My Write Road - SL Baum

... MY WRITE ROAD - S.L. BAUM ... I am a mother, a wife, a former teacher, and a writer! Crafter, baker, taxi driver.......

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Oatmeal-Coconut-Choc.Chip-Toffee Cookies!

This was an experiment to stuff every cookie ingredient that I love into one batch of cookies... and it worked out pretty darn well (if I say so myself)!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees...

1/2 c butter (softened)
1/2 c butter flavor crisco (yup - just do it)
3/4 c packed brown sugar
3/4 c white sugar

Cream all of the above 4 ingredients together.

2 eggs + 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla

Beat in the above 2 ingredients.

IN A SEPARATE BOWL (yes - again just do it)
2 c flour
1 1/2 c quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Mix those 4 together then add in:
1 c sweetened flaked coconut

Now... dump the dry ingredients bowl into the wet ingredients bowl and mix together
Then stir in:
1/2 c chocolate chips (in the picture I used white chocolate cuz that's all I had)
1/3 c toffee bits (I used Heath brand).

Mix again and then drop onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or greased).
Bake for 15-17 minutes... just until golden. If they overcook they'll get hard as they cool :(

Makes 3+ dozen cookies.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Same Cover - Different Book

Sooooo... it seems I've joined a club. It's not very hard to get into this club. You can make yourself a member or somebody else can make you a tag along member (when they join up). I am a tag along. They forced me into it... I swear!

In March of this year - I decided to do a make-over for my series because I thought it needed a more cohesive feel. I searched through stock photo websites looking for images that I would just fall in love with... and I found one particular photographer that I kept coming back to. I'd see a photo (that had a license I could purchase), click on it, and it was almost always from the same person... it was meant to be! I did an internet search to see if the photos were used elsewhere (google has a very cool search feature and it will actually look for similar images), and I found no other books with those images. I decided to go with it... and the new cover for A Chance for Charity came to be. I was so happy with it (I still am)... so I immediately started to work on My Link in Time and then Of Fire and Brimstone.

Over the weekend an author/friend pointed this out to me...

"Is that Charity?" you ask. No... no, it's not. Well, the top one is... but the bottom one is Victoria (I did some investigating). We (Emily and I) both chose this girl to go on the front of our YA Paranormal stories about 17 year old girls... Victoria is 17... Charity is just masquerading as a 17 year old... (so I guess that means I chose a fitting picture - at least I know Emily agrees with my choice... cuz she made it too). I changed the eyes (to match Charity's startlingly pale blue ones). I also chose to keep the photo darker (she lightened it up)... I chose to photoshop the bird poo from the tree above the girl's hand (she kept it there)... I do like Emily's swirly things though... they're kinda cool. I also noticed that another cover on Emily's website is from the same photographer (I haven't used it - I just remember seeing it)... now I've got to keep up with her cover choices (so I don't willingly put myself in the Same Cover - Different Book club - again - but all by myself next time). 

So here's to my new club membership! I hope I don't get a bad reputation from being in it... you know like those ones in HS that nobody wanted to join... at least I have some company... there are lots of members.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

And the Winners are...

First... THANK YOU - to all the people that entered the Giveaway. In anticipation of the release of the third full length novel in The Immortal Ones, I thought, I should host a giveaway!

So I went in search of some Swag... and found some cool stuff to offer up to the readers of my series.

Thank you for following The Immortal Ones.
Thank you for your interest in the series.
Thank you for supporting an Indie Writer!

If you left me a name - then I listed your name. If you only left an email - then you are listed with your email address. Congrats to the winners!

Package #3 - 5 winners
* Jerrilynn Atherton
* Mindy Shea
* Jennifer Catz

Package #2
* Jamie Norton

Package #1
* Diana Santiago

Grand Prize
* Brittany Rice

* You will all need to email me with a mailing address
   so I can get your prizes to you ASAP
* You all have 2 days to email me - I must hear from you
   by noon (AZ time) Monday (or you will forfeit your prize
   and I will notify the next random person drawn)
* I will email the code for a free download
   of Our Summer of Discontent as soon as the title is
   available on Smashwords - the code will only be
   valid for 48 hrs - if you do not redeem within the 48hrs
   then the prize is lost (forfeit).

