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MailBox Monday

I won a free download this week ! Woot! Free books = AWESOME.

I was wandering over the pages of Grippedintobooks and stopped to enter a fun contest they had going over there. The, Voila! I won. What did I win? (Possibly a new reading obsession). I received an eBook copy of :

GHOST TOWN by Rachel Caine.

Ghost Town is the ninth book in The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. It was published on 4th November by Alison and Busby. The book is 479 pages long and the UK version has an exclusive short story. I won this book in a blog giveaway.

After being allowed on a little trip out of Morganville, Claire Danvers and her friends finally start to feel like things are starting to look a little more like normal. As normal as things can look in Morganville anyway. Unfortunately for Claire, she finds herself right in the middle of a terrible situation and ultimately has to decide on taking a punishment herself of making her friends do it in her place.

Claire being the type of girl that she is, decides to take the punishment herself. Amelie forces Claire to work without sleep or rest until the town’s defence system is repaired. Even though Claire works until she hit’s the state of complete exhaustion, the defence system is up and running again, leaving her to get back to her friends. Upon leaving Myrnin’s lab and back into Morganville, Claire begins to think that everything is not quite right. People are losing their memories, going as far back as the past three years. As Claire starts to notice this happening more and more, she realises that anyone can be affected, including the vampires. Claire must figure out a way of restoring the town’s defence system before she forgets how to do it!

I borrowed this description from a YA review site Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

For more information on the Morganville Vampire Series, stop by author Rachel Caine’s site Rachel Caine

Mailbox Monday is a meme hosted this month at Rose City Reader. This is one more incredible way to get to know one another, build your following and find great new sites to add to your dashboard.

What was in your mailbox this week?

Don’t forget to follow if you like what you see! I ALWAYS follow back ;) Love meeting other bookish folks like me!

My Brand? “HAPPY.” Is Happy A Brand?

Normally, I participate in In My Mailbox today, but I didn’t get anything new this week and something else is on my mind. Branding. Not like cattle of course, but that is kind of funny. I’m referring to the online push for writers to brand themselves as a product. From a marketing and even a psychological standpoint, I get this. Branding creates an association with your name. In time and in theory, people will begin to associate a personality or style with your name / brand and this can be good for sales. So, the popular advice is for the unpublished writers of the world to decide what their “brand”, “style” or “personality” is and then consistently put that face forward in the blogosphere, twitterverse and cyberspace.

This is a fully daunting concept for me. I used the adverb to be sure you get it. It’s not merely daunting, like a bit startling, it’s daunting like stop me mid sentence – dumbfounding. What’s my brand? My personality? My style? My thing? Can you feel me shrugging? If I could sit still in a genre, that would help, but I can’t so it doesn’t.  Am I going for something specific? No. So what’s my brand? Who am I anyway? Well, the same thing comes to mind everytime I roll that question around in my crowded head.

I’m happy.

What a lame brand.

It’s true. I’m sky high happy most days, and full of renegade energy most of those. Hey, I’m also human and have my share of other emotions and couch days, but overall, if you polled my family, friends and neighbors, I think I boil down to Happy, and that’s an awesome place to be. Is it a brand? Not a great one. I get the feeling brooding and emo are much more popular these days, but I’ve never been either, so I can’t even pretend.

That’s that. *Dusts palms together* I’m happy. It’s my thing.

I’m also happy to take comments now. LOL Thoughts? Opinions? Brand Strategy? What’s your thing?

Writers Conferences 2011

Last year I attended my very first writers conference. My dear, sweet, uber supportive Hubster  drove me a couple hours to Columbus, Ohio so I could be a part of the COFW (Central Ohio Fiction Writers) Conference. They are a division of RWA and so much fun. All day each day I was on my own, but it was extra awesome to meet up with hubster minus kidlets (we left with Grandma) and stop by the hotel bar to mingle. each night.  There were quite a few husband there and lots of people getting together for dinner, so it was just fabulous. I had so much fun that I asked hubs to please-please-please bring me back in 2011, to which he shrugged and smiled. -For what I am to energy, hubs has double in patience and general cool. So, that was a done deal before it ever ended in 2010 LOL.

