Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Express Yourself

This post is part of the weekly meme created by Jackie and Dani.  Click on either of their links to learn more and join us!
What are you looking forward to in August?

A while back Dave’s best friend got engaged.  Shortly after that his brother got engaged.  The trend is that it takes a year to plan a wedding so we figured the timeline out.  Sure enough, they both fell within the summer of 2013.

We knew it was going to be rough, and I’ve already talked about how much I hate parties (weddings being the ultimate party) so this summer, thus far, has not been a surprise in any way.  But it has sucked.  A LOT.

Because a wedding, as you all know, is not just a wedding.  It’s bridal showers and rehearsal dinners and post-wedding brunches (like the wedding itself isn’t bad enough without them turning it into a three day event?  WTF?) and dress shopping and best man speech writing (seriously, I should open an online business I’m so practiced now) and so many conversations with strangers that you start to feel like your brain is going to explode.  This summer has been just as horrible as my dread has led me to believe it would be.  And we’ve still got one wedding to go.

BUT- and here’s what I’m looking forward to- come August 19, WE’RE DONE!  1000% DONE!  And not just for the summer- forever!  My friends are all married already.  (Well, all my friends that I believe are likely to go that route, at least.)  His friends and family are married already.  We don’t know anyone else!  And if we become friends with anyone else in the future we won’t be close enough that either one of us will be in the wedding party!  That’s it!

And I have been looking forward to that ALL SUMMER.

Also, and this almost pales in comparison, but my birthday is next month.  What am I looking forward to the most about that?  You could probably guess: spending the day NOT BEING AT A WEDDING!  No more uncomfortable shoes, no more parties, no more drunk strangers asking me horrifically intrusive questions such as “Why aren’t you two married?” or “So when are you two tying the knot?” or other such things. (Seriously- I got straight-up interrogated by a woman I’ve never met before who was entirely too drunk to get my obvious indications that she was being waaaay inappropriate.  Fun.)  NONE OF THAT. 
Nope, it's just gonna be me, Dave, the puppy, a comfy couch and some video games. Oh! And cake, of course. There must be cake on one's birthday. But NOT wedding cake!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Awesomeness

So today I have two little announcements to discuss with you all.  First up:

Look at my new header!

Isn't it fantastic?!?  Oh my gosh- I'm so super excited!  Here's the whole story:
Back on June 24th I participated in the Thrill of it All Blogfest celebrating Tara and Heather Gardner's new books by posting a thrilling poem I wrote for the occasion.  Tara and Heather loved the poem and awarded me with one of four prizes they had designated for the bloghop.  Mine was a Tara Tyler originally designed blog header.

You can tell by looking at it that Tara is seriously talented at making these things but here's why she's even more amazing: while the two of us were e-mailing back and forth discussing the design of the thing guess what else was going on?  Tara was launching her new book!  That's right- all month long Tara has been popping up all around the web doing interviews, sharing news and promoting Pop Travel which was released on July 7th.  And this past Saturday she hosted her book launch party!

Now, I don't know about you- but I can't imagine being that busy and still managing to help out a fellow blogger by designing a header for her little blog!  Tara is just too amazing and I am so incredibly thrilled with what she created.

So, if you think the new header is awesome (and how can you not?), take a minute to head by Tara Talks and let her know what great work she did.  And while you're there, check out the blog schedule for the remainder of the year because she's got more interviews, more info on the path she traveled to publishing and a ton more fun stuff coming up now through December.

Tara- you rock my world!  Thank you SO much.

Next up: The Tree of Life is still going strong and yesterday my piece was added to the many brilliant authors who have already contributed.  Take a second, head on over there, and let me know what you think!

Actually writing the piece was so much more fulfilling than I was expecting it to be.   I mean, don't get me wrong- I was expecting it to be really fun but I wasn't prepared for how much the process itself would effect the writing. 

First off, writing to music is not something I'm used to.  Sure, sometimes I'll have music playing in the background while I'm writing- but it mainly functions as white noise to keep my brain plugging along, not as somthing I play to stimulate creativty.  Having a song seve as the source of an idea is a completely different animal and I was so impressed by how the process effected me.  I am trully in awe of Audiomachine and the music they've created and having been so inspired by my one track I am now determined to buy this album so that I can keep it in my back pocket and use it as a secret weapon against writer's block.  If you haven't checked it out yet, go give a listen.  Seriously- amazing stuff!

