Monday, January 24, 2011


Lots of them.

I'd planned this beautiful new year's post about my aspiration to be a better person with specific goals to help me accomplish that. It was supposed to be one of the first posts of the new year and one of my first posts at (which brings me to transition 1). However, I've tossed my glorious idea for this beautiful post and all of it's lyrical lines. Because as it usually does, life happened.

Transition 1: (No my transitions are not this abrupt in my fiction, promise...or at least only on pages where Jennifer screams in red ink "Are you serious?"). was an idea I had tossed around thinking maybe an easier domain would make me easier to find, friend, follow. But I've grown attached to P-52 and love all the awesome followers I have here. I decided not to do it because I would hate to miss any of you. Then, the unthinkable happened. Yes, my gmail account got hacked by some crazy virus. My password was locked and since blogger is attached to my gmail a year of my life was gone. I cried and screamed while my meticulously logical personal engineer set to work. I'm not the person to have had this problem. Following some steps sometimes allows you to recover your blog, but not always. My p.e. followed the steps and we got lucky. Lots of people don't get that lucky. It was time for a change. I'm taking the chance. I'm jumping to bethfred and hope you'll tag along.

Transition 2: I'm in Milwaukee now and it's cold. That's a big jump from Austin, Texas. The Mexican food sucks here, but I'll have more time to write/blog/comment which means you should be seeing more of me.

Transition 3: Two days before I was supposed to quit my government job and follow my husband to the tundra my grandfather died. It was surreal. My family cried when they called to tell me and several people called to tell me. Pain gnawed at my stomach and in my throat but I didn't cry and as the hysteria wore off so did the pain. We drove the six hours from Austin to Paris and it still hadn't hit me. My grandmother hadn't made it home yet when we got there. The house was empty, dark, and silent, unusual. Still, it hadn't hit me. Ironically, the hardest thing to see in that house was the glass cake pan full of biscuits. The last batch he would ever make. I could feel the tears kicking in, because my whole life there had been biscuits in the center of that table and now there will only be an empty spot where the biscuits go. I quickly turned away from the table before the tears had time to escape. One day later I was asked to edit his obituary. His life reduced to two paragraphs of straight forward plain text on regular white typing paper. The realization sunk in. He's gone leaving a void in my life. A transition I wasn't prepared to deal with. I took a purple shirt and an old copy of Lonesome Dove, and that's all I have left of my grandfather.

This is my last  post here at Project 52, so I hope to see you at bethfred. I'll be kicking beth's blog off with a contest, because that is my style. First prize winner gets their choice of a $25 visa gift card or a book of their choice. Second prize is whatever the first prize winner didn't choose. Sloppy leftovers, but free stuff all the same.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Split Book 52

*Flash to Beth levitating as gold coins drop all around her like when u beat level 13 in Mario Bros. (Yes, I know this dates me). I finished the project with 6 hours to spare!* WOOHOOO

Now for a brief (and I do mean brief) review of Book 52. Split is a book that deals with domestic violence, but what I liked about it was that it didn't just deal with the abuse. It dealt with what the abuse does to a person. How child abuse still affects the victim in adulthood and I thought it addressed this quite well dealing with all the complex angles of it. I also liked that it dealt with the relationships of two siblings who grew up in an abusive home and how they relate and interact with each other.

I didn't like that it was in the present because as previously mentioned it just annoys me. Also, there were some things I didn't find believable and I thought the abusive father was a bit overplayed.

It's a good book. I recommend it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Intertwined Book 51/Contest Winners

I'm sorry I'm late on announcing the winners, but they're at the bottom of this post. Promise. Although, I will be up front it will most likely be the last week of January before I can actually mail your books due to some changes coming in my life that I can't post about yet. Soon though, very soon.

Now on to Intertwined. The premise gave a whole new spin to paranormal romance. Aden Stone is shipped from juvey home to mental institution and back again his whole because, well, when you walk around talking to yourself that is likely to happen. Except he's not really talking to himself. He's talking to the souls that reside in his head. He meets a girl.--She's not the one, but they can still be friends. (Heard that one before, lol). And so they are, which is probably for the best since the girl is in love with a rabid wolf. Aden falls for a vampire princess who the werewolf is supposed to be protecting. They're all running from packs of faeries/witches/goblins and Aden has a special disdain for...zombies. That's right, zombies....As you can see an intriguing read. I liked that it pretty much took off from the beginning.

I didn't think the romance was there though. The book was well written with all the perspectives that had to be covered but it just missed that special little spark for me. All in all it was a good read.


On to the winners: Two books for Maggie and one for Jen Albin.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Jolly By Golly Blogfest

For those of you who saw my check back message earlier I'm sorry. Chris, thanks for the official forgiveness.

