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Who are you? Melissa Sugar in 10 Words or Less

What defines you? What Makes You Special? What Makes us Alike? 

Who are you? In 100 Words or Less? In Ten Words or Less

Who is Melissa Sugar? 

This is not an original idea and it did not originate with me. I come across blogs and blips and face book pages and loads of questionnaires all the time that say things like," Can you describe yourself in ten words... or twenty words... or fifty words.

The blogger most known for this little exercise is Kristen Lamb. If you don't know who she is, Kristen Lamb is the author of We Are Not Alone: The Writers Guide To Social Media and Are You There Blog It's Me, Writer. Both books are easy reads and the author has a humorous and unique way of explaining social media for writers.

Lamb is also know for her informative and resourceful Warrior Writers Website and her writing group, My WANA (We Are Not Alone), but she is probably best known for creating a program designed to help writers navigate the sometimes choppy waters of Social Media by constructing a solid platform geared toward branding ourselves as authors.  

I have read both of her books and the information is invaluable. Kristen also offers on-line writing and business classes for writers. I have been looking into them and one of her methods that continually stands out in her books, classes, website and on a plethora of blogs I have read is to list one hunderd (100) words that best describe you. 

We all wear many hats and show many different faces to different people. I wear a mommy hat, wife hat, employee, employer, lawyer, writer, blogger, friend....

I also have many different faces. I show a different mommy face to my younger kids than to my older kids and a different face when I am happy or proud than I do when I am disappointed or upset. I show a different mommy face to the friends of my kids than I show to teachers or other parents. You see where this is going?

So try this exercise: Tell us who you are in 100 (or less) words or short phrases. You can use words that show who you are by the activities you enjoy, personality traits, pet peeves, hobbies, food, beverage.... you have unlimited choices.

Here's me:

Mom, wife, lawyer, writer, blogger, sister, daughter, creative, planner, friend, loyal, flawed, pink, competitive, outgoing, forgiving, smart-ass, impatient, outdoorsy, water, beach, sand, ocean, waves, pina colada, wine, mystery, suspense, tardy, authentic, genuine, nighttime person, love to sleep in, running, swimming, tanning, reading, sisterhood, family, shopping, vacation, cranky, moody, sarcastic, humor, optimistic, inquisitive, romance, holding hands, hugs, kissing, travel, adventurous, yoga, pilates, meditation, mantra, chaos, unorganized , want to be organized, smart, strong, determined, persistent, supportive, giving, smart phone, flip flops, stilettos, barefoot, gardening, justice, morals, naps, rain, optimistic, drama hater, anti-bully, tender, emotional, relax, diet coke, mexican food, margaritas, martinis, gambling, poker, football, saints, New Orleans, black jack, risk taker, impulsive, nurturer, quirky, thrill seeker.

Here is the blog post that got me started on this: Jenny Hanson

Myndi Shafer took the 100 words or less a giant step further and defined herself in 10 words or less. This is when it gets hard. Myndi was taking one of Kristen Lamb's classes when she posted her ten words or less. It is not a new post, but a fun one to read if you have not already. 

If you are interested in taking a class. Lamb offers webinars beginning in October. Check out the different levels offered for Blogging To Build An Author Brand

Now, whittle that list down to ten (10) words for an idea about how to brand yourself. The instructions for then ten word list say to leave off the obvious, you know like: writer, mom, wife, reader etc. and dig into the real you that is not obvious to the world.

1. Brave
2. Skeptical 
3. Forgiving
4. Protective
5. Loyal
6. Quirky
7. Impulsive
8. Inquisitive
9. Beachy
10. Fitness

Wow, that was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Can you define yourself in ten words or less? I would love to read your ten words in the comment section.

I am still giving away one copy of Jennifer Hiller's Freak, to a random commenter from each post until I get to ten. The first few were purchased and delivered. I will catch up with the last three notified (last week). You will receive your books this week.

Strength- Carrie Butler's Book Cover Reveal

Congratulations to The Amazing, Awe-inspiring Carrie Butler

I am delighted to reveal the book cover for one of my most favorite blogger/author friends. 

If you don't already know Carrie Butler  then you need go to her blog right now and get to know her. She is not only an amazing writer, but she designed her own book cover and her sexy, steamy book trailer. I am in awe of this multi- talented woman

Carrie is also one of the most down to earth friendly people I have come across in this wonderful writing/blogging community. She is always supportive of her fellow bloggers in a big way.  I just love it when one of our own- one of our writing friends is successful. It is my honor to spread the word.

Check out the book cover for STRENGTH.

Wallace Blake is hot, hot, hot.

STRENGTH is a new adult paranormal romance that is scheduled for release on March 13, 2013,  from Sapphire Star Publishing. Well, at least I will have the book cover to fantasize over until then.

