Tag Archives: drunks

Trilogy winner and a review that’s not a review

Yes, that blog post title sucks, but I just couldn’t bring myself to title it Winning! like I really wanted to.


I’m happy to announce the winner of the e-book of the Zellie Wells trilogy is Brenda Demko!  Yay, Brenda!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by during the blog hop and left a comment.  I love hearing from y’all. Also, big thanks to those of you that followed me on Twitter and Facebook and signed up for my newsletter and blog.

So, I went to see Young Adult yesterday. (Pardon the segway, I was up very late last night with my wheezing daughter…and I had a hard time putting down the book I’m reading .  Bad combo!) I wanted to see this movie the second I discovered it existed because it’s written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman- the Juno team. I totally loved Juno and could care less if it’s not cool to like Juno anymore.

Besides that, I had a few other reasons for wanting to see it.  I really dig Patton Oswalt – he’s so funny and truthful – I just think he needs to be in all movies. He did not disappoint in Young Adult. I also, obviously, wanted to see it because it’s about a YA author.  Lastly, I’ll admit there was a bit of a nostalgia thing going for me – the characters are my age and I wanted to see if they knew what they were doing yet. Like going to a high school reunion at someone else’s school.

In a nutshell, Young Adult is about Mavis Gary, an author who ghost writes a Sweet Valley High-type series. Mavis’ life is in the crapper and she goes  home to Mercury, Minnesota after being gone for a long time to win back her high school sweetheart, Buddy – who happens to be married and has a new daughter.

We’re supposed to hate Mavis, she’s in Charlize Theron’s body after all. She’s also an alcoholic and her emotions are in arrested development. She’s that popular girl who said hi to you once in the girls bathroom and asked for a stick of gum.  You’ll always remember it and she forgot it while it was happening.  Mavis disses her hometown, disses her parents and generally doesn’t care how her actions affect anyone around her.

Like I said, we’re supposed to hate her.  We’re supposed to think, “Ha ha popular chick, welcome to the real world.”

But I didn’t. I actually had a lot of empathy for her. I got that juxtaposition between having high school be your glory days and having those glory days take place in a town you couldn’t wait to get out of. I understood why she would dwell on the past. For me, as a young adult writer, your head is in that space more than most people.  You can’t help but have a hard time adjusting to adulthood because you spend a lot of time “pretending” you’re still seventeen.

You’re also used to rewriting your history a little bit in your books, so I found it believable that Mavis thought she could go back home and rewrite the ending to her teenage love affair.

Anyway, I don’t have much more to say about it.  It’s a good movie and I recommend you all see it, but it’s not sunshine and rainbows.  It depressed me in a weird, self-reflective way that I’m sure is not a normal reaction. 🙂

The strangest thing, after I went to see Young Adult, I picked my kids up at my parents house and they’d gotten into a box of my stuff in their garage.  My son handed me a scrap of cloth, which turned out to be the front of this guy’s skateboarding t-shirt I’d had up on my bulletin board since the 8th grade.

I don’t know what to do with it.  I can’t throw it away.


For a real review of Young Adult go here.


Oh, yes, it’s ladies weekend and #ROW80

I’m allowed to start looking forward to the weekend when it’s only Wednesday, right?  This week has sucked so far, as I’ve got a cold and my washer and dryer crapped out just when I really needed them.  Off to Best Buy we went and procured ourselves a new set.

They were delivered yesterday, but the outlet in my laundry room was designed for a range instead of a dryer. My poor house.  I love it.  It’s orange, has a tree growing in the center of it and has lots and lots of windows, but it was built in 1964 and has apparently had nothing but DIYers (including me) habitate under its skylights. Something always has to be updated or redone because it was slapped together with hillbilly carpentry.

Many thanks to Ben, an electrician, for coming out and putting a new outlet in on such short notice.  Also, thank you for being hot and having an accent. I can’t really remember anything you said to me, but the washer and dryer are all hooked up and I’ve got on clean underwear for the first time this week.

Yeah, so when that’s a highlight you can bet I’m ready for a weekend away with my girlfriends.

