Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Best/Worst Movie Remakes Blogfest

So I totally forgot that I signed up for this blogfest - hosted by Ninja Alex, Stephen Tremp, Father Dragon Al and Livia Peterson. But that's cool, because this post will be really simple, and it won't require me to use my brain. Phew - that's good, because my brain is fried...

Best Movie Remake!

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I think the one that springs to mind is Peter Jackson's King Kong. Although it has a bit too much of the cheesies going on, the effects in all of the Kong scenes are brilliant, and I love how they gave that giant ape some human shortcomings.

Worst Movie Remake!

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It has to be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm sorry, but even though I love Johnny Depp, he just couldn't top Gene Wilder in this role. I found this remake WAY too much. I normally love over the top-ness, but this was just ridiculously silly. And not true to the book. 'Nuff said.

Princess Plea

Somebody please, please help!! I'm supposed to post the linky list with all of the participants, but it's Friday, I've just finished work for the week, and my brain is currently a squishy mass of gloop. Can somebody tell me how to add the linky list? Thanks!

And thanks to Ninja Alex, Stephen, Dragon Al and Livia for hosting this fun and simple blogfest!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Princess Promo: Paws and Print

Most of you know that I am probably the most disorganised person in Blogland. I think the lack of organisation skills goes hand in hand with being a procrastinator (as well as being easily distracted, because I'm also away with the fairies most of the time). Anyway, well over a month ago, I decided that I needed to have a regular spot for guests. Something promotional. Something that could highlight a person (or a website) who deserved a little Promo Love. Now, I'm not going to lie, my version of a 'regular spot' will most likely differ from others, in that I will of course become sidetracked, forgetful, and fall foul of my procrastinating. But the good intention is there, and whether I post once a week, or once a month (which is far more likely, let's be honest here), 'Princess Promo' is now officially one of my post labels, *nods*

This first promotional post is special for a couple of reasons.

While searching for possible reviewers for my debut release, I came across Erin, who is just fabulous. She is fairly new to reviewing, and her website is also a recent debut. Erin is wonderful, and I'm not just saying that because she read my book and told me she 'adored' it. As soon as I saw her website, I knew that I needed to make her my first highlight in my promotional posting effort.

Her website is called Paws and Print, and you should definitely go and check it out. First, isn't that a wonderful name for a website? Two of my favourite things in one title, and the alliteration is also cool (I love me some alliteration!). I may be wrong, but I'm going to hazard a guess that the 'Prints' is referencing the fact that Erin is a reviewer. And her review policy is AWESOME. As well as offering the usual read, review, and post reviews at Amazon and Goodreads (par for the course for any reviewer worth their salt), she also states quite clearly that she is an 'upbeat' reviewer. Let me show you what she says...

On Paws and Print, I will review books that I have purchased, requests from authors and those I receive from tour companies as part of a promotional tour. No matter the source, all the reviews include my own opinions, and are not influenced by outside sources. 

I post honest reviews, which means I will let you know the good along with the bad. Keep in mind, I enjoy many kinds of books and I believe that nearly everything has an audience (even if it's not me). I always try to keep my reviews truthful, but upbeat. If I am reviewing something I truly don't enjoy as part of a promotional tour, I may withhold a paw print rating. 

All my reviews are cross promoted on Facebook & Twitter. They are also reprinted on Amazon and Goodreads. 


I utilize the same 1 through 5 rating system used by Amazon and Goodreads. Most often, you will find 3, 4 and 5 star reviews here, as I do not like to post negative reviews. 

3 Paw Prints--It's a good book, worth reading. I enjoyed this book, but there is probably nothing that makes it stand out. It is not the type of book I would be reading over and over (most likely). 
4 Paw Prints--I really liked this book. It is something I am recommending and probably worth a second read. 
5 Paw Prints--These are the special books, the ones I truly love. These are the books you will likely find me talking about, purchasing for friends and giving away to others.

Isn't that fab? One of the scariest aspects of seeking reviews is the fear that you will get flamed. Erin's policy takes away most of that fear (though not all, because for me, I will always be scared of reviews *snort*). Right away, I knew I wouldn't be dithering over requesting a review with this lady, and trust me, normally I dither for a long time before I fill out a request form.

