Sunday, March 31, 2013

no entries no winner

wildflowers soundtrack giveaway
no takers on the free music?
oh well, maybe another time.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

all things good and green

all things good and green

Forget the DeLorean time machine that runs on Miller beer.
Forget cars that use french fry grease as fuel.
In Denver the Tuk Tuk runs on animal feces (and trash).

Offsetting about 20% of its total energy use by using 
his type of fuel, the motorized carts will also use
up 90% of the zoo's previously unused poo.  
Click here to learn more.

Denver isn't the only place getting creating with animal waste,
check out this inventive chicken farmer's use of fowl droppings.

In other (completely unrelated to poo) news, 
you can win free music this weekend.
A three song sampler from iTunes is up for grabs,
and all you need to do to enter is submit an Earth Day comment.

Friday, March 29, 2013

wildflowers soundtrack giveaway

wildflowers soundtrack giveaway

up for grabs: 

A random three-song sample from the wildflowers soundtrack.  Winner will need an iTunes account to receive the free downloads.  The soundtrack songs can be viewed, by following this link. 

how to enter: 

Answer the polling question by posting a comment with your first name or initials, as well as your state, and you'll be entered in the random drawing.

how to claim your prize: 

Check back on Sunday to see if you're the winner.  Once the winner is announced, directions will be given for the winner to privately provide an email address, which is all iTunes needs for you to receive a gift. Read more about iTunes gifts here.



(along with posting your answer as a comment below, remember to include your first name or initials, and your state, in order to be entered in the giveaway)

thanks for stopping by and 
good luck to all who enter

are you interested in other giveaways? the goodreads giveaway runs through april 22. click link in the left column to enter. also another kindle giveaway is coming up on saturday april 6. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Green List Wednesday - Electric Cars

In wildflowers, I send two rule-bending, 
Tesla-driving teens 
into the Restricted Zone to find 
the secret for rebuilding the West.

When crafting this novel, set in the not-so-far-off future, I saw a world where hybrids still exist, but electric vehicles (EVs) would replace gas-fueled cars.  My inspiration for this came in 2010 when Wired Magazine featured an article on the future of EVs, with the focus on the budding Tesla Motors.  It changed my perspective on the green car movement, and today it's great to see EVs popping up all over the place.  Below, I've compiled a list of EVs worth considering...for fun or for purchase.  I've broken out my top three with a bit of commentary.  

This American car company's Model S won both Automobile Mag's 2013 Automobile of the Year  and Motor Trend's 2013 Car of the Year.  Stylish, quick, though expensive.

2.  Fisker

The Fisker Karma is so luxurious it won TopGear's Luxury Car of the Year.  With an eye on clean production, this car is bold and landscape-esque.  Also expensive.

This innovative car company reworks mid-century modern classic cars to a more sustainable fuel-source.  Their retro-specialty seems to be VWs.  This is recycling at its best!  Hip, clever, and totally do-able.

4.  Smart Car
7.  Ford Focus

If you're considering buying an EV, I Want To Buy An Electric Car is a good site to check out. And if you'd like to learn more about electromobility, check out this article and vid from Siemens USA.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

all things good and green

all things good and green

In the book, wind is a problem, but in real life, wind becomes 
a clean resource for power.  Check out this article 
describing how Carbon County, WY has just been approved 
to house the largest wind farm in North America.  
The farm will host 1,000 turbines.  
The next largest farm is near Roscoe, Texas 
and holds 627 turbines.

Thanks for stopping by the blog.  
If you're looking for the "meet the characters" post, click here.
If you'd like to enter the Goodreads giveaway, click here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

meet the cast

In the desert Southwest, it's wildflower season.
It's always amazing to see the blooms appear from
the hard soil, the craggy spaces between rocks, 
and the forgotten spots in the landscape.
This style of growth is so compelling to me that
I used the flower's development as inspiration
when developing the characters for wildflowers, the book.  
Today let's meet those wildflowers.

Keifer Michaels - Main character.  Intelligent and curious. Laments the past, worries about the future, and struggles with panic attacks. Top student, high-achieving soccer player, accomplished abstract artist.  Has a secret talent that, if used, would break him open and reveal his truths.

Abi Michaels - Younger sister to Keifer.  Savvy observer and straight-forward philosopher.  Lives in the moment with a spirit for fun.  As a brave risk-taker, she tests boundaries while her truth.  She is a great teacher.

Sam Michaels - Father to Keifer and Abi.  An overworked scientist and biologist who understands environmental change at its deepest levels.  Misses his wife, loves his kids, but has difficultly letting down his guard.

The Garner Girls - Keifer and Abi's sense of adventure is rooted to these women.  Two aunts, a grandmother, and their mother, Belle Michaels.  Abi can embrace their lessons, Keifer is more apprehensive.

Alex - Schoolmate to Keifer.  But that's all.  Adam knows too much about Keifer for them to have a friendship.  Both will be surprised to know how the mysteries..and their lives overlap.

Noah, Ryan, and Larrick - Keifer's friends and dorm mates at LWR, Lower West Regional in Helena, Montana.  When school breaks come, the boys go their separate ways, back to their homes, which have changed in varying degrees in the eight years since the evacuation.

Margo - Besides Noah, the person Keifer feels closest to...though something is holding him back.  He loves her curls and her birdsong voice, but most of all, he loves how she just gets him.

Max - Beyond the gaggle of girls that are always around Abi, Max is Abi's best friend, in Arizona and at LWR.  Abi's ability to relate to all sorts of people leaves a lasting impression on Keifer.