We go to my friend’s family cabin at the beach every November – In fact, I think this will be my 9th year. The only time I’ve missed it was when I was, like, two days away from giving birth to my son.  We all lounge about and read US and People magazine, drink Bud Light, eat junk food and just generally have a grown-up slumber party.  On Saturday we hit the outlet mall and get started on our Christmas shopping. We play card games and make up dance routines and try on each others’ clothes. There is some hair braiding, I won’t lie. We, without fail, burn our dinner on the first night and have something fried with ranch dressing on it at the bar the second night.

The best part is we get to be how we used to be for a weekend. Before husbands and kids and jobs and mortgages and all the have-to’s that come with getting older. I get called by my first name and no one asks me to get them anything besides maybe another beer. I can forget that I’m on my second set of washer and dryers in my adult life.

The next best part is on Sunday when we go home and get to see our husbands and kids and we offer to get them anything they want and it’s good to be called Honey and Mommy again.

No matter how successful I want to be as a mother and writer, how driven I am, how much I sacrifice “who I used to be,” it can’t all be about getting ahead.  Sometimes you have to relax, do some 8-counts, play Apples to Apples and not worry about word count or deadlines or if your kids have clean jammies.

My point: Acting like a jackass 18-year-old can be good for you. 🙂

ROW80: I wrote 376 words on Dissent on Tuesday and head plotted the rest of the scene last night while folding, you guessed it, laundry.

Let’s hear it for #Row80

Yes, I’m going to see the new Footloose tonight.  My greatest hope is that it’s like Original Footloose and Step-up had a baby.

The only thing I’m conflicted about is that I find both Kevin Bacon and Kenny Wormald attractive.  Do I have enough room in my pop culture heart for two Ren’s?  I’m sure it will depend on how much wine I have with dinner. Pastini’s Summer Sangria certainly improved my overall enjoyment of Daniel Craig in Cowboys and Aliens, so Wormald’s got a chance. (He totally wants my approval.)

ROW80 – Monday – came up with my short story idea for the Death by Chocolate anthology and had a RBR event in the evening. Tuesday – worked on my pen name story for a couple of hours. I cut two paragraphs and wrote another scene, but I haven’t been keeping track of word count because I don’t work on it that often. Wednesday – 345 words on Dissent. Yes, DoS #5 has a title! I’ve yet to come up with a good subtitle. Ass-kicking Lesbian Angels just doesn’t seem like the right fit. 🙂 I might get a few more words in on it today, but the kids are being clingy monkey children at the moment and not letting me concentrate.

I’m hoping to get some work done on the Glimpse pilot tomorrow before doing the second to last RBR stop at the Beaverton Library.

On the marketing front, lowering Glimpse to 99 cents on Amazon and BN seems to have done what I wanted it to – get more people reading the Zellie books!  Glimpse got a nice new review, the first its had in three months, so that’s happy.

Later days…

A dream come true! Sorta.

Well, my books are up at Powells.com.

Glow comes up immediately when you type Glow into the search feature. Same with Zellie Wells trilogy. Of course, they’re only available in paperback.

Glimpse and Glimmer come up if you change your search parameters to Electronic.  They aren’t available in paperback.

There aren’t any synopses on any of them, but all the Goodreads reviews transferred over for Glow.

If you’re a fan of random pricing, you can get Glimpse for $2.99, Glimmer for $4.43, Glow for $10.75 and the trilogy for $24.75.

Needless to say, I’m a bit underwhelmed with accomplishing this particular dream.  Therefore, I think I’m going to wait a while longer to post links until all the formats and prices even out. (Dear God, help a girl out. Surely you’ve got some pull at Google, those people owe you big time.)

I do get a kick out of seeing the books on the Powell’s site, though.

Now over at Google ebooks (which is responsible for all of this weirdness, as they are the distributor) I’m not so forgiving.  They deserve the WTF of the year award.  They’ve managed to import the reviews and synopsis for Glimpse from Amazon… along with the old cover, a random price and the predominant keyword of “death.”

Say you’re perusing Google books and you feel like reading about death.  Glimpse comes up.  You’re confused by the synopsis, but you see that it has lots of good reviews and a strangely alluring cover with a picture of a diner on it.  You click on it.  What you find is a different cover (although just as alluring) with a smiling girl on the front.  What does this chick have to do with death?  The description indicates that she’s the stalker of a boy named Avery, but it doesn’t appear that he dies or that she tries to kill him.  Hmm.  Maybe this keyword cloud at the bottom here will give me some insight.  Who the hell is Jenny Pox?  Why is I’ll highlighted? Why is Zellie’sZellie’s what?

