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So excited for Halloween! | October 01, 2014 | 11:38 PM

Can anyone guess what my favorite holiday is? It ties in with my favorite season; it’s Halloween!

Now it may be funny to some people, since I am very squeamish and don’t like horror or scary books/movies, but I love the cute parts of Halloween. The cute pumpkin, bat, and ghost decorations, the yummy cookies, carving pumpkins, and just the overall scent in the air this time of year.

So I have decided to share some things I love about Halloween with all of you. I have certain traditions this time of year, like re-reading books, re-watching movies and episodes of TV series, and cookies I love to bake throughout the month of October!

And since I’m not into the super creepy, gory, or scary, all of the things I will be posting about will be family friendly! If not I will definitely make a note about it. Share them with your friends, siblings, cousins, or children! I know I’m just a big kid at heart!

Every couple days (or maybe even every day, if I get that ambitious) I am going to blog about a movie or the episode of a series, a book, and probably also a baking/decorating/crafting idea, all in the spirit of my fave holiday!

Movie: Twitches

I think my all-time favorite Halloween movie is the Disney Channel Original Movie, Twitches, starring Tia and Tamera Mowry. Based on a popular book series, it’s about two girls who, on their 21st birthday, meet for the first time and learn that they are not only twins, but actually witches from a magical dimension! When the Darkness threatens not only their home world, but Earth as well, they must tap into their powers to save Coventry and everyone they love.

I particularly love this story because Camryn and Alex in the movie remind me of myself and my sister. While my sister and I are not twins, the fact that Camryn gets up super early and loves fashion and drawing and Alex stays up really late, is a bit more reserved, and has about fifty notebooks full of stories is very similar to the two of us. (PS I'm the one who's like Camryn haha.) Spooky. Witchy!

I also love Iliana and Karsh, Camryn and Alex’s protectors. They are so goofy and cute. So, if you are looking for a feel-good “sisters” movie filled with magic and intrigue, I recommend it!

Book: The Everyday Witch

Beatrice Bailey is a witch who is about to face an important rite of passage: her Magical Classification.

She can either receive the dreaded and common “Everyday” classification, meaning that nothing great will ever be expected of her or her powers, or she could receive the esteemed title of “Classical,” which means that she will go on to a Witch Academy and unlock even more magical potential. But when the council arrives for her classification, they have a surprise for her: they will not decide her fate until she has completed a noble quest. So along with her three best friends, Ollie, Cyrus and Teddy, Beatrice must journey to the Witches’ Sphere and break an evil sorcerer’s spell over the five regions of Bailiwick.

I just love the Beatrice Bailey book series. It’s whimsical, exciting, and really well written. I grew up with it, and I still love to re-read it every year. The first book takes place in October, so it really gets you into the Halloween spirit! It’s chock full of all sorts of magical creatures, like elves, trolls, and dragons! If you are a fan of Harry Potter, I highly recommend The Everyday Witch as well as the other five books in the Beatrice Bailey series.

Recipe: Butterbeer (non-alcoholic)

Way back when Barnes and Noble had their own café (before it turned into a Starbucks) I went to one of the Harry Potter book premiere parties (I think it was for The Order of the Phoenix) and ordered one of their featured treats: Butterbeer! It was so delicious when I tasted it, I asked the barista what was in it...and she shared the very simple recipe with me:

You will need:
White Chocolate Cocoa Powder (I like the Safeway Selects brand)
Butterscotch Topping (I use Smuckers)

Put 1 serving White Chocolate Cocoa Powder (for the Safeway brand one serving is 3 tablespoons) into a mug
Add boiling water and mix
Then add 1 tablespoon Butterscotch Topping and stir!
Whipped cream and sprinkles optional...


So, those are just a few things that really get me into the Halloween spirit! What are your Halloween favorites?

The Poppet and the Lune is now available!!! | September 25, 2014 | 12:09 PM

My first audiobook - The Poppet and the Lune, an original fairy tale - is for sale now on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes!

Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Kids/The-Poppet-and-the-Lune-Audiobook/B00NU8UVOY/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Poppet-Lune-Original-Fairytale/dp/B00NVSFGUW/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/poppet-lune-original-fairytale/id922694982

So, want to support indie artists (like myself) and authors (like Madeline Claire Franklin) AND save a little money? The best way to do it is to sign up for an Audible subscription and choose The Poppet and the Lune as your first book. For just $14.95 a month, you get a free audiobook monthly (that's 12 books a year!) and 30% off every other book you purchase. (A great deal, in my opinion!) A monthly subscription is cheaper than the cover price of one audiobook, and gets you so much more!

Most importantly, Audible will credit myself and Madeline if you sign up for an account and make The Poppet and the Lune your first audiobook selection. Saving money and supporting indie artists? Sounds like a good idea to me!

I can’t believe I’m finished with The Poppet and the Lune! It seems like yesterday that I was auditioning for it...I almost jumped out of my skin when I got the e-mail that Madeline had chosen me to narrate it. I was SO excited! I love that book! The characters are so different and inspirational, the story is so intricate, and the quest of the patchwork girl is so heartwarming!

It was so incredible to narrate this book, because the story is so rich, full of people and creatures that have many layers. I loved sitting down and trying to come up with different voices for each and every character.

One of my favorite characters to voice was Prince Baylis. He had many facets to his character, and the voice I chose came easily to me and was just a lot of fun. Smooth, debonair. Sneaky. Haha!

But I think my favorite voice was the Banshi. I tried to speak the way her voice is described “a voice that stretched the full spectrum of several octaves” (The Poppet and the Lune, page 131) and it ended up being a LOT of fun.

