Monday, May 28, 2012


Today I will spend some time remembering.

I will visit the grave of my sister. She passed away two and a half years ago, leaving a void in many, many lives.

She was one of those truly amazing people. A wonderful wife and mother to seven children.

Here are a few things I learned from her:

- Life is too short to be petty. Friendship and kindness are the only way to go.

- It's all about family.

- When you know you're dying, eat what you want.

- Just because it seems like no one is listening does't mean no one is listening. (This I learned from playing 20 Questions.)

- Spend more time worrying about what's on the inside and less time fussing about what's on the outside.

- A mother's love can change lives.

- The red dye in Hot Tamales may cause cancer.

- Angels are real.

Happy Memorial Day everyone.

To find out what I believe about life and death, click HERE.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Haiku Contest Voting

We have a WINNER!

Congratulations to Scott Rhoades who wrote #16-The Hobbit.

He is the proud new owner of a $25 Amazon gift certificate.

Tied for 2nd place: #4-The Inheritance Cycle by Matt Ratto, #6-Keturah and Lord Death by Michelle Ratto, and #20-Swan Song by T.J. Reed.

Thanks everyone for playing. Remember to keep your skills sharp and be ready for next March's annual Limerick Contest.

We have lots a great Haiku to vote on. 

(Special thanks to the Sharks and Pebbles who once again responded generously to my call for entries.)

Read through the list below and then vote on the three you like best. Winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card email.

Here they are, in the order I received them: 

(I was going to put the titles in, but then I decided not to because it's fun to try and guess, and I don't know them all.)

Thanks for the burnt bread.
If you kiss me you get soup.
I'd like to frost you.

I better win this
last time people were cheaters
I'm the best -Brady

They held Max up high
"Let the wild rumpus begin"
They all roared out loud.

Boy and his dragon
Hot elf and four endless books
Beat Galbatorix

You're in Yellowstone?
Hey, watch your step - watch your back
So much freaking death.

death permeates all
life and love in the village
and forces a choice

My name is Cleaver
My mom is a mortician
Am I the killer?

Run, run in a maze
Find the cure for the world
WICKED always lies

I hear the echoes
From the missing and the dead
And the one who killed

She has the arrow
He has the strength, will and love
Together they win

She smells good to him
He glitters in the sunlight
Victim or girlfriend

She dresses in drapes
Rhett loves her and marries her
She's stuck on Ashley

My best friends are dead
My memories are locked away
Am I the killer?

Rich men want a wife
It's a universal law
Mother's want the match

Fearing boogieman
two finches learn tolerance
among injustice

He's number thirteen
with some dwarves and a wizard
What's in his pocket?

The Nac Mac Feegle,
fightin,' drinkin,' and fightin'
rescue Tiff's brother

Kansas behind her,
silver shoes on her feet, she
seeks Em'rald City

Pup is up in cup,
Eats a snack with Brown and Black.
Pop reads TIMBUKTU.

Young girl, heart of gold
Devil roaming happily
Will the world end?

Hazel and Mac's friends
Throw a big party for Doc
Doesn't go so well

Vampires don't sparkle.
I don't care what you girls say.
They don't. They just don't.

Call me Ishmael.
Wait. I did this book last time.
I'll try another.

Please tick the number of the THREE you like best.

 free polls 
Key: 1-The Hunger Games  2-Original Work  3-Where the Wild Things Are  4-The Inheritance Cycle  5-Death In Yellowstone  6-Keturah and Lord Death  7-I Am Not a Serial Killer  8-The Maze Runner  9-The Body Finder  10-The Hunger Games  11-Twilight  12-Gone with the Wind  13-Original Novel  14-Pride and Prejudice  15-To Kill a Mockingbird  16-The Hobbit  17-?  18-The Wizard of Oz  19-?  20-Swan Song  21-?  22-Twilight  23-Moby Dick

(Scott, help me fill in the blanks!)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Haiku Contest

IT'S FINALLY HERE. I know you've all been waiting for this. I wanted to run this contest in April for poetry month, but with the A to Z Challenge, there wasn't time.