Your guess is as good as mine, strange person that wants to read about death.

Your guess is as good as mine.

I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation…or do I?

I’ve been holding out on you.  Sort of.

Before I started writing YA novels I wrote most of a book, a novella at least, of memoir essays about all the horrible jobs I’ve had.  Every couple of months I click on my “Other writing” folder and read through them again.  Most of them are funny and all still make me laugh.  I used to get up to some ridiculous shenanigans in my youth. (Um, like, five years ago.)

There are some reasons why I haven’t published the essays:

1. I didn’t know how to transition from one essay to the next.  There is the common narrative thread of “sucky jobs” that runs throughout, but a block of the essays take place in my teens and another block in my mid-twenties.  Sometimes I’m in Missouri, sometimes Oregon, sometimes California.

2. Some of the essays are funnier than others.  So which is it?  Hilarious tales of my misspent youth, or “there are consequences to acting like a total jackass, kids.”  The tone is off.

3. The book isn’t long enough.  I need to add probably five more essays.  Can I even remember five more good stories?

4.  Should I put something out that is a completely different genre from what I’ve published already?  Will I alienate my current readers and/or gain some new ones?  I like reading memoir essays and paranormal YA novels, but how many other people do? 

5. I’ve already used my real name for the YA stuff, and a variation of that name for the grown-up paranormal writing.  With memoir, I can’t go changing my name for that.  It really, really is me.

6. Let’s just say I started out as a Zellie, moved on to be a Claire, and then had a few Flora years.  These essays are not something a 14-year-old should be reading.

A few of these reasons have worked themselves out in the last couple of days.

I read A Walk in the Snark by Rachel Thompson.  She’s a funny lady and I like her writing style.  Her book is also a good example for transitioning between essays (or in her case blog posts) that have a similar narrative thread (relationships) but are about different people and time periods.  So, I think I’ve got a handle on that.

As it turns out, I could think of five more stories.  In fact, I made a list and I thought of seventeen.

Last night, after I’d finished my Glow writing for the day, I wrote an introduction to the essays and started a new one.  I wrote about 2K on the new essay and will most likely finish it today after I finish the Glow chapter I’ve been working on.

I can check writing more essays off the list.

As for tone, I think the transitions will help even that out.  Also, I played around with the order of the essays last night and if I don’t read them chronologically, I come off as a more balanced person. 🙂

This leaves the genre question, the “outing my bad reputation” question, and to a lesser extent, the name question.  I’d love to hear what you all think about this.  Am I wasting my time putting a book together that I shouldn’t publish?


One Year

It’s my indieversary!  And stop haterz, self-publishversary just doesn’t sound as good, okay? 🙂

Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been a published writer for a year! A year that started and ended just before my birthday, so, to me, age 35 will always be the year I got my act together and finally started doing what I wanted with my life.

I’d like to thank my readers for buying my books, writing reviews, and helping me realize my dream of making a living from writing.

A big awkward girlie high-five to all the book bloggers who have reviewed my books, interviewed me, spread the word and held contests.  I appreciate the support you’ve given me and I hope you all know how instrumental you are in helping to build my writing career.

To all the writers I’ve become friends with this year, let’s have a convention or something.  And by convention, I mean a big party where we all drink beers, quote Buffy and get to hang out in person.  You guys are the best.  Thanks for showing me the ropes and commiserating and having my back.  Thank you for writing books that don’t suck and feeding my reading habit as well. 🙂

Soooooooo many thanks to Sarah, my BFF. Thanks for the editing and suggestions and chats on FB and all the Busch Light/ Masterpiece Theatre evenings.  If you like what I write, then I know it’s good enough. 🙂

Eleventy-billion hugs and kisses to my sister for lovingly and repeatedly telling me to get off my ass and write a book already.  Thanks for believing in me!

And to my family – my crazy kids, my long-suffering-at-his-horrible-job-so-I-could-make-a-go-of-being-a-writer husband, my fantastically supportive parents – I love and appreciate you all more than you could know!

