Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Boring Books

I have a problem. I hate reading or writing books that nothing happens. Now there are many books that have been considered best sellers that are just plain dull. Nothing truly happens to the character for over ten chapters. At least nothing you can see outright. But I have stuck with them. I have read those works in spite of the fact it took me an awful long time to do so.

However, great works of fiction are not exciting. But they feed you bits, and nibbles of the underlying plot and conflict along the way. There are some genres that are notorious for this type of ‘ease the reader in’ approach and I find that they tend to be my least favorite genre.

As a writer there are parts when I just have to bring it down several notches. I’ve tried over my writing years to weave exciting things into those mundane parts where the character has to learn something, share something or experience something. And I’d be lying if I didn’t reveal that there have been best sellers that I had to force myself to read in pieces just to finish.

I’ve realized that yes, yes, yes, there is a need for those slow parts of a book. It sets the pacing, brings the reader in, and if the writer is really clever, they are a welcomed slow down.

For me it takes me longer to get through them, then before I know it, my character takes over and sets it up for something big to happen.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - Movie Review

Fandango Blurb:
Now 17, Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) receives a coded distress signal from an island where no island should exist. Knowing that he will not be able to dissuade Sean from tracking the signal to its source, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), Sean's new stepfather, joins the teen on a quest to the South Pacific. Together with helicopter pilot Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and Gabato's feisty daughter, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island and rescue its sole human inhabitant (Michael Caine).
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson
Director: Brad Peyton
Genres: Action/Adventure

My Review:
I'm biased. I love, love, love Dwayne Johnson. But, I went to this movie for my kids. The movie was cute, had great role model parents (The Rock - of course) and had a healthy taste of action. It started off with the typical kid not digging the step-dad (the gorgeous step dad I may add, like who's mom gets lucky enough to marry a hung with bulging muscles who loves her kid and her abundantly...or sorry I digress - It could happen.). There was some funny parts, cutsie parts and it was somewhat predictable, but my kids 14yrs, 10yrs and 8yrs loved it. They gave it a 4 stars out of 5 stars and my husband (The Rocker - hater) gave it a 3 stars out of 5.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Frugal Ereader Free Gifts of My Books

The Frugal Ereader spotlights my ebook Giveaways,
Click Here

Also, My FB Release Party for Explorer X-Beta is Sat. March 31st from 12pm-11pm EST. You don't have to leave your home to join in for free prizes, spotlight guest authors, games and more, on this page,

I'm giving away 2 of my books in Ebook from there. Also the Frugal Ereader is a great place to find out about new books!

The Frugal Ereader: Click Here

Teen Pirate, forbidden love, Treasure and adventure.

Daniel’s father has gotten himself killed and left another mess for Daniel to clean up. To save his world from destruction, he must fight off his father’s killers while discovering a way to save his world. He wants to go it alone, but his cousin and his best friend’s sister, Jade insist on tagging along. Jade is off limits to him, but she insist on changing his mind. He hasn’t decided if loving her is worth the beating he’ll get from her brother in order to have her. Retrieving the treasure is his only choice. But in order to get it, Daniel must choose to either walk in his father’s footsteps or to re-invent himself into the one to save his world.

Teen blind vigilante, drama filled teen romance, and kick-butt hero.

Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little do they know that she is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals most unlikely weapons against them the very kids of which they have captured. In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens, her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. But in order to save her brother’s life, she is willing to risk it all.

AUTHOR SIGHTINGS Places I'm hanging out 2012
Check out my website for updates:

Public Library Conference (PA) - 3/12th
Explorer X - Beta Facebook Release Party - 3/31
Twitter Launch Party (Promo Explorer X-Beta) - 4/3th
Explorer X-Beta Blog tour - 4/8-17th
Book Expo America (NY) - 6/6-7th
Otakon (Baltimore, MD) 7/27-29th
Shore-Leave (Baltimore, MD) 8/3-5th
Baltimore Book Festival - 9/28-30th
Capclave (Baltimore, MD) - 10/12-14th

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Do you feel that? The 'acting' of sorts that goes in creating a believable character. Something that sucks you into their moment and doesn't let you go?

