Monday, September 30, 2013

Rules to Make Star Wars Great Again, Weekend Box Office, Godzilla 2014 Site, Movie Trivia, Ninja News, Cover Reveals, and IWSG Announcement for Wednesday!

Today I am visiting the wonderful Karen Lange at Write Now! She asked about my Cassa series and my music, so please check it out.

Movie News!

Found this on Jo Blo’s site – TrumanPDX put together this animated open letter to JJ Abrams, requesting that he follow a few simple rules when making the next Star Wars Film:



(Rule five - don't let Lucas anywhere near the next film!)

This weekend’s box office – Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs II was on top and made $35,000 million. This is a huge victory for Sony Animation, as the original film only made $30,000 million the first weekend.
Looking at the per screen average, third was Metallica: Through the Never with an impressive $5,482 average. And it got great reviews.

For those of you counting down until Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla next year (or you are just a Godzilla geek) there is a website dedicated to the film HERE.
And it says a trailer is coming soon!


The season finale of Breaking Bad was Sunday night. Did you catch it? (And I was right about the ending!)

Ninja News

Nick Wilford at Scattergun Scribblings has a big announcement for Tuesday – he’s opening a copy editing service!

Pat at It’s Rhyme Time created some new headers for his site – and in this one, the Ninja has been planted! Darn that cat and his little rhyming ass.

AJ Walker is looking for input on the cover art for his upcoming book – weigh in on the two samples he has posted.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster has a cover for her upcoming book! Is that not just perfect?

Milo James Fowler is hosting the Creepy Freebies Friday next month, with free books from numerous authors up for grabs.

Wednesday is Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day! My co-hosts are Julie Luek, Rachna Chabria, Beverly Fox, and Ilima Todd.
And a huge announcement will be made on Wednesday! You don’t want to miss it.

Special Cover Reveals


The Ghosts of Aquinnah by Julie Flanders
Release day – December 5, 2013

A brilliant flash of light transcends through time.

Julie Flanders is a novelist and freelance writer in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a life-long love affair with the ocean and has spent more summer vacations than she can count on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. When not writing, Julie can be found reading, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and watching too much television. She is an animal lover and shares her home with her dog and cat.
Find Julie at: Blog, Website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads


And from Juliana Haygert

Soul Oath (Everlast #2)

It’s been three months since Nadine last heard from Victor, Micah or Ceris, allowing her to concentrate on her own life.


Cup of Life (Everlast, #2.5)

His existence would mean nothing without her.


Both coming November 25, 2013!


Movie Trivia!

Name the actor/actress that’s in all three movies:

1 – Apollo 13 – The Abyss – A Beautiful Mind

2 – 2012 – Con Air – Better Off Dead

3 – Wall-E – The Ice Storm – Ghostbusters

4 – Lake Placid – Titan AE – The Serpent and the Rainbow

5 – Death Becomes Her – Swing Shift – Foul Play

6 – Heat – The Ghost and the Darkness – Top Gun

Think those rules will make the next Star Wars film better? Are you a Godzilla fan? Watch Breaking Bad? Excited about the new and upcoming books? Know any of the trivia? And are you ready for the IWSG this Wednesday? You don’t want to miss it!

And don’t forget to visit Karen Lange!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D! Plus October Movie Preview, Ninja News, Christy Dorrity’s The Awakening, and a Farscape Character That Nearly Bit the Dust

I am flying high today and set for Cruising Altitude 2.0! That’s right, I am visiting DL Hammons today, the mastermind behind Write Club and the Blog Blitz. I’m talking about the Pros and Cons of Writing a Book Series, so check it out.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

For those of you who missed it, the season premier was awesome! Directed by Joss Whedon himself, it had everything you enjoyed about the Avengers. Entertainment Weekly has already viewed the next few episodes, and while not directed by Whedon, they are just as good.

The show’s strong point is its humor and more shows could learn from its example. S.H.I.E.L.D. proved you could have drama and action AND humor. It’s the perfect balance. Shows like Stargate Universe fail because they are too damn depressing. A little humor and hope goes a long way.