Again... Thank you!
SL Baum

*I will be emailing the winners with a copy of this information

Friday, August 10, 2012

Who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY ?!?

In celebration of the release of my new novel
Our Summer of Discontent (The Immortal Ones - Book Three)
I'm giving a nod to Charity (the girl who started it all). 
It's time to thank you... the readers... 
who love her as much as I do :)

Leave a comment on this post in the blog (you can choose to leave your email or wait until winners are announced) and then check back on August 25th to see who the winners are...

If you choose not to leave an email address in the comment section, and I do not hear from any of the winner(s) by August 27th - a new name will be drawn at random - and your prize will be forfeit.

Grand Prize
1 T-shirt (Men's Medium)
1 signed paperback (A Chance for Charity)
1 signed paperback (My Link in Time)
1 spiral notebook (Charity)
1 notepad (Charity)
1 key-chain (Charity)
2 Rubber Bracelets (The Immortal Ones)
1 e-copy of Our Summer of Discontent (upon release)

Package #1
1 signed paperback (A Chance for Charity)
1 signed paperback (My Link in Time)
1 spiral notebook (Charity)
1 notepad (Charity)
1 key-chain (Charity)
2 Rubber Bracelets (The Immortal Ones)
1 e-copy of Our Summer of Discontent (upon release)

Package #2
1 signed paperback (A Chance for Charity)
1 signed paperback (My Link in Time)
1 key-chain (Charity)
2 Rubber Bracelets (The Immortal Ones)
1 e-copy of Our Summer of Discontent (upon release)

Package #3 - FIVE winners will be chosen for this package
1 key-chain (Charity)
2 Rubber Bracelets (The Immortal Ones)
1 e-copy of Our Summer of Discontent (upon release)

**e-copy will be from
and the download will expire 2 days after
the link is sent out to each winner**

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Scattered Thoughts that need to escape my head!

I am in the process of finishing the third book in my YA Paranormal series ... and I just got back from a family vacation. During the 9 days away I kept hoping that no good ideas would come to me while we were on vacation. Because I didn't want to lose the ideas and I didn't want to spend family time writing. But, about 7 days into it I woke up at 6:30 in the morning... while on vacation... in Key West... when I had been up quite late the night before... and all I could think about was the book.

The characters were talking in my head and going places and doing things and someone new even came into the story... all this was happening as I lay groggy in the hotel bed at 6:30. I think I lay there for at least an hour with all these thoughts running around my head before I fell back asleep. HORROR. I fell asleep before getting any of it down on paper. These thoughts are lost sometimes. But that day, thankfully, they weren't.

When I woke up again and the kids and I were getting ready to go down to the beach, I grabbed the hotel notepad and pen and then I shoved them down into the beach bag. As soon as we were settled into our chairs, hubby settled himself at the poolside bar (for lunch without battling the seagulls), I pulled out the pad and started short-handing everything that I could remember... everything that had kept me from sleeping early that morning.

Now I am back home and I am trying to translate all these notes into interesting and readable chapters of my book. I hope it works :D

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kids and Planes

Okay... so I should be writing right now... I should be finishing up Book #3 in my series so it can get it to edits and betas by July - and I still will - once I get this off my chest.

In the past few days I have read a few articles that have been about (or referenced) unruly children on airplanes and parents that still don't seem to get it.
In this article - the author lists her second regret as...
2. I'm also sorry that I once had evil thoughts about the kid on the plane who kicked my seat the entire time from San Francisco to NYC while I was trying to be calm and listen to Bjork. I should have been happy that kid wasn't screaming, like my kid did the first time we all flew on a plane. Now, any parent I see having a "hard time" with their little one on a plane or on any type of public transportation I have complete sympathy for and only send calming wishes so THEY are happy.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Yes, it was nice that the kid on your SF to NY flight wasn't screaming (as he shouldn't be), but it isn't acceptable that the child was kicking your seat the entire flight. That kid's parent should have stopped him. A child shouldn't be allowed to substitute one bad behavior for another just because it is the lesser of two evils. Maybe that child wasn't annoying the whole plane - but he was annoying the heck out of one passenger for an entire flight. It shouldn't have been allowed.
In this article - A family was asked to remove their 3yo from a plane because he was having a melt down and his father couldn't get him under control.

