Thursday, October 31, 2013

It is Confirmed. I'm Nuts

I said, "Never."
I said, "Those people are crazy."

Then something dropped into the slot in my brain. 

"Hm. Maybe," I said.

Joining National Novel Writing Month

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wilder Mage. It's on Sale!

Two months after its release, my first sale for Wilder Mage.

The earthquake wasn't his fault. 
Not this time.

Musa Publishing is offering Wilder Mage 30% off for this week. 

It has a direct link to all eReaders so download it straight to your Kindle.

For everyone who enjoys speculative fiction, horror/occult, contemporary/urban fantasy.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Chat – The Green Mile

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.”

I’ve seen the movie multiple times over the years. The Green Mile starring Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan is hard to watch, especially uncut with all its horrible details laid bare. I never want it to end the same even though I know it can end no other way. Not only because the movie script demands it, but because the characters and storyline do as well.

The movie is based on the book of the same name by Stephen King. Reading it enlightened me since it went into depth and gave closure to the characters, telling what happened after. I liked that. The cinema version was nearly word for word in many spots. No surprises. 

What kept me reading, even though I knew how it would end, was the example of a writer who never stopped learning his craft. I have Mr. King’s book, On Writing, dog-eared and coffee stained, by my computer at all times. But it isn’t like experiencing the master at work up close. 

For a writer, a good book is our classroom. Note the use of nouns and the placement of verbs. How a significant adjective can spark a whole brain full of pleasure.

Read The Green Mile for pleasure, read it to compare it to the movie if you want. But writers, absorb it like an instruction manual. It comes from a man who loves his job.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My, Oh, My, oh my.* How my Opinions Change

*Addams Family quote

TV programs. New, old, and wow.

New. S.H.I.E.L.D. I thought this was the clear winner in the beginning. But something happened. When faced with picking one program to record, I didn’t pick Shield. The lead gal, the computer nerd with an attitude is a little too cute, and not in a good way. My mom used that expression for a smart alec, someone just this side of a show-off. Not ‘cute’ as in sweet. That girl irritates the Hades out of me. I’m not sure where this program is going now.

Old, The Vampire Diaries. Ugh, ugh. Then better. The premiere and second episode were enough to turn me off completely. The third episode brought me back into the fold. Hopefully it will continue.

Old/Wow. The Walking Dead. By All that is Holy, that is one fascinating show. I still have to watch it peeking between my fingers sometimes and absolutely cannot eat before or after. But it is supreme stuff.

New and a total shock. The Originals. When I had to pick one show to record, I picked this show over Shield. The pilot left me cold. But number two and three hooked me and now they are towing me into the boat. Love this show.

New/Wow. Sleepy Hollow. Started out a bit rocky, stumbled, and then steadied. Now it is going strong. My only question is, how the heck am I supposed to survive without a new episode for two more weeks?

I tried. Sean Saves the World but the laugh track grates on my nerves.

I need to check out Reign. Sounds good.

Can’t wait for. Almost Human

Got any good shows I've missed? Agree/Disagree with my assessment? 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Writing a Press Release

or Terror Strikes Author 

I remember the dreaded question posed by friends and family:
“So, what are you doing these days?”
Why was it so hard to say the words, I’m a writer? It took a wagon load of courage to finally answer a former co-worker without mumbling. And even then it came out as a stutter. “I’m-m-ma, ah, wri...ter.” The final syllable dropped off like a ten-pound weight.

Totally different now when asked. I say it without thinking and the days of choking out the words are long past.

With that hurdle behind me, I now face a different bump in the road.

Press release.

Is that insane or what? Me? Issuing a press release? But my publisher suggested that I submit one to the local papers letting them know that an author is in their midst. I created one, but I haven’t sent it off yet. With every third-person paragraph that I wrote, I hit a new level of self-consciousness. I'm sure that I'll acquire the courage someday but for now:

Any suggestions? Comments? Have you written a press release for your local papers? How did it go? 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Watchers: Book Two is Out

Watchers: Book Two $0.99 Release


JUST $0.99

Thursday, October 17 - Thursday October 31
Watchers of the Night
Indictum Rising

Don't miss this action-packed sequel as Paul and the rest of the gang at Astralis go head-to-head with a new and dangerous adversary.

