Friday, April 21, 2017

Celebrate: MASKI, Chuck Wendig & Giveaways

This week I'm celebrating straight-up writing truth, pizza crust, and a new release from Joylene Nowell Butler!

Chuck Wendig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, known for his Star Wars novel AFTERMATH, various novels, comic books, screenplays and a blog about his journeys in the writing world. This week, he has a post that I believe ALL WRITERS SHOULD READ. It contains the absolute truth about being an author gleaned from his years of writing over 20 books. Like do you have to write daily? Do you have to kill your darlings? What about originality vs trends? Seriously, I agree with every word he wrote, and I urge you to go read this post: "What I've Learned After 5 Years and 20 Books: 25 Lessons." 

(Note: Mr. Wendig doesn't have much of a filter and you may find swear words along with off-color and/or hilarious visual descriptions used to make his points. If you're sensitive, I suggest you read it but skim the naughty parts. Or say 3 Hail Mary's after it to alleviate any damage that may have been caused during reading.)

I know many of my readers aren't writers, so I wanted to think up something to interest you ... Hmm, what's the best thing that happened to me this week?  Easy!  I visited Ellen at The Cynical Sailor and His Salty Sidekick and she mentioned a pizza she made. 
I've been trying my hand at home-made pizza recently with uneven results (which just makes me more determined to master it). She mentioned she put basil and garlic in the crust, so I gave it a try. HOLY SUPER PIZZA CRUSTS, BATMAN! If you've never put spices in your home-made pizza crusts, do yourself a favor and add sweet basil and garlic to your next one! (Thanks also to Ellen for replying to my begging and sending me her recipe for Quesadilla Pie Casserole. You rock, Ellen!)

If you see a dish that looks good on a blog or on Facebook, do you ask the poster for the recipe?

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)


Maski: Broken But Not Dead
By Joylene Nowell Butler
(Psychological Thriller)
An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

          When Brendell Meshango resigns from her university professor position and retreats to her isolated cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. His racial comments lead her to believe she is the solitary victim of a hate crime.
          However, is all as it appears? After two bizarre days, the intruder mysteriously disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Taught by her mother to distrust the mainstream-based power structures, and with her stalker possibly linked to a high level of government, Brendell conceals the incident from the police. But will her silence keep her safe?
          Then her beloved daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

Purchase Links:

“Joylene Nowell Butler gets straight to the story, taking you from one happening to the next and keeps you turning the page.” - Martha A. Cheves, author

“A psychological thriller filled with suspense, action and drama...” - John Bell, 93.1  CFIS-FM: Prince George, BC

“Riveting and beautifully written. You won't be able to set it down.” Judith S. Avila, author

Joylene, Métis, is the author of Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and Break Time. She and her husband and their two cats reside in Canada for the summers and Nayarit for the winters. They believe life should be an adventure. 

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 April 21, 2017:

Free 2 YA Fantasy/Gamer/Adventure Paperbacks – Win Arena and Gauntlet by Holly Jennings, about a champion virtual reality gamer who’s fighting off greedy sponsors and dangerous cheating while trying to stay alive. Enter via rafflecopter on the It Starts At Midnight blog. (US & CA only; ends Apr 23)

Free Signed YA Fantasy Paperback – Win The Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner, about a girl created by the gods who must escape those that killed her mother. The author is giving away 1 signed book (US only) and 3 of her ebooks plus swag (International). Enter on the rafflecopter on the YA Books Central blog. (ends April 29)

Free Historical Romance Novel – Win The Warrior by NY Times bestselling author Claire Delacroix, a Medieval Scottish romance about a stolen bride, enemies who learn to love, and reincarnation. Enter by commenting on the Deborah Cooke blog. (ends Apr 30)

Free $5 Amazon Gift Card – To celebrate the release of True North by LE. Sterling, a dystopian fantasy about a plague-ridden world and a girl who must join the “True Born” group of genetically enhanced humans and travel to Russia to find the cure and save her twin sister’s life. The author is giving away a $5 Amazon card. Enter on the YA Books Central blog. (ends Apr 27)

Free $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Contemporary Romance Novel – Win Exposure by Tracy Ewens, about a photographer and a movie star whose innocent kiss lands them in a media paparazzi storm, and a $25 Amazon card. Enter via Entry Form on the Fresh Fiction blog. (ends Apr 30)

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)


PlanetKimberly said...

I agree that making pizza is not easy! I've done it several times, but my sauce is too soupy. I stopped making it because I don't like tomato sauce dripping down my arm while I'm eating.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Big congratulations to Joylene!
I saw her post about making pizza. We make homemade pizza sometimes and we usually throw some spices in the crust.

JeffO said...

Congrats to Joylene!

Check Wendig--always instructive, always entertaining. and always colorful.

Enjoy your weekend!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Jolene! The pizza idea sounds good but I'm too lazy to make pizza at home these days.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Congratulations to Joylene!!!! I used to make homemade pizza and crust all the time, but it's been while now. After reading your blog I might have to get into it again. Chuck Wendig is a real hoot!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you for featuring Joylene's book this week.

I make the pizza dough in my bread machine and always add basil to the mix.

Andrew Leon said...

