Friday, November 29, 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Chat - Warm Bodies

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 am dead, but it’s not so bad. I’ve learned to live with it."

So begins Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. If the title sounds familiar, that’s because Hollywood made it into a cool movie.

He calls himself R because he can’t remember his name let alone how he lived and died. But, what do you expect? He’s zombie for Pete’s sake. Still, he has friends, goals, and a bit of glamour about his position. He isn’t a complete waste of skin. Or at least said skin hasn’t deteriorated too badly yet.

When R meets a living, breathing girl under less than ideal circumstances, he is draw to her. He saves her after confronting his friends who look at her as a meal. His mercy awakens his buried humanity and ignites a revolution among his zombie brethren and Julie’s humans.

Warm Bodies is an easy read. It drew me in immediately and held me captive, but some scenes are difficult. If you’ve seen the movie, don’t think this is quite as sweet. The reason for R’s decision to save Julie is quite detailed and rather disgusting. There is blood and gore, dead people and a lot of screaming.

It isn’t one of my usual books in other words.
I loved it.

Give it a whirl. Well-written, an excellent storyline and a new take on the current zombie-craze.

And I did not clue into the reference to R-omeo and Julie-t until way later.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mark Koopman's 50 States of Pray, Lots of books on sale, and the release of Out of Magic.

In his own words:

"Mark Koopman is an award-winning writer: 2013 SCWC (Southern California Writers' Conference) "Outstanding Memoir"; former award-winning journalist; current writer. Proud husband to my wife, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander. Stay-at-home dad to three boys ages six, three and one."

50 States of Pray is an event of devotion and inspiration. 

"On Dec. 24, 2013, take a moment, (and in about 100 words), share a prayer, a thought, a memory, a hope, a regret about the past and/or a wish for the future."

Linky list to open December 2nd. Sign up then.

Books on Sale at Musa Publishing. 
Big announcement for December 2nd, Cyber Monday.

All books on Musa Publishing (including Wilder Mage) are 50% off. Download any book in any format to your Kindle, Ipad, Nook, or computer.

WAIT! Did you say that you don’t have a Kindle? 

Go here. This free app makes your computer or mobile device a reading machine.

Let me say again, You Do Not Need a Kindle/Ipad etc. If you are reading this, you have the ability. Download the app and read any book anytime on your computer.

Then go to Musa Publishing and check out their extensive bookshelf. 

Do you like Young Adult? Sci-Fi? Fantasy? Fifty Shades-type books? They have them. At 50% off on Monday, December 2nd, it is worth it believe me.

The steps:
1. Don’t have a Kindle? Go here for the free app.
2. Go to Musa Publishing. 
3. Hit the Log in/Create account (top left of Home page)
4. On the ‘Welcome, Sign in page’ hit Sign up under the New Customer banner
5. Create an account.

On Cyber Monday, Dec 2nd all books are 50%.

Starting the same day, free reads for selected short stories.

My prequel to Wilder Mage, Out of Magic is available for free on Tuesday, Dec 3rd.

Sable Rounds has every basic need a seventeen-year-old girl could want. Shelter, food, and an education. She is safe. Clean. Provided for. Nothing is missing. Except parental affection.

Her parents’ attitude changes on the day she speaks to a whirlwind. And it answers.

Now they pay attention to her. They were only waiting for her magic. And the end of their obligation to raise her.

Check out 50 States of Pray, sure to be an inspiration to all. And schmooze on over to Musa Publishers. They have the book you want.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Falling Down the Stairs and Other Trips

Not gonna do it this year. 

Not that I didn't try or that I'm feeling bad since forty thousand plus words is nothing to sneeze at. But achieving fifty thousand words for NaNo in the month of November just ain't gonna happen.

First reason/excuse: Harvest. Forty-five days of combining corn and soybeans. Then, on the last day a mile from home, this happened:

No, the tire should not be sitting in the middle of the road. The hub broke off bringing the combine to a grinding halt just two feet short of a thirty-foot drop off. yikes. The mechanics and running around required time that I usually would have spent writing.

Meh, I said. I can make it up. More wordage tomorrow.

Then tomorrow came and my horse and cat conspired against me. Telepathically evidently since the cat stays inside. Said cat is fifteen years old and normally without issues. But one morning, he became, well, sick as a dog and needed emergency attention.

The horse had a colic attack and required me as well. Both decided to pull these stunts on the same day. Cat and horse recovered.

I’ve missed two days before. I can do it, I can do it....ERRRRRRR BooM!!

Company came and stayed all day. I lost another twelve hours of time. 

So I am still writing and will continue down the road I started November 1st. But I am not going to make 50 K. Not when company arrives again on Wednesday, the house needs a good cleaning before hand, and pies must be made.

