Monday, April 24, 2017

Let Me Tell You A Story & #AtoZChallenge 2017 & Tomatoes On The Way!

Let me Tell You A Story about my movie cast for Double Negative. This is my last post about this movie cast, so here's one more character from the story, and I loved casting him.

Mathew McConaughey

Jimmy, Hutch's dad, isn't a bad guy, he's just disillusioned by the cards he's been dealt. When he realizes he can actually do something to help his son, he does. 

Meet Jimmy!

So what’re we gonna do about this school thing, Hutch?” Dad’s “thing” still comes out “thang” even after twenty years living away from Texas.
When I answer him, I’ve already picked up that sound and Texas is in my voice, too. “I guess I’ll have to stop ditching?”
"You get to Kranski’s office and talk over the problem. If he wants a conversation, you best give him one, son.” 

Double Negative

I'm really enjoying stopping in at different blogs and seeing what they're posting for this year's A to Z. Here's one that caught my attention, 55 Word Crime Stories. It's very clever. Take a look. And if you like movies as well as the alphabet, by all means, visit BB Creations.

Tomato Report: It's happening. Just look at all that potential. There's a metaphor circling my cerebral cortex and I'm oh so tempted to break into metaphor right now. But I'll spare you that. . .for today.

Quote of the Week: “Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.” – Alice May Brock (I confess I know her not at all.)

In Double Negative some people get a second chance. Do you believe in giving second chances? Are you stopping by some A to Z bloggers and saying hi? Do I have you primed for a tomato feast? And who is Alice May Brock? 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Let Me Tell You A Story & #AtoZChallenge 2017 & Those Tomatoes!

Let me Tell You A Story about. . .my movie cast for Double Negative. For a few weeks I'll be sharing my cast and a bit about them.

Amy Schumer

Casting Nyla and Maggie was challenging. I imagined them as strong, unique females characters.  

Here's a Nyla line after one of the "mean girls" tries to embarrass her in class: 

“I would take the time to tell you exactly how inane, how deplorably bad your taste and sense of propriety are, but since you do not have the capacity for processing more than a single syllable or a single idea at a time, I won’t waste my breath.”

 Yay for Nyla!

Maggie was a joy to create. Smart, feisty, 70, and now facing a final challenge in her life. While writing this story I wondered who was saving whom. Was Maggie saving Hutch or Hutch saving Maggie? Here's Maggie as I imagined her, and one short scene where she's describing her appointment with a psychiatrist. 

“Oh, he meant well, but that last question made me snap. ‘Who’s the president?’” 
“Uh oh.” The priest leans back in his chair, his hands behind his head. “And you told him, right?”
“You bet. A tax and spend liberal who shouldn’t be licensed to drive a car let alone run a country. That’s who.” 
Heather’s rubbing her eyes.
“Of course, then I backed up because I realized this kid had voted for him.” She turns to her daughter. “I gave him the answer, Heather.”

One Reviewer Says: "I really loved Nyla and Maggie. They're very different, but both brilliant and—in Maggie’s case—hysterical, and I am literally sitting here at my computer grinning just thinking about them."

Double Negative

Here are a couple more #AtoZ Challengers that I'm enjoying from the sidelines this year. Give them a visit, and you won't be disappointed. The theme here is Materials in Mythology and Speculative Fiction, so if you're a sci-fi reader, this one's for you! And if you want some Speculative Fiction with a Telepathic twist, visit J. Lennie Dorner on his daily post from A to Z.

Tomato Report: They've been moved to the sunnier greenhouse and soaking up the rays of this April.

Quote of the Week: This meme says it all!

Do you like to read about feisty female characters regardless of their age? Are you visiting some interesting A to Z blogs this year? Are you at all passionate about garden-fresh tomatoes?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Let Me Tell You A Story & #AtoZChallenge 2017 & Tomatoes?

Let me Tell You A Story about. . .after the fun of seeing Double Negative in print, I decided to have some more fun and create a movie cast for my characters. For a few weeks I'll be sharing my cast and bit about them. 