We now have a weekly homemade pizza night, and it has ruined going out for pizza for us.

Stacy Uncorked said...

Congrats to Joylene!

I've added spices in the crust, too - though it's been a while since I've made homemade pizza...that might need to go on the menu when the hubby's 6 week liquid diet has ended. :)

Thanks for the link for Chuck Wendig - I'm definitely going to check it out!

Thanks for hosting - have a great weekend! :)

Friendly Fill-Ins with Historical Places, Museums, & more while we Celebrate the Small Things for Friday Fun!

H.R. Sinclair said...

I love Chuck's insights, and his post often makes me giggle. I've never put basil in a pizza crust, but I must try that!

Congratulations Joylene!

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

Congratulations Joylene! My brother-in-law makes fantastic homemade pizza. He has it down to a science, but it took some practice. We sampled his pizza at lunch recently. It's spectacular. He's willing to give tutorials on it, but I don't think we'd have his skills. Have a fun weekend.

LD Masterson said...

Naw, I'm too lazy. I contact the poster and ask them to make it and send it to me. LOL

I'm heading over to Chuck's unfiltered post now. If I can't handle the dirty parts, I'll just read with my eyes closed.

Have a great weekend, Lexa.

stephen Hayes said...

I've never asked a fellow blogger for a recipe, but I've tried a few that were already posted.

Kate Larkindale said...

I make homemade pizza almost every week, but I've never put herbs in the crust. Occasionally I put some shaved parmesan in there, but I shall have to try herbs this week! Thanks for the tip.

messymimi said...

When i see something i know Sweetie will like, i do ask for the recipe. And if i'm asked, i always share mine.

Rhonda Albom said...

What perfect timing for us. Tomorrow is our homemade pizza night (we actually make a meal plan, and rarely have pizza as it violates my weight watchers a bit). Do we want fresh basil or will dried basil do the trick? Garlic is easy. We have just never tried them in the crust before. BTW - Ellen is very cool, I had coffee with her in Auckland one day.

Spacer Guy said...

Congratulations to Joylene, I published a special on her book today, a little something to enjoy over pizza.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I'll take a look at the article. The pizza sounds yummy. Best wishes to Joylene and her new book. Have a great weeken.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I make pizza at home with Nan bread bought at store and then empty my fridge of leftover veggies, cheese and tomato sauce. It usually works -except when it doesn't.

Erika Beebe said...

I wish Joylene much success with her new book. The pizza looks really great! Do you often bake your own?

The Cynical Sailor said...

Aww...thanks for mentioning my blog and the pizza :-) And thanks to Rhonda for her kind words too. She's an awesome lady!

Unknown said...

Arleen - "It usually works - except when it doesn't." That's the story of my whole cooking life! lol

Rhonda - I used dried sweet basil, not fresh. I don't know if the "sweet" means anything. It's just on the store's label.

Erika - I usually buy pizza from outside. I thought making it at home might be cheaper, but the cost of the mozzarella makes the price about the same, so it's just my stubborn determination to make it better than outside. So far the jury's out.

T Drecker said...

The crust does sound good! Our neighbor back in Germany built an entire wood burning oven outside with the sole purpose of making pizzas. They were wonderful...although I still not sure it was quite worth THAT effort. I'm checking out that article tonight!

HRBennett87 said...

First and foremost: I agree, every writer must read. Secondly, my wife and I just made pizza the other day! The one looks great! Lastly, Yay Freebies!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Best of luck with your pizza adventures Lexa.

Annie Neugebauer said...

Hm, interesting. So I have a homemade pizza crust that's been in my family for years and I love it. But we always put our spices in the sauce. I don't know what to think about putting them in the crust!

cleemckenzie said...

Oh yes to the spices in the crust. Oregano or maybe Rosemary. My mouth waters.

I'm looking forward to Joylene's book.

Cathy Kennedy said...

Lexa, thanks for popping in today to check out, Art Sketching Through the Alphabet "U" (Unicorn) on Curious as a Cathy. I love pizza, so adding spices to the crust sounds like a terrific idea. I often get Pizza Hut to deliver and make sure I get the stuffed crust pizzas with a buttery garlic, parm crust topper. Yum, is that ever good! Now, you got me wanting pizza but it never takes much to get me in the mood for it. Have a good week. Hopefully I'll be back to joining CTST next Friday.

L.G. Keltner said...

Thanks for directing us to the Chuck Wendig post! I'm going to keep that one bookmarked so I can keep referring back to it.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Ah, I gave up on homemade pizza years ago. Never could make one that the whole family liked. Thanks for the link to Chuck Wendig's post. I haven't read one of his posts in a while, but I always feel there's a big take-away value. Off to check it out now ...

Romance Reader said...

Congratulations to Joylene! And I hear ya...on making pizza!

Trin Carl said...

Wow Chuck Wendig is to thank for Aftermath?! I love all things Star Wars which surprises a lot of my friends because their not much into Fantasy or action movies.

Vanessa Morgan said...

Spices in the pizza crust? Never done that before but it sounds like a terrific idea. I'll try it out.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Chuck is a dear friend. Thanks for featuring him! I love his blog. He has so much great advice.

Ellen seems pretty awesome as well. I appreciate the pizza pointers!

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