Sunday, December 30, 2012

I Love a Four Day Weekend!

So, color me excited. Starting this week, I go from working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, to 9.5-10 hours a day, four days a week. I've taken Mondays off to be my designated writing day (And Food Prep Day for a New Year's Resolution), so this week, I get regular Saturday/Sunday weekend, plus New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Speaking of New Year's, I always say I'm not going to give a resolution, but I always have one in the back of my mind. Every last year. Right now, since I have nothing standing in my way, schedule wise, I am determined to finish Jamie Eason's LiveFit plan that I started in October. I am determined to RUN the Color Me Rad 5K in Omaha/Council Bluffs on my sister's birthday weekend, and I am determined to finish at least TWO books this year (Writing, not reading. I read at least 36 this year, according to my tracker on

To make these determinations become a reality, I'm taking my day off to plan and prepare my meals for the week, workout and write. Not necessarily in that order.

I'm ending the year on the right foot, though. Today, the day before my Giveaway on Goodreads ends, I completed and uploaded the finished product to Createspace. In 5-7 days, it will also be available on Amazon for $8.99. I'm pretty excited about it.

Oh, and expect a little New Year's Surprise coming up tomorrow at 11:59!

Anyone else have any resolutions or determinations for the coming 2013?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Well, friends, we've made it through another year. Christmas has this creepy way of sneaking up on me, and sadly, there was one gift that I was unable to get right now, but the receiver was very accepting of what that gift was (My daddy and a TeraByte External Hard Drive).

We always do our family presents on Christmas Eve, and I am so blessed this year. I loved everything (I got a mini/cupcake/cake carrier! I find it funny that the practical gifts are now my favorite. LOL), and was so happy that my family loved the gifts I got them (though several of them were Bath and Body Works and nothing more).

We went to church last night, too, also tradition. I love going to Christmas Eve services. It's as close to a liturgy that my church would ever get to (I went to a Lutheran church when I was little). I was asked to sing Breath of Heaven, which I enjoyed. Seriously love that song so much.

Before heading to church, I threw ingredients into the bread maker to mix up some cinnamon roll dough. Not just any cinnamon rolls, either. See, I have an addiction to Pinterest, and while perusing awhile back, I found Red Velvet Cinnamon rolls. They looked too delicious to be true, and I had to try them out for myself. I also had leftover cream cheese butter cream from when I made cupcakes awhile back, so that was one thing I didn't have to worry about.

The instructions didn't call for a bread maker, but I was short on time, and the basic rules of the bread maker are wet ingredients in the bottom, dry on top, don't let the salt touch the yeast. I was worried that it wouldn't work, but it did! It was so much easier to roll out than it was last year, when I made Angela's Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon rolls (also in the bread maker, I mostly followed the ingredients, and not much else).

My aunt said they were horrible. I should keep practicing and she could be my taste tester. *snickers* Here is the recipe if you want to try it yourself. Let me know what you think!

Note the High Heel Tape Dispenser. One of my presents. LOL

Christmas morning has been otherwise uneventful this morning. Breakfast, coffee, stockings, my sister was working on her stocking stuffers for the extended family (Gingerbread!). She's been baking a lot lately, and even made Star Trek Red Shirt Gingerbread Men (Om nom nom!). We're nothing if not geeky. She got a Tardis Lunch Box and homemade Tardis Ornament (Instructions to follow, and hopefully go viral on Pinterest. LOL). We're nothing if not total geeks.

And now, we're watching "Santa Claus: The Movie." One of my favorites. It's like two movies in one. The history of Santa, followed by Dudley Moore's Shenanigans in 1985 New York with an evil John Lithgow. It's got low ratings on IMDB, but I don't care. I love this movie. Available on Netflix Instant View!

Now, just waiting for the family to arrive for more family fun. I get to see one cousin that I haven't seen in months, which will be great. I love getting together with her.

With all this talk of Santa and Cinnamon Rolls, just need
to stop and take a second to remember the Reason for the Season. I'm so glad Charles Schulz demanded Linus's recitation of Luke 2:9-11 remain anytime they showed it on TV. Pepsi placement, however, got removed. Too funny.

Merry Christmas to All!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snow Day!

It has been so long since I've gotten a snow day, I almost don't know what to do with myself.

Is there anything prettier than untouched snow?
This morning in celebration, I made pancakes from a Jiffy Mix. Added eggs and coconut oil instead of just milk, which made them extra yummy (I'm falling in love with the many uses of coconut oil).

Plans for the day include working on book 2 and roasting chestnuts (trying them out before I think about making them for the family), and that's pretty much it. Probably wrapping presents. Need to do that ASAP. I'm so behind on present wrapping. Usually, I've got my sister begging me to wrap her presents, which keeps the thoughts right in front of me. Not so much this year. Need to get on it.

