Archive | December 2013

An award

blogofyear

A very talented author, Mike from The Eye Dancers, recently nominated me for an award that I am very honored to receive. To have been given the Blog of the Year 2013 award is a huge accomplishment for me and my blog. I can’t thank you enough, Mike! This means a lot to me.

 

The instructions for the Blog of the Year 2013 Award are simple:

1-Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link :http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page.Click the link here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear

Share your blog posts with  an even wider audience.

6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

stars

Who doesn’t love collecting stars? I can see a bright smile on your face and stop being shy. Come on! It’s all yours and grab the awards

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once-this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award- and every time you are given the award by another blog- you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favorite blogs- and even if they have already been given the award by someone else- you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum of 6 stars! You can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award- or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award 6 times!

You can find all the badges and banners and information you need via this link: ‘Blog of The Year 2013′ Award Badges.

 

These three great bloggers have inspired me, encouraged me, and helped me along throughout my first year as an author. Please welcome my nominees:

http://legendsofwindemere.com/

http://readfulthingsblog.com/

http://helenvalentina.com/

 

Of course there are many other bloggers who deserve this wonderful award, but for now, I’ll stick to these three bloggers.

 

 

 

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A Bright New Year

A beautiful little story from a very talented young lady.

Fall'N Love Crafts

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! I hope all of you have a wonderful year and I hope that next year is even better for you! I wish you best of luck with your books, art, and everything else any one of you do, I hope everything works out. And I’ve also made up a little story for anyone who needs it to look back on and say to themselves, ‘Don’t judge.’
On a cold, dark, rainy night; a clerk at a hotel was slouching over the desk waiting for the slightest glimpse of a customer. He was about to give up his up-right position when, to his disgust, a woman wearing a levi jacket, a cowboy hat, and nothing but socks entered the building. She smiled kindly as she neared the desk, “Do you have any available rooms?” He took one more look at her socks and snarled, “No, we…

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Now availible as an eBook!

Me and Billy the Kid is now available for purchase as an eBook! EBooks are available through Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Baker & Taylor.

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Teaser: Angel Garther is caught between a rock and a hard place. Garrett is so sure that Billy will be furious with her for deceiving him, but Angel doesn’t want to stay there, cooped up in the city while Billy the Kid and their gang rides free across the vast prairie. But if Angel attempts to go after and rejoin him, will Garrett follow and attempt to capture him? In Me and Billy the Kid, you’ll follow Angel as she goes from an orphaned girl without a penny to her name to being the notorious girlfriend of the infamous William H. Bonney, alias Billy the Kid.

Merry Christmas to all

No, not ‘Happy Holidays’.

Not ‘Season’s Greetings’, either.

It’s Merry Christmas.

Yes, these days we live in a politically correct world where the phrase “Merry Christmas!” isn’t always acceptable, but on this blog, it is.

I honestly do not mean to offend anyone, but I’m not changing who I am. People can either accept me for who I am, or they won’t. Either way is fine by me. Now, I’m in no way trying to be disrespectful, of course. But I was raised a certain way, and out here in the country, my upbringing suits people just fine.

Today, the official first day of winter, in a snowstorm, I headed out to deliver Christmas gifts to some friends. Now, there are certain days of my life (mind of an author comes in to play here) that I could almost imagine it being the perfect snapshot for an old fashioned Christmas card or part from a book from the days of old. And when my friend’s little girl came running out to me and I scooped her up in a big hug and handed her dad a box of presents, that was one of those moments for me. I gave her mom a hug, and we all stood there by the fire visiting for a good fifteen minutes. And there was no worry of offending anyone by exchanging “Merry Christmas’s” when I said goodbye, either. Next stop was the house of a lady I usually go riding with in the summer and then to my dad’s permit partner’s house. I respect and admire both of these ladies, who have been riding up on the mountain for over thirty years. When I stepped into each of their houses, we exchanged gifts and hugs, then sat down to visit and have a cup of coffee, thus another of my ‘snapshot moments’ was born. I returned home loaded down with strawberry jam, pecan rolls, peanut brittle, cupcakes, and priceless memories.

And that’s what Christmas is to me. A time for friends and family. No expensive gifts or newfangled hi-tech gadgets, just homemade gifts given with love and goodwill. Of course, it is also the time to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. And to be thankful. I have so much to be thankful for. This past year, while not always perfect and easy, was a good one and I learned a lot and made some really special friends.

