Saturday, June 25, 2011

And The Winner IS:

Aimee Danny! Thanks for all those who posted comments, followed, and were a great support to Cindy Hogan and to myself. We love our fellow writers and especially you readers. 
If you haven't had a chance to purchase Cindy's Book, you can click here to purchase your copy in either paper back or Kindle Edition. I just purchased a Kindle today and can't wait to read her book! 

Review will be coming, Cindy. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And you could win lots of awesome prizes
                          and learn about             
        the hottest new teen novel,
       while making new friends.
Each of the following blogs is offering a different awesome prize!
(That's 14 prizes!)
And the grand prize is a $25 dollar gift card to Amazon.

                  Quick, Fast Entry

Pick a blog, any blog to get started
(just click on the underlined name)
Better hurry! There's only 4 days to enter -Tues., June 21st-FridayJune 24th
 **(Need more details? More complete entry details at the bottom of the page)

1.   Follow Rachelle Writes and leave a comment.   Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Rachelle's blog. (If you do both you get 1 entry into Rachelle's contest and one into the Grand Prize contest-You Must do both to enter either)

2.   Follow A Writer's Reality and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Melissa's blog.

3.   Follow Day Dreamer and leave a comment.
Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Christine's blog.

4.  Follow The Queen of the Clan and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Danyelle's blog.

5.   Follow Jordan McCollum and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Jordan's blog.

6.  Follow The Crazy Daze of Motherhood and leave a comment. Then followCindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Jane's blog.

7.  Follow I am a Pistachio and leave a comment.
Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Rebecca's blog.

8.   Follow Chasing Dreams and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Tamara's blog.

9.   Follow Ramblings of a Random Writer and leave a comment. Then followCindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Betsy's blog.

10. Follow Matthew Tandy-The Working Writera nd leave a comment. Thenfollow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Matthew's blog.

11 Follow Weaving a Tale or Two and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Donna's blog.

12. Follow Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author and leave a comment. Then followCindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Tristi's blog.

13. Follow My Yellow Sandbox and leave a comment. Then follow  Cindy M Hogan and leave a comment about Abby's blog.

14. Follow Watched and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M Hogan and leave a comment about that blog.

13. Enter all 14 contests and you get an extra 5 entries into the Grand Prize Giveaway. (19 entries)

14. That's not all! Get 6 extra entries by buying Watched here (print book) or here (e-book) and sending her a copy of your confirmation cindymhogan at yahoo dot com.Easy peasy.   Wow! That's 25 entries!

Have fun and good luck!

**More Details on how to enter
  • Click on the blog name
  • Follow that blog
  • Leave a comment that you were there 
  • Jump over to Cindy's blog
  • Leave a comment about what you liked about the other blog. 
Congrats! You've entered that blog's contest and earned one entry into the Grand Prize Drawing!

Enter one. Enter two or how ever many you like, but...

If you enter all the blogs' contests you get a bonus 5 entries into the Grand Prize Drawing.
That gives you a total of 19 entries to win the
Grand Prize- A $25 gift card to Amazon.

And don't forget to get your copy of Watched for a bonus entries.
(25 total)

Remember- you only have 4 days to enter.
(Tues, June 21st-Friday, June 24th at midnight)  
and you must comment on both blogs for entry into each contest.

Individual blogs will award prizes on June 25th
The Grand Prize will be awarded on June 28th on Cindy's blog.

Check back to see if you won! You have 2 days to claim your prize.

big thanks to my awesome friends for joining in on the fun.
3.   Day Dreamer
14. Watched

Follow me here, leave a comment, repost to Facebook and/or Twitter (tell me in your comment that you did). Each of these will put you in a drawing for a bath basket--Cherry scented bubble bath, rose soap petals and a bath bomb, along with a fluffy bath scrub. It all comes in this adorable heart shaped basket.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Drumroll, Please-Short Story Contest Winners

We gathered together, three of my adorable sophomore/junior students and 2 more who were unable to attend, but gave their input via Facebook and email. We had pizza, 

made and ate brownies, 
oh and had insightful discussions about the short stories. My judges were able to reach decisions quickly. So without further adieu, here are the winners.

1st place receives an autographed copy of my soon to be released novel, Identity 

The kids loved Rebecca's story!

"Better than a Boyfriend" by Rebecca Blevins, St. Joseph, MO

2nd place goes to:

"The Shore" by Andrea Smith, Maricopa, AZ

3rd Place goes to:

"The Crayon" by AnnMarie Jenner, Gilbert AZ

Thank you all for entering your short story. 

And now, I hope you will take a moment and enjoy the stories.

