Monday, September 26, 2016

PIMPBOOKMAMA: S.A. Larsen's Motley Education

Pimpbookmama here saying when it's getting closer to Halloween, you break out some mystical, and beast-like shenanigans from S.A. Larsen's book, MOTLEY EDUCATION, to get you in the spirit of the holiday. Just a tad early.

First, I asked her to answer some rather grueling questions before we got into her big book cover reveal and blurb.

1. Tell me about Ebony's (the MC's) best friend, Fleishman. He seems quite the interesting character.

Aw, you started with a question that tugs at my heart. I have a soft spot for Fleish, as Ebony calls him. He's the BFF or GTG - go to guy- that everyone wants. He's loyal, true, dedicated, and smart. Who doesn't want a walking encyclopedia as a best friend in middle school? Makes getting homework done a ton easier. But he doesn't come without his own quirks. He's pretty much scared of anything that could possibly do him harm - animals, insects, germs, or pieces of rock from Mars that just might make it though our atmosphere and smack him in the head- and he's way too practical for his own good. Mix that with his computer brain that has an infinite memory capacity, his dry sense of humor (which really is none), and his shyness, and you'll just fall in love with him. Think a younger Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.

2. What are some of the beasts we'll get to read during Ebony's and Fleishman's battles?

Well, beasts as in mythological creatures, readers will see the different species of giant- some fiery, others chilly, while still another simply drips of dirt and moss. The story weaves in groups of light and dark elves that I've tweaked with uniqueness, but you'll have to read to see what I mean. :) And there just might be a sighting of a serpent or dragon or oversized animal. Maybe. The other sort of beasts could mean a few of Motley's faculty like Headmistress Regina with her beady eyes rumored to be able to fry a student into a pile of ash on the spot. Use caution.

3. What was the easiest and hardest parts to write during your process?

By far the easiest part of writing Motley Education was coming up with inventive and creative ideas. They literally wouldn't stop popping into my head. I actually have more than enough unique scenes, plots/subplots, and conflict for the entire series, which I have set at five books. The hardest part was weeding through those ideas, using some now and saving others for later.

4. How do you gear up for writing/edits?

Keeping hydrated is a must - coffee or wine, depending on the time of day I'm writing; I always have ice water with me, too. Lit candles and my soft, squishy blanket are usually two of my other writing companions. Music, but that hinges on what I'm writing at the time. Oh, and my trusty stone gargoyle, Lars, who sits on a stack of books entitled Potions, Magic, and Spells. He's my desk buddy.

5. Any sage words for writers out there?

Write a lot. Read even more than that. And do both outside your genres of interest. You'll be surprised at how that exercise will soften the jagged edges of your craft and technique skills.

**Couldn't have said it better!! And what a hottie Sheri is! Want proof? Check her bio pic below, cover reveal, the blurb for Motley Education, and how you can pre-order it!!

Title: Motley Education
(Book One: The URD Saga)
Author: S.A. Larsen
Release Date: October 10, 2016
Goodreads -

Forget having a lively after school social life, Ebony Charmed is fighting to keep the entire Afterlife alive.
Ebony’s less-than-average spirit tracking abilities are ruining more than sixth grade at Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically & Celestially gifted. Her parents argue so much her dad moved out. And, even though he’s scared of his own shadow and insists on bringing his slimy, legless lizard everywhere they go, Ebony wouldn’t survive without her best friend, Fleishman.
When Ebony’s Deadly Creatures & Relics’ project goes missing, she learns her missing project is one of the keys to saving the spirit world. Now Ebony and Fleishman must battle beasts from Norse Mythology to retrieve her project before spirits are lost, the Well of Urd dries up, and Ebony loses all hope of reuniting her family. But someone lies in wait, and he has other plans...including creating a new world of spirits without them in it.

Motley Education has been aligned with Core Standards for grades 4-7. A guide will be available on the author’s website to download for FREE after the book’s release date.

About S.A. Larsen
S.A. LARSEN is the author of Motley Education, the first book in a middle grade fantasy-adventure series. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Look for her debut young adult novel, Marked Beauty, set for release in 2017. Find her in the land of lobsters, snowy winters, and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty years, four children, a playful pooch, and two kittens.
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Monday, September 12, 2016

Be Vulnerable, Get Connected

A terrible thing happened to me last week. I was browsing Twitter, and my feed was filling with YA writers doing a million and one tweets about all the new books coming out, or already out, in their category or genre. That's not a big deal, right? I read everything, so what IS the big deal?

