Zombie Blogfest!

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Today is Halloween and I’m participating in the Zombie Blogfest hosted by Kelly Hashway and Beth Fred.

Here’s how it works:
Post about your favorite zombie movie, zombie book, zombie TV series, or share some cool zombie pics. As long as it’s zombies, you’re good.

What’s in it for you?

How about a FREE story. Plus, US residents can also be entered for a chance to win some zombie limb candy and a signed copy of Touch of Death. (Sorry but international mailing is expensive and mailing candy internationally isn’t always allowed.)

Everyone will get a copy of Kelly Hashway’s FREE short story prequel to the Touch of Death series, Curse of Death.

In fact, go grab it now by clicking here.
And if you want a chance to win a signed copy of Touch of Death and some zombie candy to satisfy your after Halloween sugar craving, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below.
Okie dokie. Well, when it comes to all things zombies my favorite movie is 28 Days Later.
28-DAYS-LATER

 

For anybody who hasn’t seen it here’s the logline: Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

And a brief recap of the beginning (courtesy of Wikepedia):

Cameras in the opening scenes show footage of extremely violent riots taking place in central London. A chimpanzee is then shown surrounded by the cameras and chained to a table. Shortly afterwards, British animal liberation activists break into a laboratory in Cambridge. While trying to free some chimpanzees being used for medical research, they are interrupted by a scientist (David Schneider). Despite his desperate warnings that the chimps are infected with a virus dubbed “Rage”, which he claims is highly contagious and only takes one bite to spread, the activists ignore him and open the cages anyway and release the chimpanzees. A chimp attacks an activist and immediately infects her, and she in turn infects the other members of the group, including the chief scientist when he attempts to kill her.

28 days later, a bicycle courier named Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens from a coma in St Thomas’ Hospital in London. He finds the hospital deserted and seemingly empty. He ventures out to discover the city completely deserted with signs of catastrophe everywhere. Jim then wanders into a seemingly abandoned church, only to alert a small group of Rage-Infected people who were hiding there. As he tries to approach a priest who he then realises has also been Infected, the “Infected” spot him and try to attack him, giving chase.

 

Dude. The beginning of this movie FREAKED ME OUT. I couldn’t breathe. If it’s on TNT or something I’ll even watch the edited version. The film was successful both commercially and critically and there’s a sequel (I haven’t seen it) called 28 Weeks Later.

So if you haven’t seen the movie, watch it this Halloween and see Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris kick some major Zombie butt.

What about others? Any fave Zombie flicks? And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win some zombie limb candy and a signed copy of Touch of Death!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Concealed Betrayal by Dominique L. Watson – Author Feature

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It’s the Wednesday before NaNoWriMo begins and today I’m featuring Dominique L. Watson, author of Concealed Betrayal. Dominique is a Literary Mentor and Consultant for Authors & Writers at Literary Career Moves: www.literarycareermoves.com.

She can be found daily at The POV Lounge giving advice and tips on the literary field over at http://thepovlounge.wordpress.com.

Check out the book cover, blurb, excerpt, and Dominique’s bio below!

Side note: cop a gander at that book cover. Caliente!

 

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Blurb:

Calvin and Tina Mitchell are the typical African American family. Married young with several children. Tina a stay at home mom and Calvin a hard working business man. Life is perfect, until Calvin’s mother dies and he doesn’t know how to cope and his wife doesn’t know how to support him.

Calvin spends his days in a deep state of depression leaving Tina to take care of their children alone. She’s no longer getting the love, affection and support she needed and turns her back on her husband and his needs. With the loss of Calvin’s mother cutting him so deep, the devil has found his entrance and sets in motion….betrayal.

Tina finds herself getting all of what she’s been missing from a dangerous source. Her mother can’t seem to get through to her and the aching pain she has in her heart from her marriage causes her to make the wrong decisions.

Calvin and Tina’s marriage and family is turning upside down right before their eyes.

Can they turn on the love that once was or will explosives set before them destroy their happy home.