Secondly, writing collaboratively is a very different process.  The last time I did it was around a campfire while on a Girl Scout trip and back then it consisted of a pass-along story that you would expect 8 year olds to come up with.  I.E:  "As he entered the haunted house he heard a terrifying shriek and then..."  "And then my dog Buster came and rescued him."  "Hey!  You can't do that!"  "Yes I can- it's my turn!"  ...you get the idea.  This time around was, needless to say, very different.  I re-read the story up to that point to try to get a feel for where it was headed, what contributions I wanted to include, and where I imagined the story going.  I ended up reminding the reader of an earlier character who hadn't been seen for a little bit but has, I believe, much left to do in the story as well as using one of three new characters that hadn't played a part yet.  The reader comments lead me to believe I did a good job with it and Sam's feedback when I sent it to her was incredibly kind.  I genuinely can't wait to see where the next writer takes it and I'm looking forward to reading as it continues to evolve. 

I owe a HUGE, giant, heart-felt THANKS to the truly awesome Sam for inviting me to participate in this amazing project!  I've had such a blast!  Your genius in coming up with this just astounds me.

Make sure you check out the story and keep following- It's gonna be quite a story by the time it's all done!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Celebrate The Small Things- The End of July

Hosted, as always, by the splendiferous Vicki!

A Week of Books  This week I took part in the Blogger Book Fair and hosted four fantastic authors and showcased their published works.  It's been fantastic to see all the positive people out there so eager to help out their fellow authors and highlights how warm and wonderful the writing community is.  If you haven't entered to win any of the giveaways yet there's still time: just head on over here and enter the drawings before they close at the end of today!

Taking a Chance  Though I highly suspect this will end in heartache, I took a chance and submitted four of my poems to a poetry magazine.  I really do want to try to get published and I realize that the only way that can happen is if I, you know, try to get published.  I'm trying to steel my nerves against the likelihood of rejection, though, cause I figure chances are good that I won't be accepted anywhere right away.  But still, the fact that I finally put the pedal to the metal and submitted is a good start.

Collaboration  The Tree of Life: Branching Out over on Sam's page is going strong and I'm gearing up to add my two cents  (well, 150 cents, but you know) on Sunday.  I am so friggin' excited, I can't even tell you!  If you're not up to date on the story go here and read the whole thing- seriously, it's amazing.

And now it's time to hop along you Friday celebrators!

14.
22.
30.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Day 4- Jerry Hatchett

It's day 4 of the super fun five day day Blogger Book Fair and today I'm featuring the supremely talented Jerry Hatchett!   Jerry is the author of the highly rated thrillers Pawnbroker and Seven Unholy Days as well as the still developing Projectionist.  Read on to learn more about these amazing stories and their incredible author:

Would you give killers what they want to get them to leave you and your family alone? Gray Bolton might, if he knew what "it" was. Life as a Mississippi pawnbroker is good, with a beautiful family and a bright future. Then he kills an armed robber and trouble cascades upon Bolton from everywhere. They all appear to be after the same thing and they will all do anything to get it. Unfortunately, Bolton has no idea what that thing is; but its discovery will test him in ways he couldn't have imagined, and the stakes are simple: Everything.

If you like "unputdownable" thrillers, check out Jerry Hatchett right now. His reviews tell the same tale over and over:  "I couldn't stop reading!"

Available on Kindle at Amazon.






How Dependent Is the United States on Technology?
That question gets answered in this nonstop thriller when an evil psychopath targets Matt Decker and the high-tech power grid he designed, in a deadly game of ancient clues and modern horror for seven very unholy days.
From the critics:
"A simple glitch in a power grid heralds the beginning of a madman's scheme to bring about a biblical apocalypse. Written in a staccato style that will leave readers breathless and flipping pages long into the night, Hatchett's first novel, SEVEN UNHOLY DAYS, is a thriller not to be missed!" - New York Times bestselling author James Rollins
For a limited time, you can get a a FREE copy on Kindle at Amazon!

