Thursday, September 27, 2012

Leigh T. Moore interview & The Truth About Faking!

Please welcome Leigh T. Moore, a longtime blogging friend whose fun, YA contemporary novel, The Truth About Faking, is now available!
1. How long did it take to write The Truth About Faking? It’s funny because I wrote this book faster than any other book I’ve ever written. I literally had the whole thing done in two weeks. It was crazy. But then I spent two years revising it—LOL!
     Okay, not really. I did finish the first draft in the spring of 2010 and did revisions and started shopping it around to agents. Then I wrote my other book Rouge in the fall of 2010, and it hit faster for whatever reason. TTAF basically sat neglected for all of 2011. I picked it up again in March and thought, “Hey, this is really a great book! I need to do something with this.”

2. Plotter or pantser? Weird hybrid. No, I do make a plan—I try to write the whole story start to climax to finish before I begin (I do not call this a synopsis), and if that feels good, I dive in and start writing.
     But it’s not a rigid outline or anything. Like my original plan was for TTAF to be sad and angsty. But then Jason showed up, and he and Harley had such fun chemistry, it all turned happy and funny. So I guess I just kind of follow the characters.

3. Let's do some music. What song would you pick to personify Harley's personality? Hmm… good question. This is the only book I’ve ever written that didn’t have a playlist. I guess because it just happened so fast. Let me see… if I were to give Harley a song… Hmm… Maybe The Cure, “Just Like Heaven”? I dunno. You’ve stumped me. What do you think?

(I think the song is perfect! Warning: no Robert Smith in this video. But there's kissing. And moar kissing.)

4. You do contemporary YA and historical. Any other genres? Yes! I actually wrote a YA light sci-fi last spring that I adore. It’s a crazy adventure-romance set in south Mississippi with cows and aliens… the main character’s the assistant to a large-animal vet. Anyway, it’s tons of fun. I can’t wait to share it with readers. It’s currently with the agents, and I hate how slow that process is. But soon!

THANK YOU so much for having me, Lydia! It’s so great getting to share TTAF with everyone at last. I hope it makes people smile.

Jason just wants a date with Harley.
Harley just wants a date with Trent.
Trent's still getting over Stephanie.

When Harley and Jason decide to fake date, they uncover a school of deceptions. Trent's got a secret, but so does Jason. And the more time Harley spends secretly kissing her fake boyfriend, the further she gets from her dreams with Trent.

Worst of all, Harley's mom is getting cozy with her hot massage therapy student, and even Harley's Reverend Dad can't fake not being bothered by it. But when the masks finally come off, can everyone handle the real truth?
Available on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and Kobo!

You can find Leigh at her blog, on Facebook, and Goodreads! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Truth About Toilet-Paper-Under People

Those People are Aliens. Obviously.

     I've read the evidence. Turns out that people who place new rolls of toilet paper on the holder with the paper rolling under, instead of over the roll toward the user, are in fact aliens.

     A case-control study published in the Journal of Toileting and Extraterrestrial Activity showed several alien-associated behaviors seen in the toilet-paper-under (TPU) population, as compared to the toilet-paper-over (TPO) population.

     TPUs are more likely to:
  • have an overt avoidance of placing new toilet rolls on the toilet paper holders (though this data is not very specific, as most children and spouses are guilty of the same behvior.)
  • leave the toilet roll with a single square of leftover tissue
  • consume random socks, hence causing the "lone sock in the laundry" phenomenon
  • be constipated for days-weeks at a time in an effort to avoid the toileting situation (induced by lone sock ingestion)
     In the study, one alien explained the reasoning behind the TPU activity.

     "On our planet, we defecate upside down. It's a sticky business. But from our perspective, we're placing the toilet paper over, and humans are screwing up the process constantly. It's incredibly annoying."

That is all.

Thank you to Anna Staniszewski for the FB post that inspired this report! 


Thursday, September 20, 2012


Hi guys! I wanted to take another opportunity this week to tell you about another super-talented author, Sophia Stone who has released this incredible book, THE MORMON DIARIES.

