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Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Sarah Anderson

I am absolutely honored to introduce you to a new bestie and all around fabulous lady I met on twitter. Yes, twitter unites this industry. If you aren’t on twitter, stop reading this and go do that, then come back. Twitter is a lifeline to writers. Well, I knew I loved Sara’s witty tweets and general smiley disposition. Then I read this post. now I KNOW we’re soul mates. LOL. Prepare yourself for the cutest post like ever written. EVER. You’ll see why I love her.

(I asked her if she’d write about kisses. I’m SO glad I did.)

Enjoy!

Kisses

Ah, the first kiss, that electric moment when lips meet is the most important moment in the whole story. The first kiss is when the electricity starts to crackle, the blood begins to surge, and these two people realize there’s something deeper going on. That moment boils down to a physical love-at-first-touch upon which the whole rest of the book is based.

It’s a darn shame it doesn’t work like that in real life. I will never remember my first kiss. The only reason I know it took place is because my mother has photographic proof. The story has far outlived the experience.
Here’s what happened. I was two—towhead, quiet, and fond of exploring the forest we lived in. Timmy was two, too. He had reddish hair that curled. My parents were good friends with his parents.

So one bright day, Timmy’s family came over. Timmy and I headed straight for the sandy dunes exposed on the hills behind my house. See, these sandy dunes were a popular nightspot with the local frog population looking for love, and frogs aren’t too focused on birth control, if you get my drift. So there were hundreds of little froglets—less than half an inch long—hopping all around in the moist sand, testing out those new legs and lungs they’d just grown.

I wasn’t having any froggy luck. I couldn’t catch those squirmy little guys for the life of me and I was in danger of throwing a fit. Then, according to my mother, the magic began.

That’s right. Timmy gave me one of his frogs.

These days, I expect something more along the lines of diamonds, or at the very least chocolate, but I was two, and Timmy had me at “cchirrrrrrp!” So I kissed him.

My mother had a camera.

I don’t remember any of this, but I’ve heard it so many times that, as you can tell, I can tell it like I do. This whole thing is my mother’s story. Can you imagine? Having to learn about your first kiss from your MOTHER? Luckily, mortification is a pretty natural state for me. Like breathing air.

There were other first kisses. Playing house at daycare lead to a lot of kisses, not just for me, but for just about every kid there at some point. It’s true there was a really long drought between about first grade when I discovered boys had cooties and maybe ninth, when I realized they didn’t and my father unchained the lock on my room and let me out. (TOTALLY KIDDING. Dad’s Great! And he survived raising three daughters, God bless him!) There were a few boyfriends in high school, and The High School Sweetheart. Maybe three boyfriends in college, none in grad school, and then I met my hubby.

Frankly, his first kiss is the only one that matters anymore. The rest just wash away into the absent-minded stream of my brain, never to be seen again.

Except for the one my mother keeps framed on a desk.

The first kiss. For a frog.

This post is brought to you as part of the A Man of His Word Blog Tour. U.S. residents only. For a complete tour schedule and rules, visit www.sarahmanderson.com. Comments on this blog will be entered to win a signed copy of A Man of His Word. All blog comments are added to the Jewelry Grand Prize list. Jewelry Grand Prize announced on January 1st, 2012 to one randomly drawn name on the list. Next tour stop is Musings from the Peanut Gallery on December 5th.

A Man of His Word By Sarah Anderson

Attorney Rosebud Donnelly has a case to win. And she never lets anyone see her sweat.  But her first meeting with Dan Armstrong doesn’t go according to script.  No one warned her that the COO of the company she’s fighting would be so…manly. From his storm-colored eyes to his well-worn boots, Dan is an honest-to-goodness cowboy.  But is he honest? Her yearning for the Texas tycoon goes against reason, against family loyalty, against everything she thought she believed in.  And yet, in Dan’s strong arms, Rosebud feels she might be ready to risk everything for one more kiss….

Beginning December 6th, 2011, A Man of His Word is available! Visit your favorite bookseller, at Amazon, or for the Nook.

About Sarah:

Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson may live east of the Mississippi River, but her heart lies out west on the Great Plains. With a lifelong love of horses and two history teachers for parents, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves out in South Dakota among the Lakota Sioux.  She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how their backgrounds and cultures take them someplace they never thought they’d go.