 Excerpt:

Calvin finally came home hours later; four o’clock to be exact. Tina was in the kitchen cleaning the pantry.
“Glad you finally decided to come home,” she told her husband. Calvin looked tired; like he hadn’t slept for days.
“Had to clear my head.”
“Can we talk now?” Tina asked.
“Let’s talk.” Calvin followed Tina to the den. They closed the door to get a little privacy. He threw his keys on the coffee table and turned to his wife. “So…”
“So we need to talk about Candy. What are we going to do?”
“Tina, I don’t want her here.”
“Calvin, I’m not putting my daughter out. She needs us. I think we need to talk to Eugene and his family.”
“I don’t have time to talk to that boy’s family. My concern is my daughter. I think she done got beside herself these last couple of months.”
“How would you know? You ain’t been around. You don’t talk to us. You ignore us. You haven’t helped me raise these children. You just come in here and isolate yourself. Now you wanna come in here and lay orders. I don’t think so.” Tina was hot with her husband. When she needed him he was nowhere to be found. Now he wants to lay down rules. Tina wasn’t having that.
“What? Neither have you. You ain’t been here either. I might not talk to you but I notice that your mind is somewhere else. You aren’t here with your family. You didn’t lose a family member so what’s going on with you Tina? Huh? Why have you been so distant with your family?” Tina got quiet. She had no idea that Calvin was noticing that her attention had been elsewhere the last few months.
“Maybe we need some time apart.”
“So now you’re running, Tina. Are you having an affair?”

You can buy Concealed Betrayal here:

 Amazon 

 Createspace

Bio:

Dominique Watson is a writer and published author. She began writing poetry and short stories at a young age. Dominique has published eight books in the genres of Poetry, Inspiration and Urban Christian Fiction including her most popular series “Too Much Untold” and “Truthfully Untold” “Concealed Betrayal” is Dominique’s latest book.

Dominique was also the owner and creator of the award winning magazine “From A Writer’s POV”, a literary magazine geared to support authors and writers.

She’s a Literary Mentor and Consultant for Authors & Writers at Literary Career Moves. www.literarycareermoves.com  She can be found daily at The POV Lounge giving advice and tips on the literary field http://thepovlounge.wordpress.com

For more about Dominique, check her out at:

www.author-dominiquelwatson.com

Social Media Links:


The Vanished Knight by M. Gerrick – Author Feature

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So today I’m featuring M. Gerrick and her fantasy novel The Vanished Knight. We actually swapped blogs for the day, so check me out here.

Check out the blurb, excerpt, and M. Gerrick’s bio below.

Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land…

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith’s realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine’s crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

Excerpt:

The wet air smelled like blood. Callan staggered back in an effort to escape the scent, but immediately lost her bearings in the dusky light.

Fog distorted everything. Shouts and screams and clashes thundered nearby. She ran toward the noise, through looming black shadows that turned out to be trees. They fell away with a sharp cliff, forcing Callan to stop. The sounds drew her closer to the edge and she found a battle raging on a road in the valley below.

Red-clad soldiers flung themselves at those in black, slashing them apart. Red archers shot flaming arrows from the opposite cliff, completely overwhelming their enemies. The few arrows that missed the soldiers in black hit old, yellowed leaves, lighting them like kindling. Callan watched, transfixed by dancing flames and flashing blades.

“Don’t kill him!” The voice shouting the order sent shivers down her neck. Something about it stirred the evil entity residing in her to life.

M. Gerrick’s Bio:

M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.

She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you’d like to see her writer-side (beware, it’s pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blog.

 

 


J.L. Campbell’s Who’s Your Hero? Blogfest

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Hero Blogfest Badge

 

It’s a beautiful Tuesday here in Charleston, South Carolina and today I’m participating in the Who’s Your Hero? Blogfest. It’s being hosted by award winning author J.L. Campbell to celebrate the release of her novel Saving Sam. The release of the novel has been timed to coincide with National Heroes’ Day celebrations in Jamaica.

SAVING SAM

The rules are simple: write a maximum of 300 words about someone who encouraged or inspired you in some way. The blogfest will run until October 24 so there’s still time to sign up. You can do so here. 

