Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas to all of my friends, family, blog followers, twitter followers, and FB friends (and anyone else who might find this post). Hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Nothing is cuter than two kids singing Jingle Bells, so here you go. My kids singing Jingle Bells. This video was taken several years ago.



Monday, December 17, 2012

The Loudest Voice

I know I don't need to rehash what happened December 14th, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. That moment, like all other tragedies (Columbine, Virgina, Tech, 9/11, Oklahoma City), are burned into our collective consciousness. They are moments that change our perspective, shattering preconceived notions of what is and isn't possible. We see the darkness that lurks in humanity as it rears its head and snuffs out the light of innocence.

That day, the world mourned. My twitter feed changed from "Check out this book" or some other miscellaneous blurb about life, to shock, pain, fear, anger, and tears. Parents wanting to pick up their children and hold them tight knowing that so many children were lost that day. Losing a child is the greatest fear that any parent, myself included, can experience. That fear is amplified when we are confronted with a tragedy of this magnitude. The senseless loss of innocence.

As with all tragedies the fear turns to politics. How are we going to protect ourselves and our children from horrible people? What new laws must be enacted? Politicians have already started wrangling their viewpoints to a nation in mourning. It was all over FB and Twitter too.

I assure, this post isn't about politics. It isn't about rights. It isn't about pointing fingers.

It's about the victims.

It doesn't, ultimately, matter how, or why, it just happened. A horrific tragedy. That day hatred roared into our lives with the voice of a 100 gunshots.

A tweet passed through my timeline from a friend. I can't remember the exact words used, but it was along the lines of that there was so much hatred in the world that she didn't even want to be a part of the human race anymore.

My immediate response was to give her a virtual hug (I was giving out a lot of those in lieu of real ones). Then I told her "There is more love in the world than hate. Hate just has a louder voice."

Let me say that again...


I tried to get this out to people. Asking for people to retweet the message that we need to make love's voice louder. It won't end hatred, but it can make love's voice louder, so that when hatred roars, love sings above it.

So, here is what I'm asking you, my dutiful readers. Send a message of hope, love, or kindness. Use the hashtag #LovesVoice be it on Twitter, Email, or Facebook. Sometimes the simplest things can change a person's life. Send the message to someone who needs it. Send it because you can. Send messages of love or thankfulness, it doesn't matter. Just say it. Anything positive to brighten someone's day. Let's see if we can get this going somewhere.

And maybe, just maybe, Love's Voice will be louder.

And here's a start. 26 Moments That will Restore Your Faith in Humanity.

'Till next time.

UPDATE: My friend Jaime Dement over at WriteBackwards did a wonderful post about giving to those in need. You should head over and check it out.

UPDATE: Saw this beautiful video by Shane Kyczan talking about being bullied. Has an amazing message.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cover Reveal: Timespell by Diana Paz

It's a two for one day on cover reveals. Originally I thought it was going to be one on Thursday and one on Friday. Turns out, it's two on Friday. That's double the awesome and double the gorgeous covers.

On this, the second awesome cover reveal of the day, I have the lovely Diana Paz's Timespell.

Diana Paz writes books about magic, adventure, and romance. She was born in Costa Rica, grew up on Miami Beach, moved to Los Angeles in high school, and went to college in San Diego. Basically, she’s a beach bum. Diana graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. She loves old movies, epic fantasy, all kinds of music, and heading to the beach with a good book. Preferably sipping a highly sweetened iced coffee.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.dianapaz.com/
Blog: http://www.dianapazwrites.blogspot.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dianapazwrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dianapazwrites

The cover of Timespell is gorgeous. I love it! The book also has a very fascinating premise (as you will soon see). But first! The cover...

Timespell by Diana Paz - Publication date: April 1st, 2013 / Rhemalda Publishing
In TIMESPELL, the brash and impulsive Julia must team up with her sweet and straight-laced best friend, Angie, and the malicious and power-hungry Kaitlyn in order to keep the witch-like powers of her inheritance. But these powers come at a cost. The girls are bound to serve the Fates, and their first mission sends them back in time to Marie Antoinette’s Paris and eventually, into the chaos and war of the French Revolution.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16146956-timespell

Oh...and a trailer!

'Till next time...

Cover Reveal: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

I'm so excited to be able to help share Lisa Burstein's newest book, Dear Cassie, to the world. If you haven't read her first book, Pretty Amy, you should. I've only read a few bits here and there and I assure you that I will be reading this book. Now that I've seen the cover and read the blurb for Dear Cassie, I guarantee I'll be reading it as well. Lisa has such a way with words.

