Saturday, March 22, 2014

Divergent Movie Day!

I'm going to see Divergent today with some of my favorite people on the planet! {Neener-Neener} We all agreed to take the faction test and dress up according to the faction we were most like. 

I thought for sure I'd get Erudite, but *shock!* I came out as Divergent. That isn't as easy to dress for as you'd think because you have to keep it secret.

So, I decided I'd officially tell people I was Erudite but give them hints that I might be something more…

Erudites always wear at least one blue item of clothing. Ergo—blue jeans. Easy-peasy.

And I will have a book in my purse, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for me.

There is also blue in my shirt. However, it sort of has one of those multi-colored hippy-dippy designs. It might fit in at an Amity party.

Then my flip-flops. Notice the black and white stripes that reflect the Candor pattern?

Abnegation was hard because—well, they are visually boring. So I decided to not wear my earrings today. As a sign of sacrifice (It is a sacrifice because I always wear earrings. ALWAYS.)

And last, I have a hidden tattoo on my ankle for Dauntless.

 No, it's not as cool as three ravens, but it is a bird.

What do you think? Will I fool anyone?

When you go see Divergent,
what faction will you dress as?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Candor Party Favor Ideas

Need some ideas for what to include in a Candor party bag? Here's what we've come up with.

Candor Cherry Chews
These Candor Cherry Chews are one of the more fun ideas we had for our Divergent Party Favors bag. The bag topper pattern is in the Choosing Day Miniatures portion of the Divergent Party Printables.

[I apologize for the quality of this photo. I was using my phone because I can't find my good camera.]

George's coat and the lettering on the bag topper are actually in green in the printables file but apparently I was running out of yellow ink, so that made it turn out blue when I printed it.

Anyway, you can fill it with any cherry flavored chewy candies, like Twizzler Bites or Nibs, Laffy Taffy, Jelly Belly Cherry jelly beans, or Cherry Starbursts (yes! you can order all cherry ones from Amazon). We decided to go with Cherry Sours which I found at Hobby Lobby—because they sort of look like cherries.

Honest Abe Tokens
The 3/4" circle stickers from the Choosing Day Kisses portion of the Divergent Party Printables are the exact size of a U.S. penny.

We printed the Candor symbols on the large label paper. Punched them out using the 3/4" circle punch (just like with the Choosing Day Kisses), and stuck them on the back side of a penny. It's an exact fit so you have to line it up just right.

Then we made these notes. You can make up your own message or use my words if you want.

We put both the note and the penny in a little 3" x 4" baggie (same as we used for the Candor Chews).

This makes a very easy and inexpensive party favor—the cheapest on in the whole bag!

Candor Food & Goodies

For a Candor party featuring food, find items that are black, or white, or black and white mixed together. There are a variety of snack cakes that are chocolate on the outside with white cream filling in the middle. Another favorite is Oreo cookies.

Or use a marble cake mix or recipe to make marbled cake, cupcakes or cookies. Or you can take a standard cookie of any type and frost the tops with black (chocolate frosting) on one side and white frosting on the other.

If you're wanting more "healthful" foods, you can mix black and white beans together for a side dish or soup, or mix black beans or black lentils with white rice.  Finger food ideas include black olives with white cauliflower.

Candor Games
Candors would love any two-player strategy game, especially if the board and/or pieces are black and white.

Dice is a great choice and there are so many variations. Just make sure you use black and white dice.

Other games include Fox and Hounds (make your own black and white board and markers), Chess, Backgammon, Abalone, and Go! Also some checker games come in black and white instead of the traditional black and red. 

Candor Accessories

Anything with a black and white pattern is going to excite a true Candor. Fortunately, zebra prints are still popular and you can find lots of black and white items at your local Dollar Store. Other good places to check are Target and Wal-Mart's Dollar sections and clearance tables. Here are just a few ideas.
Black and White Notebooks

Anything with a black & white zebra pattern

Zebra Body Pillow


Black & White Umbrella

Now It's Your Turn

Please share your ideas for Candor treats and party favors in the comments.

And remember, you can get the Divergent Party Printables freebie packet as a test of social media, so please use the codes as indicated below:

  • If you first saw this on Facebook, please use the code  fbfree 
  • If you came here from Pinterest, please use the code  pinfree 
  • If you came to Inksplasher from any other source, please use the code  inkfree

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Choosing Day Hersheys Miniatures

This is a fun Choosing Day treat using Hershey's Miniatures.