It seems that once the boy was asked to turn off his iPad for takeoff, the child had a melt down that the father couldn't control. He refused to sit up straight in his seat and was laying across it with the belt at his neck. The boy's mother (who was in first class with the couple's other child) had to come back to get the kid under control - but the family was still asked to leave. The dad thinks that it is outrageous. But my question is, why couldn't he control the son? Why couldn't he calm him down? And if the child has a tantrum about the iPad during takeoff procedures, can you guarantee that he won't have another during landing when he is again asked to turn off his electronic devices?? And if (God forbid) the kid did throw a tantrum at landing, wouldn't sit with his belt on, and the plane had to make a crash landing... that child could be all the more worse off.

And instead of getting re-booked on another flight (which the airline was offering to do)... the family chose to skip their entire vacation (because the kid didn't want to fly again - or so one of the many articles about this story claims). Because hey - we should always let a 3yo dictate our plans - right?

Apparently the family of a 2yo was also asked to leave a flight earlier this year.

I have been on those flights, the ones with the kid who screams and cries and refuses to be still, it is not pleasant for anyone - especially the parents of that child. On a flight from NY to AZ, when my two oldest children were 2 and 4, there was a mom travelling with her child that was under 2. She had nothing to entertain the child and (I think) she hoped that she (the little girl) would sleep for the entire flight. The mom brought no snacks, no toys, nothing. She just held tightly to the screaming girl trying to will her to sleep. The man seated next to them asked for a seat change as soon as we were in the air. Then the mom laid down over the entire row, holding her daughter with her and repeatedly told her to go to sleep. Finally the flight crew came over and brought some juice, then some snacks, then played with the little girl - all while the mother sat there and did almost nothing. I don't think that child care should be part of a flight attendant's requirements.

As my husband and I exited the flight, a fellow passenger from the front of the plane (we were in the back with the unprepared mom) said, "Rough flight, huh?" and stared at my kids. I plainly said, "Oh no! That wasn't one of my children. They're still back there."

I flew by myself once when I had a 2yo and a 4mo old (this was pre 9/11 and they actually allowed my husband to bring me to the gate, board the plane, and install the carseat for me - then he went home - what a change from today - so I'll admit I had help with that part). It was a full flight, a single man got stuck beside me, and he eyed me, and my 2yo, and infant lap child, warily. I looked at him and said, "Don't worry. My kids will be good." He said okay, but I could tell he didn't really believe it. When the plane landed he looked at me and said, "You were right," pleasantly surprised.

I am now the mother of three - we have flown with each and every child - from the time my first was under a year old - and I have strong opinions about this topic. My opinions may be severe - but they are mine. As a parent it is your JOB to do everything within your power to make your child content enough with his/her surroundings, to know what is expected of him/her, to bring along a multitude of supplies (toys, snacks, comfort items, and general entertainment), so that he/she has a good flight.

When I flew with an infant - I had a bottle ready during takeoff - the sucking eases the pressure on their little ears and makes it more bearable. They can't pop their ears yet, so the sucking does it for them. When I flew with a toddler I brought along lollipops for the same reason - again - they are too young to understand how to pop their ears, but they can suck and it'll help pop them for the kiddos.

I always have a bag full of supplies when I travel. Electronic devices are not enough - because they can't be used all the time. Bring a book, a toy, a special snack... something that they have never seen until they are on that plane. New is always exciting.

But first and foremost... teach your child (from a very young age) that a tantrum in unacceptable behavior. When my kiddos were little, and we were in public, if they started to cry about something, I would immediately tell them to cry quietly. Sounds weird? Well, it worked. I told my little ones that I understood that they were upset, and if they wanted to cry about it - that was fine - but nobody else wanted to hear them cry about it and therefore they needed to do it quietly. I had a friend with me one day when this happened at a craft store, she looked at me and said, "That's genius!" My daughter was upset that I wouldn't buy her something and I went through my "Cry Quietly" talk - my daughter did - and my friend was pleasantly surprised.

