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Being Green Giveaway – Winners! April 9, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Being Green, Giveaways.
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Thank you to all who came out and entered my Being Green giveaway!

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I used random.org to select the winners. Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize or new winners will be selected. And the winners are….

Winner of the Eco Inspirations Bookmark is……

* Ricki

Winner of the digital copy of Trash Talk – It’s Easy to Be Green is…..

* Lora S.

Winners of the digital copies of How I Learned to Love the Walrus are…..

* Melissasmeanderings

* Cynthia W.

* Lauren P.

Because nobody selected that they wanted the copy of Raising Baby Green, I will save it for a future giveaway :)

Emails will be sent to the winners shortly!

Also, I’d like to thank Lillian Brummet, Tonia Brown and Beth Orsoff for taking part in Being Green Week! You lovely ladies made Being Green Week a possibility!

Until Next Time,

Happy Reading!

~Jaidis

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The Story Behind the Story by Beth Orsoff April 5, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Being Green, Books.
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The Story Behind the Story

Or

Why an Entertainment Attorney from Los Angeles Would Write a Book About Walruses

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I have a confession to make.  Actually, a few confessions.  I’ve never been to Alaska, I’ve never seen a walrus in-person, and I occasionally throw my empty Diet Coke can into the regular trash container instead of holding onto it until I can find a recycling bin.  But I feel really guilty about that last one.

The question I’m most often asked about this book is “Why did you write it?”  I admit it’s not a natural fit.  My first book, “Romantically Challenged,” was about a Los Angeles lawyer who goes on a quest to find The One.  Although I’ve been married for seven years, no one found that book surprising.  (I did a lot of dating before I was married.)

Nor were friends puzzled by the topic of my second book, “Honeymoon for One.”  Sure, it’s about a woman who, after being dumped at the altar, goes on her honeymoon alone, and then gets accused of killing her fake husband in a third world country where she can’t speak the language.  But everyone knows I love to plan vacations.

But Alaska?  The Arctic?  Walruses?  I don’t even like cold weather!  The only explanation is I’m a sucker for cute baby animals.  Even cute baby walruses.

Here’s how it happened.  It was a lazy Sunday afternoon in April 2006.  I was thumbing through the newspaper while waiting for my husband when I came across an article about a bunch of walrus calves that had been found abandoned in the deep waters of the Arctic Ocean.  According to the article, it was very unusual to find the calves without their mothers because young pups don’t know how to forage.  They depend on their mothers for their survival.  The scientists guessed that the walrus cows had followed the sea ice north in search of food and never returned.  The article contained a photo of one of the baby walruses treading water, and a quote from a scientist on board the ship who stated that for the entire twenty-four hours they spent in that location, the walruses circled the boat and cried.  The scientists knew there was no hope of rescue and the calves would likely drown or starve to death.  It was heartbreaking, both for them and for me.  By the time my husband arrived home, I was practically in tears.

He read the article over my shoulder as I cut it out of the newspaper.  (This was when I still read the newspaper in paper form.)  Until this point, I had primarily written light, humorous fiction.  When I told my husband this would be my next book, he not surprisingly asked, “How the hell are you going to turn that into chick lit?”  My answer: “I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out.”

The figuring it out part was a lot harder than I had imagined.  All I knew when I started was that that scene would be in the book and it would have a profound influence on the protagonist.  And “How I Learned to Love the Walrus” was born.

Since I knew nothing about walruses beyond what I’d read in that article, I started researching, and kept on researching.  I began with several books about Alaska, then I moved online.  Initially I was searching for background information on the walruses when I discovered the website for Round Island, one of seven islands in Bristol Bay, Alaska that make up the Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary.  Since thousands of male walruses haul-out on this island every summer, it, or Wilde Island, its fictional twin, was the natural setting for the book.

More digging unearthed the walrus tagging program, which I also fictionalized and wove into the story.  I was lucky enough to find a short video clip on NPR’s website that discussed the program, which led me to one of the scientists who participated in it.  I e-mailed him and he graciously agreed to a phone interview.  Speaking to one of the scientists who had actually tagged walruses, and others such as a former manager of Round Island, a climate scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, and a representative from the Alaska SeaLife Center, proved invaluable.  I’m so thankful to everyone who patiently answered my many questions.

