Monthly Archives: April 2012

Second Stop on the Enza Blog Tour!

Be sure to stop by Radiant Light today and see what Andi has to say about Enza.

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The Enza Launch, Release Day Party & Birthday Bash Has Begun!

It feels like it’s taken forever for this day to arrive…but Enza is finally here.  And to celebrate, there are some special things planned.  Stormi, over at Lightning Book Promotions, has scheduled daily stops at blogs around the cyber world.  Not only that, but there are going to be prizes!  Yes, you read that correctly.  You’ll have to visit each blog on their scheduled days for details, but there will be gift cards, and digital and paperback copies of Enza to be won.

First I want to wish a very Happy 29th Birthday to Breeana Puttroff (author of one of my favorite series, The Dusk Gate Chronicles).  I am pleased to share my birthday month with both her and Debra Kristi.

Release Day Party Details…

As the banner says, all of the comments from each participating blog will be entered into a drawing for a $50.00 Amazon gift card and 10 digital copies of Enza.  So please be sure to visit the following blogs:

Ramblings of an Amateur Writer

Book Sake

It’s All About Me

Book Zone

Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh my! 

Kristy K. James (Yes, mine counts, too)

Blog Tour

Giveaways for each blog on the tour will include 1 paperback and 3 digital copies of Enza.  All comments from the tour will be entered into a drawing for ten-$10.00 and two-$25.00 Amazon gift certificates.  Participants in the blog tour for Enza are:

Monday, April 23rd:  Patricia @ Live and Dream a Little Dream

Tuesday, April 24th:   Andi @ Radiant Light

Wednesday, April 25th:  Heather @ It’s All About Me

Wednesday, April 25:  Debra @ Sparks in the Fire…

Thursday, April 26th:  Lisa @ Seeking With All Yur Heart

Thursday, April 26th:  Shannon @ Cocktails and Books

Friday, April 27th:  Paula @ The Phantom Paragrapher

Saturday, April 28th:  Kathleen @ The Celtic Lady’s Reviews     

Saturday, April 28th:  Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews

Sunday, April 29th:  Molly @ Reviews by Molly

Monday, April 30th:  Hayley @ Hanging Off The Wire

Tuesday, May 1st:   Tracy @ Booked Up

Wednesday, May 2nd Donna @ My Life. One Story at a Time

Thursday, May 3rd:  Ruth @ My Devotional Thoughts

Thursday, May 3rd:  Reena Jacobs, Ramblings of an Amateur Writer

Friday, May 4th:  JakiCheli

I will be posting daily reminders for the duration of the tour.  Thanks for helping me celebrate!

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Slow, Deep Breaths….

…aren’t really helping a whole lot right now.  Nope, with the release date for Enza fast approaching (Monday-yikes!), I’m getting a little nervous.    Okay, so I’m getting a lot nervous.   Sometimes I think I’ve got everything as ready as it can be, other times I think I’ve probably forgotten some very key things.

But with T-minus three days and counting, whether I have…or whether I haven’t…is now a moot point.  As a number of people I know would say, ‘It is what it is.’  And it is.  Therefore I refuse to stress over it.  Much.  (maybe)

As memories of the early March anxiety attack dance in my head…I am reminded that it isn’t an experience I want to repeat.  Then it was the seemingly never ending, relentless formatting nightmares, which I think a lot of people could relate to.  Deadlines kind of suck when things don’t go according to plan…

Doesn’t matter though, because it’s not happening again.

So I’m just going to pretend I’m a laid-back gal.  Kind of like those people who sit around around, eyes glazed over, voices sounding like someone flipped a switch and they’re now on slo-mo.  “Whoa, dude!  I just like saw Elvis in the dust particles floating in front of the window.  Are there any Rice Krispy treats left?”

Well, maybe I don’t want to be quite that laid back.  Pretty sure it would involve the use of an illegal substance to get there.  That or sticking one too many bobby pins into electrical outlets….and I don’t think I’m up for either one of those activities.

I would like to achieve the same level of laid-back-ness as Cody seems to experience in Step by Step.

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Ta-Da!

Since I shared with you about the day it was taken, I thought I’d post the results here.  I would like to thank Connie Orr, owner of Impact Portrait Art Studio, for doing such a fabulous job.  The only way I’d be happier with the results is if she’d made me look like Sandra Bullock’s identical twin sister.  The one who couldn’t act if she was offered the keys to Fort Knox, but just looking like her would be good enough.  Anyway, this is what I look like all cleaned up.  🙂

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The Spanish Influenza Pandemic

Some of you may know that my new book, Enza, is a story that deals with the 1918/1919 influenza pandemic.  But I wonder how many people have ever actually heard of it.  I know I don’t remember the subject ever coming up in all of  the history classes I took.  Because I’m fairly sure that if it had, I’d have remembered it.  The same way I remember learning about the Holocaust and other horrific events.

