Monday, November 29, 2010

Join Me at WORLD BUILDING WORKSHOP-Finksburg Library


I'm excited to share that I'll be at FINKSBURG LIBRARY on TUES. NOV. 30th, 2010 giving my WORLD BUILDING Workshop for kids!

If you are in Carroll County Maryland, come out at visit me!

Tues. 6pm Finksburg Library,
2265 Old Westminster Pike
Finksburg, MD 21048

We will do WORLD BUILDING Exercises, RAFFLES, grab goodie bags!

Also I'll be giving all kids a free copy of one of my books! Thanks to my generous publisher, Phenomenal One Press.



BANDITS (YA Fantasy with splash of Scifi) Coming Spring 2011

Peek Reading at the event

To Find out more about the books, check out website:

Sunday, November 28, 2010



I will try to give an honest review, but with the pre-cursor that I'm biased. I just love the Harry Potter books. This movie is a continuation of the tale, and yes, you'll want to see the other movies or at least read the book in order to truly 'get' the reason these kids are on the run, who died that is impacting their search and besides, you'll just want to see all the other movies (even though the last one was kinda dull). This movie has lots of suspenseful moments and is closely aligned with the book. Unfortunately the only thing I didn't like was that they stayed in that stupid forest for what seemed like forever. I had hoped that the movie would have cut out some of that wondering in the woods part that I had skimmed while reading the book. Anyways, even with their time in the woods, I still enjoyed the imagery, darkness and total mood of the movie. This is worth your money if you want to go to the movies, but if you decide to stay and wait for the video, it will play just as nicely at home. I give this movie a 4 out of 5 stars because they kept the part where Harry and the others stayed in the woods forever, just kinda wondering.


This movie was so cute. However, I guess Disney is on a GIRL POWER kick, because it seems like most of the leading men lately are just bums - no Prince Charming here. Well I have to admit I enjoyed the movie. There was a twist to this Rapunzel story, I won't give it all away but the witch wasn't very witchy except the way she acted and the reason for Rapunzel's name was taken out in place of a magical flower the witch wanted. That twist wasn't so bad and my girls fell in love with Rapunzel, only problem they said was the 'prince' seemed stupid, and was a criminal - Ye-ah, you heard me, he was a thief (of course we hope he reformed, at least it appeared that her love and her handy frying pan that she used to whack him with reformed him). Again, I say, my only beef with this movie was that the man that Rapunzel ended up with was a bum, just like the poor Princess in Princess and the Frog. Disney? What's up? Why can't a girl be smart, strong and still get a rich, dashing Prince? I give it a 3.5 stars out of 5. It was entertaining, great main character, but a bum of a Prince.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving, What does it mean to You?

We all know the history about the Pilgrims who held the first fateful Thanksgiving celebration to give thanks for their harvest, survival and new life. A nearby Indian tribe was invited to celebrate with the settlers and that Thanksgiving day lasted three days.

However, Thanksgiving today has lost some of that meaning. Usually around this time of year the stores gloss over the Thanksgiving holiday and focus on Christmas. One of their biggest shopping seasons of the year, which out shadows the true beauty of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, a pre-cursor to Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza is drowned out by the onslaught of Black Friday – the most fevered shopping day of the year.

For me Thanksgiving has been especially special. I have so much to be thankful for. Never in a million years as a girl who had teenaged parents, who lived in the littered streets of the city would I have dreamed this life up. After fighting through so many obstacles I would have never imagined being a wife, a mother, an engineer and an author. Through all of those difficult struggles I have become so strong, so assured and so determined that I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my life. It made me who I am, and I am still a little in awe of it all. My life is proof that good things can happen in spite of a difficult childhood and trials.

I hope you look at Thanksgiving as a time to be thankful to be alive, a time to renew a desire to reach for the stars, and a time when your realize that you can do or be anything thing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

YOUNG SAMURAI -The Way of the Sword-Review by NYIA

Please welcome guest TEEN REVIEWER: NYIA she loved Chris Bradford's book YOUNG SAMURAI, The Way of The Sword

Amazon Synopsis:
"After a vicious ninja attack left him orphaned and stranded in Japan, Jack Fletcher managed to complete his first year of samurai school. Still, his troubles are far from over. The prejudice of his Japanese classmates has gained him dangerous enemies within his school, and Dragon Eye – the ninja who killed his father – is still after him. Jack’s only hope of defeating them lies in surviving the Circle of Three: an ancient ritual that tests a samurai’s courage, skill, and spirit to the limit.

