Monday, May 31, 2010

Good things for you and for me. :)

This is a heads up about a very big giveaway! My blogger friend, Diane Estrella, is holding a week long giveaway on her blog with new prizes every day.
Prizes include everything from handmade purses, jewelry, mineral wear natural makeup, and a signed copy of Facets Of Fantasy, by Sarah Scheele. (If you read this blog you know I love Miss Sarah and her work. ;)

Anyway, you must run over to Diane’s blog right away and check out all the wonderfulness! And don’t forget to visit throughout the week for more chances to win.

Hope everyone his having a great Memorial Day holiday! Don’t forget to pray for all our amazing veterans and their families who have sacrifice so much for us.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bear with me, my friends.

This is one of my apology/explanation posts, put up primarily because I feel really bad. :-/ I haven’t been able to read many blogs or respond to e-mails or Face Book recently and I think I’m starting to look a little rude. So, if I haven’t stopped by your blog, or replied to your e-mail, or agreed that your status is totally LOL, I’m really sorry. :(

You see, I started a new job (praise God!). It WILL be part-time, but right now I’m in the middle of several weeks of training. So, I’m working full-time hours…and coming home with handbooks and how-to’s. I think it’s going to turn out to be a really good thing, but I’ve still got a lot to learn. A LOT. ;)

But in the meantime I haven’t gotten to go around and read what everyone is posting. :( I am trying to keep to my regular posting schedule on this blog and I do reply to the comments. Yes, if you leave a comment on this blog I will leave a reply comment here!! I’m just doing a really long reply at the end of the day instead of a new one every few hours.

So, tell me, my friends, what have I been missing? What awesome things have you been talking about on your blogs and Face Book? Come on, don’t leave me out of the loop just because I am trying to learn an entirely new computer system! ;)

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Young at heart or just a diehard?

I don’t know what’s happened to me. I’ve lost myself. Yes, it’s true. Out of the blue I’ve found myself laughing quite hard at…(gasp)…teenager sitcoms…(gasp again).
This is just not me. Really. You know that kid who was never really a kid? That was me. ;)
Okay, I wasn’t that bad, but I definitely didn’t watch shows meant for teenagers or listen to music meant for teenagers…Did I just admit to listening to the music? (gasp again) Just the theme songs!
I consider this to be a temporary aberration. Sooner or later the effects of such things will wear off. Either that or a new show will come out and I’ll laugh at that one too. ;)

Before we go too far with this, I am hazarding to make many of my writerly friends out there gasp by saying this new found love of “Young Adult” entertainment met its match in my love of literature. Yes, my friends, I tried to read YA fiction…and it didn’t work. The first book I tried choked me into annoyance within three chapters. I am seriously unsympathetic to “teenage issues.” I’m sorry, but we all deal with that stuff. I don’t see why we have to make it more dramatic than it is. LOL
The second one was interesting, perhaps even compelling in a way, but I put it down one night and never picked it back up.

You see, a friend of mine recommend Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott and when I found a very old copy sitting on our shelves I picked it up. The English is a bit hard and the set up very descriptive, but I am enthralled by the Norman conquest of England and the downtrodden Saxon Lord! I find myself wishing I had more time to read it and that is my official sign of a good book. I’ve LOVED English literature and history ever since I started reading it when I was 14.

So, it seems to me that the laughs we get out of these teenage sitcoms offer a moment of stress release in what my brother and I call sophisticated silly. But deep down I’m still hardcore old fashioned literature girl…My dignity finds a measure of comfort in that… ;)
Oh, come on! Don’t tell me you’ve never found yourself in this place. LOL
Or have you just stopped by to tell me I shouldn't give up on YA fiction yet?

Friday, May 21, 2010

No More!

It’s over. No trial separation. No counseling in the future. Twitter and I are official divorced. True, our relationship lasted less than a year, but I had no other choice.
…No, really. I had no choice.
Earlier this week some unscrupulously individuals got hold of my follower list and inundated it with…um…inappropriateness. :’/ Twitter’s response to my enquiry was, “We are aware of this problem and we hope to fix it sometime in the near future.”
Gee, great, but in the meantime my account has been savaged by an ultimate icky-ness and my little blue bird no longer has a future! (sigh) I just couldn’t leave it up. :(
To be honest, I’ve never really liked Twitter. It was one of those things that EVERYONE said I HAD to have in order to be an operational individual. But as time goes on (and on) I’m started to feel like I listen too much to what EVERYONE says I HAVE to do and not enough to the individual plan Jesus has for me. :)

I think I need to add some fun to this post, since it is Friday. :) So here’s my LOL moment of the week.

