Sunday, August 21, 2011

Anchors Away My Friends....

Anchors Away. I am on my way to Alaska via Vancouver Canada and a cruise on Disney's ship THE Wonder. While the weather report is sketchy... 50 ish and drizzle predicted, it will not deter me from my mission.

1. To have a relaxing fun time with all the family members going along. There are 11 of us, aunts, uncles, sisters, our son, and my mom ( grandma to my son) . It is family history in the making, a trip that could never be repeated.

2. To see nature at it's best, looking to see whales, bear, or a moose or two... Do I get a refund if I don't see an animal of my choice?

3. To research for a children's book, a historical children's article, and both financial and environmental tidbits from this state.

4. To capture the entire thing in as many fabulous photos as I can for scrap booking, article additions, and sharing with those who can't be there.

AND for number 5 on my mission list. To visit every quilt shop at every port to collect flannels from Alaska for quilting and pillow cases. Flannel pillow cases make the best gifts for those dealing with an illness because of their softness and comfort.

Stay tuned for the research tidbits and writing accomplishments I make on this trip. Until the next time I get Internet service....anchors away my friends. Happy writing.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Learning From Everything You Read: Tips for New Writers

There is a distinct advantage to being an expert in one genre as an author. You know your subject and you know your target audience. You get your groove on and you can produce work that sells. But what if you get in a rut and draw a blank? What if your writing is no longer fresh and your characters are flat?  Maybe you really don't want to be an expert in this genre and you want to know what else you can do with words. Here are a few tips to spring board your writing back to where you want it to be.

  • Read outside your comfort zone. Reading something entirely new will give you a different perspective on character development, setting a scene, and moving the action forward. Take note on what types of books get your heart pumping and your mind spinning with ideas again.
  • Start a journal with feelings and ideas about your new areas of interest. Investigate publishers in those areas and search out possible targets for your new ideas.
  • Practice. Research a new topic and write a short piece for an online directory where you can gather feedback on your writing.
  • Don't abandon your successful genre just yet but slowly develop your new writing arena while you are still recognized in your old one. The two will mesh by networking and getting known in both arenas.
  • Experiment with your writing and find what fits and feels right. You will know it when it happens. You will start asking yourself " Why haven't I been doing this all along?" or " This is what I love" or some other ah ha statement will present itself.
The most important thing in finding what it is you want to write is this. Just write. The more you write the better you will become. Then read. Read everything without judgement. Take from each piece some tidbit of wisdom to add to your writing knowledge and leave what you don't like behind. You do not have to love a piece of writing or love an author to learn something that will improve your own writing. Everything you read and all of your writing is a learning experience that can help you grow as an author.

Finally, enjoy the process. The blessing about being a writer is the joy of the process. Like an eagle, spread your wings and fly.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guest Post by Emery Phoenix, a character from the book ARSON by Estevan Vega

Welcome to the book tour of  YA author Estevan Vega. The new book titled Arson is a YA coming of age novel with threads of supernatural suspense. One of the characters you will get to know from the novel is Emery Phoenix. Whether you are a reader, parent, teacher, or writer Emery is here to grab at your heart and tell her story.

This Is Not a Freakin’ Diary

By Emery Phoenix, super-awesome, rocker chick from Estevan Vega’s ARSON and the upcoming ASHES

I freakin’ hate diaries, so don’t think this is gonna be all woe-is-me, where’s my guy, I’m still waiting for that full chest that bimbo’s seem to be born with, kind of thing. Because it’s not. I’m not your dear diary, Bridget Jones, blah-blah-blah scribe, okay? But if you promise not to stare at my mask, I’ll tell you a little bit about the girl who’s underneath it.

I was born in Massachusetts. At least, I think I was. The rents move us around so godawful much, it’s easy to lose track where you came from. Well, not the rents. Dad. He’s the Bible-toting, good news preacher who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, so he turned to Jesus and the bottle. I know, cliché, right? Whatever. Dad’s the reason we moved; Mom’s the reason I have sharp pains in my back. She’s the thorn in my side, and I don’t even think she means to be. But then again, she’s not all Betty Homemaker perfect. Far from it. Dad’s got his issues, but so does Mom.

