Friday, November 30, 2012

This Just In!!


Haley Fans! Good news!! I have decided to release the sequel to "You Heard It Here First" in serial installments. This second book is called, "This Just In!" (Gotta keep with the newsie theme.)

THIS JUST IN!
Haley McAdams has found the love of her life in Camden Morrison. She's landed her dream job and fame and fortune are hers for the taking. Her life reads like the perfect modern-day fairy tale. She's never been happier. 
But just as the starbursts and fairy dust begin to settle, the fireworks and explosions begin. Cam's career is on the line, and worse, Haley is starting to realize they may not want the same things from their relationship. Her best friend Jessica is about to lose everything, and Haley doesn't know how to help her.
Just when she thinks she has it all figured out, she finds herself back in the spotlight as scandals, pirates, and a kidnapping turn her life upside down. 
Is her life a fairy tale or a complete nightmare?
 

Each installment of the serial will be about 50-60 pages. Overall, the paperback book will be roughly 300 pages (which are 6x9, Verdana 9 pt, in case you are curious). The paperback won't be printed until the serials have all been published. I expect installments will come out every 3-4 weeks, and will cost $1.99 each.

What will be will be



I have deemed today a creative day. I may even deem the whole weekend a creative weekend! I have several projects in mind- a wreath, writing, a tulle princess skirt, and maybe even video editing.
After battling my now 10-day bout of bronchitis/pneumonia/worst respiratory infection in history/whatever it is, I am in dire need of getting out of the house, even if it is just to go pick up pine cones and random things in the wood.
Oh who are we kidding? I'm in dire need of just getting to see unfiltered daylight and not sitting by the phone wondering why it won't ring with GREAT news?
Maybe if I play the odds of Murphy's Laws and go spend lots of time away from the phone it will finally ring? Think that will work?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Buy the Book!




Just wanted to share a few of these exciting book reviews of "You Heard It Here First!" 

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This book was such a surprise for me! I had the opportunity to review it and so I took it, but because it was a political fiction - I didn't expect to love it as much as I truly did! Personally, politics have never been my thing - I leave that for my husband. But this book drew me in with its characters, plot, and moral values. I loved the strong, modern woman that Haley is and enjoyed the special looks into her character, her personality and into her thoughts. She just felt like a "real" woman - one that everyone can relate with. I loved the very likeable male character and their love story. I enjoyed the conversations, the adventures, the mysteries, and even the political situations in this story. Even in the midst of moving, I couldn't wait to pick it up at the end of the day to read. It was the perfect book full of romance, family values, independence, and living your dream.

You Heard it Here First is a well-written, engaging novel that left me wanting more and I can't wait to get my hands on more Haley Jo books! I sure hope another one comes soon!  

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Just finished reading You Heard It Here First by Erin McBride. I have spent the last week curled up with my ipad reading and I enjoyed every minute of it. The main character, Haley was so easy to relate to. I loved how she moved from secure in her skin to the typical woman questioning everything and everyone around her, sometimes on the turn of a dime. Something that all of us can relate to. I loved her personality, her desires, her quirks and her personality. Ms. McBride really brought her character to life. I love politics but have always been scared of the stock market. Ms. McBride made it seem fun and exciting. Perfect read during this political season. If you are looking for a fun, engaging read, pick this one up! 
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Perhaps it was the timing of the reading, or just plain good writing. Amidst the political ads, the drama of powerful people, or maybe just what I'm going through personally, I enjoyed this book.

The novel is based in Washington, DC and captured the dilemma anyone living and working in the DC metro area goes through as they navigate through the power, money, prestige and expectations that come with the territory.

Though it is clear that Haley is standing her moral ground, it is also clear she will have choices to make, more joys, more heartache and will ultimately grow into the big shoes she's created for herself in this story.

This helped me step back and re-assess what I am doing, where I am going and what trade offs I want (and don't want) to make going forward.

