Saturday, October 30, 2010

November Movie Lineup!

Who's ready for a movie?!?

5th-

Megamind
Director: Tom McGrath
Stars: Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt
The Plot: Megamind (Ferrell) is the most brilliant super-villain the world has ever known, though after several unsuccessful attempts to conquer Metro City, a new foe sees him attempt -- for the first time in his life -- to use his powers for good.
Could be good, could really suck!


Due Date
Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan
The Plot: High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman (Downey Jr.) is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) on a road trip in order to make it to his child's birth on time.
Robert Downey Jr. makes this one a possibility…

12th-

Skyline
Director: Colin Strause Greg Strause
Stars: Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson
The Plot: A group of friends fight to survive as a mysterious light source causes people to vanish into the air.
Have you seen the latest trailer? I am so there!!



Unstoppable
Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
The Plot: A rail company frantically works to prevent an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train carrying combustible liquids and poisonous gas from wiping out a city.
Based on a real incident which only lasted an hour, involved no dangerous materials, and didn’t destroy cars or maim a soul. LOOSELY based I guess!

19th-

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Director: David Yates
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
The Plot: Harry (Radcliffe), Hermione (Watson), and Ron (Grint) set out from Hogwarts to find and destroy the Horcruxes -- the secret to Voldemort's power and immortality.
Why two parts? More money!!! Bloodsuckers. I’ll probably still see it…

26th-

Tangled
Director: Nathan Greno Byron Howard
Stars: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi
The Plot: Rapunzel (voice of Moore), a princess with 70 feet of magical, golden hair, has been locked away for years in a tower high above her kingdom. Desperate to be free, she strikes a deal with Flynn Rider (voice of Levi), a handsome bandit who chooses her tower as a hide-out spot.
Looks fun and funny! Yeah, I'm a sucker...


Faster
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Maggie Grace
The Plot: An ex-con (Johnson) sets out to avenge his brother's death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he's tracked by a veteran cop (Thornton) and an egocentric hit man.
For those who don’t want to go sit with the masses seeing Tangled - dumb, mindless violence!

What are you eager to see?

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Big Wrap!

Last stop of my tour! I’m at Mason’s site, Thoughts in Progress, confusing her mystery readers. (As in, what the heck is a science fiction writer doing here?) I talk about the origins of CassaStar and why we shouldn't forget older projects.

And thanks for visiting Breakthrough Blogs yesterday!

This has been a wild journey and I appreciate everyone who’s come along for the ride. Thanks to everyone who’s supported my book release with posts and tweets and reviews and requesting my book at the local library. And purchasing CassaStar! (Hope you guys still like me after reading it.)

My contest for a copy of CassaStar ends Sunday at 9pm EST. Comment HERE and at just one of my guest posts to enter. (Don't forget to comment on a guest post! Several of you have entered but not commented on a post yet. That's a crappy way to lose out!) The full list is below. They are all awesome blogs – visit one that’s new to you!

Speculative Book Review Review and Inteview
Sia McKye’s Thoughts Over Coffee The Balancing Act
Patricia Stoltey Science Fiction is Just the Backdrop
Edi’s Book Lighthouse Review
Scribbler to Scribe Interview and Review
SFF Hub Interview
Hollywood Spy Interview
Mystery Writing is Murder The Importance of Test Readers
The Non-Review My own review
Straight From Hel Don’t Underestimate Your Audience
Sharp Pen Dull Sword Interview
A No. 2 Pencil Stat! Interview
Grasping for the Wind Blogging to Reach Readers
Confessions of a Watery Tart My Writing Snafus
Spunk on a Stick’s Tips Window into the Soul
Breakthrough Blogs Interview with my characters
Thoughts in Progress Going Back to the First Story

I also made it through NaBloWriMo, with weekend posts counting as one. Come next April, I’ll be ready for another A-Z Challenge. Okay, Lee?

Coming this weekend – are you ready for a list of November’s movies? Well, are you?

And just because it's the last time I get to post it:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Next Stop, Monsters, Awards, and CassaStar Made a Best List!

Today’s stop is at Stephen’s awesome site, Breakthrough Blogs. He interviews Byron and Bassa!

And thanks to those who visited Spunk on a Stick’s Tips yesterday as I shared about my character's telepathic abilities.

This came through my Google Alerts – wow! Top 5 List of Best Debut Sci-fi Books by New Writers CassaStar is on the list!!!

And a fan review from Randall at Not the Baseball Pitcher! Thanks, Randall - glad you enjoyed the book.

I caught Monsters last night on HDNet -

Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.

A haunting movie, with an equally haunting score, Monsters is slow-paced. It's more of a character study than anything else - and surprise, it's also a romance.
The scenery is incredible, both the natural landscape and the devastation. The monsters are amazing - what the crew achieved with next to no budget will astound you. The characters are quite real and I appreciated the lack of stereotypes.
An original work of science fiction, drama, and romance, Monsters is quite an achievement, and I highly recommend it.

I’ve also been hoarding awards!!

First came from Lydia at The World is My Oyster – the A is for Awesome Award. Is that not cool? Awesome Alex thanks you, Lydia!

I’m passing it on to Cruella at The Giraffability of Digressions


Next, Clarissa at Listen to the Voices gave me the Cherry on Top Award – thanks Clarissa!

