Monday, September 26, 2016

Winner of "Fall Into Austen" giveaway!

Thank you to all who entered to win the Amazon.com gift card. The winner (chosen by random.org) is...Heather Sebastian! I have emailed the winner.

Please enjoy our *free* book right now: HOLIDAYS WITH JANE: Trick or Sweet.

There's more fun on Indie Jane Press. Be sure to check out the blog posts and Facebook posts.

Friday, September 23, 2016

"Falling" in love with Austen

To kick off our Fall into Austen event, our collection Holidays with Jane; Trick or Sweet is FREE for your kindle September 22 – 26. Snag a copy on Amazon.

"Falling" in love with Austen


PRIDE AND PREJUDICE was my first Jane Austen novel that I read and it has remained my favorite Austen novel and my favorite novel of all time. (I’m saying this as an English teacher who majored in English literature that loves to read in my free time.) Why does P&P remain my favorite, even after a dozen readings? Is it the romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy? Is it the sweetness of Jane? The country/city life compared? The fact that it is set in England? The answers to all of these is yes and no. 

I mean, of course I love all of the above.  But is goes deeper than that. It’s the varied themes of the novel. Finding true love and not giving up on it. Finding out that we are proud and prejudiced in so many ways. Our families are a part of who we are. Being confident in the role we have been placed in. THERE ARE SO MANY THEMES. 

My AP English class just finished this novel and it was an amazing transformation. They started the novel with 0 students liking the story. They thought the premise was absurd. They hated every character. Slowly, as they read more, as we discussed more, as they thought more, they began to dislike it less. By the end of the novel, they all cheered when Elizabeth and Darcy finally got together. Of course, there were remarks like, “Why couldn’t they just have gotten together in the first few chapters?” My response, “That would be a very short book. And you wouldn’t have cared about the characters and what happens to them.” 

As we read, we make an investment into those characters. That’s why we yell at books when our favorite characters make “stupid” choices. It’s why we dress up and host Jane Austen tea parties. It’s why my friends and I write modern adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels. It’s why we take those “Which Austen heroine are you?” quizzes. It’s why we all wanted Austenland to be a real place after reading the novel. Jane Austen knew the human heart and she knew human imagination. She combined them in magical ways. 

It’s easy to fall in love with Austen’s writing. You’re in good company.

**Giveaway** One person will win a $10 Amazon.com gift card! Fill in the Rafflecopter info below.


Be sure to check out all of the cool stuff on the Indie Jane Press site. You can enter to win a Starbucks gift card and a free copy of our newest book!

We will also have some fantastic giveaways starting September 22, as well as fun blog posts to keep us falling into Austen all weekend long.
Here’s our posting schedule!
9/22 – Kick off Post and NEW BOOK REVEAL – Jessica Grey
9/23 – “Falling” in love with Austen – Melissa Buell
9/24 – Making a Mansfield Perk Approved Flat White – Jennifer Becton
9/25 – Austen, Magic, and a Modern Teenage Darcy – Jessica Grey
9/26 – Rambling Confession about Writing Northanger Abbey Rebecca M. Fleming
9/27 – WINNERS POSTED HERE on indiejanepress.com

We hope you’ll join us for this fun event!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Falling" in love with Austen

To kick off our Fall into Austen event, our collection Holidays with Jane; Trick or Sweet is FREE for your kindle September 22 – 26. Snag a copy on Amazon.

"Falling" in love with Austen


PRIDE AND PREJUDICE was my first Jane Austen novel that I read and it has remained my favorite Austen novel and my favorite novel of all time. (I’m saying this as an English teacher who majored in English literature that loves to read in my free time.) Why does P&P remain my favorite, even after a dozen readings? Is it the romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy? Is it the sweetness of Jane? The country/city life compared? The fact that it is set in England? The answers to all of these is yes and no. 

I mean, of course I love all of the above.  But is goes deeper than that. It’s the varied themes of the novel. Finding true love and not giving up on it. Finding out that we are proud and prejudiced in so many ways. Our families are a part of who we are. Being confident in the role we have been placed in. THERE ARE SO MANY THEMES. 