To make these Choosing Day packages with Hershey’s Miniatures, you will need:
  • Colored paper, one color for each faction. I used:
    Abenegation = Gray
    Amity = Yellow
    Candor = White
    Dauntless = Orange*
    Erudite = Blue
    Divergent = Red
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Stapler
  • Tape
  • 3” x 4” plastic bags
  • Hershey’s Miniatures

1. Print faction candy bar wraps on colored paper. I like the rainbow of colors a lot, so color printer wraps are not included in the printables.

2. Use paper cutter or scissors to cut out each wrap, using the crop marks as guides. Cut wraps are 1.25” x 3”. Trim if needed.

I found it easiest to cut the horizontal lines first. Then I cut approximately 1/2" off the left and right sides. (I say approximately because every printer pulls just a tad differently and yours might line it up a little more or less than that.) Then I sort of eye-balled the other cuts at about 1.25" width each.

Or you can do it the scientific way and place the sliver of paper from the top of the sheet (that you cut off when you did the horizontal cuts) on top of the other sheets and use them as a guide.

One note of caution, don't mix the faction sheets when you're cutting. Cut all of one faction together, then all of the next faction. If you try to cut multiple factions at the same time, you may end up with wraps that look like this:

This happens because of slight differences in paper weight and thickness between colors. That teensy difference can cause your printer to pull the paper through at just the tiniest difference of an angle.

3. Line the faction wrap up to the Miniature with the logo centered. The Miniatures have a little divet on the top so if you put your thumb on the circle and line it up with the divet, it will be perfect.

4. Wrap the faction wrapper over the original Hershey’s Miniature wrapper and tape in place.

Since Hershey’s Miniatures only come in four flavors and there aren’t always equal numbers in the package, don’t worry too much about which faction wrappers go on which flavors.

However, if this is important to you (and yes, I confess, it was important to me), you can use these designations:
  • Amity: Milk Chocolate (sweet and pleasant)
  • Dauntless: Dark Chocolate (rich chocolate cake)
  • Candor: Mr. Goodbar (discuss pros & cons of nuts)
  • Erudite: Krackle (sharp mind = sharp crackle of the crispies)
  • Abnegation & Divergent: Any (they won’t care)

Wrapping your Miniatures takes awhile to do and I suggest doing Abnegation and Divergent last because if you're doing a whole bunch, by the time you get to the end you're going to be a little sloppy and, honestly, those two factions really won't care.

And if you're down to the wire and you run out of the fresh Miniatures and don't have time to go to the store to get more but you have some Miniatures left over from that holiday that was a few months ago, well, Abnegation will be just fine with those. They'd give everyone else first choice anyway.

4.  Put one of each faction Miniature into each plastic bag and seal.

5. Print the Choosing Day bag toppers on white printer paper or colored paper of your choice.

6.  Use a paper cutter or scissors to cut as indicated, using crop marks as a guide. The finished size should be 3” wide by 3.33” tall. It does not have to be exact.

7.    Fold the toppers in half and staple or tape over the top of the plastic bag.

Get the Choosing Day Miniatures printables and more Divergent Party Printables by CLICKING THIS LINK and then entering the free code during checkout. (You have to go to the View Cart page to enter the code.)

NOTE: I'm using the Divergent Party Printables freebie packet as a test of social media, so please use the code as indicated below:
  • If you first saw this on Facebook, please use the code  fbfree 
  • If you came here from Pinterest, please use the code  pinfree 
  • If you came to Inksplasher from any other source, please use the code  inkfree

*Yes, I know the color for Dauntless is black but Candor is black and white and I didn't want two black and white wraps, so I used orange because it is the color of fire. And I have no idea what color Divergent would be but I thought red was nice.

Choosing Day Kisses

Here's a step-by-step of how I made the Choosing Day Kisses treat packets.

I used the color printables on sticky paper but the Divergent Party Printables package also has black and white printer options.

To make these Choosing Day treats with Hershey’s Kisses, you will need:
  • 8 1/2” x 11” White Label Paper
  • Plain white printer paper
  • 3/4” round circle punch
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Stapler or Tape
  • 3” x 4” plastic bags
  • Hershey’s Kisses

1.  Print the round faction symbols and the Divergent logos on the white sticker paper.

I used the Avery brand 8.5 x 11" full sheet label because it's easier to run it through my printer.  They have a sheet with the 3/4" round stickers pre-scored but I have a hard time getting them to nudge just right. I think the full sheet is the easiest way to go.

