Top Personal Most Anticipated Films for Me to See in 2017 (Top Ten #59):

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Hello minna-san! I hope everyone had an incredible Christmas.  Other than being sick, I know I did.  ^_^ But, today is December 31st, and that means 2016 is drawing to a close.

I had a pretty eventful year, from learning the ropes of my job at the kindergarten library to starting my first official teaching job in a new district and losing that building in a fire.  I’ve met new co-workers and students, made a safe haven for fellow young otakus, continued to expand my love of nerd culture through cons, events, Pokemon events, and personal endeavors.  I had to hear sad news of idols we looked up to passing and watch my nation biting their fingernails during an election.  I have got to feel warmth and love through my family, friends, and husband still (we celebrated our five year wedding anniversary), their support a treasure, and take a new path for my publication and writing, publishing one new book (“Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals.”)  2016 has been a ride, but I am grateful for each day I get to live, especially since I have more days where I feel ill (although I am adjusting to my medical conditions).  I welcome the new year, 2017, with open arms! Each day is precious!

Soon, Dan and I will do our FIRST video together in a long time to welcome in 2017 and before we start our third annual “March Disney” event (stay tuned for that)! For now, please enjoy my Top Ten Personal Most Anticipated Films for Me to See in 2017 (to go with our upcoming video theme)!

One of my goals this year is to focus more on my writing and website and media advertisement.  As I get older, life gets busier and I get drained to do this part of my life that I cherish.  I will resolve this however, to thank all of you for your support and to stay true to myself! Please don’t give up on me; like Stary, I’ll “hold on to what if.”

Top Personal Most Anticipated Films for Me to See in 2017:

  1. Beauty and the Beast
  2. Power Rangers
  3. Cars 3
  4. Despicable Me 3
  5. Wonder Woman
  6. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
  7. Table 19
  8. Hidden Figures
  9. Ghost in the Shell
  10. Before I Fall

Others I am interested in: Remake of Jumanji, Coco, Baywatch, A Dog’s Purpose, The Circle, ***tard, Fifty Shades Darker

Go here to get a copy of my latest book, “Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals.”

Catch-up on all of Dan and I’s Moon Panda Power videos on our channel.

Top Ten “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” Characters (Top Ten #58)

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Christmas is one of my favorite times of year.  I love buying the right gift for those I love and seeing their eyes light up, taking the time to think of only them (I like UNWRAPPING gifts as well too).  I sing Christmas songs at concerts and church, celebrate my parents’ birthdays, watch tons of Christmas specials, have family get-togethers.  Decorating, making activities for my students, wishing for light snow, baking a little, and, apparently, getting sick with a cold has become an unwanted tradition of mine these past two years.  -_-;;

Regardless, I got my love of Christmas from my mom and grandma and their awe was inspired by the 1964 Claymation masterpiece “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”  She owes so much that is of this icon and tears up at the same spot each year. Miles and I have to watch with her every year, being bribed with cheese and sausage, but deep down, I really like this story and treasure this tradition that makes my mom who she is more.  Yes, we gest about it and roll our eyes now that we are adults and we have it all memorized, quoting it throughout the year, but I would not give this up for anything.  Besides, Miles and I now have our Christmas Eve Eve celebration on the 23rd where we watch OUR favorite Christmas specials, mostly VHS, so I suppose we are setting up for our future kids to make fun of us. 😉

In honor of this special’s impact on my life and my lovely momma, here are my Top Ten Favorite “Rudolph: The Red Nosed Reindeer” characters:

  1. Yukon Cornelius 
  2. Hermey
  3.  King Moonracer
  4. Momma/Mrs. Clause
  5. Spotted Elephant
  6. Clarice/Rudolph
  7. Head Elf
  8. Sam the Snowman
  9. The Bumble
  10. Santa Claus

I know I haven’t done any personal updates since school started, and I still plan to.  Adjusting to a new district and teaching as taken a lot of rewarding time. ^_^ Thank you all for the support this year, especially with “Spirit Vision 3.”  I hope you guys have a Christmas as bright as Rudolph’s nose; bring shades! See you next year with more! Tr La La, bye-bye!

Past Christmas Top Ten’s of Mine to check-out:

Top Twelve Favorite New Sun and Moon Pokemon (by design) (Top Ten #57):

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Last week, the highly anticipated Pokémon Sun and Moon dropped around the world.  I was so hyped for the graphics, the new landscape, and all the features that I went to the midnight event with Derrick (my husband), eager to get my copy of Moon.  As of this post, I have only played the game for eight and a half hours, but because of my busy schedule, Thanksgiving plans this week, and the fact I want to take my time to enjoy the experience, is why this is so.