Paul Bennett is a Walker--someone who walks the night in their dreams free of their body--and a member of Astralis, an agency funded by the UN that uses Walkers to gather intelligence.

A rogue Walker from Astralis attempted to take over the agency six months previous, but failed. Now, he has formed his own agency. He has declared war on Astralis and will stop at nothing to gain control of every Walker on the world.


Matthew Keith

Monday, October 14, 2013

As the Crow Flies by Robin Lythgoe

As the Crow Flies

Meet Crow, an engaging but self-serving thief. He has spent his life perfecting the talents given to him by the gods, sharpening his razor wit, and planning for a comfortable future with the woman of his dreams.

And then there’s Tanris, dauntless servant of the empire, dedicated lawman. It’s a feather in his cap when he finally captures the miserable, thieving bird that’s been flitting about the Bahsyr Empire as if he owned it.

Neither man is prepared to become a cat’s paw for a wizard with even bigger plans.

In this tale of thieves and dragons, author Robin Lythgoe ventures into a world where the master thief Crow and the lawman Tanris must learn to weather each other as well as survive dangerous lands, a haunted cave, and a temple guarded by blade, sorcery—and a vengeful dragon. Their goal? Simple: take a journey across inhospitable land to fetch an incredible, mythical prize. Escape the dragon. Return before time runs out …


After many years spent tending to a prince, three princesses and a king, Scribe Robin has taken to her tower to write tales about wizards and magic, fantastical places and extraordinary journeys.

From time to time, when she is not writing, she invokes the magic of Photoshop to create maps, scenery, insignias, book covers, and various bits and pieces of artwork suitable for use in the mysterious ether plane. She has regularly been victorious at the NaNoWriMo tourneys, and has several books in various stages of progress in addition to a published work of fiction about a thief and his trusty sidekick. 

Now if only she could find that spell for manipulating time so that she could turn all of her ideas into stories...

Robin has a one-day sale today for her novel As the Crow Flies.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ciara Ballintyne and Confronting the Demon

Ciara Ballintyne has a new book out.

The gates to hell are thrown wide when Alloran is betrayed by his best friend, Ladanyon, and framed for forbidden magic. He is hunted by the guards and the wizards both, tormented by the gruesome murder of his friends and loved ones, and crippled by fear for the living.

Now Alloran must face his demons, or damn the woman he loves.

Also featuring bonus short story 'A Magical Melody'

Confronting the Demon

Genre – High Fantasy (17+)
Length – 110 pages
Published – September 24th

October 12th Indie-Vengeance Day Special! 

“Ballintyne gives wonderful descriptions and I found myself becoming lost in the magic of her words in a picturesque world with every turned page”  Bella Doerres
“The power-packed action will leave you breathless and the eerie suspense will make you chomp on your own nails, beware!” Satarupa
With imagination and detail that paints a full scene for the mind’s eye, Ciara takes us on a short but exciting journey into a world of magic, love and demons from hell.“ Miranda Wood of DustyKatt’s Stuff Reviews
“I actually enjoyed a good fantasy novel that didn’t take days and days to read, but still offered the opportunity to get caught up in its world and story.” - Tracy Riva Global eBook Awards Judge

~Amazon Kindle~ US $2.99 99¢ | UK £1.93 £0.77
~Trade Paperback~ Amazon US | Amazon UK

In honour of Indie-Vengeance Day Ciara Ballintyne is offering up “Confronting a Demon” for the sale price of 99¢
On October 12th after more than a year of planning, more than a dozen bestselling indie authors from around the globe (seriously!) will gather in Dallas, Texas for an once-in-a-lifetime signing and meet-the-author event; Indie-Vengeance Day.
Come join authors from the U.S, Canada and Australia and meet some of the most notable and recognized writers in the indie author movement.

Alloran huddled in the shadows of the alley mouth across from the west gate, watching the guards search every man and woman leaving the city of Ehsan. He sweltered within the confines of his light dust cloak. The hood concealed his face, and a few days worth of stubble blurred the shape of his jaw. Anything to make him that much harder to recognise. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hide his indigo wizard eyes from another wizard or a sorceress, though a spell concealed their colour from normal vision.

