Monday, August 31, 2009

First of all, a big thank you to Random.org for making this drawing fair and unbiased! (That's right, I didn't just pick my favorite answers, or the people who bribed me the most. I actually did the drawing completely randomly!)

Also, a big thanks to everyone who entered. I have discovered that this blog is funny, entertaining, wicked awesome, rad (hadn't heard that word in years), inspiring, colorful and so much more!

I have had so much fun, in fact, that I am considering doing another giveaway in the very near future. Surely there will be more reasons to celebrate, right? Like, perhaps, getting through the long, long list of things my editor (MAN, it's fun to say that!!!) needs from me. Hmmm... pondering the possible prizes.

But I digress. On to the big announcement.

Winner A, recipient of a free autographed book: Marielle Carlisle, who described my blog as "scrumdidliumtious."

Winner B, recipient of a Cerreta Candy Company gift certificate: Big Toe Momma (and isn't that going to look interesting written on the gift card?!?!?), who described my blog as "AWESOME!"

Marielle and BTM, shoot me off an email - sarah at sarahmeden dot com so I can get your prizes to you (Marielle - let me know in the email which book you'd like to receive)!

Congrats to our winners. Thanks to everybody who participated. Keep checking back, I'm bound to give away more stuff because, like Aubrey said, this blog is so "generous."

(ignore "Read More")

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Friday, August 28, 2009

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's friend is the lovely Liz Swick of Idaho, USA. We are going to ignore the fact that I have known Liz my entire life and therefore she isn't a "new" friend. She's just a whole lot of fun and was willing to do this interview even though she knows how abnormal I am.

Alright... here we go. (Trust me, this is going to be a classic!)

SME: Hi, Liz.

Liz: Hi.

SME: Thanks for being my INFF Friend!

Liz: You're welcome. I'm good at being a friend.

SME: So, you live in The Potato State. That's the official name, right?

Liz: Official.

SME: What's the current temperature there?

Liz: "You're asking me about the weather?" What's that from?!

SME: Um, let me think. What movie... what movie...? Puh-lease!
How many times have you seen “Twilight?” Because I heard you kind of liked it.

Liz: I actually just watched it the other day – for like the 15th time.

SME: So, I have to ask: “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob”?

Liz: Are you serious? Really?

SME: Come on. Fess up!

Liz: Edward. Are you KIDDING me?

SME: Yeah. Saw that coming.
But we digress. Back to the whole, interview-thing and making friends. You do hair and stuff. What's that called for real? Because I usually say something lame like “cutting hair person,” and I'm pretty sure that's not right.

Liz: “I'm a beautician... not a magician.” That's my motto. But I like “stylist.”

SME: How long have you been a “stylist?”

Liz: Hold on, I'm holding a sandwich & I need my hand to count....

SME: So, apparently, multitasking is not one of your strong suits.

Liz: Neither is counting. *sets down sandwich* Like four years I think. I don't even know. Sad.

SME: Do you ever have people come to get their hair cut and they don't know what they want, but expect you to come up with the perfect makeover?

Liz: Yes and it's funny. But my favorite is when people bring in pictures of wigs & say that they want their hair to look like that.

SME: Do you tell them “so buy a wig”?

Liz: I wanted to but usually people that bring in pictures of wigs...they have problems.

SME: *awkward cough* I was going to show you a picture of a <---wig and ask if my hair could look like that. Right up until you said that. Now... not going there.

Liz: Whatever.

SME: I do have a couple makeover ideas to run past you. You game?

Liz: Yes. Let's hear them.

SME: Awesome! So I was thinking that, since this INFF thing is going to make me pretty much famous, I needed a "famous" look.

Liz: Uh oh.

SME: So I have a few pictures for you of me in various "celebrity" hair-dos. Here's the first. It's Katy Perry's hair.

Liz: *long, drawn-out silence.* I'm a hater. Not of Katy Perry, but of her hair on your head.

SME: Is it the color? Or the waviness?

Liz: Um...both?

SME: Okay. So maybe black, wavy hair isn't quite what I'm looking for.

Liz: Next hair-do! This is fun.

SME: Alright. Here you go.

Liz: Taylor Swift?

SME: Actually, yeah.

Liz: Aren't I ridiculous that I knew that?