I got a really nice note from one of my former classmates about my book yesterday. She and I went to college together, and worked on a Shakespeare project together (Loves Labours Lost). It totally made my day, and I'm glad she enjoyed it.

Mom just suggested making sugar cookies. I am SO there! Have a great day! For those with snow or inclimate weather, be safe!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Decorations Around Town

Smoothies have made a comeback! It's been awhile since I made a smoothie. Not sure why, but I haven't been in the mood. This morning, it was back with a vengeance. Soooo tasty!

This morning's smoothie consisted of the following:

1 Green Apple (Or apple of choice. Granny Smith Apples have the least amount of sugar)
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (Or any kind of milk)
1/2 Cup Frozen Spinach
1 Frozen Banana (I totally forgot I had these!)
1 Scoop MRM 100% Whey Rich Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Kelp Capsule
2 Spirulina Tablets
Cinnamon to Taste

I blended the apple and almond milk first, because I find it's the only way to get the apple nice and smooth. Blend the rest of the ingredients for around 2-5 minutes, until desired consistency.

So, Christmas is just a little less than a week away. Did you know that? I only know that because I work at Bath & Body Works, and I've been raking in the hours lately. And they insist on playing Justin Bieber Christmas songs. Lots and Lots of Justin Bieber songs. Heaven Help me.

Luckily, they also play This, which makes all of us start to dance when it comes on. Give it a listen. You won't regret it!

Other than that, and the very few houses with Christmas lights around town, you wouldn't know it was Christmas. We didn't even get snow until today.

For whatever reason, this year, my town has opted not to decorate the main roads like they always do. They always put poinsetta/bell/snowflake lights on the light poles, which always made the town seem festive. This year, absolutely nothing! Makes me so sad!

We've had the house decorated for a few weeks now, and at least it's festive inside, but this year it doesn't seem like it outside. At least inside, with Christmas trees, garlands and candles, it feels like Christmas.

Anyone else's town not decorating for Christmas? Think it's a political thing?

Watching A Christmas Story with my daddy now. Doesn't get more Christmas-y than watching "A Christmas Story!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Giving

It's the time of year when it seems like any extra money you can give a charity, it's especially needed. Don't know what it is about Christmas, but no matter what charity you give to, come Christmas, needs seem to be more prevalent than during any other time of year.

I don't usually give money to charities. Not because I don't want to, but because I can usually never afford it. Christmas is an expensive time of year, and this is only the fourth year I've had steady work, but the third that I haven't had to travel for Christmas. For about three months, I've had funds from the Smashwords sales of Sugar and Spies sitting in my paypal account. Not much, but something that wasn't doing anything.

Today, I was perusing a favorite website, Taysia Blue, a Siberian Husky Rescue Group. I can't get one now (living with my parents, and too many animals, according to my mom), but I like to see what they're up to, and I've considered volunteering with them once things calm down, schedule wise. Instead, I looked at giving money to them. How it worked, where the money went, etc. It seemed like a perfect plan. Groups like Taysia Blue rely on donations to keep things up and running. I got an email after submitting my donation explaining that my donation went to helping one dog, Lindbergh, with his heartworm issues. It seemed fitting to me. Of the dogs they have for adoption, Lindbergh is the only one who gets along with cats. Yes. I would need a dog who got along with Jane Austen.

After giving it some thought, I think I want to start giving a portion of my proceeds to Taysia Blue. I'll probably only give a small percentage, but I will make it a yearly gift. I only hope that next year I can give way more than what I've given today. It just doesn't seem like enough, but I'm optimistic for next year.

I urge everyone, if they can afford it, give to a charity you feel strongly about. If you have some extra change in your pocket as you're going into the grocery store, drop it into the Salvation Army buckets. It adds up, and people really need it this time of year.

Merry Christmas, Lindbergh. Good Luck with your heart worms and finding your Forever Family.

Click Here to learn more about Siberian Huskies, and if they are the right dog for you.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rest in Peace, Little Angels

As most have heard, Sandy Hook Elementary School experienced a tragedy that the majority of the country will never see. When I heard about it on Friday, I was in a state of such shock and disbelief that I stopped listening and tried to block it out. It wasn't until I saw the children's faces and heard their short life stories that it became real and began to sink in. I spent the weekend praying for their friends and families.

I don't have children, but after speaking to my family members who had children, they were all holding their precious babes closer, and thanking God for their own children's safety while simultaneously praying for the families who couldn't kiss their babies good night.

I'm copying this from Lizzy Mae Early's blog, Your Cup of Cake, because I think it's so fitting, and a touching tribute.

God Bless Newtown, Connecticut.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Literary Surprise

Today...was a dull day. A boring day. A day I worked quickly so I could get home early (paycheck be damned this week). Sometimes, you just want to be at home.

Something was waiting for me. Something...wonderful.

Care to take a guess?

