Archive for February, 2011

Pen Warriors Interview

Monday, February 28th, 2011

I’m being interviewed at The Pen Warriors. In fact, I’m their first-ever interviewee! I’m the sacrificial subject. The interview will be up all week. Up for grabs is another audio book of HEAD OVER HEELS. The winner chosen from the comment trail on Sunday.

I had great fun with the interview questions, so hop on over there now and leave a comment to enter for your chance to win.

How often am I doing an audio book give-away, you ask? Why, after this, I’m finished. If that doesn’t give you incentive to pop over to The Pen Warriors and comment, you have lazy ears. (Or you’d rather buy a copy, which doesn’t bother me at all, I assure you).

I’m Giving It Away

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Join the fun at Edie Ramer’s blog, where today I’m giving away a copy of the HEAD OVER HEELS audio book!

I’m one of five authors giving away a book today as part of Edie’s week-long party for her new release, DRAGON BLUES. Five authors each day of the week. That’s a whole lot of giving away.

Because Edie’s posting info for five authors every day, you might have to scroll down to find my excerpt and information. Here’s the permalink, to make your life easier.

Leave a comment on my post to enter to win an audio book of HEAD OVER HEELS.

Edie picks the winners, not moi. So don’t comment here. Comment over there.

Make sure to comment on the other authors’ posts, too!

Swamped

Monday, February 21st, 2011

The problem with going away for two weeks is all the work you need to catch up on when you return. I know, poor me.

I’m swamped. Too swamped to even post photos of my adventures in Mexico. Maybe next week.

This week I’m continuing promo for the audio book release of HEAD OVER HEELS. Deets will be posted Wednesday. So make sure to drop by. In the meantime, beginning today, indie author Edie Ramer is hosting a week-long blog party to celebrate her latest release, DRAGON BLUES. Every day she’ll feature five authors on her blog. And each of those authors is providing a give-away.

Meanwhile, this weekend I received the audio proofs for BORROWING ALEX. I’m still super busy catching up on intensive edits for Penny that I’m beginning to realize are more like revisions than edits. Well, they’re edits, but they’re super edits. They’re sedits. Each and every sentence is getting a work-out.

I need to finish Penny’s edits within the first couple of weeks of March at the latest, or a fire-breathing dragon will roast my neck. Don’t ask me how I know this. Let’s just say I’ve been warned. So the BORROWING ALEX proofing will have to become my evening and next-weekend work.

How’s your February panning out?

Listen Up!

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

I’m blogging today over on the new group blog 4Writers4Readers about not only my audio book release of HEAD OVER HEELS, but pursuing subsidiary rights (like audio books and foreign editions) on your own and the new opportunities available for authors as technology changes and self-publishing on Kindle, etc. is becoming more common.

Please join me with your thoughts!

HEAD OVER HEELS Audiobook Release!

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day to you! Happy release day to me!

I’m thrilled to announce the audio book release of HEAD OVER HEELS, available now from Audiolark and on sale as the New Release Special.

You can listen to an audio excerpt clip or buy a copy here. I believe the New Release Special price carries throughout the week, but I’m not 100% sure. Why take a chance? Buy your copy now and make me a happy camper.

The audio book provides over 6.5 hours of listening pleasure. The files are DRM-free and playable “on any device that plays MP3s” (to quote the website).

If you haven’t read the book yet, save your eyes and give your ears a workout!

Where In The World Is Cindiego?

Friday, February 11th, 2011

On an airplane, that’s where.

Coming home. Back to Canada.

Which means I’ve been somewhere. But where? And for how long? How could that crafty Cindy go away without her trusty blog readers suspecting something?

  • 2 points to anyone who guesses how long I’ve been away.
  • 4 points if you can correctly guess where I went.
  • – 16 points if you knew where I went, because I told you, but you pretend you didn’t know because you WANT THOSE FOUR POINTS!!
  • + 80 points for creativity.
  • – 13,000 points for rudeness.

You need hints? I got hints!

  • I went there last year, for my birthday. This year, I took My Liege along.
  • We stayed with my parents.
  • There was sun.
  • And water.
  • Probably taco sauce.
  • A margarita or two.

By gum, you got it! Alaska! (Not).

*Fine Print. Correctly guessing wins you nothing. Cindy is under no obligation to confirm that your guess is correct or to reward you in any way. In fact, Cindy might be making this whole thing up, because that’s her line of work, and you’ll never know, will you? Can you trust her to eventually tell you the truth? Will she prove her absence by posting pictures? Will you believe she took the pictures? These and other questions may or may not be answered in upcoming episodes of When Cindy’s Gray Matter Churns.

February Blog Tour

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

HEAD OVER HEELS will release in audio book from AudioLark on Valentine’s Day. Next week! February 14th, for you non-romantic types. I’m setting up a bit of a blog tour to celebrate the release. Yes, for once, Cindy is going on a blog tour instead of hosting an author who’s on one. Not to worry, I’ll announce the blogs here the days they post. But just to get organized…

Thursday, February 17th, you can find me at the new group blog, 4 Writers, For Readers.

The following week, Wedneday, February 23rd, I’ll be at author Edie Ramer’s blog. UPDATE: This date may be changing. I’ll post next week with the new details.

Lastly, the week of February 28th, I’m getting interviewed at The Pen Warriors, although I’m not sure of the exact date yet.

Two blogs and one interview. Cyberspace will get sick of me.