Better Than a Boyfriend
By Rebecca Blevins

            How could he do this to me?
I sat on the stone bench at the park, cold creeping through my blue jeans, up my body, meeting the chilly numbness in my heart.
Trevor, how could you?
My scarf, pink and poofy, reminded me of the time we’d gone to the carnival—all fluffy candy and kisses on the Ferris wheel. From the first time my eyes met his glacier blue ones, I just knew “Lily,” he’d said, gazing into my deepest soul, “We’ll be together forever.”
I’d given him everything because I’d believed him. I’d thought he was different. Thought waiting didn’t matter, since we’d have each other always. We’d had six weeks of bliss before that night, that last Tuesday night when I’d shown him how much I loved him.
Now this. Now . . . her. Ashley.
She’d waited for him, off by the swings. Once Trevor left me I saw them go, hand in hand, down the long, windy path through the almost naked trees to the pond—not where we used to sit, I begged.
They didn’t listen. They sat on our bench. Then they left. I knew where he was taking her—to get a milkshake, double straws, then to his house where they’d watch movies and make out.
I stayed, replaying the scene over and over, her red beret a stain on the landscape.
A scratchy leaf blew across my face. When I touched my nose, the iciness of it shocked me.
Time to go.
Almost Christmas. Last day of school. Trevor’d just broken up with her.
 I almost felt sorry when I saw Ashley after Spanish, red nose and swollen eyes.  She looked at me across the hall, and for an instant, our eyes met and held. Time stood still as I barely nodded, then the spell broke and we were swept along with the human tide which emptied through doors left and right.
After school, I felt a new strength—something I almost didn’t recognize.
I walked home, breathing white, boots clomping.  Footsteps raced behind me and I held my backpack defensively, bracing myself as I turned.
“Lily, I didn’t mean to startle you.” Trevor shined his winning smile at me, the one I used to adore. Now it was a sign of betrayal.
I slung the bag onto my shoulders and crossed my arms. “What do you want?” I raised my eyebrows and waited.
His smile blinked in and out, almost like a turning signal. Then his face softened and he gave me the look that made girls melt.
I wanted to punch his face in.
“Aw, Lily. Don’t be like that. She was a mistake, and I really miss you.” He stepped close to me and wound one of my red curls around his gloved finger. “Lily,” he whispered, “give me a chance. Please?”
I’d expected a little fluttering in my stomach if he ever wanted me back. I’d spent nights dreaming about this very moment. But when it finally happened, all I felt was like I’d eaten a cold grilled cheese sandwich—a solid lump in my stomach and slightly nauseated.
I pushed his hand away. “No, Trevor. I’m over you.” I let the words settle in my middle, and they spread and warmed me. Good. I wasn’t lying, then.
He stepped back, mouth open. A snowflake landed in his carefully messed blond hair and melted. Funny, the things you notice in moments like that.
“But Lily—”
“No.” I was surprised at how strong I sounded. “No, Trevor. No more chances. Plus, I’m late. Brinna’s waiting for me.” I turned around and walked off.
I heard a couple of footsteps behind me, but I didn’t turn back. When I finally sneaked a look, Trevor had almost disappeared behind me, a blue-coated dot in the gray afternoon.
“Aw, Brin, you know I can’t! My mom would kill me!” I whispered to my best friend, not wanting to disturb the movie. Brinna had invited several of us over for a movie night a few days after Christmas.
Brinna laughed.  Before she could say anything else, Jake sat down on the couch next to me and snuggled close. I raised an eyebrow at him and he smiled, warm brown eyes making my heart thaw in spite of myself. I didn’t protest when he moved closer.
Later on, I disentangled myself from Jake and followed Brinna to the kitchen.  She poured chips into a bowl while I griped. “You’re not making this easy. You know how my mom is. And seriously, I can’t deal with emotional crap right now.”
Brinna put the bag down on the counter then leaned against it, folding her arms. “I think you should talk to your mother. You’re old enough to be responsible; you’ve proven that. Plus, Jake really likes you.”
I remembered how I’d felt, looking into those brown eyes, so unlike the blue ones I used to gaze into. “You sure you don’t want him?”
Brinna rolled her eyes as she gestured to the living room. “Like I need one more.” We both laughed.
Two days later, I sat at the kitchen table, slurping some ramen and waiting for Jake. Brinna had been right.
I’d had a heart-to-heart with Mom, and was shocked that she was willing to trust me.
She’d said that she’d watched me grow up a lot in the past few months, and that if Jake was so important to me, she’d be supportive. “The only thing I ask you to consider is that you don’t let him in your bed.”
I’d agreed. For now, anyway.
I heard Jake at the door and ran to let him in. I put a movie on, then we snuggled on the couch under a blanket and he laid his head in my lap. I stroked his silky fur and he reached up and licked my cheek.
Patting him, I sighed happily. A dog was tons better than a boyfriend.

