Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Time Together

I've been slacking on blog posts lately. As you know, I went on vacation to California - and it was great to escape the cold, snowy, inversion-laden valley here. On the flight home from Cali, I could feel a cold coming on, though I really hoped it was allergies. Alas, I woke the next morning with a horrible cold, then Christmas came, and with the busyness of the season and not feeling well, I've been neglectful.

I'm back now, and feeling better, so I wanted to take a minute to report on my fun time away. It was a great Christmas gift, being able to spend some time with my daughters.

Thrilled to be somewhere that required sunglasses - and looking very Hollywood at the same time!
At Santa Monica Pier
We spent a few days in the LA/Hollywood area, visiting Universal Studios, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theater, and taking a tour to be annoying tourists who gape at celebrities houses.

At Universal Studios

Gotta love Snow White!

Apparently thought it was important enough to photograph, but honestly can't tell you whose house this is.

Yup, never pass a chance to pose by a Tardis! It's the law.

We then drove to Anaheim to spend the remainder of our days at the Happiest Place on Earth - though from some of the crying and ornery people I saw, apparently they didn't receive the memo.

Greeted at the Paradise Pier hotel by Christmas carolers.

Found Doctor Who at Disneyland proving that it is indeed the happiest place on earth - for me, anyway! (And yes, it was raining, I don't just randomly wear raincoats. Okay, maybe sometimes, but not this day.)

Giant Mickey wreath - wish I could have fit it in my suitcase

Cars Land

Cars Land is something new at California Adventures since I last visited. Gotta admit I'm not a fan of the movie, but they did a great job with Cars Land. We went on one of the new rides, Radiator Springs Racers, and would probably have purchased this picture because it was our first time on it, but the man in the front of the car was the icing on the cake, making it required for us to purchase the photo.

How hilarious is this guy?
So you might wonder why I'm including a pic of a random bag of candy. This bag of candy saved us from a major medical issue in the form of a seizure. My daughter has type I diabetes, and this night we were leaving Disneyland quite late. As we walked through Downtown Disney, she suddenly stopped and asked to sit down. Her blood sugar had taken an unexpected dive, even though she'd just finished a large box of popcorn. Everything in Downtown Disney was closed, and there were very few people around. We, poorly planned, didn't have any quick sugar on us, since we were only about a ten minute walk from the hotel. My other daughter began running around, looking for help. She found a couple of young Disney workers who couldn't help other than one of them offering his bag of candy he happened to have in his jacket pocket. Thank heavens he did, because I don't know what we would have done, other than watch Lexcie have a diabetic seizure. Okay, honestly it wouldn't have gotten quite that dramatic since we did have a Glucagon shot on hand we could have injected her with, but since she was still conscious that seemed a little like overkill. I wish I knew the name of the guy who gave it to us, because we sure were grateful! Soon after, Lindsay spotted some cleaning people in a bakery and managed to get a bottle of orange juice from them - free, thank you to the bakery peeps - and we were able to avert the crisis.

Almost life-saving bag of candy
I'm very grateful for the chance I had to go to one of my favorite destinations, and for the time I was able to spend with my daughters. I hope you all had as blessed a Christmas as I did, and that you have the happiest new year!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Off to Sunshine!

Here in Utah we've been dumped on by snow, and frozen in by sub-freezing temperatures (I had ice on the inside of my car windows that I had to scrape in order to drive!). It's even cold and snowing in parts of the state that are traditionally warm year round, and so it's time to take myself off to sunnier climes. As of the posting of this, I should be on an airplane headed for the much warmer California (they've been 60-70°F to our 1-10°F, with the occasional warmth of maybe as much as 20°F).

This year has been . . . let's just say interesting. It began with complications from surgery that had me seriously questioning whether I was going to make it (or if I even wanted to) and has ended with me moving from my beloved home into a new place, where I currently reside amongst piles of boxes that feel like I'm living in my own personal episode of Hoarders. In the middle of those two things was a bunch of crap, some of it good, some of it bad. Kind of like a rollercoaster that has free-fall drops (I hate anything that free-falls though I love rollercoasters). Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful for all of my blessings. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, amazing kids, adorable dogs, wonderful friends, a loving extended family, faith and hope, a car that runs in spite of the freezing temperatures, and readers who make it possible for me to live the dream! I haven't been swamped by a tsunami or hurricane, or flattened by an earthquake, or burnt out by fire. So I'm not complaining loudly, only murmuring softly. And only for a minute because I am really, truly very blessed.

Yes, this is genuinely my house - the kitchen to be exact!

