Growing Gardens & Writing Books: June 2012   

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Event Today!

Hey everyone! I will be at Hastings in San Marcos from 1-3 for my book What Kind of a Name is That? Please come out and see me! 917 Texas 80 San Marcos, TX

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Raised Beds

I simply love my raised beds! Oh, I feel I should mention that I live in the Texas Hill Country which means digging is just not an option. So, raised beds it is. Now, some may run out and purchase a complete raised bed "kit" but you can do it much cheaper. I purchased treated 2X6X8's and cut them in half to make 4X4 beds. These worked great and so the next year I made 4X8 beds. I now have 3 of each and they are growing like crazy.You will notice that the middle 4X4 has a canopy. Last year we had such high temperatures and were in a major drought that my tomatoes just couldn't handle it. This year we covered them and are easily getting 4 times the amount we got last year. The three 8X4 beds are in a nice partly shaded area and everything seems really love it. I started these about a month after I planted the smaller ones so we haven't gotten any veggies or fruit yet but we have loads of blooms! I have to say thanks to my husband and family for helping me out with my garden. Love you guys!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Yahoo Article Published

As a new author there have been several exciting milestones. Of course the best was when I received the acceptance letter from my publisher! Knowing that your first book was going to be published is an amazing feeling. Once you come down off that high, there are several exciting moments along the way. Your first book event, getting the first copy of your book, etc. One thing that seems to keep haunting me is the title, Author. I feel awkward and unworthy of the title...kinda like at any moment someone is going to jump out at me like that scene from the Princess Bride when Buttercup is dreaming and the old lady starts booing her. Although instead of calling me "slime, filth, muck" she would be saying, "fake, phoney, untalented". Geesh! Anyway, in a more positive direction, I did get some very exciting news last week! I have already published two articles on Yahoo as one of their Yahoo Contributors and now they have actually accepted an article that they...drum roll please...prepaid me for! Holy Mackerel! I couldn't believe it, money up front. Now that is the big time, huh? LOL. Well I would love for you to read my article so take a look. Please share it with all your friends and family.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Good Summmer Reads and How to save some Cash!

My mother and I love to read. So essentially we have our own book club. We may get my sister Heather to read (or listen to the audio book version) some of the books too but the best part is talking about what happened in the books. What I would like to do here is share some of my favorite reads (so far) and also share some ways to save costs while still getting to read all the books you want!
My Favorites
  • The Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West- There are two books in the series that are currently released (Book 1 – The Shadows; and Book 2 – Spellbound; Book 3 – The Second Spy is released July 5, 2012). These books are great chapter books for kids that love creative story telling.
  • The House of Night Series by P.C. & Kristin Cast- I can thank my teenage niece, Tabatha, for getting me hooked on these books! These are a great series for teenagers and adults. I started reading the first book in the series, Marked, because I wanted to make certain what she was reading was appropriate. It was ADDICTIVE! There are currently 10 books published with book 11 due out in October 2012. There are also 2 Novellas that go with the series and are a must read! This mother-daughter team have done a great job of taking a vampire story and putting a whole new twist on it.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Series (TrueBlood on HBO) by Charlaine Harris- If you have seen True Blood then you know what I am talking about here! The books are way better than the series simply because you can get more Sookie and Bill, or Sookie and Eric, or Sookie and Alcide, or Sookie and…. you catch my drift. The latest book, Deadlocked, was released May 1 and is book 12 in the series. There are so many companion books and short stories that will keep your Sookie appetite satiated for a long time. There is also a book that has a collection of short stories from 4 different authors. Charlaine Harris has one short story in this book, Must Love Hellhounds, as does Ilona Andrews.
  • Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews – Thank you Megan (my hair stylist) for this recommendation! If you love the world of the paranormal, then you have come to the right place! The Kate Daniels series collides the worlds of magic, weres, vampires, and Ilona only knows what else! You will quickly get caught up in the battles Kate faces as a Merc and the passion between Kate and Curran. Currently, there are 5 books released in the series and 2 novellas (one is in the author compilation, Must Love Hellhounds). The next book is due July 2012, however, this book will have Kate’s best Friend Andrea as the main character. The next Kate book is expected to be released in February 2013.
  • Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins – I am sure you have read the Hunger Games trilogy, right? If you haven’t… you should! Suzanne Collins teaches our youth the perils, sacrifices, and importance of war through her Hunger Games Trilogy. In Gregor the Overlander, she has created an amazing underland in which Gregor has “fallen” into with his 2 year old sister Boots. He quickly gets caught up in a Prophecy and a war. In the Underland, Gregor must go on a quest to find his dad with humans, roaches, a rat, bats, and spiders as his companions. There are 5 books in this series and all are available now.
There are of course so many amazing stories out there so if you have read one you think I may like, please let me know!!!
Saving some Cash!
So, I love to buy a hard copy of a book, turn the pages, and use my beautiful Brighton bookmarks my hubby got me for my birthday! But this can be expensive. Here are some great ways to save on your books this summer.
  • Hard Copy Books – Start with Half Price Books for all books that have already been released. I was able to get the House of Night books for less than $5 each. If you are in a book club or have a friend that likes to read the same kind of books, share books! Don’t forget to check your local library!! If you have finished your book and want to share it with others, donate it to the library. Most libraries have a Friends of the Library component that you can donate your paperback books to and check out others you haven’t read. Great way to save money.
  • eBooks – If you have an eReader of some sort (iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc) then you know the joy have getting your books instantaneously! Here is a little tip that I did not know until about 2-3 months ago. I bought my mother a Nook Color for Christmas and did you know you can “Loan” your Nook books to friends? This is another great way to save money! I have an iPad but got the Nook app so now I can purchase Nook books, borrow, and loan books out to my friends and family! Don’t forget your local library! At most libraries you can now check out books to your eReader! Visit your local library for more information. Prefer to listen to the audio book? There are loads of books available in audio format too.
Whether you purchase a hard copy or on your eReader, I hope you enjoy these books I have recommended and have a wonderful summer!!! Happy Reading!

Hello readers!! My name is Shawnna and among the many hats I wear (wife, mommy, employee, etc) I am a newly published author of children's picture books. I have loved reading from a very young age and am still inspired by amazing creative authors. I will use this blog to share my thoughts and opinions on books I am reading, events I will be at, or even tell my readers about my new releases! Please take a minute to visit my website and maybe even purchase my book! I always love to hear about great books to read so please feel free to share some of your favorites with me too!

That's all for now!