Friday, April 30, 2010

Last Line Blogfest

Lilah Pierce is hosting Last Line Blogfest today (today being Saturday - ignore the time stamp on my post, it's all messed up). This is my entry. It is the end of a chapter taken from my epic fantasy, In the Seventeenth Year. In this scene, Ellis has just learned that her trusted friend Kaden has been working as a spy for the evil King Xavier, and now she's run into him at the outdoor market. Ellis's three sons are on a quest to overthrow Xavier, and their lives are put in danger by Kaden's betrayal.

Ellis's jaw tightened. "He was not watching me. You were watching me for him."

"I must say, I have done my part admirably over the years."

"Did he pay you?" Ellis asked. "Did you sell your soul for gold? Or power?"

"Neither. I have never asked for anything more than retribution, pure and simple. When Xavier visited me the day after my family was murdered, I asked for his help, not the other way around."

Ellis scowled. "Your only motivation is hate. Your heart is even blacker than I imagined."

"Ellis? Is everything all right?" Ellis and Kaden both jumped at the sound of an unexpected voice. Ellis turned to see Bremer watching her, his wide eyes full of concern.

She managed a stilted smile. "Yes, we're fine. Kaden was just saying goodbye."

Bremer eyed Kaden suspiciously, but Kaden ignored him and continued to stare at Ellis. "Yes, we were just saying goodbye. Do take care of yourself, won't you, El?" Limping closer, he wrapped his arm around Ellis and leaned in, putting his mouth against her ear. "Soon you will bury your dead, and then we will be even."

Monday, April 26, 2010


I've reached a critical point with my wip. The revisions are done and now I'm giving it another read-through. Then I'll let it rest a week and give it one final review. And then (hopefully), out go the queries!

My wip is thirty chapters. I originally hoped to get through the entire thing today or maybe tomorrow. I'm already halfway through today and I'm on chapter three. So I'm revising my game plan. I'm going to unplug for the rest of the week and get this read-through done by Friday (or die trying).

I'll be back on May 1 for Lilah Pierce's Last Line Blogfest - hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

And the Winners are...

Finally it's time to announce my contest winners! Being a writer, I'd love to draw out the suspense, but I'm also a softie, so I'm just going to get right to it.

The $30 Barnes & Noble gift card goes to Crystal Cook at write because you must. Crystal's favorite literary character is Jace from the Mortal Instruments. She says: "he's just so angsty and tortured and tough, but really sweet and kind too." Sounds like my kind of guy!

The $20 Barnes & Noble gift card goes to Velva at Tomatoes on the Vine. Velva posts all sorts of delicious recipes on her food blog. I hope you'll go check it out, and make sure you have your grocery list handy because you're going to want to try some of those recipes! Here's what Velva had to say about her favorite literary character: "My favorite book is the Color of Water by James McBride. A black man's tribute to his white mother Ruth McBride. She is the daughter of an orthodox Jewish father and she falls in love with a black man in the early 40's. It is a riveting story. It will make you laugh and cry. It's soulful and really reflects the human spirit. Her son the author does an absolutely amazing job telling his mother's story." Thanks for the awesome review, Velva!

The $10 Borders gift card goes to Theresa Milstein at Substitute Teacher's Saga. Theresa's favorite character is Harry Potter "because I have seven books to enjoy him, he's brave, and willing to sacrifice himself for others and the magic is pretty cool." I agree, Theresa - there's a lot to love about Harry. Theresa's second choice, Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, is another personal favorite of mine.

The $10 bonus Borders gift card goes to KarenG at Coming Down the Mountain. Karen's favorite character is Huck Finn "because he's written so real we all think he is." Hmm...makes me think I should go back and reread some Mark Twain!

Whew - that was fun! Winners, please verify that I've got your favorite book store correct and email me your addresses at susanfieldswriter(at)gmail(dot)com so I can get those gift cards in the mail.

Thanks for participating everyone!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Psst...I've Got a Secret

Okay, not a secret really, but I do have something you really need to check out. My good friend Sharon over at Random Thoughts has lined up interviews with six successful authors (and who they are really is a secret!), and she'll be giving away signed copies of their books to a few lucky commenters. She posted her interview with American Girl Doll author Mary Casanova yesterday. Mary's a fascinating lady - you won't want to miss what she has to say.

And don't forget - only two days left to enter my contest! Due to overwhelming response (I'm up to 154 followers now - wow!) I've decided to add in another $10 book store gift card. If you haven't entered yet, please click here. I'm so thankful for all of you - old and new - and I can't wait to start drawing some names!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day - My Blog is Carbon Neutral

Happy Earth Day! It also happens to be my oldest daughter's birthday - fourteen years ago today I became a mom. But, I digress...

carbon neutral coupons with

To celebrate Earth Day, I'm taking part in a program to neutralize my blog's carbon emissions. It's easy and fun - I hope you'll take part too!

