Monday, January 14, 2013

Michael Offutt and Oculus, Libby Heily and Tough Girl, Ninja News, and Your A to Z Challenge Hosts!!!!

A lot to cover today! (Promise my posts will be much shorter during the A to Z Challenge.) First we kick off with friend and fellow science fiction author, Michael Offutt, who is here to entertain, amuse, and tell you why you need to buy Oculus, his latest book.

Steve Jobs would want you to buy Oculus

My earliest memory of board games started with Monopoly. I think that’s why my protagonist likes games too (don’t tell fans of hockey that it’s just a game). A little bit of us always shows up in our characters, right? Don’t answer that, but please indulge a few paragraphs of my insanity.

“My number on the squad is 11,” Jordan might say. “It’s my favorite, but this isn’t Craps. And three doubles in a row is bad, at least by the rules I play. If I say I’m a player, and I’m lucky is that a double entendre? I’m the lucky one, and this is not the third roll.

“I landed on Alex Cavanaugh’s blog with the dog. I always play the dog. It doesn’t shed and is all shiny out of the box. And Alex’s blog is Free Parking. You can’t argue with that. Ninjas never charge for parking. Not when they can slash your tires with a sword and can make you pass go without collecting $200. Do you have any idea how much that is in Ramen noodles?

“But it isn’t the happiest day of my life. That’s when I won $10 at a beauty contest. For a guy that’s pretty special. For a fake character in a real book, that’s redder than Emma Stone’s lips on Oscar night. And it’s doing pretty good. Shortly after that though, Kolin went directly to jail. Sometimes them’s the breaks. I feel bad for him…well partially bad. At least there’s no soap to drop and the menacing scowl behind the bars is just drawn on. You don’t want to drop the soap in a fake paper jail. The fake paper inmates have a tendency to shove you into one of the Fifty Shades of Grey books. For a fictional guy, that’s almost as bad as sitting through The Notebook.

“Still, there’s part of me that sheds the water works. I never liked that utility anyway. Water works are best done by chicks, right? But if you disagree, that’s fine. I won’t charge you if you give me your get out of jail free card. We all know you put out to get out, but your secret’s safe with me. I’m a black hole of secrets. Just remember, I see through you.

“Oh! You landed on Chance. I wonder what you’ll get. I guess that page is still unwritten. I hope you win $10 at a beauty contest. Then you could buy my story and feel validated at the same time. But don’t take it from me. Take it from Steve Jobs. ‘Oculus’ means ‘eye.’

“And anything that starts with “I” (iPad, iPod, iPhone) just has to be cool, or I’m not a character worth his ink. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.”

At least…I think that’s what Jordan might say.

Investigate more about Oculus HERE
Find Michael here: Blog, Website, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Tough Girl now available!

Tough Girl by Libby Heily

Danger lurks everywhere in eleven year old Reggie's world—from the bully next door to the unwanted attentions of a creep at school. Raised by her mentally ill mother, Reggie is left to fend for herself in a rough neighborhood. She escapes in daydreams, battling aliens with her alter ego, Tough Girl.
When Reggie's mother disappears, her fantasy life spirals out of control and starts to invade reality. She is hunted by a creature of her own design, and even Tough Girl is not strong enough to stop him.
Will Reggie survive long enough for her mother to return, or will her dream world take over?

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords.

Libby’s book tour also kicks off today, so check her site for tour stops!

Ninja News

For those of you who’ve followed the wonderful Yvonne Lewis, she now has a new blog. Someone was stealing her poetry and she had to make some changes. You can find this delightful lady now at Yvonne’s Poetry Corner

M Pax, Suze, and Nicki are hosting the Back From the Future Blogfest on March 1. These ladies rock, so check it out.

VikLit at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author has started a new weekly meme – Celebrate the Small Things. Every Friday, Vik invites participates to mention something they want to celebrate that week, no matter how small. See her site for details.

Annalisa and Kyra are hosting the Imaginary Friend Bloghop on February 1. If you had an imaginary friend, check these charming ladies’ sites for details.

And the next book in Christine Rains’ series The 13th Floor is out now. She’s on tour for The Alpha, so check out her site for tour stops.

This Year’s Challenge Hosts!

