Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Reviews, Unicorn Bell, and TV

Two Book Reviews:

Stellar Cloud by Charity Bradford

From a chilling alien dilemma to soldiers discovering who they really are, this book of short stories follows a pattern of surprise and frightening situations. Set on an abused Earth, distant planets, and a laboratory, these tales are sure to make you gasp and then spend the rest of the day wondering how the author could get into your head.

As with her previous novel, The Magic Wakes, the writing is superb. I love a surprise, an ending or twist that I didn't see coming. This one delivers. Sci-fi at its best, in the tradition of Tales From the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke. Don't pass this one by. It is well worth the time.

Confronting the Demon by Ciara Ballintyne

When Alloran faces demons, he finds more than hellcats and imps. He must confront an albatross of his own making and overcome past mistakes. If he can't, nothing is safe. Not him or anyone close.

It comes down to jealousy and hard choices. For Alloran, a bad choice has colored all he has done. A new threat is killing people he knows and until he deals with his inner demons, he can't save them. Running away seems easier.

With a surprising twist in the middle, excellent dialogue, intrigue, and tension that made me want to turn the page, Confronting the Demon kept me involved to the end. Afraid to summon demons but knowing it was his only hope, the MC's dilemma was highly engaging.

Tension balanced the scenes to a razor's edge and I was impressed with the great world-building Ms Ballintyne created. Excellent writing! Good job.

Kindle Format on Amazon

* * * * 
QueryCon 2013 at UnicornBell had some big winners this year. We had several requests from our wonderful judges for full manuscripts. A win for the contestants and for Victoria Lowes of The Bent Agency and Andrew Buckley of Curiosity Quills Press. 

* * * *
Upcoming or Coming Up! Lots of new shows starting and many season premieres of old favorites.
In the new column: 
S.H.I.E.L.D was a bit rough but all new shows are until they settle into place like shoes.
Still wondering about the statement, "He doesn't know yet, does he?"

Sleep Hollow lost some appeal for me when it turned out Ichabod had a wife. I'll still watch but seriously, don't the writers know what the ladies want when a hunk is playing the lead? Nicole Beharie plays the MC, a strong very cool lady. I hope this series doesn't fall into the usual stereotypical traps. 

Looking forward to:
Almost Human
Sean Saves the World
The Originals

Next time, the fabulous new season of favorite shows. like, hm....let me see. Could it be...?

Are you looking forward to a new program? Hoping that you won't get hooked in a new series then go through withdrawal when it is cancelled?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Chat – Killing Jesus

From the ArmChair Squid: 
“The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.”
* * * *

Chatter and Review: Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

Initially, I didn’t intend to buy this book. I read and enjoyed the other books by this duo, Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, but the title of this one made me squirm. Still, I was intrigued after reading the first chapter.

Killing Jesus is historical. Not a religious book. It gives context and sensory texture to the background of the life of Christ, pulling eyewitness accounts from the Bible but also from sources of the day. Historian Josephus and Roman accounts of the times painted a rich scene. The authors used the dust of the roads, taste of the olives, and heat from the sun to give the reader a flavor of the world of Jesus. I learned about the harsh worlds of a soldier, the Roman Senate, and of treachery. The historical accounts of the deaths of the Disciples, of Pontius Pilate, and the high priests provided a satisfactory closure.

This book comes from the point of view of a man, his angers and fears. Insight into his emotion and possibly his thoughts caused me to consider the attributes of Jesus long after I read the last page. The individual’s faith determines whether the man, Jesus, was also the Son of God. 

The conclusion is left up to the reader. The authors don't try to sway the reader one way or the other. Again, this is a historical accounting not religious.

Five Stars. For courage to write this book and for excellent writing. And count me in the column of Son of God.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Grownup Harry Potter? Maybe. Meet Justus

Spotlight on me at Matthew Keith Reviews! And here I am so reclusive that my daughter claims she's seen me wearing camo gear when I go to the store.

CD COFFELT burst onto the urban fantasy scene on August 27 of this year with her wildly successful debut novel, Wilder Mage. It has received rave reviews from all over the net and has created quite a buzz in fantasy circles.

CD came back to MK Reviews for an interview to discuss herself and her novel. What a great chance to get to know such an amazing talent!

