The Liebster Award

liebster-award1I was nominated by Helen Jameson for the Liebster Award during the Blogging A to Z challenge this past April.  Now that the dust has settled and Purely Relative is out in the big bad world, I’ve time to catch up on a few blogging memes.

First things first:  Thank you, Helen! Check out her website at Helen Jameson–The Word Scribbler

The Liebster Award has been around since 2010, and over the years the requirements have changed. I’ve slightly altered the “rules” Helen had to follow for accepting the award because hers depended on the Blogging A to Z Challenge which is now over. I say “rules” because no one is required nor obligated to do any or all of the following to accept the award.

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  1. Post the award on her/his blog.
  2. Thank the nominator and link back to his or her blog.
  3. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Answer 11 questions about yourself that the nominator has asked.
  5. Nominate 11 fellow bloggers.
  6. Make up 11 original questions for your nominees to answer.

HERE ARE 11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I provide the voice of and for my dog, much to my family’s amusement and eye-rolling (which also means they love it).
  2. I’ve never broken a bone.
  3. I’m not a good housekeeper, at all, but cannot stand a dirty toilet or a dirty oven.
  4. I lived in Hawaii for three years and for most of those years was the only or in a tiny minority of haole’s in my class.
  5. I have sickle feet, which means if seated on the ground, I can lay the soles of both feet flat by turning them inward. I had to sleep with my feet in shoes nailed to a board when I was a small child.
  6. I cannot tolerate anyone’s feet on me. I think this goes back to when my sister and I had to share a bed as kids.
  7. I make to-die-for chocolate chip cookies and homemade yeast rolls.
  8. I am or was a pretty good seamstress. Sadly, I don’t sew anymore (*/BEGIN SHAMELESS PLUG: but you are more than welcome to read my book about a seamstress called Prometheus Unstitched by my other me, Lila Shaw END SHAMELESS PLUG/*).
  9. I used to work for Arthur Andersen & Co back when it was THE premier CPA firm…sigh…so sad what happened to it because of a few bad eggs (not me!).
  10. I am a Christian but I don’t think God minds my writing or reading salacious stories so long as I stay on the correct side of the line between fiction and reality.
  11. My husband is funnier than I am, but one of the best sounds in the world is when I make him laugh.

THE 11 QUESTIONS HELEN ASKED ME:

  1. What was your first car? A Ford Escort station wagon, 4 speed manual transmission.
  2. If you were an animal, what would you be? Someone’s spoiled rotten kitty cat.
  3. Have you had a bad dental experience? Yes–the Novocaine hit a vein and made my heart race.
  4. Name five of your favorite foods. Cheez-its, chocolate, bread, strawberries and bananas.
  5. What was your favorite cartoon as a child? The Flintstones
  6. Name your least favorite literary character. Magister Ludi from The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse (bleh!)
  7. What is the most exotic place that you have ever visited? Russia.
  8. What board games do you play? Sorry, Monopoly, Clue
  9. Who do you resemble in your family tree? My father now, my mother when I was younger.
  10. If you won a million dollars, what would be the first thing that you would do with the dough? Pay off my debt and fully fund my sons’ college funds. I think that would use it all up and then some, alas.
  11. Are you an owl or a lark? A lark, big time.

MY NOMINEES:

Just naming names here. They may or may not wish to participate either because they’ve already rec’d the Liebster award or they are too busy or they don’t care for blog memes. I won’t pressure or put them on the spot by linking to them:

  1. Sheryl Winters
  2. Anna Simpson
  3. Julie Reece
  4. Sandra Bunino
  5. Ryan Derham
  6. Diane Dooley
  7. S.J. Maylee
  8. Siobhan Muir
  9. Kastil Eavenshade
  10. Terri Rochenski
  11. Stella Berkeley

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE NOMINEES:

  1. Which family member influenced you the most?
  2. If you could read only one genre for the rest of your life, which would it be?
  3. Name your favorite alcoholic drink.
  4. Would rather see America (or any country of your choice) by auto / RV or by biking / hiking / walking or by mass transit (airplane, train, bus)?
  5. Name your favorite television show.
  6. If you could change one aspect of yourself, what would it be?
  7. What’s your zodiac sign?
  8. What’s your shoe size?
  9. What’s your “day” job?
  10. What kind of car do you drive?
  11. What, if any, sports did you play when in school?

