August 30, 2013

Bat Out of Hell & Other Phrases

As I was doing research the other day, a phrase caught my eye... like a bat out of hell. It made me wonder about the origin of phrases I use.

Bat Out of Hell
(from Urban Dictionary)
to flee recklessly fast

"Bats have been associated with witches and the occult, and therefore thought to originate in the bowels of hell, (and) they fly quickly as if in panic..."

I Don't Give Two Flying Shits
don't care at all

I had a hard time finding the saying with the flying in there, although that's the way I always heard it in the South. Although I found this definition from Uncyclopedia one of the bests: Two Shits is a measurement, standardized under the SI system of measurements, used as a yardstick to determine how much one cares.

Why two, why not just one? I would think not giving one would be expressive enough. Stumped on this one.

But as I was looking for definitions, I happened upon this great site (at least for a word nerd like me): Some Old Sayings Explained.

A few of my favorites from perusing that site (the definitions below are all from there)...

Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
making your feelings obvious

In the Middle Ages knights who fought at tournaments wore a token of their lady on their sleeves.

Through Thick & Thin
being devoted through anything

This old saying was once 'through thicket and thin wood'. It meant making your way through a dense wood and through one where trees grew more thinly.

Go To Pot
fall apart

Any farm animal that had outlived its usefulness such as a hen that no longer laid eggs would literally go to pot. It was cooked and eaten.

One more I could not find the origin of, one from my dad...

"You might want horns, but you're going to die butt-headed."

Any sayings you've always wondered about?

August 28, 2013

Pitfalls of Research: ROW80 Update

My kids went back to school, and the first thing I wanted to do was write.

Score one for progress, especially after a lackluster summer of writing. (But plenty of living. And I truly believe the two are closely intertwined.)

To get back in the writing mode, I picked up my two research books. One about wolves, and one about the Indians from Manitou Springs in Colorado. Both hold keys to my next book's storyline.

The positive... the books had me furiously jotting down ideas.

The negative... distraction. For example, one book mentioned a simple phrase. The word nerd that I am, I was suddenly struck with an intense curiosity about the phrase's origin. Note: this prompted a post that will appear on Friday. The phrase: bat out of hell.

Are you the curious sort? Will research for one thing send you searching for the answer to another?

So, I didn't get done as much as I wanted, but it was the first day back to creating a schedule. The most important piece, in my mind... the excitement I felt to get back to writing.

Since ROW80 is as much about support as it is about goals, I have to mention a comment Beth Camp left on my last update post, A Day in the Life. Her comment:

Despite the intensity of the day, the poop, the rushing back and forth, the sense of being on the brink of something brand new for your girls, the beginning of the school year, all shows your love for them and commitment to family. Underlying this frenetic reality, is the pull to write. Once they begin school, flip flops aside, new shoes donned, I believe you will find uncluttered time again to write. Persevere! Organize! Schedule! Seize the moment! And celebrate that creativity that pushes you on.

Life has a funny way of putting obstacles in my writing path. Sometimes my focus needs to be elsewhere, such as family issues. But, other times, I need to Persevere! Organize! Schedule! Seize the moment! Thanks, Beth.

But I'm truly grateful for the passion to write.

Speaking of passion, Shan Jeniah Burton wrote a great ROW80 sponsor post this past week: Do I Really Have To? The Puritan Work Ethic and Writing with Passion. If you missed it, check it out. I found it inspiring.

My goal for the rest of the week... let the passion of writing take over and celebrate creativity. I'm excited. Wishing everyone a wonderful week full of their passion.

August 26, 2013

A Day in the Life: ROW80 Update

Lately, I've seen a lot of blogs who share a day in the life of a writer. Once school gets started, I will share with you one of my writing days. I started to say typical writing days, but I need to work on creating the system that will result in those days.

Today, instead, I want to share the day in the life of a woman with three kids going to school tomorrow. The reason I share this, and those of you considering kids in the near future might want to skip to Wednesday's post, is to remind myself why I wasn't overly productive this summer (especially with a cross-country move).

Before I start, a blast from the past...

And now the day...

7:45am: Started the day at my middle daughter's new patient appointment for her allergies. When you have to start the appointment with, my daughter tends to befuddle doctors, you know it's going to go long.