I’m passing it on to Laura at A Shift in Dimensions



Krista Lynne Jensen gave me the I’m a Literary Builder Award – thanks, Krista!

My five favorite words:
Anathema
Counterintuitive
Acrostic (not that I’m good at it)
Really? (must be said in loud exasperation as someone does something stupid)
Sex (hey, just being honest!)

I’m passing it on to Colene at The Journey

Finally, Charity at My Writing Journey gave me the Sunshine Award! Since I’ve received it before, I’ll just thank Charity for her kindness!

Friday wraps up my tour – whew!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spunk, NaNo, and SUCK

Bet that post title makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Today’s tour stop – Spunk on a Stick’s Tips - with a post entitled “Window into the Soul.”

Thanks again to those who commented at yesterday’s post at Confessions of a Watery Tart. If you didn't, feel free to add your snark to the rather long list.


And I need a little help with this NaNoWri Mo thing. Everyone is talking about NaNo and ‘buddy me’ – but most of you aren’t using your names! So, I’m having trouble finding everyone. If you are participating, please leave your NaNo name in the comments so I can find you. I am listed under AlexJCavanaugh

I still hope to see RED at some point! In the meantime, I leave you with this review, courtesy of NetFlix.

SUCK

A band finds their popularity growing as members turn into vampires.

Rob Stefaniuk wrote, directs, and stars as the lead singer. He even wrote the band’s music, which is actually not bad. Malcolm McDowell is Eddie Van Helsing, and all sorts of musicians make appearances in this film, including Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, and Henry Rollins. Alex Lifeson (from the awesome band RUSH) is a Canadian border officer and Moby is a headbanger who enjoys raw meat thrown at his band during performances. (I guarantee you've never seen this side of Moby. Ever!)

With an 80’s vibe, SUCK is very quirky and original – and a lot of fun!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting Naked!!


Today’s tour stop – you get to laugh at my writing mistakes! Come snark at my naked confessions to Hart at Confessions of a Watery Tart. Meanwhile, Hart will entertain you here! (I won’t be naked, but I make no promises regarding Hart.)

(Thanks again to those who commented at yesterday’s post at John Ottinger III's Grasping for the Wind!)

Take it away, Hart!

Lessons from TV for Writing

So first off, I want to congratulate Alex on KICKING BUTT with this book release thing! He's done an amazing job of being everywhere which HAS to be paying off. Alex—You're the DUDE! (And you only have to take that like the Big Labowski if that pleases you).

And NEXT, for your reading pleasure and/or mockery content... How Television Series Can Inform Our Writing Plan

The BIG PICTURE

Movies all have a large underlying plot or they lose us, yes? And it seems a no-brainer that a book would need the same. But when you start planning a SERIES, it is a little more like a television series... let's take a good one that BOTH has episodes that are self contained AND themes that continue week to week. A show like Castle is easiest to talk about, or maybe, because this is Alex's blog, and I still get to picture Nathan Fillion, we will talk Firefly...


Each episode introduces a new conflict that is URGENT. It needs to be resolved or... the evil guys will catch them, or Serenity will float off into a war zone with no way to breathe, or... you get the picture... URGENT. And that emergency is resolved through the cleverness and cooperation of the crew within the one hour epidsode, while still leaving loose ends... like say some sexual tension with a certain ESCORT! The characters are appealing enough that we come back every week, and those of us who DO have a better idea of some BROADER plot that does NOT get resolved within each hour... we know WHY the bad guys are the bad guys... we have a CLUE as to where the story has been and where it might ultimately go (to Nathan standing naked on a random planet! Or maybe that was just the ultimate moment for yours truly).

I really prefer shows that DO have those points of continuity over shows that it doesn't matter from episode to episode...

Why Does that Matter to Me?

IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!! Think emotions here, and how we tap into them... The deep feeling of EVIL and FEAR actually takes a while to develop. If the show (or BOOK) is to show us, instead of TELLING us how horrible some force is, then the moments of proof need to be sprinkled... I mean SURE, you can dive in and start with a bang... and get away—YAY! But the insidious evil that keeps coming back, ever worse... supported by something larger... How scary is THAT by comparison?! To realize you thought you'd won, but he was really just a minion compared to the force behind him?! Twin Peaks has some good examples here... you have the monster that is Shelly's husband in the immediate forefront... resolved relatively quickly... but the hints about the one-armed man.... those were dropped slowly... and while Shelly's husband was awful and scare... he doesn't pack NEARLY the fearful punch as that 'one hint a week' build...

RELATIONSHIPS!!! And I don't only mean romantic... Oh, sure... I love sexual tension (and BOTH Nathan's series have plenty of that... with PROMISE but the line is almost never crossed (I keep tweeting him that I'll scratch that itch, but he doesn't answer me *cough*) But also other kinds of relationships... I love complicated frenemy-type relationships... rivals or people who should be opposed, but grudgingly help each other now and then. There are a TON of these in the series Veronica Mars... My favorite relationship in the series is actually the once between Veronica and Weevil—he is a gangster... but she helps him, and then manages to have a 'friend in low places' when she needs one.

Veronica Mars, in fact, also does a great job getting at my NEXT important point...