Now, I’m so excited. I found another larger writers conference, the PennWriters Conference coming to Pittsburgh, PA. No, it’s not in Ohio like I am, but Pittsburgh is only about 2  1/2 hours away – same drive as to Columbus. Yey! So, I say to hubster. Please-please-please-please. It’s in May, so there’s a full 5 months between conferences, Grandma will watch the kidlets both weekends, the cost in about three times higher and the conference is WAY bigger, more agents, more editors, more meals, more writers, authors, swag *sigh*. Hubster smiled and shrugged.

I’m IN! SQUEEE! So, in 2011 I will be attending TWO writers conferences, one in May and one in October. Kids will be safe with Grandma, and Hubster will be keeping me company and sharing my thrills. I’ll be bringing details for these conferences when they get closer. I can’t even register for them yet because its just too soon, but I’m excited about two weekend getaways and I thought a Saturday post was fitting! Hooray!

Welcome to the Blog Hop & Follow Friday!!!

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books and Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is: Why

Parajunkee’s question was: Who do you cheer for?

Uh-oh. Now, I always hope this won’t come up. It seems so …unAmerican, but I don’t follow sports, like at all. Not even a little. Not ever. Serious. I went to games in high school to catch up on gossip. I cheered for one year in which I was flattened by runaway tackle mob because I wasn’t watching. *Sigh* I’m even guilty of bringing a book to my kids’ tball games. Hubster elbows me when it’s our little men’s turn at bat. Otherwise, I’ve checked out. For someone as competitive as I am this has always been a conundrum, but it’s true none-the-less. I don’t cheer for anyone. I read, and pack coolers and watch the people and make new friends with small children and other distracted moms at events. At home, I just don’t turn it on. Now, I am bracing for the attack. I can take it. Go ahead…Give me your best. *covers eyes*

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me if you follow! I always follow back!!!

I’m a Mountain Mover. Also Spirited. 100% Writer.

I need to begin this post with two facts.

1. I want to be a published author.

2. I’m full of energy.

That second details causes me some trouble. <— Understatement of the millennium. Case in point: My friends have lovingly referred to me as the Energizer Julie. They’ve jokingly called me “high octane,” and my caffeine addiction is so huge I often include it in my bio.

That particular quality isn’t the worst. Energy, under control gets stuff done. I mean, D-O-N-E. If you told me I needed to literally MOVE the mountain across the street from my house (you have to go with me here, I don’t know WHY, but if I was required to do this) I would get a sturdy shovel, gloves, buckets, arrange babysitting and need to know where you wanted the mountain moved so I could get going on that project post haste- I mean, it’s going to take a while and I want to get back to writing, so – tick-tock – where do you want it????? You can ask my husband. He’d be getting your paperwork ready for loonyacres, or ignoring you because he’s not wasting his life moving a big freakin pile of dirt – duh. But, yeah, he knows, I’d have someone directing traffic at the cross roads so I could keep the dirt moving.

Alrighty. Now that’s established. Extra energy also causes terrible side effects like, but not limited to * :

Jumping the Gun – which almost always ends in regret

I write everyday and am committed to the overall process and experience. I like to think I do most things industry related right. I take the advice. I do the work,  and logical Julie  knows it takes years to build a career.

Then the energy kicks in and I’m outside the box looking for another way in. My brain is in problem solving mode and I’m screaming “There’s got to be a way to break in there faster!” “I need to DO SOMETHING! I GOTTA BUST IN!”

Maybe no one does that. Maybe this is the life of a writer. Crazy. Frenzied. Chaotic. I don’t know about other writers but I know it’s my life and I’m working hard to channel the mountain mover. She needs to keep writing and honing and reading and connecting with other bookish folks online. She doesn’t need to dig into every writing avenue on the planet. Career planning is a long haul, not a sprint.

So this blog post is for all the other overly enthusiastic writers out there. Put the bucket down. Step away from the shovel. Let the traffic back into the neighborhood. Save your energy for when something gets picked up and its time to think promotion because I hear that is one big mountain.

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