I am honored to be a co-host again this year for the Challenge. The very first Challenge in 2010 changed my blog forever and I am in debt to Lee for creating this amazing event. There were only a hundred of us that first year, and now there are thousands. I hope that everyone can join us this year!

This year we have ten returning hosts and welcome Livia, Diane, and Nicole to the team!

Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out
Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Tina Downey at Life is Good
DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0
Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie
Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse
Matthew MacNish at The QQQE
Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small
Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs
Livia Peterson at Leave it to Livia
L. Diane Wolfe at Spunk on a Stick
Nicole at The Madlab Post

Keep abreast of Challenge news by following the Blog, following on Twitter - @AprilA2Z, or reading our Twitter Newspaper. You can also send us an email -

Any questions for Michael? Have you purchased Oculus or Tough Girl? Signed up for the upcoming blogfests? Ready for this year's A to Z Challenge? And did any of your football predictions come true? (Denver crashed and burned and Seattle blew it - told you my picks were suspect!)


  1. I think I might just be signing up to A-Z on my new entertainment blog - but maybe not on my writing one because last time I tried to do two A-Z blogs, I failed miserably lol!

    Thanks for the bloghop shoutout! ;) Though, I noticed in your tags, I seem to be listed as Lyra Lennon LOL!

  2. Oculus looks like a good read-very interesting premise.

    My predictions for football were 100% correct-I did not watch any football as I am a rugby girl. Sweaty men in tight shorts beat men in tight breeches)

  3. And so AZ looms back into view and once again I try to do my posts in advance (didn't work out that way last year). This year I will be prepared!


  4. Michael's cover artwork is striking!
    There seem to be lots of "little" bloghops popping up all around the blogosphere...
    Congrats to the 2013 A to Z team! Yay!
    I'm definitely signing up for the A to Z Challenge - this will be my third one and I want to keep it simple this year - but I'm still thinking of a theme...

  5. I can't keep up with joining in all the blog fests, but I'll be visiting some to read the posts so won't feel totally left out.

  6. I am exhausted, A to Z Challenge is going to be great. I cannot stay solid on one idea...

    Michael, we must play Monopoly, I have the Nightmare Before Christmas version... my wife got it for me two years ago. She said she did not ever want to play, I don't know anyone else. Great Luck on your "Oculus"...

    I have been playing the sick card all weekend, not because of the free movie previews...

    Tough Girl.... sounds like a grand read.

    All the best, king ninja!


  7. Erm... I think I'll just end up in Jail with Jordan. Ahem!

    Happy happy fests and news all round!!!

    What a great way to start Monday! take care

  8. Those are two lovely books.

    Looking forward to co-host with you guys, Alex!

  9. Do we get a sneak preview of the A-Z subject?

  10. Yay to Michael and Libby!! And congrats to the hosts for A-Z!!

  11. Totally laughing right now - I started the A-Z challenge last year because I noticed my friend doing it, and I needed to get my blogging butt in gear. Never knew it was a contest like NaNo! Didn't even know it was hosted.
    Signing up this year, and I WILL finish.
    Love the idea of visiting your five neighbors as well.
    Looking forward to it!

  12. I love Michael's covers. Wow, what a creative post. I wish Michael all the best on his tour. He's worked so hard. I read his first book, Slipstream, and LOVED the science behind it. That the concept was totally cool.
    I signed up for Back to the Future, and I'll be signing up for A-Z challenge.

  13. Kyra, I'll fix that right now!!!

    Anne, we watch for different reasons...

    Michelle, glad you will be joining us.

    Jeremy, they need to make a Rush version of Monopoly. Sorry you've been sick, dude.

    Damy, it will be another awesome year!

    Martin, the A to Z subject is up to you.

    Terri, you will be ready to attack the Challenge this year and finish, I'm sure.

    Ciara, glad you'll be on board!

  14. Thanks Alex!!! I'm on your blog, I feel like I made it!

  15. Michael cracks me up. Loved the post. Hate board Monopoly.

  16. Looking forward to the A to Z, thanks for the news. Also thanks for the mention about my blog, would love some of my old friends back.


  17. I never liked the utilities as a kid playing Monopoly. Meant I had to do math. :) Okay, it was easy math, but still.

    Lots going on...thanks for keeping us informed, Alex!

