Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthrights Reviews Contest


I've had quite a few people purchase Birthrights since I released it, but not many have left reviews. As most authors know, reviews sell your book! So, that brings me to my contest...

I will be having a drawing for two separate $25 Amazon gift cards on June 1st. 

How do you enter the drawing you ask? 

It's funny you should ask, because I was about to tell you just that!

How to enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Step 1: You buy the e-book, it's only $1.50!

Step 2: You leave a review of the book on Amazon (if you want to go a step further and leave a review on Barnes & Noble too, I'll enter you twice!)

Step 3: You e-mail christine(dot)butler@moonlitdreams(dot)org with the following info: 
  • date of purchase
  • place of purchase (if other than Amazon - Birthrights is also Available through Barnes&, and the iBookstore)
  • a copy of the review (it doesn't have to be anything fancy).

Step 4: You must do all of this by May 31, 2011 in order to be entered into the drawing!

         TWO lucky winners will be announced on June 1, 2011!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Look out, Bozo coming through

I am a woman, so imagine how heartbreaking it must be for me to say that what I least look forward to doing in life is shoe shopping. Yes, you heard me right, a woman who hates to shop for shoes! I promise though, there is a good reason for my hatred. 

You see, I was born to a race of giants that stealthily hide their presence through a series of slouching postures and some great camouflage clothing techniques. Okay, fine! That's not true at all. I was however, born with genes that while giving me very long legs have also given me very large feet. What does that have to do with my hatred of shoe shopping? In a word, everything!

Let me take you back to high school, and prom season. I never really liked prom for various reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I could have more money to party with that weekend if I wasn't buying a dress, shoes, etc. Senior year I chose to party with friends at the beach instead of sweating my ass off in an expensive dress. We had a blast getting our Zima drunk on. Yes, Zima! I know, it wasn't my proudest moment! 

My junior year, however, I was talked into going to the prom with friends. So, I borrowed a dress from someone at the last minute, but I obviously wasn't going to borrow a pair of shoes, not with my bozo the clown feet. My mom did the only thing she knew to do. She took me to the closest large city and we went to about 15 different shoe stores, and many tears, before I settled for a hideous pair of white shoes. That's the best description I can give for them. (see photo below) Hideous and white. Beggars can't be choosers though. Sadly, for a girl with a shoe fetish, this was the beginning of a devastating love/hate relationship with footwear. 

For the longest time I gave up on women's shoes. Before I had children I was a size 10. That was bad enough back then. After having children, my feet have taken on a life of their own. I am currently residing in a woman's size 12 shoe or a man's 10 1/2. Yes, I could hear your audible gasp at that, along with the comments, "that's a big bitch!" "Look out Sasquatch coming through!" Very funny! har har

So, as I was saying, I gave up on women's shoes for a long time and just relegated myself to shopping for skater punk shoes or hiking boots in the men's department, because they were at least somewhat cool. Oh, I would torture myself and meander over to the size 7-9 isle of women's footwear and drool over the latest and greatest fashions. Once in a while I would get fed up and go harass poor, unsuspecting, store clerks about their purchasing practices. 

Eventually, I started wearing women's shoes again. What caused the turn around? I lived in Key West for three years. Key West has a huge drag queen population and one perk of working in an adult store that sold costumes was getting to know said drag queens! I found myself jealous of their footwear and then it hit me. "Wait," I said one day, "where in hell's name did you get those shoes?" Oh, the smiles I procured from the very proud queens with that question. " darling!" This is the point where I smack myself in the head and berate myself for weeks on end for not remembering that you can get anything online!

While I received a renewed sense of hope for my shoe shopping love from those wonderful drag queens, I still get pissed off when I walk into a shoe store and see maybe two decent shoes in my size while there are racks upon racks of amazing shoes in size 7! 

I went shoe shopping yesterday, can you tell? When I walked in the clerk asked with a sweet smile on her face, "is there anything I can help you find?" I felt like I should answer back, "Look out, bozo the clown coming through! What do you have in size gargantuan?" But I held my tongue and politely and quietly told her, "just looking." I slunk over to the men's department where they keep the inhumanly large women's shoes and I started the long stare. You know the one, where you really look through the wall of shoes because they are all so ugly. Okay, so maybe you can't relate! I did manage to find a pair of tennis shoes that I desperately needed, but there was nothing "cute." At least, not until I rounded the bend and found myself in shoe heaven - or hell in my case! You know that saying, "always the bridesmaid, never the bride!" I felt like that yesterday as I glanced down at my tennis shoe purchase, "always the tennis shoe, never the pump!" SIGH

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award goes to...

