Popular Posts

This Week in Reading

I finished Dead City by Joe McKinney.  I enjoyed it.  This book was very fast paced and action packed. Mr. McKinney did a great job of incorporating both fast moving zombies and shamblers, and the origin of the creatures was fascinating. I felt some tension for the main character, but I was never overly worried that he wasn't going to be all right. I knew that no matter what he went through, he'd make it out alive. That didn't necessarily stay true for the other characters, though. I was surprised at some of the deaths, and that kept me on the edge of my seat.

The ending came a little too fast for me, but I know there is a series of books out there, so perhaps it was the calm before the storm. That being said, the book can stand on it's own and was a great, entertaining read.  

Unfortunately, I missed the discussion that the Zombie Book of the Month Club had.  I didn't want or mean to, but it occurred on a night that wasn't good for me.  I'm hoping next time will work out better, but I'm not holding my breath.  

I've been thinking a lot about time and energy this week, especially since I didn't seem to have either.  I've also been thinking about priorities and what I need to focus on.  Things are going to change next year, I can tell you that, but I'm not sure how.  I have a lot of things to mull over and figure out, and I'm going to use the month of December to do that.  Come January, I will have made my decision and will inform you of what I'm doing.  Don't worry, I'm not going to disappear or anything, I'll still be around, it will just depend on how much.    

This morning, the 5 year old was getting dressed on my bed and needed some help buttoning his pants.  As I was assisting him, I noticed that his pant legs were a little short.  

"These aren't going to fit you much longer," I told him.  "You need to quit growing."  

He wrapped his arms around my neck and said, "I know.  But I want my own cell phone and to be a bigger kid."   I smiled.  "I know, honey.  And you'll get there.  Way sooner than I want you to."  

He just smiled at me and walked out of the room to put his shoes on.  

People aren't kidding when they say kids grow up fast.  They really do, but it's a fun ride!  And thank goodness my son has his priorities straight.  There is nothing more important than getting older so you can have your own phone!  

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Self-promotion Thursday

Drake Steng had it all: a professional football career, money, and looks. Finding women wasn't a problem, having a relationship was. He thought he found true love when he was 12, but as a boy, how was he to know? He never had the courage to find out, and she slipped from his grasp. When Evie walks back into his life years later, he gets a second chance to discover true love, but are Evie and Drake fated to be together or will he lose his courage and lose her again?

It's a romance!  It's the perfect feel-good story for this time of year.  Plus, it's only 99 cents, so what do you have to lose?

Did You Hear that Whooshing Sound?

It was my motivation flying out the window.  I've had a hard time the last few days finding the energy to do anything.  At first, I thought maybe it was because I was getting sick.  That's still a possibility, but I also think it's because this time of year the schedule gets all screwy.  There are so many things to do and not enough time to do them.  The days being shorter don't help at all.

Getting through the last few work days has been an arduous task.  I have had no energy to do anything else at home except sit on my chair and veg.  And that takes a lot of energy.  I'm going to have to figure something out.  I have a looong time before the year ends.

If anyone has any extra motivation to send my way, I'd greatly appreciate it.  Of course, with NaNoWri month winding down, I have a feeling there will be a short supply.  Too bad we can't take the month of December off to recoup.  I guess I'll have to push  myself through.  If I don't make it, go on without me.

Meet An Author Tuesday

Marci Boudreaux resides outside of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two daughters, and their abundance of pets. She is a freelance writer who appears monthly in several local magazines as well as a book editor for three e-publishers. In between all that, she somehow manages to find time to write contemporary romance and sometimes a bit of erotica under pen Emilia Mancini.

Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn't like when she does that in real life.

Website: http://marciboudreaux.webs.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorMarciBoudreaux
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MarciBoudreaux
Email: marci.boudreaux at gmail dot com
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/auGrKsPguO4

Unforgettable You

Unforgettable You - Click Image to Close

Desperate to keep her ailing mother-in-law, Doreen, in the woman’s home, Carrie Gable agrees to board a handful of Hollywood’s most elite actors at the manor. Despite her resentment of the demands being placed upon her, she can’t help but be taken in by actor Will Walker.