For most, gaining entry into the Circle means honor and glory, but for Jack it’s a matter of life or death. The winner will be trained in the Two Heavens—the formidable sword technique of the great samurai, Masamoto. Learning this secret is the only hope Jack has of protecting his father’s rutter -- the invaluable navigation guide of the world’s uncharted oceans -- from Dragon Eye.

Forced into a deadly battle, Jack’s going to have to master the Way of the Sword. And his time is running out."


I loved this book! Although this is the second book in the series (I didn't know that when I asked my mom to read it. I think she got it from some book conference she was at). The cover was interesting and made me think it was an action book. Anyways, this book had the best fight scenes ever (only problem was some went on for too long - so I took off 1 star because of it). The main character, Jack Kun (they added the Kun, because he was in Japan). Even though this was the second book the author gave a lot of history from the first book(a lot and if I had read the first book I would have got frustrated with it - I know this because after I read this I got the first book). He had a love interest, but it wasn't a lot. She was a friend and she ended up getting sick. Also, I liked that he was a foreigner who had to deal with some prejudice, but had friends to help him deal with it so he didn't get depressed or angry about the fact that in Japan at that time they wanted to kill all of the foreigners. He had to complete the three rings, but unfortunately he didn't get the hero's ending. The ending made me mad, because it was a cut off ending which made me so want to buy the next book. I give this 4 out of 5 stars, and after reading the first book, I say just start with this one. It's way better than book 1: The Way of the Warrior

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MEGAMIND Movie Review by Movie Diva Monique

Hey everyone! Movie Diva Monique is back by popular demand. She went to see Megamind and was gracious enough to give us the scoop!

Here's MOVIE DIVA MONIQUE's review for Megamind:

credit: Dreamworks

It's been a few hours since I've seen Megamind in theaters today, and I still feel warm and fuzzy. Maybe that's due to the fact that I'm playing the soundtrack as I type this, but even without the soundtrack, the fuzziness would still be here.

The film, which is about a supervillain named Megamind (Will Ferrell) who finally beats the superhero Metro Man (Brad Pitt) but then realizes his purpose in life is gone, and actively goes about creating a hero for himself, that hero being Tighten, a geeky camera man who has the hots for the news reporter he works with, Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey). Actually, every main leading guy in this movie seems to have the hots for her, but only one of them wins (guess who). Throughout the whole movie, Megamind finally realizes what it means to be truly evil and truly good as, well as where he fits in in life and his actual purpose.

Firstly, the nods to Superman and other superheroes--both DC and Marvel-- are virtually endless. From Megamind disguising himself as the Marlon Brando/Jor El-esque "Space Dad" to Megamind and Metro Man's childhoods--both having been whisked away from their doomsday-planets to live on Earth--to Metro Man's laser vision to the Captain Marvel-esque lightning bolts on their uniforms, director Tom McGrath really wanted to send a lovable send-up to a genre everyone has grown up with, whether or not you read comics or not.

I will say that the film felt like it was trying to quickly show that Metro Man wasn't a douche; it's a good side story, but if a couple more minutes had been shown to it, it might feel less like a quick jamming-in of a story point and more coherent to the actual plot. Ditto to Metro Man calling Megamind "Little Buddy". The dance scene wasn't really needed (even though the sight of Megamind doing what looks like the Dougie is so scary it's endearing), and like someone on the internet said, a couple more scenes with Roxanne and Megamind could have been called for. Keep in mind that I know this film isn't Wall-E or Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon--every film isn't particularly destined for that kind of life, so go into this movie and expect just that, a movie. But still, this film has a solid enough story and has enough interesting turns of pace and ideas in it to keep you entertained, and, if you're like me, thinking for a while about what comics impart to us either directly or subliminally.

This is a great movie for those who are looking for a family-friendly film that doesn't pander to children or throw insipid winks at adults. It provides good characterization, stellar acting on both the actors and the animators' parts makes you really feel for the characters, especially Megamind. (Just looking at Megamind when he gets--MINOR SPOILER--his heart broken is almost too human for a character to look, but it's only because we've looked that way many times ourselves when our hearts have broken so hard that we're milliseconds away from crying.) All in all, it's a great one for the whole family, and everyone will get something out of it, probably more than you expected from what the commercials have to tell you.