I decided that I deserve a vacation, and so do my daughters (who've had to go through a lot of the crap with me and have been supportive beyond what I hoped for), so our Christmas gift to ourselves is to head to Disneyland for a week. We'll spend a couple of days doing the Hollywood thing, but the bulk of our time will be spent doing the Mickey thing. So if my blog seems strangely silent, it's because I'm not here.

I hope all of you have a joyous holiday season, and that wherever you are you're with family and friends, and that you're basking in the glow of the Christmas spirit! See you soon.

Burned Cover Reveal

Liz Long stopped by the blog today to reveal the cover for her new book, Burned, due to be released Dec. 19th. So, here's Liz:

Thank you to the amazing authors and bloggers who volunteered to help with today's cover reveal. I am so excited to show off the cover for my new book - I've been dying to show it off! Made by the talented Caroline McKean, I hope you love it as much as I do (plus gets you a little worried about what's to come). Gifted, A Donovan Circus Novel is the first title in the series. Available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback, the ebook is currently on sale for only 99 cents to celebrate the upcoming release! (Where's Sheffield's ringmaster voice when I need it?) Now here it is, the cover reveal for Burned, A Donovan Circus Novel!


Burned, A Donovan Circus Novel Synopsis: “Tell Sheffield that Medved is hunting him…the Bear is coming.” Nearly a month after Lucy Sullivan saved the Donovan Circus from certain death, she discovers that Dr. Felix Hardy wasn’t the only bad guy around. When Lucy is attacked on home ground, Sheffield Donovan reveals that there are bigger foes in their world, gifted that use their powers to kill others – including her own family, as she learns from her ringmaster mentor. Medved, a Russian thug and powerful Shapeshifter, is intent on outing the gifted world and will stop at nothing to succeed. In order to survive, Lucy and her friends must travel to another show, the Grayson Circus, for help. The uneasy alliance with owner Albert Grayson comes with potential new friends and dark secrets about their competition, including a troublemaker named Mel and an old flame of Lucy’s father. Lucy must also contend with her feelings about Keegan and Gabriel, as well as learn how to contain her rampant emotions or risk setting the entire place ablaze. Will Lucy be able to save the Donovan Circus again? Or will Medved and his men slaughter everyone in their path on the way to gifted domination?

DSC_0089  About the Author: Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media editor includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA. Her first book, Gifted, is the first book in the Donovan Circus series. Her second book Witch Hearts, a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers, is available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback. To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Just in Time for Christmas: Enter to Win a Kindle Fire

December Kindle Fire   

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)   This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
      December Kindle Fire Giveaway #2 Sponsors
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Darker Passions
  4. Author Talia Jager
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  6. Kelly P's Blog
  7. Kelly's Lucky You
  8. LeahSay's Views
  9. Author Bella Street
  10. Author Bonnie Blythe
  11. Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  12. Blogging the Beloved
  13. Fae Books
  14. Author Kelli Beck
  15. Barb's Wire - eBooks & More
  16. MumbleBee Inc.
  17. MyLadyWeb: Women's History and Women Authors
  18. I Know That Book!
  20. The Reporter and the Girl
  21. My Story That I Like Best
  22. Jessica Loves Book
  23. Author Jennie Sherwin
  24. Candace's Book Blog
  25. Attack of the Books!
  26. Author Elizabeth Seckman
  27. Author Rosanne Rivers
  28. Author Carole Lanham
  29. Author Jennifer L. Weil
  30. The Real Bookshelves of Room 918
  31. Author David Pandolfe
  32. Author Georgina Young-Ellis
  33. Author C.J. Burright
  34. Author Derek Rempfer
  35. Book Crushin
  36. Laloba Press
  37. Author Louise Caiola
  38. Author Becky Monson
  39. Write Story Editing
  40. Bookworm Lisa
  41. Author John D. Mimms
  42. Author Heidi Garrett
  43. Stanley and Katrina Pet Authors
  44. Author Carol Davis Luce
  45. Author A. Wrighton
  46. The Late Bloomer's Book Blog
  47. Immortal Ink Publishing
  48. Circus of Lost Souls
  49. Author Inger Iversen
  50. Author Tracy Jorgensen
  51. Author Christy Hayes
  52. Author Lisa C. Temple
 Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7". Ends 1/1/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 6, 2013

Chasing June

One of my favorite authors has a new book releasing soon called Chasing June. It's currently on tour (as you can tell by the banner below) and today Shannen and the tour are kind enough to stop here to say hi.