I read everything I could find on walruses, life in the Arctic, and the impact of global warming on the Arctic environment and its inhabitants; and spent innumerable hours watching videos of walruses in the wild, including several of polar bears attacking them.  I have to admit, those were hard to watch.  And like Sydney, I no longer think polar bears are quite so cute.

Although the book is fiction, it’s based in fact.  The walruses really are endangered.  While the Save the Walrus Foundation is a product of my imagination, many existing groups and agencies are trying to save the walrus.  Let’s hope they succeed.

~Beth Orsoff

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I absolutely loved Beth’s book How I Learned to Love the Walrus! You can check out my review of it Here!

Be sure to check out my Being Green Giveaway to enter for your chance to win a digital copy of How I Learned to Love the Walrus!

Also, be sure to stop by and tell Beth hello on Facebook!

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

The Steampunk Art of Recycling by Tonia Brown April 4, 2011

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The Steampunk Art of Recycling

Or:

Everything Old is New Again!

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I’m sure you have heard lots and lots of interesting tidbits about helping the earth prosper by Going Green. Now, unless you’ve spent the last ten years in a cave, under a rock, in a hole, with your fingers in your ears and your eyes closed, then you should know that Going Green is the new way of saying, “Recycle your garbage if you know what’s good for you!”

As good little humans I am sure you’ve read the various FAQ’s on recycling and composting and reusing everything that passes through your hot little hands. You have those little color coded bins for your stuff, whether the law in your residential area requires it or not. You have a pile of lawn clippings happily rotting in your backyard. You might even have a box full of worms helping you break down some of your organic garbage. (It’s called vermicomposting. Google it!)

Point being, while I support all of those efforts, and highly encourage you to continue in your diligent fight against waste and excess, today I’m not going to go into yet another form of day to day recycling. Instead I am going to talk about a different kind of recycling. A fun kind of recycling! (Not that flipping a big steaming pile of rotten leaves a couple times a day isn’t all kinds of fun, but you get the idea. Yes?)

Let me take a side moment here to say that I love steampunk. (If you don’t know what steampunk is than check out this Link) I love the old world feel of the literature and movies. I worship the language and the clothing. And I just adore the gadgets and goggles.

Now it might seem like a bit of a non-sequester for me to bring up steampunk when we are talking recycling, but if you know anything about the genre at all then it makes perfect sense. Steampunk dedicates are the grand masters of the recycle. They prefer things that are old and broken and deemed useless by the rest of society. These things are gold to a steampunk lover, because they represent the chance to make something new out of something old.

A broken clock, for example, is often ravaged for its cogs and gears, which are in turn used to create other gear driven machinery, or, in most cases, end up adorning clothing and jewelry. Old welding goggles hit with a little copper paint and a few rivets here and there are transformed into a classic steampunk costume centerpiece. Ruined rings, busted necklaces, and worn out bracelets are all prime real-estate for strip down and repurposing. With a little spray paint and detailing, that worn out Nerf gun your nephew threw in the garbage can become a fantastic steampunk weapon.

As much fun as making doodads and gadgets can be, I find that clothing is a focal point of my refurbishing habits. An old button down shirt with the collar clipped away and the buttons replaced by repurposed jewelry pieces makes the perfect decorative Victorian blouse. Old knee high boots make amazing fingerless gloves when you clip away the foot portion. A pillow can be transformed into a simple bustle for your proper Victorian dress. And those worn-out, frilly bed skirts you’ve been thinking of throwing away can be turned into charming bloomers just by sewing them onto the bottom of a pair of old shorts. And if you can sew from scratch, just think of the possibilities! Sheets become shirts, curtains become skirts, and any old fabric you have can become anything you want it to be.

Sure you can buy a new outfit, but why when you have an entire outfit’s worth of things right in your own home? With a little elbow grease and a lot of creativity, you can turn pretty much anything you were planning on chucking into something with a steampunk beat. Just look around on the internet, great examples aren’t hard to find. Folks have refurbished busted typewriters into workable computer keyboards. Some take empty mint tins, strip them and then etch the blank canvas with beautiful works of Victorian inspired art. I have even seen adult ‘toys’ turned into super sexy ray guns! If your vibrator can find new life as a steampunk weapon delivering that much craved ‘little death,’ then anything is possible.

