Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Featuring Chrissy Peebles - Part 3

For this last part of the Blog Feature that Chrissy and I have worked on for the last few weeks.  This is the end of road for the feature but even though we’ve got to go our separate ways again, both of us – Chrissy on The Purple Brick Road and myself here on this blog – will be busy with our work and a number of exciting post over the next weeks and months.  But before we’re really done we’ve got a couple more things to share with you!!

If you’ve managed to make the jump over to Chrissy’s blog you’ll have noticed that she’s got a couple of her own published books listed and featured there.  So today we’re going to look at Chrissy’s books and then I’ll finish up by sharing with you the last couple of questions from our interview.

So I asked Chrissy to tell me about her books and this is what she told me…

[Chrissy] My first book is called Agartha’s Castaway. The genre is young adult fantasy, adventure, and light sci-fi. It’s about three teenagers who are shipwrecked on what they presume is a strange tropical island. Here’s the blurb.

Dinosaurs, abduction, and a hidden civilization were never part of seventeen-year-old Casey Smith’s vacation plans. That is, until a freak storm tossed her and two best friends, Mike and Jack, out to sea. When they wash up on what they presume to be a mysterious tropical island...they soon discover that being the least of their troubles. In a jungle that teems with impossible creatures, UFOs, and an unworldly landscape, the three friends need to team up to fight danger...without letting their emotions tear them apart. Can they find a way to survive the harsh jungle…and its deadly inhabitants?

Here’s the book trailer:

I think what makes the novel unique and different is the way it crosses dinosaurs with UFOs. It’s kind of like Jurassic Park MEETS Independence Day with Twilight-like romance. I’m pleased to announce that Agartha’s Last Hope (book 2) was just released November 12th.

Also I am ¾ of the way through a new adventure fantasy called, Eternal Vows. It’s about a twenty year old girl named Sarah Larker who returns to a cave where her sister disappeared five years earlier. She walks through a portal and is mistaken for a runaway princess on the run by a dangerous Immortal king in medieval times. Her plan is bold as well as daring—become this princess, wed the king, and slip on an ancient wedding ring that will unlock the portal. Then find her sister and run as fast as she can out of Dodge. But taking on the identity of Princess Gloria comes along with dangerous consequences; and slipping on the ruby ring comes with an even higher price.

I don’t know about everyone else but I’m certainly fascinated by these story lines and have already added the Agartha books to my TBR pile.

After reading about her books, and seeing the trailer, I wondered about and asked Chrissy one more question – a completely random but fun question – about the books.

If your books were to be made in to a movie or TV series, who would like to see play your lead character(s)?

[Chrissy] I’d have Sterling Knight from the Disney channel be Mike! (but before he cut his hair) He’d be perfect! He’s hot, funny, and a little conceited! Yeah, he’s Mike all the way. And maybe Joe Jonas could be Jack. (of course when he has the shaggy hair going) Since I’m stuck on the Disney channel, I’m going to say Victoria Justice for Casey.

And then I asked her one last question.  Is there any particular advice you would give to other new and aspiring writers? 

[Chrissy] It can be overwhelming to a new writer when they share their work for the very first time. Every writer pours out their heart and soul onto the pages. It can be frustrating and the criticism can be harsh. Not to mention, you don’t get paid a whole lot either. But let’s face it, negative comments hurt all the way down to the inner core of your being. My advice would be to write the best that you can, never ever give up, and always be proud. Keep working on writing technique, character development, plot, voice, dialogue, flow, style, and point of view. But most of all, have fun with your writing. Put on your favorite tunes, crack open a Pepsi, pop some Hershey Kisses into your mouth…and then tap away. That’s what it’s all about.

Thanks so much Chrissy! I’ve had a lot of fun putting this together and finding out more about you, your books and everything. 

[Chrissy] Thank you for having me here today on your lovely blog. I enjoyed it so much and for anybody who tuned in, I’d love to connect with you online. 

And one last time for all of you who have stopped by to see this, here are all the places online where you can find and connect with Chrissy:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Featuring Chrissy Peebles - Part 2

So last week I introduced you to YA Author Chrissy Peebles and her blog The Purple Brick Road.  You got a little bit of information about who Chrissy is, and what her blog is about.  This week I’m going to share more of the interview I did with Chrissy – share with you more about her, her writing, and her life.

All I can say is: Enjoy.


