Feb

4

2014

A Disruption of the Silence

Filed under: Pondering

I just put the little people away for the night and the hubby is out late for work. As I’m taking the time to write up this blog I realize that I am missing and craving solitude. Moving–which has been pretty awesome–has robbed me of my silent, alone, day-dreaming time. Sitting in the quiet now has reminded me that there has been a constant hum in my back ground. It has been made up of children, family, movers, tasks, schedules, installers, delivery folks, stressed animals and even unfamiliarity. All of these things have been a blessing to me over the last few weeks, but each one makes a noise–a disruption of the silence. Normally one or two of these sounds comes and goes, fading in and out of my life, and they aren’t too disruptive for too long. But lately I’ve noticed that all my sounds feel like they are overlapping and they are making me feel like I’m in the middle of a crowd in a stadium.

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I can’t hear myself think. And I miss that.

Because as strange as it sounds, I like how I’m not lonely when thoughts float through my mind like wafting fog.

I crave moments where my head get to be blanketed in a layer of muffling thought snow.

I enjoy the anticipation of unraveling my solitude.

When do you crave the silence most?

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Jan

30

2014

Read a Sample of TOUCHING THE SURFACE on Wattpad

Filed under: Check-it-out, Reading, Writing, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

Hey everyone–I’m on Wattpad! Or at least I’m working hard to figure it out and find my place there. If you’re anything like me, you’re saying watt what? So let me fill you in…

 

Great stories bring people together!

Wattpad is the world’s largest community for discovering and sharing stories. It’s a new form of entertainment connecting readers and writers through storytelling, and best of all, it’s entirely free. With thousands of new stories added every day, an incredibly active community of readers, and the ability to read on your computer, phone, or tablet, Wattpad is the only place that offers a truly social, and entirely mobile reading experience.

 

And you can check out TOUCHING THE SURFACE on Wattpad HERE

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Anybody else on Wattpad? Have any tips for me on how to navigate it better?

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Jan

28

2014

Tuesday is Looking Better than Monday: Caffeine

Filed under: Check-it-out, Pondering

Normally I’m a decaf girl. I don’t like to be be beholden to a beverage in order to wake up my face. I love coffee and I usually drink it most mornings, but if I don’t want to drink it for some reason, I hate having a raging headache. BUT…

Since Christmas, when my hubby was home and it was inconvenient to make back-to-back cups of Joe, I slid into the comfy and warm routine of pre-hubby-made beverage. When John went back to work I was ready to slowly wean myself off the sauce but then we moved. And I was exhausted from packing, unpacking, cleaning, hauling, and all the rest. So I kept drinking the full-test. And since it’s so freaking cold outside, I was really craving hot beverages and well–you can see how this may have gotten out of hand. SO…

Yesterday I started mixing in a little decaf into my regular so I could s-l-o-w-l-y come down off of my artificial high. Usually if I do this in increments every two days I can work myself down pretty painlessly. Unfortunately I think I underestimated the power of those two cappuccinos I had at Sunday brunch. Blurgh–I had a dull, annoying headache all day and woke up with it this morning.

Because I’m lazy (which is what got me into this situation to start with) I’m now drinking the microwaved dregs of yesterdays pot. I tell myself that this is a critical component in keeping caffeine levels consistent. And it is because it’s working. I’ve finished my first morning mug and the tightness in my temples is starting to recede. So obviously it’s a pretty kick-ass plan. Tuesday is looking so much better than Monday already. On Wednesday we may not add quite so much decaf though. *grin*

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What’s your relationship with caffeine? And how was your Monday? We haven’t chatted in awhile–lets catch up over coffee LOL!

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Jan

23

2014

Bookanistas Review: RELEASED (Books two in the Nogiku Series) by SJ Pajonas

Filed under: Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Reading

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Tuesday came and went with no blog post from me. Maybe last Thursday too. LOL! I’me in a haze of bleach and card board boxes and I’m only crawling out of my moving hole to do this post/blog tour because I absolutely love this book. #2 in the Nogiku Series. Wait–you didn’t take my advice and read REMOVED? Go back and check it out, fall in love with this quirky, exciting, romantic series and then check out RELEASED. 

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This is my stop during the blog tour for the Nogiku series by SJ Pajonas. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from January 20 till February 2, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours: http://lolasblogtours.com/2013/11/21/blog-tour-nogiku-series-by-sj-pajonas/

So far this series contains two book: Removed (Nogiku series #1) and Released (Nogiku series #2).

released

 Released (Nogiku series #2)

by SJ Pajonas

Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic

Age category: New Adult

Release Date: December 17, 2013

Blurb:

**Contains spoilers for those who have not read REMOVED (Book 1) Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyo recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s eventual rule on Yusei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs. Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her? From Nishikyo to Yusei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.

