Friday, December 27, 2013

Cover Reveal - Lady's Destiny

Hi all!! I made a slight miscalculation and double booked today, so for those of you newsletter subscribers expecting the top five magical powers post, I'm SO SO SO SORRY!! That one will be up on the 29th instead, I promise!!

Let's move on to today's post, shall we? Especially since we're incredibly excited to be part of the big cover reveal for Lady's Destiny, by A.R. Von! Check it out, and enjoy!! :)

Come join the celebration on fb here:


When dreams haunt you in the most delicious ways and fate
pulls you into destiny’s path, what can be done other than to accept and submit
to it.

Can Iria truly get what she’s always dreamed of or will it
always just remain a memory? Being a rare creature such as her with exceptional
beauty and rarity of existence should be enough.  Though, all she wants is her desire, her
destiny… To be with a man—one man.

Are these dreams she’s having real? Could she really take on
human form and become a Lady to be with the man she craves?

Dezso discovers a magical creature—a being of incredible
light and peace. He is drawn to it again and again, and his feelings grow with
every encounter. He carries a dark secret that he wishes never existed. The only
thing that truly brings light upon his existence is the beauty that warms his
heart but seems to only exist in his head—with dreams and visions of a magical
woman, full of heartwarming light.

Will he ever know true love and happiness? Will he ever be
able to lighten the weight and share his dark secret with another...?

Darkness is growing stronger, weakening the light and
killing off what makes the world a beautiful place to live in. Enter a world of
fantasy and dreams, passions and temptations. A world where dragons, unicorns,
magic and mermaids really do exist. A world where love WILL conquer all!

To be released January 2014.


A.R. was born and raised in Bronx, NY and is the oldest daughter of twogirls. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science and Information
Technology, which was only briefly used. She’s a mother of two entertaining
teen boys (as well as a lovely fawn Chihuahua, whom she considers her furry
daughter.) She’s also a wife to a delightfully handsome and amazingly funny
man-beast. She loves anything dragon and fantasy related. In her free time she
enjoys exercising, writing, listening to music, hiking, cooking,
dancing and reading. She also loves a great adventure in and out of a book!

She writes to free her mind of its constant
wondering and clutter. She thrives on the fact she can share some of it with
readers that have the same passion for a great story.

Stalker links:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ A.R.’s Blog ~ Amazon author page ~ Pinterest ~  Tumblr ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Penguin Wants YOU to Support an Awesome Author!

Argh! These confounded contraptions make me wanna slap the sh-oh, is this thing working? Ah, finally.

So, Ashley's been away celebrating the holidays and neglecting her duties as a blogger, but she left me a To-Do list for my vacation from space travel. But I'm not doing those things, so she can piss off.

I do, however, wanna share with you a free book alert - the rerelease of Wings of Vengeance, by Kylie Price. As a penguin, it's hard to read anything because I have the world's shortest attention span, but this one is interesting and the author is awesome, so I support her wholeheartedly. Go get your free copy, but hurry! It's only free till the 27th!! 

So there ya have it, straight from the penguin's beak. Go get this book and support a great author. And I'm off in search of more bourbon...


   The Penguin

Book Blast: Hearts on Fire

Hi again folks! Hope everyone had a great Christmas and is ready to ring in the new year! As our first post-Christmas post (yeah, the redundancy department of redundancy called, they want their horrible wording back...), we have a book blast for Hearts on Fire, by Kristine Raymond! The blast is organized and hosted by Everything Marie Tours, and they let DSP take part in this big day! So everyone sit back, relax, and enjoy the book blast!!

Happy Release Day!!!

Hearts On Fire by Kristine Raymond is LIVE!!!



Jack Tanner has never had a shortage of beautiful women on his arm…or in his bed.  As the marshal of Hidden Springs, he has his pick of any eligible woman in town.  So why is it that the only woman he wants is the one who won’t even give him the time of day?

Landry Prescott has had a crush on Jack Tanner since the day she laid eyes on him.   Feeling like she is unable to compete with the young, beautiful women that he surrounds himself with, she chooses to ignore him instead.

