Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reading Challenge - Men In Uniform

2012 Men In Uniform
Hosted by The Book Vixen

  • Runs January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012 (books read prior to 1/1/12 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to read as many novels that feature men in uniform as you’d like. It can be a policeman, firefighter, paramedic, doctor, veterinarian, Army, Navy, Marine Corp., etc. – As long as the leading man wears some sort of uniform, it counts. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Go to The Book Vixen and grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you could track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.
Sergeant – Read 1–5 men in uniform novels
Lieutenant – Read 6–10 men in uniform novels
Captain – Read 11–15 men in uniform novels
Chief – Read 16+ men in uniform novels

I'm going for Sergeant since I read cozies where there are no men in uniform. I'm going to get creative, though. Instead of finding a police procedural, I'm going to dig around the cozy mystery books and find an amateur sleuth (or surrounding character) who works in uniform.

1/1 books

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 14 of the 'Married To Murder' Blog Tour - Silver's Reviews

I'm guest-posting today at Elizabeth's Silver Reviews Blog for the 14th day of the Married To Murder Blog Tour.

I talk about how CHARACTERS inspire me to write.

Check it out!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop Winners!!

Yes, you read that right. I said winners. I loved the excitment in the Blog Hop and comments so I made an executive decision and pulled two winners out of the hat.

And those winners are *drumroll*

Yvonne & Laurie.

Congratulations, girls! I hope you enjoy reading Married To Murder as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Day 11 on the 'Married To Murder' Blog Tour - Emily Mayhem Divine Chaos

Hi all,

It's the 11th day of the Blog Tour - whew!

The lovely Emily Mayhem, of the Divine Chaos Blog, wrote up a great review of Married To Murder.

Check it out!

And thank you, Emily!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 10 of the 'Married To Murder' Blog Tour - Ella Westin Interview with John Hansen

Somehow, I wrangled Ella Westin into an interview. She is the main character of Married To Murder and wasn't very happy about the arrangement but you can read all about it on John Hansen's Blog, The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer.

I, myself, find it hilarious!!


Don't forget - today is the last day to enter the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop. Enter for your chance to win a copy of Married To Murder!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 9 of the 'Married To Murder' Blog Tour - Kris Wampler's Blog

Hi everybody,

Today, I'm at Kris Wampler's Blog. He's the author of Love Train. (The reviews look great on Amazon!)

I talk about what it's like to be a self-published author.

Check it out!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 7 'Married To Murder' Blog Tour - Mommy's Reading Too

Wow - it's been so busy lately! And lucky around here!!

Today is the 7th day of the Married To Murder Blog Tour and I can be found at Mommy's Reading Too by Jennifer Alexander. She did a wonderful review of Married To Murder! I also wrote a guest post about how characters inspire me to write.

I've had so much fun with everyone on this Blog Tour - and there's still more to come:

Day 6 CyndiaRios-Myers' Blog - Interview
Day 5 Feliza Casano's Blog - Guest Post
Day 4 Cecilia Robert’s Written Word/Cecilia - Review + Guest Post
Day 3 Divine Chaos/EmilyMayhem - Guest Post
Day 2 Fiction Brigade/Sabrina Ricci - Guest Post
Day 1 Fiction With A Purpose/Brenda Youngerman - Interview + Review

Don't forget to enter the Blog Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop for your chance to win a copy of Married To Murder (or Honeymoon Homicide or Toxic Train).

Not only did I win this contest on Car Johnson's hilarious Blog, but I won an Amazon gift card from Emyln Chand 'Farsighted' Blog Tour. Check out the post about the book - it sounds really good.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop - Enter To Win!

The winner will receive Married To Murder (e-book). If you've bought Married To Murder - you're awesome and will instead, receive Honeymoon Homicide. If you've bought both, you're super awesome and will receive Toxic Train when it comes out.

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment with a way for me to contact you via e-mail for notification if you are the winner. (A link to your Blog with e-mail in your profile is fine.) If you do not leave a way for me to contact you, you are disqualified and another winner will be selected.

Extra entries:

1.) Become a follower of my Blog
2.) Like my Facebook Book Page
3.) Become a Twitter follower

If you already did any of the above, leave that info in the comment and you'll receive the extra entry/entries.

The contest starts December 2 and ends on December 6, 2011, 11:59 PM CST.

Winner to be announced on December 7, 2011.
Good luck to you all and happy reading!!

Want to find more book lover's giveaways? Check below for a complete list of participants (including my Mom).

