Thursday, April 29, 2010

Celebrities You Could Be Friends With?

Don't you just feel like there are some celebrities you could connect with if you knew them personally?  Feel like you could have them over for a backyard cookout and just chill?  Split a gut at their sheer brilliant hilarity?  Chat with about serious issues?  Get the kids together (not that I have any, but you know what I mean)?

First of all, who hasn't wanted to be friends with Sandra Bullock?  Her and I go way back to the While You Were Sleeping days (still my favorite movie by her).  And a huge congratulations for her adoption!  I'm sure great things are in store for this big-hearted and always classy lady.  

Jennifer Garner... how can you not watch an interview with her and think, Wow...  she's SUCH a real person!  She seems like so much fun.  She has spunk!  I want to be friends. Don't you?

Hubs and I have a guilty pleasure TV show: Tosh.0.  It's on Comedy Central.  It's often not stellar content, but Daniel Tosh... oh how funny you are.  His personality (and the fact that his face is IDENTICAL to one of our friends) makes us feel like we want to hang out with him.  I'm positive I'd pee my pants, but it would be worth it.

Bonnie Hunt!!  She is brilliantly funny, an incredible writer (Return to Me... HELLO!), great actress, and she's from Chicago, which basically means we have to be related.  I'm so sad that her talk show was canceled for next season, but hopefully this means she'll get back to movie making!

Ryan Seacrest... what a goofball.  Despite his many jobs in the spotlight, I'm pretty sure he'd be a lot of fun to hang out with.  His quick wit would certainly keep you on your toes!!

Ellen!!  What a talent.  So quick on her feet with the funny.  She just seems like a genuine person, with a big heart for helping people.  We could be friends.  For sure.

Amy Poehler... one of the best SNL cast members to date.  Her show Parks and Recreation is laugh out loud funny.  Hubs and I are definitely fans of this princess of comedy.

These are just a few of the celebs I could be friends with (there may be a future installment!).  What about you?  While watching TV, do you ever think, Hey... I could totally be friends with them! ?
Tell me who!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

202 Follower Giveaway!

Hurray for reaching 202 followers!!

I'm so thankful and happy that I could connect with all of you in some way!  We are each so different from one another, but many of us have the same loves and goals, and that's what makes blogging with all of you so incredible.

In effort to support our joint efforts, I will be giving away a signed copy of
The Wolf Within by our very own blogging buddy, Kristi Chestnutt!

Here is the description from Goodreads:

When Gwyn, a quirky college student, bumps into Faden, a private investigator with a secret past, life as she knows it will not just change, but end.

Faden can’t deny the powerful connection he and Gwyn have right from the start, a connection that pulls him towards her when he knows he should be staying away. As his investigation into the town’s most recent murders heats up, his resolve weakens and he gives in to Gwyn’s pull, knowing that getting close to someone again would mean sharing his secret: he is Immortal.

Little does he know that he will never get the chance to tell her himself. His past hunts him down, taking Gwyn prisoner and plunging them into a world they never knew existed. Together they will be thrown into the midst of battle, befriending the very serial killer Faden has been hunting. Forced to leave their homes behind and run from the authorities, we watch as Gwyn helps Faden become the leader that destiny and fate has called him to be.
Sounds exciting, right?!
Now let's have some fun!
This giveaway will be easy cheesy.  Here are the only rules:
1. You must be a follower
2. Finish the cheesy dialogue:
"I'm trying to tell you that I'm different, and it's not safe for you to be around me."
"I don't care what you are.  I'm in love, I tell you. Love!"
"You don't understand!  I'm __________."  
Easy as that!  I'll assign everyone a number and use to pull the winner of The Wolf Within!!
Contest ends Sunday, May 9th!
Spread the word!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Something to Look at Sunday!

A preview of coming attractions...

This is the banner I made for my new Etsy store!! What do you think?

