WHat ARe yOU wAItiNG fOR? EvERyTHing You wantED For CHristmas is Here!!

One month until Christmas . . . have you started your shopping yet? I’ve gotten very little gifts so far due to working on my final edits for 18 Things (which I just sent to my editor, so keeping fingers crossed), but before I head out to the mall, I wanted to let you all in on a few blog hops and giveaways that are sure to get you into the holiday spirit! You can thank me later;-)

Don’t wait for Santa to stuff your stockings because Dawna Raver and Courtney Young want to stuff your e-reader full of amazing titles! There is no need to wait in line or fight a crazy crowd for this HOT deal.

Also, it’s week three of Krystal Wade’s Wildest Moments Tour/Blogfest, and as promised, she has another very special giveaway planned. Plus, it’s not too late to sign up for a last-minute entry!!

Also, here’s an agent pitch contest you DO NOT WANT TO MISS! Check it out at Brenda Drake’s site (I was her 1,000th follower today–how awesomesauce is that?! And she writes under the influence of coffee like me–LOVE!)

Plus, who doesn’t want to be interviewed by David Spade and showered with presents by Ms. Claus? I’m in-how about you? Click here for the dets.

And last but not least, have you ever attended a Christmas party where you bump into the person who was always there for you during the last year? And you thank them for being such a Rock Star, or in this case, Head Ninja Master, right? Welcome to the “Cheers, Cavanaugh BlogFest.”

Thanks to all the wonderful elves who put these events together! Now, you don’t want people to nickname you the Grinch this Christmas season, do you? Well, then tell me: Which one are you signing up for? ALL of them?

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My Wildest Moment

Krystal Wade is hosting the Wildest Moments Blogfest in honor of the release of her latest novel, Wilde’s Meadow. This is something anyone, anywhere can participate in.

All you have to do is blog about a time you did something wild, something life changing. Jumped from a perfectly good airplane? Quit your job to write full-time? I’m looking for fun, heart-pumping, or inspirational stories that you have experienced. “Wilde” things you’ve completed on your quest to grow up or move on. Anyone who posts their Wildest Moments between November 12th-23rd can enter to win a Kindle FIRE ($199), Kindle Fire Skins, or a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

Well, this blogfest really caused me to think . . . something I try not to do too much of. Hmm, should I blog about almost drowning myself in a septic tank (nah, played out–who hasn’t done that before, am I right or am I right? Oh, no one? Okay, moving on!), meeting my husband (first day of h.s.–only time I literally heard a voice in my head & it said & I quote, “You are going to marry that boy some day” WHAT?!), the misadventures with my sweetmates my freshman year of college (during which I unknowingly joined a cult), having a baby at 20 when I was a full-time college student (yep, didn’t plan that one but yep, I’d also been married since 18 so stop judging me. Oh, now you are judging me & calling me stupid for getting married so young. It’s okay, I still love you;-), totaling my car in a wreck on Dec. 11, 2007 resulting in my first ambulance ride and ER visit (I love me some ribs, but not when they’re mine & they’re broken), being a contestant on The Love & Marriage Show on our Royal Caribbean 7-night cruise (I think our friends, Luke & Cheri Thomas, hired government spies to erase the memory of our answers–TMI!), running a marathon (post-race tip: CHECK BEHIND YOU BEFORE YOU LAUNCH A SNOT ROCKET!!!), traveling around Ireland for 2 weeks performing street skits as part of a college missions trip (and discovering why the Irish don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day–b/c they don’t need an excuse to get drunk like that EVERY DAY!), or even becoming a writer (and finally discovering an up-side to being a pathological liar).

All those things have helped form me into the wild chick I am today (which you’ve probably concluded is a rambling doofus by now), but I’d say the wildest thing I ever decided to do is become a teacher. I always had the desire to teach and write, but after I stayed at a orphange in Jamaica the summer after my freshman year in college, I knew I had to change my major to education. It was calling me. In the past 12 years since I started educating the youth of America, I’ve become all too familiar with AIP’s, IEP’s, PDP’s, PMP’s, RTI’s, ESE, ESL, SLD, ADD, ADHD, OCD, ODD . . . is your head spinning yet? I know mine is! It’s hard to keep up with everything I need to do for each student, individualizing their education when there’s such a limited amount of time in our day. We call it the constipated curriculum because they just keep piling on more and more! Pretty soon we’ll have our own TV show, “Teachers Gone Wild.” But we won’t be topless. We will be in a bunch of padded rooms where all the shiny objects are safely hidden away, sniffing glue bottles and new Expo markers;-)

I’m Miss Viola Swamp–the meanest substitute in the world! With my co-worker, and one of my biggest cheerleaders:-)

How about you? What’s your wildest moment? Which one would you say is more wild: becoming a teacher or becoming a writer?? Don’t forget to sign up for Krystal’s blogfest!

Election Day Treat Better Than All The Starbucks and Chocolate in the World Combined!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Update: It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! It happens the first Wednesday of each month–a time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. With everything happening right now in my life, I don’t have time for a long post, so please enjoy the interview I did yesterday with my editor and fellow author (below). Rest assured I am feeling quite insecure as I go through massive edits of my debut novel, 18 Things, fixing mistakes I thought I had moved beyond in my writing (passive voice, anyone?). I’m striving towards a release date for the end of January so please keep your fingers crossed for me! If you leave a comment, I promise to return the favor:-)
 
HaPPy*Election*dAY. Yeah, that is 13 exclamation points in honor of our 13 original colonies because, I dunno, I like the number 13 and that’s the patriotic connection my brain made. Also probably the longest blog title ever. Any who, you’re probably whining about what a total time suck these long lines are in order to cast your vote (unless you’re dorky like me and actually enjoy waiting in loooong lines and shooting the poop with your fellow Americans because let’s face it . . . .where else can I find such a captive audience? They’re not gonna leave and throw away their vote just to get away from little ole me)
 
But like I was saying, if you’ve followed my blog at all since June, then you’ve probably heard of my editor and author extraordinaire, Krystal Wade. And she’s here ya’ll! On my blog for the first time! *squeeeeeeeeeeeee* It’s so fitting she’s visiting today because
 
1) her trilogy is all about uniting clashing people and forming an army prepared to fight in order to defeat Darkness (hmm, sounds like Election Day stuff to me!)
 