I had a meeting with one of my clients this week. We said hello, shook hands, then he looked at me for a moment and said, “Do you always match your socks to your blouses?” LOL
I told him that I try! I didn’t really think I was doing anything particularly unusually, but then come to think of it I’m usually wearing brightly colored shirts so my sock tend to be bright as well. (I was wearing an oh-so-cute coral colored blouse and socks with calico shoes that had little coral colored flowers on them at that particular moment. ;)
I promptly added, “Hey, if you can’t have fun with your socks, what can you have fun with?”

So, my friends, have a great weekend, have fun with your socks, and look for the individual plan God has for you. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Weekend

I found myself wondering last night, “What on earth am I going to post about tomorrow?” My brain was dry of anything particularly profound or amusing. I’ve got a feeling that had a lot to do with this weekend.
We had one of “those” weekends. You know the kind. By 7 o’clock Saturday morning the whole family was on the porch wondering what on earth we were going to do. :P
The air conditioning flat-lined late Friday night, so we all woke up on Saturday feeling icky while my mother tried to find a repair man she could beg into coming over. In the wake of that circumstance our plans were official dead as well.
We’d set aside both the money and the day to at last finish the courtyard we’d been working on out front, but with the prospect of having to buy a new air conditioning our budget promptly went out the window. And somewhere along the way the favored coffee mug broke, burning a family member with hot coffee in the process.
But 7:30 we were all considering going back to bed. ;)
Fortunately, my father is good at rallying us, so after debate we settled on finally fixing the watering system in the backyard. We all got muddy in the process, but the yard started looking and working remarkably better as we went along. We were actually having fun, then I suddenly realized my dog was having even more fun. I found her lying in puddle, happy as a sow in her pen. She’s is the cleanest dog in the house every day of the week, but as soon as she sees me digging in the dirt she decides her chance to muddy up has at last come. LOL
So, when a repair man miraculously arrived, I picked her up and put her in the bathtub (which, looking back, was a stupid thing to do considering she weights more than 65lbs) while my mother changed the covers on the sofa. Yes, she made it to the couch cushions before we could stop her. :) Gotta love dogs.
And, in the middle of it all, I had a story I really needed to finish. It wasn’t working well in my head and I finally got to the, “Okay, God, if it’s going to work You’re just going to have give it to me” point. Shortly thereafter the story came to me in crystal clarity. Why is it so easy to forget I can't do this without Him?
All and all, it was a successful weekend and amusing now that I looked back on it. Currently, the most amusing part is, after all the work we put into the AC and water system so both human and plants would be happy in the 90 degree weather, we awoke this morning to find the temperature had done a freefall into the 60s and rain is in the forecast. LOL
Okay, now that it’s all out of my head, maybe I’ll be able come up with something profound shortly.
How was your weekend, my friend?

Oh, just two quick announcements. I have a book signing coming up on June 5th at a library in Fresno CA. Check out my EVENTS page for all the details.
And, blogger-writer Th. Mafi is having an AWESOME contest on her blog right now. Prizes include Amazon cash, sighed books, and query/manuscript critiques. You must go over and see right away!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Envelope Please

I’ve been blessed by several awards lately, so it’s time to pass them on. I’ve got a wild card here, so stick with me.

First, thank ever so much to:
Charmaine Clancy

Shannon O'Donnell
Julia Reffer
You guys definitely bring me smiles. Everyone else, go on over and share some Friday love.

Now to my wild card. I’ve gotten a lot of new followers here on Benedictions recently and I wanted to say thanks to all of them. :) So, if you’ve followed me in the past month the Blogger Buddy Award is yours. Take it, love it, share it. :) And I look forward to getting to know you better!

Next, to the Beautiful Blogger award. This one absolutely has to go to my friend Katherine from Katherine Alison Photography. The photo’s she posts can only be described as beautiful. Whoever you are, you have to go over and check her work out!

I’m handing out the “It’s Like We’re Soulmates” award to the three people who, when I told them I was giving Beguiled away on my blog last week, replied, “I just read that book and I loved it.” Doesn’t that just fit?
Christina Banks
Tyrean Martison

The “You Are My Sunshine” award is going out to some of my writerly friends. These are the blogs that I read and think, “Someone who understands!” (And, yes, writerly is a word.)

And now for a little extra Sunshine for more people who are sunshine in my life. :)
Carol J. Alexander
Please, go visit these blogs and say hello. :)
Have a great Friday everyone!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Question?

Q: What are you going to do today?
A: I’m going to change the world.

Q: How do you do that?
A: I’m going to change a life…or two…or more.

Q: And how do you plan on doing that?
A: I’m going to smile at someone, make someone laugh, help someone with something, give someone a gift, tell someone the truth, tell someone I love them, give someone a hug, listen to someone, write a book that does it all….Whatever it is, I’M GOING TO DO SOMEMTHING, because I’m done with doing nothing.

