Monday, May 18, 2015

Flesh Gordon

Want more Blood, Boobs, and Carnage?
Alex J. Cavanaugh and Heather M. Gardner are hosting the Blood, Boobs, & Carnage Blogfest.

It's a day to celebrate the best (or worst) of of movies, books, or TV with ample amounts of sex and violence.

For my pick, there was no competition: 

Flesh Gordon!


IMDb Description


I never actually saw this movie. It was released in 1974, and I was only five. I was always mature for my age, but even begging couldn't get me a ticket to this raunchy movie.

And that really made me mad.

My dad would rate movies based on their T&A value. Any movie that lacked plot, he'd still consider redeemable if it had enough naked ladies. I remember my dad suggesting Flesh Gordon, with its sex rays and dildo shaped space ship, should get an Academy Award. I never realized until I went to look it up for the hop that you can watch the entire movie on YouTube.

I'm an adult now, and my dad can't stop me from watching. Now, the biggest question is- do I still want to see it?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Rats, Books, and Good Causes!

Thanks to Lexa Cain and her co hosts: L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom for keeping us looking on the bright side! 

1. Kudos to Laura Johnston and Donna K. Weaver! These ladies set up  Authors United Against Child Slavery

It's inconceivable that someone could hurt a child, but sadly, it happens every day. There isn't much we can do alone, but united, we can do something. We can donate books, buy books, and/or spread the word. 

Buy/ Donate/ Share!!
2. My son was invited to the WVU Future Scholars Reception. He's a smart kid with a big heart.  

My son, Carter, in the navy shirt.
His friends and fellow scholars,
Hunter and Troy.

3. The Seckman family has a new member. Meet Wilbur, the lab rat. He was my oldest son's psychology test rat. Wilbur's college days were over, so my son had the choice of bringing him home or euthanizing him. The rat comes to his name for crying out loud- he had to bring him home!!

Wilbur Seckman


Now, for a good book...
            Welcome Chrys Fey!!

Thank you for letting me steal your blog for the day, Elizabeth.

Since I’m releasing two short stories nearly at the same time, I decided to put both of my first paragraphs up for a battle.


First paragraph from Ghost of Death:

            I’m dead.

Jolie Montgomery didn’t know how she died, but all of a sudden she stood over her body in an alley. Her dark hair swam in a pool of blood. Her pale skin glowed in the moonlight, making her look like a porcelain doll, and her blue eyes shone with the metallic sheen of death. Across her throat was a deep slash. No blood pumped from the slit in her flesh as all her blood pooled outside her body.\

VS.


The first paragraph from Witch of Death:

The moon was a ceramic bowl overflowing with milk in the amethyst sky, and all the stars were sugar crystals. At three o’clock in the morning, the suburban neighborhood slept with its manicured lawns, matching mailboxes, and cars parked in spotless driveways. All the residents were asleep in their beds, dreaming dreams of beauty, emptiness, and horror. Outside, insects hummed a chorus of noise. Even the frogs roared.


VOTE for your favorite in the comments.



Title: Ghost of Death
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Supernatural/Suspense
Format: eBook Only
Page Count: 41 (short story)
Release Date: April 22nd, 2015
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:

Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can...by stalking the lead detective on the case.

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.


Book Links:

Available for PRE-ORDER:


Blurb:

Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

Book Links:


BIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. She is currently working on the sequel to Hurricane Crimes that’ll serve as book two in the Disaster Crimes series.

When Fey was six years old, she realized her dream of being a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida where she is waiting for the next hurricane to come her way.

You can connect with her on Facebook and her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers! 



Author Links: 

Thank you for having my on your blog, Stephanie. You rock!


Friday, May 8, 2015

All Write Friday

Thanks to Lexa and her co-hosts, L.G., and Katie for reminding us to appreciate the small things.

1. Last day of the semester for my college guys. They'll be home for the summer this Saturday!

2. Seeing Ron White live Saturday night. Should be fun!

3. Is this weekend Mother's Day? Woo hoo- I'll be getting present. They'll probably be stange, but still- presents!!





Now for some writing stuff!




