Monday, July 21, 2014

Buyer Beware


Over the last month, I've been experiencing a building allergic reaction. Like a potion or spell gone wrong(or is that right?), a small patch of itchy and very tiny little blisters will pop up, drive me crazy, then disappear a few hours later. I ignored it at first, determined to see it as nothing other than a freak rash. I really should know better. I need the antidote or counterspell, if you will.

You see, I'm allergic to formaldehyde.  Yeah, you read it correctly. This nasty substance, which puts any self respecting, evil witch's brew to shame and gives embalming fluid and fingernail polish it's nasty odor, builds up in my body over time until it's gained enough momentum to break my entire body out in a rash of tiny blisters that itch to no end. Weird, I know.

I've only broken out a total of 4 times over the whole of my 31 years. The 1st time was due to an everyday use of fingernail polish when I was a teen. I stopped coloring my nails and the outbreak went away. Over the years, I'll occasionally get a mani/pedi, but I'll be sure to give it at least six months between each time to keep an outbreak from occurring. I thought I was golden. (Apparently, that evil enchantress throwing hexes my way is much more determined than I thought.)

Willful ignorance (and not having a healthy respect for your local potions master) is not a good idea, folks.

The outbreaks are getting closer together, despite the fact that I hardly ever wear fingernail polish, the last two outbreaks occurring within the last 5 years. What has changed? I could no longer ignore the situation, nor give fingernail polish sole responsibility for my dilemma.

Did you know that formaldehyde is in, what seems like, EVERYTHING? Even though I'm allergic to it, I had no idea. I check labels and when I don't see the actual name 'fermaldahyde', I think I'm good. WRONG!

Sneaky sorceress, er, I mean, manufacturers use all kinds of synonyms and chemicals that 'act like' formaldehyde. Thanks to globalhealingcenter.com for this list of ingredients to look for and avoid:

*Formalin   *Methanal   *Oxymethyline   *Urea   *1,3-Dioxetane   *Quaternium 15   *Methylaldehyde
*Methylene Oxide   *Formic Aldehyde   *Oxomethane Formalin   *Phenol Formaldehyde

Now I'm off to check the products I'm currently using for the cult culprit responsible for this itchy reaction. And hopefully, I can prevent any future discomfort. *sigh*

Source: The Hidden Formaldehyde



Have you checked out my novella, Lost Haven, yet? Get it soon. The sequel is finished and should be out this fall!!



Anyone else ticked off an enchantress lately, as I apparently have? *grin* No? Do you have a weird allergy? Is your reaction instant or does it take time to build up, like mine? Do you like YA Fantasy with female protagonists? Have you read Lost Haven?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Self-Promotion is Important



As many of you know, my first published work, Lost Haven-A Shine Novella was published in March. Having prepared for this day, I had my self-promotion tools lined up and it did very well. What many of you may not know is that I own a trophy company with my hub. The month of May is what I like to refer to as our 'hell month' as it is end of school awards time. Unfortunately, with long sixteen hour plus days, I barely had time to eat much less keep up with my promotions. With constant deadlines, I barely thought of my debut novella. My numbers plummeted.

I knew self-promotion was important, but after this experience, I now realize it more than ever.

So, I'm going to share 3 promotion tips that I've found to be the most important.

1. Consistency- This one has been made painfully clear for me. You have to keep up a consistent effort to promote your work. It won't promote itself. You can't expect to promote for a short amount of time, then just stop and it'll keep being seen by new readers. You have to put in the time and hard work...and it will be lots of time and hard work.

2. Be Shameless- I don't mean spam, but you can't be afraid to share your work. If you're anything like me, you feel self-conscious when you talk about your work. I've had to figure out how to get over that...I'm still working on that one...and you must get over it also. If you don't tell people about your work, no one else is going to either. Your friends' posts include pictures of their kids, their political leanings, and even the annoying post about what they eat for every God loving meal. So why can't you share what you're doing?

3. Hone your craft while you self-promote- If you're a writer like me, write amazing blog posts, share snippets of your writing, participate in blog hops that bring people to you. If you're an artist, post samples of your work on Pinterest. If you're a musician, post samples of your music on YouTube. This will give people a taste of your voice, style, or sound and create interest that will bring them back for more.



And now for my shameless plug *grin*, Check out my debut novella, Lost Haven, on Amazon today in e-book or print version, coming soon to audio. And if you've already read it, please be sure to back and leave a review.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My 7 year old sounds like a teen...and it's my fault! Plus, Fallen Soldier Memorial Statue

I'm a light gamer. I say 'light' because I don't play all the time, I don't care about building a community of gamer friends, and I'm not obsessive about gaming. Most gamers probably wouldn't even consider me to be one of them. I use gaming as a place to go when I need an escape when I'm between good book series. I play Guild Wars 2 on the computer occasionally, I like Minecraft, and I love pulling out the old Playstation 2 to play Dark Cloud 2. I like playing PvZ: Garden Warfare on Xbox with my kiddo and Candy Crush and Doombad on my iPhone.