Do NOT get the removable stickers or they'll fall off if you jiggle the bag too much.

Cut the page into strips so you can get them into the circle punch.

2. Use a 3/4" circle punch to punch out the faction symbols.

(That Erudite faction symbol looks oblong but I promise you it's the angle of the camera and not the  symbol itself.)

Any brand of circle punch that will let you turn the punch upside down and see what you're punching is good. If you can't see what you're punching, you're going to have trouble centering the symbols. They don't have to be exact but you want to make sure you get the whole symbol in there.

I got the EK brand from Hobby Lobby. It was $9.99 and but they have a 40% off coupon. Yay!

3.  Peel the paper from the back of the stickers and press onto the bottom of the Hershey’s kisses. This is not hard to do, but it does take some time—especially if you have acrylic nails like I do.

4. Put one of each faction kiss into each 3" x 4" plastic bag and seal. The best place to get these bags is Wal-Mart, back in their craft department. Other craft stores carry them but Wal-Mart is cheapest.

5. Print the Choosing Day bag toppers on white printer paper, if you're using the color option like I did. Or if you have a black ink only printer, pick a fun color of paper for the bag topper.

6.  Use a paper cutter or scissors to cut as indicated, using crop marks as a guide. The finished size should be 3” wide by 3.33” tall.

7.    Fold the tags in half and staple or tape over the top of the plastic bag.

*If you don’t have the full size label paper (or you want to cut costs), you can print the faction symbols on regular white paper and attach them to the bottom of the kisses with a glue stick or double-sided tape.

NOTE: I'm using the Divergent Party Printables freebie packet as a test of social media, so please use the code as indicated below:
  • If you first saw this on Facebook, please use the code  fbfree 
  • If you came here from Pinterest, please use the code  pinfree 
  • If you came to Inksplasher from any other source, please use the code  inkfree

Divergent Movie Party!

It's been awhile since I've done a movie-themed lollapalooza but my peeps and I are going to the see the Divergent movie on Saturday—and we NEEDED party favors. I looked around on Pinterest and other places and found some cute ideas, but just not quite enough to suit me.

So I made some up.

And I'm sharing!

You can get all my Divergent Party Printables free through this Saturday, March 23, 2014, but CLICKING THIS LINK and then entering the code inkfree during checkout.* (You have to go to the View Cart page to enter the code.)

Suan and I are making party bags filled to the brim with faction-inspired stuff. And all of the labels, tags, toppers, and wraps that we are sticking on everything in the bag are included in the PDF files.

Because I don't want to spoil the surprise for those going to the movie with us, I'm not going to tell you everything we're putting in the bags until after the weekend. But here are just a few of the things:

Choosing Day Hershey's Kisses

Choosing Day Hershey's Miniatures

Granola Bar & Bottled Water for the Factionless

The printables for all of these (and more!) are included in the Divergent Party Printables.


NOTE: I'm using the Divergent Party Printables freebie packet as a test of social media, so please use the code as indicated below:
  • If you first saw this on Facebook, please use the code  fbfree 
  • If you came here from Pinterest, please use the code  pinfree 
  • If you came to Inksplasher from any other source, please use the code  inkfree

Friday, February 28, 2014

Cover Reveal: Ring Around the Rosie by Julie Coulter Bellon

Isn't that just an A.MAZE.ING cover?

Do I really need to say anything more? Or can we just sit here and stare adoringly?

Okay, fine.

Ring Around the Rosie by Julie Coulter Bellon is the fourth and final book in the Hostage Negotiation Team. Here are all four pretty book covers all together. Aren't they lovely?

[That Julie must really have an amazing cover designer, huh?]
Ring Around the Rosie will be released in May and, of course, I'll post an interview of some sort with Julie. But until then, you can read a sneak peek of Chapter 1 at

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rules of Engagement by Amber Gilchrist

Amber Gilchrist has recently released a new Contemporary Romance, Rules of Engagement.

If you've read many of my past reviews, then you know I rarely do romance. It just doesn't float my boat. But my friend Cindy is acting as a publicist for Amber, so I agreed to help spread the news.

Here is the backliner for the book:

For Annemarie Whitted, her youngest sister’s engagement starts as a happy event, and ends as a slap in the face when she comes to the harsh realization that she’s a failure at relationships, a person in stasis.  Annemarie is motivated and organized, a woman on a mission, and she’s getting married now.