Will, in a last-ditch effort to save his career, has agreed to a project he has no interest in. The more time he spends with his egotistical co-stars, the more drawn he is to Carrie. Long nights spent talking about the paths their lives have taken make him realize he’d rather have a simpler life, but his ties to L.A. aren’t as willing to let him go.

With the temptation of stardom pulling Will in one direction and the need to care for Doreen tugging Carrie in another, the couple struggle to hold onto the happiness they were missing until finding each other.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I had wanted to write a book about a mother/daughter type relationship for some time. The relationship between Carrie and Doreen, her mother-in-law, is very sweet and as close as any mother and daughter could be. Soon after Carrie’s husband is killed in a robbery, Doreen is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it isn’t long before Carrie moves in to care for her. In doing so, she realizes that Doreen has blown through all the money that was set aside for her living expenses. Desperate to keep Doreen in her family home, Carrie agrees to reopen the estate as a bed and breakfast for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars who will be filming a movie in their town.

The book was meant to focus on the relationship between these two women, but the budding romance between Carrie and, A-list actor, Will Walker kept creeping into the spotlight so finally I just went with it. Who am I to tell the story where to go?

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I worked on this for over a year. It doesn’t usually take me that long to finish a manuscript, but I was a full-time student at the time and I always seem to be writing three or four books at once. I also was published under pen Emilia Mancini in the midst of working on this, so that took the majority of my focus for a while before I was able to pick Unforgettable You up again.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love getting caught up in the relationships of the characters I’m creating. I also enjoy that they take on a life of their own, I usually have a good idea of where I’m going when I start a story, but like this one, oftentimes the characters end up dictating how it goes.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
The time it takes! I have all these ideas in my head just trying to get out but I can’t keep up with them. I work on several books at a time because I have ideas sprouting that don’t fit in the book I’m working on, so I open up another book and throw that idea there. It’s painful, really, because it takes forever to get any one finished.

It’s also really hard to go through the editing process. As an editor myself, I know they are doing everything they can to make sure your book is the best it can possibly be, but when you are on the writing end of the deal, it’s still hard to hear your book isn’t perfect. It’s not the editor’s fault, in fact, if I ever worked with an editor that didn’t find something that needed work, I’d wonder if she had even read it.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
If I could be anyone, from any time, I’d love to walk in the shoes of Dorothy Parker. Her no-nonsense sharp wit was nothing compared to her amazing ability with words. Whether working in journalism, poetry, fiction, or screenplays, she had it all and it wasn’t easy for a woman during that time to get to where she was.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
I am pretty intent on getting rid of things quickly, but there is a block of sharp cheddar in the cheese drawer that is starting to look a little fishy.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I am currently editing one book, The Messenger (a working title, I really don’t like it), before starting the submission process, and am nearly finished with writing one entitled Her Great Escape. Both take place in a newspaper office and both are romances.

The Messenger follows green reporter Evelyn Thomas and seasoned reporter Wes Reilly as they investigate insurance fraud at the local hospital. In Her Great Escape, Lanie Davidson is manipulated out of ownership of her family newspaper. Frustrated that she can do nothing but let her attorney fight for her, she hits the road and ends up in a small town. There she finds the local newspaper on the verge of bankruptcy and is convinced by owner, Graham Bradley, to help him save his business.

As always, I have other things in the works, but those are the two nearest completion.

Movie Review Monday

Well, as I'm sure you can tell, I didn't post on Friday.  I was having such a relaxing day, I couldn't bring myself to do it.  I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and stuffed yourself beyond belief but also enjoyed hanging out with your families.

We watched two movies this weekend. 

The Watch (2012)

My spouse started watching this movie on his phone on our way to Vegas.  Occasionally, I would glance over his shoulder at the screen, but I didn't have earphones, so I had no idea what was going on.  Even in silence, though, I was entertained by what I saw.  We decided to watch it on the big screen this weekend.  It was funny.  It wasn't roll on the floor pee your pants funny, but it had its moments. 

The story is about Evan, who decides to form a neighborhood watch after one of his employees is murdered.  Only three other guys show up, and they want to have fun, not actually work.  While investigating the murder, it becomes apparent that aliens have landed.

I'm not going to give too much away because you have to watch it to enjoy the nuances.  I did laugh a few times, and the aliens were really cool.  A lot of times in comedies, the way the creature looks is secondary, but not here.  I was very impressed with the creature.  It helped make the movie for me.

