The Rising Book Tour

The Rising extended version will soon be going on book tour. If you’d liketo feature it or have me do a guest post for you, please feel free to contact me using the form above.

But I also wanted to share one of my favorite tools for book tours. I’ve shared several tools for helping you set up a good blog tour, but I’ve never had a tool as amazing as Silver Dagger Scriptorium!

It’s a free website that let’s bloggers join a e-mail list that will send them almost daily updates of new books that need to be featured, reviewed, or have a guest post shared. I’ve been using it to help my Independent Books blog. I get all my books from this e-mail list now.

But it’s not just for bloggers of course; authors can sign up too! It’s simple, easy, and fun. As I said, as a blogger I get all my books to review and feature on my sites from these e-mail updates.

To join the list of bloggers just sign up using this form: Master List Sign-up

If you want to sign-up as an author go here: Book a Tour

Now, for Authors you’re going to want to know that it’s not exactly free, but you choose what you pay. The people who run it work off of ‘tips’ but they do a better job explaining it on the link. You also can pay for better quality tours. I’ve only ever used the free one and paid what I thought it was worth at the end. But these tours are well worth it! So give it a try risk free!

IT’S THE BEST TOOL FOR BOOK TOURS!

Expressions of a College Life

Sorry I’m a day late! I got so busy with work and homework I forgot to post. I’m sorry guys! Today you get a scene piece I wrote while watching my happy roommates about a normal week night. dorm-lighted-collage

 

A small yellow house set half way up a snowy hill rests between an even smaller cottage and a set of dorm rooms. Down a red painted, snow covered staircase, we slip into a quant kitchen, then a red carpeted sitting room and  a corner bedroom. Yellow walls bespeak of cheerful times and the organized chaos of unmade beds, dressers cluttered with notebooks, textbooks and pictures of home. Friendly stuffed animal friends watch from their perch on at the scene of high giggles and laughter that gently echos off the cheery walls.

The yellow of the walls are not the only expression of fun and gaiety of the condensed bedroom for three. Pictures done with the skill of sweet young children display images of dancing families, bright trees and powerful superheroes protecting the happy chaos that shines forth the cheerful air of the giggling occupants.

A girl sits on one of the three beds that line the walls. Her blonde hair is pulled into a pony tail and her rectangle glasses shine giddily in the light. She is young, likely fresh out of high school, experiencing her first year in her new adventures of college life.

She sits upon a bed whose clothing expresses the mix of adult life and the remanences of childhood adventures. The quilt is made up of patch work logos of camp t-shirts displaying cartoon characters and quotes from movies and inspirational speakers.  Each bed post holds up coats left to dry from far flung adventures in the snowy world outside the front door.

The owner of the neighboring bed leans against the bed of the pony-tailed girl, eager to join the fun. The same eagerness for adventure and joy in the moment show on her cheerful, rosy face. Her hair is shoulder length, brown with striking blonde highlights displays more experience than her friend, but the same fresh, new excitement for a college adventure is no less prevalent. She wears the classic jeans and navy t-shirt that radiates college life.

Laughter rises from the two as they excitedly watch the adventures on the screen with gleeful interest. The brunette watches as her friend, sitting cross legged on the patchwork collection of camp shirts, taps away at the iphone in her hand. Her fingers clip-clap on the screen, writing out messages to some unknown friend or loved one living far from her new place of residence where she faces brand new challenges in her young life.

Their laughter fills the cheerful room as they exchange “Doctor Who” and “Star Wars” memes that allow them a brief and fun escape from the stress of work, homework and the new adult, college world they now perverse. For now, they are safely tucked away in their gleeful games, but tomorrow may bring another new challenge to learn to be conquered.

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A Lonely College Night

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written! I am so sorry. I just started college and a new job, so my life got super busy and I never realized I haven’t been posting. But I’ve written a lot I’d like to share. Here is a quick experience I had about friendship I would like to share with you.

aloneFriendship is a bond that can only be broken by those who share it.

Though we can live it; it is often hard for us to explain.

I’ve been able to live it several times in my life.

It is a late night after a long day of plans going wrong,

when you’re lying in your room with your roommate,

window is open to try to keep the room cool,

but the feelings inside were still heated.

When you finish your night plans and are trying to rest,

but you just can’t.

When you forget your feelings as you hear another small voice sobbing in the night.

That moment when you can’t decide if they need a friend or need a moment alone after a long day.

When you know by the your roommate getting up, so follow her.

Friendship is when you give them a hug as they lie on the couch,

unable to get a better hug,

you all but lie on them in an attempt to show them you will overcome any barrier

to help the tears turn from aches of pain to a healing balm.

When you share hugs, sitting side by side

and talk about struggles,

then silly things to laugh the tears away.

That is friendship, captured in a little dark, cold room in a colder and darker Idaho night.