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!!! How boring is a hero who never learns from his mistakes? (or worse, never MAKES ANY?) Life (and drama, both visual and literary) has some hard lessons... and any character who can't grow and CHANGE from those lessons is going to lose our interest eventually unless it's a sitcom.

Okay... so I didn't go into great detail on how we draw on that for books, but I guess my point is that in a book series, each should definitely be able to stand alone... you don't want a reader to pick up a random one of your books and not be able to follow... but how much more interesting is a series if there is some logical flow underneath? Isn't it nice to reward long-term readers with a little something extra?



Hart Johnson writes mostly suspense and is in process of cleaning up to query. She has two alter egos: Alyse Carlson has a Cozy Mystery contract with Berkeley Prime Crime, and The Watery Tart is trying to achieve Naked World Domination. All of them make appearances at
Confessions of a Watery Tart and would love to see you at the party.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Awesome Stop and 400 Followers

Just went live! My stop today is at Grasping for the Wind, run by John Ottinger III.


His reviews, interviews and articles have appeared in Publishers Weekly, Black Gate, Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, SF Signal, Sacramento Book Review, Thaumatrope, and at Tor.com. John is an affiliate member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and a self-proclaimed a SF/F fanboy.
My guest post is about blogging to reach readers, something I learned from you guys – and I hope I do it right.
John’s site it awesome, so please show him that Alex’s Army rocks and leave a comment after reading my guest post!

And thanks for visiting RaShelle’s site this weekend, A No. 2 Pencil Stat! Glad her Halloween party was a big success as well.

Oddly enough, I crossed 400 followers on Saturday. That just blows my mind! Seven months ago I hovered around 30 followers, wondering if I’d ever see 100…

I didn’t get to see RED – again! But NetFlix delivered a cool flick and I’ll review it tomorrow. As Shrek would say, really-really!

Don’t forget to enter my contest to win a free copy of CassaStar! Comment on this post HERE and on just one of my virtual tour stops. (See tab above for a full list of stops.) Contest ends October 31 at 9pm EST.
Now, go visit John's site!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Working the Steps

Thanks for visiting Sharp Pen Dull Sword yesterday! Probably my most revealing interview so far. And yes, a guaranteed date every night rocks.

Today, I’m “working it” at RaShelle Workman’s site, A No. 2 Pencil Stat! RaShell’s an awesome lady. And she rocks, despite what her kids think!

And cheers for Clarissa at Listen to the Voices - she got a book deal!

Downloaded ESPN’s Sports Tap ap to my iPad recently. It provides updates on your favorite teams or sport. If a game’s in progress, it announces every new score, even if the device is off. You read that right! Freaked me out the first time I heard the ESPN jingle from my quiet iPad. Remind me not to follow basketball, as it would just chirp all night long.

I plan to catch RED this weekend. If that doesn’t work out, we’ll just watch How To Train Your Dragon again.

Anyone else catching a movie this weekend?

Friday, October 22, 2010

No Dull Sword in my Army!

Thanks to all the awesome people who visited me in Hel yesterday! (At Straight From Hel, that is.) Sorry, work overwhelmed me yesterday, so I didn’t get to comment on as many of your posts. Will try to catch up today.

Today’s stop in my virtual tour is Sharp Pen Dull Sword. Now, several of you have already commented, because it went up yesterday by accident! Lola felt really bad, but it was just a technical blogging snafu. So, those of you who didn’t see it yesterday can visit today. It’s a really unique interview. I even brag on my wife!

Hart commented that I don’t talk much about myself here. I’m really not that exciting, though. I wouldn’t know what to tell you! Maybe I need to have a day where you guys ask me what you really want to know.

Of course, I reserve the right to say “no comment.”

Why? Because it’s my Army! Says so in the side bar.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today’s Stop - HEL

Not THAT hell - Helen Ginger’s site, Straight From Hel! My guest post is about not underestimating your audience, something I learned from my blogging friends.

And big thanks to my hosts yesterday at Mystery Writing is Murder and The Non-Review

Here’s something else I learned this week. (Yeah, I’m still really new at this promotion stuff.) There are ways to help an author besides buying the book.

Ask your local library to stock it. I guess all it takes is one - three requests. Cool, huh? Then you get to read it for FREE! (And if anyone requests my book, be sure to mention the awesome review in last month’s Library Journal.)

You can post a review on Amazon or another site. (Guess you have to buy it then. Or, get it from the library! Back to free again.) Of course, if you didn’t like the book, a bad review doesn’t really help the author… (Now, that’s a scary thought!)

Any other ways to help an author?

Besides awesome blog posts?

Thanks again - you guys rock!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thanks Beyond Words!

To all my online friends - thanks!! Yesterday was overwhelming.

Special thanks to my hosts yesterday, Hollywood Spy and Speculative Book Review!!

And today's stops are really special! I'm at Mystery Writing is Murder, talking about the importance of test readers, and at The Non-Review reviewing my own book. (Yeah, that was tough!)

Congratulations to Piedmont Writer who won a copy of CassaStar at Scribbler to Scribe. Don't forget my CONTEST runs until the end of the month! Comment on the contest page and one other stop in my virtual tour.

My deepest thanks and appreciation to all who posted my release yesterday and to those who commented on those and my tour host sites. I was overwhelmed!! You guys rock. When you have a book release or other big news, I want to do the same for you. (Talli, got you covered on December 1!)