First, a few interview questions.
What does the ornament on the cover stand for? 
As a child I was taught that the only way I could experience true joy was by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ as found in Mormonism. The ornament is symbolic of that joy. Or, more particularly, what I feared I’d lose if I ever stopped believing in The Church.

Why did you hide your faith struggles from those closest to you? 
I was afraid my faithful Mormon family and friends would think me either prideful or influenced by Satan if I admitted to doubting The Church. There’s a common phrase faithful Latter-day Saints use to explain away uncomfortable issues: “The Church is true. The people are not.” Those who leave the church are often labeled as angry, easily offended, prideful, lazy, or deceived. There’s no good reason to doubt, no good reason to question, no good reason to stop believing. Faith yields loyalty and obedience.

What kinds of reactions have you had from your Mormon author friends?
This has been similar to my family response—lots of condemnation, lots of avoidance, lots of judgment, and lots of gratitude. Yes, I know, it seems odd that I’d hear gratitude from LDS author friends who are faithful in the church. But apparently there are people who struggle in silence, unable to tell a soul how they feel without losing those most dear to them. That’s the reason the Disaffected Mormon Underground (DAMU) exists. It fills a palpable need.

What are the best ways to support someone going through a faith crisis?
The most important thing is to listen. Don’t distance yourself. Don’t shy away. Don’t give advice, and definitely don’t judge. Just be a friend. Period. Sometimes it really is that simple.

Look at this cover. Isn't it exquisite?

Brought up in a religious home, Sophia believes the only way to have a forever family is by following church leaders and obediently choosing the right. She goes to the right school, marries the right man in the right place, and does the right thing by staying home to raise her children. But when she starts asking questions about grace, love, and the nature of God, she realizes her spiritual struggles could rip her family apart.

“Sophia Stone has a fine eye and a searching heart. Her story of growing up in and reaching through her Mormonism for a deeper, more authentic spirituality reflects all the ways that religion can both keep us satisfied with easy answers and push us to more difficult and complicated realizations. We need a hundred more books like this one . . . “ –Joanna Brooks, author of The Book of Mormon Girl

“Sophia Stone captured my attention from the beginning. This collection of personal essays, about questioning the legitimacy of Mormonism after having faith in the religion for the first 30-something years of her life, is not just a controversial quake to a reader’s heart and soul. Stone’s voice is brave, bold and intriguing. And surprisingly relatable to someone who is not religious.”—Jessica Bell, author of String Bridge 

Check out this beautifully done trailer:

AND Sophia is on Twitter! She will take any questions about Mormonism and answer them (minus the usual spin) under the hashtag #mormonquestions.
Sophia Stone @ask_a_mormon

You can find THE MORMON DIARIES on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Thank you guys for stopping by, and thank you Sophia for being so brave and telling your story. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sarah Fine Interview & SANCTUM ARC GIVEAWAY!

Hi everyone! I want to welcome a good friend and an über-talented writer to my blog, Sarah Fine! You guys may know her awesome psychology-based posts on her blog, The Strangest Situation. Her debut book, SANCTUM, will be released on October 16th. 

How will you bide your time? I have no idea. You will suffer, for sure. But this might help: somehow, I managed to virtually get her in a triangle-choke and do this interview (actually, I think she's quite tall so I'd totally lose that fight!)

1) When was the first time you decided to write a YA novel? How did that happen?
The first novel I ever wrote had a 21-year-old protagonist, and I had an agent at a conference tell me I should revise it to make it YA. I didn't think it would fit that story, but my critique partner agreed that my "voice was young." [sigh--I wish I looked as young as my writing voice sounds] So, the next book I wrote--Sanctum--had a teenage protagonist. I've written one adult book since then, but everything else has been YA.

2) You give great advice about things like Writer' Block on your blog. So what is your personal, biggest barrier to writing?
I am often very easily distracted, but when I'm deep into a project, I write quickly and am very focused. Apart from that, my biggest barrier to writing, I suppose, is that I have to enjoy what I'm doing. When I'm not utterly passionate about something, I have trouble getting going.