Like I said, 'light' gamer is definitely a good description for me.


My 7 year old, however, is well on his way to being a serious gamer. He already knows more than I do. Lately, his favorite thing is to watch videos on YouTube by his favorite little teenage gamers. He thinks these teenagers and their melodramatic antics as one of their characters is destroyed and must be respawned, is hilarious. It gets so bad that he'll end up bouncing up and down in excitement as the teenager yells out while his character is annihilated. It's quite the racket.

Still it's harmless, right?! I mean they are appealing to my son's maturity level without crossing any lines I don't like.

The other day, the hub was giving my son a lecture after the kiddo left half his lunch on his plate. You know the one: There are children all over the world who are starving and would love to have even a quarter of the food you get every meal.
The kiddo
The kiddo took this with a straight face. When his dad finally finished (the hub really likes to lecture :P hehehehe) the kiddo looked his dad in the eye, pushed his plate across the table, and said, "Then you take it to them."

I'm not going to lie, the hub and I sat their, slack jawed, amazed that this teenage comment came out of our 7 year old's mouth. The kiddo lifted his eyebrow and continued. "What? You didn't think I was that quick, cupcake?" This comment came complete with tick of his head from side to side on each syllable of cupcake.

I'm pretty sure I almost pee'd myself. Later that day, in the privacy of our room, the hub and I relived the moment and rolled with laughter. The lesson I've learned from this? There are consequences for any and all actions...even allowing your child to watch 'harmless' YouTube videos.

Are you a gamer? 'Light' like me? Serious? Has some decision you made had as dire consequences as my decision about YouTube.

Fallen Soldier Memorial Statue Donation


Have you checked out my debut novella, Lost Haven? If not, please consider doing so and supporting a great cause...For 1 week starting Memorial Day and ending the following Monday, OK Army Nat'l Guard Veteran and Oklahoma Author, Sabrina A. Fish, will be donating 5% of each copy(e-book or print) of Lost Haven sold toward the purchase of a Fallen Soldier Memorial Statue honoring 1LT Danon Leehan and SGT Michael Prince of the OK Army National Guard.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Adios A to Z, Hello Print Books and Conference Season


A to Z is over! *Cue the streamers and confetti* I'm so happy to announce that I made it through the whole month, picked up several really interesting new blogs to follow, and made some great new friends. I hope everyone enjoyed getting to know some of my favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy characters. My goal was to introduce you to at least one new story you'd never heard of and judging from your comments, I was successful.


This week, I experienced another happy dance worthy moment: I received my very first box of books in the mail. Not going to lie...I smelled, kissed, and waved them around like a lunatic. In case you aren't certain: Dreams do come true, folks. *shakes out shameless plug* If you haven't checked out Lost Haven yet? It's now available in print or e-book on Amazon. The audio version will be available later this month.

 

This last weekend I attended the annual OWFI Conference, a local writer's conference that I enjoy volunteering for each year. This year I volunteered to be on the costume committee. We had our first costume contest and it was such fun. I had just finished the paranormal romance, Nefertiti's Heart by A.W. Exley, when I first learned of the contest so I went with a steampunk themed costume. Anyone who knows me and my love of all things pearl, lace, and Victorian era, won't be surprised.

It was a huge success with the winners going home with a huge bag of goodies including 2 bottles of wine, Starbucks, free book cover, gift cards, and various writing supplies. I can't wait to do it again next year! Is it too soon to start planning my next costume? *grin*

And to top the whole weekend off, I won my first conference writing contest award!! Woot!

How was your A to Z? Have you read Lost Haven? Been to or plan to attend any good conferences this year? Have any ideas for an interesting costume for next year?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

~Z~ is for Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander

My Theme for the 2014 A to Z Challenge is: SciFi/Fantasy Characters in Novels

I'll introduce you to a new scifi/fantasy character from the plethora of novels I've read over my lifetime. My goal is to entice those who maybe haven't read much in the genre I write and share why I find these characters so interesting. I hope you'll enjoy taking the ride with me.

~Z~ is for Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander from Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth Series


In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them--for reasons Richard can't imagine and Kahlan dare not say.
In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword--to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

Zedd is the First Wizard and Richard Rahl's grandfather. The thing I like best are his bits of advice to Richard. "True as toasted toads", "Bags!", "Wizards First Rule: People are stupid." or "If the road is easy, you're likely going the wrong way."
He is a slightly eccentric old man who marches to the beat of his very own drum, which constantly cracks me up. He is responsible for the comedic relief from the crap Goodkind puts Richard and Kahlan through. He and his 'girlfriend' Addie are hilarious.