Thanks everyone for making the day awesome!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Release Date is HERE!!!!!!!


No, I’m not nervous at all – I’m in complete meltdown mode!

CassaStar’s release date is TODAY!!



First my virtual tour stops, because they are awesome!

TWO interviews today –
Hollywood Spy - interview with exclusive photos!!
Speculative Book Review a second awesome interview!


CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science fiction/adventure/space opera
ISBN 9780981621067 Dancing Lemur Press LLC

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.

Much to Byron’s chagrin, the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.

As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

More Reviews:

Scribbler to Scribe
SFF Hub
Edi’s Book Lighthouse
Jaded Love Junkie
Speculative Book Review

Links to purchase:
AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
BOOKS-A MILLION
AMAZON UK
AMAZON DE
AMAZON KINDLE

Also available in eBook format for iPad, Nook, and others

MY GIVEAWAY - enter to win a free copy for you, a friend, or a local library or school.

Read an excerpt HERE





Monday, October 18, 2010

One More Day!!!!!

TWO awesome stops today!!

Two unique interviews – one at SFF Hub and the other at Scribbler to Scribe. Both of these awesome bloggers reviewed my book, too.

Hope you didn’t miss the review yesterday at Edi’s Book Lighthouse. His site is really cool!

And don’t forget to enter my CONTEST for a chance to win a copy of CassaStar.

However, this is more urgent - prayers for Amity as she is now facing super typhoon Megi!

Vicki gave me the Strangely Irresistible Award. Somehow, with the word strange in the title, I just knew it would end up here eventually. Thanks, Vicki!

Passing along the strangeness to…

Copyboy at Not Worth Mentioning
Powdered Toast Man at Just the Cheese
TS Hendrik at The Non Review

I’m going to be up early tomorrow!! Wonder if I'll even sleep...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lighthouse Stop and Movie Tidbits

Next stop in the tour is today at Edi’s Book Lighthouse!!!

For those of you who enjoy Science Fiction, fantasy, and the like. Edi’s site is fantastic. His weekend posts round up books, movies, the web – you name it! Please do stop and say hello to my German friend. You’ll really dig his site.

How to Train Your Dragon came out on DVD Friday. Did you get your copy? Why not? I got mine! And guess what? According to our very own Hollywood Spy, a sequel is in the works, due out in 2012.
Now, go get your DVD. Trust me!

According to Blastr DC superheroes will not team up for a super movie. DC’s chief creative officer stated at NY Comic-Con that DC superheroes were bigger than Marvel’s, so there’s no need to put them together for a movie. What do you think? Cocky or lame?

I think Marvel, Iron Man, and the rest of the Avengers might laugh all the way to the bank.

Don’t forget to enter my CONTEST for a chance to win a copy of CassaStar – or enter Scribbler to Scribe’s contest. Or both!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Beware the Devil's Hug

While I am getting ready to head out to a book festival (and sorry I doubt I'll be online tomorrow) please welcome Marvin Wilson!

Marvin’s new book is entitled Beware the Devil’s Hug. I wanted to know more about the main characters, so Marvin managed to corral them long enough for an interview…

Marvin D Wilson interviews Iam, Destiny, Christian, and Ali – main characters from Beware the Devil’s Hug!

Marvin: I want to thank all of you for being with us today, Iam, Destiny, Christian, and Ali. I know you are all very busy right now with your coalition, CUE, and its efforts to promote world peace and harmony through the dilution of religious dogma and intolerance of peoples of differing faiths. Christian, could you explain to everyone just what CUE stands for?

Christian: Thanks for having us, Marvin, and sure. CUE is an acronym for Coalition for Unity and Enlightenment. It has always astounded me that Jews, Christians, and Muslims, who all love and worship the same One God of Abraham, can hate each other with such intensity. To me, the most heinous oxymoron of all time is the ‘Holy War’. With CUE, we strive to get peoples of differing faiths to have dialog, communicate, get to know each other as human beings, all of us being God’s children and loved by The One. We don’t promote one spiritual path over the other, that’s not our purpose. We have members from Buddhism, Taoists, Hindus, Baha’i, every path on the planet—not just the three One God of Abraham major religions.

Marvin: But you yourself are a Christian, right?

Christian: Yep. Well, I consider myself a bit of a Maverick ... a non-religious, dogma-free spiritualist Christian. I know that Jesus led people to the truth through nonjudgmental, all-encompassing, unconditional love. He did not hate people who did not believe in Him, he loved everyone equally, and that to me is the True Way of Christ, hm?

Marvin: Amen to that, Christian. Ali—you are, of course, a Muslim. And your best friend is a Christian. How did that come about?

Ali: Well, I don’t want to spoil the story for those who haven’t read the book yet, but suffice it to say that twenty years ago I would have killed Christian in the belief that it would glorify Allah. Then one magical day I was transformed by an embrace from that incredible human being sitting right next to you.

Marvin: Yes, and Iam? Can you share something of yourself ... your name, for instance—very unusual.

Iam: It’s everyone’s name, really. We are all, as Jesus said, little Gods in the making, all part of The One, the I Am That I Am. So, I chose to go by that name. Or, as you wrote me, The Old Man. I like that, too.