Thanks for sharing this special novel Erin! I couldn't put the iPad down, but will admit to skipping forward to ensure she was still with her man! (-:  
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What are you waiting for? Go buy  "You Heard It Here First!" on in paperback, or on Nook, and Kindle!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nanny Rocker


How just incredibly awesome is this? I am in love with it. I want to buy it even though I don't have a baby or any plans to have one in the near future. It's just perfect! It's called a Nanny Rocker. I saw it first on Facebook today and then looked it up on Amazon. Sadly, you can't actually buy the finished product. It's only the plans to build it yourself- which is incredibly sweet and romantic as well. But as someone with no wood-working skills nor tools, I would need to buy it finished. 
Isn't it just the sweetest thing??

Saturday, November 24, 2012

So not what the doctor ordered

This has not been the week I had planned.
It was supposed to be an exciting week with volunteering at the local rescue mission in my town, and going up to NY/NJ to do Hurricane Sandy relief work. Not to mention, being the ultimate hostess for some visiting relatives.
What happened instead?
The world's nastiest head cold, that's what happened.
2 boxes of Kleenex, 2 rolls of toilet paper, 1 bottle of NyQuil, 1 bottle of Mucinex, a bag of cough drops, more rounds of the neti pot than I can count, and 5 days later-
I am still sick.
I started on antibiotics for it this morning.
All I do is sit/sleep/stare vacantly at Netflix for about 2 hours, and then sit up for an hour, sit/sleep/stare for 2 hours, sit up for an hour.
I haven't left the house since Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. It's all a blur. I can't remember anything.
All I want at this point is to sleep through the night. Right now it feels like the impossible dream.
here's a video to entertain you -

Sunday, November 18, 2012

E36


A significant date came and went for me this past weekend.
Not a date that anyone else has ever been alerted to before.
It's the day I change my age over.
No, my birthday isn't for 2 more months (to the day to be exact). But the next two months fly by, what with the holidays and all, and suddenly it is my birthday, and boom, I'm a year older, but it still feels like we're back in Thanksgiving, just treading water, trying to get through the holidays.
And so, somewhere along the way, I just started to change my age the week the holiday madness begins.
No need to send birthday cards or gifts. Or to even acknowledge my age in general. But feel free not to look at me completely askance when I give an age you aren't familiar with.
Because this year I've decided to be 36.

Don't miss my new novel, "You Heard It Here First!" on Amazon, Nook, and Kindle!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

All this talk about Twinkies has me thinking...


Every year right around this time the thought occurs to me that I hate living in a place with all four seasons. 
Seriously, I hate being cold. I hate cold air. I hate wind. I hate sniffly noses. Which basically means I will go to great lengths for the next 6 months to avoid being outside. 
My parents are strongly suggesting I find a job in that sandbox of a country they live in. I've been fairly against it so far (lack of interesting jobs). But today, as I wrapped a scarf around my neck, put on Uggs, wore a big coat, and took my dog for a walk, just to get cold anyway, I thought, maybe my parents are on to something? After all, it never gets below 70 degrees there. Granted, it also gets up to 130 degrees, but I'm mostly okay with that. 
Honestly, I keep thinking I belong in Southeast Asia. I really miss that place. And you know what they don't have there? Wet, moldy leaves every where you look, messing with my allergies!
[insert long deep dramatic sigh here]
Really, I think I'd just be happy if I could find a good job. I don't care where it is, or if it gets cold there. I can always buy more blankets and socks, if I have a job. 
Be glad this post didn't find itself morphing into a colorful analogy about seasons and my life and job hunt. 
You're welcome. 
And here's a monkey I met in Cambodia for your entertainment. 


Don't miss my new novel, "You Heard It Here First!" on Amazon, Nook, and Kindle!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I love a good flash mob



You know I love a good flash mob, and this one might be my most favorite one ever, and all because of the very last second.
(even though I am really curious as to why and how Kaley Cuoco (Penny) ends up on the floor)




Don't miss my new novel, "You Heard It Here First!" on Amazon, Nook, and Kindle!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmastime is Here Again



I've picked up blogging at my "Cutting Back and Going Green" blog again. I will be sharing Christmas deals, recipes, gift ideas, popular product comparisons, and cost saving ideas throughout the holidays!

My first few posts-

And while I'm busy promoting myself-

Will the Energy Sector Improve in Obama's Second Term? You might be surprised. There's more than a few people who think we'll see the no-longer-campaigning-and-not-stuck-making-promises-to-financial-supporters- second term president be a little friendlier to the oil and energy industry.