This is an edited review. To read the uncut version, click here

Sunday, November 14, 2010

SKYLINE – Movie Review

Movie Synopsis: (taken from Strange lights descend on the city of LA, drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth.

My Review:
I had to go to a movie, and I wanted some action. SKYLINE delivered on the action and the special effects were decent (although the best was captured for the poster-see above). This was a C movie with a little better budget, but scifi all the way. The beginning was definitely a grabber, with the invasion starting and someone being lured by the light (did I say bright lights?).

They tried to get you to connect to the cast of characters by give you a flashback before the incident, but it didn’t do it for me. It seemed they figured the special effects and suspense was money better spent. I’m a greedy movie goer and would have preferred both.

There are some gross parts when people get abducted, but I liked the cat and mouse suspense and the space ships. The creatures even looked pretty good considering the low budget.

My other irritation besides the lack of connection to the characters was the ending. It seemed corny to me, but I still left the theatre rather hyped up, so I guess I got the ride I came there for.

I give it a 2.5 stars out of 5 stars. Matinee only or dvd if you have the TV to give you the special effects.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Long ago, I threw in my towel. Spending Thanksgiving cleaning before guest arrived, cooking all night, then cleaning up again got old. Sure I loved spending time with my extended family, but I was just plain tired. So I had a revelation….


That’s when we decided that for Thanksgiving we would travel. I’m going to post some of our Thanksgiving adventures as we lead up to the holiday. Of course now we go to Disneyworld every year (just a 14hr drive away from home). In going to Disneyworld we get 2 holidays for the price of one. We usually only do the parks for 1 day and purchase the much cheaper party tickets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Then we do a 3 day cruise (which I spend the entire year paying off - but that too is worth it.)

The first vacation though, was more like an adventure than a restful vacation. But great for family memories.


The false start

My dear husband decided to tell me on travel day, we needed an oil change. Jiffy Lube, told us we needed a headlight. I wanted to pay the $28 to have it installed. My he-man said he would do it and save us some money. Huh? C’mon it was just $28. Well needless to say..after he investigated the work needed, he realized he should've paid someone to do it. So we drove aimlessly in search of Jiffy Lube late at night. We gave up the search and DS’s hand’s were small enough to get the light in and we were finally on our way.

The medical emergency

After returning from Magic Kingdom (My HAPPY PLACE), my DH starts to complain of chest pains. Well I'm seriously concerned because he never complains of pain. Well after much deliberation on his part … I CALLED 911! Mind you it is now 2am in the morning and we have a CRUISE to catch !? This man told me “Worst case babe…you take the kids on the cruise” Was he insane?! I wasn’t going on a cruise and leave him in the hospital!

Anyway, we found out that he had “Gallstones” and then he proceeded to check himself out of the hospital AGAISNT DR’s Order’s (he didn’t tell me this until we were on the long ride home) to go on our cruise…we made it in the nick of time as I had to pick him up at 10am to catch the cruise ship 1 hour away in Tampa.

The ugly

We went on a Carnival Cruise. But, DS, was on the run from the camp director of the CO club as he was 14yrs old and wanted to be with other high schooler’s but she wouldn’t let him. She chased him, she called security on him and threatened to have him kept in his room. However, DS alluded her at every turn…I started to get the feeling the kid just liked tormenting her. He finally resigned to his fate and hung out with the dreaded "Middle Schooler's" since he was a High School was not so hard for him to fit in...He was instantly "Cool".

The race
Youngest DS’s shoe flipped off the ship while he was running the jogging track, and unfortunately the ship didn’t sell shoes his size, so he spent the rest of the trip barefoot.

Well while in the Caymans, my daughter lost her cruise card. We almost had to leave her there! Eek!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


(Loved the movie SIXTEEN CANDLES)

Being a teen in love can be one of the most addictive things in the world. Unfortunately, nothing ever changes – ever. There’s always going to be a girl who desperately wants to hold her boyfriend’s attention and a boy who desperately wants to hold a girls love. How does this play out badly in teen relationships – you tell me.

You know a lot of parents act like what their kids are doing these days are new. But the same old thing happens today that happened when I was a kid. Only difference is, today you see those things on tv – like shows about teen moms or kids who are dating a person who is just a bad choice for them. Everyone on tv sees the train wreck but in real life it’s not so easy to see. Also, most people admit they know it’s going to wreck, they just can’t get off the train.