The big deal is I'm getting closer and closer to being query ready, and when I query, I don't want to just SAY I write women's fiction. (Which ISN'T ALL I write, but my ideas are definitely so far...all WF.) And I realized how little I'm connected to my own category.

I was nearly in tears that night. Scratch that. I WAS in tears. Frustrated ones. I talked it out with a friend, even saying how I should quit because I've scoured the internet, finding nearly nothing. I was a wreck. She told me to be like Nicholas Sparks, who was a friend of her ex, and write to write, not to be categorized.

I said some deep prayers that night, and by morning I yelled SCREW IT! I need to fight the fight. I need to get my ARSE in gear. And so, I became vulnerable, sending 3 Facebook writing groups a plea to speak to WF writers, breaking down how I have no WF connections, and I need them. Bad.

Immediate doors opened to my prayers. Because I let my pride down, and became vulnerable, I got connected! It was the best feeling ever. I said to one of the girls that reached out, how I felt like I was on an island plane wrecked with a bunch of writers, and everyone had found their writing family, but me. But now? I've found them!

And not only that, but another contacted me about a LDS writers association, and how they even have chapter meetings (only 30mins from me), and retreats. The next Writer's Retreat is at the end of October, 10mins from my house. This is surreal!

So, yes, now my little ABOUT ME to the left has changed. I'm finally in a writer's association. TWO of them, in fact. I've even tagged along to the Tall Poppy Writers that promotes WF authors/books just like the Swanky17 for YA you see on social media. And I'm super excited to help them promo WF authors every Friday on Twitter when I tweet two books for my #weekendreads suggestions.

Moral of the story: Be Vulnerable, Get Connected. 

Reading: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (I said I wouldn't read till edits were done, but that surely didn't last!)
Read: At least I haven't read anything else. I'm taking my time enjoying An Ember in the Ashes. Sabaa is...awesome with her words.
Good Things: Amazon books sales (found 3 books for under $2 for a limited time only, score!)
What I have to stop myself from: going to bookstores and thrifts to browse books (I have too many already!)
What I want to buy more of: bookcases (I'd love to have my own library room or wall)
Next project: Being super nice to hubs (so he can build me the library wall!!!)
What my friend said that made me cringe: I invited her to walk with me to the library and she asked why. (oh, Lord have mercy...)

Questions to the Reader:
1. Is it hard for you to ask for help?
2. Is it because you don't want others to know you don't know when you should know?
3. Are you just as okay with not knowing as now I am?

Monday, August 29, 2016

When it's Time to Goof Off

Here I was telling my beta girl, after sending off another revised chapter to her, that I was going to get my butt in gear. Say screw it to my 1-2 chapter a week slogan, and start buckling down because I'm a few chapters from being done.

Well, done in the sense of sorta done. I need to revamp the beginning chapters after a mid-book inspiration on what I was lacking. Don't you hate that?? Now, I need to go back after said "done." UGH!

Anyways, my buckling down hasn't happened. Instead, I decided to relax!! I'm in no hurry to be told a deadline for edits if/when this book gets published. I have no one breathing down my neck other than myself. So, why not goof off a little while I can?
teach me your ways, Calvin and Hobbes!!
My goofing off this past month was filled with:
1. loads of swimming at the lake (I think we maxed any prior years combined)
2. beach walks with the family (the sand in my cars is legit)
3. painting beach rocks (paint them cool, hide/find them, keep or not, and post to FB)
4. no reading (ok, lie. I finished two books, but then I stopped for a break)
5. SEAHAWKS GAME! (got my die hard fan - my mom - and I 3rd row from the field in the season ticket holders section, 20yard line, tickets. I screamed, hollered, cheered, clapped, and stood with my hands in the air. I was easily the most active/loud person in our section...oops! My mom says it's because I'm just "more animated". haha!)

This is legit on how close we were. I could clearly see Sherman and Wilson!