I recommend this film if you like Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, or Vince Vaughn.  They were great!  Even if you don't, check it out.  It was a great "guy" film and had some amusing moments.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

I have wanted to see this film since I first saw the preview.  Ask my boys, they'll tell you.  Every time a commercial came on TV, they'd look at me and say, "You want to see that movie really bad, don't you?"  So we took them this weekend.

I loved this film.  It was different and fun and didn't insult anyone's intelligence, kids included.  It proposed a different history for Jack Frost, the Tooth Fairy, Sandman, Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny, and I really enjoyed what they did.  There was action and adventure and a bad guy that needed to be defeated.

The animation was amazing, the characters fantastic, and there was humor.  It held the boys' interest, which is sometimes hard to do with a 3 and 5 year old, and they kept their 3D glasses on the entire time!  A feat that rarely happens.  Like I said, there was a bad guy, but he wasn't overly scary.  My kids weren't bothered by him at all.  A child sitting behind me was a little freaked out when Pitch was on screen, but it turned out all right.

The movie examined kids' hopes, dreams, and fears and showed that all of them were OK to have.  It's all right to be afraid, but there are ways to overcome it.  It's all right to believe in make believe creatures because they are the essence of childhood.  I really enjoyed the wonder and enchantment that the characters brought to the screen, but I also liked how they kicked butt and were willing to fight to save the children.

I'm definitely going to buy this film, both for me and the kids.  It was fun and entertaining.  I totally recommend seeing it, even if you don't have kids.  It brings back a lot of memories and lets you reimagine your childhood heroes!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I'm not going to post.  I'm sure you'll all be busy preparing your fantastic dinners and spending time with family, so you won't want to read my nonsensical rantings.  I know I will be busy.  I'm still undecided about posting on Friday.  I'll be suffering from a food hangover, but since I have young kids, I'll still get up early.  We'll have to play it by ear.  Just know that if I don't post, it's nothing personal and only because I'm enjoying my vacation!

If you need something quick and easy to read over this break, why not check out The History of My Wishes.  It's only $1.99, and it will make you thankful for what you have. 

I hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous Thanksgiving!

Meet An Author Tuesday

Today's guest is SS Hampton, Sr., who is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren, and a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007). He served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004; he was mobilized for active duty for almost three years after his enlistment. He continues to serve in the Guard, where he holds the rank of staff sergeant. He is a published photographer and photojournalist, an aspiring painter, and is studying for a degree in anthropology—hopefully to someday work in underwater archaeology. He has wanted to be a writer since he was 15 years old; his first short story was published in 1992, after which it wasn’t until 2001 that he had another short story published. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. As of December 2011, he became the latest homeless Iraq war veteran in Las Vegas, Nevada.

An engineer dedicated to saving Venice from the rising seas, fails in his task. As a severe storm and high tides threaten to burst through the flood walls, he resolves to remain in Venice with a ghostly lover who claimed his heart years before. A woman from his staff who loves him, does not evacuate, but remains to battle his ghostly lover before he dies in a sinking Venice...

Buy link

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
Well, I’ve always wanted to visit Venice, Italy. When I was deployed to Kuwait in 2006-2007, I almost made it there on my two week Rest & Recreation leave, but I had to come back to the States because of family issues. I know it won’t disappear in the near future like Atlantis, nonetheless it’s still a fascinating idea that someday it will sink beneath the Adriatic Sea. And I have a big interest in the paranormal, to include the succubus. Out of those interests came the idea for “The Gates of Moses.”

Q) How long did it take you to write?
I began on 27 December 2010, and it was finally ready for submission to Melange Books on 12 January 2012. I didn’t work on it steadily, but overall just a little over a year. Unfortunately I tend to write when I’m in the mood, rather than writing something every day, like all writers should do.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Research, and creating a world, a time, and a place, inhabited by believable people. I have a strong sense of satisfaction when my story or novella is complete, and everything from my imagination and research sources, hangs together. It doesn’t matter if my story takes place during the Roman Empire, on a starship thousands of light-years from Earth, or during the time of Atlantis. It all makes sense and is believable.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Editing. Polishing what’s written, deciding what isn’t needed, cutting what isn’t needed, and adding more where needed. Then, going through a second time. And a third time. I’ve been writing long enough that I know I have a good sense of how to tell a story. Even though it’s tedious, many times I come across a sentence or paragraph and think, “This makes no sense.” Editing is tedious but it’s absolutely needed. Anyway, I limit my editing to three passes before deciding a story or novella is ready for submission (of course, this confession probably makes my editors cringe). I believe you have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise I could edit for six months or more, and get nowhere.