LET ME PREFACE THIS TO SAY – not all girls or boys have these issues, but a lot either know someone who does, or watches a tv show with someone who does.

Most times teen girls try to hold onto their boyfriend or boys by having sex – even getting pregnant on purpose or stalking them. Oh, don’t act so shocked. This has been going on for-ever. It’s even in the history books believe it or not.

Now, what does this have to do with VALUE OF SELF – a lot! Any one, girl or boy should not allow themselves to be convinced, persuaded, bullied, abused by, manipulated to try drugs or peer pressured into believing that sharing their body with someone else is ‘no big deal’. It is a big deal, because boys move on, girls can get pregnant, girls can get a reputation as an ‘easy’ lay and girls typically are emotionally driven to start punishing themselves when they find that things don’t work out like in the fairytales.

Funny thing is, boys have feelings too! Sure, they are taught to suppress them, but they cry, they hurt, they love deeply and they obsess over girls like girls obsess over them. Guys do the stalking thing, blow up in anger, and try to manipulate girls just like girls do guys.

Guys also need to value self. Focusing on keeping his goals clear, speaking up to a girl to ‘stop’ even though he may hurt her feelings is sometimes better than leading the girl on. Girls can be just as manipulative, pushy, persuasive to boys to engage in sex, drugs, or to set boys up by getting pregnant in order to hold onto them. Also, girls may try to manipulate all of a boys time and take him away from goals, family or friends who are important to him – how can a girl possibly do this? By using that boys desire for sex, love or desire to be with her to her advantage.


Yes, in some ways, but in all the ways that make us human, we are not. That means, whether you are a boy or a girl, you have the right to say ‘NO!’ and should value your body, love for self, and determination to stay true to yourself in all things. Only those that truly care about you, aren’t trying to hurt you, or aren’t trying to lead you down a path that could negatively alter your life has the right to effect the inner you.


Forgive yourself. Improve yourself. Love yourself. No matter what we do in life, we are here to grow. To learn from our mistakes. Making them is acceptable, learning from them is important. Loving yourself in spite of the fact that – hey guess what? You’re human, is okay. And if you need someone to talk to – pick someone that truly wants to help you. Follow your gut, and you will know the right person, the right time, to approach someone with your questions.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Are you in nanowrimo? Do you want a tangible prize for your efforts besides just your first draft? Well YALITCHAT is giving you a prize. First Prize is a KINDLE!!!! Yep! Second Prize is a 25 pg critique of your Nanowrimo novel, Whoop! And Third Prize is a book pack with 2 Harper Collins books and RAMPANT by Rampant by Diana Peterfreund.

More contest details:


Here’s a blurb from the ‘About YAlitchat’ Page. It’s a free organization (some services require membership (like Agent Inbox where you can submit to lit agents partnering with Yalitchat and more!)


Mission Statement YALITCHAT
is a non-profit organization created to support the advancement of reading, writing and publishing of young adult literature around the world.

History and Founding YALITCHAT started as a chat on twitter in September 2009 by YA writer Georgia McBride. Georgia created the associated online community on Ning in November 2009. The non-profit organization was established in June 2010.
Member Meetings We meet weeky via #YALITCHAT, a chat held on twitter, Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern. There is usually an After Party here immediately following, open only to members. A full schedule of chats can be found on the official public website. Please check the schedule, as we have special chats during the year that fall outside of this schedule.

Additional Branded SitesFor those interested in following the #YALITCHAT hashtag all week long, please join the #YALITCHAT twibe (yes, you read that right) No involvement needed--just join. You'll be able to auto follow all members on twitter as well as keep up with the #YAlitchat hashtag all week long.


We meet on Wednesday nights, on twitter, just do a search on the hashtag #Yalitchat on Wed. at 8pm. If you can make it come check out our WEBSITE which is we have a tiered membership and offer great writer support where we don’t rip you up, we help you to become a better writer with the support of both published and an soon-to-be published authors we ban together to help each other.

HOW’d I Find them?

I started lurking around on twitter and saw hashtags for writers (hashtags are conversation keywords for different areas of interest you can search on in twitter. They usually start with #. For instance if you want to follow a conversation for YAlitchat just search on #Yalitchat in twitter.)