So Chrissy, why did you [always] want to be a writer?
It’s hard to explain…but there’s this writing passion deep down in your soul…and it can’t be quenched. I think only another writer can understand it, because friends and family sure can’t. (at [not] least mine)
And what genre do you write in?
What made you choose this genre?
I knew I had to write what I loved…and to me there’s no greater genre than fantasy. I also love that in fantasy I can push the envelope outside normal boundaries. I can stretch my imagination and develop a whole new world, create quirky characters, and just have fun.
Have you ever considered, or tried writing in another genre? Even just for fun?
Hmmm. I’d love to write a chick lit book! I love the personal, sarcastic, and humorous tone to the books.  I really adore how humor is a strong point in chick lit. That’s what separates it from women’s fiction. 
How long were you writing before you were first published?
[For] a few years.
Did you have any/many rejections before getting your first ‘yes’?
I had many rejection letters and let me tell you…they make GREAT paper airplanes!
So where or how do you come up with your ideas?
Ideas just come to me like water pouring from a faucet.
Alright then, would you say you’re a plotter or a pantser?
Writing is like ballet. It looks so easy and graceful until you try it yourself. Writing is definitely a process.
And yes, I have mine.
I get an idea. I get super excited. I brainstorm like crazy and jot down ideas like a crazy woman. I’m like the mad scientist of writing. Then I just write as I go. I don’t use outlines or any structure. I’m a “fly by the seat of my pants” girl. At this stage, I don’t think about word-count, grammar, spelling and punctuation. All I do is keep writing!
Finally my 1st draft is done. It isn’t pretty, but it’s like a diamond in the rough. I keep revising and revising until it’s perfect, using the A.R.R.R. (Adding, Rearranging, Removing, Replacing) approach.
Once my script meets my standards, I go through an aggressive editing phase.  My “inner editor” drives me crazy and sometimes won’t even let me sleep.
But no one gets it right the first time. It takes multiple drafts-like 20!
And then don’t forget the most important part, run it through a critique/writing group and use an editor. Never ever skip these steps!!!!!!! I can’t stress that enough.
How much time do you spend writing each day?
Not much. I’ve been working on editing issues and my new blog and other social outlets. Throw in a husband, needy kids, a hectic work schedule…and one understands. I really need a clone, that, or 4 more arms! Wait! I need to rephrase part of that last bit. …kids and a NEEDY HUSBAND. Yeah, I think he’s worse than the kids, but I love him anyway.

What are some of the titles that you’ve written, or are working on?
My first book was Agartha’s Castaway. My second book was the sequel. And my third book is The Ruby Ring  (sorry) now titled Eternal Vows. It’s still a work in progress.
Is there anything you would change about your books, stories or characters now that you’ve finished writing them?
No, I’m pretty happy.
Now lets talk about something besides writing, shall we… What do you do to relax?
Relax? I’ve never heard of that word. Does that really exist for moms? Hee, hee, hee. I’m making a last minute mad scramble to make sure my kids have matching clothes, lunches, and backpacks on, and then I’m running out the door half-dressed, a pop tart in one hand, and the phone in the other? And it’s not my cell phone! Shoot. I have to go back. And the rest of my day isn’t any less hectic. The tight-rope act between balancing work, writing, and family is difficult. (but worth it) I think on a day off, I love to read a good book curled up on the couch with a cuddly blanket next to the fireplace in the winter. And when it’s summer, I go down to the beach and throw down a blanket and just read until I have to come home to get the kids off the school bus.
If you could go anywhere in the world to visit or live where would you go?
I’d love to go scuba diving under the Galapagos Islands. Can you imagine swimming with giant mantas, turtles, dolphins, tuna, and sea lions? And let’s not forget about the 32 species of sharks! White tip reef sharks, whale sharks, bull sharks, and large schools of hammerhead sharks swim throughout the clear waters. Am I scared? : ) Nope. I think I’m more likely to be killed by lightning or a bee sting than by a shark attack. I think it would be incredible! Mind-blowing! And totally cool!
What are your favorite comfort foods?
Chicken and Dumplings! Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes. Meatloaf. Yum… And I love French fries. I eat as many as I want because they’re vegetables. Right? (At least until they hit the hot oil)
LOL! So here’s a random question: if you could pick one celebrity to meet and have a 5-minute conversation with – who would it be and what’s one thing you would ask them?
I’d pick super sexy vampire hunk, Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. (played by actor Ian Somerhalder) I love his beautiful black hair and those piercing blue eyes. I just hope he doesn’t have “bat” breath. I’d ask him this: Why doesn’t he dump his feelings for Elena and just date me? I won’t play games like her. LOL.  
And I have to ask this because I couldn’t live without my coffee each day, and I hardly ever write without my mug right there beside the keyboard… so it’s a truly personal question: coffee or tea?
Neither. I’d rather have a Pepsi.
LOL, again! I guess I can’t really dock you there because if I’m not drinking coffee, chances are there is Pepsi or Diet Coke in my cup…


Thanks so much for stopping by Ups, Downs, Ins and Outs and thanks for reading this blog post featuring Chrissy Peebles and her blog.  Again you can find Chrissy online in any of these three places!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesdays Tunes: Wish You Were Here

Today I miss my husband, who has been working away from home for the last 8 months.  He’s going to be home soon (within the next 2 weeks) but as the time stretches on I miss him a bit more every day, and more and more I just wish that he were here.  Not precisely the reason for the sentiment in the song but the message is the same one way or another.

Avril Lavigne ‘Wish You Were Here’

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chrissy Peebles & The Purple Brick Road

The Purple Brick Road is a visually dynamic blog run by Chrissy Peebles, which features not only her own writing but also author interviews and book reviews.  The blog is full of fun facts, great reviews and recommendations, and highlights the genre that Chrissy loves most.

I recently did an e-mail interview with Chrissy and for this first part of the Blog Feature I’d like to share with you a brief snippet from that conversation.

