10 out of 10!

While I was doing the YouTube research on my Making Money blog post yesterday, I came across something very fun.

Out of curiosity, I typed “Alethea Kontis” into the YouTube search function to see if any of my videos or deleted scenes (or interviews at Dragon*Con, or fan videos of various panels) came up first.

Surprisingly, what came up first — with almost 600 views! — was this video review of Enchanted from the incredibly cute girl at Reading Rhino. (“Oh, I’m a girl…in a forest…” LOL) Happily and wonderfully, ReadingRhino gives Enchanted a 10 out of 10!

*happy dance*

Thank you, ReadingRhino!

Check out the SUPERCUTE review here for yourself!

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Authors: Make Money on the Intarwebs!

Like any author worth her salt on the intarwebs nowadays, I try to make a little bit of money everywhere. Stress on the word LITTLE…but I keep telling myself that eventually, this will all pick up and will be a nice steady little Starbucks budget to support this crazy writing habit I have.

Things I have monetized:

1.) Short stories on the Kindle & Nook: A lot of the stories that I have previously had published in various magazines and anthologies, I have released in e-format on the Kindle and Nook platforms for only 99 cents apiece. As a bonus (because I’m a huge fan of DVD extras), each short story has an essay with it that tells you the origin of the idea–and sometimes the path to publication–of each piece. Some of those essays have been previously published elsewhere, and some I wrote specifically for the e-book versions. But for those folks who would like to try out some of my other writing…it’s there to click on. Amount made in last 12 months: $10.85 (Amazon), $0 (Nook)

2.) Short stories on Anthology Builder: Any SF author who has has a story published in a pro venue can submit their work to be included in the Anthology Builder archive. I’ve mentioned this site before — it’s like making your own mixed CD out of stories you’d just like to try out. Create your own collection of your favorite authors or new authors you’d like to try, select a theme, or build a custom anthology of folks you’re going to see at the next convention…and then get them to sign it! A one-of-a-kind collector’s item. Authors make a royalty on every sale, depending on the length of the story (and therefore % of contribution to each anthology). Amount made in the last 12 months: $22.91

3.) YouTube Monetization: A little while ago, AdSense offered me the chance to monetize my YouTube videos. Sure, why not? I’m still not quite sure how this works. I *thought* I made a penny every time someone clicked on one of my videos. But apparently not, because last month I had 123 people click on my videos and I made a total of ONE PENNY FOR THE MONTH. It’s definitely more $$ if people click on the ADS in the video…so if you’re bored one day, I highly encourage you to pop on over to my YouTube Channel and go on a clicking spree. (Mostly so I can collect the data.) I get paid from AdSense when I have accrued $100. Needless to say, I haven’t been paid yet. Amount accrued to date: $9.73 (0 paid)

4.) Amazon Associates Links: I’ve had an Amazon Associates Link for a while (wwwaletheakon-20), but I only recently got smart about it. First of all, Amazon seems to have made the link more difficult than just adding “wwwaletheakon-20” to the end of the url for the item listing. Secondly, I only get a kickback when OTHER people order books. Like a ninny, I’ve been ordering books using my own Login instead of The FairyGodBoyfriend’s. *headdesk* Thankfully, I’ve wised up. I’ve also fixed up my Books page–if you order from Amazon using the links here, I will get the kickback (and thank you). Amount made in the last 12 months: $13.27

As you can see, I’m totally rolling in the dough. It’s all very glamorous. But yes…maybe someday, when I’m all Celebrity-Kind-Of-Popular, this sort of thing will add up nicely. Regardless, it would be silly of me to NOT go ahead and set these things up to be churning away in the background.

Anyone else know other ways of making a penny (or less) on the net? I’ll happily take suggestions.

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All Things “If”

A while back, I was contacted by Susan Bertram from because I had mentioned in a blog post that Rudyard Kipling’s “If” was one of my favorite poems of all time.