She's also a pretty awesome person.

Anyway, I could spend an entire blog post talking about Lisa, but I really want to show off the cover. I mean, that's why you came here. Right?

But first a little about Lisa herself.

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She lives in Portland, OR, with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Dear Cassie is her second novel.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaBurstein
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaBursteinAuthor
Website: http://www.lisaburstein.com

Dear Cassie Official Blurb:

What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?

You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

You’d be wrong.

There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.

What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?

But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.

And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?

Pretty cool, huh?

Now, how about the cover and a little excerpt.

Yeah, I figured you'd want to see it.

We kept walking on the lake trail, the bullfrogs croaking. There was also a humming in my ears from the nicotine.

It could only be from the nicotine. It had nothing to do with being outside, at night, alone with Ben. It had nothing to do with Ben coming to the cabin and taking me instead of Nez and it definitely had nothing to do with the stars above us shining like they were the sky’s tiara.

I stopped on the trail and looked up, taking them in, when all of a sudden bright colored lights exploded in the sky—fireworks, one after another, on top of each other, huge kaleidoscopes of light, like sparkling rainbow spiders.

“How did you know?” I asked, my voice going softer, like if I talked too loudly they would stop. It was so beautiful, after weeks of so much ugly.

Ben turned to look at me, the colored lights in the sky turning his skin pink, blue, green. “I’m magic.” He shrugged.

I geared up to tell him to fuck off, because that was some corny-ass shit, but then I realized that he really kind of was. In that moment he was able to actually make me forget being me.

“I would try to kiss you,” he said, “but I’m afraid you’d kick me in the balls.”

“I probably would.” I laughed, the sky filling with noisy color like paint launching from a giant popcorn popper. “But like I said, it wouldn’t be about you.”

“I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make it about me,” he said, taking off his boots and socks and standing. “Come on.”

“There is no way I am getting near that water again,” I said.

“I’ll make sure nothing happens to you,” he said, holding his hand out to help me up.

I looked at his palm, open, waiting, just wanting to hold mine. For once, I didn’t think about anything except that there was a cute, sweet, smart-ass boy standing in front of me with his hand out.

I pulled off my boots and socks and took it.

We stood at the lakeshore, our hands still clasped, the water licking our feet, fireworks decorating the sky.

I turned to him. He was looking up, his mouth open in wonder like he was trying to swallow the moment.

It was definitely one worth keeping.

DEAR CASSIE pre-buy links:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13628374-dear-cassie
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Dear-Cassie-Lisa-Burstein/9781620612545
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dear-Cassie-Lisa-Burstein/dp/1620612542/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dear-cassie-lisa-burstein/1113610316


Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13375237-pretty-amy
Powells: http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9781620611197-0
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Pretty-Amy-Lisa-Burstein/9781620611197
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pretty-Amy-Lisa-Burstein/dp/1620611198/
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pretty-amy-lisa-burstein/1108930786

'Till next time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ReAwakened by Ada Adams Blog Tour

Today, we are once again joined by the lovely and talented Ada Adams, author of the Angel Creek series. Her first two books, ReVamped and ReAwakened, are already out with a third in the works. If you haven't read either, you should. They are fun and have a lot of heart...er...blood, vampires, romance, and plenty of kick butt action.

This is all part of a huge blog tour. For all the dates, and locations, go here or click on the awesome banner at the top.

We were going to have a character interview. However, due to contractual obligations, and not to mention spoilers, Ada decided to subject herself to many questions of dubious quality. She did insist on me keeping said questions "appropriate". Both Razor, and myself, are seriously disappointed by that stipulation, but we'll live (we'll just whine about it some)

So, I bring you (drum roll please)

Ada Adams

Q: A lot of authors point to one book as being THE book that inspired them. What book inspired you to become a writer?

I honestly don't think that it was ever a specific book that did it for me. Instead, it was a lifelong love for reading and writing that inspired me to pursue my own storytelling. I began reading chapter books at age five and inhaled anything and everything that I could get my hands on. I have favorite books that inspired me during childhood ("Harry Potter" comes to mind as one of these), but I think that I have to credit my parents for cultivating my love for books at an early age.

Q: There are a lot of vampire stories out there. What sets yours apart from the others?