If you're a writer, stop by and visit her blog, where there are some amazing resources available. UnicornBell.

Harry Potter, step aside and meet Justus Aubre—Wilder Mage.

* * * *

Q: What was your inspiration behind Wilder Mage?
A: Authors of urban fantasy, Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Richelle Mead, Charlaine Harris; they are the storytellers that make a person dream and think What if? They are the masters of this field, these writers of fantasy.

Q:Why did you become a writer?
A: After reading a beloved series, I wanted more. I wanted to know what happened after the books ended. I needed to know how they began. And so I composed my own bit of Fan Fiction to learn the secrets. I asked a good friend if the articles I wrote were any good and the friend said, “You should be published.”

That started the whole shebang. I dropped the Fan Fic and wrote a manuscript that had been rumbling around in my head. Then I wrote a second, a third, and fourth. Musa Publishing picked up the second manuscript, Wilder Mage.

Q: What is it about writing that you love?
A: Oddly enough, it is the community of writers. Writing is like air. I have to have it to survive. But the wonderful people I’ve met along the road to Published are amazing. These writers give their time, expertise, and wisdom to help newbies learn the trade.

I do the same with my critique site, UnicornBell. We live the phrase, Paying It Forward.

Q: Is Wilder Mage your only novel? If there are others, what are the titles? Tell us about them.
A: Wilder is my debut as Published Author. My first manuscript is still the love of my life but it needs work. My third has “published” on the horizon. Number four, Diamond Black, is a wip, but the sequel to Wilder Mage is taking over my life right now.

Q: What projects are you working on currently?
A: The Magic Denied (working title), sequel to Wilder Mage. Plus I spend a chunk of my day reviewing books and blogging.

Q:Wilder Mage is speculative fiction. Do you write books outside that genre?
A: Anything and everything fantasy is my meat and potatoes, but I doodle with Sci-fi also.

Q:What is your favorite genre?
A: Fantasy. Epic, high, swords and sorcery, dark, urban: all subgenres of fantasy have me hooked. All flavors, first to last.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. Hobbies, talents, family, where you're from.
A: I grew up in the Midwest, small town America, with one dream. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder and live the farm life. I achieved that dream after marrying my farmer hubby. But meshing that life with Middle Earth took a little doing. I had lots of Magic of course and plenty of imagination. Then, in a way, my dreams came full circle. Ms. Wilder started out as a farmer and then became a writer as she matured. I like that idea.

Q: When you read, what kind of books do you read? What are you reading now?
A: Nearly everything I read is fantasy or one of its classmates. Right now, I’m reading a great collection of short stories called Passing Time by Ellie Garratt. Great stuff, great writing, and very challenging. A definite five-star novel.

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of writing for you?
A: Time of course. Life keeps interfering.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
A: My dearest wish is that Wilder Mage will launch my fans to a place of wonder. No writer could ask for more. Everything else takes second place.

Q: How do you feel about Wilder Mage, personally? Is there anything you would change now that it is finished?
A: Definitely. I don’t think there’s a writer born who wouldn’t change something in their books. Personally, Wilder is a fascinating place for me, a different outlook on the magical elements that surround us.

Q: What is your process when you write?
A: Movie soundtracks like Star Trek, video game music like Halo sets the stage. Clearing my mind is important also. If a scene isn’t working out or I’ve hit a snag, I walk. Sometimes around the house, sometimes on a treadmill. Driving down the road at sixty mph works well also but I hate pulling over every ten minutes to scribble down what my weird mind has envisioned.

Q: How do you get to know your characters? Give an example.
A: Breaking down their reticence can be difficult. The Voices. Sometimes we don’t talk to each other. Finding them and learning to listen is most important. Doing a character interview, writing a short story about their early life, or asking them questions tends to break the ice.

Q: Who designed the cover art for Wilder Mage?
A: An angel disguised as artist Kelly Shorten at Musa Publishing. She listens to an author’s description of what they want in a cover then brings the ramblings to life. Really, she must have a touch of clairvoyance. Professional and right on target, every single book cover at Musa.

Q: Who is your favorite character in any book you've ever written? Why?
A: A preternatural rapier in my first manuscript, Of Oak and Dragons. The need to protect its master, Leah, collides with its delusions of grandeur.