That's a good book, movie, song and expression. Artist can do that. Create a moment a feeling that absorbs you and takes you away into their moment.


When I wrote my first draft ever of a book, it was awful. I gave a listing of accounts. Like, 'He was six foot tall with dark hair about 150 pounds..." and "He was angry, sad, mad..." Yuck!

Then my daughter gave me the answer after she read the first few pages of my horrible draft.

"Mom, pretend you are an actor. That you are the character and write that."


Living in the moment of your character is darn fun! I close my eyes and open myself to the experience. Also writing in a close 3rd person. That way I can have more characters point of view.


This bit is where you are constantly told, "SHOW and DON'T TELL" and you do this by asking yourself, what happens to a person when they are:

Angry: Eyes dilate, muscle clench, teeth grind
Sad: Tears fall, sniffle, whimper
Scared: Hairs raise, trembling, teeth chatter


So the next time you watch a movie, a show, a commercial or your friend's youtube videos ask yourself how that actor has portrayed their emotions. Write it down while you watch, create your cheat sheet and.... FIND YOUR INNER ACTOR (sometimes dubbed as a Muse)


I usually close my eyes and pretend I'm them. What a rush!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

Teen Book Reviewer NYIA's in the house!

Amazon Blurb:
In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving.

In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two-thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing--and their lives--forever.

NYIA's Review:

I have read a lot of dystopian books and this one is pretty good. I liked Stephen a lot and he made me want to keep reading. He was confused after what happened. I also felt like even though things were really bad in this world the characters still had hope that everything would be fine. I didn't think that the kids acted like most teenagers would have acted. It didn't make sense why Tom Will was so mean to the other settlers. It also had a lot of dry spots. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thinking Big Has Gained Me A Lot

I could never figure out when it first happened. That defiant, growling spirit within me that screamed 'No!' but when it happened, that was the turning point in my life.

Now that I think back on it, I remember it.


I think I was around ten when I was backed in a corner at the playground and kids were snatching away pieces of my candy that fell to the ground.

Something rose up in me - greed, maybe need, maybe just plain fury. I don't know, but I screamed, "No! My candy" and fought away grubby little hands away from my candy.


Well then I just started to think differently. Nope, not then, but later it built up. When I realized that I wasn't as brilliant as my best friend. But she did me a favor and said, "So what if you have to work harder - we'll still end up at the same place."



Well here I am, I've queried, I've pitched, I've pimped my manuscript and got only a small nibble - but that was before.

Now, my books are out there - birthed to the world and you know what?

My old friend's comment came back.

"So what if you have to work harder - we'll still end up at the same place."

SO? ARE YOU READY TO THINK BIG? Here's what thinking big has gotten me...

- A great career beyond what I've ever imagined
- Wonderful family that is making me wonder if they are really my kids or someone beamed them down to me from a distant planet
- Stories that come out of my head - and people actually want to read them.
- And more adventures to come

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I'm Working On - My Writing Goals Realized

Well although my writing is a bit behind, the ideas are flowing. I'm in promotion mode for my Middle Grade but am doing the following fun things to bring you all some great new books in the next year.

The Pack-Retribution (due out Sept. 2012 - Book 2 in The Pack series) I'm in the final stages of revising this. Just got the 2nd run from the editor. Once I finish revising this in about a month or two, the ARCs will be submitted to the printer. The artist is working on the NEW cover art for this so look out for that in about 2 months.

Purgatory Reign (out in 2013) This is my new paranormal series with a sprinkle of scifi and romance. It's gonna be hot. I'm working on the 1st set of edits for this. I will be subbing it to agents and if nothing bites this year - Phenomenal One Press will publish it. This is a 3 book series. Upper YA.

Bandits - Wastelands (out in 2013 - Book 2 in Bandits series) I am writing this now. My personal deadline for the first draft is April 1st and I'm way behind. But stay tuned.

Big Crush - short story (out in 2013 as part of anthology) This is the first short story I've written in like forever. It was fun and I may turn this into a series. It's an Urban Middle Grade short story.