But then I saw what her website was really about, and I immediately knew that whether this lady loved or hated my book, she deserved a little promo love. You see, the 'Paws' part of her title is referencing her wonderful intention behind the website. 

I was going to explain in my own words, but again, I think I'll just copy over what Erin has on the page, because I really think it needs to be read exactly as she phrased it herself...

Shop Mission 

The Paws and Print Shop is going to be our avenue for supporting rescue pets. You will find a wide variety of custom crochet items and ready to ship items. Each month, 15% of our sales will go to support local rescue charities in the form of a monetary donation or by purchasing goods needed by the shelters. While I support charities in the Philadelphia area, I know that pets all over the country need our help. So, if you have a favorite charity in need of a little love, please send me an email at erinlindsey(dot)maurer(at)gmail(dot)com. 

In addition to monthly donations, we will also feature items just for your pets. Currently, those are our pet bandanas, but more items will be added. For each item sold, a duplicate will be made and sent to help rescue pets in need.

Now, tell me that's not fabulous. Really. I bet you can't. *nods wisely* Seriously, this just warms the cockles of my animal-loving heart. What an awesome idea for supporting the many animals in need of rescue, love, and support. Not only is Erin donating much needed dollars from her proceeds, but she is duplicating every order she receives and donating the spare to an animal in need.

It's just all around awesome. So please, spare a moment and pop along to Erin's wonderful website. And even if you don't buy anything, spread the word. This lady has started a wonderful project, and I think it deserves to be recognised.

Here endeth my first official promotional post. I hope it does what I wanted it to do. Spread the love, people, spread the love...

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Pimping my Pal & Begonia Bribing

The Pimping...

I talk to a LOT of people in the online community. A LOT. I've been active online for around nine years now, give or take, and I'm far more outgoing online than I am in real life. Online, I can let loose the crazy person inside and have virtually no fear of being given the raised Eyebrows of Doom. Well, I probably still get the Eyebrows of Doom, but because I don't see it, it doesn't matter.

My first online home was HPANA (The Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator), which sadly shut down a while back so I can't provide a link. I was deeply engrossed in the Potter fandom and picked HPANA as my online outlet - and it literally changed my life. I started writing shortly after joining the site, and I can honestly say that without HPANA, I wouldn't currently be biting my nails about whether my debut novel is selling or not.

But I digress (something I do an awful lot, but embrace because one of my earliest online friends advocates digression as a religion).

Anyway, what got me actually writing was plucking up the courage to join the fanfic community on HPANA. I stumbled into the Fan Fun forum one day, and I was happy to find lots of lovely Harry Potter stories that I could lose myself in while I waited for book six to arrive. I started my own writing with a pretty mediocre fanfic called 'The Wedding', which was a novella length story about Ron and Hermione's big day. I'll be honest, it was crap. And I do mean crap. But people seemed to like it, and when I started the sequel (Harry, Ginevra, and the Rocky Road of Romance - yeah, that really was the title *snort*) I had a pretty strong fan base. In fact, I would say that 'Rocky Road' is a good comparison to my current novel, as the wacky and crazy tone is a pretty close match.

The Watery Tart
Anyway, as well as the crazies, I also attempted a couple of more serious stories. One of them, 'Lily's Choice', was the first, and it was a fanfic based on my theory of Harry's mother, the deceased Lily Potter. This was the story that brought me more interest, and one of my biggest supporters was Tami. From day one, she was just fabulous, and when she started posting her first fanfic, 'The Other Prince'(the sublime story of Snape's mother, Eileen Prince), well I of course had to read right away and offer my support in return.

Let me tell you, 'The Other Prince' was more than sublime, it was brilliant. And it was very obvious that Tami was a gifted writer, who would one day end up being published. And not only did we support each other's stories, we also became friends. Real friends. Tami just has zany humour, and we really clicked because I am the same way.

When Tami started posting her second fanfic, 'The Best Laid Plans (Sometimes Go Awry)', I was on board right way, and it was just as fantastic as her first story, though the tone was very similar in many ways to my 'Rocky Road' story. We both told a serious story, but we both infused our work with crazy scenes.