2) she also works in Washington DC as a . . . . well, I’m not sure exactly because it’s probably classified, as most things with politics are. The only thing you need to know is she leads a very glamorized life, right Krystal?
 
KW:
 
Krystal? Um, she seems to be away from Trellian right now. Don’t ask me what that means though. I just know it pops up a lot when I’m trying to Google Stalk, I mean, Chat. I can’t imagine why because I’m definitely not the demanding writerly type at all. But the point is, even though her life may not be all dinner parties and ball gowns, she is for sure the most busiest gal I know. Oh, you caught that little grammar mistake, did you? Well, I happen to be going through massive edits right now and it’s my way of dealing with them in a passive aggressive manner. Hahaha, look at all that passive language while I am being passive aggressive. *Just joking, Krystal. I shall never take thy name of the BEE in vain~big hugs!*
 
JA: What draws you to read and write New Adult?
 
KW: I don’t primarily read NA. I enjoy a wide variety of books–middle grade, young adult, upper young adult, new adult, *but Jamie Ayres debut YA novel, 18 Things, is by far the best thing I’ve ever read* Are you laughing yet? All these distinctions. When I set out to write Wilde’s Fire, I had no idea what category the book would fall into. Frankly, there’s a part of me that still doesn’t know what category my works fall into. Katriona is 20, but a lot of her trials and tribulations are things many people younger than her can relate to; she’s just been a bit more sheltered in life.
Back on track here . . . I’m such a rambler! I love firsts. First loves, first kisses, first awkward moment when you realize you like a boy–or girl, first date, first time driving a car, first time you venture away from home. This is when people truly discover who they are, and this is what sells the “MG-YA-NA” literature for me: there are so many firsts.
 
Wait, I don’t remember mentioning 18 Things in my . . . .
 
JA: Oh, moving on! It’s election day and your release day for Wilde’s Meadow was yesterday, you don’t have time to dillydally. So tell us, how did you get to where you are now?
 
KW: I once told someone that if someone wrote a book about my life, they’d title it: From There to Here: How She Did It. But I can sum my life up in one word (and this applies to everything: my teen years, my early twenties, my writing career): DETERMINATION.
You can overcome many obstacles, achieve amazing goals, and live a wonderful life . . . if you’re determined.
 
JA: Sooo true! Writing is not a parade of peppermint puppies. It is work. I’d love to claim that quote but it’s Chuck Wendig’s. Can you tell us about your triumphs?
 
KW: Let’s see . . . triumphs? I’ve been seriously writing for shy of two years, published three books, am a major player inside a growing publishing house, and do not plan on stopping any time soon. 🙂
 
JA: Okay, seriously, with 3 books published within 6 months you are busier than a president running an election campaign! Any time I go to open my mouth to complain about something, I’m gonna think of you. You ‘re the meaning of my life. You’re my inspiration. You bring feeling to my life . . . . hang on a sec, someone is at the door.
 
Oh, hey folks. I’m back. Sorry for our interruption. Just a little matter about a restraining order and not being allowed within 3 states of Krystal Wade. I know that’s just Krystal’s way of saying she’s thinking about me. She cracks me up. Krystal, why don’t you tell us about some of your failures while I sign this paperwork for the nice officer?
 
KW: Sometimes I get so tired, so overwhelmed with all the things I have going on in my life, that I stress and freak out over everything. There are times I want to go into a shell and shut off the world. So my failure is my ability to manage my stress. With a full time job fifty miles from home, three kids, writing, editing, playing my part in the publishing industry, there are so many things to stress over.
 
JA: I hear ya, sista! You know what I heard helps? Reading books to unwind, books like Wilde’s Fire, Wilde’s Army, and Wilde’s Meadow, and 18 Things. I’m not just saying that to be self-serving. *coughs* How did you ever overcome the odds?
 
KW: DETERMINATION. 🙂
 
JA: Oh, yeah, duh! As you know, Krystal, you have to tell me things 50 times before I get it.
 
Well, that about does it for me. Did we keep you entertained during your long line?
 
Oh wait, before I forget, beginning the second week of November–that’s the 12-16–Krystal will be hosting the Wildest Moments Blogfest. This is something anyone, anywhere can participate in. She’s asking people to write about their wildest moment, then she’s going to read and choose a winner (Kindle Fire!) on December 5th. I’m participating, so that should be reason enough to join;-) Just visit her website link at the bottom, and you can also grab her badge on my site to the right>>>>>>>>>>>>>
 
Wilde’s Meadow Blurb:
 
 
Happy endings are hard to find, and even though Katriona is in the middle of a war with someone who’s already stolen more than she can replace, she aches for a positive future with her Draíochtans.
 
Armed with hope, confidence in her abilities, and a strange new gift from her mother, Kate ventures into the Darkness to defeat a fallen god.Losses add up, and new obstacles rise to stand in the way. Is the one determined to bring Encardia light strong enough to keep fighting, or will all the sacrifices to stop those who seek domination be for nothing?
 
About the Author: Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers–who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas–sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?
 
Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.