Fire's End - a Middle Grade Fantasy I'm working on with my daughter who is 10 years old and has amazing ideas. It's shaping up fine and if we ever finish it...who knows.

PLANS to write first draft of the following:

Explorer X-FaceOff (to come out in 2013)
The Pack - Deception (to come out in 2014)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I just wanted to repost this 'true love' story of mine.

My best friend in High School lived in another town. She was pretty, perky, and best of all knew a lot of boys. One of her favorite things to do was to match make. Unfortunately for me, I was a glutton for punishment and went on 3 disaster dates due to her practicing being the new

She called and was like, "I've got the perfect one for you. I really do. I know what you like now. Took some practice, but trust me. I got this."

I generally told her off for her last 3 mishaps. The pock faced kid that picked his nose. The octopus that couldn't keep his hands to himself and the 'no show' that called to tell me that his girlfriend found out about me - Say what?!

But this one, she promised was perfect.

Well this time, I took it slow. I talked to the guy for about 2 months before I met him. Now we were supposed to mail each other pictures, but it never happened. Then eventually, we both decided to be surprised since we figured the major issues were cleared up. Like telling and confirming the basics of what we looked like. I didn’t count on tidbits from my match-maker friend. I asked him for references! Yep, I spoke to his buddies, and family members (like younger siblings who were too young to be jaded.)


Well, at the time I lived in the city. He lived in the suburbs in a nice neighborhood. But what I liked about him was he had street smarts from growing up in Grand Rapids / and Saginaw, MI. Even so, he was very intelligent and could speak ‘street’ and suburb like me. See, even though I lived in the city, I went to Catholic School where ‘proper’ English was only allowed. If you slipped into slang – you got slapped, literally!

So, he caught the Metro train, then the bus to my neighborhood. I took my ‘aunt’ along, who was more like a cousin. We were both the same age and she had explicate directions to scope out the bus and to take my ditch him with our made up excuse if the guy was a dud.

Now, the moment of truth – I laid eyes on him and was like, “WOWSA!” I literally had to gulp my heart back in my chest.

He looked at me and smiled (I believe he was thinking the same thing – but I was wrong.)

I stood there and grinned like a fool, then tripped forward as my cousin elbowed me. Oh…forgot she was still there. I whispered to her, “Beat it!” and she promptly left.

Then I looked back at him and he was frowning…yep, frowning. The first thing he said to me was, “Ummm, you don’t look like what I thought. Are you sure you’re 15? I mean…you are really small. How tall are you?”

Okay, yeah, I’m only about 5ft to his 6ft 2inches, but I was funsized!


Well, truth was, he was not cut out for long distance romance. I found out through a reliable source (his best friend who was ‘crushing on me’) that he was running around with another girl – heck a few other girls. So I confronted him and he fessed up the truth. Gotta say I was impressed with his honesty - as blunt as it was. However, he did warn me by saying, "Do you really want to know? Cause I'm not gonna lie." Now what person in their right mind will say, "Oh lie to me..." So I told him I could respect a dude that spoke the truth, but a liar, I'd never respect - so spill it. All he simply said was, "Yes, I've been seeing other people. You live too far away." And of course, I dumped him.


We decided to remain friends. And after 8 years of true friendship, we dated for about 3 months and have been married for 18years. So I lucked out and married my frog – who turned prince – after having 8 years to grow up.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

THAT's YAMORE Blogfest

We love blogfests. And we love good YA romance. So we're back, combining the two again in our second annual That's YAmore Blogfest.

Starting the Saturday before Valentine's Day (that's February 11th), we invite you to post 250 romantic, swoon-worthy words from your YA WIP. Then check out the entries from some of the other participants. (Just be sure you have a fan and/or a cold glass of water on hand.) We know your Valentine will appreciate you getting yourself in a romantic state of mind...

And, as an added bonus, this year we will select one lucky participant to win a swoon-worthy YA read, shipped direct from the Book Depository (meaning the contest is open internationally, so long as TBD ships to your country).