3) A pound of chocolate, or a pound of fried bacon. Choose wisely.
No contest. Bacon. Bacon bacon bacon. [on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog]

4) Aliens are coming to earth and are about to torch your house. After getting your family safe and rescuing your laptop (ha! took that one away, didn't I?) and writing a short memoir on impending alien annihilation, what is the first thing you run back to the house to save?
Honestly? I might thank the aliens for sparing me the trouble of a garage sale. Seriously, I'm not a big fan of ... stuff. Except my laptop, of course. I joke constantly with my husband about wanting to rent one of those giant dumpsters and toss nearly all of my possessions into it.

5) Fill in the blank. "If you met me in person, you'd be surprised because____________."
I'm a dog who loves bacon? Er ... okay, joking aside, you might be surprised to find that I am horrendously disorganized. I fool most people into thinking I'm a thoroughly organized individual--until they see my office. Or my closet. Or my car. [this is why I need one of those giant dumpsters]

Thanks Sarah!

Now, I've read this book so I know how fantastic it is. Instead of believing me, here's a quote from an objective book blogger, Bookittyblog

"Sarah Fine is a genius. I say this because the book takes place in a very dark place where not many authors can entertain the reader until the last page... The only thing I have to say is that Sanctum was PERFECT!"

Oh, and then there's this juicy tidbit:

"And Malachi oh, Malachi how much I love you. Malachi was probably my top 5 reasons why I loved Sanctum so much. ;)"



Oh. Where was I? 

Here is it, SANCTUM!  Releases on October 16, 2012

"My plan:  Get into the city. Get Nadia.   Find a way out. Simple."

A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos's best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance – hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn't just anyone – she's determined to save her best friend's soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife. 

As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she's captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city's endless streets. Their all-too human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn't – the dark city isn't the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.
 Available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

And, you can win an ARC here! Woot! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Author Photo Freak-Out

Hey guys. So, in about a week, I'm going to do author photos.

I'm a little nervous about it. So nervous that I need to detail my anxiety in list-style.

1. I know I have another nice photo (see my avatar). This was done a few years ago for my doctor work on an article that was never published. I got digital rights to the photo, which is why you see it on my Twitter account and here, but for print/commercial rights it's waaaaay more expensive. Also, I'm miffed that it's a "I'm A Serious Author Holding A Pen That You Can't See and Touching My Face AND Not Looking At You" totally cliché photo. It bothers me.

2. Despite an active imagination, I can't seem to imagine away the aging process. I keep thinking, "Oh god, it's now or never they get this picture and freeze me in time when I still look passable." See below:

Yep, that's me in the age 30-50 age range.

3. I don't know what to wear. I'm thinking casual (BUT NOT TOO CASUAL! I'm a doctor and need to be professional, right?).  But I can't be too formal or teens will go, "Yecch. What a stiff, dorkified grown-up."

4. Makeup scares me.  Too little and I'll look sad and tired. Too much and I'll look like I'm desperately trying to relive my college years. A happy medium is the key. Only...I don't know what that is. I'm much better at giving advice though. Check out Sarah Fine's author photo. So perfect!

5. My salt-tooth will kick in the night before and I will end up resembling rising bread dough. Not a good look for me. 

6. Surely, I will get a zit the size of Mt. Fuji the day of, so why bother trying to look decent?

Right. Might as well go with this on my book jacket:

 Those are accurate head-to-body proportions.  Really.

Have you had an professional author/writer photo done? Any advice? I'll try to post photos after the deed is done!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Medical Mondays: Some Tonic Water for your Malaria?

Hi guys!

Today I'm going to talk about quinine.

I've been fascinated by this chemical since reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie. In that book, the whole family is taken down by a bad case of malaria (an infection caused by a mosquito-carrying parasite). If you ever want to know what it feels like to have malaria, check out the book. The description is pretty spot on.