Q) If you could be any famous person for a day, who would you be and why?
That’s a difficult question. Jason of Jason and the Argonauts fame? Imagine living in a world where the gods and goddesses were real, ceremonies had power, and there really was an “edge of the world.” Or, Julius Caesar at the head of the X Legion and a Roman army that conquered Gaul, made punitive raids across the Rhine into an unexplored land, and journeyed to Britain, at the edge of the world. Or, William the Conqueror—he made a great gamble and won the Battle of Hastings, thereby winning the crown of England, and impacting the course of history in Western Europe.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Well, there’s a large storage container of lettuce in there. I haven’t looked at it recently because, ah, well, there’s no excuse. But at least I know it won’t come to life and terrorize and pillage the neighborhood. I really should throw it out…

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
My continued writings on Soldiers at war in the Global War On Terrorism (with a heavy leavening of paranormal activity), World War II military fiction, the Crusades, zombies, erotica of course, vampires, and the Cthulhu Mythos. I would be more precise, but not that I’m paranoid or anything (sort of), but you never know when another writer might like your idea and run with it in their own way. But then again, no one has told the story you want to tell because no one has your vision and writes like you do.

Thank you for having me here.  (Thank you for coming!)

Vegas Review Monday

My spouse and I have never been to Vegas.  I've driven through it once, but that was a long time ago.  We had the opportunity to go this weekend to watch the Wyoming Cowboy football game.  We were only there for 48 hours, so we had to cram everything into that time, and cram we did!

We were able to see two shows, which I will review briefly for you.

Cirque du Soleil KA

This show was on Friday night at 9:30.  The stage was freaking amazing and HUGE!  It moved and changed, and the actors were fantastic.  Sadly, I think we were suffering from jet lag because no one was overly thrilled about the performance.  It was 90 minutes long and draaaagggged.  It didn't help that there wasn't a narrator, so we had to tease out the story with our imagination.  Normally, that's not a problem, but when you are tired and have a headache from cigarette smoke, thinking makes things worse.

I would recommend going to see it if you have extra money to spend on tickets.  They weren't cheap, but someone has to pay for that elaborate stage.  For someone not overly tired, I'm sure it will be a great show.

Penn and Teller

The spouse and I are huge Penn and Teller fans, so we were really looking forward to seeing this show.  Again, it was 90 minutes long, but didn't seem to drag like KA.  We were still tired, however.  This show started at 9:00 p.m. and we had spent the day at the football game, melting in the Nevada sun.  One of our friends that went with us fell asleep.  Still, I really enjoy magic/illusionists, so it was a good time.  Plus, they took members from the audience onto stage, so it kept you on your toes.

If you are Penn and Teller fans, I totally recommend seeing their performance.  They are hilarious and fun.  After the show, they even stand in the lobby so you can take pictures with them.  It was awesome!

This Week in Reading

Still working on Dead City by Joe McKinney.  If I recall, I believe my Kindle told me I was over 40% done with it.  I'm enjoying it so far.  There are a lot of twists and turns and edge of your seat excitement.  I'm interested to see where it goes and how it ends.  As usual, I will keep you informed of my progress.

As I mentioned yesterday, the 3 year old was sick on Wednesday.  He woke up at 4:15 in the morning after he'd thrown up in his bed.  When we all got up around 6:30 to get ready for the day, he came out into the living room and told me he had a headache.  He also had his puke bucket with a thin layer of vomit it in and told me he did that before coming out.  Not sure he'd be able to hold anything down, I gave him some ibuprofen to help.

Around 9:00, I decided it was time for both of us to lay down for a  nap.  I was exhausted, and I knew he was tired too.  Of course, he didn't want to lay down.  The ibuprofen worked very well, and he was convinced he felt better.  He kept telling me he wanted to go to day care.