To sign up, follow these easy-peasy directions:

1. Enter your blog name in the Mr. Linky below
2. Get your post ready now and set the posting date to 12:01 AM on Feb. 11th (that way you won't forget)
3. Please don't post any erotica or pornography - this is YA!!
4. Make sure your post stays up all 4 days and is easy to find.


Here's my excerpt from my short story, Big Crush by LM Preston

We came up to the bottom step of my house. My nose wiggled as I tried to stop my glasses from falling off. But it didn’t help, they slid right off and bounced several times. I watched Randy’s head bend to pick them up. His brown eyes collided with my green ones. And he made a shocked noise.

“Wow. I didn’t know you had green eyes.” He snatched up my glasses and stared at me a second.

My heart wouldn’t stop thumping in my chest as I stared back at his brown eyes. Lost in them. I was frozen. The peppermint gum he gave me flattened out between my teeth.

In slow motion I watched him smile at me, and place my glasses back on my face. His fingers touched my nose, then my cheek then my ears when he adjusted them snuggly in place. I swallowed.

“Tiny! It’s time to go.” My grandma opened the screen door breaking the moment.

But Randy just smiled at me and said, “See you tomorrow. I hope.”

At last I caught my breath. “Where are we going?”

“La Madeline’s to meet your mom for dinner. Come on in and get washed up.”

In a daze I slowly walked up each step. Kimmee was the best friend of all. She gave me Randy all to myself. Even if I had to eat worms mixed with dirt to have him. He was so worth it.

Here's the link to the other YAMORE Blogfest

Thursday, February 9, 2012

This Means War - Movie Review

I was so excited that the meetup group I joined 'Movies and More' got pre-screening tickets to this movie you would have thought I won the lotto.


The basic premise for This Means War – ie. two CIA agents find out they’re dating the same woman – sounds like a variation on Mr. and Mrs. Smith… albeit, somehow even more (intentionally) ridiculous. So it’s perhaps appropriate that Smith co-scriber Simon Kingberg had a hand in scripting this new action-comedy, which was helmed by McG (the Charlie’s Angels movies).

Now we have an official trailer for This Means War, which focuses primarily on selling the film’s stylized action sequences – though, it still manages to cram in some laughs here and there.

This Means War stars Chris Pine (a.k.a. young Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboot) and Tom Hardy – soon to be known as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises – as “the world’s deadliest CIA operatives” and BFFs. However, the two agents eventually start utilizing their technical skills and advanced spy gadgetry to defeat one another in the battle for the heart of a woman named Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) who is dating the pair simultaneously.


This had comedy, romance, action, and it was just plain cute. Great 'Date Movie'! I took my husband and we went with over 38 members of our meetup movie crew. Male and females watched the movie, laughed with the movie, and gushed with the movie. It was just enough action with bad guys to keep the guys interested. Also great chemistry with all 3 characters. Not to mention eye candy for the ladies and female humor that made both men and women laugh out loud. My guy gave this a 4 'fist pump' and I gave it a 4.5 'dreamy sigh'.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Bennie's to Blogging

When I first considered blogging I did it because I read that it's a great way to build a platform. That every writer must have a blog. That blogging is fun.

Well, let me tell you, some of the advice was true, but some of it didn't even touch the surface of what blogging has become to me.


Blogging is actually fun for me. I enjoy coming up with my post and post regularly with my passions. Reading books with my daughter who post her reviews on my blog. Also my love of movies is something I love to post about. It’s enjoyable for me to have an audience to chat about some of my hobbies. In addition, it’s given myself and my kids a place to put our interest. My son has posted his video game reviews and all of my kids have been a guest and posted their book reviews since I personally feel that if I give a review on a MG or YA novel that it should be from the audience it’s intended for.


Now that I’ve gotten into blogging I realize that it is a great and powerful tool for some businesses. If done correctly blogging can capture and hold customers when the content is ripe and plentiful. Not to mention as a writer I could actually get a paid gig blogging for businesses. Sort of like writing for a publication – it just happens that the publication is a blog instead of a newspaper. Also, blogs can co-exist as another form for a company to share it’s ‘marketing copy’ it’s way of getting the masses excited about something it offers.