Destiny: Ol’ Man o’ Mine, that’s what I call him, cuz he is mine. (Destiny shows off her wedding ring with a broad smile)

Marvin, (chuckling): Destiny, you are twenty nine years old, a very pretty young African American woman. The Old Man is old enough to be your great grandfather at least. What on earth attracted you to him so much as to want to settle down and get married to him?

Destiny: It’s not any ‘on earth’ reason, I can tell you that. I used to think he was butt ugly, fearsome looking. Back when I was a hooker I used to get the creeps whenever he approached me. Even a prostitute has to draw the line somewhere. But then when he hugged me—it was unbelievable. Not only was I a changed person, all of a sudden he started looking handsome to me. In a weird, rugged kind of way, but—I don’t know—I looked deeper and saw all this beauty shining out from him. This ol’ man o’ mine is the best looking man I’ve ever known, now.

Ali: And I think that’s the key. Once we look deeper into people, really see them, surface appearances are not at all that important. Initial attractions are, typically, based on physical beauty ... but how many relationships have ended up in ruin because once the sex appeal, the rush of hot lovemaking has waned, the rest of the people involved surfaces and oftentimes they find out they don’t even like each other anymore.

Christian: Yep. And although my wife is what I consider drop-dead gorgeous, I wouldn’t have considered marrying her if she were not a beautiful spirit, through and through. Has a bit of a drinking issue, but hey—and that’s another topic I’m glad you covered in the book, Marvin—the Jesus admonition of, ‘Ye who has no sin among you, let him cast the first stone’.

Marvin: Mmhmm. Well, look, people, our time is about up. Iam, as the main character in Beware the Devil’s Hug, could you close out the session with some parting words for our readers? Some advice for people to perhaps find more fulfilment in their lives?

Iam: Certainly. Want to be loved? Give love. Be love. Want to have good friends? Be a good friend. Want money? Give money. And every day, meet and greet a stranger, really talk to him or her, and make sure and share a hug before parting. A stranger’s hug a day keeps the devil away.


Beware the Devil’s Hug

What if a homeless, smelly, ugly, unkempt old man had a hug so powerful it could cure cancer? Cause a prostitute to stop hooking and seek true love? Shake the demons of addiction free from a junkie? Make a Christian want to embrace and love a Muslim and vice versa? But rare is the beneficiary of his divine embrace - nobody wants to come near him out of fear.

$16.99, ISBN: 978-0984615490, From All Things That Matter Press
Purchase here at Amazon

Author Bio

Marvin D. Wilson has a widely varied and rich life experience background - from Hippie Rock and Roll musician, to nightclub entertainer, to Zen Buddhist minister, to carpenter, to small business owner, to network marketer, to sales and sales training, to skilled trades instructor and adult education teacher, to public speaker and motivational coach, to now in his chosen “golden years” career, a writer and multi-published author with the self-proclaimed, “audacity to write novels”.

Wilson describes his spiritual path as one who is a non-religious, dogma-free, maverick spiritualist Christian, with a strong bent toward Zen, Taoism, and the Law of Attraction, and who believes in the Oneness of all creation and all paths leading to re-awakening to the On e. He is a family man with three grown children and six grandchildren, and works with his son and oldest daughter in their organic compost and vegetable farming business when not writing, traveling, and marketing his books.

Marvin writes primarily in the spiritual/inspirational genre, but likes to pen “cross-over” novels that appeal to a wide variety of readers. His books are uplifting, sometimes weighty, oftentimes humorous, abidingly thought-provoking, meant to instill and create passion and emotion, more than occasionally provocative to the point of controversial, and always “tell it like it is”, real world, no punches pulled writing. He likes to deliver spiritual messages in a non-preachy, often irreverent, sometimes sexy and ribald way, through the medium of an entertaining story.

Hugs Therapy Virtual Tour 2010 – Contest, Prizes and Giveaways!
Visit Marvin’s site - The Old Silly! AFTER leaving a comment to find out how you can win some really cool prizes!
The next stop in the tour - Joyce Anthony

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Next Stop and a Blog Nomination!

Today’s stop is over at Patricia Stoltey's place. I talk about how science fiction is often just a backdrop for the story.

Don’t forget to enter my CONTEST for a chance to win a copy of CassaStar – or enter Scribbler to Scribe’s contest. Or both!! (She posted the most awesome Review - I even made her cry!!!)

And this is just too awesome! Nebular at CineMarvellous nominated ME for the 2010 Gold Movie Blog Award! “Smartly-written posts, nice design, hundreds of commentors - it's the full package!!” Nebular, thanks!! However, next to YOUR site, I’m a total amateur. Voting starts in November…



Tomorrow I’m welcoming a guest – Marvin Wilson, a.k.a The Old Silly!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Next Stop and Fuzzy Statistics

Day Two of my virtual tour and I'm visiting Sia McKye’s Thoughts Over Coffee. I talk about my goals with writing, venturing online, and how it's affected my world.

Don't forget about my CONTEST to win a free copy of CassaStar! And see my sidebar for another CassaStar giveaway.

I'd also like to share some odd and fuzzy blog statistics with you.

First up is the subject of blogfests. Participation in a blogfest usually increases visitors to your site. However, the size of the blogfest doesn't seem to affect the grand total.