And the still developing ghost story The Projectionist:
When Porter Hamlin's wife of nearly forty years dies, he wants to withdraw into his job as projectionist at The Magic, an old movie theater in the small town of Diebold, Tennessee. Within a few weeks of her death, however, Porter discovers that Alice left him a series of letters filled with detailed and bizarre instructions for him to carry out. The letters and the events they inspire will change Porter and others in ways he could never have imagined.

The Projectionist is a tale of love, loss, and life, one that will cause you to ask yourself, "Do you believe in magic?"

Chapters 1-14 are available on the Kindle at Amazon now, Chapter 15 is up for reading on Jerry's website.

Jerry Hatchett was born and grew up in the creatively fertile Mississippi Delta, and lives and works now in Houston, Texas. A lifelong admitted geek, he loves to create fast stories around characters you can cheer for and against. His work features a crisp tight voice that pulls you in and doesn't let go.

You can find him at his blog: http://jerryhatchett.blogspot.com/
At his author page: http://jerryhatchett.com/


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Day 3 Featuring Alberta Ross

It's day three of the Blogger Book Fair and today I'm featuring Alberta Ross author of the Sefuty Chronicles as well as A Patchwork of Perspectives.  Her imagination is an absolutely amazing place filled with climate-drive apocalypses, genetic engineering, global wars and, of course, love.  Read on to learn more about these amazing stories.



Ellen's Tale: being the first part of the Sefuty Chronicles

2111:  Ellen Wellfit, innocent and naive child of the safe,peaceful and sterile cities.  Bix Sefune, genetically modified as a child to fight with the Sefuty Comrades (popularly known as Ferals), now dangerously charming.

They meet when she seeks his help to fulfil the dying request of an old lady.  Terrified of life outside the city walls Ellen, in venturing out into the countryside, is forced to cling to Bix and he, responding, finds his interest in her growing. 

They both dare to think of a future together but he cannot live within walls and they have to part.  It is Ellen who seeks to find a way to achieve their dreams.  She takes a dangerous path but the results of her actions hold out hope for them and also for the dwindling survivors of mankind.

Ellen's Tale is an historical romance set in the future, with three time periods and two love stories set against a background of climate change, child soldiers, landmines,genetic engineering and eugenics.
 2162: Young researcher Maia Linne contacts archivist Ris Menai for assistance with a study of Ellen Wellfit, a young girl who had lived and loved 50 years previously.  Ris is an expert on Ellen and her times and agrees to help.  Through incomplete correspondence we follow their increasing interest and eventual love for each other.  Ellen's story is fed to Maia by copies of transcripts of recordings taken at the time.  Although these papers are also incomplete the story covers most of the events which were to prove important to mankind.
 
The Storyteller's Tale: being the second part of the Sefuty Chronicles

2116:  Ellen, Bix and Jack have moved away from the city and settled at Blaisemill to try and gain enough skills to survive in the wilderness.  They are to start opening up the beleaguered settlements and establish Trade Routes.  In Ellen's Tale Jack had rescued Keira Baha from death, and despite her being Blaisemill's black sheep, the comrades elect her their guide.  Some in Blaisemill say she is mad, they all say she is bad and consider it a mistake to take her on.  Jack believes she can be rescued from her own demons.  Can he do so in time, for her, for them.

2164:  Karina Morgan, friend and colleague of Maia Linne who, with archivist Ris Menai, has gone missing, presumed dead on a field trip, has taken up the uncompleted work on the Sefuty Chronicles.  Working with Keria Baha's recording of events during the three years Ellen and Bix resided in the settlement and some letters from Maia, Karina puts together this next instalment of the Chronicles.

Jack's Tale: being the third part of the Sefuty Chronicle
 
2120Away from the City and imprisoned behind rings of mines, deprived of resources, settlements battle famine, natural disasters and despair. The companions of Ellen’s Tale and The Storyteller’s Tale have moved south to settle in Belacot and to open new trade routes. This land to the west and north of the City has been untouched by any form of law and order for over 50 years and soon our companions face new conflict and danger. As they begin to liberate mined settlements they discover some of the survivors of the Great Wars live by violence banding together to exist by means of terror and murder.  Undermanned and lacking the resources of the City Bix’s Comrade is almost overwhelmed. Disasters threaten the close knit comrades and relationships begin to founder under the stresses of war.  
2165:  Karina Morgan continuing her friends research has the task of sorting letters and journal entries into some  semblance of order.  It is not work she is suited to and soon comes into conflict with Clemens the new head of department.


