Sunday, April 13, 2014

Toni's Big Six Journey #4

I recently asked on my FB what I should blog about and T.R. Graves said “Write about the best day of your life and what made it stand out (then and now).” So I am going to try to do that.

I have had a lot of good days, but I have also had a lot of bad, I think they balance each other out.  With that being said, I don’t think I have actually lived my best day.  I could be clichéd and say the day my best friend Anne came into my life, and while that is a GREAT day, I don’t know that it is something that I can write about without revealing too much about my life.  So while that is one of the greatest, it is a personal greatest and I can’t really share it.

It is sometimes hard to see the good through the bad.  I haven’t been writing much because I have been in this really weird place emotionally.  I feel like I can’t get words from my brain to my pen to paper.  I am even having a hard time typing up what was previously handwritten.  I feel like something in me just won’t click and it goes wayyyyy beyond writer’s block. 

These past few years have been hard for me, and at times I stopped writing.  For example: September 2011 something happened that changed my life at the time I thought it was for the worse and now I even think that at times, but in the long run it will probably be one of the better days or even for the best.  I stopped writing for about six months in my main book.  I picked up the pen in November (2011) to write the vampire book and wrote two chapters, but I didn’t do much more until March.  I don’t like this, I don’t like what I am writing, I feel like I am being  fake, because I am holding so much back and talking around the point.   But I also don’t want to shout “THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG” online.

As most know we lost Ned Vizzini, back in December (2013).  His death really shook me, as a writer, a reader, and (and I use the term loosely) a friend.  I was and still am his friend on Facebook.  We interacted once when I told him that I loved his book and he thanked me.  When he passed (I didn’t find out until days later) I had a hard time coping.  I, writing this, am having a hard time even now.  I bought his last book and I can’t even look at it without losing it and breaking down. I can’t imagine how hard it is for his ‘real’ friends and family.  I sometimes feel like his death could have been prevented, like what if I reached out, what if I emailed him like I kept wanting to?  He never posted much on FB so I didn’t know things were hard for him, but god I WISH I would have emailed before December.  Every time I saw his book on my bookshelf I had this nagging feeling to message, but I never did, for whatever reason.  And I am sad I didn’t.  We weren’t close or really had any interaction, but I loved his books and it meant so much to me that he accepted my friend request.

I have been struggling with my rewrite and I started a few new books in hopes of jumpstarting that desire to continue Devon’s story, but something is hitching.  I have been plotting on the daily and have at least three new book ideas that I love, LOVE!  I have been spending time with my characters so it’s not like I went completely radio silent, everything has just been fuzzy.  I am hoping to beat this soon.

Also, I want to apologize to the bloggers and Tina for not being consistent with posting and for not really informing anyone that I was going MIA.  But I am back hopefully.  I haven’t known what to post or blog about, so ideas would be helpful and greatly appreciated.

I’m back hopefully, I have been getting the desire to write.  Writers, does this happen to you?  Is this normal?

I think I know what my next blog post will be about, but please send me ideas.

 


Peace, Love, and Inspiration
Keep writing and remember
#ItsAWriterThing

Listening to:  Tear the World Down from Tear the World Down-We Are the Fallen
 
Quote: “I just give myself permission to suck. I delete about 90 percent of my first drafts … so it doesn’t really matter much if on a particular day I write beautiful and brilliant prose that will stick in the minds of my readers forever, because there’s a 90 percent chance I’m just gonna delete whatever I write anyway. I find this hugely liberating. I also like to remind myself of something my dad said in [response] to writers’ block: ‘Coal miners don’t get coal miners’ block.’”  --John Green

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Surprise Just For Fans/Friends

It's been some time since I've last posted, but don't worry. Posting - or lack of posting - does not mean that I've not been writing. I have. I'll share more about that later.

Today, I'm here to give a little gift and show a little love... LOVE is what today is all about after all. ❤

For anyone interested, I'm offering a no-strings-attached and completely FREE eBook version of Left (Still Standing, #1). All you (or your designated Valentine) needs to do is enter the coupon code GP67L in order to obtain your download.



Series: Still Standing
Genre: Contemporary New Adult 
Disclaimer: 18+ profanity/sexual situations/violence
Length: 315 pages
Regular Price: $3.99
Summary:

A naive Baylee loves Colt, her boyfriend of four years, more than she ever thought possible. After a little snooping, she's convinced she's well on her way toward hearing an once-in-a-lifetime proposal and starring in the wedding-of-the-year event. Instead, she's blindsided by a very public breakup and the crushing news that Colt is marrying someone else... someone more befitting him and the role his father expects him to take in his law firm.

Baylee may have spent years resenting Ariana, her mother, and her suicide, an intolerable show of weakness in Baylee's opinion, but after Colt leaves her just short of the altar, Baylee sees the world through her mother's eyes. She sympathizes with Ariana's actions and realizes that some things—soul-deep aches—can irreparably damage you and make moving on nearly impossible.