 

You can find Released on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18674881-released

 

You can buy Released here:

- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HAR43MC/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_wjXRsb18JJ3RK

- Barnes & Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/released-s-j-pajonas/1117673223

- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/released-4

 

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Kimberly’s Review of RELEASED:

Now that NA (New Adult) has taken off, I find myself listening to lots of people wanting NA but “different.” Different is what the Nogiku series is all about. And I’m saying that in the very best of ways. There is something in it for everyone, but there are also things in this series that I didn’t know I wanted out of a book until I was immersed in it. Unique world building, romance without a frustrating love triangle, action and adventure, interesting science fiction, suspense, friendship, diversity and girl power. And while all of that is fabulous on its own–this book is ALL ABOUT THE ENDING!

I can’t wait for book #3. I have a sneaky suspicion this series has just gotten ready to hit it’s sweet spot. Trust me–get invested in the Nogiku series.

 

sj pajonas

 About the Author:

S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.

Released is S. J. Pajonas’s second work, book two of four in the Nogiku Series. The first book in the series, Removed, is described as “a wonderful story” with “engaging characters, seamless world building, and an action packed plot.” It’s an “up-til-3am-because-I-read-it-in-one-sitting book.” She also writes contemporary romance and her upcoming first book in the Love in the Digital Age series will be published in 2014.

S. J. lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

You can find and contact her here:

- Website: http://www.spajonas.com/

- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJPajonas

- Twitter: https://twitter.com/spajonas

- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7233209.S_J_Pajonas

- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/spajonas/

- Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gleek/

- Instagram: http://instagram.com/spajonas#

- Tumblr: http://spajonas.tumblr.com/

 

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of the Nogiku series. These are the prizes you can win: Amazon Gift Cards, copies of REMOVED, and eBook copies of two fantastic Japanese books: JAPANESE SOUL COOKING and THE SAKE HANDBOOK. Both will be gifted through either Amazon (kindle) or Barnes&Noble (nook).

Here are the links to both books on Amazon:

Sake Handbook on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sake-Handbook-John-Gauntner-ebook/dp/B007H9GVMI/

Japanese Soul Cooking: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BVJG5GC/

 

Here is the link to the rafflecopter giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NzIzOGFjZTUzNDI0NzNhNTZhNTlhODI4ZDg5NDZhOjU=/

 

<a id=”rc-7238ac5″ href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7238ac5/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src=”//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js”></script>

 

Want to check out what the other Bookanistas are reading? Here you go…

What novels have you read and loved that fall outside the typical books in a genre? What’s you’re favorite OMG! ending to a book you’ve read?

 

Want more info about REMOVED–Book #1…

You can find Removed on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18366156-removed

Want to view some inspirational images for Removed, visit the Removed inspirational Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/spajonas/removed-nogiku-series-1-inspiration/

 

You can buy Removed here:

- Amazon (Paperback): http://amzn.com/1940599032

- Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.com/B00F4IE978

- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940148646532\

- iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id737065984

- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/removed

- Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/9758834-removed

 

You can watch the trailer for Removed on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPzShpFemIg

 

 

 

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Jan

14

2014

Unexpected Inspiration: Eminem

Filed under: Pondering, The Opposite of Gravity, Writing

I’m not a die-hard fan of Eminem, but there are quite a few of his songs I love to listen to. I’ve used one on THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY playlist and there are some on my running playlist. Some I just find captivating for their transparency and honesty.

Usually when I’m calling out my writing heroes, you’ll hear names like Laurie Halse Anderson, Lois Lowry, K.L. Going, John Green and A.S. King, but Eminem has snuck onto my list of people I’m a fan-girl of.

I LOVE his poetic ability to play with word and phrase. I think he has moments of utter brilliance and I am constantly trying to make unique thought and word connections the way he does.

 

“Now you get to watch her leave out the window
I guess that’s why they call it window pain.”

“Cause all I wanted to do is be the Bruce Lee of loose leaf.”

“Ironic ’cause I think I’m getting so huge I need a shrink.”

Seriously, the word play makes me swoon. But there’s more. This song in particular makes me think about being a writer–an artistic person with voices inside of her head. There have been so many times when I’ve loved yet hated the art in my soul and all that comes along with it. At the end of the day…

MONSTER

“I’m just relaying what the voice in my head’s saying
Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just friends with the monster that’s under my bed…”

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Now you’ve got me curious–where do you get your unexpected inspiration?

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Jan

9

2014

I’m Nuts About Good News!