And don't forget my novel, You Heard It Here First is only $2.99 on Kindle and Nook.  Autographed paperback copies are available for $7.99 plus shipping as well!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Choice and Accountability


I'm thinking a lot about accountability today, and have been for a while. All politics aside, we seem, as a nation, to be moving towards a belief that we should not be held accountable for our choices and actions. It starts with a sense of entitlement and grows into demands for non-accountability. 
I've been wondering where it begins - this idea that we shouldn't have to be responsible for the consequences of our own actions. I almost have convinced myself (with no studies or reports to back me up) that it begins all the way back in the sandbox with parents who blame other children for making their baby cry. And it continues on with the parents who blame the teacher or the school for their child's bad grades, instead of blaming the child and working with the child to improve his/her grades. 
I worry about the anti-bullying movement. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely against bullying. We need to combat it! But I worry how much of it is really bullying versus kids who aren't accepting the consequences of their own actions. Are we allowing kids to cry "Bully!" and blame other people, instead of teaching them to be accountable for their own choices and emotions? Shouldn't we ALSO be teaching them accountability for their choices and actions, instead of just pointing at the rest of the world and crying that no one loves us for who we are?
Growing up Mormon in a non-Mormon world meant getting teased, misunderstood, and mocked for my choices. I didn't cuss, drink, smoke, and I was the last one to understand all sexual references. Believe me when I say there was plenty of mean spirited teasing for my "choices." But until I had been teased or bullied for them, they weren't choices, they just a part of who I am/was. 
In fact most "choices" aren't really choices, but are just a part of what makes us inherently who we are, until the moment we have to answer someone else' demands or questions. For instance, responding to a bully, or standing up for what we believe in when taunted or teased. 
But we never hear of movements to empower individuals to stand up for themselves. Instead, there are more and more organizations empowering people to point a finger and blame others. There is a huge difference between empowering accountability and empowering demands. 
I feel this is all a result of storytelling and Hollywood. A good story requires a relate-able main character who faces a problem, and must make a decision in the face of conflict. The difference between fables and parables, is that in a fable the decision results in an exciting new adventure (brave new world) after the conflict is over. In a parable life resumes its regular course after the conflict. In movie-making and storytelling it is far easier to resolve a storyline with an exciting future, than it is to resume previous life and expect to appease the audience. 
Between the influence of storytelling making us believe that all conflicts should result in us getting our "brave new world," parents teaching entitlement, and this movement of pointing fingers and making demands, where are the lessons in accountability? 
 

Don't miss my new novel, "You Heard It Here First!" on Amazon, Nook, and Kindle!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I Will Keep the Faith


In my column yesterday ("Elections, Facebook, and the Throne of Thoughtless Stupor") I quoted Elder Neal A. Maxwell.  (For my non-Mormon friends, he was a much beloved leader in our Church who was known for not only his incredible knowledge and understanding of the scriptures, but his beautiful way with words. Check out this YouTube clip of him talking about Jesus Christ and the Universe. It's wonderful.)
“The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well.”

I have often turned to this quote when I question  what is the point of my life- under- or unemployed, single, no children, no spouse to share my life with, no one person to cherish and love me. And the world around me seems to make it impossible for me to succeed- bad economy, painfully low income, remote location, bad job market, etc. But this quote gives me hope (much more than any presidential candidate ever has). 

I said yesterday in my column, and I will try to say it again in my heart again today, that if the Lord can place a star over a stable, and that the placement of my life in this humanly orbit is no mistake, then I have no choice but to believe that something and someone as important as the President of the United States is not just the will of the people (because I must believe that all those people are here at this time and place as purposefully as my existence is), but the will of the Lord as well. 

And so even though I am heartbroken and sad, and felt that much of my personal opportunities and happiness were tied up in the results of this election, I will accept the results and move on. (And I will not cave in to the tendencies of so many to become a “doomsday prepper.”) I will wake up each day and remind myself that this is what the Lord wants and has allowed, and continue on with the belief that He will never leave me without opportunities and choice. 