My AP English class just finished this novel and it was an amazing transformation. They started the novel with 0 students liking the story. They thought the premise was absurd. They hated every character. Slowly, as they read more, as we discussed more, as they thought more, they began to dislike it less. By the end of the novel, they all cheered when Elizabeth and Darcy finally got together. Of course, there were remarks like, “Why couldn’t they just have gotten together in the first few chapters?” My response, “That would be a very short book. And you wouldn’t have cared about the characters and what happens to them.” 

As we read, we make an investment into those characters. That’s why we yell at books when our favorite characters make “stupid” choices. It’s why we dress up and host Jane Austen tea parties. It’s why my friends and I write modern adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels. It’s why we take those “Which Austen heroine are you?” quizzes. It’s why we all wanted Austenland to be a real place after reading the novel. Jane Austen knew the human heart and she knew human imagination. She combined them in magical ways. 

It’s easy to fall in love with Austen’s writing. You’re in good company.

**Giveaway** One person will win a $10 Amazon.com gift card! Fill in the Rafflecopter info below.


Be sure to check out all of the cool stuff on the Indie Jane Press site. You can enter to win a Starbucks gift card and a free copy of our newest book!

We will also have some fantastic giveaways starting September 22, as well as fun blog posts to keep us falling into Austen all weekend long.
Here’s our posting schedule!
9/22 – Kick off Post and NEW BOOK REVEAL – Jessica Grey
9/23 – “Falling” in love with Austen – Melissa Buell9/24 – Making a Mansfield Perk Approved Flat White – Jennifer Becton9/25 – Austen, Magic, and a Modern Teenage Darcy – Jessica Grey9/26 – Rebecca M. Fleming9/27 – WINNERS POSTED HERE on indiejanepress.com

We hope you’ll join us for this fun event!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Curious World - HMH

There's an app called "Curious World" from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It's for the iPhone and iPad.
https://www.curiousworld.com/

Here's the the link to the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/curious-world-early-learning/id994556645?mt=8


Description

From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a leader in classroom education for over 100 years - start your child’s learning journey with a FREE TRIAL and get unlimited access to nearly 1,000 fun and educational books, games, and videos, perfect for your child’s discovery or family time! Designed for kids ages 2-7, Curious World brings you: 

• Over 500 fun and educational games, videos and books
• Favorite characters like Curious George and Gossie
• New activities added every week
• A safe and ad-free environment
• Content curated by early learning experts across key learning areas
• A personalized experience based on your child’s age

Games, videos and books are curated by early learning experts across the following key learning areas:

• Science
• Math
• Literacy
• Executive Function
• Creative Expression
• Social & Emotional
• Family & Community
• Health & Wellbeing

Subscription details:

Curious World is free to download with access to select content and features.

With a Curious World subscription, you will receive:

• Exclusive access to unlimited games, videos and books – new content added weekly!
• A personalized experience for your child
• Ability to create up to 5 child profiles
• Access to the Parent Dashboard to track your child’s activities
• A safe and ad-free learning environment

FREE 7-DAY TRIAL

Friday, June 17, 2016

Updates and such...

Hey there!

It's June and school has officially been out for two weeks. That means I get to sleep in (for an extra hour or so) and spend a lot of time with my boys. I'm working on a setting up a steady writing schedule this summer. This has been difficult in the past because MY CHILDREN ARE AT HOME. Even if I put the "Writer Cave" sign on my door, they still knock. And I answer. Because parenting and being present for my kids is more important than writing. So...I need to find a way to write AND keep them occupied.

Fortunately, we have an awesome public library in city. I can bring my laptop into the children's library and write while my sons play "learning games" on the computers, gather up books, do them summer reading program fun, and READ. It's a win-win.

Here's a recap of some favorite things that I've read/watched/done these last few months.

AUTHOR PANEL
I was part of the "B-Fest" at Barnes and Noble, Fullerton. I was on a panel with Meadow Griffin (author of LEGENDS OF ERIN) and Valerie Noble (author of THE ENERGY CRUSADES). Thank you to Jen Loomis for making this an awesome event!