The poem was quoted in “See How They Run,” a British farce we performed at Spring Valley High School. My French Grandmother had a set of Rudyard Kipling’s complete works at her house (that I later inherited), so when we visited that summer, I memorized it.

The blog post Susan referred to, however, was published in 2009. Instead of editing that post and linking to THEN, I figured it would be much more fun to talk about them NOW.

And since I was already dressed up as a princess, I recited the poem for you LIVE.

To find out more about Rudyard Kipling and All Things If, please visit


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Treasures Abound!

I’m over at Treasured Tales for Young Adults again today–wait, did I ever leave? Maybe I’ve been lurking in the corners all this time! You never know!

We magical princesses are like that.

Today is special, however, because Alishia is posting another EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENE from Enchanted, read by yours truly, all dressed up, on YouTube.

What are you waiting for?? CLICK HERE NOW.

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Princess Mysteries

Are you ready, world? Today, Eleusinian Mysteries is unveiling another EXCLUSIVE YOUTUBE VIDEO of Princess Alethea, all dressed up and reading an excerpt from Enchanted.

This one is a brief, sweet, painfully touching scene that takes place after Sunday thinks she’s lost the best friend she ever had, and the closest thing she’s ever felt to true love.

But don’t take my word for it, click on over to Eleusinian Mysteries and see for yourself!


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Exclusive ENCHANTED Excerpt at Live to Read

I’m trying something new for this book tour — utilizing the power of YouTube to bring you exclusive excerpts and deleted scenes from Enchanted!

Today, the excerpt I have performed for you is “Monday and Tuesday” — the bit from Sunday’s journal where she tells the tale of her eldest (twin) sisters.

This clip is being brought to you exclusively by Live To Read — please pop on over to Krystal’s site to find out more (and see me get all googly-eyed while reading a book)!

While you’re there, be sure to enter the Fairy Tale Giveaway Hop for a copy of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone — one of my absolute favorites.


(There’s a copy of Enchanted being given away at Making the Grade for the Fairy Tale Hop…but please go watch the YouTube excerpt first and let me know what you think!)

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Thieftess Triumphant

Mom reminded me that I need to give you guys the direct link to my YouTube Channel:

This summer I will be performing excerpts and deleted scenes from ENCHANTED–they will debut on various sites throughout the blog tour, but if you are subscribed to my channel, you should get them emailed directly to you as they are updated.

[Also, yes, I get a tiny kickback from the advertisers for every clip you watch. Thank you in advance!]

Want to know why my YouTube user name is “Thieftess”? Why, the answer’s been in the FAQs the whole time! You should go check it out.

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The Twelve Rules, Annotated

I have been asked to talk a little bit more about the now-infamous 2010 Christmas Pageant song “The Twelve Rules of Christmas” (Click here to watch on YouTube).

NO DECORATING THE TREE! (feat. Della Leffler)

Rule#1: No Decorating the Tree
I believe this rule originated the first year we moved into the giant house in North Springs…so I was about ten and Soteria was eight. We had a staircase with a long banister that curved at the end, and a huge ballroom. The tree was on the end of the ballroom closest to the windows facing the road. I spent hours fixing the garland that wrapped down the banister so that every green branch looked like a living snake off Medusa’s head. (Apparently, pine branches are straight and stick out forward.) Soteria and I were also in charge of the tinsel, which represents snow. Snow falls from the sky. We assumed the best way to put on the tinsel would be to throw clumps up in the air and let them fall where they willed. (While this *is* how snow falls, it is not correct for the application of tinsel.) Mom was so frustrated that she banned us from decorating the tree ever again; the least-stressful solution for all parties involved.

Rule #2: No Boys in Your Room
This is a good rule for any parent who has girls.Especially if they’re boy-crazy girls. However, it is sort of an annoying rule in a two-story house when a.) all your daughters best friends are boys and/or q.) she has no problem kissing the girls anyway.