So, to all my wordpress friends and family, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and are blessed with much health and happiness. And may your New Year be the best that it can be.

“God bless us, every one!” – Tiny Tim (A Christmas Carol)

 

In charge…

For the past four days, I have been acting ranch manager on my parent’s farm. Its been my job to take over for my dad while he and my brother were away. It is the very first time I’ve ever been in charge of the whole operation. And yes, I was nervous. My dad has about 120 head on a friend’s cornfield and has to haul water to them. Then there is another 140 on one of our hayfields, right next to a pivot of corn that had not yet been harvested. (The only thing keeping all these cow-critters in is a hot wire. So basically it is a fence made of a single line of wire attached to a battery so that it is weakly electrified.) Then there are 20 heifers and eight horses in some pens near ‘my’ house. But I told my dad I could look after the place, and that’s what I planned to do. Thankfully, my little sister was around to help me, as well.

So here’s a breakdown of what my days consisted of.

Day 1: Sunday

Make my rounds in the morning and see that all is well. Cows are in. They have plenty of water. ‘This is going to be a piece of cake’, I think to myself. Then I head back out that afternoon to check them again. Chaos. Cows are in my dad’s friend’s haybarn. The fence is broken. So my sister and I run around, chasing the cows back into the cornfield and get the fence patched together. I’m feeling bad because my dad hasn’t been away for 12 hours and the cows were already out. I head back home, thinking that this is going to be a long, long four days.

Day 2: Monday

I have to haul water today. So after doing the home chores, sister and I go and hook the trailer onto the pickup. This takes about 15 minutes, as we’ve never done it before, but we get it hooked up and get the water going into the tank. then we load the gator with wire and fiberglass fence poles and go out to make sure the fence is still standing. We stretch the wire in a few places it is a bit saggy, and re-wire the gate. Count the cows to make sure they were all still there, (they were) and head back to get the truck and trailer. Now, I haven’t pulled a trailer all that often, and the ground was already thawing and I was worried we’d get stuck in the mud with a thousand gallon water tank in the back. Luckily, we made it. So the cows were watered and everything was looking good. I park and unhook the trailer and head back to the house. On the way, I call my dad’s friend to apologize for the cows being in his barn the night before. He asked me why I didn’t fix the fence. I told him that I had, then he said that the hot wire wasn’t hot. So I turn the truck around and go back to check the battery. It still has a charge, and my sister touched the wire to check it. (Yes, it is a bit of a primitive way to test the fence, but oh well.) She says that the wire isn’t too hot, but it is working. So we drive around to the gate to check it there. Sister touches it again. Says it is weak there, as well. I’m a bit frustrated, worrying that the cows will get out again, so I reach out and touch the wire. Holy smokes! The shock almost knocks me to the ground! I decide that the fence is working fine and we go home.

Day 3: Tuesday

There are cows out in the un-harvested cornfield. Grrr… And since the corn is still standing, we couldn’t drive through the field. So I herded the cows, single file through the cornstalks, back to where they belonged. Then I gathered up some spools, fencing pliers, and a shovel, and we went across town to take down some hotwire were weren’t using anymore. It took awhile, walking through mud to take down the 1/2 mile stretch of fence. But despite the mud, all the steel posts were securely frozen in the ground and no amount of digging could free them. So sister and I settled for taking down and rolling up the wire and pulling out the fiberglass poles. Then we went home.

Day 4: Wednesday

Today is the last day. Dad will be home late this afternoon! Yah! But before he gets home, I have to hook onto the trailer and haul water again. This time, I backed right up and hooked up to the trailer on the first try. I was feeling pretty good. Until I stepped into the trailer and discovered that the five-foot-long breaker bar Dad had wedged under the tank to allow easier access to the hose had sometime rattled out and was gone. My sister and I went down the road, looking in the bar ditches for it, but couldn’t find it. I called my mother and had her call the hardware stores in town to see if anyone carried similar bars so I could buy a new one before Dad got home. Luckily, an oilrig supply store had one left. So I was feeling good again. Then I blew out a tire on the trailer. I think it would have been a good day just to go back to bed and try to start over. But I couldn’t. So I got back to my dad’s shop and jacked the trailer up and put the spare tire on. By this time, I’m not in a good mood. It doesn’t help much when I get home and find my mother looking for the keys to her truck. The keys are lost. And then I’m reminded that I was the last one to have the keys. Today just is not going my way.

