28 February 2013

Jennifer Armentrout's newest book available!

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.  ~Author Unknown

ennifer Armentrout, one of my favorite paranormal YA authors, has just released a new (non-paranormal) book!  I’ve aleady downloaded it and can’t wait to read it this weekend.  Based on how well she created the detailed worlds of the Lux and Covenant novels, I know I will enjoy the new world of Avery and Cam.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela


What do early readers have to say about WAIT FOR YOU?

J. Lynn creates a wonderful cast of characters that will make you laugh, swoon, and cry. Cam stole my heart.” – Cora Carmack, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of LOSING IT
“For the love of all that is Cameron without a shirt on! Wait for You will have you laughing out loud, fanning yourself and anxiously waiting to know what will happen next.” – Molly McAdams, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of FROM ASHES and TAKING CHANCES

I don't think I have ever read a NA Contemporary novel with as much depth as this one. It really moved me and by the end I was just speechless over how inspirational and uplifting it was as well as being sexy and cute and funny and emotional.” - K Books

Wait For You is uniquely different from anything else J. Lynn's written but it might possibly be her best work yet.” – Jenuine Cupcakes

For all of you in love with Aiden and Daemon, PREPARE YOURSELVES! Your heart will have to expand a little more for Cam.” Total Bookaholic

For the love of all things CAM, this book deserves more than 5 stars.” – Mundie Moms

I cannot even begin to explain how much I adored this perfectly crafted contemporary.” – Shortie Says

Excited? Ready to see the cover for WAIT FOR YOU?


Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…


Barnes and Noble

J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet. You can find out more about Jennifer by visiting the following websites:

27 February 2013

La Belle's Hobby Farm: Spring is Just Around the Corner

The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.
 ~ Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World

ebruary is practically a memory and that means that Spring will be here before you know it.  And you know what that means.


Last year I planted more angst in my garden then vegetables.  This year, I promise myself (and my garden) to prep the ground and get seeds and plants in at the appropriate times.  No more waiting until June!

I already have a rough list of the veggies and herbs I want to plant, but so far, I’ve put off building a plan.  But at least for now, I have a schedule for March: what needs to be sown indoors, and what can be sown directly into the soil. This is just a draft list; I’ll be adding more to it.

Yes, I am an Excel nerd.
Since crop rotation is good for sustainability and conservation, and since I still need to get the field plowed where my new veggie garden is going, the direct sow items on the above schedule are going in last year’s tomato/herb garden, except for the potatoes and parsnips.  They need a little more room. 

Now to find a man with a tractor. . . . 

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
Want to know what to plant in your region?  Check out Mother Earth News’ What to Plant Now guide!

22 February 2013

Top Five Friday: The Grammar Drama Queen Pouts Again!

The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. 
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

o is a basic knowledge of grammar and spelling.

Since my creative land is experiencing a drought, I’ve been devouring books like a tween hyped on a hot vampire.  And there is nothing that pulls out of a finally crafted fictional world quite like the misuse of words.

Yells with a sad / angry face: “Writers ~ WTH?!?”

Maybe if it happens once or twice in a book, we can blame the editor or lack thereof.  But when the same mistakes happen in a story over and over, I’m blaming the writer’s education or lack thereof.

Five ~ very sad and very common ~ cases in point:

I was sat on the couch next to Liam.
When you’re writing a draft, maybe you decide that active voice is better than passive (usually very true).  And then you forget to delete “was” when you change “sitting” into “sat.”  But when you make this mistake over and over in the same story?  Beep.  Grammar fail! 

And I have to say, I saw one author do this numerous times in both of the books that I read.  So it’s not just her editor’s fault (if she has one), but her elementary school teacher as well!

I’m going to give him a peace/piece of my mind.
I tried to keep the piece/peace, but they were hell-bent on killing each other.
Think this mistake isn’t common?  Think again.  I read.  A lot.  Like, possible-need-support-group-or-book-club a lot. And I saw this time and again.  I would have thrown the book at the wall, but I was reading on the Kindle app for my Android phone.

Basic grammar lesson:
Homophones = words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. 
I think I learned this in first grade.

I’m going to/too/two the store.
Again with the homophones!  What the….!?  If you do not know the difference between to and two, you could get into serious trouble.  Or your main character could.

Think about it.