Click on it to see it better :)

The plan for my Etsy store, KristinCreative, is to sell copies of my photography (a small sample of which you can see on my banner, and some of you have seen in previous Sunday posts), original oil paintings, prints of my watercolor paintings, and maybe some scarves as we get closer to fall.

I don't have any listings yet, as I'm still waiting on an order from the photo lab.  Gotta test these things out, because sometimes the difference between what you see on the computer screen and what comes out on paper are completely different.

So hopefully by next week I'll be up and running.  I'll make a big announcement and give you all the link!!  I'm super excited about this venture!  

Thank you to my 200 followers!!  Giveaway announcement coming soon!!
Happy Sunday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Back! And... Get Your Portrait Drawn!

I'm back!  Sort of...
I'm not nearly as stressed out as I was last week, and I thank all of you for your words of encouragement and advice! 
I've been busy painting and editing some of my photography, getting ready to open my store on Etsy, and to stock my friend's actual store (a real store you can walk in! lol) she's opening up this summer!  I'll keep all of you updated!

A good friend of mine has recently started a business, and I HAVE to show y'all what he can do:  

Seth's Drawing:

The Photograph:

I've seen his drawings here and there for years, and I'm always in awe at how perfect they are.

If you or someone you know would like to get a portrait drawn, check out his blog, for pricing and more samples of his incredible talent.

If anything, please follow his blog.  Maybe someone will find him through you (we've all joined blogs that way... that's the magic of social networking)!  He's actively seeking new clients, so this is the PERFECT time to submit an order before he starts getting backed up.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm thankful that I don't get migranes.  That is my mantra today to help remind myself that this really annoying sinus headache could be worse.  And add stress to that.  Ever notice how stress makes your body feel?  Like you can never get enough sleep... like you are susceptible to more germs than normal... like all you want to do is eat chocolate?? 

I've been pretty stressed these past few days, and it's certainly not by choice.  If anything I've been telling myself NOT to get stressed.  Just take care of things one at a time, everything will get done, and there's no REASON to get worked up.  But my body hasn't heard a word of it.  I can't concentrate on writing, blogging, painting, nada. 

I may be MIA this weekend and maybe some of next week, taking care of various home improvements that have all seemed to pop up at one time, a wedding in hub's family, and trying to work on some oil paintings to sell in my friend's store launching this summer. 

I'm just a handful of followers away from 200!  So when that happens, I will be hosting a giveaway, so be on the lookout for that announcement!

I hope everyone has a stress and allergy free weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Amazing Contest!

Liz at Cleverly Inked is hosting the most amazing Birthday Phenomenon

(I'm pasting the URL because stupid blogger won't let me LINK ANYTHING!)

50 authors, 53 books to choose from, and LOTS of swag!!

Happy Birthday, Liz!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Point of View

How do you decide which point of view to write in?

The most common types of POV are:

First Person - The I, we, me, my, mine, us narrator.
I find that I am drawn to books written in first person more than others.  I like being inside the MC's head, feeling their emotions.  Also, aside from short story expiriments, everything I've written has ended up first person, even if I originally tried it in third.  Apparently in the same way I'm drawn to reading first person, I'm also drawn to exploring my own characters the same way.  Both of my WIPs, Anemone and Still Loving Ghosts, are written in first person, but the chapters alternate characters.    

Second Person - The you narrator. 
I've only tried to write in first person once, and because it really does come across as humorous, I made it a funny "short short story".  Any longer than a few pages and I would have gone crazy... along with whoever ended up reading it.

Third Person - The he, she, it, they, them narrator.
Some writers are really good at this POV.  I am not one of them.  I've tried... oh how I've tried.  I just can't pull it off.  It just doesn't feel personal enough when I write this POV.  I always want more.  I want to actually feel like I'm inside the character's head, not just writing or reading about it.  I've written one or two short stories in third person, but every time I start a novel in it, I end up reworking it into first.

Which POV do you write in most or exclusively?  Do you like to read one over another?