I love reading Tracey Hansen's blog, Tracey Hansen Will Write For Food. It never fails to make me smile! She has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks so much Tracey! If you haven't stopped in to check her blog out  go do it.

The rules for this award are as follows:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

2. Share seven random facts about yourself.

3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.

4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

And now, *insert drum roll* here are seven random facts about me:

1 - Procrastination isn't my middle name, but it probably should have been. I have it down to an art!

2 - My right index finger is actually crooked from all the actual writing I did when I was younger - you know before these new-fangled electronic devices. If you thought computers where bad because they caused carpal tunnel syndrome, just imagine all the crooked-fingered people who would be walking around if we still used pencil and paper for everything! ;)

3 - I can be a bit abrasive, says the people who I insult without knowing it. I don't sugar coat things. I tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may. If you "CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH" you probably shouldn't stick around! Yes, that was a partial geeky movie quote and I'm cool with that.

4 - I believe in Karma, but I also think Karma needs a helping hand some times, because it can be too damn slow!

5 - I have a love/hate relationship with my first book. There are days when I think it's great (although in need of better editing, I admit) and there are days when I want to shoot it and put it out of its (and my) misery. I suppose I am not alone in feeling that way though.

6 - I abuse punctuation and should be punished for it. Dashes and ellipses just leap from my fingertips at their own whim. It really isn't my fault. I think I have a disorder!

7 - I could be perfectly cool with being a hermit, although I am addicted to social networking sites. Just like Starburst, I am a contradiction!

Now that you know all that useless information about me, here are my nominees for The Versatile Blogger Award:

Blog it Out Bitch by Nina Perez
No One Can Own Your Soul by Stephanie Stebbins
Here There Be Monsters by Toby Tate
The Sweetie Chronicles by Sara Cannon
Steve Draws Stuff by Steven Novak

Monday, May 16, 2011

When Plants Attack

I suffer from seasonal allergies. So, this morning when I saw an article about this being the worst allergy season ever, of course my over-active imagination ran full throttle off the deep end. Here I am ready to hide in an hyperbaric chamber because suddenly the zombies aren't my biggest worry. The plants are attacking!

Don't they know that I switched to electronic writing? There are no more crumbled heaps of paper littering my room. Okay, I admit, I have a black thumb. Really, I think that's a cellular level flaw that shouldn't be held against me. Yes, I admit, I over watered the lawn in my zealous attempt to help things grow. Please, don't punish me for that!

Why are the hooligans who chop down entire rain forests not targeted? I mean, I don't wish ill on anyone, but come on evil plant geniuses, there are bigger fish to fry out there! What do you say we strike a deal? 

Who would have ever thought zombies would turn out to be the lesser of the evils?

Hyperbaric chamber - order one today for your bunker, because zombies aren't the only ones attacking!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm a million different people

I suppose it's a boon to my writing that I have so many personalities living inside my head. They all get to come out and play as various characters. Growing up with all those voices wasn't easy. Not that I ever grew up! The voices have just found new and creative ways to express themselves.

Ever since I was a kid the one constant in my life has been my passion for writing.  Along the way I also had many other passions. I wanted to be a marine biologist, a journalist, a lawyer, a veterinarian, and about a billion other things that grabbed my interest along the way. What I tend to forget is that I am a writer and I can turn myself, or rather the characters I develop into any one of those things. Essentially I can live that life vicariously through my stories and the characters that inhabit them.

It was when I made that realization that something clicked with me and those voices began to calm a bit. They are still there, egging me on to be this or be that. The difference is, now they are organized and they know they just have to wait their turn and I will eventually create a life for them on the page.

I also came to the realization that any normal human being hearing me talk about the various voices and personalities in my head would quickly jump to the assumption that I must be off my meds. No, I am not schizophrenic. After hearing different, yet similar tales from other authors out there I have come to believe I suffer from another malady altogether. Creative minded people are just different. We have our quirks and we can fit in with the normals out there, but I think there is something different about us on a cellular level. I am positive that some day one of the people in my brain will conduct a study on this very thing to prove my point, but until that day - it's my theory!

On a final note - just remember - the characters you love so much from your favorite book, tv show, or movie were all once part of the craziness residing in someone's head!  Happy reading!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I woke up this morning expecting to battle to my son about having to go to school today.  I did indeed have a battle, but before that was the news broadcast that put a smile on my face.  I don't often, as in never, revel in another human's death; however, in the case of Osama Bin Laden I will make an exception.