I gave it a shot and am tickled with the 40 K plus so don’t cry for me Argentina.

Whew! What a month.

How's everyone else doing? Making plans? Writing non-stop?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lexa Cain and Soul Cutter

This is a review by my good friend, Matthew Keith. Read and enjoy!

Soul Cutter by Lexa Cain

What an amazing and original story. Lexa Cain's debut novel is an outstanding YA story about an angst-ridden young girl, Elan, who is forced to travel to Egypt in order to save her reality-star mother, who has mysteriously disappeared.

Elan is no timid "Bella" kind of leading character--when the story opens, she is on the job as a teen-aged psychic-buster. Because of her mother's lack of ever being around and the kind of work her mother does (she's the host of a kind of "Most Haunted Places of the World" type of show), Elan has a passion for busting fake psychics who scam people out of their hard-earned money. It's kind of a big F-You to her mother.

Immediately upon arriving in Egypt, the action really kicks in and Elan throws in with Ramsey, a young man who was (is) employed with her mother's show. He helps her hunt down her mother's whereabouts and a bit of "impossible romance" is fostered. "Impossible", because both Elan and Ramsey have personal issues and have to keep reminded themselves they're not interested and don't have the time for anything romantic.

Pace was amazing, non-stop, and kept me coming back for more. Characters, every one of them, had depth that far surpassed your usual debut novel's cast--in fact, it far surpassed many veteran writers' casts. The plot twists were unexpected and brought me even deeper into a story that I was already fully invested in.

Great book for any fan of YA adventure. 5 of 5 stars.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSP - Genre Confusion

IWSG—Writers, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. This month I am joining the ranks of hosts.

I admit it. I am confused. Or maybe everyone else has it wrong.

I’ve posted before about YA vs Adult, how the definitions have changed over the years. Bambi, the book by Felix Salten not the Golden Rule book version, was a favorite of mine in third grade. Do you think kids read that now? I’d love to know that they do.

Other genre definitions continue to mess with my mind. Urban fantasy vs contemporary fantasy seemed clear, impossible humans living in a modern world. Then I read the definition of urban is any age as long as it is set in the city. Scott Ender wrote an excellent guest blog on the subject.

My publisher Musa’s Urania section calls it speculative fiction. This covers anything from science fiction to horror to fantasy, with all its subgenres of urban, contemporary, epic, dystopian, and supernatural.

Well now, I like that. An umbrella that covers every genre of the weird and impossible. My debut novel Wilder Mage fits perfect in that category.

Oh but wait. Amazon doesn’t have a Spec Fic section.

So my publisher put Wilder Mage in the subgenre of Horror and Occult which kinda surprised me. 

It did great though hitting #1. 

My first reviews called it urban fantasy and praised it. Other reviewers, meh, not so much. They said it wasn’t urban and called it a romance. 


So I give up. I hereby call Wilder Mage literary fiction set in a modern urban area about people who care about each other

And can’t possibly create earthquakes.

There. My genre. 

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.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Matter of Minutes and Hours

Writing and Time

As one of my Facebook friends said, “What sadistic mind would schedule NaNoWriMo in the month of November?”

It does seem like someone with a sense of humor and an evil laugh decided on the timing. With family, Thanksgiving, harvest still underway on the farm, I must keep the motto of the little engine that could in mind. 

I joined the glut of nincompoops participating, figuring it was an excellent motivator. And it is too. As soon as I finish this post it’s back to grind out my two thousand words a day.

TV shows. Walking Dead is living up to its name. Lots of gore of course. It’s a given that I don’t eat popcorn during this show. But the storyline is hair-raising fantastic, the whole reason for watching. I know there will be death and mangling ahead. Here’s hoping my favorite characters make it to the end of the season. Especially Daryl. I cannot do without my dose of the big D.

The Originals. Absolutely fantastic. Nuff said.

Dracula. Watched the second episode. It has the same blood and no-popcorn-allowed scenes as Walking Dead and a twisting storyline to go with it. I bought the original Bram Stoker’s Dracula to read. Sure it doesn’t follow the book but who would want that anyway? Definitely TiVo worthy.

Get ready for the next installment of Insecure WritersSupport Group this Wednesday. 

I didn't have enough to do this month, lots of time on my hands and all so I volunteered to be one of the humble hosts. Actually, I’m rather looking forward to it. Told the family that I would be “unavailable” that day. No dinner for harvest. No running to town for parts. And shifted babysitting the grandson to Monday and Friday. 

I share this duty with The Man Who Needs No Hyperlink, Tina Downey, Isis Rushdan, and Michelle Wallace.

So what are you watching this TV season? Like Dracula? Are you participating in NaNo? Got your post ready for IWSG? 

"I think I can, I think I can" - Little Engine That Could

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