Wednesday, December 12

Breaking up is hard to do...

There often come a time to part ways. It's sad, but it happens. Marian Vere and Julianna Scott have been the best of friend, but the time has finally arrived for them to go their separate ways--in the blogging world anyway.

This may seem sudden, but allow me to explain.

Marian has been blogging here for several years. She has had a blast and has made awesome friends along the way. However, the time has come for Julianna to set out and begin blogin on her own to prepare for her book release this coming March. Marian and Julianna are both perfectly willing to blog separately -the problem is their handler. She is only one person--me--and I have yet to find a way to add hours to the day. Short of building a cartoon-super-villain style 'time device' in my basement, there is no way I will be able to up keep two blogs constantly. Thus, Marian Vere will have to take a back seat for a while in the blogging world so that Julianna can start her own blogging adventures.

That is not to say that nothing will be posted here, as I will still be sure to post news and anything pertinent to Marian, but if you would like to continue following me in the blogosphere--and I hope you do--you will now find me as Julianna Scott at her new author website, juliannascott.blogspot.com . Not only are there brand new diggs, but for the next ten days I will be reposting the ten most popular posts from this very blog.

Also, if you are in a surfing mood, you can check out the new website for Julianna's upcoming book, THE HOLDERS, here.

I promise for all of our sakes to continue work on my time device--though fair warning, all I have so far is a sketch of what looks like a jukebox with a satellite dish on it, so it might take a while. But until then, I love you all, thanks so much for understanding, and I'll see you over at the new site!

xoxo!


Monday, November 26

10,592

10,592 days ago at 5:27 in the evening, Catherine Dominick delivered her first child; a daughter who was so late that Catherine actually had her husband Richard deliberately drive the car over speed bumps in an abandoned parking lot to induce labor. (It did work, though for the record I am not endorsing this method of delivery.) Cathy's baby was quiet and a good sleeper, though she was not nearly as cute as everyone gave her credit for, in fact she looked more like a boy than a girl for the first year and a half of life.

She was a performer even from an early age, her creative debut taking place at the age of 4 when she stared as The Virgin Mary in her Church's Christmas pageant, only to drop the plastic baby Jesus down the alter stairs during her grand entrance. And in case you were wondering, yes, hollow plastic baby Jesuses do bounce. Loudly.

She moved with her parents and baby brother, Timmy, to North Carolina when she was five, only to return to Pennsylvania three years later when her dad was transferred back. She moved through school, always a musician. A band geek if you will, (though that title was not really appropriate in a high school where the band was one of the largest and most successful organizations there was) and even became the Drum Major her senior year. Being Drum Major, she decided that it was time the 'most school spirit' award, that was granted to one student a year for having the best red and white(her school colors) outfit during homecoming week, return to the band. She made the craziest outfit she could, including red and white cape, and red metallic wig, and was sure she would win. It was the perfect garb to win such an award, and the clincher would be the all-over face paint, which she would use to write MOON (her school district's name) on her forehead. However, what she didn't consider until reaching school that morning was that if one writes MOON on oneself while looking in the mirror, one will end up with NOOM on one's forehead, and if the makeup one uses has a strong die in it, it will stain one's forehead making the mistake impossible to fix and or remove. She did not win the spirit award.

She went off to college, majoring in music education, only to discover that she had heart disease  She got a pacemaker during her second year of college, and while this did not completely change her plans for the future, it did make the education portion of her degree impossible, so she changed her major to vocal music performance. Kelly Clarkson she is not, but give her some Puccini, and she just might surprise you.

After college, she moved to Kissimmee Florida and worked at Disney World for over a year, also during that time she signed up for e-harmony and met her now husband, who is an even bigger Disney Fan than she is. They got engaged three months after meeting and were married fice months after that at Disney. They had planned to live in Florida, but due to hubby's work, they had to move up to Chicago.

Creative and crafty as ever, she had had a custom quilt making business while in Florida, but now in Chicago, there was no longer the space, so her quilt business became a custom cake business. Once afternoon while making a cake that was actually a Tarzan-style tree house, she got to thinking about Tarzan and how unappreciated it really is as a story. Most people only know the old movies but few have actually read the book. What she thought they should do is tell the story from a woman's perspective, as that might interest a wider audience of readers. It sounded like a good idea, but she didn't think anyone would actually do it. Then she wondered if she should give it a try. Why not? She had always done well writing in school, and writing her own story could be fun. Anyway it was worth a try.

About half way through the story she lost steam due to people getting down on her idea, so she stopped her Tarzan story to begin a new one, this one a modern version of one of her favorite novels, Persuasion by Jane Austen. Luckily, she had also just found out that she was pregnant, and due to her heart condition, she was not allowed to do much more that sit around, so she had plenty of time on her hands to write. Three months later, she had finished her story. Three months after that, she had signed with a literary agent. One year and two kids later, her book was sold to a publisher. Eight months after that, her book was released, and here we are, less than a month after that, and it is the morning of her 29th birthday.

Cheers, thanks for reading, and have some cake on me. :-)

Monday, November 12

Once Upon a Second Chance Blog Tour


Today is the first day of the Once Upon a Second Chance Blog Tour! We will be at some fantastic blogs all this week, so be sure to stop by a few, say hi, and enter to win some free books!

And so you won't miss out on any of the fun, here is the entire tour schedule!

Hope to see you there!



