Action Kids Blog Tour Wrap Up

Good morning, everyone!

First of all, a big THANK YOU to everyone who took part of my blog tour, celebrating the release of my book, Action Kids’ Club. It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Even though this is the end of the tour, there are still six giveaways going on, so check them out if you get a chance!

Every comment you leave one of my blog tour posts until tomorrow at midnight (on this blog or one of the blogs that hosted me) will give you an entry to win this giveaway, check out the link for more details.

See the other giveaways here: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s ReviewsNayu’s Reading CornerBookworm Blather Writing in Wonderlandand on my blog, a $50 GiftCard

You also might want to check out the Action Kids blog and Action Kids Facebook for continuing fun, stories, trivia and games. 
And last, but certainly not least of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to all the blogs that hosted me during this tour! I really appreciate you.
I hope y’all have a great Saturday!  


A Silly Fascination

I have a silly fascination with hot air balloons. 
The “I don’t really want to study them and I’m fine never being in one, but it’s so much fun to talk about them as if I’m an experienced hot air balloon pilot and live in one” kind of fascination. 
Take for instance when I’m talking to my adopted dad on the phone. Pretty much if he asks what I’m doing or where I am, you can count on my answer being somewhere along the lines of “Oh, just floating around in my hot air balloon with Frank.” 
Frank, of course, is the 94 year-old guy who’s teaching me how to fly a hot air balloon. Ahem and Frank is just as real as me living in a hot air balloon is.

In October I went and stayed with my sister for a week. The last day I was there, there was a hot air balloon festival thingy going on. We decided to get all the children up and go watch the fun. 
It’s a loonnnngggg story, but we ended up in the field that all the balloons were flying over for a competition where they had to throw something onto a big target. 

That meant all the balloons were flying right over us. It was totally amazing. This picture (below) doesn’t show very well how close we were to the balloons, but let’s just say they could call down and talk to us and we could see their features quite clearly.

Being so close to the hot air balloons was way cooler than I had imagined it would be and greatly increased my delight in the colorful objects.

Some day I might just feature one of these contraptions in one of my books…

Have you ever taken a ride in a hot air balloon? Would you like to?

Today I’m guest posting and hosting a giveaway over at Nayu’s Reading Corner! I’d be delighted if y’all would check it out. 🙂 
And don’t forget to check out Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews and Writing In Wonderland to check out the giveaways I’m hosting there.

Plus, check out this post for your chance to win a $50 gift card and this post to see the prize for the quote puzzle and comments game. 
Find Action Kids’ Club here (e-version) and here (paperback).

Life, it’s Weird

Last night my family was sitting around doing various things but not necessarily with each other, so being the familish person that I am I decided to take my computer down and work on my projects while kinda hanging out with them. 
I had two bloggie author interviews to work on, some research to do and emails to send. Earlier in the day I had written and sent a guest post to a blogger, as well as updating my blog and spending a while working on my writing. 
It hit me again while sitting there. I am an author. Answering interview questions, promoting my book and doing research is all part of my job. I get paid to sit for hours behind my computer and move my fingers in weird patterns to convert my thoughts into little black lines on the screen in front of me. 
My life is so weird. 
What about you? What do you fill your days with? Do you sometimes sit back and view your life with a little bit of shock, like How in the world did I get here?? It’s crazy how we can end up right where we wanted to be and still find it amazing and weird and wonderful and strange. 
This book launch didn’t go quite the way I was expecting it to and it’s been kinda hard on me. I knew one of my problems was that I wasn’t stepping back so I could see the big picture. During the early years of being a writer it seems like so much of your time, energy, resourses and life is spent pouring into a project without much payback, but that’s ok. It’s a learning curve. It’s the compound effect. Some day everything with catch up with me and I’ll see the difference these years made. 
For now though? For now I’m working on being delighted with the life I get to live each day. I’m striving to be ok with not having the results I dreamed of. I’m working on being content with a slow process. It’s been good for me. 
Life isn’t all about arriving at a certain milestone. Life is a road, a journey. I sometimes forget that. Today I’m remembering it. 

Today I’m posting over at Bookworm Blather where I’m giving away a copy of one of John Maxwell’s books. The book is great, y’all should really check it out. 🙂

Also, don’t forget to check out my giveaway at Writing In Wonderland and check out this post for your chance to win a $50 gift card and this post to see the prize for the quote puzzle and comments game.

Find Action Kids’ Club here (e-version) and here (paperback).

Giveaway and Music Contest

Happy Monday, Everyone! I thought I’d start off y’alls week by giving you the chance to win one of these wonderful Action Kids Deluxe Packages! Looks fun, right? Check out this blog to see how you can enter the giveaway. (I’m giving away three of them, so y’all have more chances to win. 🙂 Please note: Not all three of the giveaways will be exactly the same. 

And because it is Monday and common hearsay says that some people don’t find quite as much pleasure in Mondays as I do (a whole week to look forward to and make differences in and accomplish goals!), I decided to share another spectacular thingy-majing with you. Well, maybe Monday’s only part of the reason I’m sharing it with you. 

Enter The Greg Howlett Studio Recording Contest. 

Every year Greg Howlett hosts a music contest and then lets the public vote for the winner out of the top ten entries. A really good family friend of ours, Aaron Smith, is one of the finalists with his beautiful piece, Celtic Joy.

Aaron shared Celtic Joy with us a while ago ands since then I’ve enjoyed hours of listening to it while writing. Now you get the chance to listen to it as well, and, if you feel so inclined, to vote for him. Listen to all the entries (and vote!) here.

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Check out this post for your chance to win a $50 gift card and this post to see the prize for the quote puzzle and comments game. We have another giveaway going on hereFind Action Kids’ Club here (e-version) and here (paperback). 