So get out there and scour the yard sales and flea markets and dumpsters and find the joy of turning something useless into something useful. Or at the very least, something nice to look at, and ogle over.

Happy crafting!

Tonia Brown

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Tonia Brown is a regular contributor to the ezine Steampunk Tales, and the author of the erotic series Clockworks and Corsets, available from Lyrical Press. She also pens the serial steampunk western adventure, Railroad! found at  steampunktrain.blogspot.com

You can find out more about her and her other works at The Backseat Writer

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I’d like to thank Ms. Brown for stopping by and sharing with us! I love seeing old items put to use again!

Don’t forget to check out the Being Green Giveaway for your chance to win some awesome books or swag!

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Being Green Interview with Lillian Brummet April 3, 2011

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Welcome to the first day of my Being Green Week on Juniper Grove! Today I am pleased to have Lillian Brummet as a guest! Lillian dropped by to tell us about her book Trash Talk – It’s Easy to Be Green, different ways that we can all help the environment and her thoughts about being an author! I’m so excited so let’s get to it!

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Can you tell us what your book, Trash Talk – It’s Easy to Be Green, is about?

I would love to! (She smiles) A 2-part series that allows you to green your life and save money at the same time, helping readers helping lead a more proactive life and leave a positive legacy. Book One discusses the 4-R’s of waste management and the proper order for them. This series offers an average of 129-pages per book packed with ways to reuse, repurpose waste, inspires through education about recycling, offers tips on reducing, refusing and rethinking “waste” issues.

How long did it take to write Trash Talk – It’s Easy to Be Green?

Well, this series is based on the original paperback edition, which was based on the bi-weekly column that was published internationally from 1999-2007. So I guess you could say this book has been years in the making.

What was your inspiration to write this book?

Initially we were seeing that people were feeling overwhelmed about the environmental and fiscal issues facing society, and their general feeling was: “How could one little person have any kind of impact against all of this?” Though personal experience we knew how much money we were saving by what is now known as ‘reuse’ and ‘repurposing’. Studying the subject helped us realize how much of an impact recycling even one glass bottle can have. Being passionate gardeners we relish in the benefits of composting, which can reduce waste by 30%. When we learned that psychology studies showed that 60% of us would do more if we knew it had a measurable impact – well, what else could we do but write about it?

I understand a second book in the Trash Talk series is coming out soon. Can you tell us a little bit of what we can expect in book two of the Trash Talk – It’s Easy to Be Green series?

The 2nd book discusses more advanced information from energy awareness to indoor/outdoor gardening alternatives, and water conservation. This series contains very little white space with an average 45,000 word count per book, with fantastic resources in the final pages.

Can you explain to us what the four R’s of waste management are and how they are beneficial?

Actually we find there are 5 R’s now considered in the Zero Waste community – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle. ‘Refuse’ simply put can mean that we do not accept manufacturers standards, and petition them for change. ‘Reduce’ implies bringing less stuff home. ‘Reuse’ can be, for instance, decorating a soup can and using it as a penholder.  ‘Repurpose’ is a relatively new term that identifies manipulating of an item, for instance: taking a clean empty plastic cleaning bottle, cutting off the bottom at an angle and creating a handy plastic scoop with a handle that can be used for things like dispensing dog food. And of course recycling involves participating in the local recycling system as much as possible by staying informed as to what is being accepted in your area.

What would you say are the most common things people can do to Be Green?

Just by recycling alone we can reduce the amount of waste that we send to the landfill by 30%… add composting to this and you can reduce it by another 30%. Imagine 60% less waste just from readily available options.

There are several ways that most people do not normally think about or do not consider as being ‘Green.’ What are some uncommon yet easy ways that people can do their part?

Well, I could go on and on about this part – but the first thing I would say is to be very careful of the amount of chemicals we are allowing in our lives – from the food we eat and how it is processed, shipped or stored, to the choice of fertilizers we use on our landscaping.

Where can we buy the Trash Talk – It’s Easy to Be Green books?

