Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Christmas Tradition

It was about this time last year, when Stacee (@book_junkee), over at Adventures of a Book Junkie, invited me over to share one of my favorite holiday traditions with her readers...You guys, it was great fun! So much fun that I thought I'd share the post here with you all this year. (And no, I'm not just sharing because I'm busy writing and have shoved blogging to the back burner. Nope. Not at all. *shakes head defiantly.*)

Hope you enjoy....

A Christmas tale of tradition, by Bethany Crandell

June 22, 1985.

The Slip ‘n Slide was in place; staked at the corners with the hose secured to the plastic ring up top, and a little dishwashing soap added for extra speed. Eight prize bags were lined up on the basement ping pong table, each one bursting with Smarties, cinnamon gummy bears and more worthless trinkets than a garage sale. After much pleading, Mom agreed to order Domino’s (delivery pizza, such an exciting new concept!) and buy soda that, for once, didn’t say SHASTA on the side of the can. All the makings for a great tenth birthday party were in place…especially when you considered my movie of choice for the big event.

Though it was the first day of summer, my friends were about to be introduced to what I consider one of the greatest films of all time: A CHRISTMAS STORY. I fell in love with this quirky and relatively unknown (at the time) flick the first time I saw it. Obviously, Ralphie’s unrelenting determination to own a gun that would shoot his eye out was entertaining, but it was the off-beat performances delivered by his supporting cast members that left the biggest impression on me. Little brother who’s bundled up in so many layers that he looks like a tick about to pop? Yes! Turkey-obsessed father who drops F-bombs at the drop of a hat? DOUBLE YES!  Triple Dog Dares?! YES, YES, YES! This movie has some of the best characterization caught on film, which is why my little heart broke into a thousand pieces when I slid the tape into the VCR and my so-called friends pulled up their snoots, promptly stating they’d rather jump on the trampoline than watch this weird, fifties movie.

Despite my friends’ obvious stupidity and my very vulnerable emotional state, I continued to profess my love for this film. On occasion I would encounter someone who appreciated it the way I did, but mostly I was met with judgmental scowls and confused expressions followed by, “I’ve never heard of that.”  By the time I reached my mid-twenties, I’d determined that A CHRISTMAS STORY was destined to be my first cult-classic mistress. The secret lover I’d visit when I needed a pick-me up, or a reminder of how charming a mundane life could be. It was just me and my movie…until 1997 when TBS came along and exposed the truth.

I probably should have been grateful for the outing but I wasn’t. I was mad. And resentful. For years I’d been proclaiming this film’s awesomeness to the world, only to have my words fall on deaf ears. But after one, twenty-four hour Ted Turner endorsed marathon suddenly it was a holiday classic that everyone loved…

My secret lover had become a rent-by-the-hour street walker for all to enjoy.


It took years of grumbles, TBS protests, and gallons of eggnog, but I’ve finally come to the point in my life where I can accept 24 Hours of A CHRISTMAS STORY as a Christmas tradition I’m willing to embrace. Not because I don’t love it as passionately as I did thirty years ago, I do!, but because I can remind my children for twenty-four hours straight that for a while I was a lot cooler than the rest of the world.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!
And, please, leave the leg lamp on so I can find my way home.

A Christmas Story photo: A Christmas Story tumblr_lvcelenpGA1qb9pa3o1_500.gif

Sunday, November 22, 2015


*starts timer and....GO!*

keyboards that have the ! key on them
Austin and Alley to entertain my children while I do this blog post
vacuum cleaners
someone else to vacuum the rug
clean windows, which I do not have
candles that smell good, but that aren't overpowering
scented pine cones
Subway turkey sandwich with avocado
cranberry dressing!!
sleeping dogs

Time is short but life is full of blessings, folks. Take sixty seconds out of your busy day to stop and think about all the wonderful things you have to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


If you've been hanging around my blog for a while, you know that when I'm writing all my creative energy goes straight into my WiP, which means my poor ole blog takes a hit. *hands you a hanky*

It is on these occasions, that I default to creating blog posts made entirely of images that will keep you smiling and entertained until I can return with something more creatively substantial (and probably John Hughes inspired) at a later date.

So, it is with all humility I present another round of...


To my knowledge, no animals were harmed during the taking of these photos. 
Unless you count their egos. Those were severely bruised.

Friday, September 4, 2015



You guys must be hard-up for good books because there 
were over NINE THOUSAND entries in the BADASS giveaway. 
That's freaking amazing!

Give yourselves a round of applause,
 then go out and find a job 'cause clearly you have 
too much time on your hands.

And now...the winners.