(Check out the latest issue of Writer's Digest for an article by James V. Smith Jr. that analyzes the pros and cons of each POV. It's good.)

Happy Monday!   

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Something To Look At Sunday

The Azaleas have been in full swing these past two weeks, and they are beautiful!!

When the sun just started dipping low, I ran outside with my camera.

Look how they glow!

The large bushes on the side of the house are three varieties of pink (I'm pretty sure they're over 20 years old... these things are HUGE), and last year we planted some short red ones in front, but they are JUST starting to bloom so I don't have pictures of them yet.  

This is the window box in my kitchen above the sink.  What a lovely view of the neighbor's wall I have while washing dishes.  Blah.  I can't wait to have land and an actual garden.
Friday, I took a half day and hit up the local Home Depot nursery for some new pots and herbs!
TOP L to R: Oregano that I dug up from last year's failed garden attempt (I was out in the yard a few days ago and saw oregano growing where I'd planted the seends LAST YEAR! What a nice surprise!), Basil (thought I had a bigger pot for them... have to go back to the store... darn), Parsley and Cilantro, and pink Impatients left on my porch by a local church as their Easter service advertisement.
BOTTOM: Rosemary, Azalea cuttings, and fake purple flower sprigs leftover from my wedding long ago. lol.

Happy Sunday!

*All photographs are property of Kristin Rae and may not be used or duplicated without written permission.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

LOADS of Contests!

I wasn't going to post today, but I'm having so much fun entering these contests, I had to share.

If you love YA, head over to 

for more contests than you can imagine! Hurry because they end Sunday at midnight!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

First of all, I have to say this new Amazon feature is really neat.  Now when I write a book review or talk about a book, you don't have to go somewhere else to read more about it or see what it costs, it's RIGHT THERE and you can just click!  If you Blogspot peeps haven't seen it yet, check it out.  It's under the Monetize tab on your dashboard and if people end up buying from clicking on your blog, you actually get a little bit of cash money.  Seriously, neat.  Love it. 

Now for the review at hand!
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Description from Goodreads:

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. For instance, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? Why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life.

Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.
Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson’s cakes. She offers them to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth and in the hope of bringing back the love she fears she’s lost forever. In Julia, Emily may have found a link to her mother’s past. But why is everyone trying to discourage Emily’s growing relationship with the handsome and mysterious son of Mullaby’s most prominent family? Emily came to Mullaby to get answers, but all she’s found so far are more questions.

Is there really a ghost dancing in her backyard? Can a cake really bring back a lost love? In this town of lovable misfits, maybe the right answer is the one that just feels…different.

My thoughts:

My regular blog followers know that I'm a HUGE fan of Allen's second book, The Sugar Queen.  Absolutely ADORE it.  Allen opened my eyes to the wonder that is magical realism, and I'm hooked.  
This book was good, but for me, not AS good as TSQ.  I enjoy her writing style.  I don't find it too over the top as some reviewers seem to.  I think it matches the tone of the storyline perfectly.  It's a very sweet story, and the magical realism bits wound in here and there add interest and mystery.  Things that should be impossible are normal... and anything "normal" would just seem boring.  I mean, wallpaper that changes itself?  How sweet would that be? 

It's almost hard to read a regular fiction after one of Allen's books because I keep expecting extraordinary things to happen and I end up disappointed.  Her writing is just so creative (sweet, at times sappy, and always happy endings, but creative nonetheless) that I get pulled into all the possibilities.  Allen is the reason one of my WIPs is magical realism.  I'm in love with it.

If you're looking for a light, sweet read with a creative storyline, pick up one of Allen's books.  

*4/5 - Really Liked It

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Radiant Shadows Cover Reminds Me Of...

Okay, I've been seeing this cover on a LOT of your blogs lately, and EVERY TIME I see it, I think it's a photo of Adam Lambert.


Anyone else do a double take when they see this cover?

I hope this doesn't influence my willingness to read the book, because I'm not much of a Lambert fan. lol. ( I won't let it bother me, I'm just teasing!)