When Landry’s life is threatened, Jack comes to her rescue and the spark of interest that had been buried in each of them ignites into a blaze of passion.  Is their newfound desire the result of circumstance?  Will their love burn out quickly or will they forever have hearts on fire?  



Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA 

Here to Stay


Publication Date: November 5, 2013

Sam Mackenzie rode into the town of Hidden Springs looking for a place to belong. He takes a job at Ryan’s Ranch and is immediately attracted to the ranch’s pretty, female, owner. 

Kate Ryan is a woman determined to make it on her own. Chafing at the thought of having to hire help, she nonetheless falls for the handsome stranger who answers her ad.

When they meet, sparks fly and they are drawn to each other. But life in 1867 Arizona Territory isn’t easy. When a secret from Kate’s past comes to light, they are each faced with the challenge of making a difficult decision.

Will they turn and run or are they here to stay?

***MATURE CONTENT*** ***Sex; violence***

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA 

About Kristine Raymond

Kristine Raymond loves to read and that naturally transformed into a love of writing.  She has always been a fan of the Old West and lived in Arizona for several years, where she was able to appreciate the beauty and history of the region.

She has released two books in the Hidden Springs series and is currently working on her third.  When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and furry family, and occasionally watches a TV western or two.

Contact Kristine

Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Amazon

Snag your copy early and get in on the fun! Check out the links below!!

Amazon (US):
Amazon (CA):
Amazon (UK):

I hope you enjoyed this awesometastic post, and I hope you grab your copy of Hearts on Fire today to help blast this book into a bestseller!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Top Ten Least Favorite Christmas Things

Well, it seems the flu bug is terrorizing our interviewee lately, so we unfortunately have to postpone today's scheduled interview. We're wishing her family would all get better soon and will wait patiently until she's feeling a little better to harass her for the interview. Hehehe...

In place of the interview today, I've decided to post another obligatory holiday post. Why? Because I'm being dragged to my husband's company Christmas party tonight, and I'm seriously considering faking sick to get out of it. (Although you won't read this till tomorrow, which for you is today, and the party will be over and I'll be fully ready to get past the holidays and into the new year. If that didn't confuse you, you haven't had enough peppermint Schnapps.) So I figure, what the hell, I'll give ya a rundown of my top ten least favorite Christmasy things. Because hey, there's already plenty of happy holiday joy, cheer, and ooey gooey goodness this time of year. :P

I proudly present to you, my faithfully loyal and dedicated readers (who even stop in when I have nothing to say), my Top Ten Least Favorite Christmas-y Things!!

10. Taking the decorations back down after only a few days. Because, ya know, I really enjoy going through all that hassle for so short of a time frame.UGH!

 9. Kentucky weather. Everyone dreams of that white Christmas that's fluffy and pretty, watching the little ones go play with their new toys in the snow. Yeah, we rarely get that. Just last night, we had hurricane force winds with a a bazillion thunderstorm warnings and some tornado watches. Yeah. Santa's gonna end up in Oz if he tries to come to Kentucky.

 8. Traffic - Why is the freeway a friggin parking lot? Omigosh, going ANYWHERE takes twice as long because there's ten thousand cars on each and every road. I try not to drive anywhere at all between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

 7. Christmas parties. Now, I'm not talking about the ones with good food, good friends, and good times. I'm talking about the ones you're obligated to attend and company Christmas parties. Dear Lord, just take me now and ease my suffering, because the awkwardness and drunken stupidity never works out. Oh, well, okay, ONCE it did, and landed me with my husband. ONE time...

 6. Cat - 1500, Christmas Tree - 0. Having two felines and a canine with a Christmas tree is a sure disaster. I keep a bottle of medication near me so I can try and scare my psycho kitty out of the tree every fifteen seconds. It's exhausting.

 5. The obligation to buy presents. I don't mind one bit spoiling my sisters and brothers and hubby and friends and family. My beef is with the fact that it's expected of me. Whether I have the means or ability, it is expected of me to buy gifts. I know everyone says, "Oh, you shouldn't have," or "Oh, you didn't have to do that!" Yes you should have, and yes you did. Nobody wants to tell you that, though.