Yes, I am hooked and can’t wait until next week’s show!

Ninja News

Anne at O’Leary Minatures is holding her Double Triple Secret Give Away! This give away is being sponsored in part by author Patrick Hatt at It’s Rhyme Time. You can find Mr. Hatt's Amazon Writers Page HERE. Lots of cool prizes including a $50.00 Amazon gift card. Winners will be announced October 1.

Rusty Webb released a book recently – and didn’t tell anyone! My Killbot Buddy is now available – ‘An Epic Tale of an Old Man and His Killer Robot.’ The dude is an awesome writer, so pick it up!

Jennifer Lane’s latest was released this week - On Best Behavior (The Conduct Series #3) Congratulations, Jennifer!


Sarah Allen posted something for inspiration - What Movies You Should Watch features random movie trailers all the time. Awesome!

Kelly Polark’s Rockabet: Classic Edition came out this week. Kelly is one rockin’ chick!


Julie Dao posted some awesome writing and publishing tips from Wool author, Hugh Howey.

Cate Masters’ Sweet Revenge is out today! Congratulations, Cate.

Don’t forget the The Norse Gods Blogfest.is October 9! I’m co-hosting with the awesome Siv in celebration of her book, Secrets of the Ash Tree, and her birthday. Sign up HERE

My awesome co-hosts for the October 2 posting of the IWSG will be Julie Luek, Rachna Chabria, Beverly Fox, and Ilima Todd! And there will be a major announcement next Wednesday – stay tuned!



Special Release

Awakening: Book One of The Geis by Christy Dorrity

. . . because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth.

A thrilling debut novel based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy rife with magic, romance, and mystery.

Find Awakening - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads

Christy Dorrity lives in the mountains with her husband, five children, and a cocker spaniel. She grew up on a trout ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming, and is the author of The Geis series for young adults, and The Book Blogger’s Cookbooks. Christy is a champion Irish dancer and when she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.
Find Christy - Blog, Facebook, and Twitter

October Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming movies for October! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

4 –

Gravity
A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen
Already a big Oscar buzz for Bullock – a must see!



11 –

Captain Phillips
The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.
Director: Paul Greengrass
Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed
Another film with Oscar buzz.

Machete Kills
The U.S. government recruits Machete to battle his way through Mexico in order to take down an arms dealer who looks to launch a weapon into space.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Danny Trejo, Alexa Vega, Mel Gibson, Jessica Alba
I won’t go see it, but I will check it out on NetFlix – just because!



15 –

DVD – Pacific Rim
Giant robots versus giant monsters at home in 3D – oh yeah!

22 –

DVD – The Conjuring
If you missed it in theaters, be sure to check it out!

The Final Word…

Blastr listed eleven TV characters who were going to die until fans fell in love with them. One of them was Chiana from Farscape. She was only to last a couple episodes, but fans and the writers liked her quirkiness and she stuck around for the entire series. (Did I mention she was also sexy?)

Did you watch S.H.I.E.L.D? See some good books to pick up? Ready for the IWSG next month? Any of the October movies excite you? And what if Chiana hadn’t survived…?

Be sure to visit DL at Cruising Altitude 2.0!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Ninja Gets Personal! Plus Now You See Me Movie Review, Dream Theater Review, Blog Tour Tips, Curiosity Quills Anthologies, Giveaways - and Winners, and Ninja News.

Today I am visiting Carol at Under the Tiki Hut. She posed three questions/topics, one of which included revealing something personal about myself. Yes, that was the most difficult! Visit Carol to find out what I revealed…

Giveaways

In addition to the two giveaways I was running here, these bloggers and hosts are also still running giveaways:

Literary Rambles - CassaStorm and CassaFire print books – comment to enter, open until September 28.

Mithril Wisdom - Cassa Universe poster – comment to enter, open until October 1.

Edi’s Book Lighthouse - CassaStorm eBook – comment to enter, open until October 1.

Samantha Geary -CassaStorm signed print book – comment to enter, open until October 14.