  18. Geesh, Alex. Talk about info overload on a Monday morning. LOL

    Okay... Love the commentary by Michael. Tough Girl really does sound tough, but good. Can't wait for A to Z, this year, but I still need to come up with a theme.

  19. My brother and I played Monopoly all the time, he would always win, but I just enjoyed spending time with him.

    Oculus looks great! And those bloghops sound fun!

  20. Got your bookmark in the mail on Friday, Michael! It is awesome! Thank you so much. Hoping you do very well with your new book!

    Same to you, Libby. Tough Girl sounds great!

  21. Both these books look really interesting. :)
    I am doing the imaginary friend blog hop, looking forward to it! I'll have to go check out some of the others.

  22. I am signing up for A-Z but have no idea what I'm going to write about yet...

    By the way, saw "Looper" over the weekend and really enjoyed it! I'm surprised it didn't do better than it did...

  23. LOL, I love Michael's post. Like Jordan, I also can't stand to sit through the Notebook, or anything else by Sparks. :D

    Can't wait for April and another round of the A-Z.

  24. Great guest post! I'm a huge board game fan myself. I haven't played Monopoly in years, and no one will play Risk with me because I usually win! Thank you for the shout-out, Alex. Lots going on this month. I'm excited for the A to Z this year!

  25. The 49'ers and the Patriots won in spite I was watching the games, yeaaaah! I am no jinx anymore. :)

  26. Thank you for the shout out :)

  27. Michael offut? Any relationship to Andy?

  28. You are so right about the A to Z challenge, it does change your blog forever!

    Thanks for the Ninja News, it gives me a great place to begin my blog hopping.

  29. Blink twice and April will be here! Looking forward to tackling the challenge again with you this year! :)

  30. Libby, you're welcome!

    Yvonne, hope everyone finds you again.

    Elizabeth, never liked the math either.

    Sheri, glad you are doing the A to Z!

    Kathy, I can run the board with properties and my wife still beats me.

    Rachel, if only I'd had an imaginary friend!

    Madeline, yes! Awesome movie. It did win Best Science Fiction at the Critic's Choice Awards last week.

    Julie, A to Z will rock.

    Christine, you are welcome,

    Al, you need to watch next weekend then.

    Vik, you're welcome.

    Charles - funny!

  31. I have TOUGH GIRL. Now to find time to read it.

  32. Wow, A to Z is right around the corner ... have to decide if I'll participate or not. I sure hope I had time ;)

  33. Tough Girl totally looks like my kind of book. And I think I am going to do the A-Z challenge this year. I'd better start warning my family now.

  34. I'm sitting out on the A-Z challenge again this year in favor of getting writing done, but looking forward to everyone's posts!

  35. The A to Z challenge sounds like fun! Happy Monday! :D

  36. I do have a theme for this year... now, if I can just come up with the letters...

  37. Oculus is at the top of my to be read pile. I am definitely in for A-Z.

  38. Jenn, it does indeed change!

    DL, look forward to working with you again.

    Joshua, hope you do.

    Juliana and Shell, join us!

    Andrew, that's a start.

  39. Sad, sad football weekend for me. But I am happy that both Michael and Libby are enjoying the release of their new books, so yay for them!

  40. Michael is a crack-up!
    I'm getting ready for the A to Z and looking forward to it. :)

  41. I'm not sure if I'm ready for the A to Z blogfest...I want to do a theme of some sort, but I'm pondering it.

  42. Yeah Michael! I've read Oculus and I'm working on writing the review. I'm slow I know....but I really enjoyed the book. Oh and Alex, love your new banner!

  43. I'm neutral on Atlanta but I'm glad they won and got that monkey off their back. I do think they'll lose to 49ers next week though.

    And Tom Brady, well, he went to U of Michigan so I'm biased toward a New England Super Bowl victory.

  44. I have always loved Micheal cover and I like the new one too.

  45. Tough Girl sounds really cool.

    Thanks for the shout out for our bloghop too :-)

  46. Is it that close to April already?! Wow! Time to find a topic :)

  47. This will be my first A to Z Challenge and I'm looking forward to taking part :)

  48. I was going to join in on all the blogfests this winter, but then they signed the hockey contract and well, don't tell anyone, but I'm a hockey fan who's been without hockey since like Sept! It's freaky to be a hockey fan, I know!