“I See My Path, but I Don’t Know Where I Leads” – A New Year Reflection

dont-know-where-it-leadsAs my new year begins, I am caught dwelling about this quote. I am the type of person who likes to know what I’m working toward. Yet as I begin my new adventure in a new state, a new college and pressing forward on my career goals at the start of a new year, I do have to recognize that I really don’t know where this path will take me.

But this is what the journey is all about. I wish to share with you this short, powerful feeling that comes from this mindset. This has been the greatest blessing to me in my life and I hope to spread it to all of you.

quote-each-day-of-human-life-contains-joy-and-anger-pain-and-pleasure-darkness-and-light-growth-and-morihei-ueshiba-289212Life isn’t about avoiding pain. Yes, that is what we naturally want, but to truly find excitement and the fullest life, we don’t actively seek or avoid the trails of life. We face them with excitement. When things are hard, be excited. It means you’re doing right.  The excitement of staring in your own story is a thrill enough to bring some light to any struggle.

It’s a hard sensation to explain, but it creates the happiest people I know. A trail isn’t a punishment; it’s an award to help you grow. It’s the days that challenge us that are written into the story, not the days we spend hours vegging on the couch. It’s the days of trail that are worth recording.

If you want to be happy in life, it’s not about finding a happier place, it’s about learning how to see it in the happiest light. For example, I found it hard to leave my family again after having been blessed to be with them for a long time.

13461-its-a-dangerous-business-frodo-going-out-your-door-if-youThere were two ways I could look at it. The side that made me sad and not want to go, or see the grand adventure.  ““It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ― (J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings).  In order to find the grand adventure worth sharing, you have to take that dangerous step outside your front door.

As lovers of books and stories, let us recognize no good story happens in ease. Katniss wouldn’t have become so powerful if she’d taken the easy way out. Harry would never have become the hero of the Wizarding World in all seven books if he hadn’t endured hardships.

Yes, we should have times of rest, but they should not be the goal. They should be the reward to having endure one adventure well. A recharge of batteries as we prepare for book two, or three, or four or five or six!

So let’s take these quotes to heart in the new year. Be happy even in struggles. Let’s take the adventure presented to us, and succeed. Let’s grow and become the heroes of our own stories. The supporting character in our friends’ story and strive not to be the protagonist to those around us.

A Writer’s Christmas

 

christmasWriters are queer people. We see everything differently than everyone else. There is no right or wrong in this, it is just a fact. No one will see the world quite the same way as a writer will. Even a holiday such as Christmas comes with unique observations.

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The Guy Who Knows “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

The spirit of Christmas is not anyone can quantify or explain. Take if from a guy who tired. There is no way to explain it, and I personally think it’s different for everyone.

The beautiful feelings that arise when we see the snowflakes in the store windows, as the strains of Christmas jingles strike our ears, the smell of holiday baking, sparkling trees and stars all around. We all since these things and feel differently. But for me, it’s a season of hope and renewal.

Renewal is not a word many will connect with Christmas, but it is for me. One of the most beloved Christmas stories, if not the most loved by all who celebrate it, is Charles Dicken’s Christmas Carol. Why is that? Even for those who celebrate Christmas love this story.

Because it is the message of Christmas. As a writer, I love the stories of Christmas. Who doesn’t? Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and even movies like Home Alone and Miracle on 34th Street all share the same Christmas theme. And it’s not because they have snow, or Santa or that they happen around Christmas time. It’s at theme of redemption. How so? Well, this is where we can have glorious fun.

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Rudolph is an odd ball no one loves. Through the magic of Christmas, he is given a chance to ‘redeem’ himself and prove his worth.

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Frosty the Snowman was lifeless snow, but given a new chance at life.

 

 

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Home Alone starts out with a brat of a child being given his wish to learn what the true joys of Christmas and life are and changes his heart. (Until we need another movie and he reverts).

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Miracle on 34th Street shows a mother and daughter who have lost the magic of life and finds the childlike joy and wonder of Christmas and the world by their learning about the real meaning of Santa Clause.

a-christmas-carol-dvd-cover-artThen the masterpiece of Christmas works, doesn’t once mention Santa Clause or any of the magical things we associate with Christmas. It simply is the story of a miserable miser who is shown the truth about himself, his life, and the world around him. As it should be, the truth was all it took to redeem the poor old wretch into the more joyful man you’d ever hope to meet. He was redeemed from his miserable state to the jollies fellow you could ever wish to encounter.

So as you enjoy the holiday lights, serving your fellowmen, sharing gifts and the joy of giving, ponder about the message of these Christmas stories and find how are you going to be a little less of a Scrooge in Act 1, and more like the Ebenezer in Act 3.

Have a very Merry Christmas! And use the holiday celebration of the power to change and find new hope to start your New Year right!

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An Author’s Mission Statement

mission-statement

Today, I want to share with you something that’s been on my mind the past while, there are a lot of changes going on in my life. The Rising is undergoing its final edit, soon it will be on to production and the marketing, which is very exciting! I also am getting ready to move away from my current work and start going back to school and finding a new job. I’m going into school to study writing and publishing. With all these changes, I felt it was time to share my thoughts and deepest purpose or what I do as a writer and influence on the worldwide web.