Hi! Thanks so much for talking with me.  So just so that we’re all introduced to one another, could you tell us your name, or your penname if you use one?
Thanks so much for having me today on your lovely blog. My name is Chrissy Peebles. Speaking of pennames, I should probably come up with some long exotic penname. Because anything has to be better than “Peebles”? Right? Hee, hee, hee.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with Peebles it’s who you are.  But now that we’ve got that out of the way though, let’s get onto some more questions.

What do you do in ‘real life’?
I stand tall and proud wearing white tennis shoes and scrubs with my stethoscope strategically draped behind my neck. Yep! You guessed it. I work as a nurse for a local rehabilitation center. Being a nurse is awesome because I love people so much.

How did you come up with and/or decide on the title for your blog?
I love fantasy so I knew that I wanted a fantasy theme. I thought of The Yellow Brick Road, but I wanted to be more unique than that. So I made it The Purple Brick Road. Because in fantasy you can do whatever you want. I’ve tried something new on my blog, which is really taking off. I started up “FUN” interviews. Authors are asked a series of questions they pick that show the fun, creative side of the author. I incorporate it with lots of pics. When it’s done, it showcases a “FUN” side of the author.   

Who are the authors that you like to read best?
There’s so many that it’s hard to put down a few actual authors. It’s like choosing between my children. How can I? 

What is your favorite novel? Or novels?
It’s hard to narrow it down, but I’ll try. Here are a few. Touched By An Alien by Gini Koch, Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton, and The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong.

What are your favorite movies?
Jurassic Park, The Neverending Story, and Star Wars.

So there you have your brief introduction to Chrissy and her blog The Purple Brick Road.  As I mentioned before, Chrissy can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.  I think you’ll find that she’s always got something on the go - from ‘FUN’ interviews and blog tours, to book reviews and promotion of other Independent Authors.  Of course she also shares information about her own writing and books as well.  Honestly her blog is just a really interesting spot to land while cruising through blogs, and the content is always ‘FUN’ to read!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesdays Tunes: Hush

So remember a couple of weeks ago when I put up the Marianas Trench song All To Myself?  I told you that one of the big reasons that I loved the song was because the video makes me giggle every single time I watch it.  What I didn’t mention was that another of the reasons why I really like that song, the band and all their music is because of Josh Ramsay.  It’s immature reasoning, maybe; it’s silly, absolutely.  But honestly, can you blame me?  He’s just such a cutie!

Why am I babbling about Josh Ramsay and his bona fide cutie-ness?

It’s because of the song Hush that he sings with Emily Osment, another super cutie who is possibly best known for her role as Lilly/Lola on the Disnesy TV series Hannah Montana with singer/actress Miley Cyrus. 

The song is such an upbeat, catchy tune that once you hear it you just can’t help wanting to hear it again.  And then it’s stuck in your head all day, making you smile – at possibly the most inappropriate times. LOL!  I hope you like it! 

'Hush' Emily Osment and Josh Ramsay

And if you’re interested in getting this song for yourself – it is available on iTunes… Unfortunately, I think that it’s still only available for purchase on iTunes Canada.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

November Reading - Take One

            Holiday in Stone Creek
                        (Includes: A Stone Creek Christmas and
                        At Home in Stone Creek)

This was just a fun read for me.  I’m a big fan of Miller’s McKettrick series and while reading them, that series crossed over into the Stone Creek series with Meg McKettrick and Brad O’Ballivan.  Once I read their story and met Brad’s sisters, then I had to read the Stone Creek series – at least the newer, contemporary ones.  For those of you who are interested the contemporary O’Ballivan’s of Stone Creek also cross over with Miller’s Creed [Cowboy] series.  The Creed’s too are connected (as really distant cousins) to the McKettrick series but so far we’ve only seen them interacting with Meg McKettrick O’Ballivan. 

All of these series are nice reads – all three of these series now follow multiple generations of the families involved, which gives the reader a really good experience.  After all, how many times have you finished a book and thought to yourself “I wonder what happens next?” 

            Viscount Breckinridge to the Rescue [new]
            In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster [new]
            Devil’s Bride
            Rake’s Vow
            Scandal’s Bride
            Rogue’s Proposal
            A Secret Love
            All About Love

With the release of the new volumes in Stephanie Laurens’ Cynster series, I’ve found myself swept back into the Regency period in London and all that implies.  Keep an eye out for my next post where I’ll be introducing a new short discussion series about Laurens’ Cynsters, connections and the men and women who fall in love with them.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesdays Tunes: History In The Making

I can’t remember where it was that I saw something about him recently – maybe just on the program guide on my TV or something – but I saw his name and I instantly thought of this song.  Hope you like it.
Darius Rucker ‘History in the Making'
Can I just say…
The ULTIMATE wedding song. 
Okay, seriously though, this is one of the sweetest songs I’ve ever heard.  It’s full of emotion, yes; it makes you think about your life, sure.  But really, it’s just a beautiful song about the moments in your life that should be held precious and close. 

“This could be
One of those memories
We want to hold to, cling to
The ones we can’t forget”

And really that says it all right there.  Every moment, every memory, it is all just “history in the making.”