 4. All the good movies and TV shows are replaced by holiday imposters, and some idiot decided to play Christmas music before Halloween. I don't mind one or two holiday movies, but dude, stop flooding the market, some of us are not holiday-obsessed! And the music...I just...I can't even...just no. NO.

 3. Everything is either peppermint or pumpkin flavored. I get that it's a holiday themed food/drink, but dear sweet mother of all that is Christmas, I hate pumpkin and the only peppermint I eat is peppermint candy to help curb my nausea. Please bring back normal flavors?

 2. Trying to shop for normal items becomes a battle to the death. You can't even go buy groceries to make your normal meals without having to fight with at least one person over either the checkout line, parking, the last bag of pizza's a madhouse. I refuse to go to any malls till after Christmas. REFUSE.

1. Being broke. I swear, being broke around the holidays is the worst. You're already obligated to buy presents you can't afford, but then you start to really feel down when you realize that you can not only not afford the presents, but you can't even afford your normal groceries because everything has inflated. And when you can't buy all those things, you fall into a deep pit of depression. Okay, maybe that's an extreme example, but if you haven't been saving all year for Christmas, you are going to end up broke and possibly stressed. Is it worth it? Well, that's for each person to decide.

Yeah, I know, this is probably my least perky post ever. But ya know what? I'm okay with that. Because Christmas isn't all happy happy joy joy, it's the full range of emotions and experiences. So why not express them all?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Awesome Giveaway Hosted by Fae Books!!

I'm late again!! But then again, aren't I always? I should really start setting an alarm for my posts...hehe. Anyway, if you got your issue of the Love & Insanity newsletter, you know what's coming today. So get ready, get set, get entered to win big money. No whammies...

Hi everyone!

Sarah Fae here from I've been working behind the scenes, gathering together some of the best Bloggers, Authors, Crafters & Businesses to bring you a fantabulous cash giveaway!

This giveaway is organized and hosted by Fae Books and sponsored by a bunch of totally spendiferous people!


1. Fae Books

2. Scrummie Crafts


4. Nessarox

5. Anna Kyss

6. OhNoItsBex

7. Ashlynne Laynne

8. Nancy Pennick

9. The Cougar Diaries Ireland Blog

10. YA Nocturnal Reader

11. Benjamin J. Snider

12. Andrea R. Cooper
13. Carlie Sexton
14. A.R. Von
15. Jessica Loves Books
16. Laura N. Anile
17. T Hammond


Want to become a sponsor?

You can sponsor the next cash giveaway!

Just join my mailing list to find out first when I'm taking prize donations for the next one...


Fancy winning $10 just for putting up a blog post? 
Read on...

Bloggers can enter into a seperate Blogger Incentive Giveaway as a thank you for putting up blog posts about this PayPal Cash Giveaway!

You can put up as many posts as often as you wish, about the PayPal Cash Giveaway, BUT, you MUST fill in THIS FORM to gain your entries into the Blogger Only Giveaway.

Fill in the form for each blog post you put up, to gain extra entries.

The Blogger prize is $10 in PayPal Cash.

You can grab all of the info you need to create a post from this link:


The Giveaway:

Start/End Times:
Start: 10th Dec 2013
End: 14th Feb 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A great big thank you to Sarah from Fae Books for putting this together and for being just downright awesome!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blog Takeover - Lee Ryder's Christmas Takeover

Legends and Creatures of the Holiday Season

Hi! My Name is Lee Ryder and you might know me from my debut book Broken Earth. My husband likes to call me the queen of useless knowledge. I’m your best friend playing a trivia game that’s for sure! 

Christmas is one of my favorite seasons of the year. I love the music, the lights, the general feel of the season, and always always going home and being with my family. I’m so pleased that Ashley asked me to take over her blog. So here goes.

Fabulous Legends and Creatures of the Holiday Season

Tis the season to be merry and bright, to sing and to cheer, and put out your lights. However, did you know there are so many legends that really create the beauty of Christmas around us. 

First, there are those Christmas lights. Some people have crazy lights outside, those that you could see from the moon! Did you ever wonder the story is behind them? The tradition itself goes to the lighting of candles on trees in Germany. In 1881, electric strands of lights were used to light trees during the reign of Queen Victoria and were often called fairy lights. 