Books & Things Thursday - Feliza Casano 'Social Media Networking for Writers'

Today's Guest Post is by Feliza Casano and she's going to tell us about using social media as a benefit to writers.

Welcome Feliza!!
Photo by Nick Kneer

Social Media Networking for Writers
There are lots of ways to promote your work when you get published. In our current market, staying connected to your readers can be incredibly important!

Here, we’ll discuss social networking, which can really change your writing platform and your audience in a number of ways.

Facebook Pages

One way to really kick-start your readership, especially if you’re published in small or online presses, is to create a Facebook Page.

Using the Facebook Pages application is a great way for any writers to put themselves out in the public light. You can use the application to share content and news updates, especially when you are getting published in online sources.

It’s also a great way to build a community with your friends and fans. Another great aspect is that many, many publishers have Facebook Pages, which you can share and promote to your friends and fans.

I’d recommend Facebook pages to all writers, especially those who are established and publishing. You can find me as a Facebook Page, too, where I post updates about writing and local events.

Twitter and Tweeting

Twitter is an obvious way to network with other writers. Here, you want to create an account for you as a writer so you can meet and Tweet with other writers!

Let your family, friends, and fans know about your Twitter account and start following others as well. Once you have a number of followers, make sure you post links to your work that has been published by others or your own blog, depending on what you do.

Figure out what Tweeters are influential in your sphere – possibly with websites like Klout, which measures how much influence specific people are on Twitter and Facebook in terms of content sharing – and make sure you follow them.

Once you’re following them, remember that Twitter is a conversation tool, not an online diary. Read tweets from people you follow, click on their links, and make sure you Tweet them back. It’s a great way to start conversing – and conversations make networks.

YouTube – what?

There are several ways to gain an audience – so you can try starting with YouTube.

Apart from blogging, many writers use YouTube videos to gain attention for their brand (which we talked about in previous slides.) Use a YouTube channel to create Vlogs, or video blogs, to talk about whatever topics interest you. It doesn’t hurt if those topics are related to what you write about, either!

One great example is Kaleb Nation, the author of the Bran Hambric series and the creator of such sensations as the blog TwilightGuy. Nation uses his video blog to keep in touch with a small legion of fans – and, if you check out his site, he’s been mentioned in publications like the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post, and more.

Nation is one example of a guy who knows his way around social media – and you should learn your way around it too!


Social media isn’t for all writers, but it can benefit many. If you’re interested in reaching the young adult or middle grade market, you definitely need to hit social media! Authors including Rick Riordan (of Percy Jackson and the Olympians fame) use a variety of social media to promote and gain new readership.

Of course, you don’t have to be a YA/MG writer to utilize social media. Figure out what works best for you and use social networking to your greatest advantage.

Photo by Nick Kneer
Feliza Casano majors in Communication with a concentration in journalism at the University of Toledo. She has worked as a beat writer, copy editor and public relations writer in the news industry, published a novel through her publishing company Glass Tower Press, and blogs about writing and regional news. She plans to pursue a job in the publishing industry as an editor or copywriter.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blog Tour Day 4 & I Won A Contest!

4th Day of the Married To Murder Blog Tour - isn't it exciting?
Today I can be found at Cecilia Robert's Written Word Blog.

She also wrote a great review of Married To Murder. Well, I happen to think it's great. I love it, in fact!

I won a 'stupidest business idea' contest on the Car Johnson Blog!

Whew - a big day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'Married To Murder' Blog Tour Day 3: Divine Chaos Writer's Creative Set Up

Day Three of the Married To Murder Blog Tour - at Emily Mayhem's Blog Divine Chaos.

My creative writer's set up - including dream set up! Come check it out & let me know what you think...

What's your ideal office set up to write or get work done?

Monday, November 28, 2011

'Married To Murder' Blog Tour - Day 2 - Fiction Brigade

It's the second day of the Married To Murder Blog Tour!

Today's stop is at the Fiction Brigade c/o Sabrina Ricci

Topic/Title: You Never Know What’ll Come Out Of NaNoWriMo

Come check it out!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blog Tour, Birthdays & Anniversaries - Oh My!

My first Married To Murder Blog Tour stop is at Fiction With A Purpose, Brenda Youngerman's Blog. She interviewed me and posted a review of Married To Murder.

It's so exciting!

It's also my grandma's birthday today. Happy Birthday, Grandma! I love you!!

And it's the 6 month anniversary of my sister's wedding. They've been married for 6 months now - it's incredible!!

(I don't mean it's incredible in a if-they-were-a-celebrity-couple-that-would-be-ancient, just a she's-my-sister-and-we-used-to-jam-Barbie's-in-the-Batmobile-and-play-with-Leggo's-and-now-she-has-a-husband kind of way.)