I just realized that this is Wicked Lovely #4 ( I still have yet to read #1! ZOIKS!). Here is the description from Goodreads for those interested:

Hunger for nourishment.

Hunger for touch.

Hunger to belong.

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.
Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.

Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in Melissa Marr’s next volume of Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Title Revealed!

For today's teaser, I'm going to share the first few lines (subject to change, of course...) of my young adult WIP, and the TITLE!!

Are you ready?

The title is...


This is pretty much how I envision the cover to look! This is not my photo, but I do plan on doing a photo shoot with some anemones soon!

Now for a snippet... enjoy!

"Brady was completely normal--nothing otherworldly about him. That wasn't the problem.

The problem was me. Only... I didn't know exactly what the problem was. I didn't seem to know or remember much about anything."

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Character Name Game

For my writer followers, how do you come up with your character names?

Doesn't that seem harder than coming up with the story sometimes? You want something original, but nothing like Apple, Dweezil, or Moon Unit. Maybe you like your best friend's name, but worry about using the name of someone you know? Maybe you have the urge to name your antagonist after your ex, but worry they just might one day pick up your book and read it?

Choosing names is hard. For my first novel (yes, I'm still taking a break after that huge revision... I think I deserve it, right?), I realized I had too many J names. There were three. THREE of my main characters... AND they all ended with N. Not cool. Too confusing. So after tweaking, I realized I had too many M's. There are still several that end in N (hey, it's natural... Kristin ends in N!), but none of my Betas have pointed it out as a nuisance, so for now, they stay.

Now that I'm starting a new young adult WIP (title to be revealed SOON!), here I am with the names all over again. The main boy's name came easy this time, and I had to come up with two names for the girl (I can't tell you why). I pulled all these names out of the air this time, but often I find myself poking around the baby name websites to get ideas. Do you do that, too?

Also, I needed several names for characters that were a bit older once, and I found that you can search by year on the Social Security website for popular names. A lot of you probably already knew that, but for those that didn't, it's a nifty resource.

So what about you? Does naming your characters come easy, or is it torture?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter! Something to Watch Sunday!

I hope everyone haves a Happy Easter!

I know today really has absolutely nothing to do with baby bunnies and eggs, but I stumbled across this video, and had to share. It has to be the most sickeningly cute video ever.


God bless you and your family :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Half Price Books

I brought a cart full of books into my (somewhat) local Half Price Books today... a CART full. They offered me $23 for the lot. And I took it. (they were mostly books from college and a few old novels that I had to admit to myself I would never ever get to)
I walked out with only $18 because I found a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets score (UNOPENED)! So... add that to my iTunes "writing inspiration" playlist.

I'm actually proud of myself for not spending all my earnings today...

YAY for lightening the load!! (and making more room on that bookshelf!!! ;)

Happy Good Friday to all!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March in Review,,, Hello April!

March was a pretty good month. Hubs and I were able to visit Jamaica, I finished the mother of all revisions of my first novel (one step closer to querying), and I read seven books!!

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin *5/5
Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel *3/5
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors *4/5
Wake by Lisa McMann *3/5
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter *4/5
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer *5/5
The Wolf Within by Kristi Chestnutt *4/5

Pages read in March: 1798
Pages read YTD: 4754

Hello April!

Today was the first day of April. Thankfully, no one threw any April Fools Jokes at me, but I did get a kick out of Google and Topeka, Kansas switching names. There's a whole article and everything... very elaborate.

I'm all a buzz today because earlier this afternoon, a basically complete storyline for a young adult book popped into my head. I'd been tossing a few ideas around for a month or two, very eager to give writing YA a shot, and today it all came together. BAM!
I have a title and everything... I'm so excited and can't wait to really get into it.
It has 184 words so far! How cute is that?!

This month I plan to give away a signed copy of Kristi Chestnutt's The Wolf Within, so keep an eye open!

How was your March? And how has the first day of April treated you?