The first electrically lit Christmas tree was a development of an associate of Thomas Edison. The tree had 80 red, white, and blue specially made bulbs glowing on it. Throughout the years the bulbs shape, size, color, and kind have changed but they are a staple at Christmas. My fondest memory is of the bubble Christmas lights we used on our tree when I was growing up.

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back all the way to 280 AD  in Turkey. His name was St. Nicholas and he was believed to have given all his worldly goods away and traveled the countryside helping the sick and poor. Over the course of years, he became known as the patron saint of children and sailors. 
In the late 17th century, Sinter Klaaus, which is the Dutch nickname for Saint Nicholas, came to New York through woodcarvings given out at historical meetings by John Pintard.

In 1809, Sinter Klaaus was mentioned in Washington Irving’s The History Of New York as the patron saint of New York. 

In 1841, the first shopping mall Santa was seen. It was a life size model of Santa Claus that children flocked to see in a department store. By 1890, stores were offering a peek at a real life Santa Claus to bring in shoppers during the holiday season.

The ninth reindeer Rudolph was born over two hundred years after his eight other counterparts. In 1939, Robert L May who was a copywriter for Montgomery Ward Stores penned the poem that became legend. He told the story of that shiny-nosed reindeer that saved a foggy Christmas for the sole purpose of bringing more people to shop at his store.

Thomas Nast was the first person to draw what Santa looked like.

Santa’s evil counterpart was the Christmas Devil Krampus. His job is to punish the children on Santa’s naughty list. He’s known by many names, including: Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Perchten, Black Peter, Schmutzli, Pelznickel, Klaubauf, and Krampus. He is always seen as a devil like creature with long horns and a pointy tail. 

The story of Santa’s Elves was originally written by Louisa May Alcott in 1856 in her unpublished, never finished book “The Christmas Elves.” In 1873, you could see them in woodcuttings by Godey’s Lady’s Book. They were also depicted in The House of Santa Claus a Christmas Fairy Show For Sunday Schools created by Austin Thompson in 1876. They are always seen as diminutive creatures that help make the gifts for the good children of the world. 

Children were told if they want to become one of Santa’s elves they had to be good and do well in school…then who knows.

The Idea of leaving cookies and milk for Santa Claus came from the Medieval ‘paradise tree’ which was a tree that was put up with fruit and wafers on it. When the paradise tree merged with Christianity  food and wafers were still put out with the tree. Santa was believed to snack on these items to keep the tree in shape.

The star on the Christmas tree is said to be put there to remember the star that hung over the stable in Bethlehem where the baby Jesus lay in the manger.

I’ve always been told that candy canes are the shape of Joseph’s staff that he used when they journeyed to Bethlehem. The true story behind them is of a choirmaster in 1670 who wanted to keep the children quiet while practicing the Christmas nativity. He asked a local candymaker to make candy sticks for the children and in order to justify giving them to the children he asked they be bent at the top to remind children of the shepherds crooks as they journeyed to Bethlehem. He also asked that the color be white to symbolize the sinless life of Jesus. The red is Jesus’ blood. 

The first candy cane recipe was published in 1844 but candy canes were not mentioned in association with Christmas until 1876. 

The celebrating of the new year dates back to 2000 BC in Mesopotamia. It was celebrated around March first, which was the vernal equinox. The first time the New Year was celebrated on January first was 153 BC in Rome. In 46 BC, January first was listed on the Julian Calendar as the New Year. 

All in all the holidays are steeped deeply in tradition, superstition, and religious beliefs. If you celebrate with Krampus and Siinterklaus, or if you see Santa at the mall, I hope you have the most beautiful and bright of holidays. Be safe, Be happy, and be blessed.

-Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder is a mother of 3 children and one angel. She currently lives in New England. She started writing small works at an early age and was featured in local publications. She studied theater and vocal performance and was featured in several plays. She believes in love at first sight and married her soul mate at age 19. She also has read reviewed and edited other published works.