WATCHING ON AMAZON PRIME
"Doctor Thorne" - produced by Julian Fellowes. It's a four episode mini-series, similar to BBC adaptations of Jane Austen novels. My sister-in-law told me about this show and I'm SO happy! It was fantastic.

"Doctor Who" - seasons 4, 5. I'm rewatching "Doctor Who" with my teenager. It used to be on Netflix but left! Sad day. But we found it on Amazon Prime! Yes!

"Lark Rise to Candleford" - I just started this series and I like it already. It's fairly obvious that I'm a Angliophile. I don't think about it until I'm saying things like, "These earbuds are rubbish. Throw them in the bin." I've been reading a fair amount of British novels, too.


MOVIE THEATRE
"Captain America: Civil War" - Of course. Cap is my favorite Avenger. This movie. AMAZING.

"Love and Friendship" - The movie adaptation of Jane Austen's story "Lady Susan." I saw this with a friend who is also a Janeite. It was so funny and perfect. Austen's wit was sharp when she was young.


BOOKS
HOLIDAYS WITH JANE: Summer of Love - We have another short story collection out! It's wonderful to read the stories that my fellow authors have written. Jennifer Becton started to do a read/tweet along with the stories. I joined in. Hang out with us on Twitter! #holidayswithjane


An assortment of books. Now that's it's summer, I'm starting to read books for the next school year. (A teacher's work is never done!) I'm considering adding FRANKENSTEIN to the AP English 12 class. I would also like to teach FAHRENHEIT 451 this year. I'm also looking at my "To Be Read" pile that has stacked up over the last school year. I need to do some fun reading. :-)


WRITING
I'm still formatting Book 3, THE CURSED BLESSING, to be in paperback. I thought I had it all done...and then discovered that all of the italics were stripped out. HOW?! I have no idea. So, I've had to go back and read the whole book again and add italics to all of the thoughts my main character has. THERE ARE A LOT OF THOUGHTS. I will *hopefully* be done today. Then I will be able to get it to CreateSpace and work on all the other aspects of publishing it.

New writing? Yes, I hope to have something new. And soon! I have a finished story that I need to revisit. I have a fairy tale that I need to finish outlining. I have another fairy tale that is just an idea right now. Perhaps while I am on vacation this summer...

Enjoy your time this summer! I know that I will.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Holidays With Jane: Summer of Love

A new book is out in the wild! The fourth book from Indie Jane Press is now available:
Available on Kindle (and Kindle app) now. Paperback will be out soon.

For all of the blog posts about it, visit the IndieJane.org site. We're hosting a giveaway and have a music playlist for you.

Holidays With Jane on Facebook

Giveaway on Rafflecopter

Happy summer, friends!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pinteresting Fall Crafts


In preparing to write my newest short story for the HOLIDAYS WITH JANE: TRICK OR SWEET collection, I wasted hours browsing Pinterest researched fall crafts that Emma could make for the Fall Ball fundraiser. There are a few that would certaininly be regarded as "Pinterest fails" if I tried to accomplish them in a short amount of time with a small budget. (I mean, really, who can afford to make some of these crafts?!)

SO...here are a few things that I was able to make using either 1.) items I already own OR 2.) inexpensive items from the dollar store.


I saved some glass soda bottles because I'm that girl who saves glass bottles for *possible* future craft projects. (It drives my husband batty but I remind him that we're saving money!) ;-)  I saw this very cute craft idea using glass bottles and spray paint.

Pinterest Inspiration:


https://www.pinterest.com/pin/A93cjQAQgPsHd4Oy4c0AAAA/



Melissa's Creation:



So...I didn't look at the reference pic before I spray painted. And I don't eat candy corn so I forgot what the color design was. Grrr. It's fine. Really. What I learned: Possibly try out different shades of orange and yellow?