"Angel Creek" takes a bit of a different approach to vampires. I didn't want to write about perfect creatures as there are already so many great novels about dark, sexy vamps. I wanted my vampires to resemble humans and live alongside us in society. In a way, the series possesses some satirical aspects (in reflection of our society), but is mostly full of action and adventure.

Q: Why a place like Angel Creek and not some major metropolitan area like New York or Paris or something?

I've grown up in a large metropolitan area, so I find myself very drawn to small towns. Perhaps I’m idealizing them to an extent, but I feel that an unknown little place like Angel Creek can hold so many secrets! It’s much easier to mold an imaginary town into another one of my characters, whereas working with an already well-known metropolitan area brings about a completely different feel to the story.

Q: Can you tell us about your first concept of Dawn? What was she like? Was she as we see her now or different?

Dawn definitely grew as a character throughout the drafting stages. In fact, she continues to grow as the series progresses - just the way I like my characters to be! Her name used to be Gabrielle in the first draft, and she was a lot less compassionate and more snarky. Throughout the drafting stages, I've found a better balance between the two!

Q: Where's your favorite spot to write?

My favorite spot used to be my desktop in my makeshift basement office. I moved right before starting on "ReAwakened" and even though I have a way better office right now (an office in the sky!), I haven't felt fully "at home" in it yet. Therefore, all of "ReAwakened" was written on my laptop in various locations (something that I never used to do). My favorite place to write in the entire world is at the cottage, surrounded by nature and sometimes even floating on the lake. Unfortunately, I only get to do that about four months of the year!

Q: A lot of writers have specific routines, or rituals before they can write. What are your routines or rituals that you go through?

I can't write when music is playing! I do draw inspiration from music, but I need quiet when I write. I also like to have my puppies, Cara(milk) and Oreo around. When I’m feeling inspired, I can sometimes forget to eat for an entire day, but when I'm lacking inspiration I snack. A lot! On chocolate.

Q: Who's your favorite character to write in this series and why?

It honestly varies. Dawn, being the main character, is very important to me, but at the same time, her journey tends to be very serious. I love to write Razor’s character, because he’s such a crazy, free spirit...his lines are too much fun to craft! I also like Brooke and Seth's bickering, but I truly love them all! I enjoy watching the characters grow, develop, and mature as the series progresses.

Q: You're a super talented person. You're a writer, actress, black belt in Karate, and even edit your own magazine. Besides ballroom dancing, what is your Achilles Heel?

I can't sing! And I don't mean that in a cute I-only-sing-in-the-shower kind of way. No…I sound absolutely horrible! My own mother laughs at me uncontrollably when I sing (and she’s my biggest cheerleader, so you know that it must be really, really bad).

Q: We know Angel Creek is at least 3 novels. Any plans for a 4th...5th...10th...15th?

It greatly depends on the fans! I love writing the characters and their stories, so as long as there is demand, why not? However, I don't think that it would go past four novels (and some novellas)...I think that a series sometimes loses its "spark" when it goes on for too long.

Q: Any ideas about stories after Angel Creek is done? Any spin-offs? Maybe a side character *cough*Razor*cough* getting their own book? Or maybe something unrelated?

I have been getting a lot of requests for novellas (Razor ones too!), so that is definitely something that I plan to explore in the near future. I also have two other big projects planned for 2013 (one NA contemporary stand-alone novel and another YA/NA hybrid series, also contemporary), so it will be a busy year!

So there you have it. Ada in her words, not mine.

If you want to get a hold of Ada, here are some links.
Website: http://www.revampedbook.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ada_Adams
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/revampedbook
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5757476.Ada_Adams

And oh look what I found, a giveaway! :D
GIVEAWAY: - 3 winners (One grand prize winner +2 small prize winners) - One main entry per person - Must be 13 years or older to enter - Open Internationally - Winners will have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen
Grand Prize Winner will win the following-
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hover (The Taking #2) by Melissa West Cover Reveal

My vision for my 100th blog post was going to be little different. However, once I saw the cover to Melissa West's new book, Hover, I knew I had to show it off instead. The cover is A. MAZE. ING!

Seriously. I show it off in a bit...yes, I'm evil! Also, it's my 100th blog post, so I can do what I want! *evil laugh*

psst...there's a giveaway at the bottom

But first, a little bit about the lovely and talented Melissa West.