I, of course, wasn't so sure he should go.  On one hand, it would have been nice because then I wouldn't have had to use a sick day, but my intuition told me I would get a call that he was still sick.  Besides, he'd thrown up twice, he needed to relax.  I procrastinated, told him I needed to pick up the house first, then I'd take him to day care, and he proceeded to drink a tiny water bottle full of Koolaid.  I told him it wasn't a good idea, but the poor guy was thirsty.

A little bit later, he started complaining that his tummy hurt again and he needed some water.  He blamed the juice for making him feel bad.  I told him to take tiny sips, and that pushed him over the edge.  Within a few minutes, red liquid splashed into his puke bucket.  When he was done, he looked at me with watery eyes and a frown and said, "I don't want to go to day care anymore."

I hope your weekend is happy and healthy and you get to do what you want to do!

Self-promotion Thursday

First of all, I apologize for not posting yesterday.  My youngest was sick, and it started at 3:30 in the morning.  I was incredibly tired and out of it.  Everyone is fine today, and we're back on track!

I want to promote more zombies today.  If you haven't checked it out, please take a moment to look at Finding Eden.  It's my religious zombie novella, and it talks about redemption and forgiveness, but it also has walking corpses.  With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's a wholesome uplifting read.  No, seriously, it is.  It has a happy ending!

Drunk womanizer Duke, spends his life selfishly taking care of himself and screw the rest of the world. After one particular black-out alcoholic binge, he wakes to find the world changed—the dead are rising from their graves.

Lonely, guilt-ridden Hank is someone who minds his own business, and sympathetic but strong-willed Lana is on the receiving end of harassment by other students.

Forced together for survival, the three misfits must confront their world gone strange. God said the people of Earth would be punished for their sins, and so the end has come. Duke, Hank, and Lana must walk their own paths to salvation, but they also must depend on each other.

Will their salvation lie in Finding Eden?

Meet An Author Tuesday

Today's guest is Cher Green, born in Tennessee, lives in South Carolina with her significant other and her two feline companions. She writes in many genres, spanning from horror to romance, usually with a touch of paranormal. Her recent publications include short stories featured at Spinetinglers and Untied Shoelaces of the Mind, and two paranormal romance novellas at eTreasures Publishing. For more information on this author, visit: http://www.chergreen.com or http://www.chergreen.blogspot.com/.

Constance Spenser, an aspiring witch, is no ordinary woman, and neither are her problems. Unhappy in her life, she seeks knowledge of the spiritual side of life, but what she finds is another world, a world where she has no place. She must gain the council’s trust and discover a way home, but in her attempt she finds herself falling for the enemy. Can she survive long enough to discover her destiny?

Lawrence Wilder, a member of an evil council, wants to break free, but one doesn’t walk away from the council alive. When a witch falls from the sky, hope returns to his life, and to his surprise love. In his world, together they cannot survive. Can he save them both, or will one have to be sacrifice for the other to live?

You can order the book here.
Q) What inspired you to write this story?
Escape to Love began with an anthology call for Dark Brides. I started with the prompt of a woman who finds love in an unusual way. My character needed to be paranormal related and with everything else which came up during my free-writing, Constance became an aspiring witch who accidentally opens a portal to another time. Swept back in time, she finds her destined path and love. Shifting from the viewpoint of my main character, Constance, and Lawrence, member of a council determined to rid the town of witchery, a wonderful story was dug from the pits of my mind. Writing this story turned into an extraordinary adventure. (Escape to Love, in the end, appeared in the Sweethearts in Bloom Anthology. This opened up the Dark Brides Anthology for a second submission, Seduced by Darkness, published a few months later.) Both available through eTreasures Publishing.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
For this one, it took me a little over a month to create, write and edit. This isn't the normal pace. It usually takes me longer to pull the pieces together. Escape to Love flowed from my mind to the page. This story is and probably always will be one of my favorite accomplishments.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Well, I'd say I have two favorites. First is the creation period. The brainstorming and developing of the first seed of thought is the most amazing thing. It's why I am a writer. The second would be the polishing. I say polishing instead of editing because the first initial editing sessions are a lot of hard work, and you are tackling more than one issue. The final polish is more about making sure the words flow and produce the images you desire.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
One simple word, plotting. The process of setting everything into the right place and making sure what's in your head makes it onto paper. I'm ideally a pantser, but when I get into longer works there is a need to know where I'm going. If not, I may end up moving from the story line in such a direction that I find myself writing a second story with the same characters. This may not be so for others, but when I get going if I don't have a road map of some degree, I'll end up going south rather than the planned north.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Stephen King, hands down, although not for the reason most would suspect. Fame and fortune are wonderful things, but can you imagine being able to experience life through the eyes and mind of this man. To experience his thoughts, for only a moment, could have devastating consequences, but I'd take the chance just to see how the characters live in his mind.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
I don't have anything interesting for this question. I keep my fridge cleaned out for the most part, so nothing out of date or molded. I'd say the oldest would be the butter.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have many projects in the works, but not sure when one will be complete. I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month. My project for this is a thriller about a woman who discovers a child's body and quickly becomes the target of the killer. She must fight to survive as past issues flow to the surface, the killer's interest puts others' lives in danger, and she falls for the man determined to protect her.

