Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Phil aka Russell

My son with Phil.  Buddies!
Phil literally swept into our lives one Friday afternoon in 2011.  My kids were playing outside and began yelling and screaming.  I investigated and found them dodging a blackbird.  The bird was swooping down on them and flew after them where ever they went.  I'd never seen a wild bird act like this before.  Intrigued, I watched and soon the bird flew onto the roof of my porch.  My son grabbed several slices of bread from our house and began throwing pieces of bread at him, which the bird heartily ate.

This went on for hours!  That night my friends came over with their kids and were amazed and freaked out by the birds behavior.   We all thought the bird was being aggressive.

The following day he greeted us when we left the house.  My father-in-law was the brave one and sat on the porch and within minutes the bird flew down and rested on his shoulder and arm.  We realized then that he wasn't aggressive - he was friendly!

The weekend resulted in the kids enjoying all the attention from the bird.  He rested on their heads and arms.  He was the newly adopted neighborhood pet.

But I had concerns.  He was too friendly for a wild animal.  I feared someone would hurt him, and what would happen when winter blew in?

Monday morning my kids boarded their buses and I watched both buses leave with Phil perched atop my head.  I felt ridiculous.  Phil had been at our house non-stop for four days.  By 9 am Monday morning I'd contacted a zoo who referred me to a local wildlife rescue center.  Surely he could be used for educational purposes, I reasoned.  He was intelligent & friendly.  We had no way to care for him properly.

The animal rescue center was very interested!  They had a crow in rehab and felt he'd be a good cage-mate to help the other bird recover and hopefully they could both be released back into the wild.

I lured Phil into a pet carrier with a little food.  That night, the kids and I drove an hour away and dropped Phil off at the wildlife rescue center.  I was given a case number and could call for updates.  Over the months I've called a few times and was told he was thriving in an outdoor enclosure with the other black bird.  They had plenty of space to fly around.

Yesterday I came across his case number and called for another update.  The nicest man informed me that he and the black bird had been released.  BUT - a week later they received calls of a black bird perching on people's heads.  That's our Phil!  They knew it was Phil and picked him up. 

Phil aka "Russell" as he's known at the wildlife center, will spend the rest of his life there surrounded by their caring and friendly staff.  They will use Russell for educational purposes. 

He's such a friendly bird - I'm happy knowing that no harm came to him and he's around people who appreciate his charming behavior.  That little black bird made a big impact on my family and I'll always remember him fondly.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

My favorite time of the year!  Spring!  The magnolia tree is in full bloom in my front yard and the daffodils are opening up.  The weather is mild and welcoming at a comfortable 70 degrees and the sun is shining!  I certainly can't complain about Mother Nature this time of year.

I have to be productive in the mornings & evenings because the afternoons beckon me outside.  Swings, slides & baseball keep me occupied after dinner. 

With such a marvelous view outside my office window, I'm tempted to take a coffee-break and sit outside but the pages need to be written before I can enjoy the afternoon sunshine.  Enjoy spring!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Hangover" Birthday: Ladies-Night-Out

Friday night had all the elements for the perfect "Hangover" evening - stretch limo, friends, casino, and alcohol.

As my friends filed into my house Friday night - dressed to go out & wearing heels that made my flats look pitiful - my first thought was "What's going on?" followed by, "I need to change!"

After my friends arrived, wine began flowing so I ducked into my room, changed, then was told by my husband & brother that the big surprise would arrive shortly.  No sooner had they mentioned it when a white stretch limo parked in my driveway.  The kids hollered and excitedly piled into the limo while my friends and I grabbed the alcohol and followed them outside.

The evening was getting better & better!

I had a "milestone" birthday last week so my husband & older brother organized the surprise ladies-night-out for me.  Up until six o'clock I thought I was going to the casino with my mom that night - little did I know that seven of my best friends would be accompanying us and we'd be taking a limo.

As we waved farewell to family, we settled into the limo and toasted to an exciting night ahead. The hour long drive to the casino would go quickly, I presumed, with all the laughter, jokes, stories and alcohol flowing in the limo.  But halfway to the casino I started feeling nauseous and thankfully grabbed a plastic bag I stored my "thongs" in (aka flip-flops but my Mom apparently calls them "thongs").

Until that moment, I didn't know limos made me car-sick!!!!  I felt much better afterwards and we had a GREAT time at the casino, but needless to say I sat with the limo driver up front on the way home while my girlfriends laughed & carried on in the back.

