Sunshine Blogger Awards

Victoria Greenwell tagged me in the Sunshine Blogger Awards along with 10 other lovely bloggers.  Thank you so much for tagging me! So, what do I have to do?

Here are the rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award:

• Thank the person who nominated you.
• Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked.
• Nominate 11 other bloggers, making sure to let each one know that they are nominated.
• Ask the nominees 11 questions.

Below are the questions I received:

  1. If you dress up for Halloween, cosplay, or other less commonly accepted occasions, describe your last two costumes. Okay, last Halloween I was half a vampire. Yes, I mean half. I painted my face, wore fake teeth, and wore a cape. But underneath that cape, I was a normal human, jeans and a sweatshirt. Then last June, I went to a ren faire and fully dressed up as a forest princess.danaren
  2. What movie or tv show would you consider a guilty pleasure? I love any variation of Cinderella!
  3. If you could live in any fictional world (whether it’s yours or someone else’s creation), where would you live and why? I kind of want to live in Shadowland. It’s a world, total opposite of ours that my sister and I made up. It rains upside down and the drops are black. And trash grows into brick buildings and disappears. Cool? I think so. I’d want to just see the world I’d created.
  4. You’ve been imprisoned for high treason and have been sentenced to death and there is no chance that the governor is going to call. Describe in detail your last meal. I think I would just want a pineapple upside down cake.
  5. Answer one of these or both: Name your favorite Doctor on Doctor Who. Name your favorite James Bond. Daniel Craig. Hands down.
  6. If you could choose any piece of music or song to be your theme song, what would it be? My Day by Danielle Bradberry.
  7. Concerning sleep, do you consider it a wondrous thing that you just can’t get enough of, or are you one of those “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” people? I love sleep but I am also one of those “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” people.
  8. Has any character that you’ve created ever done anything that took you by surprise? Yes! Cami from Bleeding Hearts is one character I couldn’t control! She tends to make some decisions that I wouldn’t necessarily make.
  9. Describe something from a movie, book or tv where you would have written it better. I actually don’t think about writing things better. Authors and screenwriters have their own way of doing things and I don’t feel like I could do better than them. 🙂
  10. Are you a shipper? If so, name some of the ships that you love. (For example, if you watch the Flash and you think Barry and Caitlyn should get together, that means you are shipper for SnowBarry.) I have a wonderful Ship name for two of my characters in my book Bleeding Hearts. Issami! Read to find out who they are!!
  11. Sentence fragments. Love them or hate them? I actually like them. I feel like they serve a purpose but don’t over use them!

So, there are my 11 questions answered. Now, here are the questions I’d like answered:

  1. What is your middle name?
  2. When did you first learn how to ride a bike?
  3. Are you the kind of person that likes to plan things or go out on a whim?
  4. What is your favorite thing to wear?
  5. Name a country then explain why you named it?
  6. What is your occupation?
  7. If you could own only one animal, what would it be?
  8. Which element do you relate to the most? Why? Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Spirit.
  9. Are you planning any vacations this year? If so, where?
  10. Name your favorite book?
  11. Lastly, do you believe that there are aliens in space?

 

Okay, the people I tag are:

Alyssa Filly – https://dreamsandreads.wordpress.com/

L.K. Kuhl – http://kuhlreads.blogspot.com/

Kim Kasch – http://kimbrakasch.com/

Skye Hegyes –  https://skyehegyes.com/

Angelique Anderson – https://authorangeliqueanderson.wordpress.com/

Wendy May Andrews – http://www.wendymayandrews.com

Ginger Solomon –  www.gingersolomon.com

J.L. Salter  – http://taketwoonromance.weebly.com/jls-blog.html

Nicole Zoltack – http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com

Lora Palmer – http://lorarpfictionblog.blogspot.com

Wendy Knight – http://wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com/

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Keeping Writing Close To My Heart

When I was younger, I had always dreamed of writing a book. I had this awesome fantasy world I created and even drew a detailed map with mountains, streams, and oceans. I came up with a plot and characters; the whole shebang!