    Yes, the ladies rock!

  49. Very cool news and reviews, Alex! A to Z already? Humm...every year I say maybe. This year I say perhaps. Don't you love my commitment?

  50. Love the insane paragraphs Michael. I felt like I was reading the Monopoly game in "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" all over again! Wonderful.

    Best of luck to Libby. Read the book and loved it.

    And Alex, you can post as many words as you like...Ninja Masters have different rules ;)

  51. I like the sound of Libby's book.

    Excited to be part of the A to Z team this year.

  52. What a great A-Z team. It ALMOST makes me want to join :)

  53. Nice to see Michael here - enjoyed the post. Thanks also for the news and links. I was wondering how Yvonne was doing. Happy Monday!

  54. So much news! I do love the look of Micheal's cover. He always has wonderful covers.

  55. I'm doing my post for April A-Z in February so they'll be ready. Tough Girl has definitely caught my interest. That girl has a lot on her plate. Informative and helpful like always Alex. ;)

  56. Great books and blogfests. I'm still trying to figure out what to do for the A to Z challenge this year.

  57. The premise of Libby's book sounds gripping. I wish both her and Michael the best with their releases!

    Thank you, Al, for not only mentioning but signing up for the BFTF blog party. You're a good man, Charlie Brown.

  58. I have Michael's Slipstream on my Kindle, but haven't had a chance to start reading it yet. Have to step on it I guess if I want to keep up with his publications.

    Have to sign up for A to Z, so I'm off to see about that.

  59. There's so much going on, it's almost unbelievable. And I have anxiously awaited April ever since I first heard about the A to Z challenge last year.

  60. Hannah, join us with a theme!

    Thanks, Elise - Jeremy did an awesome job.

    Stephen, they just have to beat the Ravens!!

    Annalisa, you're welcome.

    Marta, your topic last year was great.

    Mark, glad you are joining us!

    Joylene, nothing wrong with that.

    Betty, you don't waffle.

    Elizabeth, I do need to scale back...

    JA, come on!

    Sheena-kay, good idea.

    Suze, I couldn't say no to you ladies.

    Lee, in two weeks the list will open!

    Ink, you will enjoy it.

  61. Good sales to Michael! Libby's book sounds intriguing. Best of luck with all the co-hosts. April is just around the corner. :-)

  62. Looking forward to co-hosting the A to Z challenge with you again!!

    Konstanz Silverbow

  63. Thanks for the link to Yvonne's Poetry Corner. I have missed her poems.

    Also, I think I might be adventurous enough to actually join the A to Z Challenge. It look like plenty of fun and will give me some discipline with my writing.

    Thanks again.

  64. I enjoyed your "eye"-"i" association, Michael.

    Hi, Alex!

  65. Oh gosh, I don't think I can do the AZ challenge. I can barely do 2 posts a week D:

  66. I'm pretty new-ish to blogging, so I haven't done the A to Z challenge. I'm looking forward to this year's!

    'Tough Girl' sounds good. I like the concept of a kid delving into fantasy to escape reality (especially when the fantasy is kicking alien butt).

  67. I'm planning a double theme for this year's A-Z posts, though part of that theme might not be compatible with some computers viewing the posts.

  68. Wow! Lots going on. The books sound good. I'll check them out.

    And, YOU ROCK, Alex.

  69. So much going on!! Great post Michael. Sadly I won't be able to do A-Z because I'll be away for a big chunk of time in April, but I'll look forward to catching the last half of the alphabet when I get back :)

  70. Thanks for hosting me today, Alex. I'm off to visit other blogs to drive some traffic this a way. You are the best!

    And on your stratosphere comment on my blog...I'm afraid of heights. I don't do tall buildings with rides that dangle me over the edge. It would be beyond terrifying.

  71. Actually I started thinking about the A to Z Challenge at the end of last year's! Gulp.

  72. Wow so much going on. The new year has started off with a bloghop bang. Have signed up for several, love the idea of A-Z just not sure I have the time to do it.