Melissa West, Author Extordinaire
Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L'Engle.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

Melissa’s links:

Website- http://www.melissawestauthor.com/
Blog- http://m-b-west.blogspot.com/
Twitter- https://twitter.com/MB_West
Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/MelissaWestAuthor
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5287439.Melissa_West

So, you want to see it?


OK. Here it is.

Pre-order Buy links:

Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Hover-The-Taking-Melissa-West/dp/1620610930/
BN.com- No link yet
Chapters- http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Hover-Melissa-West/9781620610930-item.html
Book Depository- http://www.bookdepository.com/Hover-Melissa-West/9781620610930

Oh and it gets better! There's a giveaway too! :D
a Rafflecopter giveaway

'Till Next Time!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Home Stretch and Lessons Learned

I'd like to be able say I'm going to hit the magical 50K that is the ultimate goal of NaNoWriMo. I'd like to be able say that the novel I am writing makes sense.

Neither of them would be true.

However, that doesn't mean the month is a wash. I still have all the words I've written and the beginnings to a story. I started NaNo (my first I might add) with the attitude of "if I write 50K that will be awesome, but I don't expect to". This freed me up to not stress about the whole thing and just enjoy the moment.

NaNoWriMo is 30 days and nights of literary abandon. 50K is the goal, but that doesn't mean you have to stress about it.

While most people were:

I was:
Relax...it's all good.
Currently, I am at 25K. That means I would have to write 5K a day to hit 50K by Friday. Yeah. I could theoretically still make it. However, I'm not going to push myself. For one, I didn't do enough pre-planning. I don't even have a skeleton of an outline done and I barely know how a scene is going to end. I'm just writing.

So, lessons learned:
  1. I need to pre-plan some for next year. This year, it snuck up on me and I was completely unprepared. I need to choose one of my existing ideas and start some basic outlining/character design. That way, I'm not spending half the month trying to figure out what my characters look like much less how they would act. I figure I have a year. I'm not going to stress.
  2. Time manage better. This is a result of not being prepared for NaNo. Instead of writing, I goofed off too much. Breaks are important, but not to the extent that I did them.
  3. I could, with the right preparation, write 50K in a month. If you look at my stats, I wasn't too far off there for a while, then I got bogged down and stumbled.
  4. I might have to choose something goofy to do next year. I generally write very serious things, so it might be fun to try something different. After all, that is what NaNo is about. Stretching your imagination beyond where you thought it would be.
So, as we say about my local football team, there is always next year. :D

#writemotivation got overshadowed by NaNo this month. I'm guessing that happens. NaNo has a tendency to overshadow everything. However, I do believe I made my goals (despite being very amorphous).

  1. Survive NaNo. Yup.
  2. Work on HJ. No, but I wasn't expecting to be able to. I just had it here in case I was up to it. I wasn't.
  3. Blog once a week. Technically "yes". However, last weeks blog was VERY late and was part of a Blog Tour. I did not do my weekly #writemotivation post. I was too tired.
  4. Cheer on my #writemotivation tweeps. YUP! I didn't get as much in as I usually do, but there was some dino zombie cheeleader cookie slinging going on.
So, there you have it. Once November is done, I'm setting aside Troubleshooter so I can finish Hate Jacket.

'Till next time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Treason by S.M. Boyce Blog Tour

First off a HUGE apology to S.M. for not getting this setup right away. So very sorry. I love this series and have no excuse for not getting it ready in time.

That being said here it is. An excerpt from her second book in the Lichgates series. If you haven't picked up the first one, you should. It's a beautifully crafted book.

Treason, Book two of the Grimoire Trilogy by S. M. Boyce

Excerpt from chapter one

In the hidden world of Ourea, there are too many beautiful places to name: rose-covered cliffs tower miles over the valleys and forests below, cities thrive in submerged ecosystems beneath the sea, and the dragons that once ruled volcanoes are now but fossils in a cave. The creatures of human myth flourish in Ourea. Trees are this world’s skyscrapers. Magic is its currency. And while the rest of Earth forgot what it means to dream big, Ourea kept alive its wonder.

At least, that’s how Kara saw it.

She sat on a ledge in a cave, a dozen feet or so above an indoor river littered with rapids. Green sunlight poured through a crack in the ceiling, its rays tainted green from the branches which blocked her view of the sun. The light danced across the river, illuminating the white foam that splattered into the air as the water rushed by below.