I suppose you want to hear how they got married, the romance and the blind date, how they both practically had no other options, but we’re not going there. Okay, that last part was a tad cynical, but maybe I have my reasons. And maybe, just maybe, a bit of Arson is rubbing off on me. Oh my gosh, he’s so cool. So chill. So not like me. And totally unlike any other guy I’ve ever met. But more on him later. For now, you’re stuck with dear old Dad and fake smile Mom. Fast forward through all the murky crap of their early years, all the times Dad moved us because he switched churches, or because of my face. The reasons soon lost meaning. Truth was, I never really had much of a home. Guess I’m a little like Mom after all. Anyway, Mom’s a nurse. I guess she’s good at her job. Though she’s spending an awful lot of time with her boss, Carlos Pena. He’s one of those douchebag’s who sounds like Antonio Banderas or something. And I got bets that it’s a phony accent too. Seriously. No one looks that suave and talks that smoothly and just so happens to have an accent that pierces like that. I mean, c’mon, who writes this junk?

So back to the fast forward part. Sorry, I get a little ADD sometimes. After moving a bazillion times, we’re now stuck, right before my senior year kick-off, in East Hampton, Connecticut. The place is kind of boring, if you ask me. Not a lot to do except stare at a creepy lake. On the plus I got this alien neighbor. Sorry, Arson. Mom thinks he’s probably an alien, though. That’s because she doesn’t know a thing about him. She doesn’t know him like I do. Wait, come to think of it, I don’t really know him. But I am sure of one thing: I like him. At least, I think I like him. Aw, screw it, I friggin’ really, definitely like him. I wonder if he likes the same kind of rock music as I do. Call me a chicken, but I haven’t felt brave enough to tackle all the traditional relationship qualification questions just yet. The politics, religion, do-you-dig-hard rock music convo hasn’t exactly presented itself, so you can see my hesitation. I like the way his hair frowns down over his eyes, though, no questions necessary. I like his skinny arms. I like the way he always sort of shrugs, like he’s never really sure of things. A little like me. I hope he can get past my dysfunctional family. After all, I’m willing to look past his psycho grandmother. Well, maybe she’s not psycho. I mean, technically, I haven’t seen her go all Norman Bates on anybody, but who answers their front door in their birthday suit? That’s right. Butt-stinkin’ naked, saggy parts and all. A real looker. I think I’m still having nightmares.

Crap, it’s getting late. You’re probably sick of me droning on and on about my crummy life. Pretty boring, huh? Well, forgive me, we don’t all live on Gossip Girl. Screw it. Half those sluts should be wearing my mask anyway, and that’s not an overstatement. I mean, most chicks in society hide behind thick gobs of makeup. I feel more normal in a mask. Forget I said anything. I usually don’t get this personal or this hostile, but it’s almost 2 a.m. If you get a chance, check out ARSON, not the kid, the book. Geez, he doesn’t need another stalker. I mean, crap, that’s not what I meant. I’m not a stalker. I just kinda like him, that’s all. I hope like crap he likes me back. Whatever, go check out the book. I hear I’m in it.


Visit for more on the book and the author. I think teens will grab this and run, whatever it takes to keep teens and YA readers reading. And Emery may just be the ticket.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Adult Only Book Review and Give Away: What Happens In Vegas by Natasha Deen

Welcome to the Partners in Crime tour book review and giveaway.
My normal genre and area of expertise is to review books for children and teens.  However, I believe new and seasoned writers must read outside of their comfort zones on occasion to get a fresh take on writing in general. This review is for adults and would be considered Adult/Romantic/ Chick lit/ Mystery and all of the above.  For this reason please enjoy this adult book review. Feel free to leave a comment to win a digital copy of the book and let me know how you feel when you read and review outside of your area of expertise

What Happens In Vegas

Author: Natasha Deen


Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

August 2011

The main character, Binda, is looking into the disappearance of her friend and a lost jewel. The thing is, she has great intentions but she is accident prone, attracted to her friend's brother who just happens to be the cop who is trying to help her, and she gets herself in hilarious and precarious situations.

The story has a thread of danger woven throughout the comical situations and has a cast of characters that fit in with the Vegas atmosphere. It has a hint of sexual tension appropriate for adults that would not be appropriate for younger readers but it is laugh out loud funny in almost every scene. It becomes slightly more graphic towards the end of the story as the romance between Binda and her cop friend heats up, but that doesn't take away from the overall fun and mystery in the story.

Readers who are opposed to any sexual innuendos or the occasional use of a swear word might find the text slightly offensive, but the story and comedy of events leads the reader in an overall enjoyable experience. The book is easy to take in one or two sittings making it a quick way to relax and have a good laugh.

The writers who choose this story will learn loads about dialog, scene, and setting the tone with the characters even if they don't care for the story.  The author uses great technique in showing the main character and her personality in action and not so much words which is a difficult skill to master. The fast pace of the story with the action scenes so well planted will help the new writer to understand things like climax, story arc, and  endings that tie it all together.

This is a great summer read for so many reasons whether you are just wanting a cozy evening with a good book or are reading many types of books to hone your skills as an author. Natasha Deen is an author you will enjoy.