Read more about Carrie Butler, the handsome Wallace Blake and her book, STRENGTH, on her Website, or check out her blog, So, You're a Writer, where she post every Monday. You can also catch Carrie on TwitterFacebook, and Google Plus.

You can find STRENGTH on Goodreads and Facebook.

I am certain I would not have the STRENGTH to stay away from Wallace Blake. I would have to risk it all. He is just that damn good looking and sexy. Where did you imagine him from, Carrie? I want some male characters from inside your mind.

Carrie Butler is a talented and wonderful romance novelist. In addition, she is a marketing graduate and a freelance artist (Yup, she showed us some good artist work here). I am still drooling.

Read on for a short Synopsis of STRENGTH:

When College student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to chest with the campus outcast, she's stunned. Wallace Blake is everything she's ever wanted in a man-except he can't touch her. His uncontrollable strength, a so-called gift from his bloodline, makes his every interaction dangerous. And with a secret, supernatural war brewing among his kind, there's no time to work it out. To keep Wallace in her life, Rena will have to risk a whole lot more than her heart.

I say, risk it, baby!

I always did go for the bad guy or outcast in college. They are so much for seductive and dangerous.

If Carrie's book cover for STRENGTH has you all hot and bothered then just wait until you watch the book trailer.

Sensational job, Carrie!  I'm looking forward to reading what promises to be a stimulating, new adult- paranormal romance.

What I Did Last Summer. Fact Or Fiction?

What I Did Last Summer: Fact or Fiction Bloghop

If you are here for the  Gearing Up To Get An Agent blogfest, hosted by the amazing and wonderful Deana Barnhart  then scroll down to the post just before this one or click here.

So what did I do last summer?

This bloghop brought to you by the awesome Emily King and the equally amazing and talented Melodie Wright

It was a spur of the moment road trip. My husband was unable to get off work so I grabbed a friend and we loaded the suburban full of our kids and some of their friends for what should have been a twenty minute ride to our lake house.

     I'm not one to normally deviate from the plan, but the kids began pleading with us to take them cliff diving in Lindale, Texas. Unfortunately, I was unable to reach all the parents for permission so I quickly nixed the idea. Then the begging and pleading took on a life of its own.
     "C'mon mom. Please. You never do anything fun or adventurous ." Dangerous was the word swimming through my brain, but we crossed the state line an hour later. As our trip was unplanned, we lacked the necessary gear, but a tour of Walmart took care of that problem.

     "Isn't it a federal offense to take kids across a state line without parental permission?" My friend chimed in my ear as we slid down the clay road leading to the one-hundred-foot cliffs. "This isn't kidnapping? Is it?" Oh great. Now she was worried.
     "They've all traveled with us at some point before." I answered, my confidence belying the sinking feeling in my gut. "So, one could argue that we have implied consent for our adventure."
      An hour later we descended down to the launch pad. I was the last to hurl my body head first into the blue lagoon of salt water that had formed from an old salt mine. With my heart racing even faster than I could run, I dove off the cliff. My heart clawed up into my throat. I was unable to speak until I emerged from the water. It was the most frightening and exhilarating five seconds of my life.
     For the next three hours we swam and floated (sans raft ) on the glassy salt water until the sun disappeared behind the cliffs. I felt like I had traveled to the Red Sea.

     Exhausted from climbing and jumping we booked three rooms at the nearest hotel where we finally reached each parent to assure them we would be home the next day. I slipped my cell phone into my purse, letting out a sigh of relief. We would not be featured on the next episode of America's Most Wanted after all. 
     Most of the parents of the kids who accompanied us on our spur of the moment adventure had just viewed clippings from our excursion on you tube-courtesy of my thirteen year old daughter and were happy to know we all had a good time and that everyone was safe.

Fact or Fiction: You make the call.

Don't forget, I am still selecting one random winner from the comment section to win a copy of Jennifer Hiller's latest thriller, Freak. 
Ten winners in all. Seven more can win.

Geaing Up To Get An Agent

Are You Geared Up To Get An Agent? 

Meet & Greet: Let's Get it on

If you are here for the  What I Did Last Summer: Fact or Fiction bloghop, I will post my story this evening. This post is already quite lengthy as is my fact or fiction story and I did not want to overwhelm my readers. Please check back at 9:00 P.M CST.

Deana Barnhart
It is time to meet & greet and get to know one another. I have been waiting for this day since last year. I started blogging during the month of September 2011, and I was so bummed that I missed the deadline and was unable to participate. Like I always say, we are exactly where we are supposed to be. What do I mean by that?

 I couldn't have known it, but this time last year,  I was not even close to ready to begin querying agents. This past year I have learned so much from blogging and from the amazing people I have met through social networking.  If I had signed up last year I would have struck out and thankfully I have learned enough to understand why.  I am certainly not saying that my writing has improved so much that I will land an agent during this years GUTGAA.  I am saying that at least I can make it up to bat.

