Laundry, #AuthorInterview, and #OWSCyCon2019 #giveaway

Last week, I mentioned I’d be out of town for a few days helping the oldest son get settled in his new apartment.  Over the last week, I’ve washed more loads of clothes than the previous two months combined.  With everything the oldest son needed washed, then the youngest son moving out of the dorm and having a couple weeks worth of clothes, combined with hubby’s laundry from the few days I was gone, I feel like I’ve been changed to the W/D over the past several days.  If you read about a sudden water shortage in KY – you’ve found the culprit.

One of my publishing sibs, Hannah R. Goodman, interviewed me for her 9 Questions series on her blog – hop over and read about authors that have influenced my writing, and the three books I’d want with me if stranded on a desert island (I might have cheated just a bit on that one).  Stay around and check out Hannah’s new YA contemporary release, Till It Stops Beating.

This coming weekend, May 17th through 19th, I’m taking part in OWS CyCon in the horror and sci-fi/fantasy genres (many more are listed on the home page).  You can visit participating authors’ virtual booths, vote in cover and character wars, and read posts on a plethora of topics.  There’s also a huge giveaway of 22 ebooks and an Amazon card here – make sure to register!  Go to the home page for a schedule and get in on the fun this weekend.


#Derby, #AmWriting, and Name My Book Character

Another fantastic weekend!  On Friday, hubby and I attended our youngest son’s last concert of the semester.  Saturday, we were guests at a rainy, but fun-filled Derby party, and Sunday, we spent part of the day with the oldest son before he traveled to his new apartment and job out of state.  Both sons were at the Derby party, so that made it even better.  By Sunday afternoon, I could have easily keeled over for a nap, but the to-do list wasn’t getting checked off on its own.

I’ll be away from Wi-Fi for most of the week – traveling to the oldest son’s new apartment to get him settled, and no internet until Friday.  I’ll try to get to comments and other blogs by the weekend – between traveling back home and moving the youngest son out of his dorm.  While I’m at the oldest son’s apartment, he’ll be out of town at a job site, so it’s just me, with no TV or internet for a few days.  Besides getting him unpacked, I plan to get some serious writing done.  It’s almost like a retreat!  Have my book club audio book downloaded and ready for the journey.

The Name My Book Character contest is going well.  This is the first time I’ve tried it, and the response has been wonderful.  Participants have put some real thought into their entries, and it’s going to be a difficult decision.  If you haven’t entered yet, you’ve got until Sunday, May 12th – here’s the link.


Is anyone watching Our Planet on Netflix?  It’s educational, alarming, humorous – and the footage is stunning.  We’re about six episodes in and totally addicted.  Give it a try!



Name My Book Character! #giveaway #YA #scifi

My third book is scheduled for publication February 13, 2020, and I need a name for a supporting character.  He’s currently going by the name ‘X’ in my draft – yes, I’m that creative.

This character is a seventeen-year-old male operative for an organization that rescues hostages.  He’s athletic, friendly, easy on the eyes, and has a secretive past.

If your entry is chosen, you’ll receive an acknowledgment in the book, and a signed copy upon publication.  The name won’t be chosen randomly – I’ll select one I think best suits the character.  To enter, all you need to do is leave your name suggestion – it can be just a first, or first and last name – below.  It’s that simple.

Entries will close Sunday, May 12th, at midnight CST, and the winner will be announced Wednesday, May 15th.

Good luck!

#BookFest, #Endgame, and Derby

This was one busy weekend – but busy in a good way.  Books!  Authors!  Avengers: Endgame!  Doesn’t get much better than that.

The book festival was, as always, spectacular.  On Friday, I attended writing classes involving topics on how to use time in novels, social media strategies, and YA fiction.  Saturday was spent at a worldbuilding panel, and listening to Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, discuss the events that led her to write it.  What an incredible speaker she was – relaxed, charismatic, inspirational, motivational.  And a great sense of humor!  The room was packed with people of all ages, races, and cultures, and her signing line afterwards stretched down the hallway and around the building.  It was such a pleasure to meet her.  If she’s ever in your neck of the woods, don’t miss the opportunity to see her.

As I said last Monday, I planned to use restraint, and refrain from buying every book I saw.  With only three, I’d say that showed incredible restraint.  Of course, Bond had jump into the picture.  I probably would have bought more, but I was meeting the youngest son for lunch before we saw Avengers: Endgame.

No spoilers!  Endgame was epic, incredible, and more than I’d imagined.  It absolutely deserved to break all those box office records.  At the end, everyone in our theater was clapping – how often does that happen?  Before the movie, I noticed a young boy around three-years-old sitting with his father behind us.  I was nervous, because what child that young is going to sit quietly through a three hour movie?  Evidently, he was just as enthralled as we were, because I never heard a peep.