But, what I didn’t do was actually write the book. I was never confident about writing. There was always something in the back of my mind telling me I wasn’t good enough, so I kept my folder (with a horse on the front) with all my story ideas and pictures close to me so I could add to it whenever. If I suddenly had an idea, it went in the folder. No one knew what was inside. They all thought it was school work. But they were wrong.

I kept that dream close to my heart until one day, I wrote some of that down.

It all started when I decided my sister would help me write. My great idea was for me to come up with the plot points and Elena would write my story. That lasted all of one day. Elena basically told me to write it myself. So, I did. I was so excited. Writing was exhilarating and new. It worked parts of my brain that I loved. Creativity is my middle name, I get it from my dad – who used to write westerns back in the day. Sadly, he doesn’t have any of his work.

My first story ever wasn’t really what I wanted to write; it was a collaboration with my sister because I was clueless how to start. The story consisted of a private school, princesses, and bombings. None of it worked. LOL. 15,000 words later and I scrapped that idea to start my fantasy story I created when I was young. I was actually writing that book!

You could imagine my excitement! It took me eight months to finish 60,000 words of junk. But the most important part was that I wrote the book; my childhood dream! I titled it Under The Willow Tree and still hope to one day revisit that lovely work of art and finish it the way I want too, but for now, it stays close to my heart as the first book I ever wrote.

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Left to right: Kristina, Melissa, Elena, Dana

 

I want to thank my sister, Elena for denying me and my crazy idea of her writing my book. I want to thank her for always believing in me and talking with me about ideas (rather excitedly) and chapters and editing. I want to thank her for just being my sister. If it wasn’t for her, I would’ve never landed a publishing contract with Clean Reads or Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing, Inc.

All of my sisters, Kristina for reading Bleeding Hearts and loving it, for reading the first, horrible draft of Under The Willow Tree and never once complaining.

And for Melissa, who has always supported my writing, and although I haven’t let her read anything yet, I know she will love it.

Lastly, my husband, Kyle for buying me that laptop and letting me buy an unimaginable amount of books and never once telling me I couldn’t do it. And for loving me. (That’s a given. LOL)

I will keep my writing, my books, my sisters, my husband, and the rest of my family close to my heart as I continue on this journey of a writer.

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Me and Kyle

Let’s sit down with Kade Cook

As many may know, Kade Cook is an author with Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing, Inc., and I had the chance to ask her some questions about being an author!

So, Kade, tell me a little about yourself. I am a coffee addicted writer that sings, dances and blogs from my kitchen bubble about whatever enters my mind and scribbles away about my book on my blog. I love everything reading, writing and artistic. I spend most of my time chasing around my incredible children that I hope one day will grow up reading and enjoying books as much as I do.

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This symbol is made by Kade herself.

 

Sounds like you have a lot of fun. That brings me to my first question, what is your book called and what’s it about? (Okay, two questions.)  GREY is the story about a young logically wired psychologist who is thrown into a supernatural world that is anything but logical and must find control of her true self in order to survive the Darkness that haunts her. It takes you through her trials and tribulation of learning to walk again as a stranger in a world that is no longer familiar to her.

It is everyday life, infused with magical elements just beneath its surface.

Wow! So fascinating. Is this part of a series?  Yes, GREY is book one of The Covenant of Shadows Trilogy or series, I haven’t exactly decided if there will be a fourth. It is out lined but we will see how it goes.

The trilogy is a journey of growth and enlightenment, of seeing things in a different light than what had once been allowed in order to shelter a child from unnecessary truths of her heritage. A discovery of the real spirit inside that refuses to be contained and conform any longer.

I personally can’t wait to read this. So, what inspired you to write this book?  Well I have been sitting on a book idea for more than 20 years but was always afraid to do it. I was terrified every time I thought about how I would make the characters talk, so I buried it. After years of being home with the kids, not doing any kind a cerebral work I began to get bored and it showed. One day my husband said to me: ”if you are so bored then why don’t you write a book.”kadecook

So…I did.

And boy was he sorry. But I put away my fears of dialogue and just began to write. Little did I know that when it was time for the characters to speak, they did exactly that. Loud and clear. There was no longer any fear of ‘how’ they would say it, just nervousness and exhilaration of ‘what’ they would say.