SME: Um, pretty much.
I thought I'd give Taylor's 'do a try.


Liz: I actually kind like it. Fierce.

SME: So me as a curly blond. Interesting.

Liz: You should do it.

SME: How long do you think it would take for me to grow my hair that long?

Liz: Like 12 years.

SME: *resists the urge to delve into a long-winded explanation on how horrendously slowly her hair grows* Dang. So explain “extensions,” 'cause that seems like my only option.

Liz: Don't do it. Don't even ask. Don't even think about it.

SME: Yikes. So, for the immediate future, maybe I ought to move on to the next look.

Liz: Good idea.

SME: Alright. I'm hoping this last one will work out. I happen to know this hairdo has really, really been good for this celebrity's career.

Liz: EDWARD?!

SME: *rolls eyes* It's Robert Pattinson, yeah. Soooo? What do you think? I have the length to pull it off, and heaven knows I have enough hair!

Liz: It kinda looks like a mullet. If you got rid of the red hair... Maybe.

SME: Hmmm.

Liz: I vote Taylor Swift.

SME: We have a winner!!!

Now on to the part of the interview where I ask the deep, probing questions. *right* What is your favorite continent?


Liz: Continent?

SME: It's a valid question.

Liz: Antarctica. I watched Planet Earth on it last night, actually.

SME: Any interesting facts you'd like to share with the class?

Liz: It more than doubles in size during the winter because the ocean freezes. THE. OCEAN. FREEZES.

SME: So there is a place that's colder than Idaho.

Liz: Barely.

SME: Alright, next "real" question. If you had no money and needed to sell something to buy food (or something real essential like that) what is the one thing you own that would bring you the least amount of money?

Liz: That's a hard one. I own so many things that are worthless... Our fish. His name is Mr. Bugs. He smells pretty bad.

SME: How long have you had Mr. Bugs, the smelly fish?

Liz: Since, maybe, January. I felt bad for him. I had to save him!

SME: Um, I sense a story. Share! Share!

Liz: A. He was swimming in less than an inch of water.
B. The majority of the water was probably his own waste.
C. It was dark and sad looking.

SME: So he was, essentially, living in a gas-station-bathroom toilet.

Liz: Exactly.

SME: Been there.

Now on to the portion of the interview where I draw a portrait of my new friend.

(The anticipation builds while I work intently on my newest masterpiece.)



Well?

Liz: Unibrow?

SME: Those are your glasses, loser... er... uh... new friend.

Liz: I knew that.

SME: I drew you in big, furry boots, because you pretty much live in the tundra.

Liz: Furry boots. Like Santa.
And I'm skinny. That's pretty awesome.

SME: That's the real reason I draw stick figures. No one can complain about my interpretation of their body shape.

Liz: True story.

SME: So, now on to our wrap-up question for the interview... Top 5 reasons why this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Liz: 1. Only blog interview I've ever done.
2. I found out what my favorite continent is.
3. You are rockin Taylor Swift's hair.
4. I am glad I don't have a unibrow in real life.
5. I'm going to be famous (because of the interview).

SME: Alright, well. Thanks for being on INFF. Congrats on the no-unibrow! And take care of that stinky fish.
*cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!


If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


DON'T FORGET: My Big Ol' Enormous Giveaway is on-going. To enter check yesterday's post and follow the very, very simple instructions. You could win a free book or a gift certificate for delicious chocolate/candies from Cerreta!!


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Thursday, August 27, 2009

So I feel like celebrating (please reference yesterday's post)! In honor of Covenant's decision and my joy... I'm giving away stuff! I pondered this impromptu prize offering yesterday while doing the happy dance and couldn't help thinking that this warranted something really great.

Like TWO prizes. And one of them is CHOCOLATE!


So.....

Prize #1: An autographed copy of the Sarah M. Eden book of your choice!!! There are 9 titles to choose from, and every one is absolutely fantastic!! Thumb through the Jonquil Brothers tab and the Historical Romances tab and pick the one you like best!!! Ooh! Ooh! Soooo good!