At least that's how she feels until she meets Ryker. With his help, Baylee discovers there is life after Colt, and she prepares to move on by pulling herself up by the bootstraps, holding her head high, and standing on her own two feet. Unfortunately, a new jealous and hateful Colt has his own plans for her, and they are plans no one—especially Baylee—ever saw coming.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

♫ On The Twelfth Day of Christmas ♫

♫ On the twelfth day of Christmas
My favorite author sent to me:
Twelve drummers drumming
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree. ♫
(a chance to win an twelfth gift)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, I'm offering a chance to win a $20 Amazon or B&N Gift Card. ❤


How to win: Comment below or on Facebook Fan Page (leaving contact information) and have a chance to win a gift card (winner will be randomly selected by me).

For those who don't win, I'm including another recipe from Breaking Bread with Family: (free on Blurb)

Realizing the traditional meals of my family were in jeopardy of being lost to my children forever, I rolled up my sleeves and began organizing the chaos called my late mother-in-law's recipe folder.  Weeding through scraps of paper, envelopes, thank you notes, and index cards, I discovered that the directions for my husband's favorite childhood meals were fading and -periodically - incomplete.

Breaking Bread with Family is a one-stop-shop where those very recipes have been preserved for the next generation. Making the book even more special is the fact that I sprinkled in a few of the dishes most loved and served by my father when he was alive.

These recipes are more southern than gourmet, but, for me, everything about them conjure memories of love, laughter, acceptance, and - above all else - home.

Campfire Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
8 large marshmallows

Directions

Cocoa: Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring mixture to an easy boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot. Do not boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between mugs (4). Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa, cooling drink.

Marshmallows: Skewer marshmallows, roasting each over campfire until puffed up, medium brown, and soft to the core. Top each mug with two roasted marshmallows.

Serve. Enjoy.

Thank you so much for participating in my first Days of Christmas Event! 

In case you missed any of them, you'll want to check out the giveaways spotlighted on the previous posts. All coupons should be good until 1/1/14. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

♫ On The Eleventh Day of Christmas ♫

♫ On the eleventh day of Christmas
My favorite author sent to me:
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree. ♫
(a chance to win an eleventh gift)

On the eleventh day of Christmas, I'm offering a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. ❤


How to win: Be one of the first people commenting below or on Facebook Fan Page (leaving contact information) and receive an gift card.

Another recipe from Breaking Bread with Family: (free on Blurb)


Realizing the traditional meals of my family were in jeopardy of being lost to my children forever, I rolled up my sleeves and began organizing the chaos called my late mother-in-law's recipe folder.  Weeding through scraps of paper, envelopes, thank you notes, and index cards, I discovered that the directions for my husband's favorite childhood meals were fading and -periodically - incomplete.

Breaking Bread with Family is a one-stop-shop where those very recipes have been preserved for the next generation. Making the book even more special is the fact that I sprinkled in a few of the dishes most loved and served by my father when he was alive.

These recipes are more southern than gourmet, but, for me, everything about them conjure memories of love, laughter, acceptance, and - above all else - home.

Cottage Herb Rolls

Rolls Ingredients:
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1 c. cottage cheese
1 egg beaten

Directions

Dissolve yeast in warm water. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, oregano, and salt. Mix well. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles corn meal. Blend in cheese, egg, and yeast mixture.

Turn onto well-floured surface and knead. Shape into balls. Place on well-greased bowl. Brush top with melted butter. Cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and shape as desired. Let rise until double again.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Don't forget to come back every day for more great giveaways (some for you and some you will be able to giveaway yourself)! 

In case you missed them, you'll want to check out the giveaways spotlighted on the previous posts: 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

♫ On The Tenth Day of Christmas ♫

♫ On the tenth day of Christmas
My favorite author sent to me:
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree. ♫
(a coupon for a tenth free gift)

On the tenth day of Christmas, I'm offering a $5 Amazon Gift Card. ❤


How to win: first person commenting below or on Facebook Fan Page (leaving contact information) will receive the gift card.

Another recipe from Breaking Bread with Family: (free on Blurb)


Realizing the traditional meals of my family were in jeopardy of being lost to my children forever, I rolled up my sleeves and began organizing the chaos called my late mother-in-law's recipe folder.  Weeding through scraps of paper, envelopes, thank you notes, and index cards, I discovered that the directions for my husband's favorite childhood meals were fading and -periodically - incomplete.

Breaking Bread with Family is a one-stop-shop where those very recipes have been preserved for the next generation. Making the book even more special is the fact that I sprinkled in a few of the dishes most loved and served by my father when he was alive.

These recipes are more southern than gourmet, but, for me, everything about them conjure memories of love, laughter, acceptance, and - above all else - home.

Chopped Broccoli Salad

Salad Ingredients:
1 head of broccoli chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped purple onion

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
9 slices of crisp bacon crumbled
Dressing Ingredients:
1 c. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. finely chopped celery (optional)

Directions

Toss salad ingredients in large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over salad ingredients. Toss salad until coated.


