Friday, May 27, 2016

Celebrate: Connectivity & Giveaways

This week I'm celebrating:
1) I changed my internet provider. I've had 4 over an 8 year period. 
   a) Dialup. The first was an ADSL connected to a phone line. You had to click the Dialup button and fill in the number every time. It was incredibly slow at 100kbps. The provider went out of business.
   b) USB Stick. I switched to a "Vodaphone" USB stick that taps into wifi. In the first month I had it, my laptop was infected by so many viruses that it crashed twice. No thanks.
   c) More USB sticks. "Etisalat." Got one stick with a 2G download limit. Soon bought a more expensive package for 4G limit. But it sometimes refused to connect or downloaded really slowly. I bought a second stick and eventually another (improved) Vodaphone stick. Every month I'd pay 240 LE (Egyptian pounds, which is comparable to the buying power of $240 in the US.) That's a LOT and I still had a limit of 11G/month.
   d) Back to an ADSL. Over the last year I've exceeded my 11G a month several times and had to buy more giga. Knowing I'll be promoting more books in the future in FB groups, Twitter, etc., I need way more giga. I went to Egypt's government owned phone company (for landlines), I had a new landline installed in my apartment and got a deal for their ADSL. I now get 1M download speed and 100G/month download limit for about 130 LE.
   It's AWESOME! 
   I realized that since everyone's using wifi and USB sticks on their smartphones, laptops, tablets now, the airwaves are crammed full of net surfers. But because no one really uses the landlines anymore, the company now charges a pittance, desperately happy anyone wants one. Who'd have thought something so old-fashioned would turn out to be better? 

2) I'm very happy to feature fellow Celebrate member Lori MacLaughlin and her new release!

Trouble By Any Other Name
(Sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble)
By Lori L. MacLaughlin
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Genre: Fantasy

         Tara Triannon is no stranger to trouble. She's yet to find an enemy her skill with a sword couldn't dispatch. But how can she fight one that attacks through her dreams?
          With her nightmares worsening, Tara seeks answers but finds only more questions. Then her sister, Laraina, reveals a stunning secret that forces Tara to go to the one place Tara's sworn never to return to. Her troubles multiply when Jovan Trevillion, the secretive soldier of fortune who stole her heart, is mentally tortured by an ancient Being intent on bending him to its will. And worst of all, the Butcher — the terrifying wolf-like assassin she thought she'd killed — survived their duel and is hunting her again.
         Hounded by enemies, Tara sets out on a harrowing quest to discover the true nature of who she is, to come to grips with the new volatility of her magic, and to defeat the evil locked in a centuries-old trap that will stop at nothing to control her magic and escape through her nightmares.

Buy Links:    Amazon      Barnes & Noble     Kobo       iBooks

About the Author:
          Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
          She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
         When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.

You can find her here:
Website/Blog      Goodreads      Facebook      Google+      Pinterest

Have you ever found that the older version of technology was better than the newer ones?

Two Members Removed from Celebrate list – Update Your Blog Rolls:
(haven’t posted in 3 months)
Caring For My Veteran (Jamie Dement) 
My Creatively Random Life (Melissa Ann) 

New Member for Celebrate – Update Your Blog Rolls:
Allison Bruning -!blogger-feed/c1ymd
Welcome Allison!

My kind and wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Celebrate The Small Things Linky:

Grab the Linky html-code here:

** To see who’s posted for the hop look at my Celebrate The Small Things Blog Roll, left sidebar bottom **

 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)

Foxy's Friday Freebies!

Foxy has been nosing around the net
When she finds great FREE STUFF, she'll feature it on Friday Freebies posts -
  • Free short stories, novellas, and novels
  • Giveaways for books and swag
  • Free services for authors

Here are Foxy's suggestions for May 27, 2016:

Free for Download Contemp Romance eBook – Download the free ebook Chasing the Wild Sparks by Ren Alexander, about a girl who’s been dating a famous Virginian weatherman for three years—only his secrets are keeping him from marrying her. (more at Romance Novel Giveaways)
Download FREE at: Amazon    B&N     iTunes   Kobo    

Free for Download Romantic Comedy eBook – Download the free ebook Loves Me, Loves Me Not by Karen Sandler, the first book in the Pen Pal Sisterhood series, about a hardworking school principal, an unruly student, and the student’s very attractive father. (more at Romance Novels Giveaway)
Download FREE at: Amazon    B&N     iTunes

Free YA Fantasy Adventure Hardback – Win The Hidden Oracle: Book One of The Trials of Apollo by bestselling author Rick Riordan, about Apollo angering Zeus and being cast down into New York as a regular teen boy without any powers. Enter the rafflecopter giveaway on the YA Books Central blog. (US only; ends June 3)

Free YA Contemp Hardback – Win 1 of 3 copies of Alice and the Fly by James Rice, a mysterious, funny, and heartfelt novel about Greg who’s severe lisp and social awkwardness leaves him incapable of getting along in his school until he falls for Alice and must learn to cope. Enter via rafflecopter on YA Books Central blog. (ends June 3)

Free YA Comedy/Romance Hardback – Win Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison, a fun teen romance in the comic style of Judy Blume. Enter via rafflecopter on the YA Books Central blog. (ends June 3)

For Foxy's other Freebies, go to the Freebie page.

If anyone has a FREE short story (for download or online at a free ezine), novella, novel, special giveaway, or author service, please let Foxy know so she can plug you here!  Write to: laura.6eg(at)


Heather R. Holden said...

Switching internet providers can be such a headache. Glad the latest you've chosen is working out so well, and that you got such a good deal for it, too!

And many congrats to Lori! Been seeing her book pop up all over the blogosphere lately. It sounds great!

dolorah said...