Estimates for the death toll, worldwide, range between twenty to forty million and fifty to one-hundred million, depending on the source.  And even though most strains of influenza kill only the very young and the elderly, more than half the deaths in the 1818/1919 pandemic occurred in those 18-40 years old.  Stanford.edu states, “More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351.”  And they’re the ones estimating the lower numbers.

I also learned, while watching the PBS documentary, that the Spanish flu killed more Americans than  all of the wars in the 20th century.  That’s almost unbelievable, isn’t it?

To put all of this in perspective, a number of sources claim that, “If 1918-19 mortality data are extrapolated to the current U.S. population, 1.7 million people could die, half of them between the ages of 18 and 40. Globally,those same estimates yield 180-360 million deaths…”  Scary thought, isn’t it?

But it was the thought of those who perished nearly a century ago that nagged at me…and wouldn’t let me alone…until I began to write, and finally finished, Enza.

Given that I’d only penned romance novels until then, it was a tough subject for me to delve into.  Especially when I only had two choices.  Play the influenza aspect down, or try to keep the story true to what really happened.  I chose the latter.  It was a horrible time in our history and it deserves to be remembered.  So do all of the people who lost their lives to it.

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A New Career Possibility?

I hate having my picture taken.  I always have.  But I decided it was time to have a professional photograph done, so I set the appointment up.  And then I set up another for hair and makeup.

Did I mention that I also don’t like makeup?  It’s always felt like an uncomfortable mask, so I’ve never gotten particularly skilled at using it.  I figured a professional application would give me the best shot at taking a passable picture.  If that’s even possible.  I made peace with the fact that I’ll never be a raving beauty a long time ago.  No, I’m not fishing here, just stating a fact.  Ninety-five percent of my beauty is the most important kind anyway…it’s on the inside.

And I’m okay with that.  Except when it’s time to say cheese.  I always look better in a mirror than I do on film.

So I’m sitting there while the stylist is doing my hair, trying to stay awake…because I was  extremely stressed over this ordeal and didn’t get a whole lot of sleep.  Plus I’ve always felt very relaxed while having my hair brushed, so that didn’t help.  But all good things must come to an end and the moment arrived.  She started applying the makeup.

I had visions of walking out of the shop completely transformed, and heading off to the photographers to sit for a picture I was sure to love for a change.

Guess I should have known when the woman warned me that it might take awhile to get used to.  Since I wasn’t in the habit of wearing any makeup at all, it might look a little different.

Before I say anything else, this young lady did a superb job of applying all of her products.  Still, when I caught sight of myself in the mirror, all I could think is, “Oh my God.  I could audition for the dead body in a funeral scene.”  I think it was because she put eye liner on, and darkened my eyebrows (because the camera likes that, I guess).  It made the rest of the makeup appear a little pale.  She and my daughter kept assuring me that I looked really nice.  I just kind of thought I resembled the faces of people I’d seen lying in caskets.

To make matters worse, I was having the pictures done in another town and thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.  My glasses needed adjusting and that’s where I travel to in order to see my eye doctor.  I was so mortified by the makeup that I walked into the office hoping no one would look at me at all.  Kind of stupid, I know, since I had to check in at the front desk and deal with a technician.  And of course you just have to know my doctor was not with a patient.  All I  wanted to do was crawl into a hole and hide.

The funny thing is, I think I will get a decent picture out of it.  At least it looked that way in the little two inch screen on the photographer’s camera.  It only took about fifty shots to get it… Anyway, I’ll see the proofs in a couple of days.  Here’s hoping for the best.

At least I don’t have to worry about looking like Frankenstein. Maybe.

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Sigh

A couple of nights ago I realized that I had never just read Enza.  I’d spent more hours than I’ll ever be able to count researching it.  I loved every minute of writing it.  And, even with a few beta readers, I’ve been through it many times for editing purposes.  But I’d never just read the story.

So I decided it was time for me to pick up the copy of the pretty, finished copy I’d ordered and pretend to be a reader.

What is it about picking up a copy of a ‘real’ book?  By real I mean the kind that’s heavy enough to make your hand ache after holding it for awhile.  The kind where you actually have to turn the pages.  How is it that you can read a book a dozen or more times on a computer, but it’s not until you pick up the actual book…that errors stand out like a neon sign?

Sixteen errors in the first ninety-seven pages.  (Quick update since I wrote this a couple of hours ago…at page 135, there are more than 32 things that need changed…oh no!)

So much for reading it for pleasure.  I’m not even a third of the way through (but hope to finish tonight).  Wow.  I thought I was a pretty decent typist, too.  But when you find you’ve used ‘he’d’ rather than ‘he’s,’ you know you have some work to do. (And you know that has nothing to do with your typing skills anyway)

So…

With less than two weeks until the release date arrives – April 23 – I have some fixing to do!  Can’t wait to see how long the list is by the time I’m finished.  But I am making a promise that I will put out the best quality book that I can.  And will be trying to expand my group of beta readers so that all errors in future books are dealt with a little sooner than this.

And now I’m off.  For the next several hours I’m going to be sucking down an energizing herbal tea (to help keep me alert and focused), reading and taking notes.

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