Monday, Nov. 12:
That READioactive Book Blog ~ Author Interview




My Escape ~ Review


Tuesday, Nov. 13:
Chick Lit is Not Dead ~ Review, Interview, and Giveaway

A Tale of Many Book Reviews ~ Favorite Quotes from OUaSC

The college crawl ~ Excerpt


Wednesday, Nov. 14:


Book Briefs ~ Review



I Talk Books! ~ Review



Thursday, Nov. 15:
Jenuine Cupcakes ~ Excerpt



Cherie Reads ~ Review






Friday, Nov. 16:

Kimmie's Bookshelf ~ The Writer’s Cave


Bookshelf Confessions  ~ Guest Post



Reader Girls ~ Review


SnifferWalk ~ Excerpt



Wanted Readers ~ Six Words for OUaSC Guest Post

Tuesday, November 6

My Very First Book Birthday!

Well, today is the day! Two years and four months after I started writing, my debut novel, ONCE UPON A SECOND CHANCE, is officially available to readers everywhere. I wanted to have something profound or interesting to say, but honestly it's so surreal, I'm a bit at a loss.

However, the one thing I can say is how grateful at am. The support I have received throughout this process is staggering and I want to give my most sincerest thank you to everyone who helped to make this day a reality.

Be sure to stop by the amazing Angela V. Cook's blog for the chance to win a copy of ONCE UPON A SECOND CHANCE and for an interview with yours truly.

And if that isn't enough, Omnific Publishing is also featuring OUASC on their blog.

Thank you all again for your support and well wishes! It means the world!

Print
Kindle
Nook

Monday, November 5

ONE MORE DAY!!!

That's right, only one more day until my very first novel is released out into the world! I'm super excited! And super nervous! But mostly excited! Not to mention super busy, which is why I haven't been around, sorry about that...

But if you've been missing me (and for my ego's sake, let's just say you have) not to worry. The Once Upon a Second Chance blog tour will begin in a matter of days, and you can can hear from me all you want--through other people. I will have all the info, stops, giveaway details, and more soon, so stay tuned!

I will have a special post tomorrow for release day, but until then, xoxo!


Pre-Order:
(Kindle and Nook versions will be available shortly)

Saturday, October 27

Giveaway City!

While I drown in the 857,461 things I have to finish before I pick of the family from the airport tomorrow, I wanted to post a quickie and let you know there are three awesome giveaways going on!

One: We are giving away a copy of Once Upon a Second Chance on Goodreads! Enter here.

Two: The lovely Anna at Literary Explorations is giving away the very first--and very unique--copy of The Holders! And a Necklace and bracelet set to boot! Check this one out here.

Three: Once Upon a Second Chance is only 10 people away from reaching 100 'to reads' on GR, at which time I will be giving away a custom necklace! Deets here. If you haven't entered yet, get in before it's too late!

That's it for now, but I'll be back this coming week with tons of news!

See ya then!

xo!

Wednesday, October 17

'Writer' vs. Writer

Top Ten things most people who like to call themselves writers do:

1. Research publishing/querying stats
2. Join writing forums
3. Change/create social media to fit the 'author' profile
4. Start a blog about writing
5. Look for new/cool writing supplies
6. Research all the blogs they hope to one day try promote with
7. Follow/Like other aspiring writers, authors, agents and publishers
8. Read books about writing
9. Think about what their book cover will look like
10. Plan out which places they will try to book signing and events for their book release, tours, and parties

Number 1 thing most people who like to call themselves writers don't do:

1. Write


Food for thought.

Happy Wednesday! :-)


Thursday, October 11

I'm not a miserable person, I swear...

So... I have very exciting news, but I hesitate to tell you because one: you may start to think I am a horrible person that even my loved ones don't want to be around, or two: your jealousy may begin to make you hate me out of spite.

But in the interest of honestly, I will tell you anyway...

Remember a few months ago my amazing husband took our two little kids to visit his parents in Florida and I got two weeks of freedom? Well... it's happening again! Everyone in my house--other than me--will board a plane on Saturday bound for California, and they will be gone for 16 days, sailing with my in laws on a Disney cruise bound for Hawaii.

(Now, before you say "Why in God's name aren't you going?!?!?!", let me inform you that I have no desire to go--at all. I have a ton of writing to do, not to mention the last cruise I went on I go so seasick that I vowed never to set foot on a boat again.)

The trip was sort of out of nowhere, but we are all very excited. My in-laws work for Disney and they get last minutes deals on the Disney cruises, and basically we are paying less than fifteen hundred dollars for three people to go on a 14 night cruse--and that's not per person, that's total. At regular fare, it would have been over eight thousand. Yeah, so it was almost impossible to turn down.

What do I have planned? Why, thank you for asking. :-) I will be finishing my WIP. (Yes the same one I was working on the last time I had a break.) Yeah, yeah, theoretically I should have finished it a while ago, but in my defense, I have had two books to edit in the meantime, so it has been on the back burning for a few months. But this time it will absolutely be done before the family gets back. That is not a pipe-dream this time, it is a necessity. I no longer have a choice. It needs to get done so that Superstar Agent can take it off to market, and so that I can get to work on THE HOLDERS book 2, which is due in March.

Also, baby brother will be coming to visit for a few days, which is always fun.

So, now that you are thinking that I am a horrible person whose own family can't even stand to be around so they run for the hills every chance they get... what are you up to this fine week?  :-)

Sunday, October 7

Fall!

I Love Fall!

I love cool air, and leaves falling, and big sweaters, and warm blankets.

I love pumpkins, and baking, and hot drinks, and fireplaces.

I love boots, and jackets, and fuzzy socks in the morning.

I love having to turn the heat on in the car, and the end of Daylight Savings.

I love Halloween costumes and planning Thanksgiving dinners, baking apple pie, and all the Fall themed episodes on Food Network.