The world has changed for Jess, her parents brother and sister are gone taken by an unknown wasting disease brought on by the spread of industry. She and other survivors forge their way in this new world avoiding the violence and gangs in the streets.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Love & Insanity Vol 1, Issue 1 Hits Inboxes


The first issue of Love & Insanity went live today! And don't worry, it's decorated in holiday colors, but I'm not going to bombard anyone with religious or holiday stuff. :) This first issue is in attachment form, due to time constraints and trying to figure out MailChimp's setup, but I promise not to send you any bugs. My computer is clean. Future issues *SHOULD* be in the email body, but if MailChimp keeps giving me attitude, they may just come in the form of attachments. Only time and that wretched program will tell...

For those of you who haven't signed up, you still have time, just sign up on the form or drop me an EMAIL and I'll send it out to you. This is the only way to get a schedule of upcoming posts, word from the Daughters of Night, and other features not available anywhere else, so don't miss out!

Easy signup HERE! Just click the link and fill out the form, and you'll start receiving monthly newsletters!

PS - I don't spam people or sell email addresses or use them for anything other than purposes for this blog/newsletter. I hate spam mail, and I hate how when I sign up for one thing, suddenly all that company's partner affiliates (all twelve thousand of them) start bombing my inbox. I don't do that.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Checking In

Holy mother of all that is Christmas, the holidays are upon us again, and I don't even have any of my decorations up.


Guess I'll be busy this weekend, huh? :)

So I've had a bit of trouble with the ol' interwebs. Time Warner shut off our service at the pole two days before our first bill was even due, and that was after a month of nightmarish service that was inconsistent and a month of not getting a damn thing right. So we switched to AT&T, trading our inconsistent 20M service for less than 1M of service (and if you don't know what that means, imagine going from driving a Porsche on the Autobahn to riding a tricycle on a gravel road) and had to wait almost a month for our equipment to get here, then another week for them to make it work. So yeah, I haven't been online a whole lot lately.

I've got some posts planned and I can't wait to share them with you all! I hope everyone takes the time to sign up for the newsletter, too. You'll get a sneak peek of the wickedawesometastic posts that are coming, plus so much more.

I'll be posting more frequently now that I have a steady internet connection, so you can look forward to lots of coolness. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sign Ups are Live!

Okay, provided I didn't completely screw up, it looks like sign-ups are live on the blog! All ya gotta do is click on the tab "Love & Insanity," fill out the form, and BAM! You're signed up. Well...either that or a dragon will come flying out of the computer and eat your toes. It could really go either way. :)

So hop on over to the "Love & Insanity" tab, and stay up to date!!

Author Interview - Kristi Porter

Remember the spotlight feature we did on our first non-fiction book, Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers? Well, you're in luck, we were able to snag an interview with author Kristi Porter, and she opened up about what inspires her, why this book is so important, and her favorite undies. So read on to find out more about this incredible author!!

DSP: Hi there! Tell us a bit about yourself!

Kristi Porter: Hello! Very glad to be here. Hmmm, a little about myself…. Well, I’m a wife, mom, grandma, and preschool teacher, so I spend most of my time surrounded by kids. And love every minute of it! I really never gave much thought about writing until I was convinced by friends to enter a writing contest. My entry placed high enough to be included in an anthology that was later published.  So… writing is my new hobby. I’ve published a few short stories - mostly humorous anecdotes from my life.  Stranger Danger is my first book.  Besides writing, I also enjoy bicycling in the summer, video games, photography, Facebook, and spending time with my family. I live in Michigan with my husband, youngest son, and a menagerie of cats.

DSP: Great to meet you! Now, your book is called Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers, tell us a little about what this book is about.

Kristi: Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers is a guide to help parents and caregivers of children ages 3-8 teach kids about strangers in a fun, interactive, and age appropriate way - without scaring them.

Kids want and need to know what to DO in dangerous situations, but are usually only told to what NOT to do. (Don’t talk to strangers; don’t get in the car with strangers, etc.) Even the multitude of children’s picture books about strangers (most aimed at the 8-12 year old age group) often fail to teach kids what they CAN do if they find themselves confronted with a stranger.

Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers is different. It is a how-to book is for parents and caregivers of children ages 3-8. Using techniques developed over decades of teaching young children, author Kristi Porter takes into consideration the unique thinking, and learning styles of this younger age group, offering parents a new way to talk to their kids about strangers without scaring them.

