Monday, November 28, 2011

Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop: Winner

Congrats to Bookish Sarah for winning my Gratitude Giveaway Hop and receiving the coveted Rachel Caine Morganville vampire book, Last Breath.  Last Breath was awesome...if you don't believe me check out my review.  The winner will be notified via email and will have no more than 72 hours to respond before another winner is drawn. Entries are processed through Rafflecopter & the winners are selected by the reputable  
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was spectacular, but now I'm stuffed!  I made a pumpkin cheesecake that was to die for #yum!  What about you? 

Before I forget I want to say a huge thanks to all my followers!  Thank you so much for visiting my blog and commenting as well.  You all are wonderful and I am thankful!  Remember, my 1000 Follower Giveaway to reach 1000 ends by the end of 2011.  I'm about 50 away.  WOOT!  Tell your friends!

Mina B.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fridays with Fred: Thanksgiving Feast

Hey, minions!  Fred had a blast yesterday, hoovering up all the table scraps and begging for a turkey leg at every turn.  He had a few friends to play with too.  We all had a wonderful time and we are indeed thankful ...with an emphasis in full!!!
Have a great holiday weekend!

Looking for more pix of Fred? Check out here. Oh, and be sure and check out Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.

Lastly, remember to enter my Gratitude Giveaway (ends 11/27th eod) and my 1000 Follower Giveaway! I'm shooting for a 1000, minions! Wahoo! Tell your friends. :)

Mina B.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Likable Characters

So as I am working at a snail’s pace during this NaNo Writing Month, I had a question percolating in my mind. After finishing writing a novel, I typically feel a combination of exhaustion and exhilaration. Just the fact that you’ve completed it is an overwhelming sensation. And then of course, the dreaded next steps are the editing, critiquing and ultimately beta reading. For me, the editing part leaves me exasperated! That being said, I then wait on bated breath for an unknown amount of time for my beta reader to read and then give me their unbiased opinion about my story.  Upon receiving the feedback, I take my notes, ask minor questions, receive possible plot change/suggestions, etc... And then when it’s all said in done, I push my notes to the side and very pointedly ask my beta reader… “Did you like my main character(s)?”

Love to hate!
To be honest, for me, this one question is the single most important question to ask. Why? Because I want to make sure that whatever direction I take the story in, my reader has enough invested into the main character(s) to follow them.

I’m sure as writers and readers, we all can attest to times when we’re writing/reading, and we fall in love or get annoyed with a character. I think sometimes when writers are so close to their stories they forget or ignore the fundamental importance of connecting with a reader. I for one can admit, I’ve stopped reading a book because I realized I didn't really care what happened to the main character. Haven’t you? I think as a writer that’s the worst mistake one could make – other than possibly a horribly bad plot.   If you can’t convince the reader to continue reading your story, then what make you think they’ll possibly buy/read another one of your books? On a side note, Cynthia Leitich Smith wrote a blog post earlier this year on this topic. If you get a chance, take a peak.

So today my question to my readers and writers is...

* And as a reader, what are the qualities that spark interest in a character? What keeps you reading?

* As a writer, what do you do to make your characters more likable?

Mina B.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fridays with Fred: Fred's Bed

Hey, minions.  I almost didn't get this blog posted.  Whew!  There's too much action going on here.  Anyway, Fred's passed usual.  I took this quick shot of him in one his many beds around the house.  This one's right next to my bed and boy doesn't he look all snugly?

Have a great weekend.
Aw, buddy!
Looking for more pix of Fred? Check out here and here. Oh, and be sure and check out Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.

Also, be sure and check out my giveaways I'm hosting!  My 1000 Follower & Gratitude Giveaway Hop.  They're pretty awesome!

Mina B.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop

Welcome, minions to my Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & All-Consuming Books. Before I begin I'd like to say THANK YOU to all my followers - new and old. You guys are the best so thank you for visiting, commenting, and supporting me. 
It's been almost two years since I started my blog and I have to's been pretty darn fulfilling.  In order to keep the giveaway simple, I'm only asking for particpants to follow my blog.  On a side note, for those of you that don't know, I'm trying to reach 1000 followers before the end of the year for my 2nd year Blogversary.  The giveaway is pretty cool to so check it out here. 

What I am thankful for...
* Family
* Books
* Writing
* Books
* Friends
* Minions
* These Hops
* More books - a common theme here...
* Free Sh** Fairy - can't forget about that damn fairy!  
But most of all....YOU!  
     Thank you for being so awesome!

And now...onto the giveaway.  During last year's Gratitude Giveaway Hop, I gave away the latest Rachel Caine Morganville vampire book.  Don't believe me?  See here.  I also reviewed Ghost Town here too.  Anyway, I'm starting a new tradition and giving her latest book in the Morganville series, Last Breath.  I was fortunate enough to read and review an ARC copy of the book (Special thanks to Rex Robot Reviews and the killer ARC tour)  Last Breath was awesome, so check out my review.

Anyway, I'm giving away one (1) copy of Book 11 in Rachel Caine’s New York Times bestselling Morganville Vampire series, Last Breath.  The Giveaway hop starts on November 17th and runs until November 27th, eod.   International participants welcome!

To enter…
You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form. (And yes, I do check GCF)

Feel free to comment and thanks again for everything.  Want to see who else is participating?  Check them all out HERE! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Best Job Ever...

As we are near the middle of NaNo writing month, I’m troubled right now.   I am riddled with so much work that I'm struggling on how to manage it all.   I can’t complain, though.  I'm lucky I get to do what I love.   So much of our lives are impacted by our jobs/careers.   Since we spend far too much time at work during the week, it got me thinking about the best job I ever had when I was younger.   I'm sure we all have what we deem as great jobs as well as nightmare ones too.

The best job I ever had was when I was a lifeguard at a major water park.   Aside from pulling kids out the water, what I remembered I loved the most about it was I was also responsible for testing the rides - making sure they ran smooth.  Sometimes water slides have rough patches, like life I suppose.   I would have to test each ride and report the issues - which there never were.   Rough task, huh?   Not on your life. Oh there were other employees that hated that, but not me.   That part of the job was awesome to no end.   And as a bonus, during the evening shifts, they used to have me dive in the pools at the bottom of the rides to pick up lost items in the water.   You wouldn't believe the crap people wore when riding those damn slides. Jewelry, sunglasses, wallets are obvious choices but the signs posted clearly stated, do not carry/wear valuables on said ride or else…  Needless to say, after the park closed, I’d spend a good amount of time, scouring the bottoms of the pools, towing stuff back up to the surface.  Still, I didn’t mind.  The best find usually was money.  Duh!  And anytime there was loose bills or change, my boss let me keep it.   It seems petty now, but back then, I thought it was the bomb.  Not only did I get to slide down every thrilling ride, I also got to walk away with some cash.   Best. Job. Ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job now and especially love being I writer.  Frankly, I don’t consider it work. That's what they say, when you love what you do.   So what about you? 

What's the best job you've ever had?

Mina B.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fridays with Fred: Wanted

Fred was on my sh** list this week.  I won't dish, but trust me he was a baaaaaaaad doggie...hence the poster.
I may have gone overboard with the reward, eh?

Looking for more pix of Fred?  Check out here and here.  Oh, and be sure and check out Schatze over at Mary’s BookHounds too.

Last but not least, remember to enter my 1000 Follower Giveaway!  I'm shooting for a 1000, minions!  Wahoo!  Tell your friends. :)

Have a good weekend!

Mina B.