This week will also be a busy one.  Maybe you don’t realize it, but in Kentucky, just about everyone knows Derby is this weekend.  We’ll be at some friends’ (who are more like family) party spending time with other friends (also more like family), and the best part is that all of our kids, who are now scattered in VA, OH, and TX, will be there!  On Sunday, I’m following my oldest son back to his new apartment in OH and spending a few days to help him unpack and get settled.  The Friday after that, I’ll be moving my youngest son out of his dorm back home for two weeks, then getting him ready to travel to Austria for four weeks, followed by moving him into his new apartment.

Tired yet?  Have a great week!

Moving, #AmWriting, #BookFest, #EndGame

A lot is happening at the Polen household over the next few months.  It started this past weekend with moving my older son to a different state.  He’s accepted another job within his company that required him to move a couple of hours away from where he currently resides, so guess how I spent my Easter weekend?  But this is an excellent opportunity for him, and he found a fantastic apartment.

The youngest son is finishing up this college semester in a few weeks, but will then be spending four weeks studying in Austria.  A week after he returns, we’ll be moving him into a new apartment for the fall semester.  Hubby just hopes the apartment will be on the ground floor (still popping Tylenol from this weekend)!

I signed a contact for my WIP (yes, it’s still titled Book 3, in case you were wondering).  My deadline is August 1st – and I’m remaining calm.  I’ll get this done.

You guys – this coming weekend.  I’m like, stupid excited.  Not only is it the local book festival, where I’ll meet author Angie Thomas and many of my favorites, it’s two days of writing classes, panels, and books, books, books!  I’ll try to restrain myself, but be prepared for a picture of my book haul next Monday.

And then Saturday at 3pm?  Do I really need to tell you where I’ll be?  Avengers:  Endgame!!!!

#AmWriting, #BetaReader, #BlackSummer

I tried something new to sell books this past weekend – I had a table at an arts/crafts fair.  I didn’t sell many books (it turned out to be a cold, rainy day), but I met a very friendly 8-year-old boy who stole my heart.  The second he saw my books, he ventured over to check them out.  He’s really too young for YA, but I asked what he liked to read, and he said adventure stories.  He told me he was in third grade, and always hurried to finish his school assignments so he could read his books – said he’d be happy if they’d just let him read all day instead of giving tests.  I wanted to hug him!  Don’t you wish more kids had such a love of reading?

Book 3 (still no title yet) is going well, and I’ve got a beta reader waiting for me to finish it.  I met her in one of my book clubs, and she loves YA.  She’s also not afraid to give her opinion, and has a strong sense of what works and what doesn’t in books, and that’s exactly what I need in a beta reader.

Speaking of Book 3, I’m going to have a contest to name a character.  I saw another author mention this, and thought it sounded like a fantastic and fun idea.  Not only will I use the name, but the winner will also be mentioned in the acknowledgements – and I need to get this put together really soon.  Right now, I’m calling this character ‘X’ – just as creative as ‘Book 3’, don’t you think?  My creativity is astounding.

I haven’t really watched much this past week, except for a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones.  I’m almost finished with season 6.  Black Summer, a new series on Netflix, looks interesting.  All I know is it involves zombies, so you know I’ll be checking it out.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Facebook Ads, #AmWriting, and #Supernatural

Has anyone out there tried Facebook ads for your books?  I gave it a shot a couple of times last fall, with no success.  After checking out a link on Staci Troilo’s website that explained the process a little better, I decided to give it another chance.  The ad is for The Gemini Connection, and although it’s far from a landslide, the ranking went up this weekend.  So did the ranking for Sarah, but I’m not sure if the increased sales were a result of the FB ad or a Twitter post from Saturday.  I’ll let the ad run for at least a couple more days and see what happens.  If you know the secret to successful ads, please share!

I’m still plugging away on the third draft of my WIP – which is still titled Book 3.  As I’m reading through it again, occasionally the characters laugh and tell me that’s not something they’d ever say or do, and it needs to be rewritten.  Does this happen to you guys?  It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have voices in your head – especially if you’re a writer.

So, I’m waaaaay behind on Supernatural – and I can hear some of you gasping in shock, dismay, bewilderment, and disapproval.  For some reason, I never watched it when the series first started so many years ago, and I’m determined to change that.  Especially since the last season is coming up.  A few reviewers mentioned that in Sarah, the banter between Cain and Finn reminded them of Sam and Dean, but when I wrote the book, I’d never seen the show.  So far, I’ve gotten through the first six or seven episodes, and I love it, just like I knew I would.  I’ll keep you updated.