Friday Five: Five Reasons you Should Buy a Book from your local Bookstore this Valentine’s Day

1) To support your local bookstore. Here’s a fantastic list on why you should buy books locally.

2) YOU GET A BOOK! You get to slip inside a whole new little world for a while, and maybe learn something new.

3) You get to SEE other books that you might want… browsing is one of my absolute favorite things about bookstores!

4) You’d be supporting your local economy… and times are tough, what goes around comes around.

5) A lot of other people are doing it. Okay, that doesn’t look like a lot… but if you and your friends join, maybe it will!

What reasons do you have?

Friday Five: Five Links!

Five awesome links for you!

1) My newest story is up on Tales From the Hollow Tree. It’s called “The King’s Knight,” and involves a woman, a king, and (as you might guess) a knight. You’re probably familiar with the story.

2) I’m now a Dojo Leader! I’m so excited to be a regular poster at Ali Cross’ Dojo, Alif is the genius behind Writing Ninjas and will be hosting NiNoCon (Ninja Novel Conference) TOMORROW! Don’t miss out, it’s a totally free online writer’s conference, all you have to do is show up!

3) Books are For Lovers was mentioned on YA Highway today! Thank you YA Highway! If you want to read about supporting your local brick-and-mortar store this Valentine’s Day, check out what it’s all about!

4) Amanda Thomson also blogged about Books are for Lovers on her blog, Maybe Mandie! Thank you, Amanda!

5) And Cheri Chesley blogged about it on Mormon Mommy Writers! Thank you, Cheri!

I’m so excited that this is reaching other people! Books are for Lovers now has an Events page on Facebook. If you want to participate, come by and let us know! And invite your book-loving friends!


Have a great weekend, everybody!

Five Things Friday: Five Awesome Things About NiNoCon

What are your plans for next Saturday? Have you heard of NiNoCon? Or of writing ninjas? Did you know that there are writing ninjas that will have a writer’s conference on February 4th? It’s going to be seriously awesome, and here are five reasons why:

1) THIS CONFERENCE IS FREE. There is absolutely no cost to participate!

2) THIS CONFERENCE IS ONLINE. Have trouble getting to writer’s conferences because you live in the elbow of the middle of nowhere? As long as you have an internet connection, this conference is for you! And hey, you can show up in your PJ’s and your curlers, we won’t tell. (We won’t even know!)

3) THIS CONFERENCE IS INNOVATIVE. The publishing world is changing, and this conference is going to teach you all the hows and whys of “nontraditional” ways of publishing. If you’re even considering self-publishing, this conference is for you.

4) THIS CONFERENCE HAS CREDENTIALS. There is a panel of experts and and authors who will be available for you to pick their brains on all things writerly, bloggerly, or self-publishy. Thy all want to help YOU. For free! That’s how awesome this conference is.

5) THIS CONFERENCE HAS PRIZES. Oh, did I mention? There are going to be giveaways. How do I know this? Well, because I’m donating one! A full-manuscript edit from Type Set, Inc is going to go to one lucky participant.

So mark your calenders, ladies and gents! There’s no need to pre-register for this event, just head over to The more the merrier!

Five Things Friday: Five Things I’ve Learned…

So, as I’ve mentioned, The Mr. and I recently moved into a small apartment complex that we’re fixing up and going to be renting out and managing. We’ve been here a couple of weeks, and been on a tight budget, so things still aren’t up to rent-out-able states (this is a fairly old apartment complex!) but I have learned a few things along the way, and I thought I’d share a couple with you for today’s Friday Five.

1) VINEGAR is basically the most amazing thing in the world. It’s the best cleanser you didn’t know you already own. It kills most mold, bacteria and germs. PLUS it’s chemical-free and the smell dissipates completely after drying. You can clean anything with vinegar (seriously, you can even use it in your laundry instead of bleach, it’s a natural whitener). If you can’t get something off with vinegar alone, pour some baking soda on it—you get an instant scouring solution. Cheap and chemical free. You’ve got to love that.

