Favorite Book Covers

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I'm guest blogging about two of my favorite covers (besides my own), over on the Dauntless Blog today. Come check it out. http://www.dauntlessauthors.blogspot.com 

Utah Indie Author Conference *and I'm presenting!*

Friday, April 11, 2014
Hope to see you there!

Spring 2014 Scavenger Hunt featuring Alyxandra Harvey

Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's scavenger hunt time! I love it! Welcome, welcome, everyone. I'm Amber Argyle, author of the Witch Song and Fairy Queen series. Big thanks go out to Colleen Houck for founding and organizing this event!

In addition to the amazing prizes offered by the hunt, I'm also offering a $20 Amazon gift card and the ebook Witch Song Box Set (you get points for getting free stuff!), just enter the rafflecopter at the bottom of the post! 

Also, all the first books in my series have gone on sale for the hunt. Witch Song is free and 
Winter Queen is only 99 pennies! 

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are
TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the RED TEAM-but there is also a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of twenty-five signed books!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the red team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, APRIL 6th at noon Pacific time, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

I'd like to introduce ya'll to Alyxandra Harvey. In addition to having amazing hair, she's the author of the Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet and the Lovegrove Legacy. 

She lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with her husband and their dogs. She likes gingerbread lattes, tattoos and books. 

Well, after reading that, I totally want to hang out with her *rummages around for passport*. Find out more information by checking out Alyxandra's website or find more about the her book here

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

Alyxandra is featuring her book, A Breath of Frost. I adore the cover. Here's a little more about it:

In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. 

But controlling their newfound gift is not the only challenge they face. While evading fortune-hunters and marriage proposals, they must unravel a dark family secret – one that reveals why, until now, their magical skills have been concealed; one that brings them face to face with a deadly foe
. . .

And here's Alyxandra's exclusive content: 
Alyxandra Harvey: The Lovegrove Legacy
      