Movie Review Monday

Rock of Ages (2012)

I like musicals.  Music is a huge part of my life and always has been, so I like when they are combined with my favorite past time.  I wanted to see this film since I saw the previews.  I'm a big fan of 80s music, so this had everything I wanted.

The movie wasn't terrible.  Even with Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin, I watched it from beginning to end.  It seemed long at times, dragging through the middle.  There was a little more Journey music than I would have liked, but otherwise I enjoyed it.  I bet it is amazing on stage.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed it comes to Denver at some point in the future.

I recommend this film if you are a fan of 80s music and musicals; you won't be disappointed! 

The Raven (2012)

Edgar Allan Poe's death was a mystery.  No one knows exactly how he died, so this film took the liberty of giving us a possible explanation.  I have my Master's in English, so throughout my school career, I have been exposed to Poe's work.  I like it.  I'm sure that will shock none of you who know me and my penchant for the dark and macabre.

Anyway, the film is about a murderer in Boston who uses Poe's work as inspiration.  Both Poe and the police are on a mission to find the killer and save Poe's love.  There was gore, mystery, and suspense.  The portrayal of Poe in the film made me question what I remembered about his life.  For some reason, I kept thinking I'd learned somewhere that he wasn't an alcoholic and addict because he was allergic, but I couldn't remember for sure.  Of course, now I'm going to have to find out.

Even if you don't care or know much about Poe's life and works, the movie was still entertaining.  Like I said, it had gore, mystery, and suspense.  If those are elements that entertain you, check the film out.  And if you feel so inclined, read some of Poe's works.  You won't be disappointed.

This Week in Reading

Another lovely review was posted here.  Take the time to give it a read!

I've started reading Dead City by Joe McKinney for the Zombie Book of the Month Club.  I'm only on chapter 3, but I'm enjoying it so far.  Reading has been slow this week because it's been incredibly busy and I've gotten to bed late.  Thank goodness the weekend is upon us!  I'll have time to catch up!

I'm running slightly behind today, and I have to take the boys to a dentist appointment, so I don't have a story to post.  Sorry about that.  I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Self-promotion Thursday

Please check out another interview, which can be found here.

I've really been pimping Life After the Undead recently, mainly because the sequel recently came out and I want people to enjoy both books.  That being said, today will focus on Death to the Undead.  Both of these can also be found on Amazon, too.

The battle that began in Life After the Undead continues.

Zombies changed her life completely...

Tough teenager Krista escaped to the safety of Florida after her parents were killed by the zombie horde. She united with General Liet, a distant cousin, and moved with him to North Platte to help build a wall to keep the zombies in the West. Krista fell in love with Quinn, a survivor and fighter from the zombie-infested wildlands of the West, and together they freed the garrison at North Platte from the power-hungry Liet.

But zombies aren’t the only enemy they have to face...

Now, North Platte is free, but Liet was not the only one using the zombie apocalypse to control their people. Florida is ruled by five ruthless Families, who use intimidation and the threat of the zombie horde to coerce their populace. Krista and Quinn hatch a desperate plan to run guns into the state and help the people revolt. Krista and Quinn, labeled as rebels run for their lives when the Families attack North Platte. The Families want them captured, the zombies want to eat them, and other survivors want them dead. Caught in between powerful forces, they must survive long enough to devise a new plan and put it into action, all while trying to solidify their new relationship and trying not to self-destruct in the meantime.