Her Rules of Engagement ensure she’ll make the right choice, and her committee will find her potential eternal companions.  She assigns the job to her closest sister, Lisa, and Lisa’s husband, Tanner.  Of course, Tanner comes with baggage— his brother, Ben, Annemarie’s lifelong nemesis.

The war between the two of them gives a brand new meaning to Annemarie’s Rules of Engagement, and his presence isn’t helping her at all. Especially when he disapproves of her methods and questions every step she makes. Especially when their forced proximity makes each of them really see each other for the first time.  Especially when she discovers that her heart has secret corners she never knew, and that the Rules might have been her biggest mistake of all.

Sounds pretty good if you're into all that kissing/hand holding/heart pounding stuff. I'm not, but I AM into authors. I'm always curious to find out what makes them tick. So here's a short interview with Amber.

Q: Hi, Amber. Welcome to Inksplasher. Tell me a little about yourself.
A: I’m a wife, a mother and a writer of Young Adult fiction. I traveled a lot as a child, but went to high school in Denver. Now I live in New Mexico with my husband and our three kids.

Q: I visited New Mexico once. It was lovely. I want to get to know you better to, you know, see if we can be BFFs. Let's try a personality test. 
A: Uh-oh.

Q: It will be painless. I promise. Okay, here are some rapid fire questions. Answer fast. No thinking about it first. Pizza or Pasta? 
A: Pizza.

Q: Off to a good start! Skittles or M&Ms? 
A: Skittles.

Q: Uhnnn. I'm sorry. We might not be able to be best friends, after all. Facebook or Twitter? 
A: Facebook.  I don't 'get' Twitter.

Q: Me, too! I think I'm too much of a twit to tweet. Here's another: Chocolate or Vanilla? 
A. Chocolate.  No question.

Q: Okay! You just redeemed yourself after that Skittle debacle. One last question and this is the make or break one… Ready?
A: I—uh—I hope so.

Q: Harry Potter or Twilight? 
A: Harry Potter.

Q: You did it! So now that we're virtual BFFs, can I ask a few questions about your writing?
A: Sure.

Q: What types of books do you write?
A: Fiction. I like to write about strong heroes and heroines. I love powerful, intelligent heroines, girls with a story to tell.

Q: Where do you write?
A: My house has a loft and my computer is in there. I will give up my desktop when it gets pried from my cold, dead, hands. So I can't move around when I write. Also my son is homeschooled and he doesn't work if I'm not right next to him. So I sit there and do it.

Q: How long do you generally let a story idea ‘marinate’ in your brain before you start the book?
A: It really depends on the book. Sometimes I have just an inkling of an idea before I get to work, and some I have a general idea of plot and characters. I'm not much of a planner so I definitely don't have it all worked out no matter what. 

Q: Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?
A: Definitely write as I go. Sometimes I know a little more than others, but really, I don't plan. One time I wrote a book where the hero was about to go in a door, and as I was writing the scene I still had literally no idea what was on the other side of the door. 

Q: About how long does it take to write a book?
A: On average, it takes me about four months. Sometimes it take longer, like "Rules of Engagement." My non LDS urban fantasy novel took me TEN DAYS to write. That's all. It was like a nightmare though. I couldn't stop writing. I wouldn't recommend that to anyone.

Q: What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
A: Just relax. If it doesn't work out right away, don't freak. Just keep doing what your doing. You'll get there eventually. Also, no amount of writing books by S. King or classes at conferences will give you the amount of benefits you'll get just from reading and writing all the time. Just read and write. 

Q: What other books have you written?
A: There's Glitch, an ABQ.LDS.YSA novel, a romantic comedy. Into Darkness Peering is the first book in the Soulguard series. It's a YA fantasy. And then there's The Tell-Tale Con, book 1 in the Rules of the Scam Mysteries, that I wrote under the pen name, Aimee Gilchrist. It's a contemporary YA mystery.

Q: What are you working on right now?
A: I have another mystery book due in March. I am also working on a partnership with an Avon Publishing author for a contemporary romance series and I'm planning a story for an LDS anthology. After that I will start writing the next book in the ABQ.LDS.YSA series. I'll give a free book to anyone who can make a correct guess about who the next book will star!

Thanks for the interview, Amber. It was a pleasure to have you here.

If you want to learn more about Amber and her upcoming books, you can visit her website, OR find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Oh, and did I mention a Giveaway? No? Oops!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Paris Cravings by Kimberley Montpetit

<– – – – – – – This is a cover reveal for Paris Cravings by Kimberley Montpetit (and there's a GIVEAWAY).