It is my job to be happy and keep the faith no matter my circumstance. And if there is anything I have worked hard on these last 3 years it is finding joy in spite of difficulties. I will soldier on in God’s Army and choose to find joy, no matter what, and keep up my faith that the Lord will provide.

And one last quote-
“It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.” - President Gordon B. Hinckley

Don't miss my new novel, "You Heard It Here First!" on Amazon, Nook, and Kindle!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things



I found myself in the car, driving solo, for several hours today. I went up to Charlottesville for a singles activity/get-together at Monticello. I hadn't been to Monticello since I was a little girl. I have a very visual memory, and can often remember full scenes of my life when I re-enter a space I had been in once before. I was surprised that I remembered almost nothing of Monticello.
I really enjoyed the tour and learning more about the lifestyle in the late 1700s & early 1800s. I am currently deep into a historical fiction phase and this trip came at just the right time. (And just as I was in need of some socializing and meeting new people too.)
I am normally not a gift shop fan. I avoid them like the plague, but changed my mind today and spent some time in the very large shop at Monticello. I found some beautiful plates and other dishes (completely out of my price range) in there that I studied and admired for a few minutes. They were traditional Staffordshire plates, some blue, some red.
As I looked at them (the ones shown above are a mere $431), I remembered I own a lovely little Delft dish I purchased in Amsterdam several years ago.  (this isn't my exact bowl but it looks a lot like it)
It got me to thinking about my little bowl. I haven't seen it in a very long time because it is in storage in another state. I love that bowl. Why? Because it was one of the first true things I bought because it was my taste. Not because it was cheap, or matched a roommate's stuff, or was needed, or was on sale. No, I bought it because it's something I found to be beautiful. (I spent close to 30 Euro on it I think!)

As I looked at the Staffordshire dishes I started to wonder if I prefer Delft over Staffordshire? And then I asked myself if there was a reason I had to like one more than the other, or if I intended to be a purist and stay true to one style over another?

All of these thoughts led me to thinking about what it is I like. How many things do I have or things to do I because it was convenient, or someone else wanted to do it, or it was affordable? How often do I do something, buy something, etc because it is what I like?

I don't own any Christmas decorations. Why? Because I've always lived with roommates who had plenty of them. Or I was going to be traveling for Christmas, or I was unemployed and not about to spend money on something as trivial as holiday decor. Mostly it is because I almost always spend Christmas somewhere else, and not at my house, and I don't see the point in decorating just for me. As a result, I don't own any Christmas decorations.

Well, I didn't until today that is. I have very specific taste in Christmas decorations. Very specific. I also have very specific taste in what I do not like in holiday decorations. And today I officially purchased my first very own Christmas ornament. It only took me 37 years.

There are several things that I really enjoy that I almost never participate in or even talk to people about. Mostly it is because I don't know anyone with shared appreciations. For instance, I love, absolutely completely love gospel spiritual songs.


Alex Boye kills it in this rendition of "Rock a My Soul." This is the kind of song I absolutely love and adore to SING! Oh yes, I don't just love to listen to it. I absolutely freaking love singing old spirituals. I would absolutely give anything to sing in a true southern baptist style choir and do this kind of music. But you know what? I cannot stand it when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (a choir I greatly admire and respect) sings old spirituals. They are too big, too buttoned up, and too rehearsed and technical. Mostly it is their size that doesn't work. The whole point of old spirituals was to join in and add your voice to that of the leader's. A big formal choir can't let loose in a way that does the song justice.

So why don't I ever sing the styles of music I love? (The other style would be "pop standard.") because. It's just not a regular part of my life, and I don't have anyone to share it with. You know what else I love? Concert piano music. Twice I have been blessed with roommates who were gifted pianists. There was nothing I loved more than listening to them play. One was a concert performance major in school, and would rehearse at home about 3-4 hours a day. I would intentionally make sure I was home during her rehearsal time so I could sit in my room, with the door open, and do my own studying while she rehearsed.

I thought more about this today as I drove. What do I love? What are the things I truly enjoy? What are the things I do because it is just a part of my culture, family, friends, and I've come to like them or accept them, even if it isn't how I want to do them?

The list got long.

