Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Liebster Blog Award!

Hey, all! I just got another blog award! This time, it's the Liebster Blog Award, and my buddy Alisha Jaybird bestowed it to me! You can check out her blog here -->here<--.

The way this particular award works is Alisha has asked me 11 questions, which I am to answer. And then at the end, I'm going to pass on the award to a few more bloggers, and ask them a new set of 11 questions to answer. They pass it on to more bloggers with their own set of questions, etc.

Let's get started. Fire away with your questions, Alisha!

1) What are your plans for 10 years down the road?

Ooo. I'll be about I'm thinking I'd like to have a few more published books under my belt... Past that, I don't know! I think I would really like to adopt a child, too, either in that time frame or shortly after.

2) Why did you start blogging?

I started this particular blog as a creative outlet. It has since morphed into an author blog, but I still also post random musings, pictures, and things of the artistic/creative variety to keep it interesting and personal.

3) Are you planning on changing things up on your blog, or have you already?

It's pretty much just the way I'd like it! It's very me. It's a place for me to share not only my publications with my readers but also share aspects of my life. :)

4) Do you have any favorite "secret" obsessions?

I looooove going into totally cluttered homes and helping people clean, declutter, and organize them! Wish I had more time to do it!

5) What is something you'd like to learn more about or learn to do?

Gardening! Although I'm afraid I don't have a Green Thumb... We'll see. I tend to kill plants. :-/ I'm planning on giving it a good honest go here pretty soon, so we'll find out... I'm sure I'll blog about it. Stay tuned...

6) What is something you've learned that empowers you when you're stuck in a rut?

I've learned that I don't have to let situations or people "get to me" any longer than the initial incident. Some painful things take a little longer getting over, but we don't have to give them extra energy and focus. By starving them of energy and focus, we keep ourselves from being slaves to them.

7) If you had the chance to meet someone (past or present) and ask them any question, who would it be and what would you ask?

I would like to ask Stephen King if there happened to be any reason he named his character Carrie and gave her red hair... (FYI, the C. in my name stands for Carrie. Thanks to Mr. King I got all sorts of prom jokes when I was back in high school.)

8) If money were no concern, what would you do differently in your life? Splurge? Travel? Hire a nanny? Save the world?

I would travel all over the place. Would love to visit Ireland and see where my ancestors came from. Also I would love to check out the pyramids and see if I can find traces of E.T. ;) Oh, and I would really enjoy getting to meet the child I sponsor in Zambia and his family. His name's Webster. Aside from traveling, I'd donate lots of money to worthy causes.

9) What's your favorite thing to shop for?

Unique art for the new house! :)

10) What is your favorite thing about yourself, and what thing bothers you most about yourself?

My favorite thing about myself is the fact that I'm pretty resilient, in that I'm a survivor and am adaptable to change, and I don't put up with nonsense/immaturity/selfishness from other people. The thing that bothers me most about myself is that in being a tough cookie, I tend to erect an emotional wall and not trust people, even when they've done nothing wrong.

11) If you had a chance to be your total opposite for a week, what do you think you'd learn?

I'm trying to think of what my total opposite would be! *LOL* A sea anemone maybe? If I were a sea anemone, I'd surely learn what it felt like to stay in one place all the time and do the same thing every day. I'd be a master at the art of patience after my week was up!

And now to pass on the award! Here are my chosen blogs:

Belfast Is My Mojo

Charlie Books

S.K. Anthony

Here are my questions for my chosen bloggers to answer:

1) If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

2) Is there anything you collect? If so, what?

3) What is your overall goal for your blog?

4) How do you feel in big crowds of people?

5) Cell phones - what's your opinion of them?

6) If you could decorate your home in any style, what would it be?

7) Do you believe in Extra Terrestrials?

8) If you could meet any mythological creature, what would it be and why?

9) Would you rather stay busy or have a lot of free time? Why?

10) If you had a chance to travel to the moon, would you do it?

11) What music album are you still frequently listening to now that you also listened to years ago?

Have fun!


Add C.J. Sullivan's books to your library. -->Shop here!<--

Friday, April 26, 2013

Look What Just Came in the Mail...

It's the proof! The Divided Book 2 paperback proof! Kaiser is "going flat" in joy that it looks great!

You can get a copy now from the CreateSpace store, and it'll also be available on Amazon in a few days!

Attempt to Stay Positive

Let's face it. Life pretty much sucks. And the older you get, the more difficult it becomes.

It's really easy to get caught up in what my husband calls a "Negative Nancy" mind-frame (no offense to anyone named Nancy). And once we're caught up, we practically radiate Bad Mood to everyone around us. You know what that feels like--we all have those acquaintances who can't seem to find anything positive to focus on, and in turn, they spread their lousy mood like poison. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be that person!