I don’t really have anything brand spankin’ new to give away right now, but if you all would like an e-copy of Day of Sacrifice Vol. 1-3, simply leave your e-mail in the comments and I’ll send you the Smashwords code.

Thanks to everyone for making my first year as an indie author a fabulous one and here’s to the next year being just as great!

#ROW80 part deux and other good things

Round two of ROW80 starts on April 4th.  To sign up, go here.  I’m not saving anything up for it this time as I’ve already taken a little break before starting work on Glow, so I’ll just keep working on that. 

So, yeah, GOALS: Finish Glow.  Edit Glow. Send Glow to betas. Edit Glow again.  Publish Glow.  That is it. I’m all about the Glow, people. 🙂

Except: My brain is crazy and I had a fab idea for a rom-com at 3 in the morning the other day.  Thus, there might be some noodling on The Five Engagements of Ruby McClure and I’ve also got the 4th DoS story, Takeover, to bust out at the end of this round.

But THAT IS ALL.  Really. I’m not working on anything else!

Now for some links to things that other hardworking folks are doing:

Jessica Subject is a writer and book blogger who is celebrating the blogoversary for her blog, Mark of the Stars this April.  There will be author interviews, reviews, guest blogs and giveaways aplenty. The schedule is here. My post is on April 25th.  I’ve offered up e-copies of all of my books for the massive month-long giveaway.  There are soooo many good things to win!

Today over at Electrifying Reviews, you can enter to win a paperback copy of Angela Charlie’s debut, Dream Smashers!  It’s international, y’all!

Keyboard Hussy, (otherwise known as Evelyn Lafont) is having a party on Facebook to celebrate the release of her new book The Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 1: Meeting and Mating. Check here for all the deets.

And, if you get the chance, please remember to tell everyone you have ever known that likes to read e-books that Glimpse is 99 cents for the month of April on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.  That would be swell of you.

Now back to working on Glow.  I finally got all the characters out of their respective cars.

Shamrock shakes

Just a quick post today!  Happy St. Patty’s day, everyone!  I’ve got my shamrock socks on and plan on doing some editing and cleaning of the house. Boo.  The weather is crap and I’m longing for the St. Patty’s days of yore when I’d be gearing up to go to Brennan’s in Venice Beach for green beers and to watch people get in awesome bar fights at noon.  Today I’m settling for a Diet Coke and listening to the Pogues while I clean the bathroom.

This getting old thing kinda blows sometimes.  The upside, of course, is tomorrow I’ll be clear-headed and my lips won’t be green. 🙂

Lara Dunning has posted her review of Rebellion on her blog today.  You can check that out here.  Stay tuned for an interview with me and a giveaway on Sunday. 

Also, a head’s up about pricing:  I raised the price of the DoS stories to $1.29.  You can still get them for $1 on Amazon and various Smashwords distribution sites, like Kobo and Apple, until the new price change winds its way through the system.  So, if you’ve been waiting to get them, you might wanna do that now before they go up 29 cents.   OR, you can wait a couple weeks and get the first three stories all together for $2.99.  Your other option is not buying them at all because you think I suck.  🙂

I promise I haven’t been drinking.  Really.

Tour o’ the blogs and #ROW80 update

I am about to embark on a crazyass week.  The Glimpse blog tour starts on Monday.  It was put together by Jessica from The Teen Book Scene.  Jessica was one of the first people to review Glimpse on her blog and she is a total sweetheart.  She does blog design too, yo. The first stop on the tour will be at Bri Meets Books.

In addition to that, there is of course, Valentine’s Day on Monday.  The hubs and I are going out to dinner at a yummy restaurant.  He got me a gift that I saw on the credit card statement and will pretend I don’t know about and I purchased him some sort of Dremel something-or-other that he picked out while we were at Home Depot today.  I know, we’re so romantic. 

On Tuesday night I’m going to see Ke$ha with Sarah and our girlfriend Erica.  Nope, you read that right.  My 35-year-old ass is going to see Ke$ha.  I will, however, not be brushing my teeth with Jack Daniels prior to going out for the night.  Because…

my little sister could have her baby at any moment!!  She’s due on Thursday, but both of my kids were early, so ya never know.  Therefore, no drinking this week.  Can’t be tipsy while trying to coach a new life into the world.  Drinkin’s fer afterwards. 🙂  UPDATE:  My sis went to the hospital last night and we expect my niece to make her arrival later today!