A queue of backed-up traffic wound out of sight along the Avenue of Falling Stars. Travelers, merchants, and farmers waited with resigned patience.

Seven hells, after three months, the delays were normal. Surely, they’d give up soon.

Will they? For such a heinous crime….

It was not a thought he liked to dwell on. He slouched to hide his unusual height, and squinted at the mailed guards. They represented a minor inconvenience. The quartet of three wizards and one sorceress, though, were entirely different. There’d be no escaping their notice, even though the soldiers might be fooled. Almost involuntarily, his gaze flicked to the castle–not the king’s castle in the central district but the wizards’. Perched atop the mountain overshadowing the city, its turrets clawed the sky. Home, once. Now he hid from it like a beetle scuttling away from the sun. Only enough luck to fill the seven celestial levels kept him safe.

The wizards stood as the guards inspected each traveler and allowed passage. One, in linen shirt and leather pants with a sword on his hip, spoke companionably to the guard nearest him. The silk-swathed sorceress gazed down the street towards Alloran, or perhaps past him, with eyes that were yellow or purple, the mark of a woman of power. Easing back into the shadows slowly enough to avoid attracting attention, he headed to the square where Dek and the unfinished statue would be waiting.

A peaceful lassitude crept over Alloran at the thought of the statue. Three months ago, the notion of hacking a statue out of a lump of rock would have been distasteful, to say the least. Now, the act of creation gave him a refuge that he couldn’t find anywhere else.

Stripping off the cloak, he tramped through the back alleys, his boots squelching through something he didn’t care to examine too closely. Summer heat left the narrow streets ripe with the stench of rotting garbage. The muck would take weeks to clean from his boots, assuming he wouldn't have to traipse through the same decomposing food tomorrow. But he knew better.

He heaved a sigh for the soft leather half-boots he’d favoured in another life. Of course, they’d be ruined even faster than the heavy work boots. Oh for a clean street.

In the past, he’d waded knee-deep through any kind of muck as long as an answer lay on the other side. Two lives ago, that had been. Now, he did it in the hope of prolonging his pathetic existence one more day.
A tangled pile of crates blocked most of the alley. When he squeezed between the stack and the alley wall, the splintered wood scratched the stiff canvas of his smock and snagged his stonemason’s mallet. It was impossible to avoid the rubbish piled between wall and crates, and he wrinkled his nose at the stench.

If only he could take the main streets, kept clean by an army of royal sweepers, but they’d be watching for him there and at the gates. No one at the citadel would expect to find him in this stinking back alley. No, not him. Not the man of silks and velvet's.

As he slipped through the narrowest point, the crates shifted, allowing him a glimpse into the middle of the pile. An eye stared back at him. A fixed and glazed eye.


He flipped the page. A huge red blemish marred the paper. Alloran blinked. Where did that come from? As he watched, another line met it at an angle, then another, slowly forming the letter M. His pulse quickened, and his shoulders tensed. This was wizardry of the sort that could only be used by someone who knew him intimately. Someone had sent him a message, and he had only two choices.

Agonizingly slow, the letters formed in bright crimson across the page of notes to spell out the message: Meet me. Before the sentence was complete, the first strokes of the M began to fade, leaving only line upon line of his writing.

He slammed the book shut, breathing fast. Ladanyon, trying to lure me out? Or Gisayne? And if the latter, whose side was she on?


Goosebumps prickled her arms, and she hugged herself. Demons. Why did he have to mention demons? She didn’t want anything to do with demons. I want to pretend that day never happened.

Before she thought it all the way through, she deposited herself in his lap, slipped her arms around his neck, and tilted her head up to kiss him.

A raucous cheer erupted from the sailors. She glanced over at the men saluting her with upraised tankards. Heat burned all the way to her hairline. She ducked her chin and looked away but refused to move from Alloran’s lap. The men shouted out obscenities. Or were those suggestions? The heat in her flaming cheeks intensified as she pulled her hood up to hide her face.