When not helping out at school or walking her rescue dog, Sarah spends her days having conversations with imaginary cowboys and American Indians, all of which is surprisingly well-tolerated by her wonderful husband and son.


Honey Creek Launches Today!

I am lucky enough to write for a new line of books at Turquoise Morning Press called Honey Creek books. Honey creek is a fictitious small town in Ohio where anything is possible. There will be books of varied genres in the line and many shared secondary characters, making it a lot of fun to get to know the town. I have the added honor of being the author to launch the line in January. *CLAPPING WILDLY* My sweet romance novella, Bloom, will be available in e-book format soon.

Meanwhile, Honey Creek has a website where I will be blogging along with other Honey Creek authors and a twitter account where you’ll find us tweeting about everything we love.  The authors and I are blogging all week and drawing names from the commenters to win copies of our books and other prizes too. I hope you’ll stop over and see the site, especially if you are a sweet romance or YA fan. So far the line is made of these genres and will be growing throughout 2012.

Thank you to everyone (and there are literally HUNDREDS of you) who keep me smiling everyday and pointed in the right direction. Finding a home for your work isn’t impossible after all. Thank you for all your advice and knowledge and cyber hugs. I’m looking forward to an incredible 2012 and I want to share it with you, my fellow bookish peeps, readers, writers and word nerds. We gotta stick together ;)

Also, as a completely unrelated side note….HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my AMAZING mother! I love you!!!!!

Gratitude Giveaway *of YA AWESOME* November 17th -27th!!!!!

Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
All-Consuming Books

November 17th to 27th

Welcome to the YA Giveaway of AWESOME!!!!!!!

As a HUGE thank you to everyone who’s stopped by the site this year and left comments, or joined or tweeted or just read a post or two – I want to GIVE something in return. I lurve YA with a deep and creepy passion, so of course, YA is the perfect answer to what I need to give!!!! Now, *taps chin* what can I give that’s a good start to showing you how I adore you?????

Well, here’s what I’m thinking…..

ONE winner drawn at random using Random.org will receive FIVE books!

The entire Mortal Instruments series by the AH-MAZ-ING Cassandra Clare. City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass AND City of Fallen Angels!!!!

*But WAIT there’s MORE (I have always wanted to say that!)* That’s right. I am also giving a hardback copy of Clockwork Angel, book one in the Infernal Devices series!

I’m packing up a box full of awesomesauce for Y-O-U. Five books. All new. All to one winner.

What do you need to do to enter? Just follow with Google Friend Connect and leave a comment with your email so I can reach you to tell you

YOU-ARE-A-WINNER!!!!!

Good Luck!

These could all be yours :)

Where Book Lovers Get Their Buzz!

 

Another fabu FYI: I wanted to tell my fellow bookish peeps about a new site called BookBuzzed. The site is designed to get readers and writers talking. Everyday a different author puts up his or her book for grabs and anyone can enter their email to win. One winner wins every day. The winner gets the book directly from the author. *FUN* A neat new site to keep an eye on!  Hop over anytime and enter for the daily book :) BookBuzzed.com!

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Catherine (Cat) Larose!

Cat has come my way through the fantabulous Wow! Women on Writing blog tour. I love them. If you’re not familiar with their awesome blog, please stop and check them out. Cat has graciously offered to blog for us today on public speaking. I am so thankful for this because I try to push myself to speak and I do, but mostly as my mouth is speaking, my brain is screaming “You are such a DORK!” LOL

Ten Tips for Being a Great Speaker – or, Dear God, Please Don’t Let Me Sound Stupid

I sell color for a living to paint companies around the world. By that, I mean those little paint chips (swatches) and color fans you often see in home improvement retailers that help you select your paint colors. As such, I’m often called upon to make all kinds of presentations on a variety of topics: Color Trends, Market Trends, Color Psychology, and sales proposals. Sometimes it’s a one-on-one situation, and other times it can be before groups of varying size. I’ve been making these presentations for over 20 years, and no matter how often I do them, I still get stage fright.