Congratulations, guys! Here's to another 80 years!!

UPDATE: Oh, and I'm a NaNoWriMo winner again this year!

Friday, November 25, 2011

'Married To Murder' Blog Tour - Jennifer Oberth

Married To Murder Blog Tour Schedule:

November 26, 2011, Saturday - 4PM PST/6PM CST/7PM ET
This is a LIVE interview via Twitter. It's my first one and frankly, I'm a little nervous! I have to answer interview questions live in 140 characters or less. I wonder how I'll do...

Come check it out. Search for #incessant to follow the interview and ask questions at the end! (It should last about a half an hour.)

Wish me luck! *Fingers crossed*

November 27, 2011, Sunday
November 28, 2011, Monday
Topic/Title: You Never Know What’ll Come Out Of NaNoWriMo

November 29, 2011, Tuesday
Divine Chaos/EmilyMayhem - Guest Post
Topic/Title: Creative Writing SetUp Questions

November 30, 2011, Wednesday
December 1, 2011, Thursday

December 2, 2011, Friday

December 3, 2011, Saturday

December 4, 2011, Sunday
December 5, 2011, Monday
Kris Wampler is the author of Love Train. The reviews are good - check it out!

December 6, 2011, Tuesday

December 7, 2011, Wednesday

December 8, 2011, Thursday
Dead Herring/Ellie Oberth (my Mom!!) - Guest Post
Have you read Who Murdered the Ghost? It's a great short mystery at 99 cents.

December 9, 2011, Friday
Musings and Marvels/Sabrina Ricci’s blog - Review

December 10, 2011, Saturday

December 11, 2011, Sunday
Finding Your Gibbee/Jean -Review

And thank you, John Hansen of The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer for helping to organize the Blog Tour!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Books & Things Thursday - Maria Zannini Interrogation, Uh, Interview

Maria Zannini is wanted for questioning in the case of the Disappearing Fiction Writer.

Her husband, Greg was the first witness we brought in for questioning.

Q. How often do you see your wife? Is it true she doesn’t write when you’re at home?

A. I see her a couple of times a month. And yes, when I’m home she spends most of her time with me unless she has a deadline to meet. If you don’t hear from her in her usual social circles, she’s either working—or putting me to work.

Q What is it we keep hearing about her nonfiction work? Why has this cropped up all of a sudden? 

A. It’s not really all of a sudden. I’ve been nagging her for YEARS to write nonfiction rather than fiction. She’s really good at it too. Years ago she wrote for a national magazine about rheas and emu. We got letters from all over the world wanting her to tell them more.

I was never happy she got interested in fiction. That’s like the most thankless job in the world.

Q. Maria writes an awful lot of steamy romance novels. Does that ever bother you?

A. Have you read her stuff? That woman can curl my toes from fifteen feet away.

We then brought in two witnesses who are known confidantes of Maria Zannini. Her dogs: Tank and Iko.

Q. Tank, you've got the dog's eye view on things - have you noticed any unusual Google searches on Maria's computer?

A. Do I know you? You smell like a cop, a cop with no cookies. Bug off.

All right. We’ll try Iko. He looks friendlier.

Q.You, Iko. I hear Maria locks you in a cage when she goes out. Does she do this to keep you from snooping on her computer?

A. Not the computer—the furniture. But I haven’t been in prison in months. I’m reformed. No more furniture chewing for me. I’ve seen the light.

Q. What has she written recently that gives you 'paws' for concern?"

My only concern is that she works too much. Sometimes I have to get between her and the computer so she can take a break and love on me. (I’m very lovable.)

Oh, oh. Here comes Tank again. Man, that’s a big dog.

Tank: Didn’t I tell you to shove off?

Iko: She was asking about mommy.

Tank: And what did mom tell you about strangers?

Iko: :hangs head: Oh…yeah. Move it, buddy. We’re not allowed to talk to strangers.

I can see I'm barking up the wrong tree here, let's move on to the outside of the house. Nothing here but trees and chickens.

Q. Hey, you! Chicken! Can you confirm or deny if poultry disappearances have anything to do with Maria’s next book?

A. Bwaak! We’re getting picked off one by one—but only the roosters. One day me and Carl were strutting around, acting, cocky, checking out the ladies (if you know what I mean). The next minute—whoosh. Carl was gone. I looked everywhere for him, but all I found was a bloody trail.

I don’t know nuthin’ about no book. But if I’m in it, I hope she spells my name right.

