4 Reason Why Wombats Are Better Than Koalas and Kangaroos

I’m guessing you’ve heard of Australia’s famous cuddly  koalas and kangaroos. But I bet you’ve never heard of the lesser-known hero—the wombat. If you’re curious, here’s 4 reasons why the equally adorable wombats beat koalas and kangaroos any day.

1. They’re Giant Furballs

Courtesy Wendy Mophett via Wombania.comFor starters, wombats are THE most ridiculous looking animals. C’mon with those funny noses, batty ears, and furry butts! Koalas, you’ve been crushed.

2. They Keep a Low Profile

At least in America, that is. Everyone’s heard about kangaroos and koalas. They’re so last year.  Who ever heard of a wombat before? Now that I have,  just want to take one home with me. I hope they play nice with scruffy shih-tzus.

3. They Have Their Own Day

Take that you other Aussie marsupials! These adorable little guys have their own Wombat Day, also known as Hug a Wombie Day or Wombats of the World Unite Day.  It’s also on my birthday, but hey, I’m willing to share. Especially if someone wants to buy me a new pet. ;)

4. They Dance!

You guessed it, I saved the best for last. These little, and sometimes big, ground crawlers are usually friendly and love to jump and play. Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself:

Dancing Wombat

For more info about wombats check out Wombania. Photo courtesy Wendy Mophett via Wombania.com

What do you think? Are you convinced Wombats are better than Koalas and Kangaroos?

Fun Friday: Travelling Gnomes?

Apparently this is what UK gnomes do when their owners leave for work! Makes me want to book that trip to London right now. I have a feeling my garden gnome goes to Hobbiton in New Zealand without me. How rude!

If you were a travelling gnome, where would you go? Post your gnome’s travel pics and adventures here …

Naming My Characters in SubTerra, Part 2

The results are in! Thanks to everyone who voted on my character names. I ended up changing one character’s name because of your votes. SubTerra thanks you! Here’s the newly minted names and their nerded-out meanings.

Letha MangaAlethea Teca Zarin – “Letha”

You guys were more divided on my heroine’s name than I was, so I deviated from my original plan. Since each name was 1 vote apart, I made the executive decision to use the winning last name only. Don’t hate me!

Jelena Zarin was the 1 vote winner–a much cooler sounding last name than Ewart. But Ewart  actually means “river enclosure” a  tidbit I planned to use in the series. Lucky for you, plans change. So what does Letha’s full name mean? Here’s the breakdown:

Alethea = Light, perfect for a underground world
Teca = Reaper, summer,  or harvest …
Zarin = Made of gold

Jenna MangaAurelia JennaBeth Zarin – “Aurie”

Surprised? I was all set to name Letha’s sister JennaBeth, but you guys changed my mind. Now I love it! I think Aurie works better with Alethea. Thanks for making me see the light. When the original middle name I had in mind, Chela, got zero votes, I combined the top two choices into one name. Now what does it mean?

Aurelia = The golden one
JennaBeth = Spiritual gift
Zarin  = Made of gold

Hmm…does that seem redundant to you? At first, maybe. But when you meet Aurie, the bubbly blonde girl who wants to fit in and needs to learn common sense, you’ll agree that a double-dose of gold is quite fitting.

Dar PicDarshana Tiarni Moses – “Dar”

Dar was the landslide winner, so no surprise here. I added the second-place winner just for fun as her middle name.

Darshana = Seeing
Tiarni = Generous one
Moses = Deliver + that cool guy from the Bible

I debated over nicknames for Dar, from “Darci” to “Shana” but they all sounded too normal and girly. That’s not Dar. She’s a tomboy and intriguingly different in a way that makes you think about your own life. So Dar Moses was the perfect fit.

What about the rest of the names? I plan to use the rejects Chela and Kaja for other character names, maybe even bad girl names. That still leaves the alternate main character names Jelena and Camistrina. I’ll have to scratch Jelena because the nickname Lena is too close to Letha. Wouldn’t that be confusing? As far as Cami or Camistrina goes, I don’t even like the name anymore, even though I made it up myself. But if that’s your favorite, please make your case. I could always be convinced otherwise.

I’ve got tons more characters, places, and SubTerra jargon words to come up with. Not sure if I should clog up my blog with more polls, though. I’ll leave that up to you.

Want to see more polls about SubTerra? Let me know! if Not, I’ll have to name everything myself… :)



Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit

Here’s the top places I’d love to visit, real or fictional. Thanks to The Broke and The Bookish for hosting today’s theme.


#1. New Zealand

I LOVED the hobbits and the quaint Shire of Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, they were my favorite parts of the book and movies. In my opinion, the LOR movies put New Zealand on the map as a bucket list destination. (Can you hear the outcry of my Kiwi friends. :) )

For more info on all things LOR in NZ visit Movie Locations LOR.

Narnia#2. Narnia

Ever since I read C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe I’ve always wanted to go to Narnia. Whether the trip was via a wardrobe, a subway station, or a magical picture, I didn’t care! Who wouldn’t want to live in a world where animals talk and trees dance? Sounds like so much fun, even now.