Kara dangled her legs over the edge, listening to the chorus of water roaring through the cave. The ledge on which she sat served as a catwalk through the cavern. Several more ledges lined both sides of the cave, but she hadn’t yet figured out how to get to them. She stared up at the ledge ten feet above her, her eyes following the natural walkway until she came across a missing chunk a few yards off. Maybe she could climb that someday, but all she wanted now was to relax.

Her ledge wound around a bend in the cavern wall and toward a waterfall that fed the river. Behind the waterfall was a flight of stone stairs that led to a dirt trail, which curved through a forest for about a mile before it opened out into the Vagabond’s village—her village. And there, somewhere in the myriad of empty houses and vacant rooms, Braeden was probably starting to realize she’d ditched their sparring practice for the day.

Kara eyed her satchel, which lay empty against the cave wall. Flick—the red, teleporting ball of fur that he was—was out and about exploring the cave. The Xlijnughl (Zyl-LEYN-guhl ) could find trouble anywhere, so she hoped he would stay close. She would just have to keep an eye out for him.

Her stomach growled. She glanced through the tree branches above to take a guess at the time, but she couldn’t even see the sun through the leaves. As much as she wanted to believe Braeden wouldn’t find her little haven, she knew better. Braeden could track anything. That prince could track a month-old trail if he wanted. There was no escaping him, not that she would ever really want such a thing. Not after all he’d done for her.

She sighed and leaned her head against the cave wall. Pebbles broke off as she pushed against it, so she grabbed one as it fell and chucked it over the edge.

Braeden had guarded her while she visited the yakona kingdoms. He’d helped her bring them together in a loose sense of the word. He’d saved her life when she fled Hillside. She shuddered—her brush with Gavin had been too close. He’d tried to trick her into wearing a poisoned tiara that would have made her his slave.

She scoffed. None of this even sounded real. This world couldn’t be real. She would wake up from her coma any day now. That had to be it. A secret world hidden beneath the human race’s collective nose couldn’t be real.


“You scrunch your eyebrows when you’re lost in thought.”

She blinked her eyes back into focus. Braeden sat next to her, even though she hadn’t even heard him on his way across the ledge.

He watched her with that half-cocked grin of his. Black hair framed his face, longer now than when she’d first met him a couple months ago. A few beads of sweat rolled down his temple, tracing his olive skin in a pattern she wanted to mimic with her finger. His dark eyes caught her in their gaze, and she forgot how to breathe for a moment.

“No, don’t stop. It’s cute,” he said.

She laughed and punched his shoulder. He teetered and reached for her, grinning as if he was about to pull her over with him, only to scoot a little closer once he righted himself. Though he would never throw her off a cliff, Kara pulled her feet onto the platform all the same once he started laughing, too.

“You shouldn’t push people who are sitting on ledges, you know,” he said with a wink.

Kara smiled. “You’d heal instantly.”

He nudged her shoulder. “Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt.”

“Well, I’m sorry then.”

“Ungracious apology accepted.”
She laughed. She couldn’t help it. Even if her mind had created Ourea as some elaborate defense mechanism, she would stay just to be near him.

But Ourea was real. She’d escaped armies, decapitated shadow demons, and had too many scars for it to not be real—and the gravity of her dangerous new life sent bile into the back of her throat. The people vagabonds loved died. Every time. Thus, why she couldn’t have Braeden.

“You all right, Kara?”

She caught his eye and forced a smile. “Yep.”

He narrowed his eyes as if waiting for her to crack under the pressure. She wouldn’t. She wanted what she couldn’t have. It was as simple as that.




Grab Your Copy:

Amazon: USA UK Germany |  France Spain | Italy

Bonus Features


Grab Your Copy:

Amazon: USA | UK | Germany |  France | Spain | Italy

Bonus Features

About Boyce

S.M. Boyce is a fantasy and paranormal fiction novelist who also dabbles in contemporary fiction and comedy. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries, and she updates her blog a few times each week to keep you entertained.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NaNoWriMo Is Eating My Brain

I think the title sums it up pretty nicely. I mean, really, is there anything else that need be said? I know, I could make a list of all of the things that I'm putting on hold to do NaNoWriMo.