Let sit for four to six hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Don't forget to come back every day for more great giveaways (some for you and some you will be able to giveaway yourself)! 

In case you missed them, you'll want to check out the giveaways spotlighted on the previous posts: 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

♫ On The Ninth Day of Christmas ♫

♫ On the ninth day of Christmas
My favorite author sent to me:
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree. ♫
(a coupon for a ninth free gift)

On the ninth day of Christmas, I'm offering a hidden object game, Enemies Hidden Object. Enjoy! ❤


Genre: all ages
Average Rating: 5 star
Coupon: 5 people commenting below or on Facebook Fan Page will be gifted with a B&N game (sorry can't gift on Amazon) OR Google Android FREE

Allison La Crosse's picture perfect world quickly becomes more of a nightmare than the fairy tale she'd been expecting when she married Brody.

With enemies leading and destiny in control, she embarks upon a journey of the soul where she unearths an underwater realm that is beyond believable...beyond fantastical...beyond comprehension.

Deep within this undiscovered world, Allison is forced to battle a new breed of adversaries. Ones willing to do whatever necessary to capture her -- dead or alive. While fighting for her life, she joins forces with an exceptional team of protectors. Because they are unconditionally loyal, she sees firsthand that they are prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to guard her existence and defend the purity of their world.

Love, friendships, and unforgivable actions have Allison wondering if going home will ever be an option even if home is the only place where she can have a life with Brody.

Another recipe from Breaking Bread with Family: (free on Blurb)


Realizing the traditional meals of my family were in jeopardy of being lost to my children forever, I rolled up my sleeves and began organizing the chaos called my late mother-in-law's recipe folder.  Weeding through scraps of paper, envelopes, thank you notes, and index cards, I discovered that the directions for my husband's favorite childhood meals were fading and -periodically - incomplete.

Breaking Bread with Family is a one-stop-shop where those very recipes have been preserved for the next generation. Making the book even more special is the fact that I sprinkled in a few of the dishes most loved and served by my father when he was alive. 

These recipes are more southern than gourmet, but, for me, everything about them conjure memories of love, laughter, acceptance, and - above all else - home.

Spaghetti Meat Sauce

Ingredients:
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped and sautéed onions
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 tbsp. sugar (please adjust to your taste)
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 lb. ground hamburger meat drained

Directions


Throw it all in a saucepan, stir, simmer, cover and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Don't forget to come back every day for more great giveaways (some for you and some you will be able to giveaway yourself)! 

In case you missed them, you'll want to check out the giveaways spotlighted on the previous posts: 

Friday, December 20, 2013

♫ On The Eighth Day of Christmas ♫

♫ On the eighth day of Christmas
My favorite author sent to me:
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtle doves and
A partridge in a pear tree. ♫
(a coupon for a eighth free ebook)

On the eighth day of Christmas, I'm offering a coupon for a free ebook, Breaking Bread with Family. Enjoy! ❤


Genre: cookbook (southern)
Pages: 92
Average Rating: new release
Coupon: FREE (no coupon necessary)
Link: Blurb
Expires: January 1, 2014
(Feel free to hang onto this and give as your own gift to a friend, family member, or colleague.)

Realizing the traditional meals of my family were in jeopardy of being lost to my children forever, I rolled up my sleeves and began organizing the chaos called my late mother-in-law's recipe folder.  Weeding through scraps of paper, envelopes, thank you notes, and index cards, I discovered that the directions for my husband's favorite childhood meals were fading and -periodically - incomplete.

Breaking Bread with Family is a one-stop-shop where those very recipes have been preserved for the next generation. Making the book even more special is the fact that I sprinkled in a few of the dishes most loved and served by my father when he was alive.

These recipes are more southern than gourmet, but, for me, everything about them conjure memories of love, laughter, acceptance, and - above all else - home.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Ingredients:
1 loaf French bread (cubed and stale)
1 quart 40 percent whipping cream
1 dozen eggs
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 oz. vanilla extract
4 oz. pumpkin pie spice
2 c. granulated sugar
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. toasted pecan pieces

Rum Sauce:
4 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. water
1 qt. 40 percent whipping cream
2 c. granulated sugar
1 stick butter
1 c. dark rum

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the bread pudding: Blend all the ingredients together, except the French bread, until mixed well. Place the French bread in a 1-gallon aluminum pan. Pour the mixture over the French bread and let sit for 30 minutes. Bake for 1 hour or until firm.

For the rum sauce: Blend the cornstarch with the water. Mix the rest of the sauce ingredients together and cook over low heat until thick.

Serve the warm sauce with the warm bread pudding.

Don't forget to come back every day for more great giveaways (some for you and some you will be able to giveaway yourself)! 

In case you missed them, you'll want to check out the giveaways spotlighted on the previous posts: