Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why We Talk Funny

My niece posted this Buzzfeed link on Facebook: Ten Signs You Grew Up In The Northern Panhandle*

Number 1 on the list was: People often ask you why you don't have a thick Southern Drawl.

This is true. We do have an accent, but it lacks the drawl, or that slow, leisurely stretching out of our vowels.  Usually, when we travel North or West, people know we sound different, but they can never put a finger on our geographic location, usually they just give up and guess Texas. We have the Southern lingo- we know all about not giving a rat's ass, ya'll. We just say it a lot quicker and we don't add the ya'll.

 BUT, when we go South, they peg us real quick as...gasp...Yankees.

And by saying, "Go South", I  mean just go a few hours by way a bird flies within the state and Ya'll will be greeted by a Daisy Duke sounding farmer's daughter. 

So, why are we so weird?

I know the answer (or at least the answer according to historian, Ray Swick, of the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park)! There was a colony at Marietta, Ohio made up of affluent, well-educated Yankees. These Northerners overflowed south, following the Ohio River into what was then the frontier. And the difference in dialect stops at Parkersburg, WV because the settlement at Marietta  (which is across the Ohio River from Parkersburg) was considered the last stop for civilized society.

So, now you know. Yankees infiltrated the Northern Panhandle following the Ohio River to the frontier town of Marietta.

Now, follow me on a tangent.

Me, being amazingly efficient at becoming completely distracted, I started googling Southern Drawl to see where that came from.

 Long story short- lots of theories.

So, no answer there- but I did find this gem:

Big Bette (AKA Wendy Tippens)

 It's like she understands our Northern Panhandle dilemma-

Big Bette says if you don't talk Southern, you must be a Yankee. And she ain't prejudice against Yankees- so long as they stay above the Mason Dixon**

And she admits she doesn't want her kin marrying Yankees, cause the children suffer. They don't know where they belong. Give them a cup of tea and they don't know whether or not to ice it or stick it in the microwave.

Here in the Northern Panhandle, we are much like the confused offspring she worries about.

Give us tea and we'll drink it hot or cold. We swing both ways. I didn't realize that was so odd until I asked for a cup of hot tea in a South Carolina restaurant. The poor waitress was so confused, she had to have a pow wow with her manager. The end result? They microwaved me a cup of iced tea.

*Since most people are still confused about the whole West Virginia is no longer part of Virginia thing...I've decided a brief geography lesson on where to find the Panhandle may be in order.

This is the state of West Virginia
The top stick looking part of the state,
that looks a bit like the handle on a pan?
That's the Northern Panhandle.
Here it is blown up-
you know, made bigger?
 **The Mason Dixon line is the imaginary line that separates the North from the South. Notice it runs below the Northern Panhandle.

Friday, November 14, 2014

When America Was 200...

 The year was 1976

My husband and I were 7 years-old, and these are our elementary school pictures.

(I'm the blond girl, he's the dark haired guy.)

Please note: the camera man asked us to NOT touch the bell.

I remember, because I really wanted to touch that bell...to know whether or not it rang.

But, being the good kid I was, I did NOT touch the bell.

Then there was my husband-

Notice how he man-handled the bell?

He ignored the NO TOUCH rule and happily reports that the clapper was gone and it wouldn't ring.

Some people crave solving mysteries in life. Some people prefer to follow the rules and satisfy their curiosity in a healthy way...like by reading a good book.

If you're one of those- check out this bell ringer of a story!

(I must admit, calling a story set in 1976 historical fiction makes me feel OLD!)

by Medeia Sharif

Vendor links will be updated on Medeia’s site.

Middle Grade Historical and Fantasy, Featherweight Press, November 2014

Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself.

Learning-disabled Lily desires to prove herself, although her mind freezes when presented with big problems - such as her mother's abduction. With a French father and Egyptian mother, Lily worries that her mother hid her ethnicity from her French in-laws. However, there's something deeper going on. Lily finds a way into an attic that's normally locked and encounters a mysterious, moonlit Egyptian night world. There she finds Khadijah, an ancient stranger who guides her to finding clues about her mother's whereabouts. Lily becomes a sleuth in both the real world and magical desert, endangering herself as she gets closer to the kidnapper.

The book takes place in 1976. 

Find Medeia – Multi-published YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you added this book to your Goodreads list? 
It's coming soon!!

I was tagged by the lovelyTara Tyler to list my Seven Deadly Book Sins!!

What are my 7 sins in literature. . .

Greed - What is your most inexpensive book?
Man's Search for Meaning. I spend the most money on that book because I am always giving away my copy and having to buy another. If life has you down, if you need direction- you NEED to own this book. Just don't ask to borrow my copy, you know you won't return it!

Wrath - Who's the author with whom you have a love/hate relationship with?
Stephen King. Love his books and articles on writing. Love most of his stories, but cannot, for the life of me, finish The Dark Tower series. 

Gluttony - What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?
Gone with the Wind

Sloth - What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
Pride and Prejudice- I've read the first page a hundred times, never want to keep reading on. 

Pride - What books do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
Shades of Grey- I like to roll my eyes and point out its flaws, even though I've never read it. 

Lust - What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character?
I just want personality. Just make me love you- that's not so hard, right? 

Envy - What book would you like to receive most as a gift?
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is on this year's Christmas list

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Begging for Pennies

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bella's Point by Elizabeth Seckman

Bella's Point

by Elizabeth Seckman

Giveaway ends December 12, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
Can I get a Huzzah?

Seriously...can I buy one or do I have to beg?

I'm jousting at M Pax's blog. No, I'm not picking up the spear looking thingy and poking knights in the chest. I'm just asking you guys to go on over to Mary's and say this in a comment- by say this, I mean copy and paste the following in a comment or just mention the words that are in bold print:

Lady Margaret and her trusty spear thingy, Bella's Point, says fare-thee-anon!

(Or use those words in any combo to gain me points. No wonder I am so fluffy, right? I joust with words from my comfy chair!)

Now, for the begs and bribes...for all of my huzzah-eers, I will reward you with a chance at showers of ale!**

                                    Begging over...onto the post! 

No more pennies?

While cleaning out my mom's house* to get it ready for sale, I picked up a pocket full of pennies. They were hiding everywhere- under furniture, in boxes of letters, and in their favorite place- in drawers full of junk. My husband pointed out that pennies may be on the way out.

On the way out?

Yes, on the way out- like no longer minted.

Seriously? How can we do without the penny? I mean if you want to get rid of something, ditch that bulky, awkward, quarter wanna-be nickel. Nobody gives a plug about the nickel, right?

Come on, we all know pennies are from Heaven. If you find a penny and pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck.

Without the penny, how will you make wishes? It's a penny well people! A quarter doesn't get you twenty-five wishes, it gets you less bubble gum. You have to toss a penny to get the wish.

And how will you buy someone's thoughts? I mean a penny for your thoughts is like, a really good bargain. A dime for those same thoughts just shows we have a sad inflation issue.

Stop the change in change! 


*My mom is alive and well and living in Alaska- don't anyone panic.
**By showers of ale, I mean this Amazon gift card valued at $10.00

 photo credit: Jeannette E. Spaghetti via photopin cc

Friday, November 7, 2014

Rockin' Love

                  A story of a love as timeless as John and Yoko

                  But with the modern glam of Beyonce and Jayze

          And hopefully a longevity far better than Sonny and Cher.

Ellie, Drew, and Jason are BFF's- the for real forever kind of buddies. But as Drew and Jason's band, Razes Hell, begins to climb the charts, things start to change. Brooding Drew and quiet Ellie aren't much for the party scene, so hanging out together  just comes natural- as does their growing affection. Everything seems perfect for the new couple- well, if you ignore the stress of fame, drug abuse, and torn allegiances. But hey, they're part of the rock band glam- you've got to expect some hiccups and drama, right? 

This is an excellent story of love, friendship, and family. Congratulations to Kyra Lennon on another job well done. 


Photos from Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Suck It Up Buttercup

It's IWSG Day!! Time to whine, err, I mean share our concerns, fears, and insecurities. Thanks to our founder/host, Alex Cavanaugh and his trusty co-hosts: LG Keltner,Donna Hole, Lisa Buie-Collard and SL Hennessy!

Join the IWSG Here!

Writing is hard work. Sure, you get to do most of it in your pajamas...it's still hard work.