I love the football games(even thought I am not particularly a fan), and hearing all the local marching bands practicing each evening.

I Love Fall!


... just sayin'...

Thursday, September 27

Holy updates, Batman!

BAM!!! Giveaway! WHACK!!! Cover reveal! ZAPP!!! Workshop! Zoom!!! New websites! WHAM!!! Another cover reveal!

And so has been the comic book of my life for the past two weeks. I haven't posted while all the madness was going on, and I am not even going to apologize, because trust me when I say it was for your own good as well as mine.

But low, I have returned, and not without TONS to tell you, so without further ado, let's get you all caught up, shall we?...

First of all, take a look around. Notice anything different? Ta-da! New Blog!

Now check this out... http://www.marianvere.com/

Tada! New Website! And they match! Where did this fabulous new theme come from you wonder?...

Dat-da-dat-DAAA!
The Once Upon a Second Chance brand new cover! 


*ching*ching*sparkle*sparkle*

And if that wasn't enough, we are also looking for fabulous bloggers to partake in the fabulous OUASC blog tour, so if you or anyone you know might be interested, head over to AToMR and sign up!

And speaking of signing up, there is custom fairy-tale necklace being given away to one of the first hundred people to add Once Upon a Second Chance to their TBR lists on Goodreads! Just add it and you are entered to win! Details on my website, here.

Lets see, what else... There are brand new features on my website, a new author photo of yours truly now featured on all sites and social media, and some awesome OUASC book swag that I designed myself, already ordered and on it's way!

Was that everything? I think so. Now, on to what has been going on with Julianna Scott, and what better way to segue, than with the announcement of the awesome event they will be doing together next year. (Okay, literally speaking they do everything together, but this is different.) They will be presenting their very own workshop next year at RT Convention 2013, about--what else--pseudonyms! So excited! And nervous. But mostly excited!

Julianna has had a crazy two weeks as well, most of which as involved...



Her cover reveal!

May I introduce you to The Holders! And with The Holders, may I also introduce Julianna Scott's new website! This one isn't totally finished quite yet, still lots of content to be added, but it's out there, so I wanted to let you all know!

Also, the fabulous YA Book Queen and Stuck in YA Books are currently in the middle of a The Holders Cover Reveal giveaway. Hop on over to enter!

Last but not least, if you are a Pinterest user, I have actually started using the account I have had now for months, and I am really liking it, so if you want to check it out (and if you happen to be a fan of Disney, you probably do) here it is!

Alright, I think that is it... Well, in the book world anyway, in real life (if that's what you want to call it) my two year old turned three last week, my one year old turns 2 next week, their joint birthday party which I am throwing at my house is in two days, and Hubby had surgery.(routine, nothing to worry about)

So now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a nap.


Tuesday, September 18

Forgive the dust...

It has been a crazy week, and will continue to be busy for the next few days, so please ignore the overall weirdness as I make some changes.

I will be all sorts of back next week with some great stuff to show you, including new websites, cover reveals, and giveaway goodies, so until then!

xo

Monday, September 10

Hurry!

Morning All!

This is actually a re-post, but I wanted to remind everyone about my giveaway! Only six entries left, so get in quick! ;D

........................................ . . .

The other me, Julianna Scott, is hosting the first ever giveaway for her upcoming YA fantasy, THE HOLDERS! When 400 people add THE HOLDERS to the TBR list on Goodreads, one of them will win...

this!!!



A custom made, Celtic-inspired(for a very Irish novel) necklace!

How cool, right? And it's even better in person! All you have to do to enter, is add THE HOLDERS on Goodreads, and for those of you who have added it already, not to worry, you are already entered! (Now wasn't that easy?) More official-ish details here.

That's all for now, kiddies!

 Talk soon!

Wednesday, September 5

Strange Chemistry in B&N!

Okay, I have been trying to tweet these pictures all morning, but since Twitter is apparently playing 'crabby pageant mom' today, I'll just do it this way...

So, without further ado, the first two titles to launch from Strange Chemistry(my YA publisher), currently available in book stores everywhere! (unless you are in the UK, in which case, available tomorrow in book stores everywhere)

First BLACKWOOD by Gwenda Bond
This is how I found it...

And this is how I left it...  ;D

And SHIFT by Kim Curran...

And the cover, though not how I left it.
Shift was originally mis-shelved, so I will let them fix it,
then go back tonight and turn it out. Muhahaha...  ;D

Thursday, August 30

World Con!

Happy Thursday everyone!

No post this week, cuz' it's convention time yet again! Luckily this one is in my home town of Chicago this year Yay!

Also, 21 people from my publisher, including my editor and more than half of the authors of my imprint have come in for this one, many of whom are in from the UK! I finally get to meet everyone face to face, which is awesome! And we are all going bowling! =D

Have a lovely weekend, and I'll be back next week with the recap and pics! (Including some shots from the Sci-Fi & Fantasy costume contest!)


Sunday, August 19

Respect your youngers...


Something has been bothering me for a while and I am finally annoyed enough to talk to you all about it.

I have taken the following quotes from actual blog posts, book reviews (on both Goodreads and Amazon) and interviews.

“What chance do [young girls] have at knowing what a healthy relationship is, when everything they read labels obsession and mental abuse as ‘love’.”
“… girls are being taught that being weak and subservient will lead to unending love…”
 “…does nothing but confuse teenage girls, who have a heard enough time sorting out relationships as it is.”
“Now, all these young women will think that it’s okay to let a man manipulate and control them as long as he uses the word ‘love’.”
“’Disobey your parents, skip school, laugh at any authority, but as long as you are doing it for love, it is okay.’ This is the message that teens get from [book] and all the rest like it.”
“…the popularity of books like this only proves that teens today have no appreciation of true literature.”