Ninja News

Literary Rambles is also participating in the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop. Lots of books to win – comment by September 25 to enter.

SK Anthony’s Kinetics came out last Friday – congratulations, SK! And it was Blitz Day for her as well. We got her good!

PK Hrezo is hosting her very first blogfest to celebrate her cover reveal on October 16. “Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated; a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs.” Visit her site for details!

Anthologies from Curiosity Quills Press!

Curiosity Quills Press brings some of their bestselling authors together to create a spine-tingling, mind-blowing, quirky collection of short stories in their first ever, annual PRIMETIME Anthology, scheduled for release 7th October, 2013.

Also on that day, Curiosity Quills Press brings some of their bestselling authors together in PRIME TIME’s steamier, sexier counterpart, AFTER DARK.

These anthologies are not limited to one specific genre, but all of our novels are guaranteed to be quirky and paranormal, in some way or another. We also guarantee 10% of every purchase will go straight to animals in need. The CQ team has selected humane societies on both the East and West coast that spend well and do not stray from the “no-kill” policies of their strays.

Primetime on Goodreads
After Dark on Goodreads
CQP Website

Movie Review

Now You See Me
Watched on NetFlix and it was a lot of fun! Clever twists as to how some of the tricks were performed and lots of rabbit chasing. The Four Horsemen were always one step ahead though, leading the police where they wanted. Excellent cast - Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine. Definitely recommended!

Music Review

Dream Theater
Spectacular!
They’ve pulled away from the heavy metal sound that dominated the last few albums with former drummer Portnoy and gone back to a more progressive sound. Featuring amazing musicianship, their latest, self-titled album looks to reestablish the band. It’s very progressive but with insanely catchy melodies.
I got to listen to a full stream of the album last Monday. Joy!
The album comes out Tuesday, September 24
.
Blog Tour and Announcements – Thoughts and Tips

Launch week is now behind me and I can finally breathe easy! Of course, the tour continues with one – two guest spots and interviews a week into November, but that’s a little less intense.

First, a big thanks to everyone who commented here and visited my tour stops last week! And to all of you who posted about my release during the week and sent out Tweets. (And even though I’m not on Facebook, I heard I was making the rounds there as well.) You guys just rock.

Several of you commented that the unique interview questions were a great idea. I really wanted to do something different, as the same thing posted on every blog grows tiring. In addition to the questions, I tried to send out different information and images. (And those posts are now directly linked in the Linky List HERE if you want to see more questions and answers.)

Putting that together did take time though. I spent weeks working on the interview questions and then everyone who signed up got an individual email. (That alone took an entire day.) But it was worth it!

Thanks again for your support and helping CassaStorm launch into the top 100 for space opera at Amazon!!

And there’s an excerpt from CassaStorm up at Catherine Stine’s Blog!
Giveaway Winners

And now, the winners by random selection…

From the list of those announcing the release of CassaStorm, number 46 – Robyn at Life By Chocolate.
Congratulations, Robyn! You win a Cassa mug, Cassa mousepad, Cassa swag, and a $25 iTunes gift card.

From those who commented here last week, one winner per day -
Huntress/CD at Spirit Called
Marcy at Maine Words
Trisha at Words and Stuff
Siv at Been There Done That
Nutschell at The Writing Nut
One prize per person, either a Cassa mug, Cassa mousepad, Cass poster, Cassa magnet, or a signed copy of CassaStorm. Congratulations, ladies!

Be sure to catch all of the giveaways! Anyone else see Now You See Me? (Or, now you don’t?) Picking up the new Dream Theater? Think the tour went well? Got any ideas for your next blog tour?

Don’t forget to visit Under the Tiki Hut for the inside scoop on the Ninja!