Q. And what is your name?

A. Dinner.

Ah-ha! This Tweet has led me to Maria herself. Bring her in, boys. I see you’ve had to hog-tie her. We knew she wouldn’t come peacefully.

Q. So, Maria...What's this we hear about future projects and non-fiction work? Aren't your paranormal romances doing great? The reviews are spectacular. Are you giving it all up for something new?

A. Your hands are empty. Do you need a shovel?

If you don’t mind I’ll ask the questions. People want to know what you’re working on.

A. I haven’t turned my back on romance. I suspect there will be two and possibly three romance novels in the works in 2012. But I really want to concentrate on one of my favorite topics next year.

It’s an entire series of books on frugal living, from budgets, to shopping, to pet care. The only topic I won’t cover is kids. They scare the bejeebers out of me.

Happy now? Good. Now grab a shovel. I’ve got some bodies to bury.

Bio: When she's not hunting scorpions and chasing after zombie chickens, Maria’s often at her keyboard telling stories or blogging about her current homestead projects—where it's anyone's guess what body part she'll lop off next.

Her latest books are The Devil To Pay and Chain of Souls, Books 1 & 2 of the Second Chances series.

Follow her at:


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Books & Things Thursday - NaNoWriMo

Hi everybody,

Between work and NaNoWriMo, I've been falling behind in my online duties and haven't been e-mailing, blogging, facebooking, tweeting or any of the other 'ing'ing there is to do around here. And missing visiting YOUR blogs and commenting!

I'm doing great with NaNoWriMo'ing, though. Even though I didn't write one word on Tuesday or Wednesday, I'm still ahead of the game with well over 20,000 words.

At 1,667 words a day (to reach 50,000 words by Nov. 30), I'd only have to be at 16,667 by the end of today and, as I said, I'm well over that.

And I'm about to hit the books for another three hours. As well as do the dishes, take out the trash, deal with the kitty-cleaning and so on and so forth.

Cool updates:

Next Thursday, I have an Interrogation, uh, I mean, of course, an Interview with author Maria Zannini. (It's a fun post, be sure to check it out!)

On Thursday, December 1, I've got guest blogger Feliza Casano. She'll be telling us about the benefit to authors of social media.

Fun stuff coming up! Keep checking back.

I've got more to tell you about the Writer's Police Academy but haven't the time to do justice to the posts so you'll have to wait a bit on that. I'm still posting pics related to the WPA on Wordless Wednesdays.

I've got a Blog Tour coming up, too! I can't wait for that. I don't have the details yet but it should start later this month. (If you're interested in hosting me and being a part of the Blog Tour, let me know and I can add you, too.) John Hansen is organizing it for me and he is great! Check out his blog, The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer. It's fun and cool.

Okay, the NaNo Gods are cracking the whip so I gotta go! (Wish me luck!!!!)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Misc. Happy Halloween Meme!!

Susan McBride, over at the Stiletto Gang Blog started this fun meme. I answered the questions below and would love to read yours. Comment or leave a link to your Blog and I'll check them out! 

(1)  What's your favorite Halloween costume ever?

The Stegosaurus, my favorite dinosaur. When I was...I think seven, my Mom made me this wonderful Stegosaurus costume, head to toe. You know how it is when you're seven and Mom's know everything and can do anything? Well, this costume was so ambitious that she needed help from HER mom. (Grandma being the supermom, of course because when you're seven and your mom goes to her mom it's amazing.)

I won best costume in that dinosaur suit. Favorite. Costume. Ever.

(2)  What's your favorite Halloween candy (or other treat)?

Chocolate. Just plain ol' chocolate.

(3)  Name the scariest book you've ever read?

Oh my gosh. Nothing comes to mind. I read mysteries not horror so I avoid the being scared...

(4)  Who's the best movie vampire ever:

(a)  Bela Lugosi
(b)  George Hamilton
(c)  Tom Cruise
(d)  Robert Pattinson

I must really be out of touch with movies because I didn't know Tom Cruise was a vampire. (Was he, really?)
I'm going to pick option e. and say Geraint Wyn Davies of Forever Knight because he was the first vampire I saw on TV, at least that I can remember. And this was before vampires were cool.

(5)  Who'd win in a fist fight?  Sookie or Bella?

I don't know who these people are.

(6)  Are you superstitious?  How?

Friday the 13th's and black cats crossing my paths have always brought me luck. I also broke a mirror a few weeks ago and my luck has changed to good (fingers crossed for another 7 years of good!) so I guess I'm superstitious enough. I cannot for the life of me look in the mirror at night because of a scary show I watched a few years ago. I don't even remember what happened but to this day, I can't look at night. So, yeah, a little superstitious.