I can't tell a toddler not to be upset, because the mind of a two, three, or four year old is upset by many things. But I can tell a toddler to keep themselves under a portion of control. This is why they have to hold our hands in parking lots, not stand up in the seat of a shopping cart, and not throw all out tantrums... BUT - guess what - tantrums happen to the best of us. When it happens we have to leave the restaurant, exit the store, go to the lobby of a movie theater, or (no matter how inconvenient) leave the plane... IF we can't get our child to calm down very quickly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Can an Author "Go it Alone" ?? - Pottermore and Kindle exclusive lending deal...

Can an Author - any author - completely go it alone?

I know as an indie author it is extremely difficult to get your name out there. Who is SL Baum? Unless you are a Kindle owner (and maybe a Nook owner) you probably don't know. I sell the majority of my eBooks through Amazon, and the people that actively seek indie authors (specifically YA paranormal) will eventually find me. My books show up in a list of "also bought" books when someone is tooling around the Amazon website for Kindle books. I have other indie author friends that help me Tweet and Share on FB when I have a sale or just give me a "shout out" from time to time. I've been reviewed on a few blogs - I should be submitting to WAY more of them because book blog owners are a tremendous help for the indie author. But I am no JK Rowling - even though I am a fellow female author that uses initials ;-)

I've even struggled with whether or not to join Amazon Select - which basically means that I would ONLY sell my eBook(s) on Amazon. I'd have to remove them from B&N, Apple, Sony, Smashwords, etc. I make less than 10% of my eBook earning from all of those other sites combined - so it makes financial sense - but my struggle is with removing the option for a Nook (or other eReader) owner to download a copy of one of my books and discover my books. It seems that being exclusive would just cut out potential readers.

But even JK hasn't pushed off exclusivity it seems.

When J.K. Rowling announced her site Pottermore it was said that the Harry Potter books would only be available for download straight through her site. People said that it was an amazing step for someone to take total control over their written works - Pottermore would be in total control of the download process and the financial scope of the digital copies of the Harry Potter series. But after months of waiting, you can now go to Amazon and B&N and there is a listing for Harry Potter books that redirects you to Pottermore. I have to believe that Amazon and B&N are getting some kind of cut from each sale for listing the books on their sites and redirecting people to Pottermore. Even JK (and her people) see the value of going straight to the site where you got your eReader to get your eBooks.

I would never be able to make it, if I tried to sell my eBooks directly from my website and nowhere else - but again - I am the unknown indie - not the worldwide best seller.

Now Amazon is announcing that they have signed an exclusive deal with Pottermore to make the series available for Amazon Prime members to borrow the books from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library - so JK has given Amazon (and Kindle readers) something that she hasn't given any other eReader.

So... why haven't I decided to go completely exclusive to Kindle?? This announcement seems to say that even Pottermore recognizes the strides that Amazon has taken in the eBook world. I realize that she hasn't given Kindle owners the ONLY access to her books - but she has given Kindle owners the only access to borrow her books, it seems.

I guess I still don't have an answer to that question... and until I do, my books will still be available elsewhere... for now.

Stuff and Things

"What have you been doing?"
"Stuff and things."
That's what I call the day to day pattern that my life gets into. I wake up - get the kids off to school - get on the treadmill - wait for one of the countless number of repair workers to show up (I have been back in my house for close to 2 months now - 2 to 3 days a week of someone coming over to fix something is getting quite OLD) - get on the internet to keep my presence as a writer out there - write some (if I'm lucky) - pick up the kids - take them to their activities - etc etc etc <--- STUFF AND THINGS

Life gets like that at times - as one of my favorite Nine Inch Nails songs proclaims "Every day is exactly the same."

But Summer break is coming soon - my kiddos have exactly 2 weeks left in their school year (next year I have 3 kids in 3 different schools - Lord help me) - so things will lose their pattern and I am actually looking forward to that. Family vacation - Summer Music Camp (for my girlies) - a couple of Concerts - Family visiting from out of state - a Camping trip - this is looking to be a great summer :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Life (this last year)... and getting back on track!

If you've been a follower of my blog (or of my Facebook page) over the last year - you are aware that on March 31st of 2011 we had a house fire. Me, Hubby, and my 3 kiddos (and 3 doggies - and our cat) were suddenly out of a home.

All of our belongings were packed away, taken from the house and put in long term storage (except for the things that we needed for our day to day living). Our insurance company helped us find a rental house, and furnished it with rental furniture. Thankfully we were able to find a rental that was just a half a mile (as the crow flies) away. This would come in handy over the following months, as it became part of our daily routine to come over to the house and keep an eye on the rebuild.

