Monday, October 17, 2016

PIMPBOOKMAMA: As We Know It - Revealed

PIMPBOOKMAMA here saying when one of your fav and ballsiest beta readers, Carrie Butler, is revealing her book cover, you hit that up and help expose it to the world like a hidden sex tape.

NO sex tapes were harmed in the process, but some questions were asked of our star's newest book, AS WE KNOW IT, a story of earthquakes and heartaches.

1. Worst storm or catastrophe ever been in?
Hmm...well, the one and only time my family took a vacation to the beach, we did get evacuated over a hurricane. But since I didn't have to witness the destruction firsthand, I'd probably have to go with the Derecho that came through Ohio a few years ago. We were without power for five days during a heatwave, and it was maddening. I can't imagine what I'd do in an actual catastrophe.

2. What drew you to writing this particular story?
Three things: 1) I have a secret love of geology. 2) I read Sandi Doughton's book, FULL-RIP 9.0: THE NEXT BIG EARTHQUAKE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. 3) I read Kathryn Schulz's Pulitzer-winning article THE REALLY BIG ONE, in The New Yorker. By that point, I realized I wasn't the only one (morbidly) fascinated with Cascadia's power.

3. Fav part writing this novel?
My favorite part of writing this novel, in true geek fashion, was the research - not just disaster scenarios, but survival techniques and Spanish profanity (LOL).

Well, if I ever need disaster advice, I know who to turn to!! Hide me, Carrizzle! Take me to your shelter! And then give me your book to read to pass the time! With that said, HERE is the AWESOME cover!! (and beauty that created the words in it!!)

Title: As We Know It
Carrie Butler
Action / Adventure (Disaster) & Romantic Suspense
December 2016
About the Book:
Deep beneath the ocean, stretching hundreds of miles alongside the Pacific Northwest coastline, lies the Cascadia subduction zone—a fault on the verge of unleashing a catastrophic earthquake, thirty times more powerful than the San Andreas. Unfortunately, like most tourists, Elena Cordova is oblivious.
She’s got her own pent-up stress to deal with, a humiliating breakup that’s driven her to end her tenure as a human doormat once and for all. So, when a pickpocket makes off with the last remnant of her relationship, she takes action—only to get trapped with him when disaster strikes.
Now, if either one hopes to survive, they’ll have to get past their initial impressions and work together . . . because in fifteen minutes, half the town will be underwater.
Carrie Butler is an award-winning author and the owner of Forward Authority full-service studio—not to mention an inbound-certified marketer with a penchant for superhero socks and Firefly. Time away from her desk is spent playing with her rescue pup, yelling at the TV during hockey season, and indulging in target-based recreation. Otherwise, you’re likely to find her glued to her chair, discovering new ways to share her daydreams...
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Geeky Science Resources:

AMAZING BOOK TRAILER IN 5...4...3...2...

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Protagonist's Decision-Making-Ultimatum Scene

Here I am editing my book for the 3rd time. Seems like a lot, right? Well, the first time was like a wicked draft. Then I sent it to my awesome beta team, spurring round two of revisions. But, as I was finishing up the edit, yes that means I completed round 2 with a Hallelujah victory dance, I noticed something was missing right at the last chapter that would rock the socks of the entire book. But...figured it out at the LAST chapter.

Of all chapters!!!

I went back into the story, marched through out the book to add and modify to said thing, and came across a scene in Chapter 3 where my MC, Cindy, slightly contemplates her future and what she should do about it.

Slightly contemplates? What is this crap?

Isn't this the truth? Love it!!

A protagonist can't kinda make a decision about their future like that! It has to be the DO-OR-DIE MOMENT!!! Every book has it.

Here are a few I can think of right off the bat:
1. Hunger Games - Katniss - volunteer, or not, to protect sister
2. An Ember in the Ashes - Leia goes undercover, or not, to save brother
3. Six of Crows - the crew maneuvers a heist, or not, to gain riches

Without the decision-making-ultimatum scene, the story is nothing. Nothing! I mean, it's something, but never truly defined as to what they are aiming for, their end goal, or quite literally what drives the character(s) or the story itself. Imagine if Katniss crumbled and just let her sister go to the games. Well, we'd have no story. Unless we want to hear Katniss being upset about her decision for 300 pages. Uh, no thank you.

My realization that Cindy has to make a choice, a choice I know, but the readers need to see in black and white, was totally my ah-ha! moment. How did I miss that? I'm guessing I was so wrapped up in the secondary story, I missed what was driving the first. And that's not okay. I personally thank the Heavens for inspiring my ah-ha! moment.

1. Are you incorporating the do-or-die moments in your novels, too?
2. Tell me one from a book you've read.


Reading: Cold Betrayal by J.A. Jance and I like You Just Fine When You're Not Around by Ann Wertz Garvin
Cool thing that happened: I went to my 1st book signing, here on our little island, and met J.A. Jance who is so funny!! Her humor is crudely clean. If that makes sense.
Looking forward to: My first Writer's Retreat! Right here on the next island over at the end of the month for 3 days.
My favorite candle smell today: Farm Apple Pumpkin by Better Homes. It's like apple and pumpkin spice pie had a baby.

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!**