I’ve actually had a lot of inspiration and encouragement as a writer, so narrowing it down to one person is actually kind of difficult, but if I have to narrow it down I’d have to say Professor Cremins! I was a student at Louisiana State University and all set to apply to film schools like UCLA and USC (never mind the fact that I’d only taken one screenwriting course and didn’t know a thing about film or writing a full-length script!), and when he found out that was my plan he said the magic words that set me on the right track: “You know, you should really consider applying to some MFA programs.” I took his advice. I went online and googled: MFA programs where you can study fiction and screenwriting. The first one that popped up? San Jose State University. It was my first choice. And guess what? I got in! And while studying there with the fantastic Scott Sublett, my very first screenplay won a national student competition!

Thinking back, if I had applied to those film schools I would not have gotten in. I didn’t know enough about screenwriting so my writing samples were kind of meh. I probably would have been completely deflated and convinced that maybe I wasn’t going to make it as a writer. But because of Professor Cremins’ advice, I realized that even though I wasn’t ready for film school, I could still learn about screenwriting all while studying fiction. For me, the best of both worlds! To boot, I met my husband in San Jose:) Okay, I’ll stop grinning now.

So to Professor Cremins, wherever you are, I send a big, heartfelt thank you!

What about you? Who’s your hero? Leave your thoughts!

Also, check out the other participants below:


It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy – Book Release

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Yesterday was my one year wedding anniversary. Over the weekend my husband whisked me off to a beach front condo in Hilton Head, South Carolina where we drank champagne , ate pizza, and watched Alien Vs. Predator. Ah! Romance!

When we returned home yesterday, I was greeted by my framed book cover , balloons, food, and a gathering of family and friends; a surprise book release party! First off, I couldn’t believe my husband was able to pull this off without me having some idea. I was uber impressed! It was very festive. I took pictures with everyone and nearly fell out laughing when my uncle read the title of the novel wrong; “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy!” He yelled out. “I like it!”

I uploaded the novel to Amazon yesterday evening. I’d read that it could take up to 48 hours to go live and panicked; what if the book wasn’t ready by October 15? Well, imagine my surprise when I received an email from Amazon last night informing me that the book was ready for sale.

I’m proud to say that I am now a published author! Whoo-hoo! The sky didn’t part. No rainbow appeared. No angels sang (or, if they did, I didn’t hear them:). I feel like the same ole Quanie I felt like before. And now that this novel is out, I’m already thinking about the next project and how I should be outlining it before the start of NaNoWriMo. The work never stops!

Here’s the link to the novel on Amazon.

You can also add the book to your shelf on Goodreads.

Yay! You know what that means, don’t you? Yes, my friends. It’s time to dance!

 

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Interview with Book Cover Artist Victoria Faye and Best Upcoming Fiction Award 2013

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VICTORIA FAYE

So today I’m interviewing book cover artist extraordinaire, Victoria Faye. She’s the Designer/Owner at Whit&Ware. She did my book cover and if I do say so myself, I think she did an awesome job.

But first, some good news: my debut novel has been awarded the best upcoming fiction title by Chick-Lit Pad!  Excuse me while I do a little jig.

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Okay, enough celebrating for now. Let’s get to know Victoria!

Where are you from and what do you do when you’re not designing covers?
Originally I’m from Africa, I was born there (my dad is Sierra Leonean, my mom is Filipina and Chinese). I moved to the states when I was 13. Growing up, it was a very musical/creative household. My dad played guitra, My mom sewed like crazy, my sisters crafted and made ceramics (we had a pottery wheel and kiln in the garage). So I do tend to overload on hobbies while I’m not designing covers, I’m writing, or making music, or DIYing…I can’t seem to ever sit still! I’m thinking of starting a vlog soon, but we’ll see. It’s wishful thinking.

Did you always know that you wanted to be a graphic designer or did you just kind of fall into it?
I always, always, always wanted to be an artist of some kind. I remember telling my mom I was going to spend the rest of my life drawing all day. I was 6. Lol, and if I wasn’t that, I told her my back up plan was to be Whitney Houston. I loved to sing. My parents wanted me to be a doctor – I was like, that’s not happening.