I haven’t encountered or got to battle against over 75% of these pocket monsters yet, but I will and I plan to do a FULL, detailed review of my experience with Moon just like I did with Alpha Sapphire and Pokémon X.  Plan for that in early 2017! ^_^

I know I have not been updating everyone about my life lately and rest assured, I will.  I figured, on this Black Friday, I owe you a post! So, here are my Top 12 Favorite Pokémon Moon Pokémon (by design).  I look forward to using all these guys in the future on my team or to bond with.  Enjoy and I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! =D

  1. Popplio/Brionne/Primarina
  2. Rockruff
  3. Togedemaru
  4. Cutiefly/Ribombee
  5. Stufful
  6. Cosmog
  7. Mimikyu
  8. Bounsweet/Steenee
  9. Komala
  10. Pikipek
  11. Oricorio (psychic type)
  12. Tapu Fini

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“Persephone’s Orchard” Enchanted Promotions Book Tour- Exclusive Excerpt!

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Anyone who knows me personally or through my posts or Goodreads most likely has picked up that I am a massive fan of Greek Mythology! When the chance to be a tour spot for this incredible title about Persephone popped up on the Enchanted Promotions website, I knew I had to support this work and author! 😀

Please welcome an exclusive excerpt from “Persephone’s Orchard” by Molly Ringle.

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Excerpt from Persephone’s Orchard:

Adrian introduces Sophie to the way modern-day immortals travel…

 

Adrian rounded a stand of trees, and stopped.

A team of four ghost horses waited there—or at least Sophie assumed they were ghosts, as they were glowing green and translucent. The horses were harnessed to a small rusty bus, which looked as if it had been recently borrowed from a junkyard. All its window glass was gone, and nothing was left of its paint except a few flakes of green and what seemed to be the remains of a letter X in blue. The three tires she could see from this side were completely flat. The horses’ harnesses were entwined in vines of some kind, with a few dried leaves still hanging on in spots. Where the harnesses met the bus, thick metal cables took over, so heavily welded that they had melted into the bus’s exterior and become a part of it.

After taking in this strange contraption, Sophie looked at Adrian.

“So your first big decision is,” he said, “are you willing to climb into this bus with me and fly across the world at incredibly high speeds?”

She gave a laugh of half-panic, half-disbelief. She walked around the back of the bus, touching its dented exterior. It felt solid enough. “What is this thing?”

“Something I built, to attach the horses to.”

“Is it safe?”

“Well, it’s held together so far.”

She circled to the other side, finding those tires flat too. “Is there any other way to get to the afterlife place?”

“Not realistically. This realm isn’t set up for living humans. We’d have to walk across the continent, then build a boat to cross the ocean, all of which would take months and be far more dangerous, so—yeah, this is it. This or ride directly on one of the horses.”

Circling around to the front, Sophie examined the horses. She approached one and reached out slowly. Her hand slipped straight through its glowing neck, but stopped upon the solid harness that secured it to its team. She tried it again, watching her hand glide through the animal as if it were made of mist. Fascination was starting to push out uneasiness, at least for the moment…

“How long is the trip?” She tried stroking the animal’s nose, but her fingers went straight through that too. The horse twitched its ears and whickered patiently.

“About three hours each way,” he said. “So, if you want to sleep on it, you can go back to bed tonight, and we’d take off tomorrow morning. Or—”

“Let’s go,” she interrupted. She moved to the open door of the bus and peered up into it.

“Now?” Adrian’s pitch rose in surprise. “You’d be up all night.”

“I’m not tired. You wanted me to come. Let’s do it.”

About the Book: 

persophoneorhcardcoverTitle: Persephone’s Orchard

Author: Molly Ringle

Genre: Paranormal Romance / NA Fantasy

The Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she’s pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate. Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she’s tainted with the Underworld’s magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.

Giveaway!

Prizes:

A signed paperback copy of Persephone’s Orchard,

A paperback copy of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths,

A “pomegranate seed” necklace and bracelet set

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9ef3535b436/

About the Author:

persophoneorhcardauthorMolly Ringle has been writing fiction for over 20 years, and her stories always include love and humor, as well as the occasional touch of the paranormal. Molly lives in Seattle with her husband and kids, and worships fragrances and chocolate.

Links:

Website

Twitter

Tumblr

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Available here:

Aspiring Author Spotlight- A.J. Blanton (October 2016) (A.A.S. #29) AND “Spirit Vision 3” Release!

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Happy Almost Halloween/my Birthday, minna-san! 😀 Once again, I apologize for my lack of massive updates since school started up, but it is just that: my first official teaching job (and all the paperwork, meetings, and prep it takes on top of being in the classroom) on top of running an after school anime club at the high school, on TOP of writing and promoting “Spirit Vision 3,” I get tired so easily and get lazy on my rare moments off. Plus, it’s a half hour drive there then another back.  But, I enjoy what I am doing and I AM working on the update as promised.  Slowly chugging along like a rusted train, but I still have my tracks to guide me. ^_^ Thank you for your patience!

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If you are unaware, on October 21st, 2016, the third book in the “Spirit Vision” series, “The Power of Mortals” was RELEASED in Kindle format and Amazon paperback on Amazon.com! I am ready to break dance with giant lobsters I am so tickled pink by this! It has been a long and different ride to get this fifth book published, but I am so glad I stuck with it for Stary, Umbra, you guys, and myself.  I want to thank Sheenah for the formatting and being my mentor, Suzy for her once again incredible covers AND the new chibi bookmarks, and my Beta Readers: Morgan W,. Dan W., Danny B., Casey, and Kate!