Alloran sat rigidly, staring down at her with an unreadable face.
She pouted. ‘I haven’t seen you in three months, and you don’t even have a kiss for me?’ Provoked by the continued catcalls, she wriggled her hips against him. Leather slid across coarse cloth. What is he wearing?

He seized her by the shoulders, pressing his fingers into her flesh hard enough to bruise. Another squeak escaped her throat. Her mouth tried to find words, but nothing came. He bent his head and brought his lips to her ear.

‘Is this a game to you, Gisayne? A game? This is my life. I haven’t just been vacationing somewhere, I’ve been running for my life, from Ladanyon, and from your father!’


Ciara Ballintyne was born in 1981 in Sydney, Australia, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, one masochistic cat, and one cat with a god complex.

She holds degrees in law and accounting, and has been a practising financial services lawyer since 2004. She is both an idealist and a cynic.

She started reading epic fantasy at the age of nine, when she kidnapped Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings from her father. Another two years passed before she began her first attempts at the craft of writing. Confronting the Demon is her debut book.

She enjoys horse-riding, and speculation about taking over the world. If she could choose to be anything it would be a dragon, but instead she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House. M.D.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 The book tour for “CONFRONTING THE DEMON” By: Clara Ballintyne is now accepting tour hosts.

The Book tour will take place on Monday through Friday. 12/2/2013 - 12/13/2013

If you are interested in participating in this tour, please fill out this form.

Hosted by:

* * * * 

Good stuff all around.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Robin Lythgoe and RM Burgess

New books, great books.

Robin Lythgoe has a one-day sale coming this Monday for her novel As the Crow Flies.


* * * *

Empire of Zon by RM Burgess
Matthew Keith Reviews

"Science Fiction at its finest. An absolutely engrossing story, one that sinks you deep into the lives of the people who populate the world that's been created.

Every aspect of this incredibly imaginative story has been exquisitely detailed. With many books that attempt to create such an intricate framework, the failure lies in incomplete or conflicting details. This is not the case with The Empire of the Zon, and it is all just backdrop to an amazing plot.

RM Burgess has created a saga of epic proportions that easily rivals stories such as John Carter.

For originality, strength of voice, character development, and the level of detail that's been brought to life in this novel, I'm happy to award it 5 of 5 stars."

Check out these two books. Love me some fantasy and sci-fi.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Escalation Cover Release

We know him as Stephen Tremp, Blogosphere Extraordinaire. 

His name pops up at many blogfests, during A to Z crazy month, and hosts Writers4Writers. What else could he possibly have time for?

How about an incredible book series? 

His final book in the Breakthrough Trilogy is coming out this month.

Escalation Synopsis:
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” - Albert Einstein 
In Escalation, the final installment to Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Trilogy, a seemingly innocent discovery in Einstein-Rosen Bridges, or wormholes, becomes a Pandora’s Box—opening doors to other unexpected and unpredictable realities such as parallel universes, time/space travel, and an evil hitchhiker from another dimension.

Chase Manhattan has survived attempts on his life from numerous sources in his effort to destroy the technology. But he is far from safe. Now Chase and his comrades must not only break world renowned physicist Professor Nicholas Fischer out of prison a second time, but also smuggle him across hostile borders in Europe and the Middle East to prevent events threatening to spiral into World War III.

At stake: an end to Western civilization as we know it. The result: an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage, vying for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global as the world divides into an East vs. West climactic battle. The action is swift, adrenaline-charged, and non-stop. Unending twists and turns will keep the reader turning pages and wanting more.

Together, Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation follow the lives of the unlikely participants from innocence to a coming of age through sacrifice, betrayal, passion, lust, unconditional love, and hope. Escalation will appeal to fans of modern-day science fiction, action, and horror.

Check out his new blog here.

ESCALATION: an epic clash where science and the supernatural take center stage for mankind’s destiny. The setting is global and the adrenaline-charged action is non-stop.

Monday, October 7, 2013

CassaStorm, The Originals, Vampire Diaries, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Sleepy Hollow

Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh was gracious enough to give me time on his blog today. Go see why I say all writers are selfish and only concerned for their own self-interests. 