9:30am: Yes, 9:30am, we finally leave the doctor's office to run home and get my other two girls. Then, we are off to the mall for some school clothes. Why the day before school? Well, as the girls tried on things this weekend (remember we moved into our new home 7/29), they realized they had grown yet again. Really, when does that stop (my oldest is 13)? Oh, and their tennis shoes no longer fit, so three new pairs of tennis shoes were needed. Funny how you don't know their feet have grown when they wear flip flops all summer.

Noon: We do have a nice lunch.

1:00pm: To Target to get school supplies for my youngest daughter who did not find out for sure what school she was assigned to until last Friday. Three stores later we finally had the 12 blasted red pens (thank you, Staples).

3:00pm: Finally get notice from CVS that all my daughter's medicines are in. Pick them up and run them to her school before they leave at 4pm.

4:00pm: Run by grocery store to replace the milk my baby daughter announces she used the rest of that morning. Can't start a school week with no milk for cereal.

5:00pm: Home to dinner. Eat quickly and then run to baby girl's school to find out her teacher.

6:00pm: *** if you are squeamish, please look away *** Collect poop samples of baby daughter for some tests thanks to our vacation and a nasty guest she might have picked up. You would think that after 13 years as a mom I would no longer dry-heave with smell. You would think wrong.

7:30pm: In an effort to make sure all my kids go to bed on time after a long summer of being vagabonds, I am sitting in a dark room with two of my kids (hubby is out of town) and writing this post.

Tomorrow, I will miss them. I'm sad to see summer end, but I'm looking forward to focusing on book 2 and finding a CA writer's group. We all need some structure, because quite frankly creativity doesn't thrive well with poop scoops, red pen traumas, and begging my children to close their eyes.

Plus, I consider days like this character study on how teen and pre-teen girls handle chaos. Today, I learned quite a lot.

How do you carve out writing/creative time on days like this?

August 23, 2013

Geeking Out: Books Come to Life

I'm geeking out about some books-turned-movies!

In the last week alone, I've seen Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. I had read both books, so I was eagerly anticipating seeing them come to life. It helps that my 13yo daughter was as excited as I was.

A brief review of each...

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Fun. After being disappointed with The Lightening Thief (book one in this series) movie, thanks to too many changes from the book, I wasn't sure what to expect from this installment. But I really enjoyed it. It probably helped that I was further removed from reading the books so any changes weren't as obvious.

The action starts in the first frame and never lets up. Plus, there's a sweet side story with Percy and his newly found brother who is also a Cyclops.


While my daughter was the one to suggest The Lightening Thief series to me, I recommended the City of Bones series to her. All you moms out there can relate... there's something cosmic about your 13yo daughter thinking anything you suggest is cool.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

I SO wanted this to be good. I thought Lily Collins was excellent casting, but I was a little disappointed in the actor chosen for Jace. Please don't think I'm totally superficial for saying this, but he's just too skinny and not the stud I had created in my mind to represent Jace. But, I must say... he did an excellent job.

Still, I was a softie for Simon, Clary's best friend, in the book and even more so in the movie. Robert Sheehan is sexy and so expressive with his eyes. I'm still on the fence about the casting of Magnus Bane and his role in the movie. My image of him was much "bigger" and more sinister. They kind of played him like a drag queen with a soft side. 

There were a few changes from the book, but I didn't find them distracting. It was a bit scary for my daughter, especially the demon images, but overall I really liked it.


But the book-turned-movie I'm most excited to see is this November's The Book Thief. However, I'm nervous. This is one of my favorite books ever, and I want to cherish this movie.

Here's the book trailer:


What was the last movie that had you geeking out?

August 21, 2013

Unwanted Guest: ROW80 Update

Just to make the last week of summer fun, I picked up a little guest on my trip to the Dominican Republic--a little guest that made the last week or so very unpleasant. Now the meds to get rid of said guest are just as unpleasant.

Yes, that's a picture of my unwanted, and hopefully now expelled, guest. I should have warned you because it's not pretty. Just another reason my Muse has been in hiding since our move and return from vacation. She is scheduled to return when the girls go back to school next week, and I plan to keep her quite busy.

In the meantime, my blog tour is in full swing and keeping me quite busy. A few highlights:

Let Them Read Books posted a great review. An excerpt:

I give Ms. Bach major thumbs up for keeping the story compelling and unputdownable while not actually revealing much about what happened that night in Yellowstone. And I was OK with that. Though I'm anxious to put the pieces together, I can appreciate an intense, slow-burning build-up to a larger and more meaningful revelation.

Full review can be found here.