This book is amazing to read, but I think listening to it makes it come to life even more! I know I fell even more in love with the characters while reading it aloud.

Audiobooks are great to listen to in the car during a road trip, or even just to and from work! My sister loves them because when she gets a headache, but is really in the mood to read a book, she just flips on the audiobook!

Just went to the eye doctor and had your eyes dilated and have no way to pass the time? Listen to an audiobook!

I listened to audiobooks while I was helping stage my old house to sell last year (packing, wallpapering, painting, etc) and I especially LOVE to listen to them in the bath. My hands ache a lot from all the work I do on the computer (and all the other stuff too, writing, drawing, sewing) so it is wonderful to just sit back and let the warm water soak away my aches and pains, and listen to a great book!

When do you like to listen to audiobooks? Leave your answers in the comments below! And don’t forget to pick up The Poppet and the Lune, on sale now!

Misty Day | September 24, 2014 | 3:10 PM

Ah, fall.

So, I know I mentioned this in my last entry, but fall is my favorite season, and my birthday (September 21) signifies the end of summer and the beginning of fall.

I've only lived in Oregon for a year (it'll be the anniversary tomorrow), but I went to college in the Pacific Northwest, so I was pretty used to the weather (that I looooove!) and what to expect.

But it was pretty hot right up through my birthday, and I was thinking "Oh no! Hot October? No Halloween sweaters? No rain?" but literally the day after my birthday it suddenly became grey, delightfully chilly, and rainy. It poured all last night, and the forecast hasn't popped up any degrees higher than in the 70s, so I am excited.

The only downside to rain is that if it's pouring really hard I sometimes can't record because my microphone picks it up. There's a skylight in the room where I record and I'm on the second floor, so the pitter-patter on the roof is kind of unavoidable. Maybe if I add ceiling panels to my studio...haha.

But I'm sitting at my desk looking out at the grey, misty day, and it feels like the beginning of 'The Little Mermaid,' where I can hear gulls in the distance and the sky is grey and cool and it's breezy and smells faintly of salt. "In mysterious fathoooms belooooooow!!!"

I just saw one of the squirrels who lives in our yard, Mignon, run across the street. I can always tell it's her because she's small, light brown, and runs so cute, she leaps and bounds and looks so graceful. Run, Mignon, Run!

In other news, I went to the library on this lovely day, and checked out lots of books from the 90s. My childhood...then I went to the friends of the library bookstore to see if I could BUY said books from the 90s, but alas, alack. No luck. But I did get an adorable stationary box for $1.50! Score of the century! I can't decide yet what to put in it...

Perhaps I shall have a cup of cocoa while I edit...

Til next time!

Autumn is here! | September 22, 2014 | 7:11 PM

Yesterday was my birthday. 25 years! God, I'm old...

My birthday has always been a fun time for me not just because of, you know, cake and presents, but also because it falls (get it? ;-D) right around the start of one of my favorite seasons: fall!

This year, autumn in the Pacific Northwest has started with a seasonal bang. We woke up this morning to grey skies, a cool breeze, and scattered showers all day, with a forecast of more rain for the rest of the week. I love weather like this! When it's cool and gray out, everything seems so peaceful, and it's so refreshing to sit with a warm mug of tea (or even better, hot cocoa!) and work on my audio edits.

It seems like I'm not the only one who's been enjoying the cooler weather—the animals living in and around my backyard have been very active and chatty the past couple of days. We have a squirrel feeder mounted on one of the oak trees in our backyard, and with the weather starting to turn towards the cold winter months, the squirrels have been eager to stock up on their peanuts. Things have been very busy whenever I've looked out the window!

This is one of the squirrels who lives in our yard. We call him Gus Gus. He spent most of the morning relaxing on top of the feeder, conveniently blocking the other squirrels who might have wanted to eat out of it. Look at him, just chillin.'

We've lived in this house for about a year (actually, it will be one year exactly on Thursday!), and it's taken some time for our three dogs to get used to their new squirrel friends, and vice versa. But one of the inhabitants of our trees, a big grey squirrel we've named Merlin (anyone want to guess why?), has recently decided that dogs are actually pretty fun to have around. He's taken to playing with them! He started with our dog Nellie—who always tried to befriend the wildlife in our old house as well—and has now moved up to trying to get our big, dumb doberman to play with him as well.

The past two days, he's spent most of the afternoon running back and forth along the fence and tree line, chattering at the top of his lungs trying to get the dogs to come outside. Once they're out, he pounces them from the tree tops and chatters in their faces. I can't decide what's funnier, Merlin's behavior or the dogs' reaction to it. They went from actively chasing him to being thoroughly bored by him. This afternoon, Nellie actually yawned in response to Merlin's noisy chatter, and wound up falling asleep on the deck while Merlin leapt through the branches yapping.

Well, I'm glad to see all our animals are getting along, at least!

This is Merlin in our yard. He thinks he's very cleverly camouflaged there, next to the gravel.

Fall is just getting started, and I've got high hopes that this season will be a great one. The Poppet and the Lune is releasing soon, I'm hard at work on my second audiobook, and I've had an invitation to audition for a new project that I'm really excited about—fingers crossed! I'll be sure to keep you all posted with any news, but in the meantime: enjoy your fall, everyone!

Welcome! | September 16, 2014 | 11:14 PM

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog! I'm so glad you're here! I'm currently working on some demos to add to the site, and my first audiobook, "The Poppet and the Lune" will be on sale very soon!

Here on my blog I hope to discuss my current and upcoming projects, as well as post about the other things near and dear to my heart besides voice acting, such as animals (I have 3 adorable dogs and 2 cutey cats), baking, my art, and crafting!

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