Step #1 - Click the leaf logo above, which will take you to a website that explains the program.

Step #2 - Copy the html-code for one of the buttons and paste it on your sidebar. Blog about the program to increase awareness and participation.

Step #3 - Email the link to your post to

Step #4 - The Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree for your blog in Plumas National Forest in Northern California.

What a great way to celebrate Earth Day - I feel greener already!

UPDATE: Hooray! I just received the following email concerning my Carbon Neutral Blog (that's a lot of seedlings - wow!):

Hi Susan,

thank you so much for participating in our initiative and making your blog carbon neutral! Your tree will be planted this month by the Arbor Day Foundation. The scheduled start plant date was Monday, April 19 and the trees will be planted by a contracted crew. The roads are being plowed, all contracts solidified, and twelve shipments of 150,000 seedling each are being assembled. We thank you for the support!

There are still some trees looking for a sponsor. So if you know some people who have a blog or website, pass it on and we'll make their blogs carbon neutral too!


Monday, April 19, 2010

What...More Sunshine?

You heard that right! I have even more sunshine to spread today, and I can't wait to get started showing my appreciation for all my wonderful bloggy friends. Seriously, you guys are the cat's pajamas - I'm so thankful for each one of you.

First off, the You are My Sunshine Award for supportive commenters. The wonderful Tara at Feel of Something New gave me this one. I loved receiving it, and I love giving it away because your wonderful comments let me know someone out there's actually reading what I have to say - and that's an awesome feeling! This award goes to:
Old Kitty (and Charlie) at Ten Lives and Second Chances
Niki at Wool'n'Nuts
Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming
Myrna Foster at Night Writer
Theresa Milstein at Substitute Teacher's Saga.

Next up we have the Prolific Blogger Award, given to me by T.J. Carson at T.J. Carson's Writing Endeavor and Stina Lindenblatt at Seeing Creative (Stina's hosting a contest right now - make sure you go check it out!). For this award, I chose four wonderful ladies who blog regularly, and whose posts always make me think (or crave banoffee pie). This award goes to:
Talli Roland
Karen G at Coming Down the Mountain
Nicole Ducleroir at One Significant Moment at a Time
Susan R. Mills at A Walk in My Shoes.

Both Anne at Piedmont Writer and Lola Sharp at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword honored me with the Sweet Blog Award, which I'd like to pass on to three of my sweetest friends:
Amy Allgeyer Cook at The Invisible Sister
Tess Hilmo
Sharon Mayhew at Random Thoughts.

The Blogging Buddies Award was given to me by Tara at Feel of Something New and Anne at Piedmont Writer. Thanks, ladies! I'd like to pass it on to some of my favorite blogging buddies, whose posts and comments are always a pleasure to read!
Jackee at Winded Words
Kimberly Franklin
Jen at unedited
Lola Sharp at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword
Stephanie Cheryl at Craziness, College, and a Little Creativity
Bish Denham at Random Thoughts.

And then we have the Creative Writer Award, presented to me by the most awesome Talli Roland (who's just as over-caffeinated as I am!) This one I'd like to pass on to some writers who have been kind enough to post some of their fantastic fiction on their blogs for our reading pleasure. You guys are all incredible writers and I hope you'll keep favoring us with samples of your work!
Roland D. Yeomans at Writing in the Crosshairs
Tara at Feel of Something New
Anne at Piedmont Writer
Terry Lynn Johnson
Christi Goddard at A Torch in the Tempest.

This was a whole lot of naming and linking for me in one night. If I've forgotten anyone, I'm so sorry! I love you all, and I'd give all of you each one of these awards if I could.

I really hope you'll check out some of these great links! Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

P.S. So many new people have followed me during these past couple of weeks of my contest, and I'm so glad to see each and every one of you here! If I haven't been by your blog or followed, it's because I couldn't find your link. If you've followed me and I haven't followed you, please let me know so I can pay you a visit! (Yes, Jackee, I did copy you - I hope you don't mind!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spreading the Sunshine

It's a beautiful spring day here in my neck of the woods, so I thought it would be a good day to spread the sunshine and pass out some of these awards I've been hoarding for much too long.