Not to mention, I’d hung out at some other writer’s forums only to be a little embarrassed by how mean spirited some of the regulars there were. But I didn’t give up, I kept searching out great places to hang out and YALitchat is just that.

NANOWRIMO What the heck is it?

National Writing Month! Your mission – write a novel of 50K words, which comes to about 175 pages. The truth is, try for the goal, but do your best which is way good enough!

Also, if you are doing nanowrimo, be my writing buddy :-D I’m lmpreston

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Give Aways

Well, we were thinking. It's a great time to give-away stuff! With Thanksgiving comes great shopping spree days like BLACK FRIDAY and eating Fest THANKSGIVING. So my publisher and I would like to give away something that will make you cozy and comfy.

2 HATS, yep great hats with pictures of THE PACK on them. Just email the publisher your contact information and prize code 71YZ24 (click here)and the first two peeps to send an email gets the prize.

Stay tuned for some pics of BANDITS book trailer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Alright, time to go back down memory lane. WERE IS YOUR HIGH SCHOOL CLASS RING? Ah-ha! You don’t remember do you? Well….neither do I.


The class ring is a big deal. A right of passage for a Junior in high school, showing that you are just under 1 year from the rest of your life, or that the best years of your life is just under 2 years away.


Wear it every single day you are in high school. Just don’t let your girlfriend or boyfriend wear it, borrow it, take it or sell it :-D Keep it by wearing it, so get something that is nice and not to gaudy that you wouldn’t mind wearing most of the time. When you are tired of wearing it, put it on your necklace. Also, don’t pay too much for it. I made the fatal mistake of purchasing a rather expensive one for my kid and now I regret it. Truth is if the boy loses it I will totally freak out. No kidding – freak the heck out.


Truth is, if you go to college, your college ring will outshine the high school ring – for awhile. But when you have your own kids, and you are picking out their class ring with them… if you still have your high school class ring – you just may tear up when you pull it out to remember those wonder days of high school.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Oh, today our teen guest book reviewer, NYIA is in the house!

NYIA had to do an assignment where she had to write a letter to King George, yr 1776 where she stated 5 historical facts in her break up letter.

I thought it would be a cute read, and introduction to her first writing on my blog. Please enjoy and comment. She checks the comments frequently on her post.


Year 1776
Dear King George the Third,

I am so sorry to say this, but we have grown apart and you have changed to a person, who frankly, I don’t like. I know that this may be hard to read but… it’s over between us. See, I am no damsel in distress and you have soldiers here in New England to “protect” me, yet the French and Indian war ended 13 years ago in 1763. Having soldiers here does not seem respectable after such a long time since the end of the war. Your actions have spoken louder than your excuse filled words and have shown me that you are over-possessive. What has also shown through with time is that you are a cheap scrooge who cares more about money than me. Not only did you send me soldiers that were not needed, but you put the Quartering Act into place so that I had no choice but to house and feed the soldiers who were strangers in my eyes. I am not made of money, nor am I a servant to those who do not reward me after my services.

Money has also driven you to become untrustworthy and not the charming man that I knew before. I am outraged that you would try to tax me without my word in the matter and try to hide the truth behind fogged glass. The Intolerable Acts were shocking, especially since they were meant to be hidden and collect at the ports so buyers would not see the tax. To be fair, I am glad that you repealed most of the acts, but I think you were ignorant to leave the Tea Act for me to pay. Honestly George William Frederick the Third, what Englishman or woman do you know who doesn’t drink tea? I am sure that you have your delicious tea tax free. I do know that the Boston Tea Party and other vandalism acts were made, but they were just trying to stand up to a jerk like you!

The thing that hurt me the most in the whole relationship is that soldiers of yours killed my friends in the Boston Massacre. Five colonists died in the attack from the soldiers, yet there was no apology from you. George, you can be so insensitive an unsympathetic! Those men surely had families and maybe even wives who will mourn over their lost, but it seemed like you didn’t even care enough to take a stand and say sorry for something you basically caused. One of those men was my neighbor, but you wouldn’t care as long as your money was paid and the soldiers were fine! Sorry, I got carried away.

Please don’t take any of my words to seriously, for they are filled with heartbreak and confusion. I know we’ve had some good times, but even writing this letter makes me even more angry and hurt. You know as well as I know that we can’t fight the way we do any longer. See, I am tired of constant fighting and disagreement and I know you are to. Let’s just do each other a favor and call of the whole relationship.

Yours Truly,