Simply Sensational Book Fanatics hosted an interview with me and created a beautiful post with Chasing Memories-themed graphics. A sample:

Q: Who inspires you?
Women who know how to balance strength and heart.
Read the full interview here.
I hope everyone is having a good writing week. Sorry I missed my Sunday/Monday check-in, but I did catch up on my sponsor visits, so it wasn't a complete miss.
Next week I will return to my original A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) goals which include posting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; writing a least an hour a day on Book 2 of the Tala Prophecy series; and promoting Chasing Memories. I'm excited to get back on track.

August 16, 2013

Stuck Energy: Late & Lackluster ROW80

"Clutter is stuck energy.
The word "clutter" derives from the Middle English word "clotter,"
which means to coagulate -
and that's about as stuck as you can get."
Karen Kingston

Sorry I was MIA this week. I came back from vacation all gung-ho to kick it back into gear. Unfortunately, all that energy was sucked up by my house. I tried to ignore it. Truly I did. But I simply can't function, much less be creative, in this...

When I sit down to my computer, I feel the weight of the clutter. Even though I've set up my office and have a few other places in the house that don't feel as confining, the Muse refuses to visit. She showed up a few times, made a screeching noise of pure fear, and disappeared immediately.

So this is a late and lackluster A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) update.

I will take up writing full force starting Tuesday, 8/27--the day my kids go back to school. Until then, I'm keeping up with my Chasing Memories promotions, book reviews (I've read some great ones lately!), and hopefully blog posts (missed Wednesday this week, boo!).

Also, I'm going to enjoy the last week of summer with my kids and finish organizing my house. My muse will be so happy... she'll have to come and stay for awhile.

Can you be creative in chaos?

Oh, and don't forget... Chasing Memories is available for 99 cents on Kindle through Sunday, 8/18. Pick it up before it goes back to $3.99. (Kindle Link)

Plus, there are many other books on sale here as part of the Indie-Licious Back to School Sale.

August 13, 2013

Back to School Sale for eBook Lovers & Other Updates

Lots of exciting things to share today.

First... the Chasing Memories eBook is part of the Indie-Licious Back to School Sale. There are a lot of  other great titles to choose from as well, so pick up as many or as few as you'd like. But hurry, the sale ends 8/18.

Check out the other amazing choices here (there are even a couple of free ones).

Second... the Chasing Memories blog tour started today. I'm equally excited and nervous about all the upcoming reviews. Most of all, I believe reviews are an excellent opportunity. I will be taking notes about the reviewers' input--if there's a character that isn't working, if there's a plot point that they loved/hated, or any other comments I can use to make Books 2 and 3 better.

And it's Monday. Time for my A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) update.

Write. Write. Write.

My goal on vacation was to write. But every time I sat down to write Book 2, I realized I had plot points to figure out. First up, nailing down my prophecy. I keep changing my mind. ARGH! Lots of note taking. And I know I'll be affected by what the reviewers say throughout this blog tour.

How much do you consider readers' comments when writing your next book?

Market Chasing Memories

Staying on top of that, and it's very time consuming.


Need to catch up on my #IWSG reading and commenting.

And a huge thank you to all the lovely commenters on my ROW80 inspirational post: Plan It, Ink It, Believe It. I was out of the country when it posted, and I finally read the feedback this morning.

Hope everyone has a great week!!

August 9, 2013

Rerun: My Top 10 Writing Pet Peeves

Today's post is a rerun from mid-2012, but something I still very strongly about. Thought I'd share it today since I'm still out of the country. Back tonight, though, and looking forward to catching up with everyone. Enjoy!


No writer is perfect, and perfection would be boring anyway.

I'm a big believer in keeping a reader engaged. Some mistakes, at least for me, bring me out of the story and back into my own head.

My Top 10 Writing Pet Peeves

This one annoys me, because I don't get it. The words are just so different. Chose/choose bugs me, but I can understand why people confuse them. Although I guess you can lose something that gets too loose. Hmmmm.

Similar Sounding Words
Examples: there/they're/their, its/it's, you're/your, two/to/too

The spell check function fails this test. I get it. When you are typing fast, you might accidentally use the wrong one. If you know you make these mistakes often, do a Search and Find as part of your editing process and make sure these words are used correctly.

Mark Twain (from Wikipedia)
Overuse of Very
Using very gets old very quickly. I love the Mark Twain quote, "Substitue damn every time you're inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."  Rarely is "very" needed (with the exception of dialogue).

