Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Coming December 2015 – groaning about a whole year.
Black Friday Trailer:
Let’s Go Retro!
For a bit of fun, visitPulp-O-Mizer and create old time science fiction magazines. Here’s one I did:
and now for something a bit more cultural, some time with T. B. Markinson…
Claudia Must Die
Let’s learn a little more about Claudia. Shall we?
Your main character Claudia is sucked into a vortex and finds him/herself in a computer game. Is he/she the hero or the villain? What is his/her objective in the game?
Oh, this is a tough one, since Claudia thinks she’s innocent, even when she is guilty as hell. Everything is about Claudia. However, to answer this question honestly, I would have to say she’s a villain. Claudia’s objective is to kill her doppelganger and take over her life.
You versus Claudia – favorite movie.
My favorite movie is Bringing Up Baby, a 1938 classic starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. Claudia will tell you, not to waste your time with my movie. Who cares about black and white films? Pa-lease!
Her favorite film is Pretty Woman. She thought she found her Prince Charming when she married a rich man, but her fairytale ending turned out to be a nightmare. She still hopes for a happy ending, though, no matter what the cost.
What band/song would Claudia obsess over?
Claudia obsesses over two songs. When she’s feeling down, she listens to ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus. Her favorite line is “All you ever did was break me.” However, when she’s feeling powerful she loves to blast Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ and oh boy does she love to roar right along with the song.
Claudia doesn’t feel like herself anymore—she feels like prey. Her husband’s hired goons have stalked her all the way to Boston and will only stop their pursuit once she is dead.
Divorce is not an option. Instead, she has stolen a bunch of her man’s money to disappear into another life.
In order for Claudia to live, someone else must die. A lookalike college student becomes the target capable of freeing her from an awful marriage.
The plan goes horribly awry. Instead of murdering Claudia’s double, the assassins shoot the woman’s lover who is the cousin of a powerful Irish mobster. Claudia becomes hunted by all involved. Can she survive? Should she?
T. B. Markinson is an American writer, living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling around the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in England, or taking the dog for a walk. Not necessarily in that order. T. B. has publishedA Woman Lost, Marionette, andConfessions From A Coffee Shop.
Husband Unit and I watch these movies so you don’t have to. For dinner, I can recommendEmeril Lagasse’s vegetarian chili. How I changed it: chili peppers instead of bell peppers, add an eggplant, and I omitted all the extras and rice. Good enough that I’ve made it several times and it’s the only veggie chili recipe Husband Unit has ever asked me to make again.
The Incredible Petrified World
Info from IMDB:
Summary: Four adventurers descend to the depths of the ocean when the cable on their underwater diving bell snaps. The rest of their expedition, believing them to be lost, abandons hope of finding them.
Director: Jerry Warren
Writer: John W. Steiner (original screenplay)
Stars: John Carradine, Robert Clarke, Phyllis Coates
It starts with what seems like a documentary on the oceans, a really bad one with information from like 1905. Yeah in dire need of updating.
ME: Is this nonfiction? I thought this was supposed to be a science fiction movie.
HU: At least they’re not dancing.
ME: Are you sure the fish aren’t dancing?
HU: You should make this chili again.
Anyway, there’s more stuff that doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the movie before the real story actually starts. There’s this ball, like a submarine sphere, that John Carradine lowers into the ocean with four people in it – 2 guys and 2 gals. Of course things go terribly wrong. The cable snaps and the ball sinks.
The brilliant young people decide to go out exploring and change into diving gear. They open the top of the sphere and no water ever enters. HU and I laughed over that and the dude climbing the ladder in flippers. That took some talent.
Of course our hapless explorers find an underwater world with dry land and oxygen. I was rooting for men dressed in sparkly skirts and trashcan robots like in Undersea Kingdom, but we had nothing as fun as that in this movie. There was a lizard, and the women had to scream hysterically… of course. The lizard just ran away. It was so anticlimactic. Well, the entire movie was really.
Me: They should have the lizard eat somebody.
HU: Not everyone understands the brilliance of giant man-eating reptiles.
Me: You’re flirting with me.
Our stranded heroes roam around these caverns and find things to eat. They run into an old shipwrecked man, who is just plain weird. He did offer some comic relief one time by making a crazy face that made me laugh. There could have been more of that.
There was an underwater volcano, but no tunnel to the surface. The couples fall in love, of course. Not a whole lot happens really. We watch them walk around… a lot.
In the end they’re rescued and the one lady goes back to her husband/boyfriend and no one says anything about it, not even the dude she hooked up with. Nope, they’re all insanely happy.