This easy to read, step by step guide gives parents age appropriate words and activities to use with even the youngest of children. Covering everything from who is a stranger, to when and how to fight back, Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers is a must read guide for today’s parents.

DSP: What prompted you to take on this project? Was there anything specific or personal?

Kristi: Early in my teaching career, while putting together a unit about child safety for my class, I came across a statistic that stated: "In the majority of small child, stranger kidnapping cases, the child is simply taken by the hand and led quietly away." I wasn't sure that I agreed with that statistic, and decided to put it to the test.

With the parents' permission, I arranged to conduct a simple 'stranger test' at the annual springtime family picnic. Held at a popular local playground, twenty-four children (ages 2-8) and their parents attended. While the assistant teachers supervised the children, I called the parents aside and explained how the 'stranger test' would work.

An adult unknown to the children would simply walk up to them, take their hand and lead them away toward the parking lot. If the child asked where they were going, the 'stranger' would simply tell them there was some candy in the car, and that the child could have some if they wanted it. When they reached the car, (in full view of the playground and parents) the 'stranger' would simply tell the child that they ran out of candy, show them an empty candy bag, and return the child to the playground. If at any time the child resisted or became frightened, the 'stranger' would immediately let go and move away.

The parents were to stay on the sidelines and observe, agreeing to not punish their child if indeed they did walk away with one of the 'strangers'. This was to be a teachable moment - one that children, parents, and teachers would all discuss together at the end of the day.  While many of the parents commented they didn't think their child would ever walk away with someone they didn't know, all agreed to allow their child to participate.

I called in my 'stranger' volunteers - one young adult male, and one middle aged female. Both were teachers in another program and unknown to the children or their parents.

I stood with the parents at the edge of the playground and watched with astonishment as one by one, almost half of the children simply walked away with one of the 'strangers'!

Over the course of an afternoon, 11 children accompanied a 'stranger' to the car - with no resistance, not even a glance back over their shoulder. They simply held hands and walked away - for nothing more than the promise of candy. Of the remaining children, only one became visibly frightened and was immediately returned to their parent. The others simply pulled their hand away and ran off to play with their friends. Only four of them reported the 'stranger' to a teacher or parent.

This experiment really opened my eyes about how young children view strangers, and why Stranger Danger Programs often fail. Since that day twenty-five years ago, I've made it my mission to help teach young kids to stay safe. I've used the methods in this book with hundreds of kids ages 3-7, and I'm happy to report that many of my earliest students (who are now adults) tell me that they still remember the lessons they learned about strangers, and want to know how to use those same methods to teach their children how to stay safe.

So it is for those first students, now parents themselves, that I've put this book together.

**Now, this was not something that the author and I discussed prior to sitting down with her answers and plugging away, but I have to admit that is a scary statistic. I have a 3 year old niece, a 4 year old nephew, and a 1 year old niece, and I never want anything to happen to any of them. This is pretty serious, and I just had to interject in the interview to express not only my shock at these numbers, but my support for what the author is doing here. Parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, caregivers - we all need to know these statistics and step it up to protect our children.

Okay, back to the interview.**

DSP: Now, when you were writing Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers, what kind of rituals/habits do you absolutely follow? Such as writing with music vs. complete silence, or you have to have a bowl of something to munch on while you write, etc.

Kristi: I prefer complete silence, but that’s hard to come by in my household! So I simply write when I can, where I can, and edit what I’ve written late at night after everyone has gone to bed.  As for something to munch on…. I rarely eat while writing, but…. I am never without a water bottle.

DSP: There are a lot of different preferences when it comes to prewriting and outlining. What kind of prewriting did you do for this book?

Kristi: Most of the material in this book was pulled from my lesson plans, and parent handouts that I’d written over the years, so it was pretty much “prewritten” already! I simply needed to organize all the information into book format.

DSP: This book is about an incredibly important topic that is all too often underemphasized in today’s society. Aside from the obvious encouragement for parents to address the stranger danger issue, is there anything else you hope readers take away from this book?