Here it goes:
  1. My pre-NaNo novel, Hate Jacket, much to the chagrin of my betas and my main character. Did I mention that I left him hanging in the middle of a chapter? Yeah, he's pissed.
  2. Sleeping. Yeah, who needs it. Sleep is for the weak.
  3. Social life. Ok, I didn't have one before, so I guess this doesn't really count...but still.
  4. Reading. Yeah, not reading much. Managed to squeeze in a couple chapters of an ARC of Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs. I really want to read more. It's well written and the world is well designed. Also, characters are so fun. Sigh. All things are secondary to NaNo. Notice the monotone robot voice? Yeah, I'm fully assimilated. Resistance is futile.
  5. Family. Ok, not really. I'm sure they'd like me a little more focused on them, but I have been paying some attention to them...I think...what were their names again?
  6. My internal editor. He hates it. I had to duct tape his mouth shut and bury him in the back yard. He's haunting me from beyond the grave. It isn't pretty. I've also done my best to stuff Self-Doubt in there but he keeps oozing out between the cracks. May need to invest in a flamethrower.
  7. My #writemotivation cheering. Yeah, um sorry about that. I try.
  8. Anything else I can't remember that I've forgotten.
So there you have it. Currently, I'm about 6K behind in my quest for the elusive 50K. At the pace I'm writing, I'll hit 50K sometime on the 8th of December. However, there are several days off coming up and I should get some decent writing in.

So, I'm making my very vague #writemotivation goals of surviving NaNoWriMo, but not doing so well in my encouragement of my fellow #writemotivation tweeps. Hell, I haven't even updated my twitter list and for that I'm sorry.

For all the writers out there who are struggling with self-doubt, here's a little picture that might help. Wow...that rhymed unintentionally. :D

'Till next time.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Greta and the Goblin King Blog Tour and Giveaway

Greta and the Goblin King Cover

While trying to save her brother from the witch three years ago, Greta was thrown into the fire herself, falling through a portal to a dangerous world where humans are the enemy, and every ogre, goblin, and ghoul has a dark side that comes out with the full moon. To survive, 17-year-old Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young Goblin King, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her determination to escape. But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. The full moon is mere days away, and an ancient evil being knows she’s the key to opening the portal. If Greta fails, she and the boys she finds stranded in the woods will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back . . .

Release date: November 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13260802-greta-and-the-goblin-king

Author Spotlight:
Chloe Jacobs
Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she'd at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers.

Official links: http://www.chloejacobs.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jacobs_chloe
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chloe-Jacobs/100853093360333

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Monday, November 5, 2012

NaNoWriMo and #writemotivation Update Part 1

So, we're five days into the month of November. NaNoWriMo is in full swing. As of this post almost 600 million words have been written. Some people have already hit their 50K. Some people are half way done. Some people haven't written a word. I'm averaging close to their suggested number of words a day. I should have hit 6K yesterday, I didn't. A lot of people would stress about this. I'm not. If I stress, I stop writing. It's that simple. Also, I'm doing this for fun and to get myself back into a consistent writing regimen. So far, it's working.

I'm not doing NaNoWriMo by myself. In addition to the 260,000 participates world wide, I am joined by my two children (ages 6 and 11). Both of them wanted to do it. Both of them set goals and are working toward them. The 6yo is wanting to write 250 words (he's just over 50 now). Oldest is shooting for 8K. Both of them should reach their goals. I think it is awesome.

Last night it occurred to me that I may not play catch with my children, we do word-sprints. Last night, my oldest and I wrote for 15 minutes without stopping. I would have included the younger kid, but he had to go to bed. Maybe today we'll get another word-sprint in.

No matter what, the important thing is that we are having fun and expanding our creative minds. That is what NaNoWriMo is all about. Writing creatively for 30 days.

As for the novel I'm working on, I decided on the SciFi action-y story, Troubleshooter. It's been in my head for 20 years. It's time I got it out. I decided to do it for a couple of reasons.
  1. I have had it in my head for 20 years
  2. Most of the world has been built (see point 1)
  3. I needed something less emotionally intense than HJ to work on.
  4. If I get stuck, I can always blow up a building (or 3!).
  5. SciFi is fun!
The nice thing about NaNo (besides all the above), is that I can experiment with things and not worry about it. Editing comes later.

If you are doing NaNo and want to be a writing buddy, my username is: DrewPy42. Add me, and I'll add you back.

'Till next time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Plath, Poe, and Prozac. The Myth. The Madness.


Today was interesting.

Today was interesting because of two people.

Nassim N. Taleb and Andrew Shaffer.

If I were more ambitious, I would have sold tickets to the event. If you missed it, too bad. It's buried in the annals of the twitterverse.

It started with this review of the book Antifragile.