Oh my Lexa; I think I now appreciate my own internet provider more.

Cool book premise Lori. Sounds exciting.

Thanks for the freebiew :)

Kate Larkindale said...

Blerg! trying to make internet work is such a hassle. Glad you found something that works.

JeffO said...

Sounds like you've achieved a rarity: a significant upgrade and significant savings!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dialup is better - go figure!

Cathrina Constantine said...

I switch every couple of years too!!

Congrats to Lori!!!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

So glad you have a better internet provider. A slow service would have driven me crazy.

mshatch said...

I remember dial up. It seems like forever ago.

Glad your internet is up and running again :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's been so long since we had dialup. I imagine there's little competition for Internet among dialup users.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow, who would have thought that dial-up works so well! That's great news that you have an internet provider that is working so well. I'm reliant on free WiFi, when I can find it, and using cellular data with my phone set up as a hotspot (which is pricey). I wish there was a better solution. Have a great Friday and weekend :-)

Cheers - Ellen |

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Yay, glad your Internet service is better. That's such a hassle. I started with dialup, years ago.

Congratulations to Lori on her new book. Sounds fantastic.

Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Lexa, for the feature!

That's funny about the landline being the cheapest and best way to go. I still have my landline. I've never been a big cell phone person. Too old-fashioned, I guess.

Thank you very much to everyone for the congrats!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I hate switching providers for anything - I always assume something will go wrong. The thought of not having internet scares me!! :-) Okay, I'm not quite that bad yet.

Ravyne said...

So glad you finally found a working internet connection, Lexa. That's crazy the way things work in Egypt. Here in the US, we have cable companies with wifi. Dial-up creates a hassle with most computers here because they don't update to higher usage. It's archaic and being phased out. Everyone will eventually have to use wifi.

Congrats Lori! So glad to see others promoting your book too!

Lori's CtST @ As the Fates Would Have It

Cathy Kennedy said...

Lexa, old technology does have its benefits. Although, we do not have it anymore, but landline service is better than VoiP in one area and that is if our power goes out landline phone service still works whereas VoiP doesn't. Older cell phones aren't as easy to track as the smart phones. That's good, but I'm happy using my iPhone and can't imagine going backwards now. We have cable internet service through Comcast. They do have a data cap, but we usually stay under each month. I would love to see more competition in the market for high speed cable internet in our area and if it ever gets here,then we definitely will look into it. Comcast is more expensive than they should be. Have a good weekend, my friend!

messymimi said...

Hooray for good internet connection, however you get it! You always review such amazing books.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Glad to see you in the capable hands of my friend Lexa. May you have so many sales, Lori, that Hollywood catches the bug and calls you on the telephone to make a deal for the movie rights! Amen!

L.G. Keltner said...

I remember having dial up. Definitely don't miss it.

Congratulations on the release, Lori!

Tonja Drecker said...

The internet provider change sounds like a headache. I hear that we just missed dial up by a few months and were lucky enough to move here for DSL. Not a fast one, though ;) Good luck with it!
Congrats, Lori!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sounds familiar, though I never did the USB sticks for myself. I did arrange it for my mother's computer. I gave up Vodafone because the call centre service was poor. I replaced it with another prepaid USB stick service which works better. But I have long stopped using dialup. It's just too slow, and I ended up writing an entire book at a cafe with free wifi when I kept running out of credit, which you had to wait till the next month to replenish. My current provider give me 120 G a month, far more than I need. I have been considering joining a movie download service. Glad to see your new dialup is working for you!

klahanie said...

Hey Lexa,

Oh yeah, those internet service unproviders! I notice lot of technical jargon. I had some sort of stick, but I forgot what is was. Hang on, oh yeah, it was called a memory stick...

Well done on the release of your book, Lori. Interesting burp, um, blurb. Wishing you much success! :)

Gary said...

Glad you have a cheaper solution that'll work better.

Congrats to Lori!

T.F. Walsh said...

Such a smart idea with the internet provider:) Good thinking. Huge congrats to Lori too:)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Lori.

I switched from ethernet to wi-fi last fall and can't believe I didn't do it sooner when I can hook up so many other things to it and not rely on a wire. I remember dial-up from twelve years ago. That thing was slow.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Lexa. Firsly, thanks for being such a twitter ninja and sharing my tweets! You're awesome. I'm about to move from wifi only USB and my free gigs on my smart phone to ADSL+ unlimited gigabytes so I can run pay tv and everything. Yep. It comes with a landline. Haven't had one of those dinosaurs for years! How exciting! Just as well I still have the plug in the wall! :-)

SENCO Cat Herder said...

Pleased you found a much better way of doing things as you say sometimes going back to the "past" is actually a better way to the "future". Have a great weekend and thanks as always for hosting this great link-up :)
Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

Birgit said...

I never thought dial up would be better but whatever anyone likes. Sometimes I think technology can set us back even more. I think of the kids who can't read cursive plus do not even know the proper way to speak

shelly said...

Right now, my problem isn't computer. It's time. Making time. And either I'm slow by nature in doing things or everything just really takes a long time.

Rhonda Albom said...

Is your internet slow now? I have just been traveling and dealing with difficult or super expensive internet.

Dihiwi said...

I'm getting caught up and am taking your suggestion to combine (at least for now), my CTST blog with my Kindness Challenge blog. I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing - on my first post, I posted the Linky Link tag - am I to include it on the bottom of each blog? Just let me know! I am also referencing a link in each of my blogs, back to yours. Have a great week!

Unknown said...

I don't often LOL at memes, but I snorted at that one. Congrats on getting back on the webs!

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Congratulations Lexa! Such phenomenal news! keep celebrating.

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