There Really Are No Rules

There is a review of Life After the Undead posted here, and eTreasures blogged about the book's famous encounters here.  This blog gives Jerrod's first-hand account of what happened at the convention.  It's a fascinating story!

Recently, I've been doing a lot of reading, both for pleasure and editing.  I've noticed that a lot of the stories I've been reading lately have aspects in them that I was told shouldn't be there.  For example, the use of "to be" verbs.  The "She was doing something" instead of "She did something."  In the first person stuff I've read, I've noticed a lot of things like "I could hear..." instead of "I heard..." 

I've been told on many occasions from different editors that things like this in a story make it passive rather than active.  Now, I'm not saying you can't have these phrases ever, but it's best to use them sparingly.  But as I'm reading and seeing these things crop up over and over (both in unpublished and published stories), I start to wonder:  am I missing a rule?  Have I been told to do it wrong all these years?

My friend (hi, Tamara!) and I were talking about this the other day.  Yes, we are that big of nerds that we talk about grammar and editing as daily conversation.  She told me stories about editing papers from freshman English and how these same types of things would crop up over and over, but we still couldn't figure out why.  Where have we learned them?  Why have they become so ingrained in us that we don't change them?  Why do only a few people (editors) notice them and others don't?

The only conclusion I could come to is that there really aren't any rules when it comes to writing.  Sure, there are basic rules like how a story is structured and that a period ends a sentence, but that doesn't always happen.  People experiment with language in and structure of stories all the time.  Does that make the story any less enjoyable?  Well, maybe.  It depends on how well they do it.  Still, I doubt most readers notice the nuances any way.  Most readers just want to be entertained, not worry about the mechanics behind the story.  That's the publishers/editors job, right?

What it boils down to is what an editor prefers (or has been taught) and what she catches.  I will continue to point out "to be" verbs and ask them to be changed when I edit because that's what I've been told to look for.  Another editor might not.  Writing and editing is subjective, so the reader and editor are going to bring their own experiences to it and look at the story from different perspectives.  So, in reality, there aren't any rules when it comes to writing, but still try to write the best story you possibly can.

Meet An Author Tuesday

Another blog stop.  You can access it here.

Today's guest is Clarike Bowman-Jahn.  Clarike worked as a registered nurse for thirty two years before finally trading that job for her true love, writing. Clarike’s short stories have been published in the anthology of the “Campaigner’s Challenges 2011” Book.

When Clarike is not writing, she does volunteer work for a local elementary school and her church. She also likes taking long walks with her husband, blogging, and reading books. She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Pennwriters, Bethesda Writer’s Center, and Round Hill Writer’s Group. She lives in rural Loudoun County, Virginia, with her humorous husband, a senior dog, and two cats. And she is the proud mother of two wonderful grown sons and a grandmother to a delightful grandson.

She can be found here:

Weebly web page

The place to buy Annie's Special Day is here

In Annie's Special Day, a little girl celebrates her birthday with an adventure every hour. It is a basic concept book about time and clocks.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
I was recovering from a fever and found the early songbirds so beautiful in my open window that I wanted to record them. Not having a tape recorder the next best thing was writing it all down and then I hit upon the voice of a little girl and her hearing them change over every hour. I just started writing a story about how she would hear something every hour and see a related activity every hour. All the hearing things have since been edited out but the activities remain.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
That depends on how many revisions you want me to admit to. When I made a book dummy it was a couple of months later but in all the publishing part has been longer than a year.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
The creative process of getting the words down.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Finding a publisher.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
Jane Yolan because I admire her prolific amount of writing, all good by the way. And would love to tap into how she does it.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Some Halvah that is older than a year.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
I have written another picture book that I wan t to query but am afraid the subject’s been done too much so have my reservations. As far as the future, I don’t aim to stop writing.

Movie Review Monday

My book tour continues with a stop here.  Check it out!

I also have another novella out.  You can access it here.  It's only 99 cents for the ebook, you have nothing to lose!

