The Whimsical Mama

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Transcender Blog Tour Guest Post: Create Your Own Inspiration by Vicky Savage July 24, 2014

Filed under: Books,Giveaway,Interview — Maura @ 12:00 am
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I’m excited to have a guest on The Whimsical Mama today! Talking about where she finds inspiration for all the things is author, Vicky Savage! She has some really good advice so go read & be inspired! (: Information about her books and a giveaway will be at the end of the post so make sure to check those out too! (:


Hi everyone – I’m honored to be a guest here today. Whether you’re writing a book, a blog, or a school paper, every writer hits a rough patch at one time or another when the words just won’t flow. Most writers develop tricks for powering through a writing funk and finding ways to spark their own imaginations. Here are ten techniques I use to churn up a little inspiration when I’m certain all my great ideas are used up. Maybe they’ll work for you.


1. Allow yourself a guilt-free break. Okay, this sounds really simple, but if you’re on a deadline (even one that’s self-imposed), many writers will sit and stare at the blank screen for one unproductive hour after another, rather than getting up and proactively working to create a better frame of mind. A few minutes isn’t going to make much difference, especially if you’re not getting anything done. Get up and away from your desk (or document) for a while to refresh and reset. Do some stretches, refill your water glass, play with the dog, or try one of the suggestions below.
2. Read good writing. Nothing gets my creative juices flowing like reading an amazing piece of superb writing. Who is your favorite author? Pull a beloved old book from the shelf and dive in anywhere. Remind yourself of what made you fall in love with the book in the first place—it was likely great writing. Immerse yourself for a while, then pick out a paragraph, a sentence, or even one word you love and use it to kick-start your own work.
3. Listen to feel-good music. Consider creating a playlist of inspiring tunes for when you’re feeling blah. Pick the most upbeat, happy stuff, not the depressing, love-gone-wrong songs. Usually all I have to do is get my inspiration playlist going to immediately lighten my mood. Doesn’t hurt to dance around the room a little or sing at the top of your lungs, if you really want to break out of your gloomy mood.
4. Take a walk on the beach. There’s nothing like the vastness of the ocean to remind me how small my problems really are. A sense of peace instantly washes over me when I step on the beach. What place does that for you? A towering mountaintop, a cool, deep forest, a noisy urban sidewalk? Find that place where you lose yourself completely and let go for a while. Later, see if you can capture that feeling and transfer it to the written page.
5. Write something else. I like to have a few projects going at once, so if I’m stuck on one project, I can jump over to another—maybe a short story or blog post—something completely off topic. Or simply to skip to another scene in your book, the one you’ve been dying to write. Nothing says you have to write your scenes in order. Or write a journal entry about why you can’t write today. Sometimes a change of focus is all you need.
6. Watch a TED talk. These people are the creative geniuses of our time. Many talks focus on inspiration and creativity. I highly recommend anything by Elizabeth Gilbert. My two favorites are: http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html and http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_success_failure_and_the_drive_to_keep_creating .
7. Daydream. I’m serious. Get comfortable, close your eyes and think about where you’d rather be right now and what you’d rather be doing. Use all five of your senses. What does it look like, smell like, feel like, taste like, sound like. Savor the whole scene in your head, then write about it. Even if you never use it, it’s a great writing exercise.
8. Play with your writing. Make one of your characters do something completely outrageous and see what happens. Write an alternate ending to your story—you might just hit on something good. If you’re writing a post or a paper, write as if you’re somebody else. Pick a vibrant character (whether charming or curmudgeonly) and write as that character would. Have fun with it.
9. Stop writing and do a good deed for someone. Call a friend and tell her how much she means to you, do something nice for your neighbor, compliment a complete stranger, pay for someone behind you in line, post something inspirational on Facebook, the list goes on and on. You’ll feel great afterward, and you might get some new material for your story.
10. Treat yourself to something nice. Buy or make something beautiful, have a facial, visit your favorite bakery for a delicious treat. Happiness is not overrated. A happy mind is a creative mind. You’ll be doing yourself a favor in more ways than one.
Good luck with your writing, and stay happy!

About the author
Vicky Savage grew up gazing upon the beauty of the Wasatch Mountain Range right outside her family’s kitchen window. She thought the Rocky Mountains would always own her heart, until she moved to sunny Florida for law school and instantly fell in love with the ocean. Her passion for new adventures and exotic locales led her on a circuitous path to writing science fiction/fantasy about strange new worlds and parallel universes. Although she has lived in seven different states and London, England, the siren call of the ocean always brings her back to her beloved Florida, where she currently lives with her husband, son, and two dogs.
Contact Vicky through her website: https://www.vickysavage.com, follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SavageVicky, and visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vickysavageauthor.