I remember waking up the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 and turning on the television in much the same fashion as I did this morning.  I watched, in disbelief, as a plane flew right into one of the twin towers.  At first I thought it was a movie and then the newscaster spoke and I could hardly believe my ears.  This was actually happening. My husband's ship would set out a few months later firing off the first shots from sea to land in Iraq.  Many friends and loved ones would spend way too many hours, days, months, and years logged in the desert fighting the wars with Iraq, Afghanistan, and the al-Qaeda terrorists.  While the death of al-Qaeda's figurehead is by no means an end to these times, it is a victory for all the people, from all the nations, who have been affected by his reign of terror.

I don't feel there is a need to focus on the things bin Laden has done or how he lived and died - a coward hiding out while sending younger men and women to blow themselves up! Instead, I would like to simply thank every man and woman who has served in the armed forces of the United States of America and its allies for all that they have done.  For those who have gone to war and for those who have performed their duties at home that made it possible for overseas missions to take place, thank you!  I would like to thank the families of those service men and woman for the sacrifices they have endured in lost time with their loved ones, sleepless nights spent worrying, and for those lost loves that can never be returned.

A special thank you to the Intelligence Agents who spent years tracking this man so that justice could be served for all his atrocities.  The first glimmer of hope in finding bin Laden came from those controversial methods of interrogation that our country has taken heat for.  Thank you to my countrymen for doing what needed to be done!  And finally, thank you to Navy Seal Team Six who went in, and despite malfunctioning equipment, managed to get the job done with minimal collateral damage and zero losses from their own team. Thank you for the little bit of justice you have now given so many and for the major boost in morale that will now swell in the ranks of your fellow servicemen!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back to Camping

My parents used to take my brother and I camping a lot when we were kids.  We grew up pitching tents and cooking on a camp stove or over the fire.  I remember riding my bike around campgrounds and swimming until it got too chilly at night then heading to the warmth of the campfire.  One of the last great memories I have with my own grandfather was a camping trip we took.

Somewhere along the way I stopped going.  Not because I didn't want to, or because I didn't have that desire burning deep within my soul, but because I had no one to share it with.  My husband of 13 years never wanted to go and wouldn't get excited about anything, so it was hard to talk my children into wanting to go pitch a tent in the woods somewhere.  It's a devastating thing to a person's soul to lose something that you identify as a part of your life.  It's worse knowing that I couldn't share those memories with my own children, because the memories I have camping with my family are some of the greatest from my childhood.

And so it was that I started making plans to take my kids camping during their spring break.  My dad, being a camping enthusiast, put forth a huge effort in making this endeavor happen.  Having someone else get excited about it makes it a little easier to get the kiddos involved.  So, my children, who were used to being camping naysayers, headed with us into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with a tent, some supplies, marshmallows to roast, and a bit of  a sour disposition.

Before the first night was out those same naysayers were begging to stay longer and begging to go again long before they ever had to leave.  How do you know a camping trip is successful?  When your techie kids say "who needs video games when you have all this fun out here!"  

Unfortunately, some bad weather cut our trip short by a day and the hiking, waterfall viewing, and peddleboat ride on the lake that were on our list of things to do ended up not happening.  Sad faces emerged, but were short lived when I promised future trips to make up for what the weather ruined.

While we were there I realized we weren't the only ones in the camping spirit.  Oconee State Park in South Carolina was packed.  It reminded me of when I was a kid and there were always people camping, kids running about, and laughter filtering through the trees.  If ever there was an upside to a downed economy, it's that people rediscover nature and the simple pleasures in life.  

The other amazing thing I re-discovered is that campers are some of the nicest people out there.  I have never been on a camping trip where everyone didn't wave, ask about your day, join in random banter as they pass by, or come to your aid if needed.  I had forgotten that people could be like that - you know - genuinely nice and caring.  When your own neighbors don't even know your names in a lot of places, it's somewhat disarming to have our fellow campers ask if my daughter was alright when she was crying.  It wasn't that could you shut your kid up thing you get while walking through places like WalMart, it was a genuine inquiry.  It was a pleasant change of pace to be able to strike a random conversation with a man about a his St. Bernard/Great Dane mix dog because the animal was so beautiful.  He didn't look as if I were invading his personal space as so many people on the street would.  We stood and talked about our animals for a bit.  Two people exchanging pleasantries on a whim - it made me wonder when basic human goodness stopped being the norm.  That's another blog for another day though, for now, I'm happy to see courtesy making a comeback.

So now that camping is back in fashion, grab your tent, and come join us by the fire for some marshamallowy, outdoorsy goodness!