Prize #2: A gift certificate to The Cerreta Candy Company! Cerreta is a family-owned and operated chocolate factory that has made unbelievably delicious candy and chocolates for more than 40 years in Glendale, Arizona.
Don't live in the Grand Canyon State? No problem! The internet gift certificate is for use in their online store (and they ship anywhere in the continental US!) Do yourself a favor - go to their website and look around. Holy Cocoa Beans, Batman!!

Here's how to enter:

Leave a comment to this post in which you complete the phrase: "Man, I love this blog! It's so ______________!"

I'll put every entry into a random number generator and pick TWO winners. That's right folks! TWO winners!
  • Winner A will get the book
  • Winner B will get the chocolate.
  • Both winners will receive fabulous prizes!
(Winners will be announced on Monday)

Hip, hip! Hooray!


PS - Don't forget to come back tomorrow for "I Need Friends" Friday!!! You won't be sorry!


(Ignore "Read More")
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I have an announcement. A Mt. Rushmore-sized announcement. No. A Grand Canyon-sized announcement. Yes. It is honestly that big.

And, being the mean person that I am (hee hee) I am going to put it after the "Read More" link.

Several months ago I submitted a manuscript for a Regency-era Romance (working title COURTING ATHENA) to Covenant Communications, Inc. I sent it in, held my breath and tried not to think obsessively about it. I lasted about 30 seconds on the breath holding part and about 30 minutes on the obsession part.

Fast forward to TODAY.

I found out that Covenant will be publishing my manuscript!

I have been doing the happy dance for hours on end!! (Have you noticed the excessive number of exclamation points in this post?)

Look for my book (who knows what the final title will end up being) toward the end of 2010!

Hip, hip, Hooray!
9

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just a few bits and pieces...

  • First of all, Genghis Kahn (see THIS post) grows more ingenious by the chapter. Love that murderer of manuscripts!!
  • I wrote the first two chapters of another Regency Era Romance, tossed out the second, rewrote it and am now vastly excited to write that book. (But first I need to finish the rewrite of the book Genghis helped me out with.)
  • My muse and I are currently BFFs - definitely an improvement over the past couple months.
  • All the little kiddos are in school so I am back to writing during the lucid daylight hours instead of staying up all night. Hallelujah for sleep!
Last of all, a pretty big announcement (I think anyway).

Yep, cue "Read More".

As I mentioned last week, I entered a story in the LDSPublisher's Christmas Short Story contest and... drum roll... My entry STOLEN CHRISTMAS won "Readers Choice" and will be published in the upcoming Christmas Short Story book coming out later this year. Wahooo!!!!!

So, hip hooray for good news.


PS - I hope you are looking forward to another installment of "I Need Friends" Friday. This week's interview is fabulous!!

2

Friday, August 21, 2009

Welcome, welcome! So, I realized the other day that I don't have a lot of friends. I started wondering why that was, but the reasons were depressing. Rather than focusing on the stark reality of my non-existent social life, I came up with a brilliant idea.

Today I am introducing a brand new segment here at SarahMEden.com called:



Every Friday I will interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.

Today's interview is with an amazing up-and-coming author. Me! Enjoy.

SME: Hello, Sarah M. Eden. Welcome to “I Need Friends” Friday.

Sarah: Thank you. I am thrilled to be part of this endeavor.

SME: You're an author, right?

Sarah: I am.

SME: Do you ever, like, stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself and think, "Holy Crumb-ola. I'm an author. When did that happen? Aren't authors supposed to be really cool or interesting?"

Sarah: Who would do something like that?

SME: *nervous cough* Next question. How long have you been writing?

Sarah: Approximately three years now.

SME: Really? I learned to write in, like, Kindergarten.

Sarah: Oh. I thought you meant, when did I begin writing novels?

SME: That's a good question, too. I'm gonna write that down for the next time I interview an author.

So, you've been writing novels for three years. How many have you written?


Sarah: I have nine titles currently available (That's right. A link allowing interviewee to do a little shameless self-promotion in exchange for enduring this interview. Keep that in mind, in case you're interested in participating). I have a tenth that will be available later this year, and an eleventh currently under consideration at a publishing company.

SME: Which publishing company?

Sarah: I don't think I want to tell you that.

SME: *waits in silent anticipation*

Sarah: Next question, please.

SME: What's your favorite continent?

Sarah: My favorite continent?

SME: Yeah. Everyone has a favorite continent.