Call it ritual, call it superstition, or call it what it really is: a plea for help, but before every presentation, I always make the same request: Dear God, Please don’t let me sound stupid. And while that little prayer always makes me feel better, I know that if I’m to make a good presentation the power lies within me.

What follows are some tips that I use to reduce stage fright and help me feel more relaxed before an audience. I don’t think I’ll ever eliminate my stage fright completely, in fact, I don’t think I want to because a little adrenaline is a good thing. It keeps you sharp.

  1. Know your subject. If you aren’t prepared, you know it, you increase your anxiety levels, and that shows. Very few people can “wing it.” I prefer to know what I’m going to say before I say it. It saves me from making gaffes.
  2. Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse. It’s so important that I’ve said it three times. It’s important to hear the sound of your own voice, to stutter, stammer and lose your train of thought before an imaginary audience. Once you do that, it’s out of your system and you won’t have to worry about that happening before your live audience.
  3. Get the audience on your side. If you have an opportunity to meet a few people before your presentation or speech, then you are no longer talking to “strangers.” It’s a lot easier to talk to people you know. Focus on these familiar faces during your early remarks and, as your confidence increases, branch out to the rest of the audience.
  4. Start with a little humor whenever possible. Try and link it to your topic. I sometimes start by saying, “It’s a small world, just don’t try to paint it.” Or something more generic. “A public speaking guru once told me, that if you tell your audience that you’re a little nervous, you’ll feel less so.” Pause to let it sink in. And then in a deadpan voice, say, “He lied.” That usually elicits a chuckle and creates empathy.
  5. Keep calm. If there’s a podium, place your hands lightly on it for balance. Fidgeting is a distraction.
  6. Breathe. (This should have been number one!) It’s here only because I usually begin to breathe only after I’ve started. Try and remember to take a deep breath before you start.
  7. Smile. It’s like yawning: it’s contagious.
  8. Make eye contact. Move your gaze around the room. To make everyone feel included, cast wide glances at areas of the room because you can’t make eye contact with everyone.
  9. Take command of the room. In informal presentations, where everyone is sitting down, always make sure to stand up. What you have to say is important and you want people to focus.
  10. Relax. You can’t make a mistake. If you leave something out, finish early or add things, no one will know but you.

About the Author:

Catherine is one part hot blooded Latin and one part wild eyed Celt. She’s the oldest of seven children raised in a large Irish/Italian family – Catholic, of course. But family and friends think of her as the gypsy. She’s spent her life studying, living, and working all over the place.  Cat is forever destined to wander incessantly as a person currently without country(CWC), or with no fixed address(NFA). Blessing or curse? Grandma V had her pegged long before she ever left Clevleand, Ohio when she gave her red-headed Italian granddaughter this advice , “All you need is a place to hang your hat.”

As she was traveling the world, Cat managed to acquire a husband. A rather beige husband. Not a good match considering the fact that Cat sells color for a living. What does that mean? When you go to a home improvement store  and to choose a paint color, those little color chips are made by Cat’s company. They produce color chips for the automotive industry, cosmetic industry and of course your local home improvement center.  While in Paris on business, Cat decided that life was too short to be beige. Her memoir is a record of her escape from the beige tinge of her marriage to the wild colors of singlehood.

Any Color But Beige: Living Life in Color

After years of living a beige existence, Cat Larose, international color marketing expert, finally added a little color to her own life. All it took was a Paris sunset and a little red suitcase.

Everyone wanted Cat’s life. She had a handsome husband, a stylish home and a fascinating career as an international color marketing consultant. Work took Cat to some of the world’s most beautiful cities but something was missing: ironically, it was color. One day she found herself in Paris watching a sunset and, in a moment of clarity, she caught a glimpse of her sepia-toned future.

When Cat got home, she did what she’d longed to do for years. She decided to paint her bedroom a magnificent Bordeaux red and put an end to her beige existence and her marriage. That was the beginning of a new life.

Any Color but Beige
is a bright, funny, genuine account of one woman’s search for love in the deep end of the dating pool. None of the self-help books prepared Cat for the often funny, occasionally puzzling, sometimes sad but always colorful dating adventures with an international cast of frogs, princes and players. Cat makes the classic female mistake of thinking that love is a life preserver. Until one day she learns to swim.