Filed under: Fun and Games

This was a blog heavy week for me AND a box heavy week. I’m still purging, organizing and packing away my boxed belongings like a squirrel hoarding nuts.

squirrel  on the snow gnawing nuts of siberian pine

So I’m tossing this one to the John Green…

 

 

What’s your favorite kind of nut? I’m a big fan of walnuts on my chocolate sundaes. *grin*

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Jan

7

2014

Goals: You Have to Talk Nicely to the Universe Before You Disturb It

Filed under: Community, Pondering, Publishing, Writing, Writing for Children, Young Adult (YA)

In typical fashion, the new year kicks off conversations about goals and fears–particularly the fear of not achieving said goals. I imagine this to be true for the majority of folks that breath, but I KNOW its a hot topic for writers. Writing and selling books is like asking people to expose their soft spots to the world and then letting everyone take pot shots at them. Sometimes you get high fives, but mostly you get snickers and frowns. Sometimes you get worse. Even when everything is handled professionally, being critiqued can cause a bucket load of insecurities to rise to the surface.

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In a recent conversation with some of my closest writing buds, I reminded everyone that we had to go into 2014 with the right attitude. Some people may think it’s hokey, but I believe there is a difference between saying…

a) I want an agent.

and

b) I will get an agent when my writing and my understanding of the publication process is good enough.

In one sentence, the universe hears you say want and you get WANT, which wasn’t really what you were after with that statement. In the other sentence the universe hears WILL and that is a whole different animal. You’ve planted a seed. Now you have to give it time to grow roots. I’m a big fan of deadlines, they motivate me to stop procrastinating and get things done, but I’ve learned to never attach deadlines to the aspects of my success I’m unable to control. There is a difference between saying…

a) I will sell a new book every year.

and

b) I will continue to sell books. I won’t stop writing and I won’t stop trying. Good books will sell, so I need to write good books.

One of those sentences is a lot more attainable than the other.

I also try to remember that the next new thing is always a freaking weird thing first. What the heck am I talking about? Hindsight is not so easy to spot the first time around. All the GREAT new books and authors–the break-out stars, whether they were overnight successes or years and years in the making–came from an uncomfortable uniqueness that most people anticipated would be a big pit of failure. The very same weird thing that makes writers impossible to see coming, is what also makes them visionary. Everyone is looking for the next NEW thing. New is the operative word.

There is a big difference between saying…

a) I’m going to be the next Laurie Halse Anderson

and

b) My name is Kimberly Sabatini and there is not another person out there that can write the books in my heart and my head. My goal is to have a long and successful career, like Laurie Halse Anderson, where I  write award winning books and where I’m an advocate and role model for teens, librarians, teachers and my fellow writers.  I want to WILL help Laurie disturb the universe. <3

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That’s MY story and I’m sticking to it. I know it works because it’s gotten me here so far. Take a moment and think about your goals for the future and if you haven’t already been doing it…

*phrase them in the positive.

*take off all the crazy deadlines that run the risk of making you think you’re a failure. If you have big plans–give them room to unfold.

*know  your role models and separate who they are from what the do.

*understand what it is that makes you freaking weird and then then ride that pony to the finish line. No one else has YOUR voice. Use it to disturb the universe.

You’ve got this!

 

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Jan

2

2014

Bookanistas Review–BREAKING GLASS by Lisa Amowitz

Filed under: Book Reviews, Bookanistas, Check-it-out, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

It’s a brand new year and I’ve got more great books that you might be missing. Time to kick of 2014 with something to keep your pulse racing.

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Here’s a little bit about BREAKING GLASS by Lisa Amowitz…

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BREAKING GLASS

by Lisa Amowitz

On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears.

When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he’s not sure whether they’re real or if he’s losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.

Kimberly’s Review of BREAKING GLASS:

There is so much to love about this book!!!  It was a thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. I was trying to guess plot right up until the end, but it was hard because there were tons of twists and turns to keep me on my toes. But even though there was lots of nail biting and adrenaline flowing through BREAKING GLASS, there was also a wonderful sense of balance because of the romance. Interesting relationships occurred in more than one thread of the story and while the “best” relationships were fabulous, some were dysfunctional, but in a great way. I also really enjoyed Jeremy Glass’ voice. I think Amowitz has a natural talent for writing teenage boy. There were multiple times through out the book where I muttered “stupid boy” under my breath, while acknowledging how spot-on my aggravation with Jeremy was. Additionally, I really loved the small town dynamics that were at play during the entire novel. While not every small town has all the politics, social hierarchy issues and corruption that Jeremy’s town does, I certainly could see more than a few truths about human nature breaking through.

And when you rush right out to pick up your copy of Amowitz’s debut novel, don’t forget to ogle and admire the fabulous cover for BREAKING GLASS, designed by the author herself. You can check out more of her fabulous design work HERE.