Now for a Good Book!

Ever dreamed of a life that reads more like a book? Rowena did until she stumbled into a fairy tale that wasn't so friendly.

Fabled by Vanessa K. Eccles
Publisher: Bound and Brewed 
Young adult fantasy/fairy tale


Rowena thinks the Grimm’s infamous podcasts are simply another teen fad until she finds herself trapped in a land of nightmarish storybook characters. She tries desperately to flee Mezzanine and return home, but Dresdem, Mezzanine’s wicked monarch, plans to use Rowena’s access to her world to bring dark magic and absolute rule into Georgia and beyond.

But when Rowena’s dear friend Madeline falls into Dresdem’s grasp, her battle with him becomes war, and all hopes of home are temporarily thwarted. With the help of an invisible hero, a beast, and an owl, she sets out to free Madeline from a deadening sleep. But Rowena must become her own hero when she finds herself bound by the kingdom’s darkest family. She must make the ultimate choice – align herself with her enemies or live on the run forever. 

Excerpt:

“Heads or tails?” Lil asked as she opened the door and stood in front of me.
“Tales.”
“When are you going to learn that heads always wins?” She snickered and rolled her eyes in amazement of my apparent naivety.
“Not always. Besides, tales are more interesting.”
Not understanding my word play, she shrugged and searched her pockets for a coin.
I leaned into the porch swing, coffee and book in hand, and watched as autumn's first leaves sunsetted the deadening grass. I rested the mug on my knee and let the cool breeze sway me back and forth while I waited.
Trying to ignore my little sister's attempts to aggravate me, I looked down at the fantastical book in my hands and realized how beloved, yet unrealistic it seemed. Most of us lead relatively dull lives and are content but never satisfied. The “happily ever afters” they crammed in our minds as children were merely lies, but I couldn’t help but dream of an adventure like the one I was holding. I wanted my life to be epic. Who was I kidding? Only characters in our favorite stories experienced magical lives. Mine had already been planned out for me go to college, land a mediocre job, get married, and have 1.8 perfectly groomed, smiling children. That was it. The end.

Links: Amazon | Smashwords Goodreads
(See author's website for all available outlets.)


Meet the Author: Vanessa K. Eccles graduated Troy University with a degree in English. She currently serves as executive editor of Belle Rêve Literary Journal and is founder of the book blog YA-NASisterhood. When she’s not writing or devouring books, she enjoys the lake life with her Prince Charming and their four dogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Stuck in the Middle

Join Here!
The IWSG keeps us balanced, or as balanced as we can be. 
So, thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and his awesome co-hosts!!


Last weekend, I went to a local author event. It was a fun gathering of local writers hosted by the library. They treated us all to lunch and we got to mingle with each other and exchange ideas.

Jo Goodman and Anna Egan Smucker were there. Both of these talented ladies are well established in their genres. Jo is a successful romance writer and Anna is an award-winning children's author.

Of course, being the insecure writer that I am- I was bummed that I wasn't them.

Yes, I was doing the envy thing that I always tell people they should never do. 

I mentioned to Jo that I wanted to be her. She laughed and told me she started in 1979 and got her first book published in 1984. I still had time.

Then later, I stayed for Anna's writing course. She told us how her last book went through twenty-three rounds of edits to get it ready for publication. And she's working hard to get her next book released in 2017.

So, here's the thing:

I want to succeed yesterday, but the truth is good books and successful careers don't happen overnight. I can't judge myself by where other people are without reminding myself how much work there is between where they are now and where they began.


                                         ***********************

Now, how about a good book bargain?

M. Pax's book is on sale this week for .99!

Get your copy HERE!
War is coming. A horde of merciless aliens poise just beyond the Edge. In a matter of weeks they will devour the worlds.
Racing ahead of the apocalypse, Craze returns to the Backworlds to warn them and plan a defense. Only he can’t go home. Banned from Pardeep Station, he must wage a more urgent battle. His moon is under siege, and his friends are dying.
Bad things come in threes, and the galaxy is no exception. An old enemy returns, attacking moons and defenseless globes, leaving a wake of destruction. Worse than that, they threaten to join forces with the alien horde.
Defeat seems inevitable. Craze may not be able to stop it. Yet home is worth the fight.
In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe. This is the fifth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Up the Sound Without a Paddle


I'm brave enough to admit I'm a bonehead. 
Cherdo on Flipside and Author Diana Wilder of Diana Wilder, ...About myself, by myself, are hosting the Bonehead Blog Hop for the brave and honest.

