Pimp My Bio, Yo.

Pimp My Bio, Yo.

Hello, possible mentor.

If you are wondering what that first line means, this is not the post you’re looking for.

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This post is devoted solely on all my possible Pitch Wars mentors, along with my fellow mentees who are sizing up their competition.

A short note on this blog: it is severely neglected. I went back to work full time last year and the blog was one of the first things to go, so no judging. Moving along…

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Some random stuff about me:

  1. My Creative Nonfiction professor once called me a deer poop writer. While that sounds bad, I think he meant it in a quantity-not-quality way. I hope. You know, deer poop instead of, say, a big ol’ pile of grizzly poop. I tend to write the bare bones of stories and then add on. I know a lot of writers who do the exact opposite.
  2. I’m a teacher in a town this small: .
  3. It has taken me an insane amount of time to pin down the genre in which I wanted to write. I read widely–I read everything pretty much–so I tried writing picture books, MG, YA, women’s fiction, NA, horror, magical realism. Everything. I think I’ve found my home in contemporary romance.
  4. I will have 21 students this year (a huge class for my small town). I have 3 sons, 1 husband, 12 heelers (9 of them are puppies), 3 rabbits, and 21 chickens. I also have a garden. I can foods from my garden. I stay pretty busy.
  5. My house is never clean. We have a pretty strict schedule for chores, where the boys do most of the work, but they also make most of the mess. I wash clothes and cook– that’s pretty much it. The boys do the rest: dishes, sweep, bathroom, vaccuum, etc. They are 11 and under and are still learning what “clean” means. They just have to redo things. A lot. My house will never grace the cover of a magazine, that’s for sure.
  6. I’ve published a book with Carina Press, under the pen name Dani Irons. Here’s the gorgeous cover:

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About the book I will be pitching:

OPEN, a contemporary romance

Twenty-two year-old skating rink worker and hopeless romantic, Emiline, decides to jump into an open relationship with Robin–a man who’s been with the same girl for six years. Her M.O.? She’s sick of always being the one who loves most in relationships, the one who’s always getting hurt. She wants to learn how to emotionally distance herself, thinking a casual relationship with an emotionally unavailable man is the way to go. The problem is Em can’t change who she is, not really. She falls hard for Robin–his kindness, his witty banter, even his beard. Despite trying to distance herself from him, she gets hooked.

Twenty-three year-old restaurateur and loyal-to-a-fault, Robin, seems to be falling for Em, too. He can’t get her carefree laugh out of his head or the protective way he feels about her. His girlfriend, with whom he’s been completely in love for six years, is leaving him home alone more and more often to be with someone else. Robin thinks he knows what decision he needs to make, that is, until his girlfriend ends up pregnant and it’s unclear who the father is.

 

What I like to read:

  1. Nearly anything, but the voice has to grab me right away. I don’t have any qualms about setting the book down after the first page. There is too much to read and not any to waste on a meh book. I like a character-driven story that’s twisty and full of angst.
  2. My favorite writer as of now is Colleen Hoover. Her books steal my entire day.
  3. I also LOVE Jamie McGuire. Her book BEAUTIFUL DISASTER was amazing.

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What kind of Mentee I will be:

  1. Thick-skinned, unless you are being a meanie for no reason.
  2. Hard-working. A beta once called me a great rewriter. So there’s that.
  3. Fun. I hope. I don’t take myself too seriously, but I do take things seriously. Does that make sense?
  4. Flexible, to a point. I won’t bend on things I’m adamant about. Which actually isn’t much.
  5. Inquisitive. I like to ask questions, mostly to clarify. I need lots of clarification.

 

What I might need help with:

  1. POV–this is my first dual POV and ’tis hard.
  2. Ratcheting up the tension. I want more angst in my story, dang it. More, more, more!

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If any of this grabs your attention, let’s have a chat.

Thank you to everyone who is a part of Pitch Wars and the blog hop. Here are their links:

Blog Hop

Pitch Wars

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My Books

Dani Irons

OLIVIA CHRISTAKOS AND HER SECOND FIRST TIME (NA contemporary romance)

~~~OUT 6/2015 WITH CARINA PRESS/HARLEQUIN!!!~~~

CARINA_0615_9781426899911_OliviaChristakosandherSecondFirstTimeMy perfect life…

True, I’m in the hospital waking up from a coma, but my loving parents and adorable boyfriend, Wyatt, are here by my side. It’s weird that I don’t remember them—thanks, amnesia! Wyatt’s an amazing person. He’s a Big Brother, volunteers at soup kitchens, delivers food to the hungry—your basic angel. Your basic filled-out-in-all-the-right-places, naughty-thoughts-inducing angel, that is.

Might be the perfect lie…

In fact, the more I get to know Wyatt the harder it is to believe he’s my boyfriend. The more I find out about my life before the accident, the more I don’t like who I used to be. I can’t understand what a guy like that—kind, considerate, generous—would see in a girl like me.

I don’t know what’s worse, living in the darkness of amnesia or discovering the despicable person…

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What’s Up Wednesday

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What’s Up Wednesday, started by Jamie Morrow and Erin Funk, is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. 

WHAT I’M READING

On an actual book with pages:

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, by Jonathan Tropper

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This has been on my To-Read list forever. Then I saw it was going to be a movie, with Adam Driver–who I love, love in GIRLS–

so I bumped it up. It started out slow for me (I hate to be thrown back into flashbacks or suffocated by too much backstory), but I kept at it. And I LOVE it. This’ll be one I move along to the next lucky reader. Probably my sister.

Still reading on audio:

MAYBE SOMEDAY by the great Colleen Hoover

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Ms. Colleen is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors! I love her characters and her heart-wrenching stories!

Kindle book (if you couldn’t tell, I’m incapable of reading one book at a time):

SNEAKING CANDY by Lisa Burstein

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So far, a fun read with a strong female lead.

WHAT I’M WRITING + A GOAL

I’m still working on my new WIP, OPEN:

Emeline, a girl who just went through a rough cheating-filled breakup (his end), writes off all relationships until her friends propose trying something new: instead of dealing with all the jealousy and worrying if her man is sneaking around, Em should just allow it. She should try an open relationship, where both Em and her new beau date whoever they want. Emeline tries it, but finds her jealousy monster rearing it’s ugly head again, no matter how open her new guy is with her.

My goal of finishing the first three chapters has failed. Miserably. I’m nearing the end of my second, but I’m brainstorming how I want the second chapter to end. I can’t decide which way I want to go with it and I can’t move forward to a different part of the story until I choose. This choice will determine what happens in the entire book. So. I must choose wisely.

My new goal will be to write out a list of choices on which way the chapter should go and finally make a choice!

WHAT WORKS FOR ME

Sometimes people need white noise to sleep. I need what I call “white sight” to write. I have to have the TV on, but it has to be on mute. I do best when I can look up at a screen and see something happening on it. If it’s blank, I am too.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW

I’m thinking about trying a totally plant-based diet for like a week. It’s not necessarily to lose weight (although getting healthier is part of it, for sure), but there will be a time where I would like to eat only what I grow and I can’t grow Ben & Jerry’s or Subway in my backyard. As much as I’d really, really like to. The health issues I’m hoping it will help solve are my migraines, nearly high blood pressure (I’m only 33), and of course my waistline…and who knows what else. Pre-diabetes? High cholesterol? I haven’t had those things checked. When I start the week, I’ll be sure to mention it here on my blog. Wish me luck!

What’s up with YOUR Wednesday?

Top Ten Tuesday–Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s post is Top Ten Books I Read of 2014.

Without further ado, here they are, listed in descending order (quite an eclectic list, I might add):

10. A mysterious adult:

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9. Actually, another mysterious adult (maybe not quite as eclectic as I thought):

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8. A touching YA fantasy:

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7. An heart-wrenching MG contemporary:

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6. A YA about mental illness:

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5. A lil’ bit o’ NA romance:

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4. The funniest memoir on the face of the planet:

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3. The bestest ever chapter book by an author I LOVE:

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2. Maybe the world’s most perfect book, about love and siblings (it was thisclose to being my #1):

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and…

(cue the drum roll)…

1. The only book that made me cry this year (it’s super hard to do), the book that wrapped me up and didn’t let me go until the final word:

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Did you read any of these?

Tortilla Soup…With Chicken

One of my favorite things to do is to ruin a recipe. I mean, I love to take a recipe and add, delete, and twist it to make it my own. I saw a version of this soup in a magazine and I was like, ohmygod I have to try this. But then I ended up forgetting some of the ingredients at the store and felt like skipping a couple of the steps and exchanging one ingredient for another. You know, as one does. So here’s my version of Tortilla Soup with Chicken. And my, oh, my was it superb!

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INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium-size white onion, finely chopped

2 large poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

1 container (32 oz) chicken broth

8 mini corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

4 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 can of kernel corn, with the liquid

Toppings: sour cream and shredded cheese, if desired

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oil in a large skillet or pot, medium heat. Add onions, peppers, garlic and seasonings. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until soft.

2. Add chicken broth, tortillas and chicken. Bring to a boil.

3. Add corn with the liquid, simmer for 5-6 minutes.

4. To serve: top with a large dollop of sour cream and/or shredded cheese and a few more chopped tortillas. Maybe even a couple of cilantro leaves! I preferred mine with just the sour cream.

So. Friggin. Yummy.