Q: What popular book would you compare Wilder Mage to? Why?
A: It is a cross between a grown up Harry Potter and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Magic is the theme of both Harrys, but my character, Justus, uses the elements without wands, spells, or charms. It is a different world, a new way to see the magic around us.

Musa Publishing

Update: Wilder Mage is #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases and made it to several Best Sellers lists including #1 at Horror/Occult. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Harvest Moon and Fall

What other season do we celebrate like we do fall.


The Harvest Moon

The gold in the fields

and in the sky

The combines are greased, filters checked, and cabs cleaned out.

Bittersweet has acquired color

and the apples smile sweetly.

Of all the days of the year, the best time to be a farmer.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Matthew Keith Review for Wilder Mage

Just a wee bit verklempt Darn allergies.
Review for Wilder Mage

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely FantasticSeptember 18, 2013
This review is from: Wilder Mage (The Magic Withheld) (Kindle Edition)

If I could give this novel 6 stars, I would. I am humbled and dumbstruck at the idea that this is CD Coffelt's debut novel. She will become a household name as long as she doesn't put down her pen. Or laptop. Or whatever.

Set in modern times, in an urban landscape, this is the story of Justus Aubre, a powerful mage who lives his life on the run from those who rule the world of magic, the Imperium. He lives by staying below their radar, never showing himself for who and what he is unless absolutely necessary. Sable Rounds--a young lady who is also a mage and coincidentally number one on the "naughty list" with the Imperium--changes all that. They meet, fall in love, and Justus's life is changed forever.

There is no way for me to convey how well-written and complete this novel is, in every way. This is one of those novels I strongly considered calling in sick in order to finish reading. It has grit, substance, and depth that is rarely found in the fantasy genre.

If you're a fan of fantasy and have an already-deep reading list, do yourself the favor of adding this one and putting it toward the top. From the very first paragraph right to the amazing ending, you will not be disappointed. And you will absolutely want more.



Monday, September 16, 2013

The Storm Has Arrived. Look Out

I've had the pleasure of knowing Alex Cavanaugh since spring of 2011. In that time I finally learned how to spell his name correctly.
* * * *

Comment on Alex’s blog this week for a chance to win a Cassa mug, mousepad, magnet, and swag!

My question for Alex:
I know Christians who believe God populated the Earth but no other planets. What do you think of this premise?

"You know, nothing in the Bible states either way. It talks about the Earth, but that’s us – nothing says he did or didn’t populate other worlds. I guess we’ll find out when we get to Heaven!"

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“…mesmerizing story of survival, personal sacrifice, tolerance, and compassion. It’s a rare jewel that successfully utilizes both character and plot to tell a story of such immense scope and intimate passion…” - Nancy S. Thompson, author of The Mistaken

"An exciting, nail-biting read which sweeps the reader off on adventures in another galaxy."
- Nicua Shamira, Terraverum

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:

Thanks for stopping by, Alex. CassaStorm is another surefire winner!Don't forget to comment on his blog! And check out CassaStorm. YowZa! What a deal!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Interview with a Saint

The following interview of Woden, saint of Wodenberg, gave me a case of the chills. 

I'm sure glad L. Blankenship was there with me.

In the world of Disciple, saints are kir-mages with godlike power. Their magic is fueled by kir, which rises from the earth in founts. These rare sites are jealously guarded by saints, who build kingdoms around them for further protection.

(Saint Woden strides into his private den atop the mountain and takes a seat in a massive chair. Rams and stallions carved into its every surface glare back fiercely, the glass beads in their eyes glittering. )

L: You said Wodenberg doesn't have a throne. “The king doesn't sit on his ass”?
Woden: (snorts) This isn't the kingdom's throne. It's older than I am.
L: (with a slow nod) Okay. Now behave yourself for Huntress...

* * * * 

Huntress: Saint Woden of Wodenberg, correct?

Saint Woden: (shifts in the chair) Woden will do.

Thank you for coming to chat with us today. Why do you think L. Blankenship chose you to represent her? She told me I was asked for, and that this was owed after all that passed in the story of Disciple. Whatever else you say of me, I see to my duties. So here I am.