Oh, oh, oh! One more thing before I go! I just looked up to see beautiful, big snowflakes coming down. Happy, happy Day! 

Thanksgiving

Today part of our family is celebrating Thanksgiving, so I thought I’d share a list of ten things I’m thankful for, in a random order, of course.

1. My writing. Despite all the frustrations, stress and heartache that goes into being an author, I’m thrilled that I get to be one and I’m very thankful for the opportunity.

2. My family. Seriously, I have the best family. I’m actually quite privileged to have two families and both of them are top-notch. I can’t imagine life without them. They encourage me, make me laugh, inspire me and love me no matter what.

3. Living out in the country. I can’t imagine living in a city or town. I’m a country girl through and through. I’m so very thankful that my parents decided to raise us kids where hay fields and woods go as far as the eye can see.

4. All the opportunities I’ve had this year. Not only have I gotten to do some pretty amazing things at home such as publish a book, move to our house we built and be the maid of honor in my wonderful friend’s wedding and but I’ve also spent four months travel through Asia, Europe and the States.

5. Friends. Friends. What can I say? They’re amazing. They are so good at encouraging me at just the right moments. I get notes, texts, emails and voxes letting me know they’re thinking of me. They are something I’m very thankful for.

6. Blogging. Blogging inspires me. It helps me to connect with other people. It provides an instant outlet for my writing. Blogging is one of my favorite things to do. I’m so very thankful to be a blogger.

7. My Office and Library. Let’s just say they’re everything I dreamed of. I feel incredibly special and happy and privileged when I think that this is my workspace that envisioned and then with the help of my parents made into a reality. Such a wonderful writing environment.

8. The Bible on audio. Despite loving to read, I’m an audio learner and listening to the Bible is wonderful. I get so many thoughts that I haven’t ever got while reading the Bible. I feel as if I know the people in the Bible personally. I can relate to them. The Bible has become so much more real to me during the last few years when I’ve listened to the audio over and over again.

9. Candles. I know some people might consider this a small thing, but we weren’t able to have candles at our old house, so moving and being able to have candles burning is something I do not take for granted.

10. Books. Books are wonderful, helpful, interesting, entertaining little things. I’m very thankful to have them in my life. Both for reading and writing.

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Today I’m posting over at Sam’s Blog, so if you get a chance, you should really check it out!

And don’t forget to check back over at Writings of Rosie to enter the giveaway I’m hosting on her blog. 

Check out this post for your chance to win a $50 gift card and this post to see the prize for the quote puzzle and comments game. 

Find Action Kids’ Club here (e-version) and here (paperback). 

Being an Author

Being an author isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 
Being a writer rocks. 
Being an author though? That can be hard at times. Really hard. It takes perseverance. It takes tenacity. It takes discipline. It takes someone who is strong. Someone who is willing to go through round after round of rejection and still bounce back, ready to run again. It takes someone who can handle failure and grow from it. It takes someone who realizes that it’s a process and processes take time. 
Sometimes I forget those things and I stumble and fall. 
Sometimes being an author is scary. Sometimes being an author can be like getting punched and not really knowing why. Sometimes being an author is pouring years of your life into a book and not knowing how the readers will respond to it. Sometimes being an author seems like way to much work and heartache. 
Then I remember these things and I rise up, clambering over the defeat to run at it again…
Being an author is a way to influence the world. It’s a way to entertain, motivate and inspire. It’s a way to open a new world for my readers. It’s a way to multiple my life because through my books I can reach far more people than I ever could on my own. 
Being an author means I will have books that outlast my stay here on earth. It means I can help others learn about the love of reading. It means that someday I’ll have kids reading until they can hardly keep their eyes open at night because they have to see what happens next. It means that good friends will come along side me, encouraging me, urging me to keep going. 
Being an author means I’ve crossed the world from being a reader, to having people be able to read about my own world and thoughts. It means children will have a better chance at a successful life. It means I’ve stayed the course, I’ve been dedicated, I’ve taken the leap and worked to make my dreams come true. 
Being an author isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But it’s more. More than mets the eye. More than non-authors will understand. More than I ever imagined. It’s a deep, crazy journey that’s well worth it. 
I am, and always will be, an author. 

Today I’m posting over at Writings of Rosie! Check it out and enter the giveaway on her blog for your chance to win that ^ fun giveaway!

Check out this post for your chance to win a $50 gift card and this post to see the prize for the quote puzzle and comments game. Find Action Kids’ Club here (e-version) and here (paperback). 

The Cape

I dreamed last night that I owed Amazon $70,000 for books that I’ve bought in the last 14 years. It was a traumatic experience as I tried to figure out how many years of complete income it would take me to pay it back. Ahem. I guess maybe I should cut back on how many books I buy. I was quite happy to wake up and realize that I won’t actually be in debt for the next twenty or so years.

Today my sister, Helena, and one of our friends gave me this beautiful purple cape to celebrate the release of Action Kids’ Club! It’s so wonderful and happyish to know that my family believes in me and stands behind me and thinks I’m amazing. 🙂 

In the short few hours since this delightful gift was bestowed up on me, I’ve discovered I can also wear it on top of my skirt which leaves me with all kinds of sparkles. You can’t tell from the picture, but my shirt sparkles, and the cape sparkles, and I’m wearing sparkly socks. It’s just a sparkly kind of day. I’ve been wearing sparkly socks since the day my book was released and I plan on doing it until the blog tour is over. It makes life happier. 

By the way, I’m posting over at Apassionata today which is my illustrator’s blog! Check it out and find out more about her through the interview we did. 
 
Check out this post for your chance to win a $50 gift card and this post to see the prize for the quote puzzle and comments game. You can get more entry points each day. 🙂 

And, last but not least of all, find Action Kids’ Club here (e-version) and here (paperback)!