We didn't wake up in a hotel room with a tiger in the bathroom, BUT we had a great time.  I owe my girlfriends another night out (minus the limo & car sickness) but it will be a birthday I'll never forget!  And believe me - they won't let me forget it either :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Free Book Promo on my Birthday for Readers

I welcomed another year older this week and had a successful FREE BOOK promo the last 48 hours on Amazon.  I thought it would be fun to give my readers a gift on my birthday.

I'm on the brink of going to the casino to celebrate with family and friends from out-of-town.  But before I leave I wanted to THANK everyone who downloaded Run Like Hell.  I hope you enjoy the book.

With age comes incredible experiences and debuting a novel has been such a journey & rush.  I'm looking forward to what the upcoming year will bring.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kindle KDP Select Program

After much deliberation I've added my digital debut novel, RUN LIKE HELL, to the Amazon KDP Select program.

My sales have more than quadrupled on Amazon vs. B&N so I want to test the waters with the KDP Select program, exclusive to the Kindle store.

If anyone has any information they'd like to share based upon their own experience with KDP Select, I'd love to hear it.

I will be releasing another book this month targeted for March 15th.  I'm currently finishing the final edits and book cover.  Overall, I'm looking forward to having more titles under my belt to share with readers.

All in all, I'm happy with the progress my debut novel has achieved in its first month.  Many people on Twitter have been fantastic in supporting it and marketing it - which I'm very thankful for!!!

Stay tuned mid-month for the first book in my YA Paranormal Romance Series.  I will have an excerpt up shortly as well.  Thanks!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Today's Featured Special

RUN LIKE HELL is the "Today's Featured Special" at World Literary Cafe.  Check out this site and the HOT PINK cover on the left.  Thank you!

"Elena Andrews' Run Like Hell is a spectacular debut.
Suspenseful, with beautifully drawn characters--
this is a wonderful new voice in fiction!"
Heather Graham, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My First Author Interview!!!

With any debut, self-published novel, the key to any sales is marketing.  Fortunately, there are some wonderful people out there that make the process fun and easy.  Take Michele Fogal for instance.  On her blog she has opened "The Author's Batcave" and has featured me as her first author interview. 

Just because a little color makes me happy!
 Yes, I'm smiling (big grin).  Therefore, please stop by the Batcave and read my first author interview here.  Anything you're still wondering about??? Comment below - I'll be happy to answer (most) questions...

Have a wonderful Wednesday & visit your local comic store today to support a local business as well as fellow artists & writer's.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Willow Tree: Angel of Hope
 The "Angel of Hope" (pictured) is a recent gift from a friend for having self-published my first novel, Run Like Hell.  I currently don't have a collection of Willow Tree figurines but I love her thoughtfulness & selection.  Hope reflects where I'm at in my life. 

Hope.  Of course, I hope to be a NY Times best-selling author, I hope to be Amazon's Top 100 book pics, I hope to continue entertaining readers.

This beautiful little angel sits atop my desk, a reminder of what to strive for.  To continue writing, doing what I love to do, enjoying life and the view from my wonderful, sunny window.

I hope you enjoy the ride with me.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Sherbert Rainbow of Book Covers!

Ok - similiar to the last post, I'm looking for fan faves for COLOR!  Be honest - do you favor blue, green, white, pink...and why?  Any particular impression the color provides, a feeling it ilicits?  The below covers were created by @JohnMCokerArt.  Don't be shy - say "Hi" and follow him on Twitter.  He's friendly, I promise.  And please visit Amazon or B&N for Run Like Hell - now available.

1) Pink
2) Pink w/ B&W
3) Lavender

4) White

5) Blue
6) Green

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Run Like Hell is my debut novel.  And, with many debut novels, there are many people involved with the process.  I would like to take a moment to thank the contributors for the below eBook covers. I think they did an incredible job and I love their vision for my young adult thriller.

I would love your feedback on these covers as well.  Please email me or post a comment below indicating your fave.

Run Like Hell is on sale now for $1.99 on either Amazon or B&N - your Kindle or Nook will love you for the purchase.  As will I.  Read & Enjoy.

Cover A) Created by or @Booktalk_Buzz

Cover B) Created by @JohnMCokerArt

Cover C) Created by @AutumnHeart

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Do you ever have a moment when you think, "Wow, I can't believe I did that?!" But in the good, exhilarated way  (not the palm to forehead "duh!" moment).  I'm talking High-Five, Slap-me-some-skin, holler at the top of your lungs and throw your arms in the air for victory moment.  Well - here's one of mine. 

My debut eBook!  Go ahead and share my excitement by reading it.  The "real" book cover is still pending but here's a stand-in for now.  And (equally WOW!) - Heather Graham - author of over 150 books!! - reviewed my book!