Get your OWN copy here!

Please check out the new “Spirit Vision 3” book page for the cover, links for purchase (more coming soon), excerpts, and more!

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To also celebrate, “Spirit Vision 3” has a book blog tour through Enchanted Book Promotions.  It started on October 21st and ends on November 4th.  Thank you for setting it up! Please check out all the stops by clicking their banner above!

Now, onto my star of this post!  She is my kindred spirit, my spirit animal, my idol.  Her warm heart, charming wit, and bright smile made me relax at the drop of her adorable hats.  I can talk to her about everything and anything and she is my closest con friend.  I know if we lived closer to each other, we would be at each other’s houses constantly, with books, craft nights, and oh so fun, sparkly, and wild “Harry Potter” parties! She is so talented with her shop, decorations, and her photography, has a good head on her shoulders, but a kindness as welcoming as the lapping waves on a summer shore at midnight.  I am so glad she has taken me under her wing, dubbed me as friend, and allowed me to showcase her amazing writing.  As her little Totoro, I will do anything to support her and I know you guys will love this honeybee as much as we all do in Missouri! Please welcome my dear friend and sensei in the ways of the Totoro: Mrs. A.J. Blanton! ^_^ <3

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Aspiring Authors Spotlight Questions:

1. When you wake up in the morning, how do you see life?
It depends. I would love to say that I wake up everyday full of love and zest for the new day. But in truth, everyday is different. Some days I wake up seeing my life as a uncharted path that could lead to beautiful experiences. Some days I awake with a sense of longing and no understanding of how to fulfill my sense of purpose. Some days I wake up seeing the mundane existence that is the ebb of life. And some days I awake seeing my life in all its lovely moments and wondrous relationships. All days become yesterday soon enough so I figure I just allow each day to be its own maker.

2. How did writing find its way into your life?
Through reading I suppose. I cant really recall when the written word was not important to who I was. I began reading at 4 and have never stopped. I love to be transported into worlds and thrown into events. Books are my escape and my reality all at the same time. I have written for almost as long. Nothing grand or impressive by any means, just me jotting down thoughts and characters.

3. What does writing do for you?
Writing gives me another outlet. It allows me to express myself in a way that tends to be more personal than my art, props, and sculpting does.

4. What sort of genre or type of writing do you do?
Young Adult Fiction that slants toward Fantasy or Supernatural. I also write poetry and have written a few children stories. But I have never been published.

5. Do events in your life or people you know affect your writing?
Yes, how could they not? It isn’t a write what you know thing but more a write what you feel. When I am feeling discouraged, my characters feel it. When I am hopeful so are they. I also draw from them a lot as well. When one of my characters dies, I mourn. When one falls in love, I smile.
I try not to base characters on just one person though. Most of the time they are compilations of several personality traits from several people I know. I do draw from situations that I have dealt with when writing. It helps me to organize my thoughts if I can feel or have felt what the character needs to feel.

6. What are you currently work on or what was the last thing you wrote?
I am currently just doing writing prompts getting ready to participate in NANOWRIMO with one of friends.
The last thing I wrote that I actually had someone read is still unfinished. It is called Ghostly Solace.

7. Can you tell us a little about it and its inspiration?
The NANOWRIMO story will be a young adult dramatic piece that may have some fantasy elements thrown into the mix. As I have only written a few paragraphs to try to get into the mind space of what my main character is going through, I haven’t quite figured everything out about the tale I want to weave.
Ghostly Solace is a young adult novel about a girl in high school. She is murdered, comes back as a ghost to help solve her murder and to help the people she left behind deal with her passing. I actually had a dream about a young girl who was murdered and it inspired this story.
A lot of my stories stem from my dreams.

8. What are your goals for the future?
A goal? I don’t really do goals, at least not currently. I am taking this year to just live and see where I land. I am lucky to have a wonderful husband and son who support me in this haphazard journey of self reflection. Dang it! That in itself is a goal isn’t it? So much for the philosophical nomadic expression of my soul. In reality my goals tend to be more goals for the ones I love and less for me. Although, I am trying very hard to work on changing that constant frame of thought. I have dreams more than goals. I dream that my creativity and my businesses can be financially sustaining for my family.

9. What are your interests or hobbies?
I am a geeky girl who likes lots of random nerdy stuff. I like to cosplay and have nerdy gatherings with friends. I love comics, video games, costumes, prop making, wands, sculpting, painting, reading. See lots of random geekery fill my life.

10. If you could be a superhero, what are your powers and how would you use them to help the world?
Is it bad that I actually don’t have an answer for this? I never want to be a hero. But, if I were a character in a comic I think I would probably be the sarcastic best friend who helps the hero to find their way. I have always related more to that type of character.