Sydney - An old woman that becomes a new friend.  Ex-professor and now inventor, she knows her way around the Restricted Zone.

Desert Rats - The label given to people living in the Restricted Zone. Is their criminal reputation real or fiction?

Murphy and Tara - And here's where the great mystery could be revealed.  Who are they?  What do they know?  Or more importantly, who do they know?  Could it be that they know Belle Michaels?  Abi hopes so, Keifer's not so sure.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

all things good and green

all things good and green

If you've read wildflowers, you know that a natural disaster sends one climate domino knocking into another until the entire West and Southwest have changed into only somewhat inhabitable zones.  All the events in the book are imagined possibilities, but the truth is the characters are living out the futuristic environmental moments we're creating today.  Lucky for us, there are groups dedicated to learning more and teaching us how to be better stewards of Planet Earth.  

And here's one now:

who just launched 

This simple video shows us what carbon costs us and 
how we can participate in a conversation on carbon.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

celebrating earth day

The fRead Project
Earth Day
March 22 - April 22

What is The fRead Project?
The fRead (free Reads) Project is an ongoing effort to gift books to readers in organized giveaways, sporadic book drops (books left in public to be “found”), and donations to book clubs, literacy groups, librarians, and educators.

How will we celebrate?
Because wildflowers is an ecotopian adventure, it seemed fitting to celebrate Earth Day with a world-sized promotion.  So for a full month, starting on March 22, The fRead project will be giving away books, downloads, music, art, and even helpful information on the environment.  With blog posts and tweets like, Green List Wednesdays and All Things Good and Green on Tuesdays and Saturdays, I’ll share lots of interesting and happy news about the movement to support the planet.  In addition there will be random books drops made as far and wide as I can reach and special outreach to high school students, green businesses, and independent book stores.  Please feel free to pass this invitation to anyone you know who may be interested in sharing in the fun and promotion of Earth Day…and free stuff.  There will be something going on almost every day, so check the blog or my Twitter feed often.

You know what?  Let's start now!
Beginning at midnight tonight, wildflowers will be available as a free download on Kindle.  This giveaway will run until midnight tomorrow (Friday) night.  Here's the link: wildflowers on Kindle. Enjoy this 24-hour promotion and keep an eye out for more.

Happy Earth Day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

announcing the fRead project

Last spring, when I was introduced to the Indie publishing movement, it kind of blew my socks off.  As an off-shoot of self-publishing, this movement requires a commitment from the individual to behave like a traditional press.  To be dedicated to craft and quality.  To be a responsible steward of words, art, design, and even marketing.  These tenets became less overwhelming when I considered that, like a small press, authors and artists who chose independent publishing can work at their own pace and with fewer titles.  Still, Indie publishers (whether made up of one person or a few collaborators) must be thoughtful with what they choose to put in print because that work, as I was learning, plays a part in branding.  

Branding?  Hmmm, the possibilities.

Fast forward to today, when I can laugh at my mistakes, admit I'm still learning, and tell you that while building the writing platform beneath row press, the possibilities were endless.  But the most fun part of figuring out my vision came down to one thing: philanthropy.  And over the weeks and months,  I forgot about branding and began just living my vision.  The giving started right away, grew slowly, and then, after row press had its first Kindle giveaway to honor and celebrate the five winter holidays, the opportunities to gift "free reads" seemed to appear from the ether.  As a small business, the budget for donations had to be minded and responsible choices had to be made, but this didn't lessen the desire to make random acts of (book) kindness.  In the end, I needed to get organized and as I assembled my ideas, the fRead project emerged.

What is the fRead project?

The fRead (free Reads) project is an ongoing effort to gift books to readers in organized giveaways, sporadic book drops (books left in public to be "found"), and donations to book clubs, literacy groups, librarians, and teachers.

The fRead project gives row press titles and books by other authors. All fRead gifts are made in an effort to share children's and young adult literature with readers, and though row press enjoys giving to all book lovers, the aim is to share as many books as possible with children, teens, and young adults.

Here at row press, I'm also dedicated to spontaneous donations of book proceeds to causes that share the same vision.  Though not technically considered a fRead, monetary donations are part of this project. 

fReads come in all shapes & sizes

I'm happy to announce that since late 2012 the fRead project's outreach has included 
110 free downloads and 50 free copies of wildflowers, row press' first young adult release.  
Some of the recipients include:

1 Arkansas librarian who received two copies for a local high school

3 random readers in midtown Scottsdale who were the first to be part of a fRead book drop

5 Goodreads members who entered a giveaway that included a themed gift pack

Beyond the free reads and book drops, there have been other opportunities for the fRead project to share donations.  First, a fRead project personal book drive produced a gift of four picture books and six young adult novels to Kids Need to Read, an awesome agency that processes donations for underfunded schools, libraries and literacy programs nationwide.  Then, last month, the local, independent bookstore Dog Eared Pages Used Books was looking to boost sales in order to stay in business, and it was with great appreciation that I donated all the profits from my books they shelved to their cause.  Another giving moment presented itself when I read about a Guys Read Book Club moderator in Washington state who needed books for his group.  In this case, the fRead project donated seven copies of Lincoln's Grave Robbers (middle grade, non-fiction).  A great book to a cool book club...what could be better?

fReads hit the road

As for the future, fRead project giveaways and drops are always in development.  In fact, many will be unveiled as wildflowers honors Earth Day from March 22nd to April 22nd.  Check back often for more information.

Thank you to all the readers and reviewers who support row press!