*waits for drumroll*

Congratulations to... ASHLEY LAWRENCE

Congratulations to... JENNIFER BUI

Congratulations to... JINA SHAREE BURCHETT

Congratulations to... MEGAN JOHNSON

Congratulations to... KALANI GRACE 

Congratulations to... SAMANTHA HILL!
Congratulations to... JULIA HILL

 Not a winner this time???
Don't cry.
Keep stalking following these badass authors as
they're bound to have more opportunities 
to win their books!

Thanks to all for entering!
Winners will be emailed soon with more information.


Friday, August 28, 2015


Marci Lyn Curtis grew up in Northern California, where she went to college and met an amazing guy in a military uniform. Two college-aged kids and one dachshund later, she lives in Maryland, where she laughs too loudly and eats peanut butter off spoons. Her YA contemporary debut, The One Thing, releases September 8th, 2015, via Disney-Hyperion. 

Now, let's get to know this badass a little better.

What is your favorite word? Swank.

What is your least favorite word? Moist. Creepiest word in the history of ever.

What sound or noise do you love? Flip-flops. Seriously. They make the happiest, most carefree sound in existence.

What sound or noise do you hate? Any combination of words spoken through the froth of toothpaste. Because, ew: foamy spit.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Anything that involves working with elephants.

What profession would you not like to do? Dental hygienist. (Are you beginning to sense a pattern here? Yes—yes—spit grosses me out.)

What is your favorite color Popsicle?
Red. Or else, orange. Or maybe purple.
Or whatever color is code for “indecisive eater.”

Sprinklers or Slip N Slide? Slip N Slide. Sprinklers are for sissies. ;)

Favorite John Hughes Movie? Oh man. It’s sort of a tie between The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but I think I’ll have to go Bueller.

Last song you listened to? Foo Fighters’ “Rope.”

What book do you wish you would have written because it’s just that good? Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun.

In one sentence or less, what does every aspiring author need to know? Your stories matter.


Now, some details on this amazing debut that is up for grabs in the SPELLS, SPIRITS and SWOONS! prize pack:

Click here for a full list of prize packs

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie's whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she's ever met. Ben's life isn't easy, but he doesn't see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn't have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she's currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie's new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben's brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future...before she loses everything she has grown to love.

Do yourself a favor and stalk this girl via her website, twitter or Facebook. And be sure to add her books to your Goodreads list.


*Many thanks to James Lipton for letting me steal sharing his awesome interview questions*

Monday, August 24, 2015


Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy DEFY, and the sequels IGNITE and the forthcoming ENDURE. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day (while mourning the demise of naptime) and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction. 

Now, let's get to know this badass...
What is your favorite word? 
 I hate picking favorites, I kind of suck at it. But the first word that popped into my head was incandescent. That’s a lovely, fun word, so let’s go with that. Unless we want to be sentimental and then I’ll go with “family.”

What is your least favorite word?
I’m not really sure I can use it in a public forum, so let’s just go with “moist.”
What sound or noise do you love?
I love a lot of sounds, but one that might be kind of unique to me is the dryer. I honestly love putting a load in right before bed and turning the dryer on. It’s such a soothing sound to go to sleep to.
What sound or noise do you hate?  I can’t handle the sound of napkins tearing. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Hmmm, in fantasy-land I think it would be fun to trying acting again (Broadway musical like Phantom of the Opera or Wicked) or in a movie with Chris Hemsworth as the male lead (I mean, as long as we’re dreaming let’s dream big). But in reality, growing up, other than being an author, I always wanted to be a doctor and volunteer in Africa.

What profession would you not like to do?
Pretty much anything featured on “Dirty Jobs.”

What is your favorite color Popsicle?
Red, unless we’re allowed to branch out to Orange Dreamsicles.

Sprinklers or Slip N Slide?
Slip N Slide!

Favorite John Hughes Movie?
Remember how I suck at picking favorites? Oh man, I just don’t know how to pick only one! I mean, the Home Alone and Beethoven movies were pretty much on repeat in my house growing up…but Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles are probably my top faves.

Last song you listened to?
Smoke And Mirrors – Imagine Dragons

What book do you wish you would have written because it’s just that good?
It might be clich├ęd, but I wish I had written Harry Potter. I just love those books SO much, I think they’re brilliant.
In one sentence or less, what does every aspiring-author need to know?
If you never, never give up, you will succeed.


Now, here's a peek at DEFY that's included in the AGAINST THE ODDS prize pack:

Click here for a full list of prize packs
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Sara loves hanging out with readers, so be sure and track her down on her website, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Facebook. And be sure to add her books to your Goodreads list!


*Many thanks to James Lipton for letting me steal sharing his awesome interview questions*