Speaking of the man who needs no hyperlink, I was the fortunate one who won a mug on his blog, and I do love my tea.
* * * *

Not many times do new television programs grab my attention. This fall it is different.

My old standby, The Vampire Diaries, came out with a spin off, The Originals. It follows a bad-natured, first vampire ever created and his push to re-take New Orleans from some *really* bad-natured vampires that he made years before. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. First off, Vampire Diaries is beginning to wallow a bit, like a hippo in deep mud. 
The Originals was rather interesting until the final scene in the premiere. Blech. K. Whatever. I’ll give it a second chance but with a dubious eye.

I’ve seen three episodes of Sleepy Hollow and while not a irritating as that last scene in Originals, the show does make me talk to the TV. As in, “Now dang it, if you go in there, you know the fur is gonna fly. So why are you STILL GOING IN THERE...?”

I hope it doesn’t trip into a mud pit of stereotypes and Meh-dom. It already messed up when the MC, a hot-looking dude turned out to be married. Hey, I do have my fantasies.

Shield is excellent. I am really looking forward to the next episode. No, “I’ll give it another chance” with this one.

I'd already determined that it had a great cast, good script, excellent characters, and I love Phillip, btw. Then Nick Fury turned up and took my enjoyment to a whole 'nuther level.

So have you read my post over at Alex's house? Seen any of the new programs? Worship Phillip like I do? Yell at the TV?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IWSG - That Look of Disdain

This scene of the final battle between Voldemort and Harry Potter is one of my favorites for several reasons.

First, my genre is fantasy and magic. Second, it is the climactic battle between good and evil.

Third, I like the colors.

Now maybe marketing isn't in the same good/bad category, but it feels like it. Consider the telemarketer. He has to call a total stranger and make a pitch that hooks that person in three seconds. I usually hang up. I say "usually" because sometimes I play around:

Telemarketer: The sheriff of [insert name of small town here] wants me to inform you about their charity campaign to sell light bulbs to feed hungry children. 
Me: Holy Crap! We have a sheriff? When did that happen?
Yeah, it’s stupid but sometimes life in the country needs more than cow-tipping for entertainment.

Telemarketers. I blame them what I see on the faces of friends and strangers when I try to hand them a bookmark of Wilder Mage. The curling lip, the rolling eyes; that slight look of disdain. I smile and say, this card is just for information.

The replies:
“How much do you want for it?” Er, not selling it. Just letting people know about the book.

“So you wrote these books. (in addition to disgust, now add suspicion) How much did you pay to print them?” Nothing. The publisher pays me. I don’t pay the publisher.

“This looks satanic. Are these books about devil worship?” GAh, no. no. no. no.

And so it goes. I’m already fighting my introverted nature to go out into the cold cruel world. Now, I have to battle the ones who give the word entrepreneur such a bad name.

Insecure Writers Support Group: The Final Frontier.

These are the voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His continuing mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 

To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Drowning, Cover Reveal, Rachel Firasek

"I dare you." 

Those words would change adrenaline junkie, Alice Harrison's life forever. She's a party girl that doesn't believe in love until she meets a man that only writes about it.

Seth James escaped his overbearing father and moved into one of the James family's vacant condos, hoping to create the music he loves in peace. But the fragile calm he's envisioned shatters when a tiny woman with a world full of energy bounces out of the elevator and nearly takes him out.

With the patience of a saint, Seth seeks the dark that keeps Alice from enjoying life. He challenges her to exorcise the demons in her past in order to discover the true meaning of love. But when the walls fall down, the hidden deceptions will bare the ugly truth about a woman drowning in sorrow and a man who may not know how to be her hero.

* * * *

Author Bio. Rachel Firasek spends her days daydreaming of stories and her nights putting the ideas to ink. She has spent a dull life following the rules, meeting deadlines, and toeing the line, but in her made up worlds, she can let the wild side loose. Her wonderful husband and three children support her love of the written word and only ask
for the occasional American Idol or Swamp People quality hour.

She has a philosophy about love. It must devastate or it isn't truly worth loving. She hopes that you all find your devastating love and cling to it with all your heart!

You can meet her at:


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