11. What advice would you give people who want to write?
Just write. It doesn’t have to make sense. There doesn’t need to be a clear path when you begin. All you have to do is sit and express what is in your mind with words. Writing, like all art forms, can be done by anyone at any skill set. All they need to do is write. Write gibberish. Write a sentence. Write random ideas. Write often! And soon you can become a craftsman of words.

12. If you could be remembered for one thing or thought, what would it be?
I want people to remember me as a caring person who always tried her best. I would rather be remembered for a million little everyday things than any one particular thing. when I am gone I want those that knew me to recall something I did or said and smile.

Example of Work:

This interview.
In actuality, here is a sample of the story building I am working on for my NANOWRIMO story.:

I sat there letting the words sink into the depths of my soul. Simple words with no extraordinary meaning broke me. How? How could just words bring my world crumbling around me. My whole life was nothing but a lie. I had been lied to by not just a few people but by everyone who had every known me. Those who promised to love me, those who I thought I could trust with my life and in one swell swoop destroyed me. I hadn’t even began to process that they were gone. They were gone, I let this sink into my mind and felt a sharp pain in my chest. Tears fell from my hazel eyes in an uncontrollable shower. I felt anger build up and I screamed at the air around me. “I don’t know what to do. Why?” I placed my face in my hands. “Who am I? Why didn’t you tell me! Oh God, please why?” I looked around the dark bedroom which seemed so much smaller than it had been just yesterday. “I am no one.”

As I stood up from the chair my legs began to give out on me. Slowly, I made my way to the bed. I curled into a ball, covered myself under the warm patchwork quilt and just let the fear, the anger, the pain overwhelm me. I sobbed for what seemed like hours maybe even days and then nothing.

I awoke and pulled my phone from the table next to the bed. I had slept for 18 hours. Yet my body and mind were still completely worn down. Exhaustion hung around me like a low fog on a brisk fall morning. I wanted to close my eyes again and just hide. Hide from the world, Hide from myself. Hide from the pain. But no matter where I went or what I did I couldn’t find a way from this. It was now my life. Without answers from the only people who actually knew what happened, I must try to grasp the truth. However, right at this moment I couldn’t.

It was numbing, looking around the dark house realizing that I was alone. That mom and dad were no longer there. Tears began to fall once more. Why did they leave me? Why did they have to die? Why did they have to keep secrets?
I was so mad at them and I couldn’t figure out if it was because they left me here without anyone, or if it was because my whole life they had kept the truth from me.

“UGHHHH!” sounds of frustration escaped my body with a slight release of the pain.
I’ve got to get dressed. I have to take a shower and prepare for the onslaught of friends and family coming to offer their condolences. How can I look at these people knowing that most of them knew about me and never said a word? I don’t want to deal with them. I want to just crawl back into my private quilted world and let them have the funeral without me. I don’t want to sit there and listen to them drone on and on about how wonderful our family was. LIES! Why not say the truth? Your parents were wonderful at keeping secrets.

I peeled off my pungent clothes and stepped into the shower. The water from the adjustable shower head  poured over me, mixing with tears. I couldn’t stop crying. Please let me stop crying. I can’t! I don’t want to. I felt my body shaking. I can’t breath. “Please help me. Somebody help me.” The water had turned cold as I sank into in the corner of the tub.

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Adoena (AJ) Blanton was born in Missouri in December 1976. She lives in Branson Missouri with her 21 year old son, Dakota, and her husband. Tom. She works part time at a movie theater and runs two home based businesses, aBeesCreations and partnership in AazuBee Artifacts. She also works as a photo shoot Creative Director sometimes for Friendly Fire Fotography. She loves to create props, work with other creative people and make art. She is currently working on a calendar project for 2017-2018 with over 18 models, photographers and artists. She writes for her own sanity.

You can find my art and items on my face book page www.facebook.com/aBeesCreations

Top Ten Favorite Name-brand Candy Bars/Candies (Top Ten #56):

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Just in time for Halloween! 😀 Here are my top ten favorite candy bars and candies.  As you can tell, most of them are chocolate; it’s something I really adore. Halloween is also very special to me because my birthday is the day after (November 1st), so I got to celebrate two holidays epically in a row! ^_^

Enjoy this top ten and I hope everyone has a sweet Halloween! ;)-

Top Ten Favorite Name-brand Candy Bars/Candies:

  1. Hershey’s Cookies and Creams
  2. Dove chocolate (dark or milk)
  3. Peanut Butter M & M’s AND Peanut M & M’s
  4. Reese’s Cups OR Pieces
  5. Carmel Milky Way
  6. Mounds
  7. Twix
  8. Pay Day
  9. York Peppermint Patty
  10. Take 5

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“Rex” by Rita Stradling blog tour spot interview and excerpt (for A.U.)

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Please welcome on my next Author’s Gold (A.U.) segment, Ms. Rita Stradling.  I am honored to be one of the stops on her blog tour for her latest book, “Rex.”  Please welcome her and this amazing interview and an exclusive excerpt!