June Laurie has it all-a budding career on the hit crime drama Forensic Faculty, a supportive and perfect boyfriend in her best friend Joseph Cleveland, and hopes of transferring her acting skills to the stage at college. But in a series of plot twists as dramatic as any Hollywood storyline, June's dreams dim with a heavy dose of grown-up reality. Once she starts school at BYU, June's days become filled with classes and the new challenge of dealing with jealous theatre majors who seem determined to give her the cold shoulder. Her happy plans for a future with "the one" take a turn, too, when Joseph dumps her to focus on preparing for his two-year LDS mission. Casting directors and the siren call of stardom beckon her back to California, while an old co-star appears on the scene to confuse things even more. Caught up in the drama of life-the type that has more intrigue, subplots, and unexpected romance than a murder mystery game-June starts to wonder if maybe her life's script might end with a grand finale she never saw coming.

My review: Chasing June is a great follow-up to Finding June, the first book in the series. June is as charming as ever, and Joseph is as wowzer as ever (is wowzer a word?). I will say Joseph made a lot of bone-head choices in this book that frustrated me, but Ryan swooped in to fill the swoon-worthy role of hero. I didn't much care for Ryan in the first book--no, that isn't right. I did care for him, I just wasn't weak-kneed over him. That changes in this book. Shannen does a great job of creating a realistic triangle that makes it hard for you to decide which team you're on. I thought I was firmly team Joseph, but now I'm wavering toward team Ryan. I'll decide after the third book! Great second novel in the series, and of course I always recommend anything by Shannen Crane Camp, and that goes for this book as well!

Add it to your shelf on Goodreads!

Join Shannen's fun Facebook Launch Party on December 14 with lots of fun games and giveaways (maybe even a book or two that may or may not have my name on the cover)

Chasing June is the second book in the June Series. Check out the first book, "Finding June" here. You can read my review of it here.

Shannen Crane Camp was born and raised in Southern California, where she developed a love of reading, writing, and anything having to do with film. After high school, she moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University, where she received a degree in Media Arts and found herself a husband in fellow California native Josh Camp. The two now live in either California or Utah... they still can't decide.
Shannen loves to hear from readers, so feel free to contact her at Shannencbooks@hotmail.com or visit her website for more information: http://shannencbooks.blogspot.com

Come check out the rest of the blog tour!

Enter to win a signed paperback copy of "Chasing June"!

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

        Chasing June by Shannen Crane Camp

          Chasing June

          by Shannen Crane Camp

            Giveaway ends December 08, 2013.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
      Enter to win

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Studio C

studio c tour 


Studio C

Seasons 1 and 2 of the hilarious BYUtv sketch comedy series, Studio C, featuring Whitney, Mallory, Jason, Matt, and the rest of the cast pulling out all the stops with two full seasons of enough rip-roaring hilarity to make you spit milk out of your nose. Travel back to the moment it all began and watch some of the very first Studio C sketches, plus two never-before-seen features! Includes popular episodes featuring
  • Presidential Shoulder Angel
  • Facebook Friends Song
  • Flirting Academy
  • Captain Literally
  • The Center for People That YouTube Made Infamous
  • Candy Land Character Conference
  • Bollyside
  • Dana’s Dead
  • And many more!
Special Features
  • Exclusive Feature: “Just Jeremy Date”
  • Exclusive Sketch: “Substitute Miss Frizzle”
  • Season 2 Outtakes
Studio C is a hit sketch comedy series that the whole family can enjoy. Like the popular TV show Saturday Night Live, the cast performs original sketches that parody American culture and the hilariously awkward moments of everyday life; but with a refreshingly wholesome yet hilarious spin. With their huge fan-base and increasing popularity, Studio C aims to produce clean, family-oriented comedy for a national audience.  

Purchase Amazon * Deseret Book


My review: I first heard about Studio C when someone posted one of their videos online, Classic Fight. I thought it was hilarious, so when the chance came up to participate in this blog tour, with the opportunity to watch seasons 1 & 2, I immediately signed up.

The shows are set up very much like Saturday Night Live, minus the celebrity guest host and musical guest, and with more humor--I think anyway. The sketches are hit and miss, but luckily enough they're more hit than miss. Even some that start slow by the end have me laughing. There weren't many that actually bored me from start to finish.

Some of my faves are: The Doorstep Part I, Stage Directions, Mafia, Awkward Funeral (just the moustache alone cracked me up), Google Translator, Sidious Says So, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Disney Vault (it explains why Pirates always seems to be shut down), and Spelling Bee (inner city version, hilarious).

Funny DVD you can share with your family, because the humor is clean.

Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/31/13