I will be taking Wednesday off, so no post until Friday…

Friday, September 20, 2013

CassaStorm Launch and Controversy! Plus Sleepy Hollow, Dr. Who Marriages, Cassa Updates, Ninja News

My final stop this week ends with a bang. I’m invading Tossing It Out, run by one awesome Arlee Bird, founder of the A to Z Challenge. Lee is one of my very first friends I made here online, back when I had less than twenty-five followers. He’s a rock of stability, which is ironic since he likes to toss out interesting and sometimes controversial things on his blog. Which is why this week ends with a bang – in keeping with the spirit of his site, my guest post is on morality in writing. Visit Lee to see what I have to say about it! Lee – thanks and you are The Man!

And CassaStorm’s release week kicks off with prizes every day! Comment between September 16 and 20 to enter. (Ends 6:00 pm EST Sunday, September 22.)
Prizes include:
Cassa mousepad
Cassa Universe poster
Cassa magnet
Cassa mug
Autographed copy of CassaStorm
One person will be randomly selected each day and the five names will be drawn from a hat – first person gets first choice and so on.

Others are announcing CassaStorm’s release, and almost every post features a unique interview question. List of participants on the CassaStorm Page and all links have been updated. So join the fun!

Special posts 

So many! It’s been an incredible week. CassaStorm is in the top 100 of Space Opera now! A million thanks. Here are the highlights from the past few days:

I was the featured author in Elizabeth Craig’s Writer’s Knowledge Base Newsletter! You can view it on their siteHERE

Bryan and Brandon at A Beer For The Shower made an attempt to write science fiction following the ship CassaBeer. You have to read it to find out what happens next!

Roland Yeomans gave his most amazing tribute yet – and I smashed a guitar!

Retro Jeremy created a really cool animation. You the man, Jeremy!

Pat Hatt created a video that announced CassaStorm’s release to the world and it’s done in true Pat and Cat fashion. (And for the record, I don’t sing that bad.)

Robyn Engel at Life by Chocolate has always been fascinated with Byron and she wondered what his personal ad would look like…

Cassie Mae let you know what you should be prepared for if I listened to her notes. (She’s my critique partner.) It involves curves and fourty…

And finally, Samantha Geary honored me with a plug on her Audiomachine’s Tree of Life post.

Ninja News

A.J. Walker is seeking feedback on his cover and synopsis – visit his site to help him!

Charity Bradford just released Stellar Cloud, a short story anthology tied in with her book, The Magic Wakes. Get it now!!

According to Blastr, 50 couples will get married in celebration of Dr. Who's 50th anniversary

Peaches Ledwidge released a prequel to her first book this week - Day Laughs, Night Cries: A Woman Tonight.

Jessica Bell announced that The Six Senses in a Nutshell is going to be available by the end of October at the latest.

Literary Rambles announced: “Thurber House is now accepting applications for the 2014 Thurber House Children's Writer-In-Residence, a four week paid residency at Thurber House for a published author of books for middle grade and/or young adult.” See their site for details.

Sleepy Hollow Series Review

The premier was Monday. I was excited to see Clancy Brown. And then sad to see him die so early…
It’s a cool concept, weaving in the occult with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (Certainly not Scripturally sound, but just roll with it.) So far it’s a fun show with a good mix and humor and suspense. I look forward to next Monday’s episode. (And if the football game sucks, it will be a welcome alternative.)

Dedication

I wanted to share my dedication in CassaStorm with everyone:

To the readers and the dreamers
and the friends I’ve made along the way.
Byron’s journey would never have come this far
without your support and encouragement!

And it wouldn’t have. This week has been incredible. CassaStorm hit the top one hundred for Space Opera on Amazon. There were so many posts announcing its release and so many encouraging comments. Thanks, everyone. I can’t begin to tell you how humbled and grateful I am. I am truly blessed.

Ready for some controversy? Did you catch those amazing posts? Excited about the news? Catch Sleepy Hollow? Any feedback on the tour? Really like to know what went right…

Be sure to visit Lee at Tossing It Out!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Storm Continues! Science Fiction and Movie News, GI Joe Retribution Review, Naming Characters, and Ninja News

Today’s tour stop is with one truly amazing lady. If I had a twin sister, she would be Lynda Young. We have so much in common, from our geeky interests to our faith, it’s almost scary. I’m visiting her today and talking about how I never even wanted to be an author. Really! Visit her site for the full scoop.