How long have you been writing?  I have written my entire life but only in song, music and in poetry. It was just until 2015 that I actually put pencil to paper in an attempt to create a novel. Mind you I have lived in the land of make believe since I was able to recall, writing everything out mentally as I went. Life just seemed more interesting that way.

Would you consider yourself an outliner or pantser?  I would have to say both. Though the skeleton of the story, once it reveals itself, is normally figured out to the best of my abilities first. Then I just let the story go, with minimal guidance and allow the muscles to take form on the bones naturally, unforced. I let the characters have as much room as they need to find themselves and the message they want to show me. I basically just take notes as quickly as I can before they change their minds. Which sometimes they do.

I’m a bit of both myself. That reminds me, how long, on average, does it take you to write a book?  GREY’s first draft was written and completed (without edits) in five months. But book two is taking a bit longer. With edits to GREY, time spent publicizing its birth and then of course life in general, things are moving along more slowly but they are still moving. That is the main thing. I am hoping to have it done by end of summer, then start on book three. Which has already been out lined and waiting my attention.

Sounds like a ton of work and dedication to writing. What else do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?  Let’s see, I garden in the summer, I run to the hockey rinks all winter long, I sing and dance in the kitchen when no one is watching and I read and read and read some more. Once in a while, I even wander down the road and hang out with some of the folks that live in my incredible neighborhood.

That makes me want to come to your house for a week and hang out with you. But I’d love to know where you would like to visit that you haven’t been before.  Oh, that is an unfair question. I cannot pick just one… but, hmm, okay here is one place I would love to go: Europe. That is one place right? Hee hee

Yes! I would call it a place. I would love to go to Europe. Kade, if I told you that I won the lottery and bought you an island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you?  The veil. Non-fictional? I would take all my neighbors and my family. Fictional? Any of the Schaeduwe – Shadow Walkers, from my book. They can jump in and out of shadows at will, arriving anywhere at any time, pretty handy when you are on an island. OH and did I mention they are wickedly cute?kadedog

That sounds awesome and a fun place to go. I’ll add it to my list of places I want to visit. Okay, now on to the more important questions: Do you have any pets?  I have a beta fish, well, I don’t… my four year old does, named Rainbow. We used to have a Rough Collie named Indy but he went to the clouds last summer.

Aw, he is adorable. I’m sure Indy enjoys the freedom from up above. Here’s another important question: What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?  A frog… and you know what? It does taste like chicken. So, yah.

In light of the strange questions, if you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?  Oh, wow. Just one? Well I guess maybe Ethan Borne. He has been around for a while, and has an open outlook on the way the world works. He has seen many sides of what life gives you but still manages to find the goodness in everyone. I like him.

He sounds so interesting! Do you have any advice for other writers?  Regardless of what anyone else thinks or feels or tells you what you should do, write for you. Not for them. Do it for yourself. Build the world that you want to see and always believe in that dream of seeing it through. It’s your dream, defend it.

Would you mind sharing a little bit of your book with us?  Here is a small snippet from GREY:

“Everything alright in there?” Knowing full well that it was not, Sarapheane wanted to comfort Gabrian.

“Yeah, mom,” Gabrian says, lying through her teeth. “Migraine, I will be alright. I just need to lay down.” Her head hurt, her mind hurt, her whole body hurt. Nothing felt good.  All she wanted was to go to bed and wake up better in the world she knew before the auras started.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.  I’m sure.” 

For a moment Gabrian wishes that she was a little girl again. That her mom would come tuck her into bed and tell her that everything will be ok.

That there isn’t anything hiding under her bed in the shadows.

That there is nothing to be afraid of in the Darkness.

And that she wasn’t a monster.

I’m very intrigued by this snippet. If you are just as interested in this book as I am, you’re going to have to wait in line! GREY is set to be released on August 15, 2016. Only a few short months away and we get to take a look at this book!kadepic

If you would like to follow Kade and The Covenant of Shadows Trilogy please do so below.

WordPress     Facebook     Twitter     LinkedIn   Google     Goodreads     Tumblr

I had so much fun talking with Kade. She has been a peach to work with at RRPI and I wish her and her books the best of luck. Happy Friday the 13th!

Please don’t forget, if you have a creative person you would like me to interview, leave me a comment and I’ll get right on it.