Drake Steng had it all: a professional football career, money, and looks. Finding women wasn't a problem, having a relationship was. He thought he found true love when he was 12, but as a boy, how was he to know? He never had the courage to find out, and she slipped from his grasp. When Evie walks back into his life years later, he gets a second chance to discover true love, but are Evie and Drake fated to be together or will he lose his courage and lose her again?
OK, finally, on to the movie!

The Campaign (2012)

I could take or leave this film.  My spouse wanted to watch it though, so we did.  It wasn't a complete waste of an evening, it was a nice, mindless film to relax to.

I liked the fact that it pointed out how ridiculous campaigns get.  I don't want to ruin anything for you if you haven't seen it, so I'm not going to give examples.  If you have seen it, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.  While in real life candidates don't do the porn thing, it still gets pretty bad.  And the really sad part is that people believe the blatant lies told in the ads.  Really?  Go out and do some research, find the answers on your own, don't believe everything you see!  All I can say is that I can't wait until after tomorrow, then all this silliness will be behind us and we can cringe at the future.

The film had its funny moments, but I wasn't laughing the whole way through.  It's a good thing it's only 85 minutes long.  I couldn't have handled too much more.  If you like Will Ferrell and Zach Galifiankis, I recommend watching it.  If you don't like them, then it will be a form of torture for you.

This Week in Reading

I finished The Underminer by Mike Albo.  What a great and distressing story.  As I mentioned last week, the entire story is told in first person from the perspective of the underminer.  You get snipits of the other characters' life from what the underminer says, but you never get to read their thoughts or see how they are feeling.  I really liked how it worked.

I also mentioned that I could only read the story in chunks.  The underminer is so vile, but in a very subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) way.  Mike did  a great job of creating her.  Mike also did a great job of making you wonder if you should really hate the underminer.  Yes, she's a horrible person who casually destroys another persons life, but at the same time, can you really begrudge her her success?  I found myself torn about this.  I mean, she got where she was because she went to school and then worked hard.  She was a horrible braggart about it, and when she could and should have helped her "friend" she didn't, so that part was reprehensible, but we really don't know anything about the other friend except what we see through the underminer's eyes, and how reliable is that?  Besides, why didn't the other friend just avoid the underminer all together?  Why did she constantly keep showing up at the parties and other functions?  Granted, some of them were chance encounters, but a lot of them weren't.  I found myself questioning the motives of the friend.

I recommend reading this book for something a little different and to make you thankful for the people you have around you.  If you have a friend that sounds exactly like the underminer, I suggest kicking them to the curb!

Last night, we took the boys to their first college wrestling match.  It was my first, too.  The only other time I went to a dual was once in high school when my friend asked me to go.  I have no idea what the rules of wrestling are.  I now know that you can get two points for a take down and one point for an escape, but that's about it.

The boys have their first meet on Saturday, so we wanted to give them an idea what they would be doing.  As you can imagine, they didn't pay that much attention.  They were worried about screwing around and attempting to wrestle in the bleachers.

We got home past their bed time, and as I tucked the 5 year old in I asked him if he had fun.

He shook his head.

"No?" I asked.  "Why didn't you have fun?"

"Because sitting there doing nothing is boring," he responded.

"It can be sometimes."  I smiled, kissed his head, and told him good night. 

Life is so simple when you're 5.  Heaven forbid he watched the match and learned something for Saturday!  Oh, well.  They'll do just fine. 

Have a fabulous weekend!

More Photos

I have an interview up here.  Go check it out!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween and is recovering from the candy hangover.  My boys got so much candy, we'll be stocked for a year!  The 3 year old was very upset when he went to bed last night that Halloween was over.  I shared his sentiments.  But now we have Thanksgiving to look forward to.  Mmmmm, Thanksgiving.

Yesterday, I shared photos of famous people holding Life After the Undead.  Today, I would like to share pictures of famous people holding Life Lessons from Slasher Films.

Steve Dash, Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2

Tom Savini, the absolute greatest special effects guy there is

Heather Langenkamp, Nancy from A Nightmare on Elm Street

Kane Hodder, the best Jason from several Friday the 13th films

Robert Englund, Freddy from A Nightmare on Elm Street

Tyler Mane, Michael Myers from Rob Zombie's Halloween, Robert Englund, and Kane Hodder