Tell us a little about yourself? I ascended to sainthood and claimed the fount on this mountain some two and a half centuries ago. Perhaps three? (shrugs) Memory charms are not my domain. I freed my people and made this kingdom with the aid of my sworn brother, Saint Aleksandr. That is why Wodenberg bears my name, why this mountain bears my name, why its kings are my bloodline.

What is your birth date? (pauses for a long moment and starts cracking his thick knuckles thoughtfully) I was born soon after Winter Solstice. Mother wept in anger, she told me, when she found herself pregnant. There's few steady patrons for whores with children. But the moment I was in her arms, she loved me and couldn't toss me out in the snow as she'd meant to.

Where do you live and what about that area drew you? Much of the time, I am either at the fount, here at the top of the mountain, or in the castle advising the king. The fount must always be guarded; it is my source of kir (magical fuel) and thus priceless. Any saint would kill to claim a fount.

Will we be seeing more of you or are you stepping out of the lime light? I'm never far from those who serve me. When this war requires me, I will be there.

What do you do to relax? (he glances around his den, which is rather spartan) Saint Aleksandr's crafting is a wonder to watch. And he never fails to make good conversation. Or now and then I'll walk among the goodfolk, unknown, and share a few beers with strangers.

Tell us about the war, what are the positives? I would see Suevia freed from the Empire. It is an old score, true, and few now alive remember why, but I would have it in my kingdom. This Empress from the south has insulted us, threatened us, and now thinks we'll crumble quickly. She'll see we aren't to be trifled with.

Do you believe in ghosts? (Woden considers that for a long stretch.) No. Dead is dead. Those that haunt me do it from within.

Why should readers be interested in your story? It's little matter to me, what others think. Focus on the young disciples – Kate and Kiefan, and Anders – and let me see to my duties.

You recently found out about the romantic tangle those three are in – what do you think of that? Kiefan is a fool to pursue her. He knows his duty is to seal our alliance to Caercoed with a marriage, and he will do it – or I will replace him with disciple who will. A royal birth does not require me to give any man or woman the crown to my kingdom, and I will not risk this kingdom, my fount, or my life on a boy's romantic whim. Kiefan did right in seeing that she's married to another, and that's the end of it. 

* * * *
Blurb: Kate fought for her place as a healer in the war’s front lines. Serving her homeland has been her goal since her magical gifts earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the kingdom’s greatest healer. She believes she’s prepared.

But nothing’s simple when defending a besieged capital city — or her heart.

She loves the prince, who means to protect her even though his duties as a knight keep him on the battlements, fighting the enemy’s monstrous army.

Kate’s husband is the one who checks on her, lingers over dinner, and slowly but surely charms her. She’s all too aware that her beloved prince threatened to kill him if he touches her.

As the enemy thunders against the city walls, the kingdom needs more from Kate than just her healing magic. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.

Kate believed she's ready for a war. She isn't.

Excerpt from Disciple, Part III 
(Kate and her teacher, Elect Parselev, were readying the infirmary near the city gates. The enemy army is just outside, preparing its first attack.) 

Atop the tower, a yell and the catapults thrummed, sending loose shot over the wall. The crews were at them in a heartbeat to winch the long arms back down. I looked back to the royal company at the foot of the towers and saw half the horses standing with riders, half without.
“I must…” I began, looking about at the rows of cots, the stacks of bandage rolls waiting. The nurses and orderlies stood waiting, too, watching the wall as I did. Waiting for someone to bleed. “Should the orderlies be in the gate towers?”
“When the rhythm’s set,” Parselev answered, though that only puzzled me.

“Is Saint Woden here?”

“His concern, not ours.” Through his hand on my shoulder, I felt kir pulse into me and my next breath came easier, deeper. “Take a little more.”

“But you —”

“Drew all I could hold from the Pool this morning. Don’t worry.”

The catapults, once reloaded, shot again. The tower’s trumpet announced something new and behind me, on River Road, orders were shouted.

From the tower came a scream: “Cover! Cover!”

A black cloud rose over the city wall, peaked and began to fall. My feet froze as the arrows plunged toward me, hissing, striking the kir shield and shivering from the effort. They thudded everyplace else, on wood and earth. Then men scrambled up from under their shields, on the wall, and resumed their work. I realized the enemy had largely missed; our archers were further up River Road.

