Monday, April 6, 2015

Stars on Ice 2015

This past weekend I traveled to Los Angeles to visit a friend and to attend the Stars on Ice show in Anaheim, and the show was simply spectacular!! Jeff Buttle deserves huge props for the choreography of the group numbers, and the individual performances also lived up to the tour's rich history.

Before the show I got to see part of the rehearsal, and it was fun to watch Charlie directing the troops like he used to do at the closing galas. Here are my photos and lots of videos from the rehearsal: PRE-SHOW

Now on to the show review! Here were my impressions about each program:

Opening - "Rhapsody in Blue": Absolutely beautiful way to open the show - intricate footwork and full use of the ice by the entire cast

Sinead and John Kerr - "Zombie": Great cover of the Cranberries song, and the Kerrs really had the dramatic angst on high volume as they skated to it.

Joannie Rochette - "Shot Me Down": Joannie brought the sex and looked as fit and fabulous as ever. Peter Carruthers was sitting behind me, and judging by his catcalls, he enjoyed the program very much.

Ryan Bradly - "I Lived": I live for Ryan's crazy leg kick/faux jump move that he does, and he did it in this program. I'd like to see him broaden his range of footwork as he seems to do the same in most of his programs.

Kimmie Meissner - "Chandelier": I've been dying for someone to skate to this song, and Kimmie didn't disappoint. She threw herself completely into the program emotionally. I was most impressed with her speed and commitment to the choreography. Loved her dress, too!

Evan Lysacek - "Take Me to Church": Evan's jumps looked strong, and I love how he still does the back spiral into the triple flip. It's like old times!

Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto - "Boogie Shoes": Seeing Tanith and Ben on the ice always makes me so happy. It doesn't matter what they're skating to - they just exude pure joy!

Katia Gordeeva - "I Dreamed a Dream": I hadn't seen Katia skate live in fifteen years, and her skating is as gorgeous as ever. The purity of her blades to the ice is just amazing.

Patrick Chan - "Dear Prudence/Blackbird": My eyes could not be torn away from Patrick's feet. Every time I see him skate live I'm reminded how freaking fabulous he is. I want to marry his edges!

Group Number Tango - "St. Louis Blues": Tanith stole my attention at the beginning of this one. She was working the crowd with just a simple look. I loved seeing Patrick and Katia dance the tango together. There was so much goodness on the ice I didn't know where to look!

Gracie Gold - "Shake It Off": This is my favorite exhibition of Gracie's because she hits every beat perfectly and really seems to love every minute of the performance.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White - "Say Something":  So much emotion and intensity in this program. Sharna Burgess did an amazing job choreographing it, and Meryl and Charlie sold it all the way through.

Ashley Wagner - "One Last Night": I hadn't seen this exhibition before, and it's now my favorite of Ashley's. The song was fabulous, and she had a wonderful connection to it. I especially love watching Ashley's arms because they are so graceful and in tune with the music.

Ryan Bradley - "Mister Cellophane": I enjoyed this program of Ryan's more than his first as he was committed to the character throughout and really played to the audience.

Katia Gordeeva - "Sentimientos": A sultry contrast to her first lyrical number. She still knows how to work the crowd!

Evan Lysacek - "Black Swan": The footwork in this program was amaazzing. He would've brought the house down with this as a competitive program.

Joannie Rochette - "La Vie en Rose": Very pretty program with a totally different style from her first number. Joannie's jumps looked awesome!

Patrick Chan - "Steppin' Out": More fancy footwork from Patrick. He's such a wonderful dancer. I hope he stays pro because he looks so happy just to be out there having fun on the ice.

Group Number - "Stompa": I'd never heard this song, but I need to download it NOW. Loved the use of the chairs (SOI does have a thing for chairs as props!) It was a sexy program with a lot of sass. The guys all looked great in their black hats.

Sinead and John Kerr - "I Will Wait": They poured their souls into this program and had some very crowd-pleasing lifts, including a couple of reverse ones that got huge applause.