Sarah: I suppose I like North America.

SME: I'm a fan, too. North America is great. It's definitely in my top seven.

Sarah: You know, this is kind of a strange interview. I mean, "What is your favorite continent?" Who asks that in an interview?

SME: It's a valid question.

Sarah: Do you have any normal questions?

SME: What exactly was it about the
title/graphic
of the INFF segment ------->
that led you to believe this would be normal?

Sarah: Point taken.


SME: Alright. Welcome to the portion of the interview where I ask my new friend about something really interesting they are working on/involved in/learning about/dreaming of doing someday.
Sarah, because you are an author, I'm going to ask you about your Work In Progress - known in the biz as your "WIP." The snazzy title for this segment?



*cue "Whip It" by Devo. "You must whip it. Whip it. Whip it good."


Sarah: That is pretty lame.

SME: Lame, but funny. So, how's the WIP?

Sarah: Coming along pretty well. I am currently editing A FORLORN HOPE, which is book five in the Jonquil Brothers Series (another link of self-promotion). This story centers on Stanley Jonquil, who has only just returned from five years of fighting in the Napoleonic Wars, and his struggle to find peace and solace after witnessing so much suffering and devastation.

SME: There's got to be a lady involved, though. Your stories are romances.

Sarah: Of course there's a lady.

SME: Then why didn't you say so?

Sarah: *starting to look a little annoyed* During a brief period of recuperation at home, Stanley met and fell in love with Marjie Kendrick, the younger sister of the lady his oldest brother would eventually fall in love with and marry.

SME: That sounds a little complicated.

Sarah: Try to keep up. So Stanley is in love with his sister-in-law's little sister-

SME: Is that even legal?

Sarah: They aren't actually related.

SME: Hey, isn't that a line from a movie?

Sarah: *shakes her head in apparent frustration* Anyway. My WIP, I think, is a really good book and I'm excited for it to come out.

SME: If a reader hasn't read the other Jonquil Books, will they be frustrated and throw the book against a wall because they'll be so lost and confused and then curse you and all your books - past, current and future - as the work of an incompetent storyteller and maniacal torturer of readers?

Sarah: What is that even supposed to mean?

SME: Try to keep up. Will new readers be able to follow the story even if they haven't read the other Jonquil books?

Sarah: Certainly. All of my books are written so that a reader could jump in anywhere in the series and not be confused.

SME: Do you have a release date, yet?

Sarah: It should be available sometime this fall.

SME: Awesome! Be sure to let me know when A FORLORN HOPE comes out. I'll post the info here on my website.

Sarah: I kind of assumed you would.

SME: Now on to the portion of the interview where I draw a portrait of my new friend.

Sarah: A portrait? Are you an artist?

SME: *laughs* No.

Several minutes of awkward silence while SME labors over a pad of drawing paper.

SME: What do you think? ----->

Sarah: It's a stick figure.

SME: Yeah. That's all I know how to draw.

Sarah: With shoes.

SME: Shoes are important. I drew you wearing Airwalks. I hope that's okay.

Sarah: Sure. Um, I look a little ticked-off in that drawing.

SME: You look a little ticked-off in person.

Sarah: I think you need to work on being a more professional interviewer.

SME: Maybe you need to work on being a more professional interviewee!

Sarah: This interview may not be the best way to encourage people to participate in your little "I Need Friends" gimmick.

SME: Nah. I think everyone understands that when a person interviews *ahem* themself that things can get a little *ahem* awkward.

Sarah: True.

SME: I would be much nicer to future interviewees.

Sarah: And less abnormal?

SME: I make no guarantees.

Sarah: *sighs*

SME: Our time is almost up.

Sarah: Tragic.

SME: Um, did I just hear sarcasm in your voice?

Sarah: This has been a little strange.

SME: Do I need to put the title/image in here again so that "strange" won't surprise you?

Sarah: No. I get it. And now I think I understand the whole, "I have no friends" thing you're experiencing.

SME: What are you trying to say?

Sarah: Never mind.

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

I hope that whetted your appetite for future interviews. Will they all be that snarky? No. Will they all be that enjoyable? Absolutely.

So... If you have something interesting to share about yourself or just want the fabulous experience of being interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!