  73. More blogfests? I would love to participate in them all, but I'm going to have to be careful with my time. I'm looking forward to A to Z, and although I don't have my posts written yet, I have some plans, and plan to keep them short. And yes, Seattle definitely blew it.

    Michael -nice character post from Jordan!

  74. More blogfests? I would love to participate in them all, but I'm going to have to be careful with my time. I'm looking forward to A to Z, and although I don't have my posts written yet, I have some plans, and plan to keep them short. And yes, Seattle definitely blew it.

    Michael -nice character post from Jordan!

  75. Oculus looks like an intriguing read! Wow you guys are already preparing for A-Z. I should start doing that soon!

    A-Z really will change any blogger's life. It's amazing how much it's grown-thanks to all you awesome hosts!


  76. Good luck to Michael and Libby with their books!

    Alex, A-Z will be another huge winner this year!

  77. Tough Girl looks like a great read. You have so much info on your blog, Alex, that I could spend all day following your links. :D

  78. I have Oculus on my TBR pile. I'm excited about A to Z. Can't believe it's my third year.

  79. I like Jordan. I'm in the middle of reading Slipstream right now. Oculus is next! I've heard wonderful things about Libby's book, including how totally unique and compelling it is. Gonna make room on my Kindle for it. Not sure I have the time for the A to Z this year. I want to do it. I love the camaraderie. Just don't think I can fit one more thing in, especially something so big. We'll see. Nice that there are so many co-hosts this year. Ugh, please, don't get me started on the Seahawks game. So close, so heartbreaking, so frustrating! I screamed myself hoarse.

  80. Good luck to all the authors. Enjoyed Michael's post!

    I'm all signed up for Back from the Future.

  81. Nice post, Michael--Jordan sure is a character, LOL!

    Best of luck with A to Z. Always a winner.

  82. Roland, be here before you know it.

    Konstanz, same here!

    Shaharizan, you're welcome, and please join us.

    SC, you'd be surprised.

    Nickie, glad you are on board!

    Carrie-Anne, I am intrigued...

    RaShelle - YOU rock!

    Michael, I don't do those rides either...

    Suzanne, it's only one month.

    Tyrean, they were THIS close!

    Nutschell, it just gets better and better.

    Patricia, sorry!

    Nancy, sorry about Seattle. The A to Z is amazing - you need to try it once.

  83. Awesome round-up as usual. I signed up for the Back from the Future hop - sounds fun.

  84. Hi, Alex & Mike,
    Haven't done anything about Oculus yet, but I'll get there. Still love me some Chinese Checkers and Monopoly even today.

  85. My workmate is crying about Denver.LOL

  86. Thanks for sharing Yvonne's new blog site. I was wondering where she went!

  87. My favorite team was out of it last week, so I really didn't care too much about yesterdays games.

  88. Hahaha! Michael is SO entertaining. Definitely one of the best guest posts I've ever read. Loved it. :D

  89. Steve Jobs would want you to buy Oculus. That's an endorsement!

    I haven't done a blogfest in so long. I'm so lazy, I guess.

  90. Fran, that makes you chuckle, doesn't it?

    Sherry, now you know!

  91. Wow, Jordan sounds interesting, lol.

    Can't believe Yvonne got her poetry stolen! That's horrible!

    And wow, A to Z is going to be crazy this year- just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Good luck with it, Alex!!

  92. So much going on. Yikes! I haven't got Oculus yet. It popped up during my Internet blackout a while back and I still haven't recovered - plus, I just started The Wheel of Time and if I can get them all read I'm guessing that will make it at least a couple of months before I start into some of my backlog of books.

  93. Lots going on. Hard to believe A to Z Challenge is just around the corner. Congrats to Michael and Libby on their releases.

    Thoughts in Progress

  94. I'm very happy for Libby - she'll be visiting my blog next week :)

    And I am just itching to sign up for the A to Z blogfest!

  95. The first board game I remember is Hi-ho Cherry-O! lol Congrats, Michael.

    Congrats to Libby and Christine, too. All three of them will be appearing on my blog this week.

    Thanks for the Back From the Future mention. Haven't yet decided whether to do AtoZ. Am thinking it over.

