Thursday, August 28, 2014

Getting back to normal

School started Monday and although I have been waiting for our schedule to go back to "normal" it has been a rough adjustment. 8th grade apparently has LOADS of homework. Tons! My daughter was not prepared for that. Much reading is required and she is a slow reader. So far, she has kept up with her homework, but only because she skipped gymnastics last night. She is VERY stressed about keeping up her grades and is considering quitting gymnastics because that takes 16 hours a weeks of her time. She doesn't know when she can do her homework during the week if she has that mon, wed, fri, & sat. So, she thinks she has to take a break. It is not an easy decision. She loves it so much. But the demand for her time is equally stressful. Do you shoot for As or do less work sand settle for Bs and Cs? My daughter wants As.

In elementary school she didn't get As so she never gave much thought to the grades. In middle school she matured, got organized, and found that she COULD receive As if she applied herself. Almost straight As in fact. With that in mind, she has pushed for As as much as she can. This is not something I placed upon her, but something she wanted for herself. She knows that is she tries and only gets a B, that I am fine with it as long as she tries. But she, herself, wants to A. She knows it is possible. This year she is in Honors English, which has lots of reading and grammar. She sees how much work she will have to put in and knows she needs to make the decision to remain in gymnastics and give up sleep to do the homework, or give up gymnastics. My son functions on 5 hours of sleep, but my daughter does not.

To skips two classes a week is not really an option only because she will not develop the skills required for competition, she would only be slagging behind in the class. A large chunk of the years fees is due Friday. (Tomorrow.) I feel bad for her and we have talked about her decisions, but they are her divisions to make. I want to present the facts and help her think things through, but I will not demand she quit or she will resent it. If she stays in, then we will have to deal with it.

The other children…. My son is a senior. WOW! He is so grown up. He has Varsity soccer this fall. Graduates in June. We have college applications and everything to think about. I think he will do well if the girlfriend doesn't distract him too much. And my youngest, the 4th grader, LOVES school! She is very happy to go. Her homework is reading and she picked a book on bats. So, we are learning about bats.

My life….. Back to Normal? Maybe. The blog tour was insane. I don't think I've ever done that before. Nope. I don't think so. I believe The Cost of Loving had a small scale blog tour, but nothing like NAMES. I wrote different blog posts for Names Can Never Hurt Me because it was better to have unique posts than reiterate.

Blog Tour:

Joyfully Jay - August 4th - WHY THIS TITLE, WHY THIS BOOK? I talk about my inspiration for this book and how I wanted the readers to think about and consider how words or labels can hurt. I also have to point out that Joyfully Jay blew me away with a 5 star review. I DO NOT think they give 5 stars out easily. Sammy (the reviewer) really seemed to get my intent and I have never met her or talked to her. But still, she got me! If something just didn't rub you right about my book, read her review and maybe it will explain why. Just a thought.

Prism Book Alliance - August 7th - 10 "Interesting" Things About Wade Kelly. Are they interesting? IDK. You tell me.

The Blogger Girls - August 11th - A LONG TIME COMING. I talk about why this book took forever to get out there. But I also relate to the readers how it took Nick a long time to understand and realize that he was a bully in school by not standing up for those who needed defending. A bully by observation if not in action. Morgan gave me a 4.5 star review. Never Met Morgan but I am so happy she liked it! (This came out ON release day along with Jeff's review.)

Rainbow Book Reviews - Not exactly a "stop" in the blog tour, but Lena reviewed NAMES and at that point I think I only had two out there. Lena also does NOT give 5 stars lightly so I was truly excited to see she really liked my book.

The Smoocher's Voice - August 13 - Jodi interviews me about NAMES but also my other books and my inspiration for writing gay romance.

The Novel Approach - August 14th - Invoking an Emotional Response - YES, that's me! I want to push readers to FEEL. And apparently I did when Jackie reviewed the book and gave it 5 stars.

Jeff&Will - August 16 - Jeff is a friend and therefore came up with some interesting questions to do for an INTERVIEW! He also gave me a fabulous review! 5 stars. And tells readers I wrote a wonderful book and how much he enjoyed the internal dialogue of my character.