Comments should include your email so I can notify you if you are the chosen winner of a PDF copy of What Happens in Vegas.

Visit the on-line bookstore at 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saltwater Taffy

Author: Eric DelaBarre

Illustrator: R.C. Nason

ISBN: 10-0972357807

Middle grade/YA

This book was fun, and that is an important quality for getting middle grade students to read. It is set in the sea side town of Port Townsend, Washington. Five friends find and follow a treasure map which leads them on a adventure with odd and quirky characters including pirates.

Characters that are discovered on this path to finding the treasure include a one-legged junkyard man, a town bully, and even a creepy old man. Never fear, the adventure is fun, maybe a tad scary at times, and weaves baseball, treasure, and mishaps along the way to learning valuable life lessons for the five friends.

The text is easy to read for students and includes wonderful illustrations throughout that serve to enhance the storyline. It draws the reader into the story from the first page and that interest lasts until the very last paragraph.

Eric DelaBarre has done a great job with this book and I think the targeted reader will agree. Visit for more information about this charming story.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: Life Is Not a Candy Store.....

Life Is Not a Candy Store, It's the Way to the Candy Store

Author: Tal Yanai

Publisher: Bat-El Publishing


ISBN 13: 978-0-9832025-0-9

This book is filled with small snippets of wisdom and guide points to a successful and good life choices. It offers the reader many activities and thought provoking ideas to point to new directions and purposes for this life. It is warm, honest, and inspirational with out being preachy or condescending in tone.

It is fun, hopeful, honest, and gives the reader a solid foundation for making life's decisions. The book is small and easy to read with language that any teen can grasp making it a good choice when teens are trying to find answers to some of life's difficult questions. After reading this, teens will begin to find the answers they seek by looking honestly at themselves.

I recommend this book for teens. It is a good foundation for moving forward and choosing the right path. Adults can also benefit by going back to the basic right way to choose actions. It is a solid resource. Visit the author's website at for more information.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review: Not Fat Because I Wanna Be

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be

Author: LaNiyah Bailey and Latoya White

Illustrated by: Laura Perez Ricaud

Published by: Camp Pope Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-461006763


This is a wonderful easy reader chapter book written by 6 year old LaNiya Bailey based on experiences and feelings that she has dealt with in her young life because of medical issues. It is an honest chapter by chapter dialog about teasing, bullying, tears, and what it is like to be different from the the fictional character, Jess's point of view.

The character experiences lack of friends, mean taunting, and teasing because of being bigger ( the kids called her fat) than her classmates. Even encouragement from the president's wife doesn't help because the character eats healthy, exercises, and has loving family support. It points out how what shows on the outside  is not what a person is really like on the inside.

This author has done a fabulous job of telling it like it is from a child's point of view. It is a heartwarming and positive book that will encourage other children who are dealing with being different. But it will also open the eyes of children who may see themselves as the one who does the teasing.

I loved this book. It was honest, sincere, hopeful yet sad. The sad part is the truth, that our young people are being teased and taunted by other peers and that is so hard on self esteem. This book points out how children can have another point of view by seeing what it is like for the character. The author has done a great job relating real life for the reader. Wonderful job.

Note: I apologize that this did not get posted correctly on August 7th as part of World of Ink Tours. I am sorry for any inconvenience that caused for the reader.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Deanna's Tidbits: Welcome to Blog Jog Day!!

Deanna's Tidbits: Welcome to Blog Jog Day!!: "Welcome to Blog Jog Day! Please enjoy my site then click over to to see what the ..."

Welcome to Blog Jog Day!

My site offers posts on tips for writing for children, reviews for children's books, introductions to some of the characters I write about, and links to other great blogs for parents and kids. I am a pediatric/neonatal critical care nurse and a freelance writer. What fun is that? I can make up cool stories, write serious health related material, or make up puzzles and lessons to teach children first aid and other fun health related stuff.

 Please enjoy my site then click over to  Putting Words to Paper at   to see what the next Blog has to offer! Lost in the links? You can always go back to the main Blog Jog Day Blog at and find a new link to jog from. Thank you for stopping by my site!

Please leave a comment and your email and link to your blog or website if you have one. First I will cruise on over and check it out. Secondly, you will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Amazing Cows by Sandra Boynton. I was blessed to review this book for both this blog and the blog for Stories for Children Publishing at This blog jog is the perfect place to give away such a fun book.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Great Book for Teens, A Spiritual Guide to the Road of Life

Awesome video trailer for the new book by author Tal Yanai. The book is part of a month long tour with World of Ink.  Life is Not a Candy Store, It's the Way to the Candy Store is a spiritual book for kids and teens. Check this out.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...