Being negative is kind of contagious  It's like a cold--people around you seem to catch it. And then, once you have it, it takes real effort to turn it around again. It's a pretty lousy trap.

Now, I'm not about to pretend that I'm smiling and high on life 100% of the day. Hahahah! No way. But, as I've learned, there *are* ways to counteract the Negative Nancy virus from staying in your system very long.

One of the things I've learned to do is to counteract every negative thought with something I'm grateful for. Or I think of something that makes me smile or laugh. Let me give you an example: earlier today, I had a horrendous headache. The noise surrounding me only made it worse. But instead of getting upset that I had a headache, I acknowledged it, accepted that it was there, took some Tylenol, and thought to myself, "Well, at least it's not the stomach cramps I had last week. This is much, much more manageable."

Here's another thing I've discovered helps me not to stay negative: if you find yourself angry at someone for not being nice to you (because let's face it, jerk-offs are everywhere), as soon as you're out of his/her company, just stop thinking about him/her. Actually shrug your shoulders as if it no longer affects you, and you will find yourself instantly calmer. Put your focus on something else, anything else, the more remote from the moment the better. That person's attitude is truly not worth your time.

So much of how we feel in life is a Mind Thing. Sure, we experience crappy things all through the day, but here's the thing: we don't have to dwell on them. By not letting them rent any space in our heads, more than the actual moment in which they happen, we're not letting them own us anymore. And by countering the bad things with a thought and/or verbalization of things we're thankful for, we're zapping them with a mental laser gun. :) No more Negative Nancy. Just life and handling the difficulties as they come.

So the next time that guy cuts you off in traffic, let the moment pass, shrug it off, and then think of how grateful you are for having a working vehicle. I think you'll find that these attempts to stay positive will make your days a little brighter and at the very least, easier on the blood pressure!

What about you? Do you have ways you attempt to stay positive?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Five Fun Facts about WINGS OF THE DIVIDED

I always enjoy learning about the "behind the scenes" of movies, books, songs, etc. So I thought you might enjoy a few fun facts about the making of WINGS OF THE DIVIDED: THE DIVIDED BOOK 1. Here it goes!

1) My Fallen angel character Malynko originally had white hair. But while I was writing the first draft of this book, I had a rather intimidating dream about him. In it, he had raven black hair. When I woke up, I changed it to the color it is now (black!).

2) Originally, I didn't know what Malynko and Gidyon's original feud was about, why they seemed to hate/fear/obsess over one another. I had a few chapters of the book under my belt when I was driving to college class one day, and I realized (like "aha!") what had happened between them in the past. I didn't have a notebook, so I pulled into a parking spot and excitedly wrote it down on a napkin.

3) The Sivli sword that Fallen angel Laphelle carries was actually an idea I originally had for another (unfinished) book. In that fantasy story, the villain was named Sivli, and he had a wicked sword with a snake on the hilt that would come alive and drink its wielder's blood.

4) After finishing the novel, one of my critique-readers suggested I change the character Jack to a female, as there aren't many female characters in the book. Jack became "Rachel" for a while, and then I changed the name to "Jackie." After a couple of other critique-readers pitched a fit (they liked Jack), I changed it back to the original male character. And I'm glad I did, as he is one of my favorites.

5) WINGS OF THE DIVIDED was originally just titled THE DIVIDED, and I had no plans of making it into a trilogy. It was just a stand-alone. Or so I thought... Several months after writing BOOK 1, I realized the story wasn't finished yet. And I started in on BOOK 2.

Hope you enjoyed these little fun facts! I'm planning on doing another set for BOOK 2 and 3! Taa-taa for now!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Versatile Blogger Award!

I am happy to say I've received another blog award! This one is the Versatile Blogger Award, and William Louison (who is also an enjoyable and versatile blogger) kindly gave it to me! One of the things I hope I always do is keep this blog interesting by doing a variety of different posts. I'm glad to see my readers enjoy it!

The award entails I have to share seven facts about myself, so here we go:

1) I'm really into natural cures (supplements, essential oils, etc.).

2) My secret dream is to have a huge garden, but so far, I'm not exactly Ms. Green Thumb... **Oh, well.**

3) True Friendship is extremely important to me, which is why it's much more of a theme in my writing than romance is.

4) I'm not bad at sketching, and if I hadn't chosen writing as my craft, I might have ended up a very different sort of artist than I am today.

5) I've been to California, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas in the U.S., and outside of the U.S., I've been to England and Canada.

6) I have a little teenage girl's crush on Chris Hemsworth.