Thank you Deana Barnhart for hosting the Gearing Up To Get An Agent (GUTGAA) blogfest.

If you are here for the  What I Did Last Summer : Fact or Fiction bloghop, hosted by Emily R. King and Melodie Wright. I will post my story at 9:00 PM CST. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. I don't want to overload you with a mega long post.

About Me:

I am a full time mom and a part time lawyer and a writer. My husband and most people I know think I am odd or quirky (but not in a bad way- so I am told ). Maybe I should be worried.  l love life and my family is so important to me. I was a prosecutor for twenty years in Louisiana, and Florida, before going into private practice as a criminal defense attorney. I love to write (duh),  read and spend time with my family at the beach.

 In fact I like doing anything that involves water-swimming, skiing, boating, anything. I live in Louisiana and I am proud of our culture. I am outgoing. I am a very loyal person and I detest backstabbing, gossiping (the kind intended to hurt someone) and bullying. I eat peanut butter on just about everything. I wear mismatched socks and once I even wore one blue and one black shoe to court. This is a true story. They were the exact same shoe, just different colors and the blue was very dark.  I write mystery, suspense, and thrillers. I read every genre. I've made a lot of mistakes, but feel fortunate to have learned from them. I don't know if aging has matured me or what, but am no longer bothered by small stuff or petty people.  That's me in a nutshell.

Where Do you Write:  

Anywhere & everywhere. My favorite place to write is in the car. I accomplish so much while I am waiting in carpool lines or for my kids at soccer or cheer practice. I am alone, without distractions and because I have a reason for being parked for over an hour in the same spot, people don't look at me like I am some kind of crazed stalker. I love the freedom of writing in a parked car. I control whether or not I will answer the phone. I get into a zone and churn out thousands of words and I am a little sad when I realize that the hour is up and the car must roll forward.

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?

This is embarrassing.  I see a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, an ashtray , two empty diet coke cans, one full can, and my cell phone sitting on top of Larry Brooks' Story Engineering. (I have a desk next to my bed where I usually write at home, but I am outside writing by the pool because the weather is so nice) That's my pitiful excuse for the cigarettes.

Favorite Time To Write: 

Late at night. I am most creative and productive from about 10:30 PM  - 1:30 AM

Drink Of Choice While Writing:
Iced tea or sometimes white wine

When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

I am really weird. I cannot write to music. I find it too distracting, but I can write with the television on low in the background. I do not like complete silence-ever.

What was the inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?

I prosecuted a woman about ten years ago and early on I had some real doubts about her guilt. This changed as the investigation continued. She eventually confessed in exchange for a plea bargain. We took the death penalty off the table and she plead guilty to second degree murder with a life sentence. The victim was an influential, powerful, married man. So I started thinking: What if someone like this woman was charged with murder? What if she was truly innocent? What if no one believed her because of the victim's political connections? I added things like a pregnancy, a judicial cover up and so on, but that one petite, pretty woman who looked more like a school teacher than a cold blooded killer stayed with me for years - until I finally had to explore someone like her by writing a story.

What is your most valuable writing tip?
I already knew this answer, but recently discovered how valuable it can be. I am not a plotter, but lately I'm working to change that. I took a course offered by Holly Lisle and I recently read a short, but powerful book written by Cathy Yardley,  Rock Your Plot.  In Rock Your Plot, I completed a detailed scene outline and then a second more succinct scene outline that included only the chapter number, scene number, POV, and the goal, motivation, conflict and disaster for the main character of each scene. Only one line is allowed per scene. For Holly Lisle's workshop, it was called the sentence lite card.
For each scene you write one sentence (if you need more than one, you are not doing it right), that includes what the protagonist wants and why, what the antagonist wants and why, what happens (conflict), where it happens (setting) and the twist.

My husband recently lost my briefcase and I was hysterical. I had a few of my notebooks inside. I write my entire first draft with pen and paper and then transfer it to my computer. The notebooks contained several scenes that I had not transferred to my laptop. I thought I would lose my mind and kill him (I was going for an insanity plea at my trial, lol)
 But, then I remembered the work I did with Lisle and Rock Your Plot. Much to my amazement, I was able to rewrite the ten missing scenes quite easily because of my GMCD and Sentence lites. 

So my tip: Have a backup of everything you write and it can only help if you plot your scenes with note cards or Scrivener before you write . I love Scrivener.

And a general tip that I learned from Martha Alderson, author of The Plot Whisperer. This is my mantra:

I will not go back to the beginning until I reach the end.