The Details:

Write a Haiku about a book, email it to me so I can post it anonymously, come back on Friday and vote on which Haiku you like best. (julie at juliedaines dot com) Do NOT put your Haiku in the comments.

Anyone can enter. It would be nice if you followed me and/or help spread the word, but it's not a requirement.

The Winner:

Receives an electronic Amazon (US, UK, or Canada) $25 gift card. YAY!

Need a Haiku Refresher? (It's been a long time since 5th grade.)

Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry in three lines, the syllables in each line are 5, 7, 5, respectively. I know that there are other forms of Haiku, but for this contest, let's just stick with the basics.


from the long hallways
voices of the people rise
in the morning haze
- Oshima Ryot

Your job is to write one about a book. 


orphaned and alone
she rose to meet her dreams with

That was my 5 minute attempt at Anne of Green Gables. Ok, so I'm not a poet--that's why I write novels. But anyway, you get the picture. Include the title of the book you're Haiku-ing.

Entry deadline is Thursday, May 17th, midnight my time. : )

Voting will run Friday through Sunday, and the winner will be announced on Monday, May 21. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z Challenge: Debriefing

It was an exhausting month in the blogoshpere. The A to Z Challenge was just that, a challenge. But I have to admit, I loved it. 

The best part was visiting other blogs. I was stunned at the variety and quality of many of the blogs I visited. I saw themes that ranged from Gerbils to Physics to Castles of England to Characters from My Book. And all of them so interesting. Well done all you A to Zers. 

I guess there were nearly 2,000 participants, and I only managed to visit at most 175 different blogs. But of the ones I looked at, the following made my list of favorites.

Best of A to Z 2012:

Hanging on to Wonder, Jaye Robin Brown. Her theme centered around her recent years living in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Each of her posts was beautifully written and seemed to transport me to a calmer and more peaceful way of living. 

Mainely Write, Donna Smith. Each of her posts featured: 1-a self-created word art in the shape of something starting with that day's letter, 2-the word art was created using a FONT that started with the letter, 3-an original poem in a form of poetry that started with the letter! It was amazing!

Rainforest Writing, D.G. Hudsen. Her theme was a shout-out to Paris. She featured historical places, art, and prominent people. It was fascinating and lovely to read.

I wish I could have visited more! Thanks A to Z hosts!

DON'T MISS! On Monday, May 14, I will launch a contest on my blog. Anyone can enter. The prize: Amazon $$. The challenge: Haiku!

Come back and check it out! (This contest will be similar to the March Limerick Contest.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Protected by Cindy M. Hogan

I'm pleased to host author Cindy Hogan's latest release as part of her blog tour.

Protected is book two in the "Watched" series.

Paperback, 350 pages
Published March 24th 2012 by O'neal Publishing

She has the guy. The terrorists have been taken care of and she's got a shot at being popular. Until they find her. Now she must run and leave behind everything she knows, including herself.

Change. She longs for it. A murder. She will never be the same.

It takes more than a trip to Washington, D.C. to change Christy's life. It takes murder. A witness to the brutal slaying of a senator's aide, Christy finds herself watched not only by the killers and the FBI, but also by two hot boy. She discovers that if she can't help the FBI, who want to protect her, it will cost her and her new friends their lives.

This book was fast-paced, suspenseful, and the writing style smooth and easy to read. It's always nice to find a worthwhile novel for young adults that is clean and easy to enjoy. Thanks Cindy!

Paperback348 pages
Published April 28th 2011 by Createspace

It takes more than a school trip to Washington, D.C. to change fifteen-year-old Christy's life. It takes murder.

A witness to the brutal slaying of a Senator's aide, Christy finds herself watched not only by the killers and the FBI, but also by two hot boys.

She discovers that if she can't help the FBI, who want to protect her, it will cost her and her new friends their lives.

Cindy M. Hogan graduated with a secondary education teaching degree and enjoys spending time with unpredictable teenagers. More than anything she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she's not reading or writing, you'll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a great movie or planning their next party. She loves to bake, garden and be outdoors doing a myriad of activities.

To see Protected's previous blog hop review, click here.