Have you checked out my debut novel?!! It's a girl superhero novella appropriate for YA or Adult readers. And it's a quick read for those who find themselves short on reading time! Please give it a go and be sure to let me know what you think!!

Shine 7: Lost Haven by Sabrina A. Fish is available on Amazon. This is my very first published work, so please show some love and check it out! If you like it, please leave a review and check out the rest of the series written by other contributing authors.

In the near future, a few young women manifest extraordinary abilities called "Shine." Each girl's ability is different. Some develop extraordinary mental abilities. Some become physically strong. Others have powers that defy description. But the world does not embrace these Shines. It fears them.

Camille’s life hasn’t been the same since her parent’s supposed murder suicide. When an intruder ransacks her home and she discovers a mysterious thumb drive hidden in her father’s office, she realizes the unwanted changes in her life are just beginning. Politics and conspiracy, betrayal and abduction. Camille is about to discover that change is inevitable and hiding is not an option.

Monday, April 28, 2014

~X~ is for Xena

My Theme for the 2014 A to Z Challenge is: SciFi/Fantasy Characters in Novels

I'll introduce you to a new scifi/fantasy character from the plethora of novels I've read over my lifetime. My goal is to entice those who maybe haven't read much in the genre I write and share why I find these characters so interesting. I hope you'll enjoy taking the ride with me.

~X~  is for Xena Warrior Princess

In a time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a mighty princess, forged in the heat of battle...Her courage will change the world.
So I know this isn't a character from a book, BUT she is one of my favorite female characters. She's strong, sexy, brave, and an all around bad ass!! I love her. She's the heroine from my childhood. I used to watch this on TV and dream of adventures and saving the world just like her. *sigh*









Have you checked out my debut novel?!! It's a girl superhero novella appropriate for YA or Adult readers. And it's a quick read for those who find themselves short on reading time! Please give it a go and be sure to let me know what you think!!

Shine 7: Lost Haven by Sabrina A. Fish is available on Amazon. This is my very first published work, so please show some love and check it out! If you like it, please leave a review and check out the rest of the series written by other contributing authors.

In the near future, a few young women manifest extraordinary abilities called "Shine." Each girl's ability is different. Some develop extraordinary mental abilities. Some become physically strong. Others have powers that defy description. But the world does not embrace these Shines. It fears them.

Camille’s life hasn’t been the same since her parent’s supposed murder suicide. When an intruder ransacks her home and she discovers a mysterious thumb drive hidden in her father’s office, she realizes the unwanted changes in her life are just beginning. Politics and conspiracy, betrayal and abduction. Camille is about to discover that change is inevitable and hiding is not an option.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

~W~ is for Wyl Thursk

My Theme for the 2014 A to Z Challenge is: SciFi/Fantasy Characters in Novels

I'll introduce you to a new scifi/fantasy character from the plethora of novels I've read over my lifetime. My goal is to entice those who maybe haven't read much in the genre I write and share why I find these characters so interesting. I hope you'll enjoy taking the ride with me.

~W~ is for Wyl Thursk, the main character in the Quickening Series by Fiona McIntosh.


In Book 1, Myrren's Gift, Wyl's life takes a major turn when the witch, Myrren, bestows a gift on him as Wyl witness' her death.

Wyl is a young man destined to be his King's General, but finds himself out of favor when a new King is crowned. The new King is jealous of Wyl's popularity with the previous king and with the people. When Wyl witness' the death of a young girl accused of being a witch, the witch gives him a gift. This gift changes Wyl's life and is the impedus that propels the story on.

I'll warn you now...if you thought Robin Hobb puts her characters through the cruel and unusual, then you haven't read The Quickening Series by Fiona McIntosh. Poor Wyl and anyone associated with him aren't safe. I loved these books, read them in record time in fact. The characters could be a little less black and white, but overall I loved the series and would recommend it to other fantasy lovers!

Have you checked out my debut novel?!! It's a girl superhero novella appropriate for YA or Adult readers. And it's a quick read for those who find themselves short on reading time! Please give it a go and be sure to let me know what you think!!

Shine 7: Lost Haven by Sabrina A. Fish is available on Amazon. This is my very first published work, so please show some love and check it out! If you like it, please leave a review and check out the rest of the series written by other contributing authors.

In the near future, a few young women manifest extraordinary abilities called "Shine." Each girl's ability is different. Some develop extraordinary mental abilities. Some become physically strong. Others have powers that defy description. But the world does not embrace these Shines. It fears them.

Camille’s life hasn’t been the same since her parent’s supposed murder suicide. When an intruder ransacks her home and she discovers a mysterious thumb drive hidden in her father’s office, she realizes the unwanted changes in her life are just beginning. Politics and conspiracy, betrayal and abduction. Camille is about to discover that change is inevitable and hiding is not an option.