About the books

Final_Book_Cover_Vicky_Website 
TRANSCENDER: First-Timer
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DR94EI
Summary:
Suddenly plucked from her quiet Connecticut life and dropped into a post-disaster parallel world where most of the earth’s population resides in enormous domes, eighteen year old Jaden Beckett lands in the middle of a kidnapping—her own!
Undercover Agent Ralston of the Inter-Universal Guidance Agency helps Jaden escape from her captors and promises to return her home as soon as he can arrange it. But he conceals from her the fact that she is really a Transcender, capable of traveling among alternate worlds at will. While waiting for passage home, Jaden assumes her parallel identity as a princess in the nation of Domerica. She discovers her mother is alive in this world—a miracle she never dreamed possible. But perhaps even more compelling is her blossoming, breathtaking romance with Ryder Blackthorn, her once and future soul mate.
When it comes time for Jaden to leave, she flatly refuses. IUGA claims the welfare of the entire galaxy depends upon her timely return. Jaden contends that, in this case, eternal love trumps destiny. Who will prevail?SS Amazon Final Cover


Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AVY3FXY
Summary:
Jaden Beckett makes the journey once again from her home in Connecticut to the nation of Domerica on an alternate earth. The Inter-Universal Guidance Agency has granted her thirty days within which to choose her ultimate destiny. She may remain in Domerica, return to Connecticut, or join the other Transcenders in Arumel.
On her arrival, Jaden finds that all is not perfect in paradise. Her mother, Queen Eleanor, is ill and grows frailer with each passing day. Her scheming uncle has moved into the palace and assumed the role of Lord High Steward of the land. But even more troubling are events that took place in Jaden’s absence which have caused her to question the depth of her fiancé’s love.
All the while, Jaden’s friendship with a handsome, young Transcender from Arumel deepens. He teaches her how to use her astonishing gift to travel to exotic parallel worlds and introduces her to others in the Transcender community.
When the time draws near for Jaden’s final decision, her choice is anything but simple.

Illuminosity Amazon Cover
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KC7IVPW
Summary:
Jaden Beckett has a secret unknown to those in her adopted homeland of Domerica: she is a Transcender, capable of traveling among parallel worlds at will. When the powerful Inter-Universal Guidance Agency’s sophisticated computer models predict that Jaden will eventually cause the downfall of that agency, IUGA decides to destroy her first. In order to save herself, her family, and the man she loves, Jaden must fake her own death and leave Domerica for good. The plan seems sound, but on the day of IUGA’s attack, things go terribly wrong.
Heartsick and alone, Jaden ventures to Arumel, a progressive nation on an alternate earth, where Transcenders conduct valuable inter-universal research. Just when she thinks she’s found a safe, new life, IUGA makes its presence known. This time, Jaden is determined not to be driven away. She will fight to discover her place in the multiverse, the true meaning of destiny, and the keys to the mystery of eternal love.

****GIVEAWAY!!!****

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*Book Blitz & Guest Post* Love, Lucy by April Lindner May 12, 2014

LoveLucyBanner

I’m excited to be a part of the book blast for Love, Lucy by April Lindner today! I’m excited to be a part of this blast because I absolutely adore Italy. I had the chance to go in 2007 and have been dying to go back ever since. Lucy’s top ten favourite things about Italy (with pictures!) totally isn’t helping matters any! (:

 

Love Lucy Cover

 

Release date: 27 January 2015 (such a long wait for a read I know will be great!)

 

Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown)

 

Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance

 

Status: Standalone

 

Summary:

 

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, 17-year-old Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

Inspired by E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View.

 
The Top Ten Things I Love About Italy

 

By Lucy Sommersworth

 

 

 


10. Train stations. They make my heart beat a little bit faster. I especially love the departure signs lit up with the names of exotic cities. They make me want to pick a destination at random—Venice or Milan or Naples, basically any place I’ve never been before—and just jump on, trusting that some kind of wonderful adventure will be waiting for me when I hop off. I would do it too except for the fact that Charlene, the friend I’m traveling with, likes schedules and order. I could never talk her into doing something that reckless.

9. The language. Italian is so lush and musical. Not that I can speak it, exactly. I took Italian in high school, and I can remember just enough to say basic things like excuse me and I would like the Spaghetti Bolognese, please. But even just reading the street signs out loud makes me feel like a different version of myself—more worldly and glamorous. And even the most ordinary words, the ones that mean ATM or supermarket—sound glorious in Italian.

8. Italian men. What can I say? I’ve always had a thing for dark brown eyes.

7. Window shopping. I could do it all day long. Window displays are different in Italy, quirkier and more colorful. I especially love the sparkling little jewelry stores on the Ponte Vecchio, the funky clothing store displays, and store windows full of colorful, exotic treats—marzipan fruit, and candied rose and violet petals.

6. Sidewalk cafes. Nobody minds if you linger forever over a single cappuccino, just soaking in the atmosphere and watching the people pass by.

5. Gelato. After a few hours, walking around Florence can make a person exhausted. Luckily, wherever you turn, there’s a glass storefront gleaming with refreshing gelato—a miniature rainbow-colored mountain range of it: raspberry, mango, lemon, dark chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio—and all of it amazing.

4. Street Performers. Though Charlene insists they’re just begging and we shouldn’t give them our money, I can’t help myself. I love them all: street musicians, the people who draw chalk masterpieces in the street, the folks who dress up as statues and pose for tourists. I’ve even got a soft spot for mimes!