You've all heard this stuff before, right? Well guess what?

Teenage girls are not stupid!

I am SICK of all teens being grouped together under the umbrella of naïve, mindless, drones, who will do anything that a show, or celebrity, or book tells them! There are hoards of intelligent, confident, well-adjusted young women out there who are anything but weak and mindless.

Do some girls get obsessed over books that present unhealthy relations ships? Yes, of course. But that doesn't not mean that they actually think that is the way a real relationship should be! It’s fantasy! They are reading it because they enjoy it. And don’t you DARE tell me that it they shouldn’t enjoy something that to some is only considered mindless garbage—not when the GROWN WOMEN in this country have made RIDICULOUS CRAP shows like ‘Toddler’s In Tiaras’ and ‘Dance Moms’ some of the highest rated shows on TV.

“Oh, but it’s okay for me, I’m an adult. I know it’s ridiculous, but young girls don’t realize. They are too impressionable, just look how obsessed they get…”

Give. Me. A. Break.

Everyone gets obsessive about something, it’s human nature. We see something we really like, and for a time, we want as much of it as we can get. Since when is that the sign of a weak mind?! Moreover, since when does obsessing with something automatically mean the obsessed person believes that the thing is real? There are tons of people who flock to Sci-Fi conventions every year, dressed as robots, and monsters, and their favorite characters—does that mean that they all believe all that stuff is real? Sure, a few do, but the vast majority know it’s a fantasy, and do it for fun.

The other thing that kills me is that not long ago, everyone was whining about the fact that, with modern technology, kids didn’t read anymore. Well, now kids read more than adults, but it seems that still isn’t good enough. “Yes, we want you to read, but only what we think you should read.”

Grrrr…

Here is the fact of the matter folks, if a teen girl believes that it’s okay to be mistreated and dominated by a man, and doesn’t know how to recognize and unhealthy relationship, then that is the case because no one has taught her otherwise—and sadly, she would be that way with or without YA books.

Now, I am not saying that there aren’t girls out there who are easily lead and influenced by others, as we all know there are. However, thanks to a few crazy fan girls, as well as shows like ‘My Super Sweet 16’, and the like, the world seems to think that if you are female and between the ages of 12 and 18, you have no choice but to be a weak-minded twit.

Do these people realize that teens today are doing harder work in high school than most of us did in college?! Do they realize that the average IQ of a girl between the ages of 14 and 17 is, on average, 2 – 5 points higher than the average IQ of a woman between 34 – 37?

Thant’s right folks, they are smarter than us.

Yes, they make bad decisions from time to time, but we all do. They are not all stupid, or shallow, or weak, and most of them have to put up with more in a day than most adults do in a week. If you really want to help young girls grow into smart, confident women, then how about giving them the respect they deserve.


Tuesday, August 14

Conference Conundrum

Let's talk about conferences.

Attending conferences and conventions, whether they be writing, publishing, genre specific, or somewhere in between, can be one of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer and for your writing career. You learn, you grow, you inspire and you get inspired. Experts are there to guide and teach you, agents and editor are there to listen with rapt attention while you pitch, and publishers and booksellers are there to give you free stuff and try to earn your business. Best of all, conventions are one of the best places to recharge your writting batteries, so that when you head home, you are ready to plot, write, revise, edit, and polish until your fingers fall off!

Unfortunately, for as great as conferences are, there is one major downside...

$ $ $ $ $
The Price
$ $ $ $ $

Most major conferences and conventions cost upwards of $400 just to attend, not to mention your travel to said conference and your lodging while there. It can be incredibly expensive, making it out of the question for many writers. I have attended RWA National conference two years in a row now, and I can tell you that, while amazing, it was not cheap.

(And by the way, for those of you out there saying, "Once I sell my book,I will have plenty of money for conferences!", cuz... you won't. Trust me, I thought that too.)

However, to those of you who are still considering attending a conference (and I recommend that you do), I have a few tips that might make the dream a bit more attainable.

1. Stay local - Most of the larger conferences move locations every year, and if you can find one near to home, all you have to do is pay the registration fee. Or if there is one not in your own city but near enough to drive, then you save the cost of a flight.

2. Bigger isn't always better - When looking for a conference to attend, you may immediately gravitate towards the Writers Digest Convention, RWA Nationals, RT, or one of the other big dogs. Sure, big is great, but every year there are dozens of smaller conventions put on by local organizations, or even local chapters of larger organizations like RWA. For example, the Chicago chapter of RWA holds a conference each year. It is always in Chicago, they always have big name authors and publishing experts in attendance, and registration is less than half the price of the national convention. Plus, since many of the different chapters  sponsor conventions every year, you are far more likely to find one that is local to you. RWA posts a list of all upcoming conferences, both large and small on it's website, and no you do not need to be a RWA member to attend.

3. Think outside the genre - "Sure there is a RWA conference near me, but I don't write romance." Just because a conference has a theme or is sponsored by a specific group, doesn't mean you won't get anything out of it. RWA may stand for Romance Writers of America, but the conference focuses on writing as a whole. This years RWA conference had workshops on plot, structure, query writing, synopses, dialog, as well as specialized topics like writing thriller, medical, YA, and historical.

4. Choose wisely - No matter which size or style of conference you attend, make sure it is the best choice for you and your writing. Ask yourself, "Is there a reason I am choosing this conference," as they are not all created equal. Make sure you do your research. Do you want a conference focused on writing and honing the craft like Writer's Digest, or would you prefer something for both writers and readers with the serious writer-focused panels as well as fun parties and fan events like the RT Convention? (Personally, I recommend RT for the first timer. It is informative and educational while also being loads of fun!)