Kristi: Yes. It is never too young to start talking to kids about the “important stuff.”  You don’t have to go into great detail with preschoolers, but parents do need to start talking; not only about Stranger Danger, but things like good touch/ bad touch, drugs, bullying, etc. Too many parents wait too long to start talking to their kids.

DSP: What encouragement did you have to push you to write Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers during those times all writers fear they won’t or can’t finish? Did you have any of those moments at all? How did you deal with them?

Kristi: My encouragement was the calendar. I had the summer to put it all together - and that was it! Not much time during the school year to write, so I pushed myself through the summer to get it done.

DSP: There are a lot of different books out there about talking to kids about strangers; in what ways does your book stand out from the others?

Kristi: My book is aimed at parents and caregivers of children ages 3 - 8 years of age. Most of the ‘stranger danger’ titles out there are children’s picture books, aimed at the 8-12 year old age group. To my knowledge, Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers is the only book currently on the market for parents that focuses on the younger age group.

DSP: What has been the biggest high about becoming an author?

Kristi: Holding the printed book in my hands was pretty awesome, but I get the biggest high reading the reviews that people leave about my book. It’s wonderful to know that readers appreciate my work.

DSP: Do you have any fears about this book or any of your writing in general, or even as an author?

Kristi: Of course! I think every author fears that others won’t like what they’ve written. I’m no different. So far, most of the feedback I’ve gotten has been very positive. I’m grateful for that.

DSP: Has this book changed you, or has becoming an author changed you in any way?

Kristi: Has this book changed me? No, I don’t think so. Has becoming an author changed me? Yup. I get much less sleep now. And I NEED my sleep! :)

And now for some fun stuff: feel free to answer as many or as few of these questions as you’d like. They’re just for fun and to help the reads gain a sense of the author as a person to help them better relate to the author.

DSP: Are you planning to bring sexy back?

Kristi: Sure! Why not!

DSP: If you could be any cartoon character for 24 hours, who would you pick and why?

Kristi: Pink Panther. Always been my favorite!

DSP: How many ridges are there around a quarter?

Kristi: 119. Ha! And you thought I didn’t know…. :)

DSP: Do you believe in fate or destiny?

Kristi: fate

DSP: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Kristi:  As much wood as a woodchuck could, if a woodchuck could chuck wood. (Preschool teachers know these things!)

DSP: What are your thoughts on string?

Kristi: Love silly string, hate shoe strings.  

DSP: Boxers or briefs?

Kristi: Boxers

DSP: Thong, G-string/V-string, or other? If other, please explain.

Kristi: Hmmm, how about Sexy Granny Panties? :)

DSP: What is your favorite song?

Kristi: Anything and everything from the 80’s.

DSP: Do you have any tattoos? If so, how many, what are they, and where are they on your body? (PG-13)

Kristi: No tattoos.

DSP: What’s your favorite candy? Ice cream?

Kristi: Vanilla Ice Cream with m&m’s on top.

DSP: If you had to pick a CB handle, what would it be?

Kristi: Happi Kamper

DSP: Would the 8-year-old version of yourself kick your ass or praise you for what you’ve done with your life?

Kristi: When I was 8, I was going to be a famous doctor when I grew up. But I was also an insatiable reader, so I guess I’d be happy with how I turned out.

DSP: What is the last song you listened to?

Kristi: Ok, this is pretty lame…. it was ‘What does the fox say?’

DSP: Do you have any talents you haven’t shared with us?

Kristi: Not sure that you’d call it a talent…. But I’m unbeatable at the card game Spit. 

DSP: Imagine you’re the sole survivor of a plane crash at sea, and you awake stranded on a deserted and uncharted island in the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody knows you’re there, and you have nothing but the clothes on your back. You’re all alone, and there’s terrifying sounds coming from deep within the jungle. Late that night as you’re starving, a large suitcase washes up on the shore. You open it up. What’s in the suitcase?

Kristi: Aside from the normal suitcase contents of clothing and toiletries, it would also contain chocolate bars, a couple of great novels, a large water bottle, and a gun, with plenty of ammo in the suitcase’s front zipper pocket. Did I mention I’m a great shot? :)

Okay, I have to admit this has been one of the most interesting and insightful interviews I've ever done, and it was a unique change from the typical fiction we normally host here. Not that fiction is bad, but this was surprisingly enlightening. I have to support Kristi here and agree that we all need to really make an effort to teach or children about things like this early on, or risk them learning the wrong lessons from someone else.