Our books are currently available at three places: BookLocker.com, ClickBank.com and via our site: Brummet.ca

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always been drawn to writing, but did not consider it as a career or a serious endeavor until after a life-changing vehicle accident that left me questioning the value of my life, why I existed and if I mattered. Writing is a tool for me to leave a positive, lasting legacy – not in having my name in print, but rather through the topics I focus on, the resources I share, and the issues I bring to light.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to spend time in the garden or in nature. My dogs bring a lot of joy in my life, for which I am grateful. When I can peel myself away from reading, I like to get in some exercise, which seems to be ever more necessary as the years go by. (She laughs)

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

First – don’t be deterred from your dream. There are a lot of options out there for anyone wanting to publish a book, pick one that suits you best. Clearly define why releasing this book is so important to you, and what you hope to do with it.

Are you self-published and if so, do you think it’s better/easier than trying to find a publisher?

We have worked with two traditional publishers in the past and now, with a self-publishing outlet. We are experimenting with releasing all our books, as their contracts expire, in e-book formats – totally revised and updated. I love the fact that there are so very many options to consider when it comes to publishing

Night owl or Early bird?

Early bird, usually.

How many books do you read per month?

Anywhere between 3 and 8 books, depending on the books.

What does the word success mean to you?

Success means feeling like getting up in the morning – like the fact that I live and breathe has some kind of positive impact on the world, this is success.

If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?

Handle every stressful situation like a dog – If you can’t eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away!

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Thank you Lillian for allowing me to interview you! Be sure to check out my Being Green Giveaway for a chance to win a digital copy of Lillian’s book – Trash Talk: It’s Easy to Be Green!

Below are some of the places you can find Lillian:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Being Green Week & Giveaway! April 3, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Being Green, Giveaways.
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Welcome to my Being Green week on Juniper Grove!!

This week I will be posting about why it’s cool to Be Green! From recycling to reusing, you will learn some great ways to help out! Awesome posts lined up for this week include:

* Interview with Lillian Brummet! She stops by to talk about her Ebook, Trash Talk – It’s Easy to Be Green!

* Guest post by author Tonia Brown – The Steampunk Art of Recycling!

* Guest post by author Beth Orsoff about the inspiration behind writing How I Learned to Love the Walrus!

And since I love giving away stuff, I’m going to start by posting a giveaway! The giveaway rules are as follows:

* Giveaway is open from now until 10:00 pm EST on April 9th.

* Following is not required to enter, however there are some extra entries available to enhance your chances of winning.

* Winners will be emailed on April 10th and have 48 hours to reply back to claim their prize or new winners will be selected.

* Giveaways are International, however a couple of the giveaways are limited to US/Can due to shipping costs.

Now on to the prizes!!

Giveaway # 1 – US and Canada Only

1 lucky winner will receive this Eco Inspirations bookmark! It features the saying “The Earth is what we all have in common. – Wendell Barry.” This bookmark is part of the “Read a book * Plant some seeds * Grow your world” movement. The green leaf featured on this bookmark has been embedded with wildflower seeds so you simply remove the leaf, pick a suitable location, and watch as your new flowers grow!

Giveaway # 2 – US and Canada Only

1 lucky winner will receive this paperback copy of Raising Baby Green – The Earth Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care by Alan Greene, M.D! This book has been read once and is still in excellent condition!

Giveaway # 3 – International

1 lucky winner will receive a digital copy of Trash Talk – It’s Easy to Be Green by Lillian Brummet! Please note that should you win this, your email will be passed on to the author who will then send you the digital copy.

Giveaway # 4 – International

3 lucky winners will receive digital copies of How I Learned to Love the Walrus by Beth Orsoff! I recently read and reviewed this book and I loved it! You can check out my review HERE. Please note that the winning emails will be passed on to the author who will then send you the digital copy.

So now you know what’s up for grabs so let me tell you the different ways to enter.

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment with your email address, where you live, and which giveaways you are interested in winning. If your location allows and you want to enter all of them, that’s fine just please let me know. I want you to win a prize you will be happy with :)

Extra Entries – Please leave a separate comment for each entry and include the name you follow by for verification.

* Have a confirmed email subscription to Juniper Grove. You can find the email subscription form in the right sidebar.

* Follow me on Twitter

* Follow Tonia Brown’s blog, The Backseat Writer on Google Friend Connect

* Follow Lillian Brummet on Twitter

* Like Beth Orsoff on Facebook

Thank you all for visiting Juniper Grove and Good Luck on the giveaways! Please feel free to spread the word about this giveaway to all your friends! It will be greatly appreciated!! :)

Happy Reading,

Jaidis