I hope this helped some of you, or at least got you thinking, and hope to see some of you on the conference trail next year!

Thursday, August 9

RWA Recap!

Hello all!

Check out the Omnific Publishing Blog today to read all about my time at the RWA National Convention this year!

Tuesday, August 7

Giveaway Time! (And it's jewelry!!!)

Hello lovelies!

The other me, Julianna Scott, is hosting the first ever giveaway for her upcoming YA fantasy, THE HOLDERS! When 400 people add THE HOLDERS to the TBR list on Goodreads, one of them will win...

this!!!


A custom made, Celtic-inspired(for a very Irish novel) necklace! How cool, right? And it's even better in person!

All you have to do to enter, is add THE HOLDERS on Goodreads, and for those of you who have added it already, not to worry, you are already entered! (Now wasn't that easy?) More official-ish details here.

That's all for now, kiddies!

Talk soon!

Monday, July 23

Quick Hiatus

Family in town + Flying to California + RWA National Convention = No time for blogging

I'll be back at the end of next week with all the juice on the RWA Convention, but until then, have a great week! =D

Thursday, July 12

Odds and Ends...

So, there are a few things I have wanted to mention for a while now, and since I couldn't come up with a good post for today (mainly because my BRAND NEW lawn mower won't start, and I am so irritated I am ready to kick down a #uc#in& wall....) I figured I do it today.


First, apparently I have quite a few fans in--wait for it--Russia! According to the stats on my blog, over 23% of my hits come from 'Mother Russia', and after some detective work on my part, it looks like the majority of them are legitimate people (as in not spammers or robots) and a majority of those are repeat visitors. And so *ahem*... Приветствуйте новых друзей! Я настолько рад, что Вы заходили, и я надеюсь, что Вы приезжаете снова скоро!


Next off, there are two people I would like to introduce you to that I have met in the online writing community and are definitely worth a look/follow:


First is Tim Federle. I was introduced to him when he so kindly added THE HOLDERS, my alter-ego's YA novel, to his 'to-read' shelf on GR. As he was the first male to do so, I figured I would check him out, and I am so glad I did. Tim is a YA writer whose YA/MG novel is due out by Simon & Schuster early 2013, and is one of the first humorous writers I've found whose personality actually translates in his writing and online platform without being one of those people who you can tell are trying way too hard. (and he's super cute to boot!Definitely worth a look. He can be found here(website), here(GR), and here(Twitter).


The second intro goes to Carly B of 'Writing From The Tub'. She is a fabulous UK based book blogger and also an aspiring YA writer. Her blog is definitely one you should look to follow if you follow reviews. Her posts are always well written, consistent, and unbiased, not to mention timely and numerous. Basically everything mine are not. :) She can be found here(blog), here(GR), and here(Twitter).


Last, since I missed Wordless Wednesday yesterday, I'll show you this now:
My ink! =D I had a much smaller quill and had it changed into one that was much larger and more interesting to celebrate all the bookishly awesome action this year.

Okay, so I guess that is it. Hope everyone is having a lovely week, and I'll talk to you soon!


Monday, July 9

Cupcake Monday ~ Meatloaf Cupcakes


In a savory kinda mood today!

Happy Monday! =D



Ingredients:

Meatloaf

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ketchup, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

Mashed Potatoes

4 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Garnish

3 tablespoons chopped chives
4 pieces of bacon cooked and them chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking, make the mashed potatoes.  Place potato in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Put potatoes into a ricer for best results.  Return potato to pan. Add milk and remaining ingredients; stir with a spoon to desired consistency.  If they are not creamy enough for you, add up to 1/4 cup more milk – although they need to be stiff enough to pipe on top.

Put the potatoes into a pastry bag with a wide star tip and pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf.  Sprinkle with bacon crumbles and chopped chives.

Wednesday, June 27

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, three words: check it out --> Strange Chemistry

PS: Marina Vere = Julianna Scott For those of you who didn't know. :)

Monday, June 25

Agent Day!

Instead of Cupcake Monday this week, I am differing you all over to Cupids Literary Connection for Agent Day! Show some love for your agent or just agents in general and see what others are saying! I just might be in there too! ;)

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, June 19

Writers Unite - Kind of a Rant

All right, I have to do this. Love me or hate me as you will--this has to be done.

I have been simmering for two days now, angry as hell, and it all started with this post. I'm sure most of you have seen it, it has been on the from page of Amazon for several days now. If you haven't read it, go ahead... I'll wait.

(And by the way don't bother commenting, they only allow complimentary messages and NONE of mine have made it past moderation. I was not at all mean, but since none of mine started with 'Oh my God you are such an inspiration, blah, blah,blah, they were't deemed good enough.) 

In fairness, this is not the only post of its kind, far from it. Everywhere now you read about the 'Big Bad NY Publishers' taking advantage of the poor innocent writers, and how even well established writers are 'flocking' to the self-publishers because they have 'had enough'.

Well you know what? I have had enough.

Publishing is a business. Of course self-publishing offers higher royalty rates, there is no risk involved. Someone buys a book online, they print the book, and ship it out. The money is guaranteed. Do you have any idea how much money it cost for a traditional publisher to mass produce a book and send hundreds of thousands of copies out to stores all over the country? A. LOT. And they do this only hoping that the books will sell. It is a huge risk. If they pass on a book, it is simply because they could not--for whatever reason--take the risk.