Author to Author Interview:

Hi! Thank you so much for interviewing me on your blog! It’s great to be here!

1. Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing?

I grew up in Palo Alto, one of the big hubs of the information age. I’d have to say that my childhood had a very big impact on my writing; growing up amongst artists and scientists in a society that highly valued both has inspired many aspects of my books.

2. Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not?

The first book I ever wrote was titled ‘Colorless’ in 2008. Colorless was a middle grade fantasy novel about a girl whose color dripped off her body, making her invisible but also gifting her the ability to travel through paintings. Unfortunately, I never published Colorless and probably will not.

3. What are you currently working on, writing wise?

I’m actually working on four projects! I’m working on the next installment in my three ongoing series, as well as I just finished Ensnared, a sci-fi romance Beauty and the Beast retelling. Oh my goodness, that sounds so scary. But, each project is in different stages of development and some are in their editing stages. 

4. What is your favorite character you have ever created and why?

Oh, goodness, that’s a really hard one. Can I pick my favorite character in the Dakota Kekoa world, instead? My favorite character in Dakota’s world might be her uncle Bobby. He’s light-hearted and crass, and unquestionably loyal to Dakota and her sisters. He goes through a very hard time in Rex and I found myself not wanting to continue writing at times.

5. Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later?

My technique is definitely just to write and let my brain sort out the connections later. Sometimes, if I run into a big obstacle, I’ll take a break and distract myself, letting my brain figure it out on its own.

6. What was your path like until you found writing?

Before writing, I studied art and art history at Humboldt State. After graduating, I worked for a short time in fine art sales in Hawaii before I became pregnant and took time off to be a stay at home mama. In the first six months after having my son, I spent a lot of time stuck with him sleeping on me. As a new mother, having a restful baby was precious, and so I would stay put for the duration of his naps. I began writing in these times, starting with Colorless, and eight years later, I’m still writing. 

7. Tell us about your covers.

The covers for the Dakota Kekoa series were created by Yvonne Nikolova at Ammonia Book Covers. 

8. What inspires you to write?

I’m often inspired by my dreams or nightmares. I’ll take a central concept and just start living their lives, the details work themselves out on the way.

9. How do you get book reviews?

Several ways: I run giveaways, have the book featured on NetGalley, send out ARCs to the subscribers of my website, and once in a while, I’ll query bloggers who I think might be interested. 

10. What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing?

Marketing, definitely, marketing. Writing and editing are relatively easy, I have an awesome editor and fantastic beta readers, so while time consuming, both are fun and not intimidating. There’s a reason that marketing a book is not just a job, it’s a huge industry, it’s because a single person could do it all day, every day and it still might not cut it. 

11. If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now?

I would likely have hundreds of fully thought out books, but most will never be typed onto a keyboard.

12. Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author?

Definitely! I would love to co-author a book in any fiction genre.

13. What do you do to relax?

Does reading count? I guess it really depends on the book but I’m a huge book and audio book addict. 

14. If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be?

Start marketing now ;). Kidding, kidding. I’d probably tell myself to write and read every day, and not only what the teachers had told me to.

15. What advice would you have for this upcoming generation?

I’d probably tell them advice others gave me, but I didn’t do the best job of following: start building a following early and find like minded authors to build a network of support. Also, I’d say that they should just write; it’s easy to be your own worst critic, but remember that you’ll have plenty of time to fix the writing when the story is complete. 

16. Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life?

Definitely, I’d go so far as to say that hundreds of books changed my outlook on life. Some books that inspired me earlier in life were The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and still one of my favorite re-read books, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende.

17. Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of?  How about one that is overrated?

Jane Austen might be my favorite classic author, she definitely was when I was growing up. The books I read now have a much darker bent, but I still love sweet, innocent romantic stories. 

18. Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing?

Max Richter is a particular favorite of mine right now; I like dark, intense modern classical music. I also enjoy soulful pop singers like Sia, Florence (and the Machine), and Skylar Grey.

19. Dog or cat person?

I love my dog, Stewie, but I’d love a cat too and maybe a big lop bunny. 

20. What do you want to eat right now?

A salad, I’m actually really hungry and probably will eat a blue cheese and apple salad the moment I’m finished with this interview … yum.

21. If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be?

Kill Bill, I’d love to die dramatically as an extra in a kung-fu movie. Or maybe a slasher film where all I had to do is run around and then die. 

22. What is your favorite holiday or time of year?

I love the fall! Fall is the time of hot tea and apple cider, rainy days and warm showers. Also, of course, I love Halloween, dressing up and stealing candy from my kid’s basket (I call it the mom tax). Happy Halloween!

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Excerpt of “Rex:”

The look Wyvern turned on me was full of heat and interest, as if I’d shut the door hoping for a make-out session. I needed to squash that right now.

“Wyvern,” I snapped. “No more kissing, hand holding, or holding me for more than like a minute, okay? This is getting out of hand. We’re friends.”