I want to help us all break free, free of the mental bands we put around ourselves, most of all youth. In a free country, we can truly make whatever we want of ourselves if we work for it. It doesn’t come for free, but the ability to reach it is given to use if only we will take it.

legoLife is like a box of Legos. We start out with a box that is given us, some are given better boxes than others, with some parts put together for us already, some have no parts put together yet, and we have no directions. As we go on, others often will share their directions, and we can even write our own as we start to build. The challenge is to decide what we want to build our life to be and how to get there. The point is, we can build whatever we want, but we have to take the pieces given to us to gain and build what we want.

So as I write these blogs, publish my books and share on social media, my goal is to inspire us all to desire to do make the efforts needed to build the tower, the life, the person that you want to become. Forget what the world tells you to be, that is between you and your beliefs. Work it out for yourself with where you go to find truth, and that is the only thing that should tell you what to be.

I most of all want to focus on the youth out there. WARING: I hate the world teenager. It has a very negative connotation to it, one that goes with laziness, unbridled emotion and, unprofitable people. So I will avoid using the term teenager as much as I can. I like to call the age we call teenage as youth or young adults None of those stereotypes have to be true! I’ve seen it in my life, we can let the teenage years rule us or use them as a practice ground to find out what life we truly want to live.

youth-powerI remember watching my friends when we were in our teenage years, some of us just played around, and some of us used this time to safely experiment and find the kind of life we wanted to live. When I turned eighteen, I didn’t feel like it was time to sort my life out, I knew what I wanted and hit the ground running. I had a job, bank account, responsibilities, I even took a larger role in helping take care of my younger brother as if I was a parent in the home.  To me, the teenage (shudder at the word) years are not for playing around, that’s what a childhood is for, the teenage years are years to explore, experiment with interests and hobbies, even career paths. Then when you are an adult, you know enough to pick a door and go.

That feeling, that ability and power is what I want to share with you all. If we work hard, do hard things and explore the great unknown, the rewards are greater than we can ever understand. This is why I love to share my defective posts; it makes us think how we can better improve. Life is not a place to just sit and watch the ride, its an adventure, a process of self-change to be happier people.

break_freeBut the world doesn’t want us to know that, it wants to control us and make us what they want us to be. It’s why I believe suicide rates are higher today than ever. We have been conditioned and forced to believe we can only be what society expects us to be. It puts a lock and cage on our souls. When you cage a human soul, it seeks escape, and drugs and alcohol and suicide is a trap that lures us with the hope of freedom, but really, only traps us more and causes more hurt. We long for freedom to become, and these things give us the illusion of freedom mankind so deeply longs for.

That is my purpose in sharing what inspires me with you, so on this blog, on Facebook, Twitter, in vlogs, I will always seek to help inspire us to overcome the darkness, become who we choose to be, and unite us in our unique differences. So this week’s challenge, ponder who you want to be, take a moment along, and decide what you want to be, then make plans how to get there. I hope I can just help you even in some small way, on that journey.

What Makes a Great Teacher?

I had this question asked me for my homework assignment. I decided I’d share it with you. Because really, we all need to know what a great teacher does, so we can be great student or great teachers ourselves.

What Makes a Great Teacher?

A great teacher understands and inspires you. When you are struggling, a good teacher can see where you are lacking understanding. They then can clarify what you don’t understand than walk you through the problem. A good teacher will never do the work for you, but they will guide you. They understand the way you think, so they can find a way to make the work not only make sense, but enjoyable to you.

My mother showed me this example. I was homeschooled, so she was my primary teacher. I really struggle with math. I thought I was rather hopeless in the subject and just had to hope I could understand how to get through the problems. When working through linear equations, I felt hopeless and, hoping she’d pretty much do it for me, I asked her to walk me through it.

Instead of doing the problem for me, she pulled out a new problem and did it while I watched. She showed me how solving for x could be like the puzzles I liked playing on my phone. I never thought I’d say it, but she made me not only want to learn it, but what to enjoy it like she did. With this desire, I set my own practice schedule. With that work, within two weeks I not only enjoyed the problems, but aced the test.

A great teacher does the same. He or she sees what it is you lack to understand the problem. They take a moment to see why you struggle with it, then finds a way to guide you to your own answer. A great teacher understands you, the problem and your struggles to help you feel inspired. Once a student is inspired, they’ll do more than required.

So a great teacher doesn’t need to have a fancy curriculum or a super supplies, though these are helpful tools. All a great teacher needs is the knowledge to teach and the ability to understand what the students struggles with and inspire the student to their own answer. They enable the student to enjoy the learning so the school work, becomes a school pleasure.

It’s a skill some can learn and some are born with, but it is a power we need in our learning systems today. So for you wanting to be teachers, learn how to know your students. If you know their struggles, and you know what inspires them, you can take them where no other teacher ever has before.