Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Short Clip to Make You Smile

Oh my goodness, I am totally excited for my sister-in-law Kelli who put together this awesome clip. It just got picked up by a company! My brother makes an awesome Iron Man and my nephews, Captain America and Thor ROCK! This is certainly the coolest tooth-pulling experience I've seen or heard of. You have to see little Thor "put the hammer down." SO cute!

My dad used to get out a knife and pliers whenever I had a loose tooth. Ek! My brother has come a long way from that method.

How were your teeth pulled?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Author Interview with Amy Harmon and Blog Tour Giveaway

Today I'm excited to have Amy Harmon, author of Making Faces, A Different Blue and other novels, on my blog. A friend recommended Making Faces to me on Goodreads (thank you, Holly!) and I ordered it on my Kindle right after the blurb sucked me in. I had a few other titles on my to-read, but this novel swept me away, and I finished in no time because I couldn't put it down! Read below for more of my thoughts on Making Faces as well as an author interview I did with Amy Harmon. Also, be sure to enter her awesome blog tour giveaway below!

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My Review
A beautiful, heartrending story of finding love and seeing the true beauty within. MAKING FACES is an emotive, gripping read!

Author Interview

Welcome, Amy! Tell us a little about your start as a writer and what inspired you to write.
I've always been a writer. Ask my mom. But I really decided to jump off the proverbial cliff about three years ago after my fourth child was born. I wasn't working so I could stay home with the kiddos, my oldest son was really struggling with his health, and my husband worked out of town all week long and came home on the weekends. We were exhausted and broke, and I knew something had to change. I'd already written Running Barefoot and I researched self-publishing, decided I had nothing to lose, and just went for it.
How did you come up with the premise for Making Faces?
My brother joined the National Guard with a few of his friends and they went to Iraq together on their first tour. It made me start thinking...what if? Also, my youngest son was born with a port wine stain on half of his face. (see recent blog post on goodreads) We've gotten used to the stares and the comments, but it made it easy to write about facial disfigurement. There are so many elements that go into a story, that it wasn't just one idea, but the building of ideas as I continued to craft scenes and flesh out my characters.
I love hearing about how stories start out. Thank you for sharing! Making Faces was packed with emotion; you put so much into this novel and the characters. Fern, Ambros, Bailey and all of your characters are so rich and unique; I felt like they were real people. Each character has so much heart and personality. Can you share some of your tips on crafting unforgettable characters?
For me, a good book is all about the characters. Some writers are great with plots, some fabulous with description and setting, but for me the characters tell the story. I work long and hard on my characters, and they are never entirely the way they start out. I like to do a free write describing the main characters. As I describe them, I ask myself questions. Okay...she's a redhead. How does she feel about red hair? She likes romance novels...but why does she like romance novels. etc. As the characters are developed, the story line emerges.
Great thoughts. Do you typically write with an outline or just see where the story goes? Which method works best for you and why?
I start with the character development free write. Then I branch off with ideas and write a general synopsis - almost like a book blurb. The Making Faces book blurb was written before I was even a third into the book. But a blurb isn't a story, so it gives direction without nailing me down. Then I write scenes.
As I said before, that blurb was what initially sold me on your story. I bought it right away! What was the hardest part about writing Making Faces?
The hardest part was writing about Ambrose's injuries. I wanted to be accurate, and it was very difficult to find good information about facial injuries in Iraq, even though so many soldiers have suffered through them. Also, some of the final scenes with Bailey...incredibly difficult making the chain of events effective, realistic and meaningful.
What books/authors inspire your writing?
So many. Honestly, I can't name just a few. I have been reading so long and so voraciously, that I have a million writers who have gone before me who I owe a great deal to. And truthfully, I really love Stephenie Meyer. I truly believed when I read the Twilight books that if she could do it, I could to.

There are many profound messages in this novel, including true beauty, love, friendship and more. The emotional journey this story took me on was incredible! What message, above all, do you hope readers grasp from Making Faces?
I just want them to feel better about the world. People are good and life is sweet, even when it's difficult. I want people to have hope.
Which scene from Making Faces was you favorite to write?
I adore love scenes. I know. People who've read the book will say "what love scenes?" because there isn't any sex in the book. But love scenes are different than sex scenes. Sex scenes can be love scenes...but they aren't always. I like scenes that make me melt and that make me, as a reader, fall in love right along with my characters. I also really love funny dialogue. Bailey was a hoot in this book, and I literally laughed until I had tears at certain parts. I'm convinced you have to be a little crazy to be a good writer.

Those types of love scenes are my favorite, and you had some great ones! And you're right, Bailey was a hoot. :) Thank you, Amy, for taking the time to be on my blog today.

Don't forget to check out Amy's books and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 1, 2013


It's here, the month thousands of authors commit to writing an entire novel in one month. November is the National Novel Writing Month--click the link for more info. While my rough draft is going to be very very (very!) rough, I'm doing it! I even buckled down and cleaned my whole house last night with a resolute zeal after the Halloween festivities so I'd be good and ready. 

I have a lot of my current YA work in progress outlined so I am super excited to get the rest of my ideas down. 

Fellow writers, are you in?