  96. This is random, well not so much in a way...did you know Hasbro is replacing one of Monopoly's iconic tokens with a new one? They're going to let folks vote on which one gets the "boot" sorta speak and which one among the new suggested tokens will be its replacement.

  97. @Elise: I didn't know that.

    @Abby: thank you for saying so. You are very kind.

    Thanks everyone for your amazing and kind words. I really appreciate it.

  98. Michael - your post is ridiculously clever! *slow applause*

    And as for A to Z, i think i'm skipping it this year again. I'm just lazy. But things might change. I've got a few months to think it through

  99. I've been the victim of writer-stealing before and it totally sucks! Good for Yvonne making a fresh start!

  100. Abby, it is terrible!

    Rusty I'm so far behind I'm going to die before I read everything on my iPad.

    MsHatch, that's cool! I look forward to her guest post.

    Mary, never heard of that one. You're welcome and join us!

    Sarah, there is still time...

    Randi, that does suck.

  101. Congrats to Michael and Libby for their book releases. :)

    Ooh, A to Z Challenge! I had so much fun last year, and met really wonderful people. I look forward to taking part again this year.

  102. Looking forward to AtoZ. Thats how I met a lot of you last year. Nice to be part of the blogging community.

    So many books, so little time.

  103. Congrats to Michael and Libby! Yeah, is it really time to start talking A to Z already? Um, yeah. :D

  104. Thanks for the news about Yvonne, I didn't know how to find her again.

  105. Michael's cover gave me the willies (as does anything spidery). And just when I've convinced myself that I can't commit to a bloghop, you introduce me to VicLit's Celebrate the Small Things. Oy.

  106. I'd love to try the A-Z Challenge, but I just don't think the timing is good for me this year - I can barely manage three posts a week, and a nineteen credit course load is no joke. :( But I'll be watching from the sidelines and cheering everyone on! And I love Mike's cover - and Libby's too! They both sound like excellent books. :D

  107. Tough Girl sounds interesting . . . I'm not ready for my own blogfest yet, but I'm hoping to be ready for yours when it comes:-)

  108. I do not like spiders but I like the Oculus cover.
    I enjoyed reading Michael's post.

  109. i keep hearing (seeing) this a to z challenge. so curious to explore it!

  110. Congratulations to Michael and Libby!
    I'm not signing up for A to Z, but, like last year, I will keep visiting participating blogs :-)

  111. I'm sad that the Packers lost too. The 49ers were unstoppable, dangit.

    So many great blogfests and imaginative books to keep us busy and having fun these days. Thanks, Alex.


  112. Hi, Alex, Hi, Michael ...

    A very imaginative way to feature your book, Michael!

    Alex, I see news for the A to Z is starting. EEEK already!

    What a wonderful group of cohosts you all are. It should be MONUMENTAL.

    Yes, I am doing blogfests and hops... I promised myself that in 2013 I will be quite visible in the blogosphere. No disappearing act this year.

    Thanks for all the news.

  113. Very interesting.

    I'm waiting for your upcoming blogfest. I'm having enough trouble concentrating right now. :)

    What a great group of hosts for the new A to Z!

    Looking forward to it!


  114. I love Michael's guest post!

    Tough Girl sounds like a gripping story.

    I'm looking forward to the A-Z Challenge. Can't believe it's almost time to start pre-writing posts . . . feels like a short time ago I was gearing up for 2012's challenge. :P

  115. Cecilia, that's great!

    Karen, glad you found her then.

    LD, it's simple and easy - you can do it.

    Bethany, that is a heavy credit load.

    Jamie, hope you'll be excited about it!

    Tammy, join us!!

    Michael, and we'll be happy to see YOU!

    Heather, you will like it. And it's simple.

    Golden, yours were so smart last year.

  116. Oh this is making me want to join A to Z this year. I was tempted to last year, but did Script Frenzy instead. Now Camp NaNo is in April too. Dare I try both? We shall see. I so want to try this...

  117. Best of luck to Libby and Michael! Congrats to all of the A to Z co-hosts! I can't believe it's just a few months away!

  118. Such a great post today--loved learning about Michael's and Libby's books.

    And I am in denial about the A-Z challenge. Wasn't it just April??