The Shore
by Andrea Smith

                Anna walked along the weathered boardwalk with a heavy heart. Usually the ocean with its soothing sounds brought peace and serenity, but not today. A man sitting in the shadows caught her attention and she hastened her step to greet him.
                “How ya doing, Joe?”
                “Can’t complain,” Joe said in a hoarse voice as he looked up at her with clear green eyes.  
                Anna sighed and sat down next to him. “Have you remembered anything this morning?” The man was a wanderer that daily found himself on the boardwalk, not knowing who he was or where he’d come from. Since their first meeting, Anna had called him Joe and made it her mission to help him remember.
                Joe shook his matted dread locks.  
                “Maybe tomorrow.” Anna patted his knee. “I’m heading down to the beach. You want to come?”
                “I prefer to stay here. I don’t much like the beach or water.”
                “Okay, see ya later.”
                Striding toward the shore, her melancholy returned with full force. She thought about Joe’s eyes, so similar to the sea green eyes of her brother—the reason for her grief. Ten years ago, Chris was lost at sea. An aching hole burned within her as she thought back to the past decade without her older brother to guide and protect her.
                Anna stepped into the water, hoping that each stride toward open sea would wash away her sorrow.  The call of a seagull brought up her head as a large wave crashed into her, knocking her onto the sandy floor. Salty water washed over her and she felt her head crack against a rock, turning the world black.
                Anna opened her eyes to bright lights and the sound of a familiar, almost forgotten voice. “You gave us quite a scare.”
                “Where am I?”
                “At Cape Regional Medical Center. I was out swimming this morning when you washed up on shore.”
                As Anna’s fuzzy vision cleared, she blinked and gaped at the young man seated beside her, his green eyes filled with concern. “Chris?”
                The young man laughed. “Wow, you guessed my name on the first try.”
                Anna shot up. “Chris!”  
               Chris gently pushed her back down on the bed. “Hey, you need to rest.”
              “Chris, it’s me. Anna.”
              “Hey, that’s my kid sister’s name. You actually look a lot like her…only she’s ten.” He winked.
              “Ten? I’m not ten, I’m twenty.”
              “No, my sister’s ten.”
             “But,” Anna shook her head in confusion. “I’m your sister.”
             “Um…I think you’re confused.”
             “Chris, what date is it?”
             “May 25th,” Chris said with concern.
             “No, the year. What year is it?”
             “It can’t be…” Anna’s voice drifted off.
             Chris trained his emerald eyes on her. “Are you okay?”
             Anna’s heart raced as a thought began to form. “Chris, this is going to sound crazy but you need to listen carefully.  I am your sister and I’m here to warn you.”
             “Warn me?”
             “I know about the sailing trip you’re planning. You can’t go.”
             Chris scoffed. “What?”
             “You get caught in a storm and lost at sea.” Anna grabbed Chris’s hands, her voice wavering. “You don’t come back.”
 “Look,” Chris said as he pried his hands out of Anna’s grip, “I don’t know who you are or how you knew about my trip in the morning, but you don’t have to worry. I’m an experienced sailor.”
 “In the morning? NO! Chris, you can’t!” Anna felt herself going into hysterics. “I’ve come back to tell you—“
“Shhh, it’s okay.” Chris patted her arm and reached into his pocket, pulling out a seashell carved into the shape of a dolphin. “I have this hobby of carving seashells. I want you to have it.” He placed the delicate dolphin into Anna’s hand.
She wrapped her fingers around the shell and held it to her heart as warmth enveloped and calmed her. “It’s beautiful.”
Chris smiled, “I’m glad you like it. Tell you what—meet me at Spinners on June 12th at noon and I’ll give you a new one, carved from a seashell I find on my trip.”
Anna looked up at him, pleading, “Please, don’t go.”
“I have to.” He squeezed her hand. “Spinners. June 12th. Don’t Forget.” Chris stood up and walked out of the room, leaving Anna drowning in her own tears until sleep overcame her.
Anna woke to the sound of rhythmic waves crashing upon the shore. Sitting up, she rubbed her throbbing temples and groaned. She saw a man sitting next to her, dripping in salt water and gasping for breath.
“I saw you go down. Had to get you out of the water—before it was too late.”  
“You saved me?”
He nodded.
“It was just a dream,” she said to herself.
“Excuse me?”
Anna shook her head as tears filled her eyes. “Did you know that my brother was lost at sea?”
“I’m so sorry.”
“I just dreamed that I saw him again. I tried to stop him from going, but he didn’t listen. What the—” A shiny glint caught her eye. She pulled a dolphin, carved out of seashell, from the sand.
“What is it?” Joe asked.
Anna showed him the dolphin. “My brother carved it.”
“May I see it?”
As Anna handed Joe the dolphin, he gasped and stared at it in wonder. “I…remember.  I used to carve things out of seashells, as a hobby. I made this and gave it to a girl…and I promised…” Joe pulled a rose carved from an abalone shell out of his pocket.
            Anna scrambled to her knees and held Joe’s face between her hands, searching his sea green eyes. “Chris?”
            He met her gaze and she saw a flash of recognition cross his face. “Anna.”
            “Is it really you?”
            “I got caught in a storm and lost my way,” he said in a shaky voice. “I couldn’t remember anything. So I followed my heart and it brought me here.”
             Anna threw her arms around his neck. “It brought you home.”