“A woman who calls herself the Toad Mother is here to see you, my lady.”
    Aunt Bethany set down her cup. “Excellent. Please show her to the terrace.” She rose from her chair. The cousins followed after her, despite not having received an invitation to do so. The garden terrace was surrounded with peony bushes and marble benches set into alcoves painted with scenes from Greek mythology. An easel sat in one corner, paint boxes opened and waiting.    The Toad Mother waited in one of the alcoves. 
    “Thank you for coming so swiftly,” Aunt Bethany said. 
    The Toad Mother stood, toads hopping out of the garden to wait on the pebbled paths for her approach. “I don’t like Mayfair,” she said.
    Aunt Bethany inclined her head. “I understand. You will be well compensated.”
    “I expect so.” She looked up at the grand house, the extensive gardens, and the stables along the lane leading back out to the street. “It’s not a simple thing to shield a house like this from the Greybeards.”
    “And yet it must be done. The Order is not welcome here and I know no one better suited to the task.”
        She clicked her tongue. “Flattery,” she waved her hand. “Still, it’s the truth.”
    “My father set alarms on our house when I was a child to warn against Greymalkin trespassers. Can you manage that as well?”
    “Of course. I’ll need certain items from your house. Ashes from the kitchen fire, dust from the attic floor, and rosehip tea.”
    “Rosehip tea?” Penelope asked. “What’s that for?”
    “I’m thirsty.”
    “Oh.”
    “Gretchen, fetch the dust if you will, Emma you can gather the ashes. Penelope, see to the tea please.”
    The cousins rushed off in different directions. When they returned panting and covered in dirt, Aunt Bethany hair’s had been shorn. Her long mahogany braid lay looped over the Toad Mother’s arm.
    “Maman!” Penelope nearly dropped the tea.
    “It’s nothing,” she replied, though she swallowed hard before speaking. “It’s only hair. And payment must be made.”
    “That’s not all,” the Toad Mother reminded her, tucking the braid into her satchel. “I’ll collect the rest when it’s needed.”
    “There’s more?” Penelope frowned. “What?”
    “Shh,” her mother said, touching her arm. “It’s not important.”
    “Magic’s not free, my girl,” the Toad Mother said, unconcerned with the glare shot her way. 
    “We have gold.”
    “Pah, gold is useless. I need memories, fears, dreams, desire. A year’s worth of paintings in this case.”
    “That’s not so bad,  I suppose,” Penelope said. “Right?” she asked when her mother stayed silent and pale.
    “You misunderstand,” The Toad Mother said, mixing the dust and ashes together in a small wooden bowl.  Three white ospreys flew overhead, landing on the fence to watch the proceeding. She glanced at them, pursed her lips, then returned to her work. “Your mother is forbidden to draw or paint for a year and a day.”
    The cousins goggled at her. Aunt Bethany loved to paint. She stood at her easel for hours every day. She always said it was more vital than air.
    “All that creative energy, all that pain and beauty, will be mine instead.”
        "That's criminal!"
    “Let it be, Pen,” her mother said softly.
    “But…”
    She shook her head. Penelope subsided, but she was still scowling. Gretchen might be the one who courted trouble, but Penelope was the one with the temper. She led her mother to one of the benches and poured her a cup of the rosehip tea.
    The Toad Mother walked the perimeter of the property, muttering and scattering a mixture of the ashes and dust mixed with salt and crushed evil eye beads. She drove an iron nail in each direction, just like the ones the Keepers carried in their pockets, only hers were wrapped in red thread instead of black. Gretchen felt the shimmer of magic in the air, like dust motes dancing in a sunbeam but she heard no whispering or buzzing. Whatever else might be said about her, she knew what she was doing.
    A circle of light flared once, then died.
    “It’s done,” the Toad Mother said, the bones on her shawl clacking. She looked at Emma intently. “You’ll come see me in the market, at the end of Silver Sickle lane.”
    Emma blinked. “I will?”
    She smiled. “Aye, so I can fix your problem.”
    “What problem?” 
     The Toad Mother only walked away, still smiling to herself as a snake crawled over Emma’s foot.


Who's excited??? *raises hand* Thanks for sharing with us, Alyxandra! 

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Amber Argyle, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 33. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

I'm also offering an additional prize on my blog (yay for prizes!). Simply enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway



CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the Megan Shepherd


Update on my son's bone tumor part 2

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
We went down to Primary Children's Hospital in SLC, Utah yesterday to see a pediatric, orthopedic oncologist for my son's noncancerous bone tumor. We found out a little more about my son's prognosis and his condition. You can read the entire history of his condition here and here and here.

Dr. Lor Randall believes that the compound the first doctor used to fill the cavity in my son's leg actually hampered the bone's ability to regrow. He also believes that this complicated the issue, so what started out as a nonossifying fibroma (a noncancerous tumor that causes a cavity in the bone) has now moved onto a bone cyst-which is bigger, harder to treat, and less likely to heal than a fibroma.

My son's cyst is also in a really bad spot, as the femur bears the biggest load. It is also in a bad spot within the femur (lucky us). Meaning the chances of a bone refracture are high.

The Dr. wasn't able to give us a firm prognosis. Rather, we have a best case/worse case scenario. Best case, when go in at 3 weeks for a x-ray, the bone will have shown measurable healing. We would continue with restrictions on his activity and wait for the bone to heal to the point where he can fully function again (once again, he wouldn't give us a firm time line but best case is around 3 months).

Worst case, the bone will not have shown any measurable healing. At which point, we're looking at an additional surgery to drill out the center of the bone and scrape out the cavity again. They may have to do this multiple times. It may take years for him to heal. The doctor thinks we have a 25% chance of this happening.

The only good news in all of this is that the Dr. has eased the restrictions back a little, so my son can put 50% of his weight on his leg instead of 0 weight. He also has a brace now to protect his leg. He's still stuck in indoor recess and not allowed to do anything besides walk  with crutches (crazy hard for my extremely active 8 YO son).