There are stories to write. I know it seems like it's as easy as typing words on a page, but it's a bit more complicated than that. It's good to study craft so you can weave together character, plot, and setting while wearing your master-of-proper-syntax cap.

There are stories to edit. Seriously? You thought giving a story the once over a few dozen times was enough? Aren't you a cute little newbie! I suppose you still believe in the Tooth Fairy too?

There are stories to market. How will you get the word out? Facebooking, blogging, Tweeting, praying, begging- which will you choose? Where will your precious time be spent?

Simple fact: There is no magic bullet. Writing isn't a quick route to fame or fortune. Truth is, it may never bring you seven digits or a trip to Oprah's couch. If that's a problem, well, it's just my opinion, but you're in it for the wrong reasons. I'm betting frustration will be your constant companion. Quit now.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Writing is hard work. You want easy money? I suggest lottery tickets and slot machines. At least then if you lose, you can blame bad luck, curse a crooked system, and move on to another game sans identity crisis.

If you want to make it in writing, then you better be able to suck it up buttercup. No part of this is easy. Stories aren't carried in by angelic little muses and then promoted by a team of Madison
Avenue hot shots.

 It's all on you. It's your book and no one else rightly gives a crap whether or not it fails.

And there's a lot of competition...with more arriving every day. Hell, everyone who owns a pencil thinks he can write a book.

To succeed, you'll have to hang in there. And work. Then work some more.

Simple fact: The only thing that will stop you is you.

You can't be fired; you can only quit. 


For all you crazy NaNo'ers (I say crazy because I fail every single year and said heck with it) out there, Eva Solar is helping the NaNo organization by trying to raise money for them. If you're all about NaNo'ing and want to keep it going...you can donate HERE!

photo credit: Puzzler4879 via photopin cc

Monday, November 3, 2014

Oh, My Hero!

Check out the hop here!

Hosted by Joy Campbell and Michelle Wallace, the Hero Hop is all about telling the world-

Who's My Hero?

I tell him all the time he’d be a hot, hot mess without me.

I assure him he wouldn’t know where to find his clean clothes, or know what kind of dressing to put on his salad if I was gone.

But the truth is, I’d be the one lost.

In real life- I can be a backward, awkward, neurotic coward. I’m the type who’s afraid to go into the basement after dark; loathes new situations and changes; and has walked out of a store more than once without working up the gumption to approach the stranger/clerk for help finding an item I needed.

 That’s me- a leave-a-night-light- blazing sort of gal.  

Yet, here I am chasing dreams…taking risks and chances knowing full well that I can fail. Or be made fun of. Or ripped apart in my next review. Scary stuff for a quiet coward.

But it’s all right. I do have a spine. He’s the guy I’ve always counted on to have my back. He believes in me when I don’t. He thinks I’m the best when I feel like I’m the worst. He’s the shoulders I stand on while I reach for stars.

He’s my husband and my hero. And I am a lucky girl. 

Chad and me.

Friday, October 31, 2014


 Happy Halloween!

It's candy time!
Anybody need help with candy eating triage?
Start with the big chocolate bars first, then onto to the small chocolates and caramels. When that's all gone, you will have to make do with Tootsie rolls, taffy, and hard candies.
It is still hard candies, right? My kids said saying that marks me as old.
I remember making fun of my mom for saying Bobby socks. 
Oy. Maybe I have dropped down the other side of the hill.

Today is promo day and update day!

Update Day is a blog hop hosted by Misha Gericke and Beth Fred.
Coming Soon!

My goal for the year was to publish two books in a year.

Here's the progress update:
Defying Reason: Done and with the publisher. No idea how long edits and such will take. It's still a "Coming Soon!" release date. I do have a cover....check it out.
Hoosier Daddy: Nothing concrete. Mulling over the plot and planning some changes.
Flip My Heart: Haven't given it much thought at all.
Cherries: Reworking plot outline.

The Soulless are coming.

Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.

And risk losing everything.

Get your free copy of MOONLESS  (book 1) today, October 31 and Nov 7.

Author Bio: 

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. 

You can find her on her BlogFacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.


YA Contemporary, Prizm Books
Release Date December 10, 2014

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.

Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.

Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.

Find Medeia