1 mile course with 12 obstacles and yes, I completed every obstacle no matter how gross. 

Why?  Good question.  My friend Kathy invited me, my daughter, and her friend to go. They immediately said yes (see - I didn't raise a girly girly!) and I said, "hell no."  Well...three against one - I was out numbered.  Actually, I changed my mind once I learned that it really isn't a race to the finish and I could walk the course if I so desired.  Plus this was more a fun run and a portion of the proceeds go to cancer research.  Win - Win (except for my sneakers).  The worst part - the time!  Our wave left at 9:00 am (the am stands for I AM usually asleep until noon).

Here's a before picture of our team the Madames of Mayhem.  Can you recognize me?

Our team, like most teams that participated, dressed alike - black tank top, black shorts (spandex because according to my friend, cotton would have adsorbed the water and been around our ankles by the end), bandana, grease paint (mayhem - remember?), and water guns.  Some teams went all out with pink tutus and rhinestone goggles - one team dressed as the characters from the Wizard of Oz. 

Here's a before picture of me with Jenna and Sam:

And here's a picture of a poster someone did for us! It was very lovely and we were thrilled - however no one knew who the dude who craves the Hawaiian pizza is!  Was it one of you?? I did mention our team name in a Facebook post.  If it was, THANK YOU - we felt very special!

With 300 people in a wave, it's hard to run at first - so we jogged and chatted.  I learned the best way to run in the mud is by digging your toes in and not pushing with your whole foot.  The first obstacle was an inflatable tire course - I tripped midway - too much forward momentum and legs that just wouldn't keep up! Good thing I just bounced right back up.

Most of the obstacles were easy/fun - ropes course, climb over a wall, climb up then bounce down this big inflatable pyramid (my favorite obstacle), climb up then slide down into a big mud puddle.  My least favorite obstacle was the tunnels - filled with water and mud, you had to belly crawl through them. Swimming through mud - not too bad, but being inside a small space not fun - I felt like Trella trapped in a water pipe (if you don't get this reference - go read INSIDE OUT).  There were two of these obstacles, but the second one was better because it had netting over the top. And despite being apprehensive I did them because I wanted to experience it, to get myself out of my comfort zone, and it's all fodder for my books!

Here are after pictures:

I learned a couple of things during the run.  I don't mind being covered head to toe with mud.  Crawling through the muck cuts up your knees and elbows. Sneakers filled with water, mud, and gravel are not comfortable and they weigh a ton. My friend, Kathy is crazy - she made mud angels and splashed in every puddle.  And it reaffirmed that when I do something that my first instinct is to say, "hell no" to - I end up having a blast!  Thanks to Kathy and Jenna for dragging me along.

If you've made it this far, then here's a little sneak peak into my new Study book - the first paragraph: "Ugh mud, Kiki said as she splashed through another puddle. The wet muck clung to her copper coat and dripped from her long tail. It packed into her hooves with each step."

And here's the link in case you want to be a Dirty Girl (sorry no men allowed to run - but you can come and cheer your ladies on!):

Monday, August 5, 2013

Winners announced + 6000 Likes giveaway!

Thanks for all the comments/entries about all my new covers!  I picked the four winners using a random number generator and the following people won:

Jessica from Connecticut
Stephanie from Canada
Brianna from South Carolina
Helene from France

Congrats to all!!

And for those who missed out this time, check my Facebook page. I'm doing another giveaway of 6 prize packs - the prize packs include one copy of the new cover of STORM GLASS, one copy of the new SEA GLASS, and one copy of STORM WATCHER.  Yup 3 books for 6 people.

Just FYI - I'm keeping an eye on the number of subscribers I have to my blog and it's getting close to 1000 - which would be another reason to celebrate :)