I do not like this doctor. He was explaining what had happened, using terms I didn't understand and being hard to pin down as to the timeline and chances of healing. I kept stopping him to ask for clarification. He was impatient to the point of being snappish before flat out telling me not to interrupt him again.

Because apparently it doesn't matter if I understand what's going on with my son. He knows best and we should just fall into line.

I was already feeling overwhelmed and upset and confused. Now I felt stupid and hurt and angry.

When the doctor finally finished talking, I stayed silent for a beat and then asked if I could talk now. At that point, he did apologize, saying that he was upset with my son's first doctor and took it out on me.

That didn't make me feel better.

Normally, I'd just go to another doctor, but there are only two orthopedic pediatric oncologists in Utah, and our insurance won't cover the other doctor. Humana is also giving us the run around--denying that things are covered. When we research it, we find out those things actually are covered and complain. Humana won't answer my emails and it's pointless to call because whoever you talk to is obviously trained to hedge and won't call you back. The only way to get them to listen is to go through my husband's company and our insurance agent--getting them to complain.

I firmly believe Humana does this on purpose. They don't pay for services they actually cover in hopes their patients won't ask questions. If the patient throws a bit enough fit, they'll give in. This saves them money because the majority of patients don't know what's actually covered and what isn't, or that they can even fight.

I would like to take this moment to thank Humana for taking an already extremely stressful situation and making it much worse. *sarcasm*
Emotionally, my son is about the same-I don't think he understood what the doctor was saying, and he's excited for his brace and the chance to put some weight on his leg. I'm back to being very stressed and emotional again (and just when I was starting to feel like myself after the first batch of bad news).

Adding to that stress is the fact that our home is a four level multilevel--you can't take more than ten steps in my house without going up and down stairs, and the two bathrooms are only on the topmost and bottom-most floors, rendering the wheelchair/crutches/walker useless (he hops one legged rather than having to wait for us to haul equipment after him everywhere).

I really want to sell our house and find one that fits our situation better, but we have some personal issues going on that make that difficult. And I don't know if I can deal with the stress of selling our house, finding a new house, moving, and building a new support system somewhere else (our nearest family is 1.5 hours away, so we rely a lot on our neighbors and friends).

Anyway, I could go on, but this post is already depressing enough as it is. So to end on a good note: I bought a new outfit! A new shirt, leggings, bag, and sparkly gold ballet flats! I love them!

Update on my son

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Right now, we're trying to get in to a specialist-our orthopedic surgeon recommended an orthopedic/pediatric oncologist even though his tumor isn't cancerous.

Our insurance is giving us the runaround. Humana (not a fan) claims doctor #1 takes them. Doctor #1 claims that he doesn't. Humana can't call and talk to said doctor because they don't have outsides lines (my left eye is starting to twitch). It might take them a full week just to clear up whether or not they cover doctor #1 (the left side of my face is starting to twitch). They might even have to pull up the contract, which would be super duper hard (the left side of my body is starting to twitch).

I keep telling myself yelling won't do any good. It might make me feel better, but people find ways to make you pay for it.

If I keep telling myself this long enough I might have a full blown seizure.

We took an xray on Friday. It's too soon for the bone to show any measurable growth, so everything looks pretty much the same as it did the day of his surgery.

He's still on extremely limited restrictions. He can't do much of anything really. The doctor said even a basketball hitting his leg could break his femur. It's very hard for him-he cries for feeling left out and lonely and trapped and bored every day. I usually cry with him. Together, we cry a lot.

I've put him in swimming lessons as soon as the doctor clears him this Friday. That's the one thing he can do. I'm hoping that will help. If nothing else, he can at least get some exercise.

If you believe in prayer/positive thinking, please send some our way. We really need his leg to heal and for him to find ways to be happy.
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