I have never done a cover reveal before, at least not that I can remember. And this is not a review—not yet—because I haven't read it yet. (It's next on my To Read list.)

But when my good friend Kimberley Montpetit asked if I'd be interested, I said YES! Because, um…

1) I've read all of her Middle Grade books that she writes under another name, and loved them; and

2) we are BFFs on Facebook.

I expect no less from her alter-ego in this YA novel.

Here is the teaser for Paris Cravings:
Chloe Dillard’s life has always been complicated. She has a mother who is a neurotic romance novelist and a boyfriend who’s been pressuring her to go all the way. After The Worst Night of Her Life Chloe escapes on a trip to the swoon-worthy city of Paris where she becomes stranded after an accident with high heels and a pastry box.

Saved by a French boy with chocolate-brown eyes, Chloe begins to wonder if being lost in Paris is the chance of a lifetime. But as attracted as she is to the gorgeous and oh-so-kind La Patisserie shop boy—even he has a girlfriend.

The police are tracking her down, Mom’s having a nervous breakdown when she goes missing, and Chloe just wants to have her dream of a happily-ever-after.

What’s a girl to do in the most romantic city in the world? 

Intrigued? You can get Paris Cravings at 
Amazon    |    Barnes & Noble    |    Kobo    |    Smashwords

Here's more info about Kimberley.

Kimberley Montpetit once spent all her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops when she was in Paris—on the arm of her adorable husband. The author grew up in San Francisco, another swoon-worthy city, loves all things Parisian and chocolate and lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her family.

Kimberley has won many awards for her work, including the Southwest Book Award, the Whitney Award, the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award, is a Crystal Kite Finalist (SCBWI) and included in the Bank Street College Best Books of the Year.

And, she's endorsed by moi!

(Notice how I snuck that French word in there?)

What was that? You want to know the Middle Grade books I mentioned earlier? Sure, I'll tell you. They are

The Healing Spell Circle of Secrets When the Butterflies Came
The Last Snake Runner Enchanted Runner Breakaway
You can visit Kimberley at her website, or on Facebook or on Twitter.

And in case you don't believe that Kimberley and I are close personal friends…

Oh and did I mention, there's a GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

2014 Reading List

I don't post a lot of reviews on GoodReads anymore. It just has gotten too political. And some people are just mean.

But the one thing I love about GoodReads is their book counter widget. (See sidebar.) I just get a thrill when I see those numbers ticking up.

If you'd like to join me, CLICK HERE to be my friend. Click the Widgets tab in your account to get to the 2014 Reading Challenge Widget.

So. Ready? Set. GO!

  1. Gravediggers – Cindy M. Hogan (YA mystery)
  2. Adrenaline Rush – Cindy M. Hogan (Watched/Christy #4; YA suspense)
  3. Battered to Death – Gayle Trent (Daphne Martin #4; cozy mystery)
  4. The Bane – Keary Taylor (Apocalyptic)
  5. Destiny – Cindy Ray Hale (YA LDS)
  6. Rapunzel Untangled – Cindy C. Bennett (YA fantasy)
  7. Mansfield Ranch – Jenni James (YA romance)
  8. Second to No One – Natalie Palmer (YA general/romance)
  9. The Distance Between Us – Kasie West (YA general/romance)
  10. Bad Penny – John Brown (suspense; pretty gritty)
  11. Blood Relations – Michaelbrent Collings (murder mystery)
  12. Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson (YA scifi)
  13. Spy For A Spy – Jordan McCollum (Spy Another Day #2; romantic suspense)

  14.  Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin – Liesl Shurtliff (Middle Grade fantasy)
  15. Sky Jumpers – Peggy Eddleman (Middle Grade Futuristic/Dystopian)
  16. Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor's Secret – Chad Morris (Middle Grade sci-fi-ish fantasy)
  17. Ruby's Secret – Heather B. Moore (general/romance)
  18. Pivot Point – Kasie West (YA paranormal)
  19. Insomnia – J.R. Johansson (YA horror/suspense)
  20. Second Chances – Melanie Jacobson (contemporary romance)
  21. Deep Cover – Traci Hunter Abramson (suspense)
  22. Blackout – Robison Wells (YA apocalypse/sci-fi/paranormal)
  23. Going Dark – Robison Wells (Blackout prequel)
  24. Finding Sheba – H.B. Moore (suspense)
  25. Esther the Queen – Heather B. Moore (historical)