Brant Daugherty

The MC was easy. Brant Daugherty's the perfect Hutchison McQueen. He's a bright kid who's virtually illiterate and living in home where he's either abused or ignored. 

Here's the first time you meet Hutch.

 Kranski’s office might as well be home. I spend more time with him than I do with Dee Dee, and for good reason: the principal’s friendlier than my mom. 

Double Negative


I have Winners to Announce: 
Rachel, Cassey, Laurel, Katy, Katie, Theresa
Their books are on the way!

While I didn't take the challenge this year, I have been visiting some bloggers who did. Here's someone I just discovered and enjoyed a lot. You might want to give Chris Votey a visit. His theme is great fun. Don't miss Hilary's posts. As always they're the best and D will have you in stitches. Ducks do that!

And about those tomatoes! I'm going to start my Monday Tomato Report. I never plot my books, but each year I plot how I'm going to have the juciest, the freshest, the most amazing tomatoes on the planet. And this year, I'm going to share that progress with you.

SEEDS from Tomato Bob! 

Yes, there is a Tomato Bob, and each year I order my hybrid seeds from him. He sends me a cheery note and these delicate little packets of potential. Then in February I plant all of that potential in loamy soil and set them in the greenhouse.

Here are my little greenhouse darlings in March!

Quote of the Week: "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad." Brian O'Driscoll, Irish Athlete

Does Hutch get to you with this beginning? Are you doing or following others on the A to Z Challenge? Do you wait all year for the perfect tomato? 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#IWSG Peeps. . .Why Tackle the Alphabet in April?

#YASH is still on until 4/9 NOON. Check out the hundreds of books to win!

Sign Up!
Thank you Alex J. Cavanaugh

The question is optional! 

April 5 Question: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

The awesome co-hosts for the April 5 posting of the IWSG will be Christopher D. Votey, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!

Sign Up!

I can't even remember how or why I started doing the A to Z Challenge. What attracted me to it was all of the fascinating themes people chose. I learned so much that I had to repeat the experience for several years in a row. Not only did I learn from others, but I learned a lot about the theme I chose. I'm missing it this year, but I hope to be back in 2018. 

As to the second part of this question, I'd say the results were that I connected with a lot people who in turn connected me with others. 

Learning new things and connecting with others are two reasons I keep coming back for a month of alphabetizing.

How's everyone doing on the Insecure front these days? Are you doing the A to Z Challenge 2017? Why? Why not?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It's #YASH Time Again!

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes!  But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours! 

April 4, Noon-April 9, Noon

There are FIVE contests going on: 1. BLUE Team 2. RED team 3. GOLD team 4. PINK team 5. PURPLE team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

You can enter one or all! As you can tell, I'm a part of the BLUE TEAM.

To enter, you need to know what my favorite number is. Being number 2 has never appealed to me, so I try to win all the time. Now add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the BLUE TEAM and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize! 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 9, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Today I'm so lucky to be featuring Printip Dunn. She's giving us a very special treat by letting us read the beginning of her new novel, Girl on the Verge. And her sample is great! So here's Pintip Dunn.

I am so excited to share the never-before-seen beginning of my new novel, GIRL ON THE VERGE, which releases on June 27! Hope you enjoy! Printip Dunn

A fish swims beneath the open staircase in my Khun Yai’s house. A real live fish, with its translucent fins fluttering in the water, its belly gold-scaled and bloated from regular feedings. 

If I part my knees, I can catch long glimpses of its lazy swimming through the gap in the stairs. 

Of course, I’m not supposed to part my knees. It’s not ladylike for a twelve-year-old girl, not here, not in Thailand. The land where my parents grew up; the place that’s supposed to be my home, too. That’s what the banner said when my relatives came to pick us up at the airport. “Welcome home, Kanchana.”

Never mind that I only come to Thailand every couple years. 