First up, the ever cheerful (and inspiration for the title of this post) Sunshine Award, given to me by Jackee over at Winded Words (who was gracious enough to answer a lot of my harebrained questions concerning blog layout - thanks Jackee!) I'd like to spread this little bit of sunshine to a group of friends I've recently become acquainted with and whom I hope to get to know much better in the future:
Yaya at Yaya's Changing World
Kelly Polark
Hema P. at Wading Through Words
Dawn Simons at Plotting and Scheming
Megan Rebekah at Megan Rebekah Blogs...and Writes
Sharon Mayhew at Random Thoughts

Next up is the Sugar Doll Award given to me by Christine Danek over at Christine's Journey. Thanks Christine! I'd like to pass this lovely award to:
Stina Lindenblatt at Seeing Creative
A.L. Sonnichsen at The Green Bathtub
Kelly H-Y at Cross Your T's
Jemi Fraser at Just Jemi

Lastly, the A is for Awesome Award. I'm particularly partial to this one because the wonderful Amy Sonnichsen over at The Green Bathtub made it up just for moi! You're so incredibly sweet, Amy - thank you! I'd like to pass this beautiful award to:
Christine Danek at Christine's Journey
Jai Joshi at Jai Joshi's Tulsi Tree
T.J. Carson at T.J. Carson's Writing Endeavor
Sarahjayne Smythe at Writing in the Wilderness

I'm not quite done yet, but I'm going to save a little of the sunshine for another day. Come back soon, there will be a new batch to give out on Tuesday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Toss Around Thursday - Rebellion

My life has gotten out-of-control busy lately. I'm a stay-at-home mom/writer, and still my house looks like a hurricane just swept through and my To Do list is as long as my arm. I hate being busy like that. Things slip through the cracks, phone calls don't get returned, appointments get missed, and I don't get my "me time." Gasp! My family can tell you that's never a good thing.

So on Monday, I rebelled. The To Do list was still there, the phone calls still needed to be made, my wip was still crying out to me, but I put everything aside and...baked. I baked four batches of banana muffins (lots of overripe bananas hanging around the kitchen) and a double batch of chocolate chip cookies. And I felt so much better when I was done, ready to conquer that to-do list and, more importantly, spend some one-on-one time with my wip. Yes, some things did get missed that day, but that little bit of battery recharging went a long way towards improving my attitude and making me enjoy the rat race that is my life again.

How about you? What do you do when you "rebel"? What recharges your batteries?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Amazing Giveaways

I've found out about some awesome contests going on right now, and I couldn't wait to spread the word.

Dear Editor is holding a giveaway. The prize: a free YA/MG edit. How cool is that? Your manuscript must be Young Adult or Middle Grade fiction and complete. It must not exceed 85,000 words. The deadline is midnight, April 14, PST. (hurry!)

Sarah With a Chance is giving away a critique of the first 30-40 pages of your manuscript by Suzie Townsend; query letter critiques by Kathleen Ortiz, Joanna Stampfel-Volpe, and Colleen Lindsay; a lunch date with Suzie Townsend and Janet Reid; and many other fabulous prizes. Wow! Her contest ends April 25 at 11:59pm EST and winners will be announced April 30.

Plus, be sure to check out all the great contests over on my sidebar, including the Barnes & Noble or Borders gift card giveaway by yours truly. So what are you waiting for? Get entering!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This week I entered Lilah Pierce's Last Line Blogfest to be held May 1st. I'm excited - I've never participated in a blogfest before. I have no idea yet what I'm going to post. It doesn't have to be the last line of a story, it could be the last line of a scene or chapter instead (plus several lines before). Thinking about endings got me thinking about what I like in an ending, and the kinds of endings I like to write.

When I attended Highlights Writer's Workshop at Chautauqua two years ago, a publishing industry professional warned us against using cliffhangers. She said they were devices and not organic. This bothered me. Many of the books I can't put down end chapters with cliffhangers, and I like to include them in my own writing as well. I think they're fun to read and write. I wouldn't end every chapter with a cliffhanger, certainly, but I don't shun them either.

So I was wondering what everyone else out there thinks about cliffhangers. Do you use them or avoid them?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Contest! Contest! Read All About It!

That's right! After entering many of your contests (and winning a few awesome prizes, I must say) I've reached 100 followers and I'm going to have my own contest! I'm so excited for this opportunity to thank you guys for joining me on my blogging journey and to hopefully make some new blogging buddies as well. Thanks everyone - you all rock!

I'll be giving away three gift cards ($30, $20, and $10) to either Barnes & Noble or Borders (your choice).

The rules:
Be a follower and leave a comment on this post with your tally. Tell me if you prefer Barnes & Noble or Borders. You must leave your comment on this post because I'm way too scatterbrained to keep track of them if they're anywhere else.

Old follower +2

New follower +1

Blog post about this contest +4

Sidebar link for this contest +2

Mention this contest on other sites - Twitter, Facebook, etc. +2

Tell me who your all-time favorite literary character is and why +1

Contest ends April 24 at 11:59 Central time (so I can announce the winners on April 25 - my 18th wedding anniversary, hooray!)

I'm sorry - I should have mentioned this yesterday, but I will ship internationally. Please don't let that stop you from joining in the fun!

Good luck!