Kimmie Meissner - "Experience": The music was new to me, and it was gorgeous. Again Kimmie put her all into the performance and expressed the music with heartfelt emotion.

Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto - "A Thousand Years": Tanith was glowing as she skated in a beautiful white dress. Thoughts of her upcoming wedding on her mind, perhaps? She and Ben have such a wonderful connection with each other when they skate.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White - "Sleeping Beauty": Such sweeping elegance in this program. I especially loved the part in the beginning when Charlie was spinning around and looking very regal as he approached a sleeping Meryl.

Finale - "Shut Up and Dance": Another awesome song! So much energy in this number and a fantastic and joyous way to close the show.

Here are all my photos from the show: SOI PHOTOS

After the show I went to the Meet and Greet and got to talk to everyone except Ryan (he snuck out before we could catch him). I was so excited to see Marissa Castelli there since she's one of my favorite skaters. She was in town for a visit with Ashley. Here are my photos from the Meet and Greet: M&G PHOTOS

Overall it was such an awesome day! I hope the 30th anniversary show next year will visit more cities and I can fit it into my schedule around Worlds in Boston!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

YA Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM--but there is also a red team, a blue team, gold team, a green team, an orange team, a teal team, and a purple team for a chance to win a whole different set of 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 page.


Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the pink 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 April 5 at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Today I am hosting L.A. Starkey on my website for the YA Scavenger Hunt! Here is a little bit about her:

L.A. Starkey is the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series. She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can't help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn't seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy. L.A. writes under the following pen names:

Kate Thomas - NA/Adult Paranormal
Isabella James - Sci-fi/Fantasy
Lauren Elizabeth - Adult Contemporary Romance

Find out more information by checking out her author website or find more about her books here!


They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?
What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what's to come.


L.A. is sharing with us the opening scene of the prequel short story to the Soul Keeper Series. Check it out below!

A Time of Pain

Prometheus took a pain-filled step toward the end, the sky above him crying out in blasphemy. All that was had come to pass and the future before him was bleak and filled with finality.
No matter how much he had tried over the years, there had been no speaking sense into his brother’s ear—benevolence and justice having been slain on the altar of domination and rule. He had spoken for the last time to his older sibling, the conversation filled with madness and chaos.
There were far too many Titans for the battle to be anything but a slaughter, and try as he may, Prometheus could not deter his beloved nephew from gathering forces and bringing to head a clash with the Titans. How wrong he had been in underestimating Zeus.
It was a time of turmoil, a time of death and betrayal. All that was once constructed to perfection had fallen before the mighty essence of power. A power that had corrupted each and every one of them, and yet he stood alone. Dark clouds rolled over the heavens, the deep bellowing roar of painful emotion ripping through the silence of the night. Nothing existed except the realm of the rulers, the earth and its beautiful humanity nothing more than a wistful dream of a tired old patriarch.
Prometheus climbed the hill outside of Goliad, the scent of death staining his tunic. He would return to the throne room and bear witness to fate, as the future he’d known only days before had shifted like sand on the shore of a violent ocean. Shock passed over him once more as he moved toward Olympus, the war having just ended and the death decree etched in stone. All Titans not destroyed in the battle had been sentenced to death. A new world was to rise from the ashes, one he wasn’t sure he would be part of. 
The time had come for the old rule to be overthrown, and a new rule would take its place. Power would wait at the door to corrupt once more, but the question remained, steady and true—would the mighty son of Cronus bow before its might or would it even allow him the opportunity to choose?
Only time could stand ready to judge all that would occur. 

Want to read more? Join L.A.'s mailing list here to receive the rest of the story!

And don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of books by me, L.A. Starkey, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 7. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the pink team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!


To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author HERE. As you're hunting, be on the lookout for a special prequel scene to the ICE series that I wrote just for this event!! I'd love to hear what you think of it! But first, enter to win one of 3 signed CROSSING THE ICE bookmarks in my special giveaway below!