In this I think ‘meh’ maybe it works, but maybe not. I mean I have to admit I’m not quite a numbers hog and use my blog specifically to get over a million would be purchasers for my book. Maybe I should but I don’t. I enjoy blogging way to much. But I don’t quite know if I can honestly say I personally know an author that built a platform, got an agent, sold tons of books just because they blogged.

Now what blogging does do for an author is keep them writing, give them content to tweet about, content to re-cycle into articles, guest blog spots, facebook share, sale to other areas, showcase work, and meet other authors, bloggers, people who just dig them and what they write about.


I’ve followed lots of blogs that after awhile just die off. Or that are so sporatic I clean them out of my cue. However, when it’s not fun anymore, don’t do it. Life’s too short to do the things you hate – unless you have to put food on your table.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chronicle - Movie Review

Andrew (Dane DeHaan) is a socially awkward, introverted teen whose main form of escape and expression is a video camera. But things begin to change when Andrew, his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) and popular classmate Steve (Michael B. Jordan) discover a mysterious substance that leaves them with incredible powers. As their abilities become more powerful, the teens' lives spin out of control when their darker sides begin to emerge. Andrew's camera captures the unfolding events.


WOW! This one TOTALLY surprised me. I'm a super hero fan. Okay - fanatic (a little) but this movie blew my mind. Mainly because the way it was filmed made you feel like you were actually with the characters during this. I mean, I felt like part of the gang. Not to mention they became real and likeable to me. Also, it seemed realistic the way the boys characters developed, changed and made mistakes. Also the interaction between the boys seemed natural and reminded me of how my son is with his friends. The way it unfolds into a climatic end just - Wow! So you know what I'm giving this don't you? I FREAKIN' give it 5 shots out of 5. Ye-ah baby!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

C'mon My Friend's Having a FB Release Party!

Yeah Baby! You won't be bored this Friday night! No way. You've got to come on over to the COMPULSION RELEASE PARTY!

COMPULSION by Kymberlee Burks-Miller - buy her book here!

Welcome to the Compulsion Release Party line up!!! I am going to introduce you to everyone involved in making this event THE online PARTY of the year!! To the left, is the very same picture of Compulsion that is being for the party and if you click it, it will take you to the event~~So now on to the amazing people that are participating! This is a central location for ALL of their links. LOADS OF FREE STUFF will be up for grabs, and everyone gets a chance to win! BUT, at this party no one leaves empty-handed!! Door prizes for all that attend! **REMEMBER, it all kicks off Friday, February, 3rd at 12pm central/1pm eastern standard time and goes non-stop for 36 hours!!!
Away we go:

Here's the link for the star-studded guest list. Oh and there will be PRIZES!

And while you're there, go on, follow her blog. Share the love!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Most Young Adult novels have a sprinkle of a crush, love and attraction. With a majority female audience it’s perceived that love and attraction is a strong part of youth. And lets face it – it is.


Because it appeals to both male and female readers as long as it doesn’t consume the type of book when writing a Young Adult book that isn’t specifically a romance. I get many beta readers for my books, both male and female requested a bit of a love interest. It adds another dimension to the plot.

A SPRINKLE without SEX is good too

I personally don’t believe sex is necessary in a Young Adult book to such graphic detail unless it moves the plot. Adding a love interest, sex, physical aspect can turn off young readers. Writers should focus on the story they are trying to tell and not on how they describe sex in a scene for shock value. Readers can pick it up and may be turned off.


When writing a Young Adult book with a sprinkle of romance, there is no need to throw it in the readers face. Let it develop, do it with style, and make sure that your readers fall in love – as the characters are falling in love.


If you are not writing a Young Adult Romance, and you are putting in your sprinkle of love, don’t expect that to make your novel appeal to the young adult crowd. These readers want it all. They crave adventure, drama, mystery, love, and great pacing. So when you mix up your recipe to deliver a masterpiece for your willing and eager YA audience, make sure you don’t sell them short on depth and a great plot.