Be Jolly by Golly  is hosted by Jen and Melissa.

As far as decorations go we usually decorate for Advent first with wreaths.  If I have young family members coming over I've been known to make pink and purple paper chains as well. (They can easily be replaced with green and red on Christmas Eve). We don't have children yet, but I've made a pie plate Advent wreath with my little nephew one year and we enjoyed that. You just buy the aluminum pie plate, three purple candles, one pink one, and one white one and arrange them nicely inside the pie plate. (The fat candles work better for this). Then you can buy either a wreath or evergreen garland, or whatever you want really from the dollar store or hobby lobby and decorate the outside of the pie plate. He really seemed to love this and it was a good way to teach him the prayers too. Usually, on Christmas Eve I would put up my tree but this year we don't have one. LOL.

I don't really do a lot of cooking for the holidays. We like to go somewhere really nice for Christmas brunnch (the kind of place we'd never be able to go to the rest of the year). But I do love puppy chow (you can find the recipe here). It's great for gift bags or just sitting out to munch on before the meal starts.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Contest Reminder

Hey just a reminder that my contest is open until Christmas Eve. It's open internationally. The first prize winner gets two books of their choice. The second place winner gets one book of their choice. You can find the details and how to enter here. And I have to go Christmas shopping so that's all for today.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Yep. Nothing. Sorry. I just had to get that stupid letter off my blog. It's kind of saddening to think it almost got worse every time! LOL. Well, I sent version #8 with the materials to be critiqued. I had to copy and paste the first 50 pages after I made what little corrections I was able to into its own document on a comp. I don't usually use. I don't know how but somehow even with the same font style and size 50 pages in the full document was 61 in the new. I didn't get to send the scene I really wanted to. Not to mention I exected to have about 3 rounds of edits left. (I've done about three). After last night I'm convinced I have ten rounds of edits left. I, also, won't be surprised when my critique comes back looking like this:

Dear Ms. Fred,

Have you ever heard of a comma? They have handbooks for these things you know. You might benefit from one. I usually don't recommend them but in this case I feel it's appropriate. And is not the only conjunction in the English language. You do know English, right? Seriously, did you even read this? I think my suggestion is keep your day job.


I guess the only upside is since I know it will look like this, I won't be devestated when I see it? Haha. I'm not sure. I know it's just a critique and that this wasn't supposed to be a submission to begin with, but I just hate for any professional to see my work in that state. The irony is when I finished the last round of edits and clicked save I was so proud! I thought I'd really fixed it. Oh sure, I knew there would be more revisions. I figured they'd be of the following sorts: 1)omit passive voice 2)tighten verbal tics of characters 3)grammatical errors. I had no idea the backbone of the plot was still confusing and that there were still some holes to fill...AND THAT UNFORTUNTATELY MOST OF THIS WAS IN THE BEGINNING...the part I would be sending. But I survived. I guess.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Try for a While

I bid on an auction for an agent critique on ebay. Irene Goodman is going to critique my first 50 pages, query letter and synopsis. While it's just a critique, I still want my work to be as polished as possible. This is going to be my last try for a while, because I know that I have a draft of another project to finish and when I get comments back for PF there is more work to do before I'm ready to query. Still, I find my heart pounding against a tough exterior as I make final changes. But I love the blog, because I could barely think straight when I started typing. So this is going to be my last try for a while, but can you give me one more look?
Thanks so much guys.
Dear Agent:
Eighteen year old Brandi O'Malley knows phantom flames want to whisk her next door neighbor, former friend, ultimate enemy and long-time love interest (whether she would admit or not) Laurent Stephens (also eighteen) away forever. But she can’t mention this because she would have to admit her family bears an ancient curse causing her to sometimes live in a moment that hasn’t happened yet. A moment that unfolds to be watched by all like a play.
Laurent torments Brandi in anyway that he can and with the help of his girlfriend, he does a good a job of it. When the handsome charmer, eighteen year old Damian Cooper, dances into Brandi’s life, Laurent’s actions go from cruel to protective. Laurent knows what he’s protecting her from. A secret he will never tell for fear of turning their love-hate relationship to pure hate.
Laurent must find a way to protect his girl next door from the menace he brought into her life without letting her find out exactly how he knows Damian. But Brandi has her own secret: the fire she watches Laurent disappear in every night.
If she's going to fight the flames, the secrets and lies must end. If she loses, the fire claims her love forever.
With your interest in young adult Phantom Fires, a young adult urban fantasy complete at 104,000 words, should appeal to you. I look forward to hearing back from you as I believe together we could both tell and sell a good story. You can reach me at or by phone at ___. Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoy Brandi's story.
Thank you,
Beth Fred