Seven Bay Island#3. Seven Bay Island

Another fictional location somewhere off the coast of New England, this one comes from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Ring of Endless Light. I always wanted to walk with Vicky Austin down to Grandfather’s cove, or pal around with the dolphins at the marine lab. This book is why I have swimming with dolphins on my bucket list.

Portals#4. Alternate Dimensions

After I read Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves, the idea of crossing dimensions and meeting an alternate me sounded so intriguing. For days afterward I thought about all the different kinds of worlds and how science and magic effected each version of Earth. A cool book to make you think.

English Countryside# 5. English countryside

If you’ve ever read Jane Austen you’d understand where I’m coming from. In all of her novels she paints a beautiful picture of the English countryside, even puts in on a pedastal as the idyllic setting for life. Who doesn’t want to get away from the big city and find beauty in simplicity and nature? This girl does, so that’s why this locale is on my bucket list, too.

Kenya Tree#6. Kenya

I was always afraid to go to Africa until I read Robin Jones Gunn’s Finally and Forever. It’s about a college senior who graduates and makes the life-altering decision to go to Africa—indefinitely! Not only did I love her bravery, but I also loved Gunn’s beautiful descriptions of Kenya and the pace of life there. While she does depict Africa as wild and uncertain, there’s a certain beauty and element of faith in the midst of that uncertainty. For me, that’s a great metaphor for life.

Paris Seine#7. Paris

The city of lights has always been on my bucket list, but was spotlighted even more by Amy Plum’s Die for Me. A new take on a zombie book, there’s good and bad zombies, angelic-like in beauty and strength. So original. And they run around Paris fighting with swords and doing forbidden things like falling in love with humans. Sounds strange, but Amy writes a lot like I do (or at least hope to), so it was easy for me to get engrossed in her world.

NYC taxi#8. New York City

Of course I’ve always wanted to go back to NYC. Tracey Bateman’s That’s Not Exactly Amore made me want to go to NY design school, live in a cramped apartment with my two besties, remodel a hip coffee shop, and trek out to Long Island to get away from it all. Sounds like a lot, huh? That’s what makes this book so great. Juggling hopes and dreams for the future while falling in love over coffee and baked goods. What’s not to love?

Silicon_valley_title#9. Silicon Valley

Kristin Billerbeck’s Ashley Stockingdale series is the best of Chick Lit.  I was super close to Silicon Valley a few years ago when I visited San Francisco, but I never made it out there. What I’d really love is to see Kristin’s version with pasty engineers walking around in broad daylight, the curb where Ashley melted down and got arrested for nothing, and of course, the ultra-hip coffee shops.

For more info check out Wikipedia’s page on the TV show.

Antartic Penguins#10. Antartica

Say what? I know it sounds wacko, but Madeleine L’Engle’s Vicky Austen sequel, Troubling a Star made a beach girl want to pal around with penguins. Not that I want to get stuck on an ice flow like Vicky, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the majestic beauty carved out by ice shelves and glaciers. This one is WAY out there on my bucket list, but it’s there all the same. I’d probably take a penguin home with me if I could. :)

What places do you want to see? Go on, I know you’re Dying to tell us . . .

Fun Friday: Subterra Collage

The Only Place to Survive

Neon lights, glow-in-the-dark clothes, freeze-dried astronaut food … What’s not to love about Subterra? It’s the only way to live underground. As I continue brainstorming this dystopian world for my next book, here’s my first impressions of what Subterra is all about.

Subterra CollageP.S. I still need your help. If you haven’t weighed in on what I should name these crazy characters, check-in at the polls from yesterday’s post: Naming My Characters in Subterra. Thanks!

Naming My Characters In Subterra

Courtesy GLady via Pixababy

Courtesy GLady via Pixababy

I’m working on a new dystopian book set in the underground world of Subterra. (Not sure if that’s the title yet.) It’s a system of underground catacombs playing fallout shelter for a new kind of society. It will have its own levels of upper, middle, & lower class citizens with room for promotion and demotion. There will also be some interesting synthetic fashion trends, thriving nightlife since it’s always night there, and a totally revamped political system. (As if there’s anything new under the sun.)

So exciting! Except, I need your help naming some of my characters.  Check out the polls below to tell me what you think.

Letha MangaMain Character – Heroine Name

16-17, oldest sister, working for advancement up the level system of Subterra

Jenna Manga

Major Character – Heroine’s Sister’s Name

14-15, younger sister, trying to fit in and ride her sister’s coattails

Dar PicMajor Character – Best Friend

16-17, exotic newcomer, unique and little rebellious


If you have other ideas please do tell! I’m all ears, digitally at least. :)

Fitzgerald Road Quote

Some fitting encouragement to brighten your day. This quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald really spoke to me as I start brainstorming for a new project this week.

Why a new book? Because my release date has been pushed back. So I’ve decided to move on to one of the great ideas I’ve been saving up for a rainy day—a dystopian novel about two sisters, a futuristic society, and a massive underground fallout shelter.

I’ve already had tons of fun hashing out ideas for my next novel. We’re still working on tough-sounding character names over on my Facebook author page. Plus, I had a fabulous coffee date with my brainstorming buddy. It’s funny how much gets accomplished on a rainy day.

Have you experienced a setback recently, or found yourself redirected? Share your story and encourage the rest of us. :)