2) (Somewhat less informative) Fitting into size-down jeans (even with your sweatpants on under them!) is slightly less exciting when the first time you squat in them, you split the inner-thigh. :: blasé face::

3) You CAN find time to write, even if the world seems to be falling down on your head. (So long as you have someone to share your responsibility with you.) (Probably even if you don’t, but I can’t claim personal knowledge to that!)

4) Sometimes things sell well on your Etsy site when you literally do not have time to touch it with a ten-foot-pole for three weeks straight. (I suspect this is partially due to Etsy’s new “relevance” search—when you looked for things on Etsy, results used to be itemed by “most recently listed”)

5) (More for me than for you) I really can’t complain about never winning a Kindle off of those big joint bloghops when I know full well that I’d rather have a Nook. And I do sometimes win books. So I really can’t complain. (Again not really relevant, ah well!)

Back to the grindstone for me, then. Or should I say, back to oven cleaning. Oh, joy.

Five Things that Surprised Me About Texas.

Last night I got home from a nine-day trip to various parts of Texas. It’s a long story… but it was a longer drive. So, my blog has been abandoned a little bit this past week and a half, but I’m here to post a mini

1) Asian food! I had some really, really yummy Asian food in Texas. Specifically, Sonny’s Diner in Fort Worth, and the decadent Hong Kong Buffet in El Paso. Sonny’s Diner had fantastic Vietnamese, and the Hong Kong Buffet had lots of seafood and sushi—I had a whole plate full of sushi! Also, they had bacon-wrapped shrimp. I think that says enough.

2) There is wifi on the Interstate! Most big chain roadstops like TA or Flying J’s have wifi nowadays… but you have to pay $2.99 for an hour. You can also buy 24 hours worth of time or a membership, so you can check in at various stops as you drive. I however, didn’t really have the money to do this, so I stopped at various McDonald’s in the morning and/or evening to use theirs free.

3) There’s a yarn store in the small town I may or may not end up living in. This both surprised and relieved me, because I LIKE my yarn, folks. And sometimes Joann’s and Michael’s just don’t hit the spot. Yarn shops are hard enough to find these days, so finding one in this small town was nice… sadly it was closed the day I was there!

4) Texans like their flag. A LOT. Okay, this really didn’t surprise me, since I’ve spent my fair share of time in Texas before, but it always makes an impression.

5) There are a lot of undercover cop cars in Texas. And by that, I mean I saw a lot of them with their lights on, chasing after people at high speeds. I wasn’t there that long.

Seriously, though… my favorite thing might have been that plate of sushi and the bacon-wrapped shrimp. De-lish.

Friday Five: Five Authors I Stalk

And by stalk, I mean that I follow them on their blogs, their twitter, their Goodreads page… pretty much anywhere I can find them online. Not half so creepy or crazy, right? Right? Well… ahem.

So, here we go, along with links so that you can follow them too, if you so choose:

1) Maggie Stiefvater, author of the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and her faerie earlier duo, Lament and Ballad.

Website :: Blog :: Twitter :: Goodreads

Merry Sisters of Fate (where she takes turns writing stories with Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff, and guest authors)

I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Maggie, and that includes her rambliest of blog posts. She’s written some very helpful advice for writers, too, which has been enlightening. I find insights particularly interesting since she’s an artist and a musician, which gives her writing a lyricism and aesthetic that’s hard to find, especially in YA ficiton. I’ve branched into following her two CP’s also, and especially enjoy Tessa Gratton’s blog.

2) Shannon Hale, author of the Books of Bayern, Book of a Thousand Days, etc.

Website :: Blog :: Twitter :: Goodreads

I really try to keep up with Shannon Hale’s announcements and things, mainly because I just love, love, love her books. Some of her characters are absolute loves of mine, so I like to know what’s going on in her bookish world as soon as I can.

3) Jackson Pearce, author of Sisters Red, Sweetly, etc.