This was great. Thank you, Kristi, for the insight and for the funny responses in the just for fun questions. You've been awesome to have on DSP.

Oh, and before we go, take a minute to check out Kristi's book trailer. It's worth the time out of your day and helps show your support of what Kristi is doing.

Thanks again, Kristi! Feel free to drop by anytime and update us on how you're doing and what's new in your world!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Intro to the Week from HELL hubby hit a deer earlier this week, just a couple of days before Thanksgiving. And thus began the week from Hell.

Thankfully, the hubby wasn't hurt, although the deer didn't make it. Unfortunately, the car didn't make it either. We have (HAD) a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. This is not a giant car capable of taking on a big ol' deer. Our car just crumpled. If the car doesn't get declared totaled I'll be shocked.

So needless to say I'm a little bummed. With Thanksgiving in 2 days and Christmas in 24 days, and us suddenly completely without a vehicle, I was beginning to wonder why 2013 has a grudge against me. Seriously, this has just been a horrible year, and I swear it's as though Karma was paying me back for some horrible act I didn't remember committing. UGH! The car ended up getting impounded before we could get it towed - they did NOT waste any time! There are now extra fees and storage and a bunch of nonsense that we have to deal with. My emotions were on a very thin highwire and the littlest thing set me off. My husband forgot to pick up napkins and I had a total meltdown...yeah, it was that bad.

With all the bad, crappy, negative things that have happened this year, I've been blue and stressed. A dear friend of mine, Michala (from Bite My Book, you should go check out her website) gave me the soundest advice I've ever heard.

Make a list of all your blessings to get you through the darkest days and the storm.

It's worth a shot, and hey, if nothing else, it's keeping my mind off the negative. So now, here's my list of blessings:

  • I am married to a remarkable man
  • He hasn't divorced me yet
  • I have two cats and a dog who love me (even if I occasionally forget to put food in their bowl)
  • There is a roof over my head
  • There are clothes on my back (that's a blessing for everyone around me too)
  • There is food in my cupboard
  • I have a supportive mother who helped me get through hosting Thanksgiving
  • I have a brother and someone I already call a sister who helped me get the house in order despite my depression
  • My husband has a couple of friends who collect cars and they're letting him borrow one until we get out of this mess
  • We are now riding in style in an older model Caddy
  • Thanksgiving went smoothly and without a hitch (except when I tried to warm the pumpkin pie with the plastic lid still on it, melting the lid to the pie pan...)
  • My house is still clean, for the most part
  • We have hot water to take showers
  • We have electricity to charge my laptop (without which I would be lost)
  • We have a ton of leftovers and will eat well for at least a week between the four of us
  • My cat is starting to use the scratching post instead of my antique wicker heirloom chest
  • I have all my limbs
  • I don't have any life-threatening illnesses
  • My bed is soft
  • We have the ability to say we fought a flea infestation and won (once the neighbors finally addressed their issues)
  • I was blessed with a fully functioning brain and common sense
  • I've been invited to partake in an anthology, and the royalties will benefit a charity we decide upon
  • I can say I've been to two other countries other than the US
  • I have seen paradise, and its name is St. Kitts, West Indies
  • I have everything I need, and a lot that I want
  • My husband has a decent paying job that is helping us get by
  • I have a warm and lovely winter coat that I love
  • I got to see a buffalo walk right past my car and give us the stank eye
  • My phone is awesome, and I learn new things it can do every week it seems
  • I have the greatest friends ever, and I've been given the chance to learn who my real friends are
  • Hot showers. I can't stress that enough...

Okay, that's a little bit of the list, and enough to keep me going. I've looked at this list a few times (and needed to do so again just now, when the hubby called to tell me he locked himself out of the loaned car while its running...) and it's helping a little. Just gotta keep it up and keep adding to it. 

Does anyone else have a blessing list that helps them get through the dark days? If so, share some of your blessings in the comments below!