“But a minute is okay?” he asked, with a mischievous smile. In an instant he had his arms wrapped tightly around me and I was pressed to his chest. “Because a minute is a pretty long time to hold you, let me show you: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand…” His arms moved up and down my back as he spoke.

“Ugh, ten seconds, you can hold me for no longer than ten seconds,” I said.

He leaned back, looking down at me, “What if it was ten second kisses instead.”

I swallowed hard. “No kissing.”

“Are you sure?” he asked, leaning in so close I could smell his sweet, spicy breath.

I nodded, glancing between his eyes and his lips.

“Not even for this long?” he asked as his lips came down and brushed gently against mine for one second.

When he pulled back, I nodded again, then remembering what he asked, and I shook my head instead.

“How about for this long?” His lips met mine with a sudden hungry intensity that I wasn’t expecting. His hands buried in my hair while his lips pushed against mine, sucking on my lower lip before his tongue entered my mouth.

I lifted to my toes, unable to stop myself from kissing back. I grabbed onto his jacket and opened my mouth to his kiss. My lips were as hungry on his as his were on mine.

My breaths were coming hard and fast when he broke away. “You play so dirty,” I whispered.

“I always will.” He grabbed me, holding me tightly against him. “I’ve missed you so much, Dakota,” he whispered into my hair.

It was like I could literally feel him reeling me back in. And it wasn’t with one of those cheap plastic fishing lines either, he was reeling me in with a giant net. It didn’t matter how much I struggled, the net would always win.

The Blurb for “Rex:”

rexv2-ebook-192x300Title: Rex

Author: Rita Stradling

Genre: YA Fantasy

In seventeen year old Dakota Kekoa’s line of work, a job can go bad in a split second.

And when a job goes bad, people die.

Suspended from working as a tax collector in her draconic family’s protection racket, Dakota is assigned a secret mission from her grandfather. A foreign queen has offered a grave insult to Dakota’s grandfather by running a vampire dinner cruise off the coast of the Mabiian Islands, and his retribution must be swift.

Yet, when Dakota infiltrates the ship ‘Crimson Sunset’, nothing is at it seems. In a split second, not only is Dakota in deathly peril, all of New Anglo is on the road to war.

About the Author:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

Links:

Amazon

Goodreads

Author Website: http://ritastradling.wixsite.com/rita-stradling-books

“Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals” Reveal!

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Konnichiwa minna-san! I apologize for my lack of updates on here! A lot of things have been going on in my life, keeping me away.  I will explain all of this in my next massive blog update, which I will do every soon, but for now, I am so happy to announce the LONG awaited cover, release date, and blurb reveal for my newest book and my latest in the “Spirit Vision” series: “The Power of Mortals!”

The art is once again done by my fabulous artist, Suzy Zhang AKA Cherriyuki!

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Release date:

October 21st, 2016!

Just in time for Halloween! 😀

Blurb:

WARNING: This IS the third book in the series, so there may be some slight spoilers. Also, book #2 DID end in a cliff hanger!

“You are the beacon of the Lord’s two worlds, but how can you protect them when you have lost your shining light?

When Stary Moon, the Spirit Warrior, awakes on the lunchroom floor of her school, battered and bloodied, she cannot recollect how she came to such a state.

Stary ignores the concerns of her best friends, Chloe, Rin, and Lauren, and continues to go on with her life, but no matter how normal her days and Spirit Warrior duties are, she feels a lingering sorrow like someone is missing from her life.   Her friends discover some shocking truths about Stary and realize they’re the only ones who remembers Umbra—Stary’s boyfriend who has mysteriously gone missing. Stary’s universe crashes around her and the fate of the world rests on her shoulders. Her objective is clear, but when she leaves on this mission, there is no turning back, and she will lose one of her worlds—the mortal world of her family and friends, or the spiritual world of her duty and missing someone, for good.  Still, Stary has a point to prove to this dark presence that is threatening to consume the planet: there is power from those one least expects, and Stary is prepared to risk everything on this claim.”

Comes with a bonus short story that can ONLY be read in “Spirit Vision 3!”

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Sneak-Peek of “Spirit Vision 3:”

Prologue

A word from a Mortal who is Immortal

“Have you ever considered giving up your life for another? A stranger or loved one?  I know we all say ‘Of course,’ but when that final second ticks and the fires are blazing, do we honestly know how we will act?  Saying and doing are entirely different.

“I know it hurts to die with all the confusion, the regret, the pain.  I also know it’s just as agonizing to be left behind, the movie playing the same horrific second over and over.  You can’t rewind; you can never go back.  And your fast forward button is broken until you find the will to fix it.

“You love with all of you.  It’s buried deep, like treasure.  That’s why when your love is gone, the knife wound fits too nicely in the space.  But, I would never give up my life.  It’s a sacred gift I only receive once.  I would struggle for my love’s life, but never lose it, because, if I died instead of him, the shock would destroy him body and soul.  He would be stuck with that guilt and broken remote.  I could never do that to him.