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The BREAKING GLASS Book Trailer

http://youtu.be/J6i6lOM48Kw

BREAKING GLASS is available here…

* Amazon

* Barnes & Noble

* IndieBound

Lisa Amowitz

Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot. She is a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly seventeen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children. Lisa is represented by Shannon Hassan of Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency. shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com
You can find out more about Lisa Amowitz and BREAKING GLASS here…
*Blog
* Facebook
*Goodreads
*Google +
*Pinterest
*Twitter
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Looking for more Bookanistas reviews to kick off 2014? I’ve got them right here for you…

 

 

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Jan

1

2014

The Secret Life of Richie Stanulwich

Filed under: Family, Pondering, Running

Today it’s 9 years since my dad died. Every New Year’s Eve, after watching the ball drop, I sit down and write a post for him. This year I knew I wanted to include a certain song in the post, so I toyed for weeks with the idea of writing it down ahead of time. No matter what I did,  I couldn’t quite make the words come together the way I wanted them to. I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to say–until I went to the movies tonight and saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was amazing. And it brought it all together for me.

First the song…

It’s a Miracle by Barry Manilow

I keep this song on my run list and whenever it comes up I yell “Hey Daddy” at the top of my lungs and point to the sky. I’m embarrassingly loud but not really embarrassed at all. Of course, when I’m at the gym I give it up with a whisper, but he still gets a fist pump. It just feels right.

But why does this song remind me of him so much? Why does it pump me up every time I hear it? I think it’s because I’ve always thought of my Dad as having a secret life like Walter Mitty.

My dad was a gentle, complex and wonderful man who had all these crazy wants and dreams tucked away at his core, but he buried those wants and dreams  because he didn’t know how to balance them with being a good husband or a good father. He was responsible and obligated. He just did his jobs. He led his life the best way he knew how. Sometimes he zoned out.

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Just like Walter Mitty, my dad was a “ghost cat.”

(I won’t spoil it for you with an explanation of what that means–go see the movie.)

My world was a really good place because of all the choices my dad made and all the things he did for me, but I often wonder what he would have been like if he would have allowed himself more of the real life magic while he was here. But despite that, I’ve stopped thinking of him as having missed out. Now when I hear that song, I always get the strangest feeling he’s off having adventures and he doesn’t have to zone out to do it. I have an overwhelming sense he’s now joyful and he’s doing all the things  he never did before. He’s going to the most amazing places. This is how I picture him when we’re running together.

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When I hear that song, I know he HAS found his way home and I am always thankful that it’s still right next to me.

Happy 9th Anniversary Daddy. I heard you tonight…

“But the message here was plain to see
Believe me…”

Love’s Divine.

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Dec

31

2013

Kicking 2013 to the Curb and Laying Down New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

Filed under: Dancing, Family, Pondering, Running, Writing

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ?

Nah!

Lots to learn and fondly remember about those days gone by.

BUT…

Let’s not dwell on it people. We’ve got a new year full of promise just waiting in the wings. So incredibly exciting. I love bringing new goals into focus.

Here’s some of the things I’m setting my sights on in 2014…

New Year’s Resolutions

*MOVING! I can not wait for this for a multitude of reasons. I’m super excited about our new home!!! I LOVE it and I’ll be sharing more of that with you as it happens. But I’m also stoked for the arrival of the day when I’m NOT MOVING ANYMORE! This process has officially eaten up most of 2013 and I’m ready to be done with it. Settled. Focusing on my other goals.

*Writing goals aplenty this year. I’m planning on selling book two, finishing book three and brainstorming book four. I’ve also got a little project that I’m dabbling with that I’d love to make more headway on. Getting all tingly for this writing year. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) showed me what I’m made of and I can’t wait to broaden my own horizons.

*I want to keep running. Last month I logged 49 miles of running and today I should break that number for the month of Dec. I’m pretty excited to be running more regularly. By doing that, I’m seeing my running improve and if I can run like that after the holiday season of gluttony is over, perhaps there will be a little less of my in 2014 LOL!

*Back to Workshop in 2014. This is my dance class and it’s way more than dancing, although we do plenty of that. My Tuesday nights are the BEST and I can’t wait to get back to our regular routine. I love my Yanni girls. <3 But why this gets a resolution shout-out is that, for the moment, the inflammation in my hamstrings isn’t bothering me as much as it has the last year, so perhaps I can get some of that lost flexibility back. *crosses fingers*

*I talked about the move, but deep within the move, is the opportunity for me to do a wee bit of clutter purging. As every year kicks off, I always clean and organize, but I am REALLY trying my best to straighten up, fly right and take advantage of this opportunity. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this in the future too. Such a personal struggle. I blame my father for passing down his unorganized genes. *points accusing finger skyward*

*And lastly,  I want to continue my journey of doing things that scare and challenge me. I’ve found that I LOVE what’s on the other side of the hard things I’ve faced. I am a happier and better person for tackling my fears. The only regrets I have are for the things I’m still too afraid to do. So, in 2014 I’ll continue to challenge myself to be brave and we shall see how that’s working for me a year from now.

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Your turn. Tell me what you’re focusing on in 2014.

Happy New Year my friends <3

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