It took us a few months to decide on a company to head up the rebuild. But by June, demolition crews were tearing out all the drywall and removing anything the fire had damaged... and the damage was extensive. The smoke and heat had made its way through the entire length of the house and came down into every space it could find between the walls, melting wires and charring support beams.

While we initially thought that only the attic, roof, and a few walls needed to be demo-ed... it turned out that the entire house needed to be replaced! This was shocking, terrible, but yet wonderful news.

I live my life looking for that silver lining in every situation and my HUGE silver lining was that I was going to get a brand new house.

We now had the daunting task of designing and building a new home. You know all those little things you've said you would change about your home if you could? Well... now I had the opportunity to do that. In hind sight - we forgot a few things - but hey - I'm not complaining.

So the rebuild began. The house was taken down to the slab and then slowly (but surely) built back up again. We got to move a few walls, enlarge a few rooms, and raise the ceiling height (this might be the best part - our home was built in 1979 and I could stand on my tippy-toes and touch the ceiling in the hallways).

If you (or any of your friends) have built a house, you know that nothing ever goes as planned. The schedule is a very fluid (not concrete) thing. The builders thought they'd get us back home by Thanksgiving... and then by Christmas... and then in January... well, that's how it went until we moved back in (a week ago).

Along with the stress of never knowing when the house would be finished, we had to keep contacting the insurance agent to extend the lease on the rental house just one more month... just one more month... just one more month... I kept hoping that the owners wouldn't say, "Sorry, but we've just sold that place. You'll have to find somewhere else to live." We were lucky. That didn't happen.

So, now I have been back in my home for a little over a week. I have literally SEVERAL HUNDRED boxes packed into our garage... along with furniture that we no longer want in the house (either because we've replaced it with something newer - or we've reconfigured a room and it won't fit in anymore).  I need to find a home for all that stuff.  Question: If I haven't used it in a year, do I really need it? Yup folks, this is the time to PURGE. I've always wanted to do that!

We are home now. And it feels good!!
All the little things that need to be tweaked, or fixed, in the house are happening... well, some of it is happening as I type this. Electricians, cabinet guys, fix-it men, etc, etc... But soon (I hope), life will gain back its routine. After a year of chaos, routine sounds really good. Routine also means that I'll be able to concentrate more on writing. Good news, huh...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Everyone loves a Makeover!

Charity and her gang have been in need of a complete makeover... OK, technically my cover art was... so I decided it was time for a new look.

I am loving the new face of - The Immortal Ones - series.
I hope you all do to :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Insta Love

For those who don’t like the “instant love” idea… an explanation... 
(caution: spoilers)

I think I am an old soul. I have always loved old movies; old musicals make me smile. If you haven’t watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and sang along with all the songs, and rooted for the boys after they stole the town girls, and smiled at the multiple wedding scene at the end… then maybe you and I will be forever on a different page in life. I mean, hey, Adam married Milly on the very day he met her!

Or Gigi… and watched as she blossomed from girl into woman: only to discover that she was deeply in love with an old family friend. Gigi and Gaston married as soon as they realized that they loved each other… after one date…

Or Where the Boys are… that movie takes place over college spring break. Merrit and Ryder fall “in love” over the course of one week.

Then there are my parents. They met at an Air Force dance and were married 5 months later. And the only reason they waited that long is because they each had to turn 18 first for it to happen. They just celebrated their 51st Anniversary!

One of my friends in High School had parents that met and married all within a 3 month span of time… insta love does happen my friends.

I don’t view Charity and Link as simply an “insta love” situation. They each have a reason that they are drawn to the other. There is a familiarity and a comfort that they feel with one another, because of the bizarre link that they have in their past.

For Charity – it is Roger… Link is a part of him; she senses a connection immediately. She looks at Link and feels that love. For Link – it is his grandfather… He has great memories of sitting with his gramps and going over old photos, he has seen Charity all his life. He feels that she is a part of his life.

Of course, I realize that “love at first sight” doesn’t appeal to everyone. And I am in no way bagging on the people who viewed it negatively when they reviewed my book. Everyone, and yes, I mean everyone, is entitled to their opinion. I just thought I’d share mine.