Rule #3: No Food in the Den
Also a good rule if you’re a stickler about cleanliness. The only TV was in the den (this is back when families only had one TV and were lucky if they had only one very-slow computer). The way I got around this rule was to sit in the hallway outside the door and eat my Doritos while watching Star Trek TNG after school.

Rule #4: Can’t Ride with Teens
Teen drivers are, by definition, not very experienced drivers. They are also easily distracted when other teens are in the car. But when so-and-so’s brother is the only way you have to get from point A to point B, you’re SOL with this rule.

Rule #5: “If I find it, can I smack you?”
The person in the house with all the power is the person who cleans it. It follows that the person who cleans it is also the person who knows where everything is. Why should we bother looking when he/she can tells us exactly where it is? But when we’ve looked for ten minutes already, even after hearing “Are you looking with my eyes?”, we would get this saying…for which my mother is now famous. Apologies for the ear worm.

Rule #6: No Table Singing
No one has any idea where this rule came from. When doing research for The Dark-Hunter Companion, I discovered that singing at the table was bad luck in certain circles. I asked Mom if that was the origin. “No,” she said. “I probably just made it a rule so you girls would be quiet.” And there you have it.

Rule #7: No Last-Minute School Help
This is possibly the best rule my parents ever gave us, and I suggest it to everyone else I know. The full rule is: Mom and Dad will help you with your school projects to the best of their abilities, but not within 24-hours of the project being due. If you tell them in advance, you will have all the materials and brainpower and handiwork at your disposal. If not, you’re on your own. I was on my own a LOT…but I knew it was my own fault, because I knew the rule.

Rule #8: Write Down What You Owe Me
God, we hated this rule. There was a list behind the kitchen door of all the money we ever borrowed from our parents, that we were expected to pay back (with chores and cash). We never got money for gas or money to go to the movies. If we made a long-distance phone call, it was written down. Car insurance? You betcha that was on the list. It certainly taught us to be financially responsible…and to abhor money above all else.

Rule #9: Don’t Slam Your Door Shut
We were emotional, melodramatic teenagers who grew into emotional, melodramatic women. Slamming the door shut was a great way of making your point and ending the conversation. It was also a great way for the door to start coming away from the wall. We also weren’t allowed to lock our doors, or tie the bathroom door to the bedroom door so no one could enter from the bathroom…

Rule #10: Complain and You Can’t Have More
Also one of the best rules ever and now I see why…I HATE people who groan or say “ew!” at the dinner table, especially after a long day after I’ve made dinner and am ready to sit down and relax. We were forced to try one bite of everything on the table anyway — if you complained about the dish, and then tasted it and LIKED it, you weren’t allowed to have any more. Since both my parents were pretty darn good cooks, this was a legitimate threat. I believe both Soteria and I have very open-minded palates as a result of this rule.

Rule #11: If You Ask Me If Your Friend Can Spend the Night and Your Friend is Standing Right There, The Answer is Automatically No
Pretty self-explanatory. There was just no way to shorten this one.

Rule #12: Dishes, Dishes, Dishes!
Doing the dishes was our job. One sister did the dishes, one emptied the dishwasher. We traded off. It was the worst experience and scarred us both for life. My parents cooked stuff like Egg Foo Young and Bisteeya and Moussaka and they used every dish in the house, and we couldn’t go to bed until the entire kitchen was spotless. Whatever you couldn’t fit in the dishwasher (there were more rules about what to put where in the dishwasher and how clean it had to be before it went into the dishwasher), you had to do by hand. After dinner parties with visiting dignitaries, Soteria and I were sometimes up well past midnight doing the dishes. After I moved out of the house, I didn’t have a dishwasher for over a decade. I didn’t mind it one bit.

There were other rules that didn’t make it into the song…the last to make the cutoff was “No Screaming Help While Swimming.” (We lived on a lake…if you were screaming “Help!”, you better be drowning.) One day, Soteria and I might sit down and try to remember all the rules…perhaps we could make a book out of them.

Did you guys have any crazy rules while growing up?

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