  119. I definitely plan to sign up for A to Z!

    And Michael's post was fantastic! Monopoly was one of my favorite games, so it was a lot of fun to read his post as Jordan. :)

  120. nice JOB michael!
    a to z is going to be epic!

    and go patriots!

  121. So much news,book, blog hops and A to Z. It almost boggles my mind.

  122. My son is a very happy Ravens fan this week! :)

    I haven't been able to get Yvonne's old link working for ages and her avatar doesn't give me access to her new one so thank you for including it here!! :)

  123. I hope I can do the A to Z fest this year. It's just a matter of finding some theme I can stick with.

  124. Can't wait for the A-to-Z, though I've got no clue what I'm doing this year. It really is a phenomenal event!

    Thanks for all the links!

  125. Thanks for not kicking me out of IWSG. I will try to do better next month.
    I'm excited about A-Z again and the Back from the Future bloghop.

  126. It looks like there's a great team lined up for A-Z this year! I'm looking forward to it!

  127. Hey Alex,

    Delighted to see Michael spotlighted. I have had the pleasure of some excellent interaction with this terrific writer.

    As usual, plenty of links for perusal. And thanks for the link to Yvonne, I've struggled to find it, despite her attempts to let me know.

    Oh my, the 'alphabet challenge'. Soon will be time for you folks to have some further good natured banter with me. And yes, this be true, I've had the privilege of interacting with almost the entire team of A to Z. Gosh, you guys must feel lucky knowing me. Or something like that!

  128. Imogen, yes you can - combine them!

    Liz, many months ago...

    Jemi, glad you could find her again.

    Cindy, hope you can as well.

    Heather, no worries!

  129. I'm not supposed to be doing anymore blogfests until April. Why did you have to tell me about one dealing with time travel? How can I resist that one?

    A to Z is coming! We've got another great Team for this year.

    Tossing It Out

  130. Almost impossible to scroll down to the bottom of all these comments! Wow!

    Susan Oloier and I are gearing up for the A-Z challenge over at We are excited and have some fun stuff planned. What a great challenge. This will be my first year joining in. If I can organize my self, I might try it on my personal blog, too.

    Congrats to Michael and his book. And to Libby and her book. Best:)

  131. I love how popular and robust the A-Z challenge gets every year. So cool.

  132. Thank you Michael-I'm intrigued ;D

    A-Z, ah, been thinking about that-mmmh maybe art for all letters or poems! I am on the fence ;D

    Alex I hope you had a Happy Monday!
    Michael, you too!

  133. So happy for Libby. Tough Girl is literally one of the most amazing books I've ever read.

  134. Hey Alex,
    All is well except our 2013 email is: The other one will be up another week or so, then it's the new one only. Please use the new one starting now, or email me directly tndowney(at)gmail (dot) com. I'm the reader of those, so I don't care where they get me ;-)
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host 2013 A-Z Challenge
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  135. I can't wait for the A-Z Challenge this year! I'm also looking forward to the Back to the Future blogfest too :)


  136. The A-Z hosts will have their work cut out for them. I'm sure it will be an intimidating list.

    Thanks for the bloghop announcements Alex.

    Mike; that was genius :)


  137. I'm looking forward to reading Oculus soon.

    Signed up for the Back from the Future bloghop. Looking forward to it.

  138. Can't believe we're already so close to A-Z! What to do! I have to put my thinking cap on. ;)

  139. I don't even know exactly what the A-Z challenge is! Details...:o)

  140. Trying to gear up for the A-Z challenge. Looking forward to it!

  141. Oculus sounds like a good read. I like the premise of tough girls.

    I have not signed up for any upcoming blogfests as my internet connection has suddenly become slow, its taking me some time to comment on blogs.

  142. Yes Gary, it's almost alphabet awareness time!

    Lee, you can't say no!

    Rebecca, that's great!!!

    Ella, yes - do it!

    Lisa, I can't wait to read it then.

    Tina, will fix that - sorry, copied what was sent out to the group.

    ML, will post those soon!

    Rachna, I'm sorry.

  143. Is it that time already?? A-Z Challenge, here we come! I'm looking forward to it this year. It's always a blast and I learned so much about my writing and about my blog last year.

    Happy Tuesday!