It wasn’t really horrible, but neither was it incredible. A shark beast, a land shark, carnivorous reptiles, a dance number, any of these things would have given the plot a bit more life. In sum, not enough cheese for me. Not a bad watch, but not much campy fun except for some bad science and plot holes.
Two and a half beers.
and now for a bit more culture, an interview with Cherie Reich…
The People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors
I highly recommend the stories of Foxwick for a fabulous fantasy fix. In fact, I can’t wait for more.
Here’s a few questions I had answered by Cherie to learn more about the land of Foxwick:
If I were to visit a bar in Foxwick, what would it be like and what would I drink?
Come in and have a seat wherever you’d like at the Dancin’ Fox Tavern. The big table seats twenty, although for a cozier gathering, we have seats available up to four. The crackling fire makes the room merry and toasty. Dark wood lines the walls, and the scent of yeast battles with the smoke from pipes. A bard strums her lyre in a corner. Sometimes couples dance and sing along. Drink some hot cider, mead, or our finest whiskey—it’s certain to give you a night you won’t remember in the morning!
If the bad guy were to come to our world, what nerdy thing would he/she collect?
The souls of children. *laughs* I’m just kidding. Sorceress Queen Eirwyn would collect snow globes. Even though she longs for a land without frigid temperatures and her ice castle, she would miss seeing snow. She would enjoy staring at a world within glass.
What is the sport everyone raves about in Foxwick?
That would be the Mage Game. Held once a year, the Mage Game is a competition between the four kingdoms: Foxwick, Lochhollow, Wintermill, and Valdale. A team of two, a sorcerer and a swordsman from each kingdom, searches for a dragon scale, a phoenix’s feather, and a unicorn’s hair. At each round, there is a checkpoint. The last team to arrive will be eliminated Amazing Race style.
The kingdom hangs in the balance.
War threatens Foxwick on all sides.
The dreaded Shadowlands gains more souls. From the shrouded trees in Greymist Forest to the arid Blackden Barrens, monsters roam in search of their next victim. Sirens lure ships beneath Merrilea Sea. In cold and snowy Wintermill, royals plot to claim Foxwick as their own, even if they must use dragons and sorcery. Marriage between Foxwick’s king and Lochhollow’s princess creates a perilous alliance. Although brave Valdale will come to Foxwick’s aid, the cost may be more than a true friend can stomach.
Set over a hundred years, these seventeen fantasy short stories explore the people, creatures, and lands in and around the Kingdom of Foxwick.
Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Once upon a Nightmare, a science fantasy collection titled Fall of Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is the vice president of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.
Do you keep up with the industry news of publishing? No matter how you publish, you should keep tabs on what’s going on in the market. Mark Coker published an article acknowledging that ebook publishing has become more difficult. Most authors are aware of lower earnings and major fluctuations in the market in 2014 (mmm hmm). Have you been thinking about how much harder it is to stand out? I have. I think about it constantly.
Every time I publish a book, instead of getting ahead I find the new release has me treading water. I’m not going to whine about it, because it’s pointless. Besides, I’m extremely grateful to sell any books at all and to have garnered some fans. A big woot to all my awesome fans!
Some writers like to grumble about a sea of substandard books out there. I don’t think that’s the case. I think there are a whole lot of awesome books out there. If we’re going to succeed, we can’t look at the sea of titles being published in any other light. Because we want to aim to stand among the best.
To me, this means I have to be always working to up my game as far as my writing and stories go. So between writing novels, I pick something to work on, study it, and am very conscious of it when writing. Other things I’ve decided: my twitter, FB, & blog stream have to be geared toward audience/readers – some of that can include writing/networking, but I need to be interesting to readers too; I will continue to offer Backworlds and the Rifters for free; I now offer value for a mailing list sign up – a free ebook by me of choice; and paid advertising/promotion has to be part of a wise plan.
Things I’ll continue: working with a group of authors (Untethered Realms), offering the first book in a series for free, hiring a pro to make my covers, hiring an editor, hosting/managing the Realms Faire every year, jumping on opportunities that come along, writing and submitting short stories, talking to my fans if they take the time to talk to me, and striving to write better books.
I don’t plan on producing any faster than I do. I want to make sure each book/story is special. I want to say ‘wow’ at the end of each chapter. If I don’t, I mull it over until ‘inspiration’ hits. That’s me, that’s my plan… for now.
In the future I’ll do more advertising, I plan to branch out into other areas of fiction, and I have plans to become one of those hybrid authors (especially for fiction not science fiction or fantasy).
1. ) If your main character, Macie, is made a goddess, how would the world change?