I’m also sending out a new copy of my newsletter next week, to coincide with the audio release of HEAD OVER HEELS. If you’d like to sign up before I do, there’s a handy-dandy little newsletter sign-up box at the top right of this page.

And Now Television…

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

While I’m blabbing about my childhood influences, I might as well confess my childhood TV addictions. Because I think they also influenced my desire to become a writer. And my tendency to write humorous/comedy. Even when I’m writing emotional contemporary romance, I like my characters to possess healthy senses of humor. At least one of them, anyway. The other one can be serious. I’m flexible like that.

I tend to believe I’m one of those writers who was born a writer—or at least a reader. I learned to read early (aged 4, so family legend goes), and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Yes, we had TV, but for years we had one, maybe two channels. And neither of those channels was dedicated to children, let me tell you! (“Let me tell you!” is something my grandfather used to say all the time, so when I say it, I think of him, let me tell you). Oh, we had a couple of Canadian children’s television shows, like The Friendly Giant and Mr. Dress-Up. And we had The Walt Disney Show on Sunday nights. If we kids were good, we were allowed to watch The Ed Sullivan Show following Disney. And Ed had that little mouse who told jokes and made everyone laugh and feel good about themselves.

My father loved The Red Skelton Show. I watched and loved it, too. And so comedy seeped its way into my veins.

No one could top Red for me until The Carol Burnett Show happened along. I LOVED Carol Burnett. She was funny, too. Especially her pitiful Eunice character. Tragic and sad, yet, in the midst of all that dysfunction, laugh-out-loud funny. Suddenly, funny seemed so natural to me. When you’re shy as a child, humor is a great way to break out of your shell. Every once in a while I run across someone who tells me I was shy when they first met me. Usually, they just tell me I was weird.

Well, I was raised on Topo Gigio, Red Skelton, and Carol Burnett, with a healthy dose of Bugs Bunny and Grover from Sesame Street thrown in (I didn’t discover Grover until I was 15—long story involving a coveted color television set and my high school that year being on split shift and not starting until afternoon).

And people wonder why I’m a bit odd. Now you know.

Childhood Literary Influences

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE books are the earliest influence I can remember (other than Dr. Seuss) that made me want to become a writer. Well, Dr. Seuss didn’t make me want to be a writer so much as he made me want to learn to read. And I did learn to read as a preschooler, through the Dr. Seuss books. I didn’t go to Kindergarten (it didn’t exist in my little backwoods community and this was a few decades ago!), and, because I’m born in January, I was 6 and a half by the time I entered grade one. I would have been bored to tears if I hadn’t learned to read before grade one.

I most likely “taught myself” to read because my older sister, two grades ahead of me in school, would sit and read with my parents for her homework. I was a bit competitive, so was in there like a dirty shirt. If Big Sis was learning to read, then, by gum, I was learning to read, too!

So by the time I entered grade one, at six and a half, I was reading at a grade three level. Big Sis was in grade three. Makes sense.

My grade three teacher, Mrs. Brady, loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and read them to us every day. I fell in love with them, too. I must have read each book three times over the next couple of years. I identified with Laura because she had dark hair and had to wear pink all the time whereas her blonde sister got to wear blue. Yes, my mother was forever forcing me into pink. I was a tomboy (which is weird, because I have no athletic ability whatsoever…oh, yeah, I was competing with my brother, the only boy, for my father’s attention—that’s why I was a tomboy) (have I mentioned I’m a middle child?). As I said, I was a tomboy, and what tomboy wants to wear pink?

We also lived in a very tiny farming community that, to this day, doesn’t have a stop sign or a store of any kind. Laura came from a pioneering family, and as a child I felt pretty much that way about myself. Especially when a bear happened into the yard.

Did you know there’s a blog devoted to all things Laura Ingalls Wilder? Well, there is. It’s called Laura’s Little Houses. And it’s worth a visit.

My favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book was ON THE BANKS OF PLUM CREEK. Do you have a favorite Laura book? Or a favorite author from your childhood? One who inspired your love of reading or led to dreams of becoming a writer?

My grade seven teacher loved Ray Bradbury and read Bradbury short stories to us nearly every day. Ray was fun. But Ray wasn’t Laura.

It’s Laura for me!

Wordle Fun

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

You’ve seen tag clouds (those clusters of words in some blog sidebars that show the most commonly used tags or categories). I’m not a fan of tag clouds. The bigger words always look like they’re bragging. But I am a fan of having fun. I stumbled across the Wordle website and inputted the first three chapters of the book I’m currently submitting to agents. This was the result:

I like that the Wordle is shaped like a shoe with the hero’s and heroine’s names jutting out. #1, the book is a romantic comedy/mystery and the hero, Gabe, is a newbie P.I., so the shoe form = “gumshoe.” And, #2, the jutting out of the names looks fun.

I inputted my text block into the Wordle form, then opened a new window, took a screen shot, then expanded the screen shot as wide as my monitor would allow. I then pasted the screen shot into Photoshop and created this JPG (You can choose to post your creation to a public Wordle gallery instead of going to all this trouble. But you know me. I like trouble).

Like a tag cloud, a “wordle” highlights the most commonly used words in your uploaded text. Gabe is the hero and Ursula is the heroine, so their names should show up the largest. I’m pleased that they do.

Mackie is Gabe’s uncle. He has several point-of-view scenes in the novel and plays a major role in the plot.

The Wordle website has several font and color and shape variations. Play with your own Wordle then let me know about it in the comments section. When I have a moment, I’ll pop over to your blog and check it out.