  144. Two words for Michael: Railroad Monopoly. And Libby's book sounds fabulous--really compelling!

    Oi! A to Z? I think I need to gear up for that...

  145. I can't believe someone was stealing her poetry! That was low.

    I tried the A to Z challenge last year and didn't keep up, so this year I'm pumped to see it through.

  146. Your Monopoly "tale" was funny. Made me realize that I am not particularly partial to any piece. I don't know what that says about me. I favored the car, but didn't have to play it. I also liked the Top Hat. So there you go.

    I am going to send an email to the A to Z email address. I am following the main site. The more I read there, the more confused I get about that challenge. I have never done it and don't get it at all. Someone just mentioned a Theme in their comments and I nearly had a stroke. No has said anything about a freaking theme. I want to participate, but if I need to be thinking about a Topic that I can write A to Z on that is Theme Oriented I want to know that WAY in ADVANCE. That will require some serious thinking. I can see me dropping out because I find out just before it starts that I have to write around a Theme. Aaacchhh. I still have no idea when this thing is going down. I will address all of my questions in my email. Sorry I took up space with it here...

  147. I'm geared up for this years A-Z challenge like so many of other ninjas scrambling for action, lol its always a good laugh.

  148. Thanks for the info. I just signed up for the Back to the Future blogfest.
    As for the A-Z, I really want to do this again, but I need to choose a theme and schedule my posts. I think that will make things run smoother, for me, anyway. :)

  149. I like the Monopoly analogy :-)

    I'm still deciding whether to take part in the A to Z challenge this year. I found last year's exhausting!

  150. Wow! The A to Z Challenge looks like fun. I can't wait to see what people post.

  151. I'm sorry to hear someone was stealing Yvonne's poetry. That explains why I didn't find her to return a comment. Thanks!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  152. Jen, glad you are on board!

    Hart, it will be here before you know it.

    Rose, you can do it!

    Robin, we will be announcing details soon. No panic!

    Jackie, a theme always helps.

    Rachel, you can do it. And you had such a fun video entry.

    Melissa, it is awesome.

    Shannon, now you know.

  153. The books you are highlighting today sound so cool.

    Speaking of Monopoly, my son has a Monopoly collection. He has 20-25 different versions. I like Monopoly but sometimes it takes so long for a game! :)

  154. I love Michael's humor. I plan on reading Slipstream this spring before getting to Oculus.

    Thanks for telling me about the blogfests. I've signed up.

  155. I didn't make predictions, but the teams that I wanted to win (with the exception of the Falcons) did not. In fact, I've really jinxed every team that I liked going into the playoffs (with the exception of the Falcons - and I'm really thinking of NOT liking them just so they can make it to the SuperBowl). Tough Girl sounds very creepy, but in a good way!

  156. Kelly, that is a lot!

    Jennie, I feel like that sometimes. Pull for the 49ers next weekend.

  157. I am so doing the challenge this year! :)

  158. Michael, very creative guest post! Oculus is a great read!

    There is a lot going on. I was wondering what happened to Yvonne, I'll have to pay her a visit. I was so upset with Denver because it was my team for the work game. I'm out. Oh well, I'm sure there will be new bets for the super bowl.

  159. So much great news! So excited for Libby and Tough Girl! Oculus also looks fascinating. Thanks for sharing. :)

  160. comments from the iPad didn't go under the comment that I intended them to go under. *Sigh

    @Ella: You're welcome. I'm happy so many ppl thought my post was clever and funny. I was kind of worried about that lol but Alex sent me an email saying I needed to clarify it more, and I guess it worked out.

    @Donna: Thank you dearie!

    @Misha: Awh, you are so kind. Makes me want to edit another book for you lol

    @Rachna: Thank you for your kind words.

    @Hart: Railroad Monopoly. Ooo the people that own all the railroads always get all my money.

    @Robin: I used to love Monopoly as a kid.

    @Medeia: Thank you so much for saying that *hugs

    @Michael Pierce: Thank you sir.

    @DMS: Thank you for saying so.

  161. I can't believe it's already getting so close to the A to Z challenge. I'd say I was going to start prepping my posts, but we all know that's never going to happen. Procrastination is my muse! Glad to have you back as a host!

  162. CONGRATS to the 2013 A to Z Challenge team! : )


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