(nope. no more to read.)-->


8

Monday, August 17, 2009

The temperature is still breathtakingly high. Not a hint of pine scents the air. The retailers have not yet put out a single Christmas decoration (although I am certain that will change far sooner than expected). Yet, I have found myself in a Holiday mood of late.

This last week I submitted a wonderful (if I do say so myself) short story into a Christmas Short Story competition. The prize was simply too good to pass up: publication in a book of Holiday-themed short stories. Wahoo!!

However, I need your help.

The stories were divided into 2 categories: those by published authors and those by unpublished authors. (Yes, I am considered a published author.) Two stories from each category will be selected for publication; one of which will be chosen by readers.

Soooooo......

If you are interested in a little Holiday cheer in August, hop on over to the ldspublisher blog and enjoy!

FYI - The rules explicitly state that I am not allowed to tell you which story is mine (in the hope that the readers' choice will be based on merit and not popularity). I will tell you this, though, if you come across a story that simply blows your mind with its awesomeness, that demonstrates literary talent at its best, that makes you laugh, cry, sigh with enjoyment... vote for that one, it's probably mine. Okay, just kidding. But, vote for that one. Sounds like it deserves to win!

Have fun. Happy Holidays!

3

Monday, August 10, 2009

I have this manuscript I've been working on for a long time. It lingers at the back of my mind when I'm working on other projects. I find myself gravitating back to it at regular intervals. I finished a good, solid 1025th draft of it at the beginning of the year (that may be a slight exaggeration) and, realizing from feedback and my own trusty gut that it wasn't quite where it needed to be, I summoned the courage to ask for help.

Being the loving, caring, creator that I aim, I handed this little ms of mine over to a couple people whose opinion I trusted and who had never, ever read any previous versions and, therefore, constituted a completely fresh set of eyes. One of these trusted critiquers/evaluators/eyes-of-freshness happens to be the author-equivalent of "the high school quarterback" to my "chess club president." I nearly wet myself when I first asked this particular person to review my precious little manuscript.(Talk about being presumptuous.)

Under penalty of death (or at least of maiming), I agreed to never, ever, ever disclose the true identity of this author-jock in exchange for the wealth of information and advice I was about to receive. I, of course, agreed. I was warned that this person was absolutely ruthless in all matters of editing. "Fine," I said, "I can take it." Oh, the pitiful state of the ignorant!

The manuscript came back. I held my breath. This amazing author/jock/bringer-of-death-and-destruction received a code name that day - "Genghis Kahn" - and thus shall my FAVORITE critique partner ever be known. Why favorite? I'll get to that.

The manuscript was bleeding, torn to pieces, ripped into unrecognizable bits of literary carnage. I happened to be in the midst of another manuscript at the time, so I set this little pet project aside - you know, give it a chance to heal - while I worked on other things.

A few weeks ago I took a peek at that recovering manuscript and the feedback Genghis had given me. Guess what? Genghis is a genius, a certifiable genius. I have started revisions and am completely amazed at the enormous difference I'm seeing already.

Moral of the story... Sometimes all a story needs is a little pillaging.
(there's no more -->)
4

Monday, August 3, 2009

I served as the "opening act" at the writers' retreat I recently attended. My job, should I choose to accept it, was to pump up the crowd in anticipation of the presenters who would follow. I readily accepted, figuring I could handle the entertainment part of the assignment and leave the useful information part to the other presenters.

The theme of the retreat was "Romancing the Story." This became my theme as well, but my take on it was learning to love writing. Those of you who know me are probably already snickering because you realize that I never do anything in a remotely normal way.

The following video clip represents the overall feel of my presentation. This mini-movie was meant to depict for my fellow authors how not to "romance a story." It was also meant to essentially make me look like an idiot. I think it succeeded on both counts.

So here's a big ol' thank you to Kevin McLeod - a fabulously talented guy - for the music and permission to use it, another thanks a mill to my husband for being camera man, and a shout out to the authors whose works are depicted. Alright... grab some popcorn, sit back and prepare to be entertained.

video


I thought it was funny and it got a lot of laughs.

Check out the books included in the video:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Man From Shenandoah by Marsha Ward
Loyalty's Web by Joyce DiPastena
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch
Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden (this is a really good book! heeheehee!!)
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
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