What bone headed thing have I done?  


Mr. Seckman, AKA Superman

I am NOT athletic in the least.

On the other hand, my husband is very athletic. He doesn't even trip walking up steps, like I do. And being the active sort, he likes to do things like...kayaking.

One beach trip, we got a couple of kayaks and hit the Currituck Sound. I'd like to say it started out well, but paddling? It's hard. Somehow, my best efforts sent my kayak in circles. So, while the day wasted, Mr. Seckman spent his sunny day teaching me how to paddle.

By evening, we were off.

It was beautiful, gliding along the water watching the pelicans and ospreys come and go from their nests. The water was smooth as glass, all but the ripples we made as we passed. It was perfect.

Until I spotted the jellyfish.

Remember that 90's movie about the squid creature that ate people right out of their boats? Well, that's what this jelly fish looked like- only about a hundred times smaller.

But still. I squealed. Loudly. And sort of threw dropped my paddle in the water.

Mr. Seckman yelled, "Grab it before it sinks!"

It floated there a second. I thought about grabbing it, I swear I did. But in my mind, if I reached my hand over the side of the kayak, that jellyfish would close the ten feet between us, spring from the water, and wrap its tentacles around my throat, thus zapping the life from me. Or in the very least, it would hurt really, really bad.

Mr. Seckman paddled as quickly as he could to try to reach the paddle before it sunk, but he didn't make it.

So, there I was, up the sound without a paddle. Getting out of the kayak and swimming to shore was out of the question, not with the stalker jellyfish waiting to attack.

If it were just me, I'd have floated out into the Atlantic and waited on the Coast Guard. Fortunately, Mr. Seckman did what few other men would do. He tied his kayak to mine and paddled us both back to shore.

Isn't that sweet?

He didn't even call me a bonehead.


photo credit: La méduse via photopin (license)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Don't Be Rapey


I understand that sometimes the words we write don't quite translate to the reader. Or they translate totally wrong. In my latest WIP, my guy calls the girl a bitch. Totally meant in love. Problem is- written words don't translate inflection as well as real life or movie dialogue. 

My betas were quick to point out- my hero came across a _______(insert favorite derogatory word). Bitch is now gone and I am happy to report it was beta feedback and not readers who gave me the heads up. 

That's why it is soooo very important to use betas and listen to them. 

Perhaps if Budweiser ran this past a few people before going live, they wouldn't now be best known as the King of the Rapey instead of the King of Beers. I imagine the sensitive Clydesdales are shaking their muzzles over this:

Read the full the story here.
And sometimes, someone else will do the same thing, and it will work.  

This picture is from a Taco Bell. I took it last summer because the rapey flavor of the packets caught my attention quicker than the zesty sauce. This is proof that just because something works in one situation, it may be a huge fail in another. 



******************************************************

Now, how about some books that carry the no fail guarantee?

The Gatehaven study guide is a pair of workbooks for students and teachers that is designed for use with Gatehaven, an award-winning novel by Molly Noble Bull.

Gatehaven is a gothic novel with a strong Christian message, based on Ephesians 6:11: Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Set in a scary mansion in the north of England in 1794, Shannon Aimee and Ian Colquhoun battle an evil Frenchman with dark secrets.

The set includes:
·         Gatehaven by Molly Noble Bull
·         The Gatehaven Study Guide for Teachers by Jeanette Pierce
·         The Gatehaven Study Guide for Students by Jeanette Pierce





About the workbooks...
In this Bible-based study of spiritual warfare vs. the occult, documented background information provides a picture of life in England and Scotland during the late 1700s, emphasizing the status hierarchy and its effects on the people, especially those on the lower rungs of the social ladder and the Protestant Reformation, some of its leaders, and its effects on religion in Europe.