There were 83 participants in the Top Ten TV Shows blogfest on September 20 and almost 200 participants in the Creating Compelling Characters blogfest on September 24. I commented on every blog for the first one and almost every blog for the second. The amount of comments on my blog? 115 for each one. Exactly. Not sure how that happened.

Second fuzzy statistic - word verification. Nine out of ten bloggers don't like it. (Based on comments I received on a post about this topic.) However, as I traveled through the blogging world and leave comments, I noticed something odd - five out of ten bloggers use word verification. Now that's some fuzzy math!

Any other fuzzy stats you'd like to share?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kickoff!!!!

Time for Alex to lose his sanity! Nerves of steel out the window.


Today begins my virtual tour for CassaStar, which comes out October 19.
First stop: Speculative Book Review with a review.
Not a perfect review, but a positive review!

And this review just appeared at Scribbler to Scribe - WOW!!



My publisher has agreed to a giveaway, too! It starts today and the winner will be announced on November 1.

So here's the scoop - I'm not going to make this complicated:
* Comment here
* Comment on just one of my tour stops
* Those of you posting an announcement on the 19th receive a second entry - I really appreciate everyone who volunteered to do this!

You are welcome to comment on any or all of the stops, as each one is quite different. (But it's not a requirement.) Select a blog that's new to you. Several of these blogs receive high traffic but low comments - I'd like to blow their minds! Show them that Alex's Army ROCKS!!

I'll announce each stop as it occurs. The full tour is:

October 12 - Speculative Book Review
October 13 - Sia McKye’s Thoughts Over Coffee
October 14 - Patricia Stoltey
October 17 - Edi’s Book Lighthouse
October 18 - Scribbler to Scribe and SFF Hub
October 19 - Hollywood Spy and Speculative Book Review
October 20 - Mystery Writing is Murder and The Non-Review
October 21 - Straight From Hel
October 22 - Sharp Pen Dull Sword
October 23 - A No. 2 Pencil Stat
October 25 - Grasping for the Wind
October 26 - Confessions of a Watery Tart
October 27 - Spunk on a Stick’s Tips
October 28 - Breakthrough Blogs
October 29 - Thoughts in Progress


Wow, one more week!! Hope I can handle it.

And thanks everyone. Your support has blown my mind!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The First Novel That Moved Me


I signed up for Brad Jaeger’s blogfest, The First Novel That Moved Me, and almost forgot! Hey, a lot's happening this month for me! Fortunately, I did remember, and it takes me back a few years… (Okay, more than a few!)

Ever have one of those questions that took all your brainpower to plumb the depths of memory in search of a valid answer? That's not the case with this particular question. I was an avid reader as a kid (mostly Science Fiction) but most of it zipped by like scenery during a long car trip.

That is until I read the epic fantasy work "The Sword of Shannara" by Terry Brooks. It was the summer of 1977 and I was in search of something to occupy my brain when I ran across a book that had nothing to do with alien races and space battles. Instead, I was swept away to a world filled with elves, dwarves and magic. This was a classic high fantasy that helped re-ignite the genre. I had no idea that the novel was homage to "The Lord of the Rings" and even though I now see the book as slightly derivative, it doesn't lessen the impact that this novel had on a young boy.

I have re-read the book several times (one of the only books that I have ever re-read) and it always transports me back to the summer of ‘77. The storyline has been copied a billion times since its initial publishing but I hold this book as the pinnacle that all fantasy novels aspire to achieve.

So, what novel moved YOU?

BIG announcement tomorrow, too!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Stupid Horse Movie

Yes, you can probably guess which movie I saw last night. Two weeks after the stupid owl movie, my wife wanted to see the stupid horse movie. And judging from the previews, next Earth Day I’ll be seeing the stupid big cats movie, too.

Well, I have to admit – the stupid horse movie was better than anticipated.

Secretariat is the true story of the Triple Crown Winner and greatest racehorse ever. Penny Tweedy/Chenery (Diane Lane) takes over her father’s stables and with the help of a trainer (John Malkovich) train a horse called Big Red who goes on to win the Triple Crown.

Lane and Malkovich are the lynchpins of the film and it is through them that we feel the passion. We also feel the excitement while watching Big Red run – the cinematography is amazing. It’s a familiar story, but the director pulled a lot of tension and drama from the elements. Yes, we know the horse wins, but…

The downside is its running time. At close to two hours, it’s too long, and it has a slow start. Ironically, the relationship between Penny and her husband is strained but underdeveloped. So, while it was too long, not enough time was devoted to their relationship. Odd, I know!

Overall, it was very entertaining. It is formulaic – if you don’t like the formula, Secretariat will not change your mind. If you do enjoy it, you’ll have a good time!

Oh, and there's not a stupid chicken movie coming out, is there?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Party Time!

Parties around the web and in real life. Some all in my mind…

Horror at Hannah’s! Musings of a Palindrome is hosting a cool writing contest for the month of October.



Brad Jaeger’s “The First Novel that Moved Me” blogfest is Monday, October 11th. Sign up HERE (I’m participating.)


Cerebral Lunch Box is featuring the Small Packages Blogfest for those with 150 followers or less




Stephen Tremp is looking for young adult authors for a special project – see Breakthrough Blogs for details.

Tuesday I kick off the virtual tour for CassaStar, which is available October 19. Yes, I’m getting nervous!