Traditional publishers do not exist to screw you over. Editors do not sit behind giant desks in designer suits, twirling their handle-bar mustaches, snickering as they pass over your manuscript. They are men and women whose jobs likely don't pay any more than yours. They eat at McDonald's, knit sweaters for their mothers, and take their kids to the dentist. They are just like you and me. And the fact that some of us choose to work with these people and choose to pursue traditional publishing for our writing does not make us deluded! There are some writers--hundreds of thousands, in fact--that are traditionally published and could not be happier with their houses.

Yes, there are authors who have had bad experiences with larger houses and have chosen to go smaller or to self-publish, and that is THEIR CHOICE! It does not mean it is the only way, and it does not mean that everyone who doesn't do as they do are fools.

More over, I am sick of people who have never experienced the traditional publishing world talking poorly about it! Yes, there are writers who have had bad experiences, however, more and more the people you hear screaming "down with the traditional, go indie", have never worker with a traditional house, and thus, sorry, have NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT! All that most of them know is that their book got rejected and now they are bitter, so they use the experiences of others to build their own platform, and that is crap.

Now this is not to say that the self publishing world is made up solely of books that could not find homes in traditional houses, as that is not true. There is a lot of quality work out there in the self published world that is not to be taken lightly. There are several self published authors I have found recently that have become some of my favorites. However, there is also a lot of not-so-quality work out there that was turned down by NY, and guess what... it wasn't always NY's fault. I read a post not long ago about a woman who gave up on the big houses because they wanted to 'fit her into a box' and that's why she couldn't get a contract, and she'd had enough, and so she self published. Everyone was so inspired by her story, and blah, blah, blah, so I bought her book as it was under $3.00 on Amazon... yeah, 11 misspelled words on the FIRST PAGE! Maybe if she'd spent less time bitching and more time editing, she'd have gotten that contract. But no, she is yet another one of the hoards of people out there not trying to turn the world against the 'Big Bad Publishers'.

Here is what it boils down to folks: Everyone has their own dreams and their own goals, and just because my goals are different from yours doesn't make them wrong. If your dream is to land a Big 6 contract, then go for it, but respect those who realize that a large house is not the best path for them. If your dream is to self publish, then do it, but respect those who have different goals in mind.


My dream, or at least part of it has always been one day to go in to a book store and see my own book on the shelf. Some say that is shallow, but to hell with them. It is a part of my dream and I own it. It does not make me shallow, nor does it mean that I am writing for the wrong reasons, or that I don't deserve it as much as anyone else, or any of the other crap they want to spew. So there.


We need to spend less time defining ourselves and more time uniting together and supporting each other, no matter what our goals are.


Okay. I think I'm done.


Please feel free to comment below and give me your thoughts even if they oppose mine. What are your goals? Are you published and happy where you are? I promise I will not delete your comment. ;) And please pass this on to anyone who might appreciate it, particularly any Trad Pubers who are happy where they are and want the world to know!


Hello! My name is Marian Vere who also writes as Julianna Scott, and I love both my small and my large traditional houses!



Monday, June 18

Cupcake Monday ~ Banana Mocha Cakes



1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
Nonstick spray for baking
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
Dash salt
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3)
3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 recipe Banana Butter Frosting
Banana slices or banana chips
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
1. Allow cream cheese and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Lightly coat twenty-four to thirty 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, the 1-1/2 cups sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and the 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until combined. Beat in one of the eggs, the espresso powder, and the dash salt. Stir in melted chocolate. Set aside.
3. Add mashed bananas, buttermilk, shortening, and vanilla to flour mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add the remaining two eggs; beat on medium speed until combined (batter may climb beaters).
4. Spoon a rounded tablespoon of the batter into each prepared muffin cup. Drop a rounded teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin cup. Spoon the remaining batter over cream cheese mixture in muffin cups, filling each two-thirds to three-fourths full.
5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
6. Pipe a swirl of Banana Butter Frosting on top of each cupcake. If desired, top each cupcake with a banana slice. Dust with cocoa powder. Makes 24 to 30 (2-1/2-inch)
from the test kitchen
Variation Mini Cupcakes:Lightly coat seventy-two 1-3/4-inch muffin cups with cooking spray. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of the batter into each prepared muffin cup. Drop 1 level teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin cup. Spoon a dollop of the batter over the cream cheese mixture in each muffin cup (cream cheese mixture will not be completely covered). Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks. Frost as directed above. Makes 72 cupcakes.


Banana Butter Frosting

Yield: 3 cups
Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
6 1/2 - 7 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions
Allow butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in banana. Gradually add 3 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar until frosting reaches piping consistency.

Thursday, June 14

I'm boring today...

Too much to do today to and no time in which to do it has left me with nothing interesting to say this particular afternoon. However, my lovely author friends at Omnific never disappoint, so be sure to hop around and see what they are up to!

Talk to you soon!

xo




Monday, June 11

Cupcake Monday ~ Brownie Cupcakes with Hazelnut Butter Cream


Happy Monday!



BROWNIES
1 (19.5) ounce Pillsbury® Family Size Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
1/2 cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, plus additional for garnish

HAZELNUT BUTTERCREAM
1/4 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
Or 1/4 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup Jif Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

For Brownies: HEAT oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions using oil, water and eggs. Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts. Divide batter evenly into baking cups.
BAKE 30 to 32 minutes or until centers are set. Cool 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire racks.

For Frosting: BEAT shortening, butter and chocolate hazelnut spread in a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and 1 tablespoon milk. Beat slowly until combined. Beat on high, 3 to 5 minutes, adding an additional 1 tablespoon milk at a time to desired consistency.