7) One of my favorite genres to read is horror, but I avoid many horror movies because they disturb me more with the visuals, and I can't "unsee" some of the things I've seen in some of those flicks!

And now to pass on the award! I have chosen five bloggers I currently follow who consistently post on a variety of topics, thus keeping their blogs very interesting and "Versatile"!

A.K. Anderson (Posts on writing, personal musings, the occasional video, etc.)

Hannah Violin (Posts on violin playing/teaching, her adventures as a foodie, personal posts, product reviews, and so on)

Jon Herrera (Posts a nice mixture of coping with mental illness, fictional short stories, and the occasional review)

Alisha Jaybird (Personal posts, recipes, funny stories, pictures, etc.)

Unikorna (A lovely variety of personal musings, and now also does guest author posts)


Add C.J. Sullivan's books to your library. -->Shop here!<--

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Main St. Art Festival Finds :)

Though it was really tempting to break the bank and buy a ton of art, I decided on this glass piece by Toby McGee (check out his website -->here<--). It called to me for some reason, maybe because it reminded me of an eel. I recently watched an episode of PBS's show Nature, which was about eels (preview that episode -->here<--), and they really are fascinating, mysterious creatures. But I digress.

Anyway, while Drew and I were walking up and down the street checking out all the vendors, I grabbed a few business cards from some of them. So here are the websites of some other really cool artists that are also worthy of a view:

Jay McDougall

Brianna Martray

Matthew Naftzger

Andrew Mosedale

Elaine Hyde

Marina Terauds

Amy Flynn

Happy browsing!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Decorating the New House :)

Got this to go in the entryway. Good feng shui :)

Love this little desk. Right now it's also in the entryway.

Mixed and matched vase and silk flowers. Fun, quirky colors.  Will be able to move it around to different rooms.

Bathroom nook! Art by Danielle Gundry Monji

Going with a Tree of Life theme in the new house. This is on the hall wall.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Some Epic Angelic Tunes

Here are a couple of songs sung by Tarja Turunen. The first, titled "Until Dawn (Angels of Light)," reminds me of *my* angels of light characters (i.e. Gidyon and Noam). The second song, "Damned and Divine," is such a great song for a Fallen angel, particularly my character Malynko. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Meet Drew - My High Energy Husband! ;)


I've narrowed it down to the month it'll be released! Get ready, because (as long as we don't hit any snags) it's coming this June! What's this, you ask? Why, it's the conclusion to my epic angel trilogy!

And if you haven't read the first two installments, you can check them out -->here<--.

Have a great weekend. (It's so nice to finally have the Internet at my new house!!)

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Few Highlights from the New House

Here are a few pictures I took of the new house I wanted to share with all of you :) Check 'em out!

Home sweet home!

Can't wait to cook a delicious meal here :)

I love the kitchen nook.(It's not crooked in real life. I was just in a hurry taking the pic!)

The closet of all closets!

My little fireplace creation :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

In Limbo (Updates on House, Books, Kaiser, etc.)

Hey All :) I just wanted to write a short post and let you all know that I am dying to get back to some real blogging! But alas, we still don't have the Internet at the new house. The technician came out today, but there a ticket was put in for a different tech to come out. This sort of cycle went on for 3 weeks the last time we moved. So who knows when I'll be officially "connected" again *sigh*.

In the meantime, I'm hopping on other computers when I can to update Tweets, quickly answer email, etc. I can tell you this much, though, about the new house: I love it!! Kaiser is taking some time adjusting, however. For instance, there are 4 doors in this new house, one front, and 3 back! So when the doorbell rings, it totally confuses him because he's used to seeing us come in the back door, but the person ringing the bell is in the front... That's one thing among many that we are all adjusting to there.

I also wanted to remind you that there are about four days left to enter my WINGS OF THE DIVIDED: THE DIVIDED BOOK 1 paperback giveaway on Goodreads! You can find a widget for it in the right sidebar of this blog as long as the contest is still live! After that contest wraps up, I'm going to do an exclusive giveaway contest right here on the blog. I'll be giving away 1 autographed copy in the blog giveaway, so if you don't win the Goodreads one, you can certainly try again and enter the one here!

As far as SONG OF THE DIVIDED: THE DIVIDED BOOK 3 is concerned, I have a few very special hand-picked critique partners going over the manuscript, and I hope to have that available for you by June. Laphelle and the gang are ready to wrap up their story and let you experience the finale! 

Hope everyone's doing well in the meantime! I apologize if I seem distant and scatterbrained! As soon as we have the Internet at the house, I'm going to upload some pictures of the house and do a post about it (one picture in particular is what I did with the fireplace!), so stay tuned!