What are your favorite kind of covers to work on?
Ooooh! That’s a tough one! I get into phases, but I guess my absolute favorites are Middle Grade and YA – there’s a lot of imagined worlds in those books, and what can I say. I love to day dream and imagine all those fairy tales to be true, and then bring them to life.

Let’s say an author comes to you and has no idea what they want their cover to look like; how do you get your ideas?
I think an in depth conversation is a good place to start. I talk to the author about what images they like, what feel they want the cover to have. Then I research the genre that they are writing in and I look at all the different covers that are already out there. I want to make a book look unique but at the same time make it look like it could belong next to any other book in that genre. The best place I get my ideas though is in an authors synopsis/summary though. Usually I sketch out ideas that I think would work for both the genre and the particular book. I usually come up with 3 variations, and show that to the author, and then I keep finessing it until it’s just right.

Walk me through your design process.
First I sketch. A LOT. And I drink a lot of sweet tea.When I was in design school it was hammered into me to draw 10 sketches for every concept, and I can’t seem to break the habit. It really does get a lot of ideas out of my head, though. Then I hunt for images (if needed) and/or open up my design programs and rebuild the three best ideas digitally. I clean them up, choose a few different fonts, and then send them over to the author for a first review. Then I sit anxiously and wait for a reply. I get SO nervous right after I hit that send button.After I get feedback, I start revising the cover to get it just right, and then send it back for another review. If it’s an illustration, the above steps may repeat a few times, since I redraw things, but essentially, the whole process is the same every time. Whatever I do though, I try to make sure I keep the author’s vision in mind. After all it’s their baby.

What information should authors have before they approach you about designing covers?
For me, nothing is absolutely required beforehand, but it does help if authors know where to find info about how their book is going to be published for print or eCover. As much info as I can get about what they need for the final outcome is great.
Besides Createspace, there are several different companies that offer printing services, and sometimes the sizes/formatting can be different. Knowing ahead of time makes designing the cover easier – all the technical stuff is all taken care of in the beginning.

What are some questions that clients should ask but don’t?
One of the things that people don’t ask about are licenses for stock images. If I use stock images I will let authors know if there are restrictions for them. But authors should always know what may be attached to the artwork.

Let’s say a client comes to you with an idea that you know just won’t work for a cover–how do you steer them in the right direction?
The only time I may suggest an author go in another direction is when they have too many ideas that they want to put into a cover and it leaves no room for the title or their name on the cover. I then I suggest that we focus the idea, to 1 or 2 visual concepts so the reader isn’t lost when they look at the cover.

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?
I used to be a correctional officer (prison guard) . For 2 years I worked at a men’s prison in the general inmate population. No joke.

How can we connect with you online?
For my design stuff and tips for marketing and self-pubbing:
www.whitandware.com
All Social Networks:
#whitandware
FB/whitandware
TW/whitandware
Linkedin:
http://www.linkedin.com/company/whit&ware-design

For my personal blog and side projects:
www.victoriafaye.com

 


#IWSG – Focus

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InsecureWritersSupportGroup

Yesterday at work I saw a poster hanging up on the wall. The word focus was in green and beneath it this quote:

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. 

I thought about that for a moment, and about all the goals I’ve set for myself for the next year or so:

1. Publish a novel (this year).

2. Write another one (this year!).

3. Prepare for the release of another novel (already written) sometime during next year.

Okay. So I’ve pretty much done all the preparation for number one, and number three won’t be so bad since that novel is already finished, but number two? Yikes! I’ve given myself all kinds of reasons about why I can’t finish the outline and start writing the book this year during NaNoWrioMo:

1. I’m about to release a novel and can’t possibly spare any more space in my brain for writing another one right now.

2. The holidays are coming up! How can I make pralines and sweet potato pie when I’m writing a novel?

3. I need to start preparing for next year’s release; beta readers, proofreading, a book cover, ebook formatting, promotion, blog tours; how can I write another novel? I’m too distracted!

4. My muse is in Bermuda.

Truth? I think that underneath all those excuses is the fear that I somehow won’t be able to pull the novel off, which is something I need to confront head on. And the only way to confront it? Plant my behind in a chair and write.

To find out more about Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group and to see other participants,click here.