And her collection of short stories, A Patchwork of Perspectives, covers everything from innocent childhood to old age, from playtime to murder with a side dish of fantastical.  Can a mother's love keep her boy safe? Can you wake from a nightmare on the moon? Watch the mayhem develop on a sunny day in the quiet countryside. Go with Alberta on a chaotic story of life, listen to the talking cats, watch a murder most foul. Remember the child's imagination, worry about the old's fading grasp on reality. From the everyday ordinary to the quietly strange. Sit back, relax and enjoy the read.
Alberta's books can be purchased  in e-book  edition at
smashwords in multi ebook formats
amazon (UK and USA sites) for Kindle
and for print edition at lulu
Alberta spent the first part of her adult life travelling the world, the middle years studying  and now has settled down to write.  From the first part she has endless photographs and memories from the second she has a BSc Hons and a MA.  Now in this part everything comes together.
Over the years her interests have expanded, as have her book and music collections.  A short list would include reading (almost anything) science, opera, folk, gardening, philosophy, crazy patchwork, freeform crochet, ethics, social history, cooking (and eating of course) anthropology and of course climate change and sustainability.
 Her parents gave her, apart from a love of reading and music, an interest and curiosity  everything which in itself gives a total inability to be bored and for this she is always grateful. 

Don't forget to stop by the BBF to enter for your chance to win one a bundle of giveaway prizes if you haven't already and head one back here tomorrow for another fantastic author!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Snapshots Birthday Bash

Today I'm hosting the marvelous Patricia Lynne on this, the anniversary of the release of her book, Snapshots.  A year ago today the tome was unleashed on the masses so today is a birthday of sorts.  I figured there wasn't any better way to celebrate than to just let the fantastic Patricia hijack the blog and tell you about the creation of this book.  So, without further ado, I present to you our author: Patricia Lynne.


It’s funny when I think back to how Snapshots started. I got an idea for a guy. He had pierces - a lot - and in places people don’t normally see. Why? I had no idea, but that’s the image that first popped into my head. He was at a tattoo parlor getting another piercing when he meets this girl. She’s intrigued by all his piercings. Why so many? He tells her his childhood was abusive. They thought the other was attractive and he wanted to see her again.

That’s as far as I can remember the scene going. Nowhere in Snapshots will you find that scene. Cyc doesn’t have a single piercing. Mostly because it’d take a lot more force than humanely possible to poke through his skin. But that was the spark that started the story.

Once the first draft was finished and I started edits I had to figure out why Cyc was different. At one point I thought maybe he was a government experiment. But I had another story with government experiments so I scrapped that idea. A mutation was out of the question too. For one, this wasn’t X-men and two only Cyc had special abilities. I can’t really tell you what I came up with since that would spoil parts (some may figure it out, but not everyone will so let’s not ruin it for them.)

Most of those changes were because the initial idea just didn’t make sense. It created a plot hole or inconsistency (although, truthfully, there is a sentence in Snapshots that I still agonize over because with how Cyc is, I worry it created an inconsistency in him.) Every story I write has this in common. They all evolve and change to become something different - something better. Something I hope people will love.

And here's the book! 



My name is Cyclop Blaine and I am a real person.
    “You are mine.”
I am a real person: heedless of a childhood spent under the supervision of an old man I only know as Master.
    “You belong to me.”
I am a real person: regardless of my teenage years bound by violence as the adoptive son of the Victory Street Gang's leader.
    “You will obey me.”
I am a real person: despite the visions I see in others' eyes. Snapshots of their futures.
    “You will cower before me.”
I am a real person: my life will be my own. I belong to no one.
    “You. Are. MINE.”



Available at:

Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was more of an art and band geek. Some stories are meant to be told and now she can't stop writing. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow.

Find her at:

Come on back tomorrow for another awesome author and don't forget to hop by the other participating blogs for more great authors, more fantastic books, and more super giveaways!