Author’s Websites:

Catherine Larose’s book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9vh0IkE3YU&feature=related

Catherine Larose’s blog:

http://cafegirlchronicles.wordpress.com

Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Any Color But Beige! (print copy for US/Canada addresses or e-book for any address) and for you book clubbers…

On Monday,December 19 at the end of her WOW Blog Tour, Cat Larose will be awarding a special Color-tastic Book Club Prize ! The prize includes 10 copies of her memoir Any Color But Beige, a guide on how your book club can enjoy Any Color But Beige, a virtual visit from Cat Larose, and several other surprises. If you want to enter this contest just leave a comment after this post with the words “Book Club Contest” in the message. You can enter to win both the individual contest for one copy of Any Color But Beige and the Book Club Contest but you have to leave two different comments. Don’t forget to tell everyone who belongs to your Book Club to enter the contest!

Musings Welcomes Back Melissa Foster!!!

I’d like to welcome lovely lady, author and friend, Melissa Foster to Musings today. Melissa’s newest release Come Back to Me is out and Melissa graciously agreed to talk today about the character Suha and how character can truly shape a novel. Enjoy!

Suha’s World, by Melissa Foster

Sometimes a character comes along that touches you in a way that is far different than the rest. Suha, in COME BACK TO ME, is one of those characters. She’s a strong woman who has had to fight stigmas her entire life, she’s not an attractive women, and she’s not even very outwardly warm, and yet I found myself endeared to her from the every first word. Suha gives to others, expecting nothing in return. Suha, is my hero.

Developing Suha was a joy for me. It was not an easy task, though, as I had to crawl out of the comfortable world that I knew and into a new world with new rules and uncomfortable situations. I found depth in Suha by connecting with other women who had experienced some of the same discrimination, and portraying their emotions on the page. The easy part of developing Suha was finding her voice. She’s tough—she had to be to survive in her world. Once I understood her emotions, and which ones she needed to suppress, her voice came naturally.

Suha is a physician in her mid-sixties. She is guiding Samira, a young Iraqi mother of three, and her children, out of the country with the help of an underground railroad. Suha’s mother died when she was young, and she was raised by her physician father—a warm, intelligent man who taught her English and raised her with respect. Some ask if the war changed Suha, but I don’t believe it did. Suha has been a strong, untrusting woman her whole life. She protects those she loves with a vengeance, and has little time for those who treat others poorly. I wonder, sometimes late at night when the house is quiet, if Suha had a softer side that was simply never exposed. Certainly there were softer traits shown toward Beau, but overshadowed by the things she must do in order to survive, and keep Samira and her children safe.

If you haven’t had a chance to meet this extraordinary woman, I hope you will take the time to do so. I think of her often, even know, long after she’s left my fingertips.

Come Back to Me by Melissa Foster

Tess Johnson has it all: her handsome photographer husband Beau, a thriving business, and a newly discovered pregnancy. When Beau accepts an overseas photography assignment, Tess decides to wait to reveal her secret—only she’s never given the chance. Beau’s helicopter crashes in the desert.
Tess struggles with the news of Beau’s death and tries to put her life back together. Alone and dealing with a pregnancy that only reminds her of what she has lost, Tess is adrift in a world of failed plans and fallen expectations. When a new client appears offering more than just a new project, Tess must confront the circumstances of her life head on.
Meanwhile, two Iraqi women who are fleeing honor killings find Beau barely alive in the middle of the desert, his body ravaged by the crash. Suha, a doctor, and Samira, a widow and mother of three young children, nurse him back to health in a makeshift tent. Beau bonds with the women and children, and together, with the help of an underground organization, they continue their dangerous escape.
What happens next is a test of loyalties, strength, and love.

About Melissa:
Melissa Foster is the bestselling, award-winning author of three novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She has also been published in Indie Chicks, and anthology. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and the WoMen’s Literary Cafe, a cross-promotional site for authors, reviewers, bloggers, and readers. Melissa is currently collaborating in the film production of Megan’s Way, and hard at work on her next novel.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she’s written for Calgary’s Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family. Melissa’s interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Find Melissa online!
My Website
Follow me, Facebook, Twitter, FB Fanpage
Chat w/me on The Women’s Nest
The WoMen’s Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite! (for men & women)

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