From there came an order: “Loose!” Our smaller flock of arrows answered, cresting lower over the parapet above the gate itself and vanishing. 

And again: “Cover! Cover!”

The cloud rose more sharply, this time, and fell onto the wall and towers. Screams followed. But still, the moment the storm passed, they were up again. Most of them. Our archers answered, as well as the catapults.

“Orderlies!” Parselev shouted. “When their next volley falls!”

Thers were ordinary men, most of them Saint Aleksandr’s disciples, who’d taken an oath to serve the Mother and Father through serving others. No armor, not a sword among them. When the next cloud of arrows rose over the wall and thudded down, our Thers sprinted for the nearer gate tower with their sling stretchers. They made for the open door and vanished inside.

Those of the royal company who’d stayed with the horses were out of the saddles and holding the animals close to the lee of the towers. There was a space in the shadow of the gate itself where arrows weren’t falling, and they’d sidled into it. Impossible to see if Anders was among them — I couldn’t make out the details on their tabards at this distance, and there were a few dappled greys among the horses.

There should’ve been another volley, but it didn’t come. Someone shouted, “Elect!” behind us and my teacher’s hand left my shoulder. I turned, spotted a wagon-driver with an arrow-studded friend slung on his shoulder. My frozen feet thawed; this was something I could help with at last. And our Thers would be back soon enough —

A thud against the city gate shook the earth. Then a second. Lower and heavier than any thunderbolt. Horses screamed. My mind shot back to the earthquake at Ansehen and my blood turned to ice. The third blow shuddered the massive timbers and I looked to the gate towers, searching for cracks, for falling stones. A clutch of the warhorses bolted across Wallside Street, torn loose from their knights.

Our enemy knocked. Like a giant.

Thunder answered thunder. Lightning struck, danced white-hot as a knot of brilliant kir landed on the parapet above the gate. The man within was only a faint silhouette, and further vanished in the glare as lightning swirled around him. Kir arced from the mountain above, massed into a brilliant wall before Woden’s hand, and slammed down upon the enemy. The earth shuddered and wood tore, rumbled in collapsing.

After-spots whirled in my eyes, but I saw a squire running, half across Wallside Street already, chasing the fleeing warhorses. Gregor — paying no heed to the arrows peppering the ground and the danger.

“Loose!” the archery officer hollered, and a volley launched over the wall. Woden stood above the gate, his hair nearly parted by the low arrows, and folded his arms across his chest as he surveyed his handiwork outside.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Justus is Center Stage and Irritated. Matthew Keith with Alex Witney's Review

Justus Aubre, my MC for Wilder Mage, doesn't care for the spotlight. Or for answering questions. Too bad.
He's squirming over at the Musa Publishing blog.

* * * *

Zombies: They're Not All Brain-Eaters by Alex Witney

A review by Matthew Keith.

The title of this book had me hooked before I read a single word. I'm a big fan of zombie movies, even the ones on Netflix that are truly awful. In fact, I may be more of a fan of the awful ones than the ones that made it into theaters.

This had a Shaun of the Dead feel to it: two roommate slackers who go on an adventure in a zombified world. The difference in this story is that the world has been zombified for a while, and one of slackers is already a zombie thanks to a serum that brings dead tissue (mostly brain tissue) back to life. The serum has become mainstream across the entire world and a great portion of the population is now undead, and thanks to pro-nameyourcause movements, they've been given most of the same rights as the UN-undead population.

The concept behind this book is wonderful, witty, and presented in a comical light. The first few pages of the book really set the tone-loved it. There is no way you could interpret this story as anything but humorous.

There are a few very glaring editorial issues, which unfortunately took away from the story. The author, while having put together a great plot and back-story, could have tightened up many of the scenes and made the comedic portions of the story a bit more 'silly'. After all, the premise of the book is, in itself, very silly, so why not capitalize on that aspect as often and as prominently as possible.

I did enjoy this book overall, and could easily see it ending up as a screenplay. I absolutely LOVED the way it ended. Kudos to a very creative author who could probably use a more aggressive editor.

I give Zombies: They're Not All Brain-Eaters 3 of 5 stars.

* * * *

Check out Alex's book then go to Musa's blog site and give Justus a hard time. He needs a dose of humility.