I. Hate. This. Word. Why? It is not a word. It's a double negative, and actually means not having no regard. So irregardless would technically mean having regard. Are you confused? Me, too. To me, it would be like saying irrelevantless.

Too Many Ellipses in Dialogue
I like an ellipsis for dramatic effect within story (or a blog post). However, I don't like line after line of dialogue with ellipses. Yes, it is a good indicator of someone being interrupted, but if someone is interrupted line by line, I think the conversation should be over. I know I would clam up by then.

Also, some writers use it to show pauses when a simple comma will do.

Unnatural Dialogue
Speaking of dialogue, I want it to sound like two people talking. Good dialogue should read fast and true. It shouldn't read like prose. And rules that apply to good writing, do not apply to good dialogue. People speak with words writers are told to avoid: just, that, very. Even irregardless. Furthermore, if you craft a teenager, don't have them speaking like an adult.

Read dialogue out loud to catch awkwardness.

Using the Word Believe Too Often
If a writer is using first person point of view, "I believe" is obvious. If the narrator is telling you about other characters and using believe, the reader doesn't know for sure what the narrator really knows. Do we just take the narrator's word for it?

Example: "I believe ghosts haunt the house up the street. My friend believes they don't."

If I is the narrator, we know he/she believes it simply by stating it. And we can't know for sure that the friend doesn't believe in ghosts, unless the friend character says it or the narrator shows why they don't think the friend believes it.

Am I making any sense?

Using Spell Checker as Editor
The spell check feature is awesome, and it will save you from typos and misspelled words. It will not save you from #1 or #2 above. Or some typos, like typing form for from. Use it, but don't let it be your editor.

Too Many Characters with Similar Initials
Maybe it's because I read at night, or maybe it's because I have three kids, but I can't keep it straight when Molly loves Max who was once wed to Mindy who fights constantly with her sister, Melissa. Oh, and Mike is falling fast for Molly, but Mindy is jealous.

This is the worst. I'd rather an author own a mistake throughout, or own a style that I might consider wrong, than to switch back and forth. Confused as to whether to use the oxford comma or not. No problem, pick a way and run with it.

Example: I recently read a book where a main character was Molly for half the novel and Mollie for the other half.

What is your biggest writing pet peeve? Or, what mistakes make you cringe when you are reading?

Note: I edited and edited this piece, terrified I'd make a mistake. There's nothing like writing a post about mistakes that contains mistakes. I hope it's as error free as possible.

August 7, 2013

Fear of Boring: #IWSG

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for my Insecure Writer's Support Group post. A huge thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for putting together this group. I appreciate the opportunity to share my insecurities on the #IWSG therapy couch and to read how others are doing. 

Next week, I will take part in my first blog tour. I can't wait to get the word out about Chasing Memories, but I'm also afraid. No, not about a poor review. Not that I want one. But I know that not everyone will love my book. One of my favorite quotes, from Bill Cosby: I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.  

But what does have me shaking in my boots... whether people will find me interesting. In addition to reviews, the blog tour will include guest posts and interviews. Will people want to buy a book from someone whose best answer to...

What do you do in your spare time?


Read and hang out with my family.



I wanted to put skydiving or mountain climbing. But I don't do those things. I'd love to describe all my tattoos, but I don't have any. Oh wait, I could discuss how I refinish old furniture and ride a motorcycle. Except those exist only in my imagination.

In the end, we have to be who we are. But, I sure wish I had an ace up my sleeve.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who worries about this.

I'm out of the country this week, but I look forward to catching up with all my #IWSG friends when I get back on Friday. Thanks for visiting!

Oh, and my blog tour begins Monday, August 12 with Tribute Books.

Please visit some stops on the tour and lie to me tell me I'm entertaining at least.

August 5, 2013

Rerun: My Butt Hurts When I Write

Last Thursday, I wrote a post about truths. One of them was that humor is a salve. So it seemed appropriate to rerun the following post (I'm on vacation out of the country).


 Daughter #3 finally has me to herself for a fifteen minute car ride. 

"Mom," she says with a nice long pause for effect, "my butt hurts when I write."

My favorite DD#3 pic
My kids often come to me for writing-related questions. Me or I is a favorite topic of conversation as is any verb paired with have. But, this one had me for a second.

I start with a simple question. "Did it happen today?"

"Yes. At school."

It was starting to come together. We had been really working on her writing all year. I even started a second grade writing club that met at my house every Tuesday after school. My baby was finally loving writing so much that she actually was sitting still too long enjoying it. 