FROST cupcakes by placing frosting into corner of resealable plastic bag. Cut 1/2-inch off corner of bag. Starting at outside edge, work in circular motion to build up frosting moving towards center, creating a swirl effect. Sprinkle with reserved chopped hazelnuts.

Tuesday, June 5

Twisted Fairy Flash Fiction

I spent pretty much all of Sunday working on my submission for the Fairy Tale Twist Flash Fiction Contest being held at a convention I am attending in August. Flash Fiction is a story told in less than 500 words, and the theme this year is alternate or twisted fairy tales. I was super excited as I had a great idea, and spent all day working on it only to finish and try to submit it to find that I am not in fact eligible to enter until next year. Grrr! Damn fine print... 

Anyway, since I now have no use for this tiny little tale (the theme for next year's contest will be different), I figured I post it here and let you all have a read. It's slightly disturbing, and I hope you enjoy. :)


    “Where is my money?” He was not going to get away with this. He obviously had no idea who he was dealing with.
    “I’m sorry, is there a problem?” Jackson said with a sneer, as Linda stormed in to find him still dressed in his finery from the night before.
    “My payment. Where is it?”
    “Ah yes,” he said, slimy sarcasm hanging from his words, “the fee for using your talents to find me a lady companion. It’s very simple; you find yourself without money, because,” he paused spreading his arms wide,     “I find myself without a companion.”
    “You told me what you wanted and I found her. I cleaned her up, dressed her the way you like, and delivered her. I filled my end of the deal. If you scared her off, that is not my problem. She is not the first woman who couldn’t bear more than one night in your company, and I’m sure she won’t be the last.”
    His glare was stone. “You would do well to mind your words.”
    “You don’t scare me. Where is my money?”
    “You will be paid if she’s found.”
    “You could have any woman you want. Move on to your next toy, and give me what I am owed.”
    “Exactly, I can have any woman,” he stroked his greasy hair proudly, “and I have, and they are all the same. The fun is gone. But this one is different. She thinks she’s strong,” he snickered, “wants to be in control. She still has a will, like a young horse, wild, bright eyed, happy, and full of dreams just waiting to be crushed. She will be a challenge to break,” he smiled, “and I love a challenge.”
    “Well, you are off to quite a start, less than a day and she has already escaped,” Linda mocked. “And honestly, I don’t know how, trust me, no woman could run in the shoes I gave her,” she added more to herself.
    He chuckled slightly. “No, she couldn’t, and lucky for you. That will be how I get her back. My men are out scouring the kingdom as we speak.”
    No sooner had he finished, than a terrible cry was heard from the courtyard below. They both moved to the window to watch as two guards drug a screaming woman, now dressed only in rags, into the palace as she tried everything in her power to get away.
    Linda smiled as she recognized the woman and held out her hand. “My money?
    Prince Jackson reached into his pocket and pulled out a sack of gold coins, dropping it into her palm with a grin. “Lovely doing business with you, as always.”
    Linda tied the purse to her belt giving him a curtsy. “I’ll leave you to your prize,” she said turning to go, the desperate screeches of the woman now echoing through the corridors.
    “Thank you,” he said, his eyes already alight with excitement. “By the way,” his voice stopped her just as she reached the door, “I liked the shoes. Glass. Nice touch.”

Monday, June 4

Cupcake Monday ~ Cone Cakes!


Summer is officially here and we have a Cupcake Monday perfect for the warm weather!

Happy Monday!



Ingredients:

    2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup baking cocoa
    2 tablespoons butter, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    2/3 cup buttermilk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 egg white
    10 flat-bottomed ice-cream cones
    Frosting (see recipe, below)
    Optional: colored sprinkles, 10 maraschino cherries with stems

Directions
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat at low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Add egg white, mixing well.
- Fill cones to within 1/2 inch of the top; carefully place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes; cool completely on wire racks. Spread evenly with Frosting. Top with colored sprinkles and a cherry, if desired.

Frosting Recipe:

Ingredients:

    2 tablespoons butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons buttermilk
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add buttermilk; beat until spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla.


Wednesday, May 30

Project Wrap-Up

Well ladies and gents, it's over. My family is back, and the solitude, productivity, and cleanliness that have been the last two weeks of my life are gone. This has also brought an end to my Twelve Day Project, and while due to computer issues that I am still in the middle of (grrrr...) I wasn't able to post everyday like I wanted, I was able to stick to my general productivity outline.

To catch you up, in twelve days, with no family in the house, my goal was to finish my WIP. Did I do it? No. Did I honestly think I would? I hoped I might get close, but honestly, no. Does it matter? Not at all.

I knew my goal was basically impossible when I started out. My word count for each day, with out fail would have had to been more than 7000, and at my best I am at 4000 to 4500 max. So why set such an impossible goal? Here, I'll show you:








See that? Not where I wanted to be, but at over 16,500 words in under two weeks, not at all shabby! And if I hadn't have set a goal, I know myself well enough to know my number would not even be close to that high.

Goals are supposed to be hard. They're supposed to be too hard, at least sometimes. Otherwise, how else will you know what you can really do? We've all heard the 'shoot for the moon, land in the stars' line, but for me it have more to do with not selling myself short. If I would have set a smaller goal, I may have made it, but I would have wondered if I could have done better. Now I know.

Monday, May 28

Twelve Day Project ~ Day Twelve

Quick Update. This is my last official day of writing for my project, and thus far I am at 26,466. That may be it for the day, it may not, we'll see.

Full project recap tomorrow, but for now, Happy Memorial Day!


