Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Plans for Post-surgery Recuperation Time

As some of you may have heard, I need to go for a knee surgery in a couple of weeks. I injured my knee (that was already bad to begin with) during training. This is also going on as we're trying to move into our new house.

So what's the silver lining?? Well, reading and writing time, of course!

My plans for the knee-surgery recuperation time:

1) Work on 2, but possibly 3 (yes, 3!) WIPs

2) Catch up on a lot of reading from the TBR pile!

I will update you on how that plan is working out! ;)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quote of the Day

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.
~ Gail Sheehy

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Contests & Giveaways in the Writing World - Week of April 22nd

Why love Monday, you ask? Well, it's because Monday is a start of a great week of Contests & Giveaways, of course!

We all need some kindness in this world, and especially at this time. Tina Moss is inviting you to "catch kindness and pass it on". Tell her your Catching Kindness story and you'll get a chance to win a $10 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble! What a beautiful way to start your week!

Reviewers and Buyers of the books by Stephanie Lisa Tara are welcome to enter for a chance to win Kindle Fire! Check out an excerpt of her book Eliza's Forever Trees at Leisure Reads!

Win an autographed ARC of Vigilante Nights by Erin Richards by entering the giveaway on GoodReads.

Hurry to Book Lovin' Mamas to see all the great giveaways going on there! Today, enter to win a copy of Undone by Sara Humphreys, as well as read a Q&A Interview with her.

The Book Nympho (love the blog title!) is reviewing Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson. Enter for your chance to win one of 5 limited edition pack swag T-shirts.

Parajunkee is giving away a signed paperback copy of Prophecy Girl by Cecily White.

Win an e-copy of Death Lies Between Us by Jody Kessler from Alythia Brown.

*As always, please contact me for the inclusion of your contests/giveaways into the Monday Contests and Giveaways in the Writing World posts.

Have fun and good luck! 

Also, don't forget to become a follower of this blog to make sure you catch giveaways coming soon!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quote of the Day

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. 
~ Helen Keller

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Arts & History Feature - Interior Design

Today, the post for this feature is going to be different than usual. It's not about history or art. Since my hubby and I just bought our first home and are neck-deep in interior design ideas, I wanted to post a few pictures of interior design that I love and that is giving me inspiration. We're definitely going for a more minimalistic, modern and clean look, but also warm and cozy. A tough balance to achieve.
Of course, this is only ideas and inspiration, from which we're taking bits and pieces, not the entire room design (although some of the rooms below I'd love to take whole if I could and if it fit!)

Enjoy these interior design inspirations.


Looks so peaceful!

I'd love this view!

Living Rooms and Dining Areas:

A pool in the living room. Why not? ;)

Accessories and pieces:

What are you favorites? What is your interior design style?

Quote of the Day

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

  ~ Babe Ruth

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Liebster Award - 11 Fun Facts About Me and The Next Nominees

I'm so excited to have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Awards by my awesome writing partner and friend, Tina Moss. What is it, you ask? Well, I have to tell you 11 fun facts about myself, answer 11 questions and then tag 11 wonderful writers to do the same. What a great way to get to know the writing community and connect with other writers!

So here goes.

11 Fun Facts About Me:

1. I was born in Kiev, Ukraine and came to America when I was 13. Even though I'm fluent in Russian (speaking and reading), I now think entirely in English and sometimes have a hard time finding the correct Russian words when I use them more in English.
2. I'm a 2nd Degree Black Belt (2nd Dan) and hoping to go for my 3rd Degree soon. The style of Martial Arts that I practice is called Shotokan Karate and it is a traditional Japanese karate. I've always been fascinated with all things Martial Arts, since I was a child.

Training with my niece, who's a brown belt     

At the Dojo

3. I got my Masters in Publishing but I've never worked in publishing.
4. My hubby and I recently bought our very first house. We still haven't moved in but hoping to in the next couple of weeks and I'm very excited.
5. My baby is a 14-year old Siamese cat, who is the last of the three cats we had. This is the first time in his life that he's by himself and the first time he's an alpha cat. He's enjoying all the attention being lavished on him.