The Crayon
by Anne Marie Jenner

            In the beginning there was the crayon... and it was good.  Her mother slid the chunk of coloured wax from the bright orange box and tenderly placed it in her two-year-old hand for complete investigation.
            It was fat, and fit nicely in her chunky hands.  At first she only looked at it, mesmerized by the bright colour of it, then inevitably, she tasted it.  She discovered that the taste was horrible just as her mother gently removed it from her mouth.  She enjoyed the textural difference between the smooth crayon and the rough paper it was wrapped in, and she was happy.
            As she grew older, she learned that crayons would make coloured lines if she rubbed them against a piece of paper... or a floor, a wall, a book, almost anything.  Her mother tried very hard to confine her mark-making to paper.
            She grew still older, and she learned to use the thinner crayons which came in more colours.  She learned to colour inside the lines and experimented with placing textured things under her paper to create special effects.  She learned to draw her own pictures.  And  she was happy.
            She grew a little older and discovered that she could draw with pencil and pen, lead and ink.  She discovered coloured pencils, and the world of paint--oil and acrylic, water colour and tempera.
            She grew older still and people saw her talent.  She was still quite young when they clamored after her work.  Everyone knew her name. Success and fame did not spoil her, though with people paying great sums even for her pencil sketches, she grew quite wealthy.  And she was happy.
            She met a young man of about her age.  They fell deeply, madly in love.  They planned their marriage.  Many people warned her that if she married, her life would be taken up by her family and her art would suffer.  They advised her that she should suffer for her art.  She ignored them.
            She married her young man.  She used part of her time caring for him and for her home.  She still had time for her art.  She was happy. Time passed and she grew great with child.  A daughter was born.  She used her time caring for her child, her husband, and her home.  She had no time to draw or paint.  Her artist’s tools sat in the studio unused, gathering dust.
            She was happy on the day she discovered that she was expecting again.  The studio was cleaned up, the art supplies packed away, and the room was prepared for the new addition to her family.  This time the child was a boy.  Now she really had no time for her art.
            Her fame evaporated.  Her wealth was placed in the bank to provide for her children’s education.  People replaced her paintings on their walls with the works of other artists.  Her friends reminded her that they had warned her this would happen.  She replied that she was happy with her life.
            She grew older.  Her children grew.  On her daughter’s second birthday she opened a brand new, bright orange box and pulled out a stick of coloured wax.  She paused for a moment of quiet reflection, then smiled and placed it in her daughter’s chubby hand.  The large crayon was a perfect fit.  And she was happy.
            Her daughter spent several long moments in grave examination before stuffing the crayon into her mouth.  She gently removed it.
            In the beginning there was the crayon... and it was good.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gearing Up For A Give-Away

AND...It's time for another Rambling. So what have I got to ramble about today? 
How about an upcoming contest. 
I'm not going to tell you about it yet, but I will give you a hint:

Be sure and check back on June 21, that's next Tuesday. I'll have a contest up and running.

And that is one marvelous reason for coming to visit me next week.(Not that I don't want you to visit me every week!)

Short Story Contest UPDATE!

I am meeting with my panel of judges tomorrow. I will have the results for you on Friday night. The winning stories will be published right here! So be sure and check back then.

The grand prize winner of the short story contest will receive a signed copy of my novel Identity. If you'd like to read more about my book coming out soon click here. As soon as I receive my copies of the book, I'll ship one right out to the winner.

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Everyday we make choices. What choices did you make today to be of service? To bring joy? To matter. While you're waiting for the results of the Short Story Contest, take a moment and watch this incredible short story, called Validation. It was an award winning film. Watch how the character is both dynamic and round. It's about 16 minutes long, but so worth the watch. You'll be glad you did. In fact I venture to guess that you'll come back again and again. Be sure and share it with your friends and family. They'll be glad you did.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Story Story Contest Update

I have just email all of the entries to my judges (teens between the ages of 14-17). We will be meeting in the next two weeks to finalized the winning entries. They will discuss the stories, talk about what they liked, what didn't work for them and select the top three. Thanks to all who entered! It will be fun to see what the kids decide.

Until then, keep checking back. I will be posting the top three! Good Luck to all of the entrants!