In addition to doing NaNoWriMo, I’ve been participating in NaBloWriMo. (Whew! Too many acronyms!) A post every day. Then it’s much writing every day. Yes, I am crazy. Work with me!

My mom’s birthday is next week, so I recorded an audio track of me playing an Elvis song for her. Took several tries, but I think I got it. No, not ready for a world tour just yet!


Those who’ve been with me a while should remember my high praise for “How to Train Your Dragon.” Well, it comes out on DVD next Friday, October 15. If you haven’t seen it, just go buy it. Trust me!

And to round out this party post, I intend to post a movie review this weekend. Not sure which movie yet. I’ll let you know when I know!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Do You Juggle?

Not the physical kind. I can do that. Not well, but I can keep three tennis balls going for a while.

I mean juggle everything else?

How do you find time to write? Time to blog? Time to actually live?

I knew this month would be difficult between my book release and virtual tour. I knew writing would slack for a while. That's why I signed up for NaNoWriMo.

Some days, it's overwhelming though. I'm starting to wonder if I will survive.

So how do you guys juggle everything? Some of you have hundreds of more followers than I do. Some of you have several books out. Some of you post daily and it's not just filler - you put a lot of work into it!

How on earth do you guys do it?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NaNo, Giveaway, MIA, and Award


I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo! I intend to use that time to complete the sequel to CassaStar. If anyone wants to be my ‘buddy,’ I am HERE



One of my virtual tour stops is giving away a copy of CassaStar! See Scribbler to Scribe for details. And Mesmerix created a really cool post for it, too. (Less than two weeks - I'm getting nervous!)

And one of you asked about a countdown widget!! It's in place now, but I don't remember who asked me. Sorry!

MIA!
Has anyone heard from Cassandra Jade? She’s not blogged in two weeks.
And, does anyone know what happened to Mr. Stupid? He’s not blogged in two months!!


And finally, Yvonne at Welcome to my World of Poetry gave me the “Go Away - I’m Writing” Award. (Please don’t go away though!!) Thanks, Yvonne!

I’m passing this on to three ladies who I know are either writing or revising right now:
Ali Cross
Karen Walker
Justine Dell

Anything I missed?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Music in the Re-Making

Remakes – love ‘em or hate ‘em?

I’ll admit I’m biased. If a rock or metal band covers another rock or pop song, it’s usually cool. But a pop band remaking a rock song? Not so cool.

Here’s a list of what I consider to be cool remakes – and a link to the best YouTube video I could locate. (In case you were curious)

Powerman 5000 – Let the Good Times Roll (The Cars) It has a rockin’, space feel to it now!

Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson) The lead singer is scary fast, too.

Metallica – Astronomy (B.O.C.) Really decent cover, too.

Orgy – Blue Monday (New Order) MUCH better than the original!

White Zombie – I’m Your Boogieman (K.C. and the Sunshine Band) You’ll hardly recognize the song!

Anthrax – Got the Time (Joe Jackson) If Jackson were dead, he’d roll over in his grave.

Coal Chamber – Shock the Monkey (Peter Gabriel) With Ozzy!

Fear Factory – Cars (Gary Numan)
And the video includes Gary himself:

Numan’s a flying instructor now – scary, huh?

Any remakes you enjoyed? Didn’t like? Made you want to hunt down the cover band with a bazooka?

And thanks to all who commented on the excerpt from CassaStar yesterday – I was really worried!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sneak Peak

Thanks to those who've asked! Hope it's not too long.


CassaStar excerpt from Chapter Two. Byron and his partner have begun Cosbolt training:

By the end of the first week, they emerged from the simulator feeling triumphant. Not only had they completed another practice drill without error, but Byron felt he’d exhibited several complicated and daring moves in the process. Performing several jumps by way of the ship’s teleporter, he’d emerged at the precise location every time. All targets were destroyed and they’d easily completed their task within the allotted time frame. In Byron’s mind, their run was perfect.

Trindel removed his helmet, revealing curly locks now plastered to his head. “We’re good!” he exclaimed, flashing one of his broad grins.

Byron removed his own helmet and tossed back his head. Running fingers through his straight, black hair, he caused the strands to stick out in an unnatural pattern. Grinning at his navigator, Byron straightened his shoulders with pride.

“No, I’d say we’re perfect,” he boasted, holding up his fist.

Trindel returned his gesture and they tapped knuckles. As one, the young men walked toward the control room. Byron predicted another report of excellence on his team’s record.

Officers Rellen and Char were monitoring their flight today and awaited the men in the control room. Byron was surprised to discover Bassa also present. The young men snapped to attention, aware their casual posture would be viewed as unacceptable by the senior instructor. Bassa briefly noted their entrance, his gaze once again returning to the series of monitors in the control room. Rellen and Char remained seated but leaned away from the main panel. Byron waited for one of the men to speak.

“Adequate run, offered Bassa, his gaze still averted.

Byron had to suppress the indignation that arose in his thoughts. “Yes, sir,” he replied in unison with Trindel.

Officer Bassa straightened his shoulders, a frown on his face. He turned to face the young men, his hands clasped behind his back.

“You performed numerous jumps,” he observed, meeting Byron’s eyes.

“I do what I feel is necessary to succeed, sir,” Byron replied, ready to defend his decisions.