“All those classic couples who assume killing themselves would cure the pain when they lose their loves, like Romeo and Juliet or Pyramus and Thisbe. What a waste!  What terrible role models for unselfish love!   Heaven is always open; I should know.  Your love will wait for you, as painful as it is. Life is a gift to handle with care.  Yet, I understand it’s hard to be a ghost in a living body.

“There is no real winner, but regardless, I will never give up my life.  At least, that’s what I thought.”

Chapter 1

 The One who Watches from Above

If I have to wait for Lauren for another second, I’ll go bald!”

Sophomore Chloe Dew grunted this loudly in her skull, examining the spilt ends of her blond, wavy locks.  What disgusted her most was that her constant tugging on her strands were the cause of her new split ends. She balled a length of her hair in her fist, tangling it and squeezing it for dear life, damaging it, but it was better than chewing on it like a toddler like she was yearning to do.

The young maiden’s nerves were shot, a rocket with no fuel.  Her mind began to wander, spin in a cycle of unease as she recalled the events that led to this crashing position.  The previous day, she had found her best friend of two years, Stary Moon, sprawled face down on the floor, her body having tiny prickle holes like she was a pincushion, blood lazily springing out of each mark.  Stary’s sock was dyed in crimson, stained with her own blood.  Chloe shuttered at this section of the flashback, rubbing her hands over her bare arms to control the chilling goosebumps. The sight of blood had always made Chloe ill and now, allowing more captured moments to be glued.

She swallowed, allowing more pictures, captured moments, to be glued to the scrapbook of her mind.  Chloe was lucky her friends, Rin Fortune and Lauren Flower, had found Stary. Rin had a unique sensitivity to the vibrations around her and in nature. At times, this included people and beings from the other world, although her abilities were not nearly as sharp.  A pull from the air had called to Rin, one with such a driving force that she grabbed their strong and dependable, always sensible friend Lauren with her, clawing her wrist in the process.

Chloe whimpered in her hair, stirring the faint scent of her Strawberries and Cream shampoo, “Rin is so rough and gruff.  If she was going that mad, if she was that concerned about Stary’s well-being…Then what choice do Lauren and I have other than to believe her now?” In the past, it was Stary who believed Rin about her powers; Chloe and Lauren were not for it or against it, just…cautious to believe anything.  But now, things have changed.

***

Sneak-Peek of the bonus story:

“Ya’ don’t believe me, huh, Missy Spirit Warrior?” His eyes slanted in a cocky challenge as his smirk became that of a character with all his move sets maxed out. He pointed to himself, reminding me too much of Axel, a character’s personality I had memorized.

“Look at my skin. Go ahead!” He got right up close and personal, humming Darth Vader’s march after his dare with a boyish, closed smile, acting like we were just two friends conversing.

Why do I always get the kooky ones?

I tip-toed a few inches back so I could get a good look of his face. As his large eyes blinked, sweet eagerness and determination in their flecks of gray and gold, I noticed something embedded in his flesh. All spirits looked human, but, in the right light, they were as white as a sheet with a slick appearance to their skin, looking like a true depiction of a floating cadaver. It’s eerie and harsh. Yet, most of the time, they look like themselves, but with an their aura outlined around them. It’s like a very well-crafted hologram.

Yet, his skin had another layer- little, near microscopic, squares of peach that laid on his flesh. I had to squint to see their outline, but when I leaned my head back, all I saw was him. It was like a piece of art that makes one giant picture, when, in reality, when you were right in front of it, you saw it was composed of multiple tiny shapes and designs. Mr. Sheep made us do one of those a few weeks ago in Art II:

Pixel art.

***

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News:

On my social medias, I will be posting 13 quotes randomly in “Spirit Vision 3” (the main story and the bonus) to wet your appetites on the story!

ALSO, I will be running a blog tour for “Spirit Vision 3” very soon! More details on that.  If you are a book site or blog and are interested in being a stop, send me a message! 😀

***

MAJOR THANKS to my Beta Readers/editors: Morgan W, Casey, Dan Wright, Danny B, and Kate Dillon; this would not have happened without you! To my formatter and guru, Sheenah, who also made the amazing banner. Suzy for making Stary come to life once more (can’t wait for you guys to see the BACK too; stunning!) My family, friends, students, and fans for all the inquiries and support to show they care. Here’s to the next chapter in Stary’s adventure!