And CassaStorm’s release week kicks off with prizes every day! Comment between September 16 and 20 to enter. (Ends 6:00 pm EST Sunday, September 22.)
Prizes include:
Cassa mousepad
Cassa Universe poster
Cassa magnet
Cassa mug
Autographed copy of CassaStorm
One person will be randomly selected each day and the five names will be drawn from a hat – first person gets first choice and so on.

This week I will be featuring my tour, unique Cassa facts, trivia, and prizes every day. Plus others are announcing CassaStorm’s release, and almost every post features a unique interview question. List of participants on the CassaStorm Page. So join the fun!

Science Fiction and Movie News

Pixar will not have a movie next year! According to JoBlo’s site, The Good Dinosaur has been pushed back to November 2015 due to a change in directors. This also bumps Finding Dory back to June 2016. This will be the first year Pixar has not had a release since 2003. (The horror!)

Caught this at Blastr: Director Roland Emmerich has been trying to come up with a script for Isaac Asimov's Foundation for years, and now is trying to change the story to fit a mini-series. You read that right – Emmerich/Asimov. Fans, you should be very afraid…

Ninja News

Jennifer Hillier posted about a great website called Discover Criminal Justice for anyone writing about criminal justice programs.

The next installment in Hart Johnson’s series is out today – and the first one is free! Check it out and show the Watery Tart some love.

Movie Review

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
I went into this one with very low expectations. To my surprise, I was entertained. It’s more fun than a Hasbro movie has a right to be. Enjoyable performances and great action scenes. It won’t win any Oscars, but it is a fun action film worthy of a rental.

CassaFacts

Creating character names!

Byron, Bassa, and Athee were the original names from the manuscript and short stories. (Outside of Athee, I have no idea how I chose them. Or why one name is a real name. Just go with me on this.) All of the other names I had to create.

One thing that is often frustrating about science fiction and fantasy is difficult to pronounce names. Or really long names. This makes it difficult for readers to connect to the characters and keep track of everyone. I wanted to keep mine short and simple.

Most writers take their time choosing names. Often the names will have a great significance. Or they fit the time period. They aren’t taken lightly though.

Know how I come up with names? I take about twenty minutes and brainstorm alien sounding names, trying to prevent more than one character’s name from starting with the same letter in the alphabet. (Byron and Bassa were already named – you’ll just have to forgive me for that.) Then I run through my cast of characters and match them up, filling in the blanks. Takes about ten minutes.

Yes, that quickly. And yes, I am filling in blanks. I don’t name them until after the first draft. Sometimes later! Yes, that’s a lot of blanks. No, I’ve never placed a name in the wrong place, although I have missed some blank spaces before. (My test readers catch those. My critique partners are probably grateful for that!)

It does seem like an odd way to do it, but I do better matching the name to the personality than the other way around. And so far I’ve managed to keep the names simple and easy to pronounce.

Except for Ernx – want to take a stab at that one?

What’s your process for selecting names?

Cassa Trivia Answers

1 – Who was Byron’s first navigator? Trindel
2 – What was Athee’s relationship to Prefect Orellen? She’s his niece
3 – Who was Byron’s Cosbolt pilot friend in all three books? Ernx (There’s that name again!)
4 – What was the name of the Flagship in CassaStar? Sorenthia
5 – What is the name of Athee’s home world? Tgren

What do you think about the Emmerich/Asimov combination? Following Hart’s series? Get the trivia right? And how do you go about selecting character names? Want to take a stab at pronouncing Ernx...?

Be sure to visit the wonderful Lynda Young!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Storm Continues – Space Opera Basics at Mithril Wisdom! Plus Launch Recap, CassaFacts, CassaTrivia, and Ninja News

Today’s tour stop is with the awesome Jamie at Mithril Wisdom! I met Jamie during the very first A to Z Challenge, so we’ve know each other a long time. He’s one sharp fantasy geek and studied Egyptology in college. My guest post today is an easy introduction into the space opera genre, covering books, movies, shows, etc. Plus – we’re giving away a Cassa Universe poster! Check it out.