Bassa's eyes narrowed. “A good pilot cannot rely solely on the teleporter. You must learn to master maneuvers.”

“Yes, sir,” answered Byron, taking a quick breath. “We did perform twenty-seven unique maneuvers during that flight, sir.”

He sensed a flash of panic from Trindel, but the feeling was quickly shielded. Bassa’s eyebrows pulled together, reflecting his disapproval of Byron’s unsolicited statement. Realizing he’d spoken out of turn, Byron felt annoyance rise in his thoughts. He didn’t want to incur the senior officer’s wrath but resented criticism of his skills. He’d flown perfectly today.

“Perhaps you’d prefer an opportunity to showcase those maneuvers,” Bassa stated, his tone implying it was an order rather than an offer. “Officer Char, please run number 789 with the teleporter offline.”

“Yes, sir!”

Unable to respond, Byron stared helplessly as Char punched in the code for the program. Bassa gestured for Byron and Trindel to return to the simulator, and they exited the control room with great reluctance.

Well, didn’t take you long to annoy Bassa, Trindel commented privately.

Always start at the top, Trindel…

Byron knew he’d been too quick with his boastful words. Upon reaching the simulator entrance, he paused and glanced up at the control room. Byron grasped his helmet and placed in on his head before nodding at Trindel.

Regardless, we’ll ace this run, he declared, not bothering to shield his thought.

In the control room, Rellen leaned away from the main panel and shook his head. Pivoting in his chair, he looked up at Bassa.

“Yes, he’s damned cocky!” Rellen announced, a smile tugging at his lips. “Boy knows how to push it to the limit, too.”

Still frowning, Bassa watched as Byron and Trindel entered the simulator and closed the hatch. His eyes dropped to the screens across the main panel and located the pilot’s feed. Byron was already in position and preparing for the drill. There was no mistaking the look of confidence and determination on his face.

“We need to redraw the lines then,” Bassa said in a firm voice.


Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

News, Error 503, and Handwriting

Remember the 90’s PC game MYST? It’s soon to be a major motion picture. They will be tapping into the MYST novels for the storyline.

“Error 503” – anyone else getting this error? It annoyed me all Friday.

The prequel to Alien has hit a snag. Ridley Scott wants a $250 million budget and a hard R film. Fox wants PG-13 and a far cheaper film. Be interesting to see who wins. (But really - a PG-13 Alien movie?)

And according to an article in The Register, the iPad spends 20% of usage time in bed – “Not tonight honey, I’m stroking my tablet.”
Um, no. I promise, I’ve NEVER uttered those words!

Okay, on to the tag and my bad handwriting…

Nicole at One Significant Moment at a Time finally zapped me with the Handwriting Tag. It’s been floating around for a while, so I knew someone would get me before long.

Rules:
Write down (by hand!) on a piece of paper the following:
1. Name, Blog Name
2. Right handed, left handed, or both?
3. Favorite letters to write
4. Least favorite letters to write
5. Write out "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"
6. Write in CAPS: BABOON, SPLENDOR, ONOMATOPOEIA, FLIP-FLOPS, HUZZAH!
7. Favorite song lyrics
8. Tag 7 people
9. Whatever else strikes your fancy



Song lyrics are by In Flames and nothing else struck my fancy...

The people I'm tagging are:
Simon at Constant Revisions
Arlee at Tossing it Out
Stephen at Breakthrough Blogs
(Yeah, I want to see the crappy handwriting of other men, but I’ll only torture three!)

This is my one weekend post for NaBloWriMo.

Tune in Monday – after numerous requests, I’m posting an excerpt from CassaStar!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Movie Preview

Time for a rundown of some interesting flicks hitting the big screen this month!

1 –

The Social Network
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake
Synopsis: A story about the founders of the social-networking website, Facebook.

You always wanted to know, didn’t you?





Let Me In
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins
Synopsis: A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian.

Based on the foreign film, Let The Right One In, this remake appears identical to the original. Other than the fact Americans are too lazy to read subtitles, there’s no reason to remake this film - the original was brilliant!


8 –

Secretariat
Directed By: Randall Wallace
Staring: Diane Lane, John Malkovich,
Synopsis: Based on the remarkable true story, "Secretariat" chronicles the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner.

Likely to be formulaic, at least you know it has a happy ending.


15 –

RED
Directed By: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich
Synopsis: Based on the cult D.C. Comics graphic novels by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, RED is an explosive action-comedy…

Helen Mirren shooting an automatic weapon - need I say more?


22 -

Hereafter
Director: Clint Eastwood
Staring: Matt Damon, Cecile De France
Synopsis: Tells the story of three people who are touched by death in different ways.

Eastwood is an outstanding director, but I predict this movie will be incredibly depressing.



29 -

Monsters (limited)
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able
Synopsis: Six years ago NASA discovered the possibility of alien life within our solar system. A probe was launched to collect samples, but crashed upon re-entry over Central America. Soon after, new life forms began to appear and grow.
Judging from the trailer, this one looks creepy and atmospheric! Really looking forward to this film.

Today is also the first day of NaBloWriMo – blogging every day for the month of October. I’ll be taking Arlee Bird’s A-Z approach and only post once on the weekends. And since my virtual tour starts in two weeks, there’s a lot happening this month!