Books read: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (an old grump's world gets rocked with new neighbors) and The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd (WWI Nurse Bess' journey to uncover a wounded soldiers past) ***** stars to Ove, *** stars to Bess
Books reading: I told you no! Stop tempting me!!!
Movie watched: Meet the Robinson's (seen it; fell asleep in and out the entire time)
Candy I liked during edits: Soft Candy Stripes (those candy cane sticks, but soft)
What I learned on TV:  when Yellowstone goes off, we are all....SO SCREWED!!! (from Utah to New York...screwed! I'm NOT moving!!)

1. What's one goof off you did this month?
2. Any regrets or are you glad for the life break?
3. Seahawks are going to the Superbowl, right? Right????

***Side note: It's my week on my other blog the Really Real Housewives of America. Would love for your support, and dropping by to say hi! I have some fun topics this week. In fact, today, I'm sharing my epic fails for the 2015-16 school year. Go me!**

Monday, August 1, 2016

Male Guide to Female Communication

Looking on the internet, I found a topic of discussion called "Male guide to Female Communication." Instantly, the jokes in my head swarmed like flies to a...well, you get the point. I also thought this is very much like the MC in my book @PIMPBOOKMAMA (still editing). Cindy's very sarcastic. Not sure WHERE she gets it from. So, I'm going to let HER take this one over.

Here are some clues to how a female communicates in the eyes of Cindy Sikes:

1. When I walk in the room and sigh, it means I'm disappointed you haven't rolled out the red carpet, handed me my fav drink, and ordered me something online. Or just put your cereal bowl in the sink. That, too.

2. When you ask me what's wrong and I say nothing, it's because I'd prefer you ask me who you should annihilate today in my honor.

3. When I tell you something someone did that made me mad, see response #2.

4. When I ask for your opinion on an outfit, I'm actually asking for you to say how wonderful it looks, and that I need to buy MORE clothes just like it with your credit card.

5. When I ask what time you'll be home, I'm actually wanting you to pick up dinner, flowers, and a big tub of chocolate ice cream. Duh!

6. When I ask what you're doing as you're leaving me with the kids while you go "pick something up at the store", you should take my condescending-tone-hint and just say, "making sure the front door still works."

7. When you feel the heat coming off of me as a hot tramp-dressed girl walks by, it means you need to cool me off with your arm placed around me. Tight.

8. When I'm quiet, it's because I'm secretly wondering how Lorena Bobbitt did it. Because you're next if you don't make me happy again. See response #4 & 5.

9. When I'm super happy, it's because I figured out #8. Don't fall asleep...

10. When I pull out the needle and thread, it means I forgive you. See #8 & #9

Isn't Cindy a trip, guys??


Books read: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (six outcasts on a dangerous heist) *****stars
Book reading: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
What I swore off till done with edits: Reading
What I'm still doing that I swore off: Reading
What I'm bad at doing: swearing off reading
What I plan to do after this book I'm reading: probably read another...

1. What's your favorite clue to female communication?
2. Do you have any clues to add?
3. Any you got very, very wrong?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Introspective Books of Today

In the past few months, I decided it was important I take the initiative to set aside READING TIME every Monday and Tuesday no matter what. I missed reading any spare time I had. Anything I could get my grumpy small hands on. Biographies, mobster books, historical, fantasy, military... I just love(d) to read period!

Lately, my reads are books I find in the library on display, happen upon, or recommended to me. The AMAZING part is that each of my more recent reads contain very introspective characters. They don't glaze over anything or thought. They ponder it with the upmost scrutiny. Some to a page-long fault, and others, just right.

But, because of this, I've wondered how much self-analyzing does my MC have, finding hers is nothing in comparison. Which is super helpful to defining her more. So, to these books listed that I've recently read, I say THANK YOU for defining your characters more with layers of introspective writing, in turn helping me define mine more with another layer of introspective thought!


Books read: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman (story of love and entanglement with the young Blackbeard), Resist by Ilima Todd (the finale of saving a "freedom"-less world), and Sunk: Shawn's Story by Jolene Perry (bad boy's second chance at life and love)
Book reading: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Movie watched: Pixels (second time seeing it, still as funny as the first)
Why I've been away: Family from FL came into town (always fantastic when family is around!)
What chapt I'm revising next: 20! (I have a thing for round even numbers)
How hot it's been here: 70* (the highest this week is 72*, jealous??)

1) Have you read any of these books?
2) Any you've read recently with introspective characters, too?
3) Now look at me, am I introspecting you right now?