Saturday, May 26

Twelve Day Project - Day Ten

Long overdue update, but I am still having major computer issues, so thanks for hanging in there with me. :)

Just to you know (and don't think I am totally delusional) I am more than aware I will not be reaching my goal, but I will also not be giving up. Not reaching goals is fine but giving up is for squares. :)

Wednesday, May 23

Bah!!!

All right folks, update time...

I know I've been lax the past few days, and as it turns out, my computer has decided she wants to turn onto a piece of crap. Took her into Best Buy today, and we may even have to put her down. This is being posted via my iphone, so forgive me it's riddled with errors, it's kinda hard to type this way.

Can't upload the ticker, but my word count is 19,748. Not shabby considering the circumstances, but not great either. I'll keep you posted, and thanks to those who have reached out to yell at me for slacking off! You guys are awesome!

But wait... do you hear that? No reliable computer... no way to write... yep, must mean the edits to my books  from both my editors will be here any minute. That'd be about right.

Bah!

Sunday, May 20

Twelve Day Project ~ Day Four

Haha... yeah...

So, word count for yesterday is a big old 0, but you know what, I'm fine with that. Had a great time playing board games with my book club, and it was a nice day. Needed a breather, you know?

Plus, I am happy to say that I have already been going pretty strong today, so I have added my words from just this morning on to my ticker getting me to 17,188. More to come, but not bad so far! :)

Saturday, May 19

Twelve Day Project ~ Day Three

Did well yesterday with 2205 words, but still not what I would have liked. Today is likely to be even worse, as I have my book club coming over for a game night this afternoon.

Though that isn't my biggest problem. My biggest problem begins and ends with a GIGANTIC mistake I made last night. It was something everyone has been telling me about for months, and I've been putting it off, but for some reason, I thought last night would be a good night to start it.

Huge mistake--called Once Upon A Time.

Yeah...

Friday, May 18

Twelve Day Project ~ Day Two

Here we are at the start of day two and at 14,248 words, up 1,255 from yesterday.

Sucky start, I know, I know...

I got a bit stuck yesterday on one of those chapters that is no fun, and tricky to write because nothing really happens, but it still has to be there... You know the kind I mean?

Yeah, that. :-/

But I am past it now and actually really excited for the next couple of scenes, so I'll see if I can't bang a few chapters out today and have a more satisfactory word count for you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 17

Twelve Day Project ~ Day One

Okay, here we go! 12 days from today, I will have a new ms! (For explanation behind this project see previous post)

For a little story background, it is a YA Historical Romance, and while I'm not going to tell you what it is about, you can go here http://pinterest.com/juliannalscott/wip/ and check out my inspiration board if you are so inclined.

At the moment I am in the middle of Chapter 5, and at a word count of 12,993. I was not able to add one of the word count widgets to the side of the blog as it didn't fit right, but I have made a lovely little ticker that I will put on the bottom of my post each day.

I've got snacks, I've got tea, let's do this! :D



Wednesday, May 16

Freedom...

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement to make...

At 6:40 pm last evening, my Husband and two daughters boarded a plane for Orlando Florida without me. The three of them have gone to visit my in-laws for... ready...

TWO WHOLE WEEKS!

That's right folks, I am the only person in my house for the next two weeks, and since writing and being a mom are my only jobs, I have two weeks of freedom! A freedom I haven't had since my first daughter was born, two and a half years ago!

Guess what time I woke up this morning?

WHENEVER I WANTED TO!

Guess who I had to make breakfast for?

ME!

Guess who can curse, whenever she wants, as loud as she wants, without having to worry about little ears?

I CAN!

HAHA! :D

But don't worry, great as the break is, I will not be squandering my time. Any writer I know would kill to have two weeks with nothing to do but write, and I promise you all, I will take full advantage of my gift. In fact, I am counting on all you guys to be my accountabili-buddies.

My Goal: To have my WIP finished before my family comes back. At the moment I'm only a few chapters in, so it's an ambitious goal to be sure, but I think I can do it. When I get into a book, I write fast, averaging a chapter or more a day, so if I buckle down and don't let myself get distracted by, you know, picking a TV series to start watching from the beginning, or watching a ton of movies on Netflix that I can't watch with my kids around, etc., I should be good.

Every day I will post my progress. I will be honest, and if I start to suck, it is your job to let me know it and, yell at me, call me names, etc. I will even get one of those WIP progress bar widgets for the blog, (which I normally hate as I think they are incredibly ugly).

Tomorrow will be my first official day--as today I need to focus on cleaning this house--and I will post my start stats then.

"The End", here I come! (But in the meantime, cookies, cleaning, and loud, inappropriate music, hear I come!)

(Disclaimer: The only thing that could possibly derail this plan is if I get edits on one of my two books from one of my Editors, as obviously those will have to come first.)

Tuesday, May 15

Cupcake Monday ~ Death By Oreo

One day late, but worth it! ;D Happy Tuesday!


Death By Oreo Cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 package Oreo Cookies, regular size
1 package Mini Oreo Cookies, for decoration (optional)
1 package chocolate cake mix (mix according to directions on box)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix packaged cake mix according to directions (do not bake). Line cupcake tins with liner, place a regular size Oreo cookie in the bottom of each liner. Take 1/2 of remaining cookies and chop coarsely and add to cake mix. Fill the cupcake tins. Bake for 15 minutes (or according to box directions). While cupcakes are baking make the frosting.

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla, then add powdered sugar slowly until blended well. Chop remaining regular-sized Oreos very fine (I put the cookies in the food processor instead of trying to chop them up super fine and it worked out really well). Add to frosting. After cupcakes have cooled frost and decorate with Mini Oreos.