(7)  Frankenberry, Count Chocula, or Boo Berry?

As a kid, Count Chocula. He's chocolate.

(8)  Will you dress up this year?  If so, as what?

Naw, not this year.

Boo!  Now it's YOUR turn!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baker Street Saturday - Lessons From Sherlock Holmes

There's a great article by Maria Konnikova entitled Lessons From Sherlock Holmes: Don't Tangle Two Lines of Thought. It's wonderful for mystery readers (and authors to understand how readers think) yet so simple and natural. It states we should not include too many facts in our chain of logical thinking because, while related, they don't all lead to the correct conclusion.

The trick, for a mystery reader of course, is to determine which facts are relevant and which ones are red herrings.

Maybe that's why we love Sherlock Holmes as much as we do, for over a hundred years. We try to pick out the useful facts, dismiss the unimportant ones and solve the case before Holmes. (This happened to me only once, I'm proud and annoyed to say.)

Perhaps this is the real reason original Holmes smoked so much; not addiction to tobacco but something to do while he sits for hours and just thinks.

I, for one, prefer tea. Or hot chocolate if the sweet tooth is acting up.

How about you? Do you over-think, over-include and evaluate too many things at once? Or do you put the book down every so often and really think things through?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In Case You Missed It - Co-Guest Blogged at Lee Lofland's, The Graveyard Shift

Just in case you missed it - my Mom (Ellie Oberth) and I co-guest blogged at Lee Lofland's Blog, The Graveyard Shift.

We  summed up the Writer's Police Academy - a cool, unique, atypical, not-to-be-missed convention for writer's - as best we could.

From arson to an instructor field-stripping his gun in the hallway, this convention wasn't ABOUT topics. We didn't take notes about how hot a fire gets (well, some of us did) but we FELT how hot it gets.

(No, I didn't get to pour any gasoline but I did get to shoot a Glock.)

Check it out - and come along next year!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Misc - 'Chain of Souls' by Maria Zannini

Maria Zannini's second book, in the Second Chances Series, Chain of Souls is available! ($2.99)

I haven't read this series yet (I'm more of a cozy mystery fan) but I checked out a sample of her writing and was impressed.

If paranormal romances are your thing - check her out! (If you go to Smashwords, you can view 20% for free.)

You can buy Chain of Souls at:

Smashwords (This is a great site because it doesn't matter what eReader you have, you can buy the book and download it. Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader and so on. You don't even need an eReader, you can read it from your computer screen!)
Barnes and Noble (There is a review you can check out.)

Maria's description:
"Banished from Heaven for refusing to harvest an unwilling soul, Liam Chase drinks to forget until the night he is visited by the Angel of Death. For the price of a few humans souls, she promises to get him reinstated into Heaven. A monstrous crime. If he refuses, the life he forfeits will belong to the woman he loves."

If you're on Goodreads, you can add this book to your To Read/Read list here.

 Maria's first book (in this series) is The Devil to Pay, also available at Smashwords (there are 2 reviews you can check out), Amazon (there are 7 reviews you can check out) & Barnes and Noble (there is one review you can check out).

Maria's description:
"Careful what you ask for. Shannon McKee is in ruin and she sees no way out of her living hell. Swearing an oath on a bottle of tequila, she offers her soul to whoever can get her out of overwhelming debt. Heaven and Hell have accepted the offer and each has sent a Harvester to collect their fee. Payment is due upon receipt, and no matter who gets her soul, Shannon's not getting out of this alive."

Let me know if you read it.
Let Maria know, too. Her blog is here.
And if you do read it, please take the time to review on Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble and so on.
The archenemy of a writer is obscurity.

Fellow readers/buyers benefit from reviews, too.

Grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate and enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Graveyard Shift - Lee Lofland's Blog

Tomorrow, I'm co-guest blogging on Lee Lofland's Blog, The Graveyard Shift, with my Mom, Ellie Oberth.

We'll be summing up the ultra-cool Writer's Police Academy that took place last month in North Carolina.

Don't miss it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Books & Things Thursday - Golden Donut Contest Entry

Hi everyone,

Check out my Mom's (Ellie Oberth) entry to the Golden Donut Contest. It won a spot in the top ten finalists and I'm very proud.

It's a 200 word mystery - including the title - based on the picture the Writer's Police Academy provided (see below).

I say it's perfect for this Halloweenish time of year - tell her what you think!!