August 17th was a live Facebook chat which was interesting. Keeping up with questions and posts on a live chat "WALL" was very difficult. Unlike a "group chat", I had to refresh the screen every two seconds to even know someone left a comment. each response was in a different "NESTED" line and finding the commenter was a challenge. I did it! I chatted. But it was harder than I imagined it to be.

GGR Review - August 20th - Scott Burkett did an amazing review as well as hosting me as a guest blogger. Not only did he give NAMES 5 stars, but also mentioned how MY BOOK would be a good resource to young people who are trying to sort out their sexuality. He has a category on his blog for "Misfits" recommendations and I highly suggest you visit that page. (I own all those books so far.) In my guest blog spot I talk about POV and why I write in 1st and 3rd depending on the book. Scott liked how I wrote NAMES in 1st person so I talk about the challenges in doing that.

Multitasking Momma - August 22nd - I wrote about how I wrote about memories of my dad. Often, writing is the best way for me to get out how I feel about things. JP was kind enough to host me as a guest blogger AND give me a review! JP has loved my books int he past, but it wasn't guaranteed she'd like this one. Well, she did. :) Guest Blog post: I talked about. And her REVIEW came with a warning: Readers beware, you may fall in love with the unlikeliest of heroes.

Rainbow Gold Reviews - August 25th - Hosted me and I thought I'd talk about The Wade Kelly Special and my angst scale. The angst scale is very important for readers to know about because I tend to write all over the pain scale. I write funny books and I write serious books. NAMES is in the middle of the scale. Refer to it often when considering what you want to read next.

Tammy Middleton - August 26th - Tams hosted me on a stop, as well as reviewed my book. I talked about my inspiration to write and how I keep that "spark" going. Music is the key for me. I didn't know that Tams reviews for Portia De Moncur on MM Good Book Reviews. That was cool. I met Portia at GRL last year :) Again, another 5 stars.

Joyfully Jay - August 27th - Back to where I started with Jay! I talk about my blog tour experience as well as my CON experiences over the past year. GRL was where I began last year because it was my first con ever, and now I look forward to going there again in October.

All of these stops have different excerpts of NAMES and with each I relate it to the topic of the blog post. If you want to get to know me, I suggest hopping to each stop. PLUS, I had giveaways at most!

It may seem like all I get are 5 stars, well I don't.   5 stars (32)  |  4 stars (34)  |  3 stars (17)  |  2 stars (1)  |  1 star (3)  There are some who just don't like my writing and I am learning over time to let it go. People all have different opinions.


My routine was disrupted by the tour. And also by summer. I was driving my children all over creation and it seemed like this summer went by like a steam engine rolling downhill. (I may have used that description in a book, but not in this context.)

I am back on (part of the) track. I will push to write everyday. I know I need to. I almost don't know why I set goals as I never keep them. I strive hard to keep up the home life and the writer life, but often the "write" gets set aside. I came up with a new idea the other day and that helps elevate the stress of writing pain and angst. Funny is what people like so I need to do something fun every now and again. I'll release a blurb when the book has more than 700 words. ;)

Misplaced Affection is coming along slowly and I have the feeling I need to simplify the plot or it will not fly. We'll see.

I was considering Self-pub for a little while, but money is tight. It takes money (at least some) to pay for cover art and editing and creating the book. Right now, I don't see it happening. I guess I'll try not to worry too much until I actually have a finished novel to work with. I found an editor, but I would still need a graphic artist. IDK. Things for later. I need to write!


Names Can Never Hurt Me from Dreamspinner Press is currently #10 on their Best Seller List.
If you are going to GRL, you can PRE-ORDER paperbacks of any of my books and I will bring them to you in Chicago to sign :)  I have an updated the form HERE, but it only tells me what to bring not who ordered it. Sending a payment through Paypal with a note works best. I will message you back to let you know I got the payment and I know what to bring. Thanks to Jason and Lauren for sending me a note attached :) PAYPAL:   cost is $14.50 for any paperback of mine. See you in Chicago!


Previously I have hosted Sue BrownJeff AdamsGregory Payne Chris ShirleyTammy Middleton, and DS Kenn. Coming up on August 29- Stephen Del Mar.

If you are on TWITTER, come follow me :)

Over and out!

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