And CassaStorm’s release week kicks off with prizes every day! Comment between September 16 and 20 to enter. (Ends 6:00 pm EST Sunday, September 22.)
Prizes include:
Cassa mousepad
Cassa Universe poster
Cassa magnet
Cassa mug
Autographed copy of CassaStorm
One person will be randomly selected each day and the five names will be drawn from a hat – first person gets first choice and so on.

This week I will be featuring my tour, unique Cassa facts, trivia, and prizes every day. Plus others are announcing CassaStorm’s release, and almost every post features a unique interview question. List of participants on the CassaStorm Page. So join the fun!

Launch Day Recap

Huge thanks to everyone who has made announcements thus far or purchased CassaStorm! Launch day was awesome – this whole week has been awesome!

The #RUSHED Twitter party with Lynn Rush was fun! Fortunately it wasn’t a huge turnout, or I would’ve been even more confused…

I wanted to point out some really special posts:

Many thanks to Edi at Edi’s Book Lighthouse for hosting me on release day with a review, interview, and giveaway.

Father Dragon Al had a wonderful, fiery tribute and touching review of CassaStar. (As far as I know, no dwarves were singed.)

Leovi posted the most amazing photo in tribute to CassaStorm.

Melanie Schulz posted a wonderful review of CassaStorm.

Tammy Theriault’s announcement was very amusing!

Randy at Not the Baseball Pitcher posted a review of CassaStorm.

And the links to announcement posts have been updated on the CassaStorm Page so you can go directly to the answers if that person has posted.

Thanks, everyone – you made the Ninja’s day!



Ninja News

Samantha Redstreake Geary, the genius behind the Illumination Collaborative Flash Fiction Challenge – Tree of Life, has a special announcement today and a giveaway!

Lynn Rush’s latest came out yesterday – Frostbite! Congratulations, Lynn.

Liesel Hill’s latest came out yesterday - Quantum Entanglement! Plus there’s a Goodreads giveaway in progress, so check it out. Congratulations, Liesel!

Movie Review

Hansel and Gretel
In a nutshell – dumb but fun! It’s a misfire, but an interesting one to watch. Add a weird mix of steampunk weaponry and medieval folklore and you have one strange twist. It’s bloody and violent, which actually works in its favor. (Water this stuff down too far and it’s unwatchable.) Leave brain at door.


Cassa Facts

“A lack of female characters…”

Yes, I heard that more than once. There were virtually no female characters in CassaStar. (Outside of a very brief scene with Byron’s older sister in the beginning.) And that is one of the reasons some readers have dinged it with a poor review.

There are two reasons why no women appear in the first book.

The first has to do with my skills as a writer. It was my first book. I knew I had a lot of things working against me. I didn’t want my incompetence when it came to portraying the opposite sex to be one of those. So I didn’t include any female characters, not even in casual passing on the Cassan Flagship.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to explain the second reason in CassaStar, and readers didn’t find the answer until CassaFire. There is a legitimate reason why Cassan women don’t serve on Flagships or fly Cassan fighters. I won’t reveal it here, but you can read about it in CassaFire.

So for those of you who still wonder – no, I did not intend to exclude women from my books. I just wasn’t ready to write them in the first book. And as you’ll discover in the second book, their strengths lay elsewhere.

Cassa Trivia

For those who’ve read the Cassa books – or at least read the synopsis of each one! 


1 – Who was Byron’s first navigator?

2 – What was Athee’s relationship to Prefect Orellen?

3 – Who was Byron’s Cosbolt pilot friend in all three books?

4 – What was the name of the Flagship in CassaStar?

5 – What is the name of Athee’s home world?

Did you catch any of those cool posts? Excited about the new books? Seen Hansel and Gretel? Do you struggle with writing the opposite sex? (Or wondered why there were no women in CassaStar?) And do you know any of the trivia?

Don’t forget to visit Mithril Wisdom!