I was a little creeped out to have a staring role in his dreams.
I’m dieing to have another scoop of ice cream.
I would be creeped out too.  Are you staring at him in this dream role?  This could be just a spelling issue, but it’s also grammar thing.  Again, a basic grammar lesson: 
When a verb ends with a consonant-vowel-consonant, and we put STRESS on this sound in speech, we double the last consonant. Then we add ing.
So the first sentence should be starring. Now, if her eyes were truly fixed on him for a long period of time, then she would indeed be staring at him.  But with the way the word was used in the sentence, the issue is a case of word abuse.
For the second sentence, the rule is: 
When a verb ends with the letters ie, we change them into y, and add ing.
In which case, the word in the second sentence should be dying.

I blushed; I wasn’t comfortable with complements/compliments.
Wait.  Are you uncomfortable with having something added to you or because he thinks you’re beautiful?  Regardless, the butchering of the English language is making me uncomfortable!

So please writers and editors, know your/you’re grammar and spelling!  And readers: if you see something out of whack, say something!  Sometimes, we writers don’t sea our mistakes before we hit publish.


Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
Okay, grammar nerds: what are some of your grammar pet peeves?  Want to see a fun graphic on grammar mistakes?  Go to Copyblogger!

20 February 2013

La Belle's Hobby Farm: Know When to Fold 'Em

Sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears.
~ Paul Simon

nd sometimes, words cannot be found to describe the pain.

When this year began, I told myself it could only go up from here.  Famous last words.  I really need to stop saying such things ~ Murphy and Karma seem to team up when I do, pulling the rug out from under me with a gleeful and sadistic gleam in their eyes.

Which is a long way of saying, sorry I haven’t written lately.  My family life is taking a beating right now, and as always when that happens, my creative well goes dry and soaks up every tear that falls.  Meanwhile, I curl up inside my head with a good book, or my imagination, and escape from conflict and confrontation.  Someone else’s drama is always more enjoyable then your own.  Throw in a few werewolves, mages, vampires, and magic, and I can stay in my little world for quite some time.

So pardon the silence. 
But have no fear.
Once the storm is over,
A new crop of stories will appear.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
When life gets overwhelming, what do you do to ease the pain?  Talk it out? Ignore it. Get angry? Or do you just retreat and read?

11 February 2013

Abbey of the Arts Lenten Photo Party

To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one's self....
And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one's self.
~ Søren Kierkegaard

ent is a great time to examine the resolutions and goals we made at the beginning of the new year, and assess where we are.  A place to stop, rest, and re-center ourselves.  An opportunity to refocus our energy and take care of our heart and our soul.

Personally, I could use forty-days of peace and quiet to figure out where the heck I’m going in 2013.  I feel a little like Persephone ~ stuck between darkness and light, passion and duty.  Here at the beginning, it is enough to observe the different paths around me.  Then I shall choose a new adventure to embark upon.

In that spirit of exploration, Abbey of the Arts is hosting another Photo Party. Details from Christine V. Paintner below. 
Welcome to the Abbey Photo Party!

I select a theme and invite you to respond with images.

Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday, that beautiful ritual of acknowledging our earthiness and limitations, and responding to the call to enter deeply into this sacred time of prayer and practice. This week, go on a photo pilgrimage, holding the start of Lent in your heart, and notice what images are shimmering in the world around you.

You can share images you already have which illuminate the theme, but I encourage you also to go for a walk with the theme in mind and see what you discover.   You are also welcome to post photos of any other art you create inspired by the theme. See what stirs your imagination!

How to participate:
1. Go to the Flickr Group I have created. You need a free Flickr account first. When you go to the link it will ask you to join the group first before posting. Share as many as five of your images in response to the theme.

2. Leave a comment at this post to let us know you have joined the party and what your Flickr profile name is (you must include this to be entered into the drawing).
3. Please post the invitation on your blog or Facebook page and encourage others to come join the party!

On Friday, February 15th– I will draw a name at random from those who participate and the winner will receive a space in one of my Self-Study Online Classes (with a choice from Soul of a Pilgrim, Eyes of the Heart, Water Wind Earth & Fire, Seasons of the Soul, or Lectio Divina)

I will post my contribution here once I take the picture.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

If you participate, share links to your blog here and on Christine’s page!