"I'm so sorry your butt hurts when you write, honey. You should take a break every now and again and move around and then go back to writing." Such a proud Mama moment.


"Mom!" You can imagine it, right? A long and drawn-out Mom--a one syllable word made into three or four. "I said, "My butt hurts when I wipe!"

August 2, 2013

Sharing reviews of Chasing Memories

Since I'm on my way out of the country, I thought I'd share some reviews of my YA novel, Chasing Memories, today.

From author, Shauna Kelley (Max and Menna, Listening In and Other Stories, and Don't Wake Up):

Chasing Memories had me from the first word. Tia Bach has woven a mystery and given her readers a perfect, snarky, and oh-so accurate teenage voice to help us navigate through. Reagan doesn't so much come to life as she vaults off the page in your face. Nonetheless, where other "typical teen" narrators might annoy (hello, Bella Swan), the muted desperation to understand what is happening that lies beneath her teenage 'tude makes Reagan unquestionably sympathetic. I felt for her, I wanted to hug her, and I wanted to know what in the heck was happening to her.

Read her full review here.

From a teen reader:

From Elise Fallson, amazing writer and blogger:

The characters in this book were well written and I connected largely with Reagan and her grandmother, Nana. At times Reagan’s mother got me so mad but that just shows how invested I became in this book. The twist ending left me wishing for more and I’m looking forward to the next book in this series. So for anyone looking for a fun YA summer read with a paranormal twist, I’d recommend this book!

Read her full review on GoodReads.

And, from the lovely Jo Michaels (who in the interest of full disclosure was the editor for Chasing Memories), author of several titles including Yassa and The Bird.

I loved how the supporting cast of characters came to life on the page, how well I could see Colorado in my mind's eye (I've never been there, but now I feel like I have), and how accurate the descriptions of Georgia were. When I got to the last page, the surprise ending left me wanting more. It's a good thing there's a sequel in the works!

Read her full review here. Find out more about her books on her website and her editing services at Indie Books Gone Wild.

Keep visiting the blog for more updates. Plus, I have some exciting news about an eBook sale and some giveaways in August. Stay tuned!!

August 1, 2013

Simple Truths -- Celebrating Canary by Rachele Alpine

My friend and fellow writer, Rachele Alpine is celebrating her book, Canary, and it’s release by blogging as her main character in real-time at You can read more about Rachele here and about Canary here.
Rachele also put out the call for other friends/authors/bloggers to join her in blogging about their truths. So today I share with you my truths.

I am a Writer
First, it feels amazing to say that. I write therefore I am, if you will. I've been told it's simply a hobby, but it's so much more than that. It's a business, yes, but it's also part of what makes me who I am. Even if I never find myself on a New York Times bestseller list or my bank account never sees Stephen King-like royalties.

Kindness Trumps Selfishness In the End
This is where my "truth" may be different from others, but I truly believe this statement. In the end, selfishness and nastiness may get some people what they want. But the price can be steep. I want to leave this world and have people say I was kind and generous.

Life is Short
It's a sad truth, but a truth nonetheless. Once you embrace it, and we all have trouble with this at times, you can live each day to its fullest. I strive to do that.

Love Conquers
It may not conquer all, but it conquers many things. Love is hard work, another sad truth--it's not a constant fairy tale, but it's what makes the world go round. If we would all just love, simply appreciate what's good about others, this world would be a better place. And I'll take love (and kindness, see above) over judgment and loneliness any day. 

Humor is a Salve
This year has been insane for me and my family. When we were at our most stressed, we'd find something to laugh about. Laughter is medicine. It's not always easy to find the humor in everyday life, but it's imperative.

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered;
the point is to discover them." Galileo Galilei

Congratulations to Rachele on the release of Canary.

What is one of your truths?

Some information...

Staying quiet will destroy her, but speaking up will destroy everyone.

Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete.

But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.

"A searing and tender portrait of the complexities of high school friendships, dating and privilege. CANARY is a testament to the power of hard-won truths."
~Daisy Whitney, author of THE MOCKINGBIRDS and WHEN YOU WERE HERE

"The subtle way Rachele Alpine addresses love, loss, popularity, and friendship makes this book a realistic and arresting read. For anyone who ever struggled with frenemies and fitting in, CANARY is an important addition to contemporary YA discussions."
~Jennifer Brown, author of THE HATE LIST