As with all things internet and twitter it devolved into humorous blustering on the part of Mr. Taleb. At least, I found it humorous. He on the other hand, probably didn't.

But I digress. You missed it. I was there. I, unfortunately, didn't buy the T-Shirt. I should have. It would have been epic.

I will also say that this whole post will sound more humorous (seems to be the word of the day!) if you imagine me saying this with a snooty, fake English/French accent with a subtle Midwestern United States twang. Trust me, it sounds awesome in my head.

The real content of this post is on quotes posted by Andrew Shaffer on Mr. Taleb's suggestion that Sylvia Plath and Edgar Allen Poe would have had their creative abilities stifled with Prozac. I can only assume (insert ass joke here), that Mr. Taleb is suggesting that both of these poets would have also benefited from the administration of said medication. This is an assumption, on my part, as I haven't bothered to read all 500 pages of his work (Andrew Shaffer has). Also, according to Mr. Taleb, I have an amateur grasp of psychology.

Exhibit A
This was his response after I suggested that his aggression toward Mr. Shaffer was actually anger at the supposed slight. Now, if by "Amateur" he's indicating my lack of schooling on the subject, I will have to agree. I have a degree in Music Theory. Of course, I do have a superior IQ (I was tested), so I'm sure I can use that to adequately come to an educated understanding of psychology with a little bit of research. I mean, it's not like I haven't spent the majority of my life in therapy discussing such topics as anger and aggression or have done research on how to live with those two issues.

But I digress...again...

So, these thoughts rattled around in my head on the way home and I begin to wonder what treatment Plath and Poe would undergo (I'm rhyming and alliterating!) if they were alive today.

I did research. Google is awesome for that.

I found this article in the Journal of Royal Science of Medicine specifically about Ms. Plath. It's a fascinating read. I'll admit, I skimmed it, but I'm preparing for NaNoWriMo and its Halloween (kid's gotta get candy!). I'm a bit busy. And honestly, I doubt Mr. Taleb read it at all.

In short, this article states that Ms. Plath suffered from Bipolar II disorder as laid out by the DSM-IV. Now, here's the problem with Mr. Taleb's assertions. Bipolar Disorder is very complex and cannot be solely controlled with antidepressants, such as Prozac. In fact, if a person with Bipolar is given only antidepressants, it can cause severe mood swings. This is exactly what happened to Sylvia Plath. Her doctor gave her an antidepressant. Her brain went into overdrive and she ultimately committed suicide. And yes, I have research bipolar disorder. I also no several people undergoing treatment for it. I know how many different meds are required to maintain a stable life with bipolar disorder.

On to Poe. Pretty much the same. Do a Google search. He suffered from BiPolar as well as substance abuse.

Prozac alone won't "fix" their problem. If anything, it will make it worse.

Now onto the other half of his "argument". That being the Prozac "silencing" Plath and Poe.

This one, I'm going to have fun with. I'm normally not one to being this aggressive, but this is complete BS. Seriously. Know how I know? I'm living it. I don't have bipolar disorder, but I do have a form chronic depression called Dysthymia. I take a very small, and thankfully, inexpensive pill called Citalopram. It works. I'm not depressed to the point of being curled up in a ball. I'm not a "vegetable" as Mr. Taleb suggests would happen when I take it.

I am fully functional. I'm writing. I'm writing darker, and more intense things than I have EVER written. Why? Because I don't have the depression gumming up the system to the point I can't think. I have to feel what my characters are feeling. If I'm depressed, I can't do that. Dark writing doesn't have to come out of mental illness.

Imagination is more important than knowledge -- Albert Einstein

So, Mr. Taleb. If you have managed to get this far, I'm impressed. Somehow I doubt it. Even if you have, your ego would already dismiss me as "amateur" and "unintelligent". Frankly, I find that sad. You see, as a writer, I have to be able to handle criticism of my work. It's part of being out there in the world.

I realize this may feel like an attack against your person. I assure, it isn't. It's an attack against your logic, specifically in regards to Poe and Plath. A PhD, in whatever subject you hold one in, doesn't make you an intelligent person. It means you are a persistent person. You might be an expert in being uncertain, but I'm an expert at being a smart-ass. Just ask people on twitter.

So I leave you with the words of one James Hetfield, poet and musician.
Then it all crashes down
And you break your crown
And you point your finger
But there's no one around
Just want one thing
Just to play the king
But the castle's crumbled
And you're left with just a name

Where's your crown, King Nothing?