Long story short, I bought a new breaker bar, eventually found the keys, and my dad and brother made it home safely and Dad is back in charge of the ranch. Last night he went with my sister and I to check the cows, and he stopped by to talk to his friend. His friend looks right at me and asked, “Did you lose a cinch? I found one on the road, and since you’re the only one who’s been hauling a horse trailer around, I thought it might be yours.” I was confident I had not lost it, so I told him it wasn’t mine. After talking a little longer, dad’s friend said to go ahead and get the cinch out of his truck since he wouldn’t use it. Dad returns with the cinch and a big grin. I sigh. It is my cinch. Though, I have no idea when it fell out of the truck, as I didn’t even know it was in the truck to begin with.

And even though I lost and broke a few things, I made it through my temporary job of power and did a fairly good job (hey, at least I didn’t lose any or the cows or break the truck!!!)

But I’m thinking that for the rest of the year, I will be fine with not being in charge… 😉

“Allure of the Gypsies” is now available!!!

Looking for a fast-paced book that will keep you up all night reading? Then this is the perfect book for you! Check it out!

Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies has Arrived!!!

Allure Final Cover

Buy it Here!

Book Blurb:

The epic adventures of Luke Callindor and Nyx continue after their journey down the L’Dandrin River in Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.

Reeling from his failures in their previous adventure, Luke leads his surviving friends to his hometown.  With his mind frayed and his confidence fractured, Luke must face the family and fiancée he left behind.  It is a brief homecoming when the vampire Kalam attacks the village, forcing Luke and Nyx to break into his lair for the key to resurrecting a fallen warrior.  It is a quest that will force both young heroes to reach new heights of strength and power that they never knew they had.

Can Luke and Nyx escape the lair of Kalam?  And, what role will the orphaned gypsy Sari play in their looming destiny?

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first two installments of this high fantasy series.

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Review Excerpts for

Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ”

 kdillmanjones

This is a sophisticated and delightful read. I recommend this book to lovers of Fantasy or to General Fiction readers. The story is compelling enough to entertain a wide audience.” John Howell

“One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. “This is not possible! I am a Paladin!” I thought I was going to die with delight.”

C.N. Faust

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Review Excerpts for

Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

“Something I find unique about this fantasy novel that I don’t often find in others, is that the hero, Luke Callindor is rather of the unlucky variety. He does not get everything he asks for, he stumbles, falls, gets knocked down (literally)and taught lessons as he goes. This is helping him to grow into the hero that was promised in the first book.”

Ionia Martin

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.”

Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” —  Momto4Booklover

Charles author photo B&W

Author Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Contact:

Blog- www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter- @cyallowitz

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz

Another big event to celebrate the debut of Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies is that I’m holding a Goodreads Giveaway!  The prize is a paperback copy of ALL THREE LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE NOVELS.  Winners will be picked at the end of December, so go HERE to enter the contest.

First review for Billy the Kid!!!

“I admit it, I’m a fan of Briana’s work. She’s definitely a voice to watch in the
YA category. She has the ability to bring a story and characters to life with
great economy and to make you really care about the people she describes. This
novella takes figures from history and re-imagines them, including a possible
diversion from standard lore, but you won’t find spoilers in this
review!!

I have found with all of Briana’s writing that she captures and
describes strong, feisty, thoroughly likable female protagonists particularly
well. The narrator of this tale shows great loyalty and courage, even in the
face of sometimes confusing and conflicting emotional scenarios.

If I have one criticism of the book it is perhaps its length – this has meant that
the initial introduction to other characters, including Billy the Kid himself,
was not as detailed as the narrator. I think the pace of the book initially may
have contributed to that. But this is a minor quibble – it probably just shows
that I like the way Briana draws her characters so much I’m a bit greedy for
more! I would say, though, if she ever wanted to re-visit this tale as a novel
rather than novella she has provided herself a firm foundation and a taste of
things to come for readers of her work!”

 

Thank you so much to my dear poet friend, Helen!