Exciting stuff, so follow along, I’ll be posting every day!

ROW80-wise I had an awesome week, y’all!!  Fine-damn-dinally!!  I made breakthroughs in the scenes that were scaring me in both Glow and Dormant.  And, of course, once I started writing these scenes I was so worried about, they totally flowed!

Here’s the rundown: Su-246 on Glow. M-443 on Dormant, 84 on Glow. T-finished 2 blog posts for the tour and did final final edits on If You Leave. W-848 on Glow. Th-took the day off to clean my disaster of a house and catch up on my programs. F-500 on Dormant. S-367 on Dormant. 

I have high hopes for getting more words in on Dormant on Sunday.  I left off in the middle of a sex scene just to keep myself interested. 🙂

Total word count this week: 2,488.  My original goal was 3,000, but I’m happy with this.  I didn’t count the blog posts.

I also only wrote two personal blog posts this week instead of three, but will be blogging every day this week.  Close enough!

Just for fun:

You know I’ma gonna be rockin’ my sequined bolero.

Okay, I’m off to watch Machete with the hubs.  I told you we were super romantic.  Have a great week you guys!

Tuesday is the new Monday

Greetings!  It feels like we’re having a snow day at the Benefiel house, even though it isn’t supposed to snow until tonight.  By not getting myself or the kids out of our pajamas (it is now 2 in the afternoon) I have basically confined us to our house.  I didn’t have any plans to go anywhere today, but if we do end up having a real snow day tomorrow I may regret the laziness of today. 🙂

The girl woke me up a little before 6 this morning and on days like this I’m pretty useless at writing.  But since being a writer is my job, I have to find other things to do that take less brain power.  The other day I changed my Twitter handle from @MomJeans1975 to @Stacey_WB.  Today I decided it was finally time to tackle the hell that has been my Facebook fan page. 

Way back in the beginning of all this I got some cruddy advice that you should make a fan page for every book you publish.  Therefore my FB fan page was named Glimpse-Zellie Wells Book 1.  Catchy, ain’t it?  Who the hell is going to be able to find me with THAT as the name?  Also, it was linked directly to my personal FB profile.  Well, if you friended me because you like my books, I’m not sure you’re all that interested in reading my status updates about my kids and the Ducks or seeing pictures of me in 1993 wearing  my leather motorcycle jacket drinking Jack Daniels when I was in college. (I don’t know, maybe you do.  I told you all I used to be cool.) 

Some of you are still on my personal page because we talk about stuff other than writing or we’ve just newly become friends and I didn’t want you to think I was dissing you.  Feel free to unfriend me on my personal page and refriend me on my author page.  The author page link is here.  I deleted all the people I never talk to who just like to send me spam.  If you’re one of those people (which I’m thinking none of you are) then, yes, I was dissing you.

How are everyone’s sales?  I can’t tell.  I think mine are steady.  They are more than the first weeks of December but less than the last weeks of December.  Rebellion has been doing okay-I’m still waiting for more reviews to come in.  A word about rankings: It would be much appreciated if people would adjust their number of stars from Goodreads to Amazon accordingly.  On GR a 2 is “I thought it was okay,” on Amazon a 2 is “Didn’t like it.”  And so on.  I’ve been getting some 3’s on Amazon that really should be 4’s is what I’m sayin.’  Some people adjust and some don’t.  I’m also mentioning this because one of my books has ten 5 star reviews and one 2 star review, which kind of makes the 2 star person look mean, but it’s actually a good review.

Wasn’t I going to stop reading reviews? LOL

One last thing before I go clean up the latest disaster my kids have made (I’ve mopped up both milk and apple juice today, swept up Play-Doh, and picked dog food out of the bark dust in the atrium.  There is now talk of finger painting.) I’m not even going to recommend that you all read Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan, I’m just gonna tell you to do it. 🙂  I thought it was a phenomenal book and if you liked Glimpse, you’ll love it.

Back tomorrow for an ROW80 update.  Until then, here’s a killer review of Rebellion from Jennifer at Book Noise.