Never mind that I don’t look like anyone else here, with my American build and my frizzy, out-of-control hair. Never mind that I don’t look like anyone in my hometown, either, since I’m the only Asian girl in school. Never mind that the only reason we’re here now is because my father’s dead and my mom can’t keep it together. 

For a moment, pain lances through me, so sharp and severe that it might as well slice my heart in half, like in one of those video games my friends like to play. I squeeze my eyes shut, but that doesn’t keep the tears from spilling out. Neither do the glasses sliding down my nose. And so the tears drip down, down, down, past my unladylike knees, through the gap in the stairs, into the fish basin below.

The drops scare the fish, who swims away with its tail swishing in the water, no longer languid, no longer lazy. So, even this creature wants to get away from me—from my grief, from my strangeness—as quickly as possible. 

“There you are, luk lak,” Khun Yai says in Thai, coming down the stairs. She is my mother’s mother, and since we arrived, she’s used the endearment—child that I love—more often than my name. 

“You’re up early.” She pats her forehead with a handkerchief. It’s only seven a.m., and already sweat drenches my skin like I’ve taken a dip in the basin. No wonder they take two or three showers a day here.

“Couldn’t sleep. Jet lag.” 

“I’ve been up for a couple hours myself.” She eases onto the step next to me, her knees pressed together, her legs folded demurely to one side.

Immediately, I try to rearrange my body to look like hers and then give up. My legs just don’t go that way. 

“What do you want to do today?” Khun Yai asks. “More shopping?” 

“Um, no thanks.” I make a face. “Didn’t you hear those salesgirls at Siam Square yesterday? They rushed up as soon as we entered and said they didn’t have anything in my size.” My cheeks still burn when I think about their haughty expressions. 
She sighs. “The clothes there are just ridiculously small. We’ll go to the mall today. They should have something that will fit you.”

I stare at her diminutive frame and her chopstick legs. “One of the salesgirls asked how much I weighed. Another grabbed my arm and said I felt like a side pillow.”

“They didn’t mean any harm. It is just the Thai way to be blunt.” She catches my chin and tilts up my face. “You are so beautiful. I wish you could see that.”

I could say so many things. I could tell her that I’m ugly not only in Thailand but also in the United States. Even though I’m not big by American standards—far from it—I could confess how the boys call me Squinty. How those Thai salesgirls snickered at my poodle-fuzz hair. I could explain how I’m from two worlds but fit in neither.

But I don’t. Because my words will only make her sad, and there have been enough tears in our family.

Connect with this author!

NOW, because it's spring and because this is a special week on The Write Game, I'm offering up three eBooks of Double Negative and three eBooks of Sudden Secrets.

And if you haven't already joined me on my website, you can get an instant gift by signing up HERE

CONTINUE THE HUNT. . .To keep going on your quest, you need to check out the next author! Tobie Easton. And please let me know in your comments what you think of this hunt. Is it something you'd participate in if you wrote YA? 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Alert! Busy Week Ahead

I started blogging only on Mondays a while back to save my sanity and get a few other things done, like, write some books and talk to my friends and family more frequently. It worked. But this week I'm doing a bit extra and I'll be posting about a special event on Tuesday! So I hope you'll give me another look--NOON TOMORROW. 

From April 4, Noon to April 9, Noon

This is my second year to participate in the #YASH. It's short. It's fun and there are tons of free YA books. I'm on the BLUE TEAM! A perfect color for the book I'll be giving away (first cover, top left), don't you think?

Hope you'll check in tomorrow, enter to win, and perhaps meet some other bloggers/writers that you might not otherwise.

Meanwhile, don't forget to sign up for #ISWG Book Club on Goodreads! We're reading Chapter After Chapter, so don't miss the discussion.

Get your #IWSGPit Pitch ready. There's going to be tons of opportunity to show agents and publishers your work.

Will you enter the #YASH to win a few books? Will I see you at the #IWSG Book Club? How about the Pitch Party? 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Cookies and Milk for all #A to Z Challenge Peeps

Join Up

I can't do the A to Z this year, but here are some cookies and milk for you guys who are. Oh, and some encouraging pep talks.