Q: What are you going to do today?
A: [Fill in the blank]

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Winner, a Crash, and a Plea For Help

Okay, listen up, we’ve got some important things today. :)

First, to the winner of Monday’s Spread The Awesome event! (drum roll please) Jen D! Congrats, Jen! Beguiled is awesome book. I hope you enjoy it. Everyone should jump over to Jenn’s blog and say hello.

Overall, I think my first giveaway went well…except every time someone left a comment I thought, “I hope you win!” By the end I wished I had 70 copies available. But fear not, I plan on having another one soon. :) And with that future giveaway in mind, I’d like to ask, how did you hear about this contest? Was a link through another blog, Twitter, Face Book? It would be great to know for the next time around.

Of course in the middle of the whole thing my computer had to crash. I clicked over to my e-mail and they randomly started to disappear. That didn’t seem good, so I quickly clicked restart…and that’s where it got stuck for hours. :? Unfortunately, my brother, who has always been my IT department, is working full-time now, so I had to wait for him to get home. (This whole adulthood thing is rough sometimes. ;) While we’re not entirely sure what happened, it seems in part Microsoft had corrupted itself. Apparently this naturally happens over time. So, he clicked something called “CCleaner” and now it’s working. I don’t know….
(A plea to my Apple loving friends. Don’t e-mail me and tell me this is a sign I need to get a Mac. Most of the programs and systems I interface with are not compatible with Macs. I’m sorry. That’s just the way it is. ;)

Now on to the plea for help. Have you seen the flooding going on in Tennessee right now? It’s pretty bad. A lot of people have lost their homes and loved ones. I actually have a friend out there who says his family can’t get out of their house without a 4wheeler. They driveway was just washed away. And they won’t have regular phone service until the end of the month.
Several writers located in the region are setting up an auction to help fund the rebuilding that will need to happen fast. They are asking writers, agents, and publishers to donate signed copies of their books and critique services. And if you don’t have anything to auction, please consider bidding. According to the organizers, the outpouring has been wonderful. For more information check here.

Well, that’s all for the moment. I hope you had a lovely, “Spread the Awesome” week. :) And remember, this event was about spreading the word about your favorite books and authors. Your opinions are actually as important as any reviewer. Check out my previous post on the subject for a list of great ways you can help.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spread the Awesome Day: Reviews and Giveaway!

Yes, today is “Spread the Awesome” day out in the blogosphere and here at Benedictions I’m celebrating with my first book giveaway!
What is “Spread the Awesome” day, you ask? It’s an ingeniously little event thought up by blogger-extraordinaire, Elana Johnson. We all know books are sold by word of mouth, so today we’re using our blogs to spread the word about our favorite authors and books.
I’m shinning the spotlight on a new favorite author of mine, Deeanne Gist. I stumbled upon her first novel, A Bride Most Begrudging, last summer by chance. Honestly, I hesitated, because I’m not usually a fan of American historical fiction, but the backmatter was interesting so I gave it a shot.
I read the entire book in two days and it instantly found a home on my list of favorite books. It was both witty and moving. The type of book that sticks to you…kind of like soul food. (Okay, so I’m from California and don’t know a thing about soul food. You get the point. :)

Want a teaser?
Drew O’Connor just wanted someone to help clean his house and care for his younger sister, but when a ship of “tobacco brides” reaches the shores he finds himself stuck with a feisty young woman who claims to be a English countess, kidnapped and forced to the New World against her will. Read more
After enjoying Bride so much, imagine my delight when I found out for Deeanne’s newest book, Beguiled, she joined with mystery writer J. Mark Bertrand to create one of my favorite genres: Contemporary Romantic Suspense. Let’s just say Beguiled kept me up long past my bedtime. :D

Want another teaser?
Professional dog walker, Rylee Monroe, never feared the streets of Charleston’s wealthiest neighborhoods, until a thief started targeting the residents. Though harmless at first, the crimes are becoming increasingly violent and it’s starting to look like Rylee might be the next target. Read more

Sound good? Marvelous, because I’m giving my followers a chance to win a copy of Beguiled with a signed bookplate. Yes, signed by Deeanne!
How do you win?
1 point for being a follower of this blog.
1 point each for following me on Face Book and/or Twitter.
2 points for each mention of this contest on your blog, Face Book page, and/or Twitter home.

You MUST leave a comment telling me want you’ve done, even if you’re already a follower of this blog. And include your e-mail address in the spam proof form. (i.e: emilyannbenedict(at)gmail(dot)com)
Contest ends at noon on Thursday. I’ll announce the winner on Friday.

So, would you like to know how Spread the Awesome day get’s even better? Lots of bloggers out there in the sphere are taking part in this celebration by featuring their favorite authors and giving away books and we’re all linked together. Visit the next link this chain by jumping over to Jen Wilks’ blog where she is featuring author Mary E. Pearson. You can also check out a long list of recommendations at Elana’s official recommendations page.
And don’t forget to spread the word about your favorite authors! :)