The second winner of Jennifer Hiller's thriller, Freak, has asked that I remove his name from the drawing and draw again. He already owns a copy of Freak. Thank you for being so gracious. So tonight when I draw the 3rd winner, I will also draw another winner from my second post that offers this prize. 

In case you are wondering what I am blabbing about. I am selecting one person randomly from the comment section of my blog post. There will be ten winners in all. For each of my next eight post, a new winner will be announced. The prize is a copy of Jennifer Hiller's latest thriller, Freak.

It is nice to meet you all and I am looking forward to making new friends. Please check back tonight for my fact or fiction story that is part of the What I Did Last Summer bloghop. 

Can't Miss Blog Events: Gearing Up To Get an Agent

Gearing Up To Get An Agent (GUTGAA) 

Deana Barnhart

Hosted by Deana Barnhart. Click on her name and you will be directed to her blog and a schedule list for GUTGAA.

What I Did Last Summer: Fact or Fiction Bloghop

Hosted by Emily R. King and Melodie Wright

Is it Really September? Already?

I suppose it should not come as too much of a shock to me. I mean school started weeks ago. So, what's up with that? This starting school in the muddle of August (might as well be the middle of summer) may be the norm for you youngsters out there, but back in my day (revealing age here), we began the new school year after Labor Day.  Now-  kids are half way to the first grading period by Labor Day.

Yesterday was my anniversary. Which brings me back to the damn schools starting so early. When you have kids in school you can't really take off on an exotic vacation for your anniversary . Well, I suppose we couldn't take off on an exotic vacation for a variety of reasons, but it gives me one more reason to bitch about school starting so early. Do any of you remember having real summers? Real- three or 3+ months of summer?

Since we couldn't take that exotic vacation we did manage to get away for the weekend sans kids. We spend two nights at one of the local casinos, The Horseshoe. If you try really hard to pretend you are not in Louisiana, driving up to to beautiful fountain out front can make you believe you are in Vegas. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? It's not even close. But, it doesn't matter where you are as long as you are with your loving spouse - you can make a weekend trip to a local hotel very romantic. Enough said. Oh and I did win some money. My husband does not really count it as "real winning" or real playing because it is not one of the games that require skill. I say, if you win a thousand bucks on a slot machine it is the exact same kind of money you win at the craps table-if you win. By the way- he did not win any money at any of his real casino games- the games that require- skill.

I want to mention an upcoming bloghop . Emily King over at Get Busy Writing and Melodie Wright over at Forever Rewriting are hosting a fun blog hop:

What I did last summer: fact or fiction

I promised myself that I would not sign up for anymore bloghops or blogfest unless I was absolutely certain I could follow through with the commitment. This is because I feel terrible for letting people down over the summer by signing up for events when I knew I probably would not have to time to participate. So I waited until the very last minute for Emily and Melody's bloghop, but in the end, it sounded like way too much fun to pass up.

For more information you will need to pop over to Get Busy Writing and read the rules and add your name to the list of participants. It takes place from September 3-7 , 2012. Your first post is due on Tuesday, September 3rd, where you write a story (under 500 words) about something you did last summer. Here is the fun part: it can be fact or fiction, but don't tell us which. Later in the week you will write another story and then on Friday you will reveal which one of your stories was true and which story was fiction. This has the potential for unprecedented fun!

I started blogging last year just after Deana Barnhart's Gearing Up To Get An Agent blogfest took off. I remember clicking on blog after blog and everyone, I mean everyone seemed to be participating. I was so jealous. I wanted to play. I wanted to gear up to get an agent. But, I was a blogger newbie and I had missed the sign up deadline. Truth be told, I am certain now that I was not even close to ready to find an agent this time last year. A lot can happen in a year. I have been waiting all year to sign up for Deana's 2012 GUTGAA blogfest. Well, the time is here. 
Deana Barnhart

Click on the above picture and it will take you to the sign up page. You can also select your own badge from quite a few cool ones- to put on your blog or website.  This is an event you do not want to miss.

It begins on Monday, September 2, 2012, with a meet and greet. I am told that many lasting friendships were formed during this meet and greet last year. There will also be an agent pitch with at least eight (8) agents ...and...a pitch session for some small press editors. I can't possibly clue you in on all of the goodies and opportunities for writers that this event offers. You need to check it out for yourself. The last time I checked, nearly 300 writer/bloggers had already signed up for this awesome event.  A big round of applause and a great big thank you to Deana Barnhart!

Are you participating in one or both of these events? Do you know of any upcoming blogging events, bloghops, blogfest that we might be interested in? Please share.

The second winner of Jennifer Hiller's thriller, Freak, is Botanist from over at Views From The Bald Patch. Congratulations.

Want to win a copy of Hiller's book?
 One winner is selected randomly from my next eight blogpost. Leave a comment and take a chance to win.

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