Monday, September 9, 2013

More than just a Kiss Blogfest

Of Oak and Dragons

This conversation takes place after the kiss between Leah and Ruen. A snoopy preternatural rapier is listening in on the conversation.

“What about you?”

“Um, what?” Ruen's focus came back to me.

“You kissed me. Why?”

“It seemed like the thing to do." He rolled his eyes as if it should be obvious.

I stared until he fidgeted with a bit of grass clinging to his jeans, brushing it off as if his life depended on it. “I don’t know why,” he said at last. “Wanted to, I guess.”

My sour expression caused him to make an impatient sound.

“Seriously?” he said. “That’s your biggest worry right now, that I kissed you?”

I huffed. The sheep across the fence were eyeing us as if we had three heads.

“Did you like it?” I asked the sheep. They didn't look like they gave a damn.

When he didn't speak, I hazarded a glance. He was grinning. “It wasn't bad,” he said, cocking his head. “But I don’t have anything to stand against it so I wouldn't know.”

“You've never kissed a girl?” I was incredulous.



Gawd, the Rapier groaned in my head, this has to be one of the most disgusting conversations—

“Did you want to try it again?” he asked laughing. “Just so I can compare it?”

“Oh, be still my beating heart.” Jackhammer, more like.

His eyes danced then dropped to my mouth.

“Besides,” I said, hurriedly. “Right now, I’m the best kisser you've ever had.”

“Oh, yes. I can truly say that was the best experience I've had.”

“Why did you do it?”

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Farm Life

Or what to do when faced by a bull

Beef cattle can be touchy. Momma cows, right after they calve downright belligerent. But who can blame them? 

Here she is tired but happy after the Blessed Event. Then a biped shows up and sprays nasty smelling liquid on the navel of her Bundle of Joy. 

The situation can lead to an event rodeo folk call Freight Trained, run over by a cow at top speed.

The bull has the same attitude. Corner him and someone’s going to get hurt. First off, they’re bigger, got that
muscle roll behind their ears, and sex is on their mind. Not a lot of give in that kind of beast. Especially when the last is in play.

We don’t keep cows or bulls that turn mean. Nothing is worth injury or our lives. Still you never know what might happen even with a semi-docile critter.

Yesterday we had to get the bull in, a fine red Angus three year old 2 ton feller who felt his dignity was on the line. Not really a belligerent bull but he had his share of pride and character. 

I stood in the corral about six feet from the gate while the hubby tried to separate the bull from a cow and calf. He was on the four-wheeler giving him some protection and authority. But the bull was in an arguing mood. He got away from the hubby and came charging at me.

Head down, eyes on the surest path out. 

And that was through me.

So what do you do? Here are your choices:
  • Turn and try to make it over the fence. Hell no. Expect to be freight trained.
  • Freeze and scream. Interesting prospect but expect to be freight trained, only backwards.
  • Take a step toward the bull, raise you arms like a psychotic scarecrow, and roar. Bingo. That is what I did.

Bull stopped so close that I could have slapped his nose. However, I showed common sense and did not. He dipped his head and I yelled again. The sound coming out of my mouth would have impressed a Boeing 747.

He turned and fled and my hubby said in a low voice, “Maybe you might want to get on the other side of the gate now.”

Bull was separated. My throat hurts. And I have shaky legs.

Ah, life on a cattle farm.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG - Asking for Help


It’s a family reunion and everyone is mingling, talking about their little escapades. Except for that one gal sitting by herself reading.

Now, go to another scene. A kid is stacking blocks. The blocks topple and fall. When an adult starts to show the proper way of building a tower, it enrages the tyke who exclaims, “I do it.”

Prepare yourself for a revelation.

I am the quiet one reading in a social gathering with the “I do it” mentality. I don’t like to ask for help, and making a spectacle of myself is abhorrent.

I come from a long line of no-talkers. My brothers are the same way. When we get together in one room, we are comfortable with silence. Drives my daughter and hubby CraZy.

So how does a mutant market books?

Believe me, it is excruciating. Standing on a virtual platform and yelling “Look at me!” is like peeling skin off one strip at a time.

But I do it because I want my book to sell well and justify all the faith my publisher, editors, family, and beta buddies have in me.

I do it because to do otherwise is to quit halfway to the finish line when I’m ahead. 

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