I also save old pickle jars, jam jars, etc. for craft projects. I had this candle jar from the dollar store. I spray painted the outside with "pumpkin orange" and wrapped raffia around the top. I stitched a few fake autumn leaves together and then hot glued the bundle to the raffia. *Be sure to glue the leaves and the twine away from the top edge of the jar!* You don't want it to catch on fire, right? (That would surely be the end to my crafting days, guys.)


Melissa's Creation:

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. :)



In "Emma Ever After", Emma "borrows" Knightley's drill and makes some cute centerpieces.

Pinterest Inspiration:


Melissa's Creation:
IT DIDN"T HAPPEN. Crafting fail, guys. Lack of time on this project. Maybe I can get a few more hours in my day? Please?



HOLIDAYS WITH JANE: TRICK OR SWEET published by Indie Jane Press is available now for Kindle reader/app and will be soon available in paperback. 


We're also hosting a blog hop! Here's your clue for the blog hop giveaway: AUTUMN LEAVES

See the rest of the blog hop schedule at IndieJane.org 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Halloween Costumes FTW!



HOLIDAYS WITH JANE: TRICK OR SWEET 
published by Indie Jane Press is available now for Kindle reader/app and will be soon available in paperback.

Halloween costumes

When I was young, my mom made the costumes for my brother, my sister, and me. I distinctly remember the bunny costume I wore for kindergarten.


I *kinda* knew how to sew as a kid and teenager but didn’t really know how to machine sew well until I was pregnant with my oldest son. My mom taught me how to sew and I’ve made many, many items since then. Some of my favorite (and most difficult items) were Halloween costumes! Here are a few of my favorites.



Little shepherd boy for VBS



Jack Sparrow! This is one of my favorite costumes that I’ve made. My son was totally in love with pirates for years. He wore his Halloween costume for his birthday party. This is his pirate birthday party at age 5. The buttonholes on the vest, though... I might have cried making them. No joke. (And that pirate ship cake. Hours of labor.)

The whole piratey family at C’s birthday party.


I’ve assembled costumes for parties with items from thrift stores over the years. I have a blog post on my Austenesque ball gown I made from a thrift store dress. 




Costuming for “Alice in Wonderland” at the school I teach at. I made the Queen of Hearts costume last year.



A Queen Elsa costume for my niece. This was made WITHOUT a pattern because I’m crazy. (And they didn’t make the pattern for it until about 2 weeks after I finished the dress.)



Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan




Superhero Day!



My boys have learned how to machine sew from me. They made costumes for a cosplay costume hosted by the Fullerton Public Library last year. They loved it so much that they did it again this summer.




What are some of your favorite costumes that you have made or worn?

BLOG HOP!
Collect the clues and enter our giveaway at Indie Jane!

Clue: What was my Halloween costume when I was in kindergarten?

See the rest of the blog hop schedule at IndieJane.org

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Writing Tips

I have a friend who recently asked me for some writing tips that I wished someone had told me when I started writing. Here's what I sent back to him. What do you think? Agree? What are some tips that you would pass on to a new writer?

So...thoughts on being a writer...

-I wish someone had told me how many drafts go into writing a story. There's the first draft and you rejoice that it's done! And then you read it and wish someone had told you what a terrible writer you are. A friend talks you off the ledge and then you revise and rework the story. You re-read this second draft. It's not so awful. Maybe you can still save it. Seven drafts later, you're pretty happy with the story you've written. Writing is an act of passion. Editing is an act of patience. 

-Not everything you write will be published. And that's okay. I've heard of people who have never shown anyone their first attempts at novel writing. 

-Make sure to have a support group of readers/editors that will tell you the truth. It's a great thing to have friends to encourage you and listen to your plot twists and character shenanigans.

-Write a story that you want to read. If you don't, you'll hate it each time you read through it. But don't write something so precious that any attempts to change it / edit it will lead to you self-combusting.

-Write what you know. This is a tried and true fact. If you don't know about xyz, it will show on the page and the reader will know that you don't know what you're talking about. Pause the writing, research the time period / clothing / weapons / readings of mass spectrometers, and then continue writing with confidence.