Bones. Look at that beautiful face...
6. When I was little (around 10-12 years old) I was writing a half autobiographical story and I would have family readings of my progress.
7. I met one of my dearest friends and now my writing partner, Tina Moss, at the Dojo. We took all the tests together all the way to black belt.

Dangerous chicks. Tina Moss and I.

8. I also met my hubby at the Dojo (that he's the owner of).
9. I'm a Gemini and my interests are very varied and come and go in waves (although, most interests are ones that I maintained throughout my life).
10. I want to travel all over the world. So far, I've been to Italy, France, Mexico, Greece and Poland.

With hubby in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome
My dream of visiting Louvre in Paris came true last summer!

11. I try to always see the best in people.

Eleven questions:
1. Who is the author you admire most? Too many to list. Michael Bulgakov, Ray Bradbury, Ilona Andrews and many others.
2. Why do you write (in five words or less)? Because it makes me happy.
3. What is your favorite genre to read? I'll give you two - Urban Fantasy and Historical Fiction
4. Who is your biggest inspiration? Again, I'll mention two. My hubby, Thomas Casale and my writing partner, Tina Moss. They both achieved so much in their lives, despite of numerous roadblocks and challenges. And they both taught me to never give up.
5. What advice would you give to new writers? Don't ever give up on your dreams.
6. What is your favorite hobby? Reading.
7. Are you a cat or dog person? This one is tough. I'm both. Used to be a very dog person until I met my husband who had 3 cats at the time. They all became my babies. We only have one now.
8. Where is your ideal vacation spot? A tropical beach anywhere.
9. What is a place you want to visit, but haven't yet? This one is no brainer - definitely Japan!
10.What is the meaning of life in one word (or number) *wink* I'll answer this one with a picture:

11. If you're on a deserted island, what are three things you must have? 1) My Nook (with an abundant source of battery power that never runs out 2) Pad and pen or pencil to write and sketch the island 3) A big knife, a versatile tool as well as a weapon to defend myself.

 New Nominees for the Liebster Award:

Brenda Corey Dunne
Vicki Lemp Weavil
Hope Adon
AL Jackson
Carrie Butler
Lilly VanHorn
Allison Duke
Tee Tate
F.J.R. Titchenenell
Ebony McKenna
Tierney Fowler

You new questions:
1. When did you start writing?
2. Who is the one author you'd like to sit down with and talk if you could?
3. Who is your favorite fictional character?
4. Beach house, country house or city appartment?
5. What is your favorite time of year?
6. What is your favorite sport or fitness activity?
7. What is one bad habit you have?
8. Tea or coffee?
9. What is your favorite TV show?
10. If you could only own one book, what would it be?
11. What is your favorite fruit?

The Liebster Rules:
1. The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by bloggers.
2. Each blogger should post 11 facts about himself / herself.
3. Each blogger should answer the 11 questions that are asked by the nominating blogger.
4. Choose 11 new bloggers to nominate for the Award and link to them in the post.
5. Create 11 new questions for your nominees.
6. Go back to their pages and tell them they’ve been nominated.
7. No tag backs.

If you were already tagged or don't have time to do this, please feel free to skip this :) If you want to play, please follow the rules listed above and have fun!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How Do You Feel When You Write?

Today, I have a question for you - How Do You Feel When You Write?

When I write, I feel happy. I feel a sense of satisfaction and joy when the words flow out of me and on the page. At times, I feel frustrated when the blank screen/page is staring back at me and I feel the words inside but can't get them out. Sometimes I feel angry at myself for not being disciplined enough to write more. But when I get back on track, I feel a sense of fulfillment that drives me on. I feel like I can do anything in those moments. When the characters develop and come alive, I either feel like I'm a creator, a powerful feeling indeed, or as if they are my old friends. Yet other times, I want to be them. And they are all a part of me.

So my question to you, dear readers, is


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