Macie’s been the odd girl out since her parents vanished. She doesn’t have a change the world view. It’s more like a change my world kind of view. Although, if she were made a goddess, she’d change The Colony’s sunset curfew and allow everyone the right to see the stars scattered across the midnight sky like diamond dust, along with the moon, with their own eyes. And she’d bring her parents back into her life.
2.) You versus Macie – favorite dessert.
Me? Strawberry cheesecake
Macie? Any dessert Thomas prepares
3.) What TV show would Macie be obsessed with?
Macie loves swordplay, thanks to her BFF Thane, and favors fantasy and sci-fi, so she’d be crazy-obsessed with Game of Thrones. If Ender’s Game could be made into a TV show, she’d be all over it.
For seventeen-year-old Macie Breen, life in The Colony is a daily norm of being the odd girl out, that is, until everyday predictable slams to a screeching halt. Forced to the capital city of Bliss, Macie’s life becomes a horrific unraveling as she confronts daunting truths about The Colony as well as who, or what, she really is.
You can meet up with the fabulous Angela on her blog
If you’d like a sneak peek at the first few chapters of Precipice, Backworlds Book 6, sign up for my newsletter.
Isn’t the cover awesome? My cover artist (the uber-talented Erin Dameron-Hill) came up with this new design. It was her idea, so then she went back and changed the other 5 covers to match. I loved the old design, but I really like the new one, too. The graphics pop more.
It’s a SNOW DAY over on Untethered Realms. My contribution: I discuss surviving the Blizzard of’77.
Antelope was incorporated in 1896. It was orignally a stage and freight wagon stop on the Old Dalles to Canyon City Trail. In 1898 it had a population of 170. It had three livery stables, a blacksmith, three mercantile shops, four hotels, a butcher, seven saloons, a church, a drug store, a barber shop, a bowling alley, a funeral parlor, post office, jail, city hall, and a community center called “Tammany Hall.” In its hayday it enjoyed many formal dances, a gaslight, and a boardwalk.
In the summer of 1898 most of the town burned, destroying most of the business district, which was never rebuilt. Then came the sheep wars. What? Yeah, seriously, this region of Oregon had a huge war. Cattle vs. sheep. It’s no wonder the cows here are gangsta. The fire, the death of over 10,000 sheep, shed and hay burning (to mess with the sheep), and the railroad locating north of Antelope in Shaniko all lead to the town’s decline. Another deathblow was dealt in 1917 when Highway 97 was relocated (the main north/south high way in Central Oregon).
In 1981-1985 Antelope was part of the invasion by Rajneesh, a West Coast cult led by a charismatic Indian guru (and started in India). The guru bought tens of thousands of acres of land near the town, the Rancho Rajneesh. Friction soon developed with the locals, then things got worse when the Rajneesh tried to poison the county council with salmonella. A plaque stands in the town to honor all those who resisted evil.
Mark your 2015 calenders for the 4th annual joust. Same place, same week in November. And let’s have some huzzahs for the previous years’ winners Angela Brown (2012) and Nicki Elson (2013).
And another thank you to the game hosts, sponsors, and participants.
The Attic of Sand and Secrets
by Medeia Sharif
Middle Grade Historical and Fantasy, Featherweight Press, November 2014
Lily, a learning disabled girl, attempts to unravel the mystery of her abducted mother using supernatural clues from an ancient stranger, even when it means posing a danger to herself.
Learning-disabled Lily desires to prove herself, although her mind freezes when presented with big problems – such as her mother’s abduction. With a French father and Egyptian mother, Lily worries that her mother hid her ethnicity from her French in-laws. However, there’s something deeper going on. Lily finds a way into an attic that’s normally locked and encounters a mysterious, moonlit Egyptian night world. There she finds Khadijah, an ancient stranger who guides her to finding clues about her mother’s whereabouts. Lily becomes a sleuth in both the real world and magical desert, endangering herself as she gets closer to the kidnapper.
The book takes place in 1976. Gas was 59 cents a gallon.
2. Each cheerer may leave a comment 3x a day. Any comments beyond that will not count in scoring points for the knight. A cheerer may cheer for different knights, but still only 3x.
3. Comments will be cut off each day at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
4. The joust ends at 10:00 p.m. November 14th. All winners – cheerers, the champion knight – will be announced here on November 19th. Prizes up for grab daily will change. Daily winners chosen via Random.org
Today we feature all the brave knights:
Cheer them all on as we bring the joust and the Realms Faire to a close.
It’s a close contest. The current standings: Sir Smitty 88, Ninja Knight 67, Lady Margaret 47, Sir Mist 28, Sir Dragonstone 27, The Black Queen 23, Dame TF Walsh 20, and Lady Esta 20.
All the knights have displayed such valor. Hearty huzzahs for all!