'Till next time.

p.s. Please, Mr. Taleb, comment. I won't be offended. I might get "aggressive" with your "sophistry", but I won't call you stupid, moronic, unintelligent, frivolous, ego-centric, or any other slew of words that can be easily found in a thesaurus (you might call it, the anti-dictionary).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nether Soul Blog Tour

Today, we are joined by the awesome and talented Bonnie Rae. Some of you may know her from her debut novel, Nether Bound. If you've read it, then you will be happy to know that today, yes today, is the release of the sequel, Nether Soul. Also, kudos to the cover artist. Those covers are AMAZING!!!

After much coercion (read begging, pleading, and abasing ourselves). She agreed to answer a few questions. Ava threatened to use my head as a bowling ball if I misbehaved (party pooper!), so I had to keep the questions tame and non-spoilery.

So, here you go. Bonnie Rae, in her own words.

Where did you come up with the idea for the Nether Series? What was the spark that started this ball rolling?
I was actually at a writer's conference in the middle of listening to an agent talk about self-publishing and social media. All of a sudden (and I mean literally all of a sudden) I saw these two teenagers in my head. They were at a park in the eerie wee hours of the morning on a cold night. A boy and a girl, sitting on the swings. I didn't know what they were talking about at the time, but I immediately wrote the entire scene down. I pretty much missed the rest of that workshop, but Nether Bound was born from it, so all is good!

Where is your favorite place to write?
In my office. It's my own little space. I have my story boards of the novel I am currently working on and all of my notes hanging on the walls around me. I constantly feel surrounded by inspiration.
It's obvious you've done a lot of research into the mythos of Angels and Devils. What were your primary sources?
I was raised in a strict Catholic house. Talking about the Devil or Hell was not tolerated. So, naturally as a child I was curious about those things. Being brought up and taught that something is so evil and so wrong that you couldn't even utter the name or word made me, as an adult, explore all of these things further. I looked and read many parts of the bible and various religious writings. So I would say that was my primary resource. The rest all came from different books and the internet. I'll admit, sometimes it made me uncomfortable and I think that is from my upbringing. But, I realized that even if things are evil, fearing them to the point of not talking about them only makes it worse. Looking your fear in the eyes, evil or not, and facing them head on will only make you stronger. We cannot defeat things by turning a blind eye.

Tell us about when you first decided you wanted to write. How old were you and what did you write/read that got you interested.
I was eleven. My grandparents had given me a copy of E.B. White's Charlotte's Web. Even though I hated spiders, the story opened my eyes and soul to the world of fiction. Even at that young age I realized that with books, I could go anywhere and be anyone. I had a rough childhood and to be able to have that escape from reality made me want to become a writer.

How many books are you planning in this series? Any possible spin-offs?
This series will only have three. As for spin-offs. Funny you should ask. I am definitely ending this series with the possibility of exploring one of the characters later on in their own series. =)

Anything you want to tell us about the next book? When you think it might be coming out? Maybe some non-spoilery hints?
With the next book unfortunately there is no such thing as non-spoiling hints. Sorry =(. But, I am currently working on the third an final book in the series now with a projected release date of February 2013. So you won't have to wait too long =)

Anything you want to tell the readers that hasn't already been asked?
My favorite movie is the Dark Crystal and I am obsessed with Fraggles. Not sure they wanted to know that, but hey, a little useless information is always fun, right?

Who's your favorite character in the Nether series and why?
My favorite character will always be Ava. Ava is very much a part of me. In the first book when readers are seeing how Ava witnesses and deals with the domestic abuse her mother suffers, is very much what I went through as a teenager. And with this second book you will see a darker side of Ava, a side that I related to with my own struggles growing up with depression and mental illness. (Yep, I am not ashamed to admit that - everyone has issues). In the third book (and I can't say much without giving things away) we see Ava come full circle. So each book, in a sense, also depicts a bit of my own life. There will always be other books and other characters, but Ava will always be part of my soul. She was and is the Nether series and the Nether series is my first set of books to completely make it to publication. As a writer we always want to share our stories with the world, but sometimes even though that is what we want, it is still scary. Ava helped me be strong and share a story that needed to be told. She will always have a special place in my heart and in my soul.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Andrew! I hope you all enjoy this interview as well as Nether Soul!

Thanks, Bonnie. :D It was a joy having you here. If you readers haven't read either of these books, I would encourage you to. They are awesome and beautifully written.

'Till next time.