Until next time! Stay smitten, kittens! 😀

Top 15 Cardcaptor Sakura outfits (Sakura’s) (Top Ten #55):

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To celebrate Max-Con this weekend, I wanted to do a top list that showed off my love for anime and costumes and this was it! 😀 Here are my top 15 favorite battle costumes of the heroine from my favorite anime and manga by CLAMP, Cardcaptor Sakura.  Enjoy! ^_^

I pictures are in order below from the list.  I would spend HOURS in middle school re-drawing these outfits to perfection and making my own designs, aspired by Tomoyo.  🙂  I even cosplayed (closet) as the first one, the blue court jester! No one knew who I was, but I had a good time doing it nonetheless. Thanks for all the memories! <3

Top 15 Cardcaptor Sakura outfits (Sakura’s):

  1. Blue Court Jester (Episode 3, for the watery card)
  2. Movie 2 Pink Battle Costume
  3. Season 2 Opening Outfit- Yellow Winged Crown
  4. The Movie 2 Blue Star Outfit (opening film)
  5. The Return Star Costume (Episodes 68 and 69 for the final Sakura Cards transformation)
  6. Gray Star Costume (Season 3, episode 50)
  7. The Prince Costume (Season 2, episode 42, for the Sleeping Beauty play and Light and Dark cards)
  8. The Pink and Blue star costume (Season 3, episode 59)
  9. Chapters 42-46 in the mange Pink Star Dream outfit (for final Sakura card transformations)
  10. Blue Leotard with Red Cape (episode 2, for the shadow card)
  11. The Winged costume (episode 31, for the create and big card)
  12. The Cool Outfit (season 3, episode 58)
  13. Pink sakura yukata (episode 18, for the glow card)
  14. The Song Costume (Episode 23, for the Song card)
  15. Yellow Fairy with wings (episode 12, for the time card)

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Top Ten CLAMP Couples (Top Ten #54)

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CLAMP is so near to my heart and it embedded itself into my cells, flows through my veins, and allows my soul to speak.  My first manga was Cardcaptor Sakura and their manga-ka? CLAMP.  I have never looked back, willingly going the rabbit hole into their Wonderland of deep thinking stories, stunning artwork/costume design, endearing characters, and cultural references. They are a HUGE reason I am such the otaku I am today, the true me I was born to be and the ladies of CLAMP my angel guides. Thank you! <3

Romance is a large part of the CLAMP Universe.  All these couples are either CANNON OR heavily hinted in the manga or anime! The girls are listed first.

Here are my Top Ten CLAMP couples:

#1. Sakura and Syaoran Cardcaptor Sakura AND Tsubasa: Reservior Chronicles

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#2. Chi and Hedeki- Chobits

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#3. Utako and Akira- Man of Many Faces AND CLAMP School Detectives

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#4. Nagisa and Suoh- CLAMP School Detectives

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#5. Fuu and Ferio- Magic Knights: Rayearth

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#6. Suishou and Iorogi- Kobato

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#7. Nadeshiko and Fujitaka Kinomoto- Cardcaptor Sakura

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#8. Hikaru and Lantis- Magic Knights: Rayearth

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#9. Princess Tomoyo and Kurogane- Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles

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#10. Kobato and Fujimoto- Kobtao

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Honorable Mentions (there are several):

*Okay, so the work Angelic Layer has four student characters: Misaki (the main character), Tamayo (her best friend), Kotaro (the boy-next-door type that is friends with our two elementary ladies), and Ohjiro (A high school student who excels at Angelic Layer).  In the manga, Misaki gets with her sweet classmate Kotaro (who REALLY likes her) and Tamayo with Ohjiro, BUT! In the ANIME, they switch partners: Ohjiro confesses his love to our main lady, Misaki, and the tomboy Tamayo reveals she has loved her childhood friend, Kotaro, forever, confusing him, but he DOES pick her (sorry; spoilers!) Both of these couples are TECHINALLY cannon, but I can’t decide which match-up I like the best, SO, that is why, in good faith, I could not put them on the list, BUT! I really do LOVE all four couple possibilities listed here!

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  • Chun Hyang and Mong Ryong- The Legend of Chun Hyang
  • All 12 couples in “The One I Love…;” a collection of seven page manga stories, each with a different love topic.
  • Toya and Yukito- Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Kaho and Eriol- Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Yuuko and Clow Reed- Tsubasa Reservior Chronicles
  • Terada-sensei and Rika- Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Chiharu and Yamazaki- Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Shimizu-sensei and Shinbo- Chobits
  • Yuzuki and Minoru- Chobits
  • Yumi and Ueda- Chobits
  • Dita and Zima- Chobits
  • Emeraude and Zagato- Magic Knights: Rayearth
  • Caldina and Lafarga- Magic Knights: Rayearth
  • Lady Aska and Sanyun- Magic Knights: Rayearth
  • Kohaku and Shuichiro- Wish
  • Hisui and Kokuyo- Wish
  • Hinata and Shiro- Suki
  • Kotori and Kamui- X/1999
  • Sorata and Arashi- X/1999
  • Yuzuriha and Kusanagi- X/1999
  • Hana and Chikahito- Gate 7
  • Zashiki-warashi and Watanuki- xxxholic

Pairings I think really SHOULD happen (in order):

  • Umi and Ascot- Magic Knights: Rayearth
  • Mako and Nokaru- Man of Many Faces and CLAMP School Detectives (both in the CLAMP school universe)
  • Primera and Clef- Magic Knights- Rayearth
  • Himawari and Dōmeki- xxxholic
  • Eagle Vision and Geo- Magic Knights- Rayearth
  • Tachibana and Sakura-san- Gate 7

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