That’s all, folks! 🙂

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The Next Big Thing…if I can think of a good title for it.

NextBigThing

Yes, I made my own meme banner.

I’ve been tagged by the uber-talented Dale Long to share my “next big thing”, that is talk about a project in process. Be sure to check out what he’s up to by visiting his post HERE.

Last time I did a similar meme, I told you about Purely Relative, which is currently in submission mode. This time, I’ve selected another WIP, my NaNo project that I’m still working on. It’s at about 60k words so far.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?

Argh, we’re starting off with a hard question. My creative side is currently at war with my mercenary side. A very wealthy Cajun is the hero and the trend these days is to inject “billionaire” into the title to snag the readers. On the other hand, it’s kind of being over done. Here are a few I’ve played with:

  • Mentoring the Cajun
  • Cruise Ship Billionaire
  • Billionaire in Training
  • Tricked by the Cajun
  • Mistress in Training
  • The Billionaire’s Deception
  • How to Train a Billionaire

i know these all sound too Mills & Boon, so you can spare me your groans, missy!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I took a cruise to Alaska earlier this summer and the summer before that, my family and I went on a Baltic cruise. The whole workings of the ship fascinated me…so I decided to plop a secret shopper on board to dig under the covers.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By David Shankbone (David Shankbone) via Wikimedia Commons

Another toughee since the book isn’t quite finished yet. The billionaire, Paul, is a self-made man who grew up poor but able to cash in on his charisma, his luck at the poker table and his ability to read people. He never graduated from high school however, and that’s his Achilles heel.  Let’s go with Jesse Bradford for now, only make him a lot taller than his 5’8″.

December 2011 cover of El Pais.Photography by Eric Guillemain and styling by Isabel Moralejo

December 2011 cover of El Pais.
Photography by Eric Guillemain and styling by Isabel Moralejo

For my heroine, Lydia, I need an olive-skinned woman, short to medium, rather curvy figure. Paz de la Huerta would work because she’s especially gorgeous in full makeup, but I’ve also seen her looking rather plain, especially if you slap a pair of spectacles on her.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A seldom-seen billionaire goes undercover as a secret shopper trainee to one of his stalwart employees in order to discover why his cruise ship is losing money.  (I know, I know…needs work.)

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither. I’ll probably go directly to a publisher with it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Er…still in process this baby is but I started it November 1st for NaNoWriMo. I took a break to do some writing as my alter-ego for a bit and when I finish up her in process story, I’ll regroup and try to finish this one. It’s at 60k+ now and I anticipate the first draft to come in around 80k. Then I’ll probably edit it down to 70k.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I dunno…there’s a ton of bossy alpha male billionaire books out there. Mine does NOT have BDSM and the hero is not all that literate, so that makes it rather unique methinks.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve read about several self-made millionaires and they are rarely the ones with the Harvard educations. Many are simply hard-workers with excellent people skills and a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit.  These people are not the flashy celebrity-types.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I always try to throw in a few yucks mixed with sarcasm and some snappy dialogue.

And here are the blogs of other writers for you to visit and discover what is cooking in their ‘creative kitchens’:

(I will list a few people, but they may have already done this meme or aren’t into memes, so I’ve no idea if they’ll participate or not. If they do, then all’s the better for us nosy types, eh?)

  • Sandra Bunino
  • Julie Reece
  • Stephanie Lawton
  • S. J. Maylee
  • Rebecca Hart