Also included are study questions for each chapter of the novel, a vocabulary list, questions related to the structure of the novel, and a writing assignment that students can complete independently of the teacher.

The Gatehaven study guide set is designed for 8th thru 10th grade students, but older students and adults can also use it. It is available in both e-book and paperback versions. The teacher’s guide contains the answers and grants permission for the teacher to make copies of the final exam.

Author Bios
Molly Noble Bull is a multi-published Christian novelist from South Texas, and Gatehaven is the grand prize winner of the 2013 Creation House Fiction Writing Contest. As a result, it was published in trade paperback and e-book in March 2014. Molly’s next novel, When The Cowboy Rides Away, is scheduled for publication in 2015.

Jeanette Pierce is a retired English teacher living in Houston, Texas. She holds a master’s degree and has taught at high school and college levels. The two study guides for Gatehaven are her first published works, but stay tuned. Jeanette is currently working on study guides for When The Cowboy Rides Away.

###
Author links

You can find the workbooks and the novel here:

KindleStudent Guide ~ KindleTeacher's Guide

Amazon Paperback Student Guide ~ Amazon Paperback Teacher’s Guide

Nook Student Guide ~ Nook Teacher’s Guide

***
Gatehaven Kindle ~ Gatehaven Paperback Amazon

Gatehaven Nook / B&N

You can find Jeanette and Molly here:

Jeanette’s Amazon author page

Molly’s Amazon author page ~ Molly’s website


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 Join this op weekly hop here!

Thanks to Lexa and her co-hosts, L.G., and Katie for reminding us to appreciate the small things.

(I totally forgot to do this, so I am adding it now. Better late than never, right?)

1. I have DVR. I now have more things recorded than I can ever watch in a year.

2. Got the next round of edits. Excellent ideas galore! (Thought it means extra work.)

3. Steamed brown rice and liked it. I never liked it boiled, but always wanted to like the healthier rice option. Now, I do!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bad Parent Tip #1: The Wardrobe

Cole, Carter, and Caleb
(Notice none of my kids had shoes that needed tied?)

Kristen Lamb wrote an honest post about the guilt of motherhood*.  Since I've been there, done that, and already sent the stained tee-shirt onto Goodwill, I'll offer some tips that aren't likely to find their way into parenting magazines.

It is bad parenting that nets good results. They are, of course, completely anecdotal and have not been proven by any research. I'm only saying...I did it this way and not a single one of my children turned out to be an ax murderer.


Tip #1
The clothes make the man, especially when he's a child. 

Simple truth: what's cool to a kid, may not be cool to an adult.

When my kids were little, I had the exclusive opportunity to choose their outfits for about one year. As soon as they learned the word no, they used it often.

The cute little sailor outfit was a no. As were polos, button-ups, and basically anything without a truck, a super hero, or an animal that could eat you alive if you weren't paying attention.

Now, I could have broken their wills and forced them to wear what I wanted (maybe), but as the mom of four young boys I didn't have time for that crap enjoyed watching their personalities flourish through self-expression.

Honestly? My first priority was keeping them alive. I had bigger worries like stopping them from playing in traffic or sword fighting with kitchen knives. What they were wearing was not a high priority for me. They loved choosing their own clothes, and I loved not having to worry about it.

My kids have worn gum boots to church and pajamas to the grocery store, and no one died. And eventually, they grew out of it. Not a single one of my boys started school in a Halloween costume**.

They are now all conventional looking, non-fashion obsessed, well-adjusted young men.

So go ahead...let them dress themselves. In the very least, you'll have great pictures for blackmail later. 

___________________________________________
*If you're not following Kristen, I highly suggest you do. She's funny, smart, and paving her own way to writing success.

**My son wanted to go his first day in his Buzz Lightyear costume, so I had to rework the rules a bit. The wear what you want was modified to...these dresser drawers are for school clothes...these are for leisure and play. Kindergarten is the place to learn to color inside the lines, both on the page and in life.