Website :: Blog :: Twitter :: Goodreads :: Tumblr :: Youtube

Okay, really her website is her blog again, and her blog is almost exclusively vlogs from her youtube channel, but I’ve linked all so you have options of where you want to follow what. I started watching Jackson’s youtube videos before I ever started reading her books. I stuck around, and actually picked up her novel Sisters Red because I found her to be so witty and fun on her vlogs. Be warned, though, she does have some very strong opinions on some things, and isn’t afraid to offend people with what she says. She errs on the side of snark a little much sometimes, I think, but most of the time she’s very fun to pay attention to, and if nothing else, a great example of how to maximize your use of social media.

4) Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe and A Million Suns

Website :: Blog :: Twitter :: Goodreads :: Tumblr

I also followed Beth Revis before reading her book (I’m reading Across the Universe now, if you remember). I found her on Twitter, then Tumblr, and finally really started reading her blog recently, and I’ve enjoyed them all immensely. I had wanted to read her book before I found her online—it was getting amazing reviews—but I enjoyed getting to know a bit about her personality online before diving in.

5) Jasper Fforde, author of the Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series.

Website :: Blog :: Twitter :: Goodreads

Okay, actually it’s difficult to get updates from Jasper… he’d rather be writing, and I’m A-OK with that. He is one of my absolute favorite authors, though, so I have to include his links. I can’t wait to read his newest novel which is for a youth audience and is about dragon tamers and rediscovering magic. I’m in love with it already.

Friday Five: Five Things!

Good morning! I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now, but I was one of the nearly 3 million people out of power last night. My house lost power for about eleven hours yesterday afternoon and into the early hours of the morning, being woken up around 2:30 by our fan and our tv turning on. That was quite an experience… thankfully we had enough candles and flashlights for everybody! Just want to add to this post this morning to say that I’m grateful for the simple things in life! And if you’re in the Southwest, I know it’s hot, but please do everybody a fav0r and conserve your power!

And now for five things:

1. I’m starting to put holiday stuff up in my Etsy shop… some Halloween and some Christmas notebooks. I’m hoping to add more, but really I’d like to work on some more softcover journals. It’s been too long! I’d especially like to get some more minis in the shop, but the freedom of the larger journals is really tempting, too.

2. I’m finally sitting down to listen to Adele. I’d heard the radio singles of course, but I’m listening to 19 right now, and she is spectacular. You probably know this already—everybody does, and I’m just a slow-poke. She reminds me a bit of Roisín Murphy, but she’s more everyday-listenable. (I can only only listen to so many Roisín songs).

And Adele’s cover of “Chasing Pavements”? So. Much. Love. I’d forgotten what a fantastic song that is.

3. You may have noticed that I’ve posted a schedule in the sidebar that I plan on sticking to. I was reading a post on Weronika Janczuk’s blog about web presence, and decided that I just needed to grit my teeth and do it. Not let myself not do it, really. I’ve tried daily postings before, but I was always expecting too much from myself, and I had never been interested in keeping a schedule. Schedules had always looked kind of cheap to me. But without one, I had no aim for daily posts, and I’d wind up with one post a week, maybe.

I’m giving myself a lot of leeway with this schedule. I have a theme for each weekday, but I’m letting myself ignore that schedule whenever I want, so long as I get a post up for that day. (As you can see, I did not write a Booking Through Thursday post yesterday, I’m already ignoring myself!) I’m also deciding that I’m going to be pre-writing as many of these posts as I can…. that’s just good blogging practice!

4. I’m considering turning my last Hollow Tree Short, “The Night the Sky Split” into a series of shorts, really. It’s about a young man named Luke who fell from the sky, and I think there’s a lot more to tell there. We don’t really know anything about Luke yet, and I have this feeling there’s a whole lot to tell. And we need to get a chance to know our narrator, too, don’t you agree?

5. Speaking of our short fiction blog, Isabelle Santiago and I have some big news coming up about Tales From the Hollow Tree. Right now we’re figuring out the last details and we have some major planning to do, but keep an eye out! Be sure to be following the Hollow Tree on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news!

Happy weekend! Go forth and enjoy!