By now, we were big mutual fans, and it was the start of a real friendship. When HPANA shut down, we were sad, but we still contacted each other. We had Facebook. We had our writer's group (made up entirely of HPANA members, by the way). And we actually met in real life a few years ago, too, which is pretty amazing seeing as Tami is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I am from little old Cardiff, in Wales (our writer's group met up in Cardiff several years ago when the opportunity arose to showcase some of our drabbles [100 word pieces of fiction] at a Cardiff art gallery).

Anyway, ANYWAY... basically, we mind melded virtually from the start. We just share the same humour, and sometimes even share the same thought, wacky though that sounds. There are only a handful of people I can say that about, and these are the people that I call my best friends. I have a few of these people in the real world, which is awesome, but for me to have that in the online world, too... well it's nuts. I don't know where I'd be without my HPANA buddies. The website may have gone, but the friendships have remained.

The Bribing...

Well it's not really a bribe, but the fabulous Tami (aka Alyse Carlson) has a book baby birthday today!! Her second cozy, 'The Begonia Bribe', has just hit the shelves!! *throws confetti* I'm so thrilled that Tami took her writing to the next level, and so proud of my mind melding friend. Her first cozy was a BEST SELLER!! And I'm pretty sure that the follow up will rocket too. *nods* Here's the deets, and HUGE CONGRATS to my friend, the awesomest Watery Tart in the world! *glomps Tami*

The Blurb:

Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’s job to promote them. But when a pint-sized beauty contest comes to town, someone decides to deliver a final judgment …

A beauty pageant for little girls—the Little Miss Begonia Pageant—has decided to hold their event in a Roanoke park. Camellia is called in to help deal with the botanical details, the cute contestants, and their catty mothers. She soon realizes that the drama onstage is nothing compared to the judges row. There’s jealousy, betrayal, and a love triangle involving local newsman—and known lothario—Telly Stevens. And a mysterious saboteur is trying to stop the pageant from happening at all.

But the drama turns deadly when Stevens is found dead, poisoned by some sort of plant. With a full flowerbed of potential suspects, Cam needs to dig through the evidence to uproot a killer with a deadly green thumb.

by Alyse Carlson

Available at Amazon, and pretty much anywhere that sells books. So, you know, go buy it. *smiles winsomely*

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Deflated Princess

You all know that scene from the Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban movie, right? You know, when Professor Lupin jumps in front of Harry to face the Boggart, and said Boggart turns into the moon? Well, remember how the moon became a balloon, and deflated and whizzed round the room? (Ha! That last sentence is almost poetic!) Anyway, that's how I feel at the moment...

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Sheesh!! What a month April was!! I am seriously proud of myself that I managed to complete the A-Z posting challenge on TWO blogs, especially when you consider that I failed right at the end last year when I was just doing ONE blog. I wrote limericks over at my other blog, and scheduled most of them in advance a few at a time, and on THIS blog, I scheduled them the night before they were due. Still, that's a heck of a lot of typing, and having various windows open to add the numerous links that were needed for each post. I'm all linked out. *snort*

Major thanks to my 'CR Sisters' - my fellow authors at Crimson Romance - who stepped up and offered their fabulous books to be promoted by little old me. And HUGE thanks to Tami, who gave me the idea to book blurb to begin with. For someone who dithers no end when it comes to blogging, having a theme was essential, or I would never have managed to do it.

Of course, I'm also feeling all 'whooshy' like a deflated balloon for another reason. My debut rom-com released on Monday, and April was NUTSO, what with preparing various interview and guest spots on different blogs, and actively seeking reviews for my book baby. I knew I'd be busy with everything. but it still came as a shock just how busy I'd be. And it's only just beginning! Promotion NEVER ends, and is particularly important when you are a debut author.

I'll have no real idea how it all pans out until I get my first royalty statement from my publisher in September, so until then I'll be crossing my fingers that my book baby gets noticed! In the meantime, THANK YOU so much to those of you who have bought it, or shared a fabulous review of it! Any and all encouragement is fantastic, and gives me the nudge to continue with my writing!