Well, a little background, with my giveaway on Goodreads this month, I've been working to get the paperback copy finished. It's been a bit annoying with the cover, but I heard from my cover artist today, who offered to fix it for the paperback tomorrow (Thank you, Lindsay!). Color me relieved. I wasn't a huge fan of what I did for attempting to get the cover to work, so actually knowing someone who knows what they're doing is a big help.

That said, I'd heard some scary things about shipping with Createspace in regards to proofs. Since I needed to get everything done, I ordered it as soon as I possibly could. I had a feeling I really needed to see it before I purchased the final product. So glad I did! There was one faux pas that would've made a big impact if I hadn't removed it. Also, there are a few technical things that need fixing (Headers on all the pages, blank pages at the start and end of the book, a few areas where I needed to fix some spacing issues). Probably more than a few, but definitely fixable. I've fixed most of them, anyway.

Without further ado, from the land of Instagram!

Follow me @martinbeks!
I've decided that the original size I picked, 6" x 9", is too tall, almost like a textbook, so that was another fix. Now it's going to be 5x8, which adds, roughly, 100 pages, and it'll be more like a fiction book (I compared the size to a copy of The Bell Jar By Plath, Sylvia (Google Affiliate Ad) I got when I was in college).

This has been a fantastic learning opportunity for me, and I'm excited to continue. I talked with Lindsay a bit tonight about doing the artwork for book two as, despite my being nowhere near done, I have ideas for the cover, and it would be nice to get it out of the way.

Things are coming together, and I'm cautiously optimistic. So thankful for my supportive friends (Lu and Christina) and artistic partners (Lindsay). You guys are awesome and keep me sane. :-)

Peace Out!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tommy Nightmare (The Paranormals, #2)Tommy Nightmare by J.L. Bryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved the first book in this series, "Jenny Pox." I was riveted from the first chapter and couldn't put it down. This book, while also interesting and riveting, seemed a lot shorter, and like many middle books in trilogy (though, I see a fourth is out now), it had a cliffhanger.

There are so many unanswered questions that this book left me with. Who is Alexander? Are Jenny and Seth soul mates? Will Esmerelda get her life back from Ashleigh? What about Tommy? Will that semblance of a conscience return in "Alexander Death?"

Suffice it to say, my next payday, I'll be getting book 3. I won't wait so long to get it (I finished "Jenny Pox" last spring).

For what it's worth, I enjoyed this book. It was a really quick read, I loved hearing more about their world, and how insane large crowds of people can get.

I did feel it was too short, and things happened a bit too quickly, but I still enjoyed it. JL Bryan has a way with story telling. He's so good at it. He's painted this world that is vivid (and it might be the cover of "Jenny Pox" talking, but also sepia-toned) and rich. I'll probably start to turn to him when I need to get sucked into a book. This is two books that have sucked me in and not let me go.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My First Giveaway!

So, coming on New Year's Day, "Sugar and Spies" will be available in print! And to get excited and ready for it, I've teamed with to present a Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sugar and Spies by Rebekah Martin

Sugar and Spies

by Rebekah Martin

Giveaway ends December 31, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
All you have to do is join Goodreads, a social networking site for readers, and you can enter to win one of five copies of "Sugar and Spies." You have until New Year's Eve and the winners will be chosen by Goodreads on New Year's Day! Also, I've included the first chapter of the second book, "The Truth and the Spy," which is coming soon to an eReader near you! Good Luck!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


What a short day! Since I started getting up around 5 for work a few months ago, I have a hard time sleeping past seven. This morning, I slept until 9. Didn't see that happening. Especially since I had to work at 10. Eep!

Luckily, work went pretty quickly today. When I walked in when the store opened, we were already packed to the gills, and it didn't really let up, which is fantastic. I love keeping busy.

After work, I met my mom and dad at Walgreens so my mom and I could go to Maurice's. On Thursday, the one pair of work pants I own(ed) that actually fit got a broken zipper. Yeah. I don't shop that often. I have clothes that I've had since high school and college that I still wear. I keep meaning to clean out my closet, but pure laziness prevents me.

Anyway, today after work, my mom and I went to Maurice's and I dropped $100. It would've been more, but I had coupons. I got a pair of jeans, black dress pantsCrinkle Cami (What is up with the Crinkle? I could do that at home for free! LOL), and a really pretty mint green sweater. I'm hoping that they can go with the purple pumps I bought from JustFab a few weeks ago.

It's not that I don't like to shop. In fact, when I find awesome outfits, I feel like a complete rock star after shopping. It's just that I feel like I never have money to shop, even for clothes for work. Sad and pathetic, I know. I'm hoping to get gift cards for Christmas to do more shopping there (and fill up my punch card!), and maybe clean out my closet in the next few weeks. Start off 2013 with a clean closet? I think it's doable.

Peace out!

Anyone else hardly ever go shopping?


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