Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mid-Summer's Eve Giveaway

Okay, I know summer hasn't officially arrived quite yet, but seeing as how it's my absolute favorite season - I just can't wait to celebrate! There's something special to me about those long stretched out days when the sun seems only too eager to hang around, and the temperature coaxes us to shed our woolly socks and venture outdoors. It sparks every one of my senses with memories of my childhood. In my mind's eye I revisit those swimming lessons, those beach-bound carloads of friends, those star-filled evenings chasing wishes, fireflies and ice-cream trucks. I hear the lawnmowers, the cicadas and the laughter that floated up into the treetops. I taste the watermelon, smell the hot dogs on the grill, and feel the warm earth beneath my bare feet.

To hail the dawn of these wonderful months we're giving away two e-Book copies of WISHLESS. (Read more below to enter.) Please take a moment to share what you like best about the sizzling season of summer.

Thanks to Kathy for arranging this fun hop.

Now get outside and soak up some rays - but, don't forget the sunscreen and of course, a good book! There's no better place to read than in a comfy chaise lounge under a bright blue sky.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pitcharama Fun

Bear with me, lovely Hookinghams, while I deviate from our regularly scheduled programming to indulge in some manuscript pitching. With two of my new book babies currently riding the Query-Go-Round, I'm always excited when I come across a new way to reach out to the pubs elite and such. Thanks to Aussie Owned and Read for this fun opportunity. And away we go:

Manuscript Title: The Making of Nebraska Brown
Author: Louise Caiola
Age Group: NA/Upper YA
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Word Count: 86,000

250 Word Blurb:

Last night eighteen-year-old Ann Leigh was running from her boyfriend in a thick Nebraska cornfield. This morning she’s in the garden of a beautiful old palace in Portici, Italy, and everyone is calling her Ana. What transpired in between took eighteen months inexplicably gone missing from her memory. All at once she’s living with a wealthy, attractive, young Italian man named Tommy who is asking for her continued love. Though he appears vaguely familiar, she recalls a boy named Shane in America who she'd reluctantly agreed to marry. Juggling a brand new life while her old one is still m.i.a. is difficult enough as it is without the terrifying movie scenes spinning a dizzy loop in her mind: glimpses of a devastating house fire, a romance gone wrong, an unplanned pregnancy, and a fractured family - each claiming to be part of who she once was – a girl and a past she had somehow discarded.

With bits and pieces of her world strewn across two continents, Ann Leigh must try and collect them all to become whole again. But who can she believe? Can she trust Tommy once his lies start becoming too obvious to ignore? And what happened to the child she may or may not have given birth to?
Think Wizard of Oz meets Under the Tuscan Sun. The Making of Nebraska Brown tells the story of one girl’s coming apart from the inside and the great lengths she’ll go to reclaim herself and find her way home.


Okay, gang. We now return you to your typical Hook fare. Hope this made you inclined to want to learn more about Ann Leigh, Tommy and Shane. And a super-sincere thank you to those editors currently considering this work and/or who request to see more. Stay tuned for further updates. Have a great Father's Day. Give Daddy a hug from me!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Of Dads and Lessons

Duct tape, he said. The cure for most household ailments is duct tape. Leaky pipe. Pet hair on the sofa cushions. Stubborn wart. Pesky flies. Duct tape 'em all.

My father is probably the smartest man I know - duct tape irrelevant. Over the years he's imparted pearls of wisdom that transcend any and all basic boding issues. During this weekend when we pay homage to that parental purveyor of love and lessons far and wide, I can't help but recall the oh-so many nuggets of knowledge my dad passed along to me over the years. These included, but were not limited to the likes of:

Assume the sole objective of every other car on the road is to crash directly into yours. 

Nobody ever said life was easy / fair / fun.

There's a difference between napping and just resting your eyes.

If you need to know where anything in the house is kept, ask your mother.

Hard work never killed anyone. (which indirectly contradicts) There's a special place in heaven for hard workers.

Money doesn't grow on trees. (which also sorta contradicts) Keep the change.

An honest man is a man of virtue.

Yes, you can stay up past your bedtime, but don't tell your mother. 

You do not actually need to own a kite when someone suggests you go fly one.

They don't make movies / books / cars / music and /or pretty much anything else on earth like they used to.

Naturally back in Dad's "day" times were always tougher than they are now - what with all that walking uphill everywhere, both ways, of course. And kids back then had much more good sense. They didn't fork over boatloads of cash for brand new clothes with holes in them. Nor did they spend any free time indoors. (Internet? What internet?) They were never bored. They had games like Stickball which apparently kept them entertained long beyond the nano-second of today's youth. Kids back then knew a thing or two about respect and the most they were entitled to was a good beating if they dared step out of line. Only a dad can recall with fondness the days of "strap" discipline.

But what I think about most are the things I learned from my father when he didn't know I was watching.

Compassion makes the man. And the woman.

Never underestimate the power of the sense of humor.

Real men are strong enough to lift you up off the ground and gentle enough not to ruffle a hair doing so. 

Unconditional love isn't a mythological condition.

This thing called life isn't nearly as scary when your dad is in it.

Happy Father's Day, to the sweet and special man who helped raise me, and to fathers out there everywhere.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

One Moment: Wishless

My sweet Twitter friend, Elyana Noreme, invited me to play a game. It's called One Moment. We're to post a passage from one of our books or another of our works that include a reference to time. Easy enough since I'm practically always thinking about it - about how it seems I tend to be trapped on one side of time or another - ya know, either racing with it...
or watching it simply fly away like a butterfly on a breeze.

 And lately, more often than not, I'm WAITING, (my least favorite thing to do) waiting for that one moment in time (just like the song says) where everything will come together at l-o-n-g last. This is where time gets particularly irritating. Doesn't it understand that I know it's limited? Doesn't it realize that there's all this stuff I still have to accomplish and the sooner I get to it the better?

Einstein said that, "Time is an illusion."  Yet the good Dr. Seuss insisted otherwise when he said," “How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” 

I don't know about you, but I'm inclined to agree with the good doctor.

So now to the game. That's right. Here's something from WISHLESS, my very first book baby - where Chessie is doing some deep thinking about a certain moment in time, about change and what forever means to her.

"I'd been feeling mad at the world and at everything that was supposed to be right and really wasn't. I began to wonder if there was one pivotal moment in a person's life when things turned forever backwards or inside out or both. Down meant up, dark was light. Wrong became the new right. My moment had snuck up on me when I was busy believing that bad was bad and good was good and that was that. And now I had to rearrange my thinking if I were going to survive."

And now, my dears, I must sign off. There's only so much time to play, until perhaps another day :)