For instance, Thanksgiving. I've been joking around that I am going to boycott or skip Thanksgiving this year. And after my deep thoughts today I am even more convinced that I will skip it. Why? Because we will yet again be doing the thing I don't enjoy and bores me and I don't see the point. I don't need to travel to another town to see the people I see all the time already. I keep in touch with everyone already. I don't need to go to a big family event to talk to anyone. I talk to them plenty. I don't like having (literally) 50 little kids stampeding around. I don't like the food. And really, what is the point of Thanksgiving if the food isn't good? (It isn't that the food wasn't supposed to be good. It's that we all have to travel to get there, and there's only one microwave, and so the food is always cold, and never freshly prepared. And some families always arrive an hour late showing up with some side dish (cold) that would have been better had I not finished eating already.) And more than anything, I can't stand having a supposed close family event in a church in another town where there's no place to sit and get comfortable and have a good chat.

So you know what? I'm not going to do it.

You know I do like? Humanitarian work. I love service projects. That's what defines me. I love to do service projects. I've always wanted to do community service on Thanksgiving, but I've never had the chance because I always have to go to our big family stuff. But I've decided no more! It is time to start making my own traditions. I'm going to do what I want to do, instead of what is expected of me.

IMHO, the best Bond ever and one of the best Bond films ever. 

For the past few months I have been dating a really nice guy (although we are no longer dating). One of the things that drew me to him was our shared interests. We have several shared likes and interests in music, movies, politics, and some other areas as well. It was actually an uncanny number of shared interests. But I realized something today- we never shared them. We never did any of those things together and almost never talked about them either. I knew they were there, and I mentioned it to him once that we had a few things in common. But it was never really there. I am so accustomed to not sharing my preferences (both interactively or verbally) that it just never came up. I know he likes Bond movies, superhero movies, and a few other things that I love as well. If you know me well, you know I have an extensive collection of superhero t-shirts. I wear them all the time. He doesn't know that. I never wore them around him, and it just isn't something that comes up in conversation much. "Yeah, I have an awesome Incredible Hulk shirt, dude."

You know what very few people know about me? I freaking love Hitchcock movies and Doris Day movies. Oh and if you have ever been in my house (as in the house I decorated and called my own) you know I love musicals. (Most of my own home decor is Broadway and old Hollywood inspired.) And I absolutely love live music- particularly country music concerts. I need friends that share those hobbies with me, but I doubt anyone knows I even like them.

So this is my new decision. I'm doing what I love. Even if it means having to do a lot of it alone because I have no one to currently share it with. It probably means I will have to see "Skyfall" alone next week, because there's no one here to see it with. But I love movie premiere nights, and I love Bond, so I'm going to go alone. And I'm going to find a Christmas spiritual singalong and sing to my heart's content. I'd rather not do everything alone, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. And I'd rather do the things I love alone, than do nothing waiting to find someone to do it with.

And you know what I'm not going to do? Thanksgiving. And I'm not going to watch Hitchcock films at home by myself. Scares the living bejeezus out of me every time. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Support Riverkids and Fight Sex-Trafficking in Cambodia with just $10!

 Your donations will go to help these exact girls in this picture! Plus many more!

Can you donate $10?

Global Giving's going to split their huge Girl Effect fund — $450,000 raised last year — between 12 winning charities this November. And with a $10 donation, you can help Riverkids win.

We need to get at least 800 unique donors in November to win and completely fund our wonderful Get Ready for Girls in Cambodia. How are we going to do that? With your help!!

Can you donate $10 and then ask 10 friends to donate $10? 
Give Now

Tell them why you support Riverkids. (Read about my personal experiences with Riverkids!)

Tell them about living in slums in Cambodia where a girl has to choose between collecting trash on the streets or being sold to a bar, and school is a distant dream. (Break out your tissue box and read my first-hand account of meeting these girls and what their lives are really like.)


Tell them how their $10 will snowball into support for those girls to get a chance to go back to school or find safe jobs.

Tell them that you know their $10 will go to local grassroots work that gives practical help that works.

Tell them that more than sixty girls  have already graduated, and one of them, Sothea, is headed to university this year on a scholarship, the first in her family ever to even graduate high school!!!

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