3. Riding on a Vespa. Please don’t tell my mom, okay? She would have a panic attack if she knew.

2. Pretending I’m Audrey Hepburn. Roman Holiday is one of my all-time favorite movies, and the reason I wanted to go to Italy in the first place. Audrey Hepburn plays Princess Ann, who has grown deathly bored with having to give speeches and act stiff and regal. On a stop in Rome she runs away, and wanders through the city pretending to be a commoner. Of course she falls in love with Gregory Peck. Like her, he’s pretending, acting like a nice, ordinary guy who just wants to show her around Rome, when really he’s a reporter with ulterior motives. He recognizes her, and plans to write a tell-all story about her for his newspaper.

I won’t spoil the ending. I’ll just add that if you’re planning a trip to Rome, you need to see Roman Holiday first. And then, if you happen to meet a gorgeous, dark-eyed stranger, maybe you can get him take you on a Roman Holiday tour, and you can pretend to be Audrey Hepburn the way I did.

1. The amazing people I met along the way. Swapping stories with other backpackers about our travels and misadventures. Vacation flirtations with dark-eyed strangers. And, just maybe, experiencing a real summer romance.

 


 

About April Lindner

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.


 


 

The Giveaway

This blast includes a giveaway for a $15 Amazon eGiftcard to ONE winner. The giveaway is open to anyone who can accept Amazon eGiftcards from the U.S. store. The giveaway ends on May 26, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. May the odds be ever in your favour! (:

Just enter in the Rafflcopter below…

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*Cover Buzz + Guest Post* Catherine by April Lindner March 21, 2014

I am super excited to be able to help spread the word about the new cover for the paperback edition of CATHERINE by April Lindner which will be available this August.

Both covers are amazing but convey something very different with the image and colors. And I’m thrilled to be able to welcome April Lindner to the blog with a post discussing them both.

There is also a giveaway for an Amazon eGift Card. Just scroll to the bottom of this post for details and to enter.

While CATHERINE’s paperback release is still a few months away, if you purchase the eBook edition now, it comes with the new cover. And if you’re a fan of the first cover, the hardback copy is still available to purchase.

Both covers rock, but which one is your favorite?

About CATHERINE

Title: CATHERINE

Author: April Lindner

Publisher: Poppy

Release date: January 1, 2013 | August 19, 2014 (paperback)

Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years — a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her — starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine delivers a fresh retelling of the Emily Brontë classic Wuthering Heights, interweaving a timeless forbidden romance with a captivating modern mystery.

***

The Guest Post

Promises, Promises: Judging a Book by Its Cover
By April Lindner 

We’ve all been told that you can’t judge a book by its cover. And yet some of us book lovers can’t help ourselves; there’s nothing like a gorgeous cover to lure us in. More often than not, an enticing cover is the main thing that moves me to pick up a book I’ve never heard of, to start paging through it, giving the first few paragraphs a chance to seal the deal—or not.

So for me the most exciting moment in the whole bookmaking occurs when a book’s future cover appears in my inbox. I click on the thumbnail, and wait breathlessly as the image blooms onto my computer screen. Only then can I imagine my manuscript as a book—on a shelf, or, better still, in the hands of a reader. I know the cover will set the book’s tone. And it will make promises—hopefully the right ones.

All of this explains why I’m so thrilled by the new cover of Catherine’s paperback edition, due out in August. Don’t get me wrong: I love the original Catherine cover. Lush and dramatic, it makes certain promises—ones I believe the book keeps. The elegant model in her kickass stance promises a strong female protagonist. (Actually, the book has two alternating strong female narrators—Catherine and her daughter Chelsea.) And the background, with the iconic Flatiron Building rising up through the mist, promises the book’s Lower Manhattan setting will be as important as its characters. The title typeface—bold and purple—promises a confident, free-spirited heroine—exactly how I see Catherine herself.

But the new paperback cover—already available to readers who download the Ebook– makes a different set of promises. On it, a boy and a girl hold each other in the shadows of a graffiti-covered underpass. They gaze at each other in rapt wonder, their shoulders, neck and heads echoing the shape of a heart. Secret romance, this cover says. It promises love against the odds. The scene is gritty—less glamorous than the cityscape on the original—but this grittiness befits the book’s main setting, a post punk night club on the Bowery. The title’s typeface is still bold, but its peachy color underscores the sweet and optimistic innocence of this couple’s embrace.

Inspired by the classic romance Wuthering Heights, Catherine is a story of star-crossed love interwoven with mystery. Its soundtrack is the post-punk music played by Catherine’s boyfriend, Hence. And the new paperback cover captures that complex mood exactly, I think. In fact, when it popped up on my computer screen for the first time, I almost swooned. There it was, in front of me: almost exactly the picture I saw in my imagination as I wrote the book.

An author can hope for nothing more than that.

***

About April Lindner

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

***

The Giveaway

The Cover Buzz Blast includes a blast-wide giveaway for a $15 Amazon eGift Card to one winner.

  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Giveaway is open to anyone who can accept eGift Cards from Amazon’s US online store
  • Giveaway ends on March 25th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
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