Their infection is eventually cured by quinine, which is described as a bitter, white powder.

Where is it naturally found? Quinine is found in the bark of the Cinchona calisaya tree, which is native to Peru.

Source: Wikipedia
How long has it been used to treat malaria? It was brought from Peru to Rome in the 17th century, and was known for some time as Peruvian Bark. Malaria was a frequent problem in Rome at that time, and after showing its efficacy, was shipped to Europe regularly.

What's it used for now? Nowadays, many types of malaria are resistant to plain quinine. Other forms of quinine are used to treat Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

How can I impress a medical student? Tell them you know what cinchonism is! Cinchonism is caused by an overdose of quinine. Symptoms include ringing ears, flushing and sweating, confusion, dizziness, and nausea and vomiting. Large doses can cause death.

But what about my tonic water! I love my tonic water! And so do I. Tonic water contains small amounts of quinine, which gives it that slight bitter flavor. Drinking normal amounts won't cause cinchonism.

But will it cure my leg cramps? Quinine has been thought to help with leg cramps, but it is no longer FDA approved for this treatment. Sorry!

How can I use quinine in a party trick? Quinine glows under a black light. (It' doesn't glow in the dark, sorry!) Check it out!
Source: Wikipedia
What about my ichy fish? Quinine is often used to treat the parasite ich.

So there you go. Quinine! Party drink! Fish-saver! Malaria killer! And great for party tricks!

If you've got a fictional medical question, let me know! Post below or email me at
  All I ask is that you become a follower and post a link on your blog when I post your answer. This is for fictional scenarios, only. Please check out the boring but necessary disclaimer on my sidebar --> Also, don't forget to stop by Laura Diamond's Mental Health Mondays and Sarah Fine's The Strangest Situation for great psychiatric and psychological viewpoints on all things literary. :)

Oh! One last quick note. Please stop by Literary Rambles today. Matthew McNish's (of QQQE fame) daughter Mady is being interviewed for Ask The Expert. Please show your support! Thank you! 

I lied! Another quick note. Sheri Larsen snagged an agent, yay! She's having HUMONGOUS giveaway (and I'm donating a sterling silver and onyx necklace to celebrate!) Please check it out at her blog! 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nutella and Interviews!

I just bought Nutella after being a Nutella-free household for over 10 years.

I forgot that they put some addictive substance in that stuff. Or at least mind-controlling. If the Nutella told me to do back flips down the hallway at work, I just might.

Anyway...*licks spoon*

I've been interviewed! It didn't hurt and I came away relatively unscathed.

First, on Rachna Chabria's blog. Rachna has been a blogging friend since forever, so please stop by and say hi. She always has wise writing advice!

Also, I was interviewed on Chasing the Crazies. Is that a brilliant title of a blog, or what?

And finally, here. Have a tablespoon. Or a cup. My treat.

OMG, did you  know there was a World Nutella Day?

February 5, 2013! I'll be celebrating. Smear your face with Nutella and show the love.

Have a great weekend guys!

Monday, September 3, 2012

This Bird Is Trying to Teach Me Something

A few months ago, I took a few tennis lessons with my hubs. Along the stony path surrounding the tennis court fences was this bird.

She comes to the same tennis court every year to lay her eggs. She's some sort of seabird (for you ornithologists out there, if you can ID it I'd be grateful. My son thinks it's some kind of plover.)

Anyway, if you get too close to her, she ruffles her feathers. I've been told her beak jabs hurt a lot and draw blood. The tennis club members put up a sign up every year to warn people to stay a safe distance away from her. They adore her and protect her fiercely.

I think she's trying to teach me a lesson.

Here's a sea bird in the middle of land-locked Nebraska. She's nesting amongst humans, high-velocity fuzzy yellow balls, and swinging tennis rackets.

She's got no rocky beach to nest on. And yet, she successfully raises her chicks every single year.

If that's not tenacity, then I don't know what is.

Happy Labor Day, people. Have a great day!