"Elena Andrews' Run Like Hell is a spectacular debut. Suspenseful, with beautifully drawn characters--this is a wonderful new voice in fiction!"
Heather Graham, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Candy Makes Me Happy!
In 2011 I read a book about Happiness (The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin) only to realize - I am Happy!  Sounds silly, but sometimes we need to take a step back and really think, "What makes me happy?"

It's not always the amount of $$ in our accounts, or the vacations we take.  For me, it's simple stuff.

Candy.  The sweet stuff is an all-time favorite of mine since I was a kid --any kind too (except Snow Caps, black licorice, orange peanuts, and...maybe a few others but they don't come to mind). 

Kids.  Yes, they have their trying moments but even if they're not my own - kids are hilarious!  I take the good and overlook the bad (most of the time).

Pets.  How often do you find yourself saying "awww" when you see a cute animal?  OMG, I do it all the time.  And I love visiting the local animal shelter to pet an adoptable animal, take one on a walk, or just watch their silly antics.  I have pets at home and they make me laugh ALL.THE.TIME.  Love em!

Outdoors. My desk is in the sunniest spot in the house.  I love being outside - hiking, mowing the lawn, gardening, or simply playing a sport.  Nothing tops a beautiful sunny day.

I could greatly expand on this list but I'm keeping it short today.

Overall, keep it simple when it comes to life.  Enjoy the small stuff and you'll find yourself smiling more. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Standing On the Threshold

I've been writing Run Like Hell since July 2011.  An idea that came to me and has lived in me for months now.  I've edited, edited, and edited - sent out for editing, and then re-edited.  Now it's time to let it go...

The eBook is almost ready - a final review, the cover is being created as I write, and then it will be posted on Amazon.

I'm excited about this journey - excited and scared.  I read many blogs & articles about author's and their writing journey's.  Now that I'm on the threshold of self-publication I'm hesitant to jump off the diving board. 

The pool of reviews, comments, feedback - whether good or bad, is daunting.  Criticism can be paralyzing.  Praise can detrimental - making one complacent.  How will I deal with the feedback?  Thick skin?  Too sensitive?  Time will tell.

I know I have to jump in.  I'm about to.  Once the cover is completed I will have my book listed on Amazon and will be following up shortly after with eBook #2 which I am currently editing.

Many thanks go out to my husband, my mother, my brother, and close friends!  This has been an incredible journey and I continue to forge ahead in my writing career, despite the feedback that will soon come.

Thank you all for your support and please download a copy of Run Like Hell as soon as it's available.

Happy Reading,


Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year = Better Me

January 2012.  It's finally arrived.

I'm focused on becoming a better version of myself.

Last year I resolved to be happier, based on the acclaimed book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  Gretchen's book filled a void for me in 2010 when my life was stressful due to a demanding and tumultuous job.  Her book influenced my life in 2011 and the stress swept away (as did the job!) and I learned to appreciate the smaller things in life.

This year I resolve to be better - a better writer, a better mother, a better wife, a better friend.

Be a better writer - in December I took an amazing online editing class and received many tips on tightening my writing, enhancing dialogue, "show don't tell", and how to incorporate sight, smell and sound into my stories.  All these tips I plan on carrying over and improving in 2012. 

Be a better mother - I have three sons and some days I tuck them in at night and think, "I've been home with them all day yet I haven't spent any time with any of them."  Little moments - reading a book, helping them with homework, sitting beside them and listening to their day - need to be cherished rather than overlooked.  I'm often stretched to my limits but I need to drop what I'm doing and focus on each of them, even if it's fifteen minutes.

Be a better wife - My husband and I have committed to once-a-month-date-night.  Okay, "once a month" may cause alarm but it's a step in the right direction.  We rarely go out without the kids but we realize the importance of maintaining our relationship and interests.  We've been happy with our at-home-date-nights this past year but now desire something new & different.  For instance, there's a Sands casino an hour away that I'd like to go to - eat out, play some slots...sounds like a date to me.

Be a better friend - I admit I've put friendship on my priority list this past year and have reaped the rewards.  Nothing beats a gut-busting laugh fest.  Yesterday my friend dropped her kids off and her ridiculousness (her one-car New Year's Day parade) had me laughing the rest of the day each time I thought about her waving at my neighbors through her sunroof.  Silly, but just the right medicine for happiness and a better me.  In turn, I resolve to listen better.  I find I'm alone alot of the time that when I have company I'm desperate to talk! 

May the journey begin!

Health, Wellness & Happiness to all - Happy New Year!