Monday, July 30, 2012

Ninja News, Super Quiz Answers, and the August Movie Preview

Ninja News!

Author Cindy Borgne at Dreamer’s Perch is hosting the Summer Speculative E-book Giveaway Contest this week! Visit her site for your chances to win.

Jamie at Mithril Wisdom is hosting a 350 Followers Giveaway Extravaganza! You could win a moleskin journal or a vial of Zombie Gone.

Diane at Spunk on a Stick’s Tips is hosting a Supportive Blogger Extraordinaire Contest with prizes for nominators and the winner. I’ve made my nomination already…

J.C. Martin’s new book, Oracle, releases today! She’ll be visiting this Friday as part of her blog tour. Congratulations, JC!

Tyrean Martinson’s poem "Fruit Sale Cinquain" will be featured today at Every Day Poets. Congratulations, Tyrean!

Thanks to everyone who visited Annalisa Crawford on Friday. My answer for a popular blog was simple but it’s what works.

And welcome new followers! I hit 1600 this weekend, Whoa…

Super Quiz Answers

Science – How many colors are there considered to be in a rainbow? Seven
Sports – What is the official diameter of a hockey puck in inches? Three inches
Geography – Name the reef off the NE coast of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef
History – Name the first permanent English colony on the American mainland. Jamestown, Virginia
Movies – Who played Hawkeye in the movie M.A.S.H? Donald Sutherland (Alan Aldo played him in the TV series.)
Words – A handwriting expert is called a ___? Graphologist

August Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming releases for August. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

3 -

Total Recall
A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.
Director: Len Wiseman
Stars: Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston, Kate Beckinsale
Didn’t need a remake, but the storyline appears different enough to be interesting. And it has Kate!

10 -

The Bourne Legacy
An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, centered on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.
Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Donna Murphy
This is going to be wicked, bad-ass cool! My must-see movie of August.

The Campaign
In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center.
Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Sarah Baker
Not a big fan of Ferrell, but could be funny. Could be stupid as well.

17 -

The Expendables 2
Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.
Director: Simon West
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Chuck Noriss, Dolph Lundgren
The first one was predictable and vanilla. Hoping the second one will be better. (Come on guys - look at all those action stars! Make a good movie for them.)

A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead, takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
Directors: Chris Butler | Sam Fell
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann
Looks quirky and odd.

29 -

Set in the Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by authorities who want a cut of their profits.
Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman
Oldman, Pearce, and Hardy? You have me intrigued…

Lots of good news this week! Entering any of the contests? Did you get any trivia answers correct? Any movies catch your eye? And are you ready for Wednesday’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group post?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ninja News, Thanks, Movie Remakes, and Super Quiz

The wonderful and talented author, Annalisa Crawford, invited me to visit her blog today. She wanted to know what made my blog so popular and she wouldn’t accept “I have no idea” for an answer! Visit her site to see what answer I made up instead.

Ninja News!

Our very own Cassie Mae has an agent!! Congratulations, Cassie. You are going to be the best and most amusing author ever – and I mean that in a good way!

Rachel Morgan’s next book, Masquerade, is available today. This is the fourth book in the Creepy Hollow series. Congratulations, Rachel!

Want to know all the details about using photos on your site and copyright issues? Denise Covey at L’Aussie Writer put together a great post on the subject, complete with links to free image sites.

You know Sean McLachlan is an author, but did you know he also contributes travel articles to Gadling. Right now he has a series running called "Exploring Orkney: Scotland's Rugged Northern Isles." Check out Gadling’s SITE.

I also updated the Awesome Authors and Books page and am working on adding more blogs to my sidebar - if you are a regular blogger buddy of mine and you don't see your book or your link, let me know!

Special Thanks!

A big thank you to the awesome people of the UK who’ve purchased my books! I don’t know who you are or how it happened, but my books have bounced around in the top one hundred for science fiction on Amazon UK for three months now – and it just blows my mind. Thanks so much! And to think I didn’t even want to be an author…

Movie Remakes

Love them or hate them, here’s some more movies being remade in the next couple years:

Child’s Play – I didn’t think the first series was very good
Dune – Because we can never have too many versions I guess
Short Circuit – Guess Johnny Five does look a little dated
Suspiria – First one was weird and creepy enough
Tomb Raider – Time to reboot all those video game movies now

Super Quiz!

Anyone remember that trivia game? Let’s play!

Science – How many colors are there considered to be in a rainbow?

Sports – What is the official diameter of a hockey puck in inches?

Geography – Name the reef off the NE coast of Australia.

History – Name the first permanent English colony on the American mainland.

Movies – Who played Hawkeye in the movie M.A.S.H?

Words – A handwriting expert is called a ___?

Next Week!

Monday is the August movie preview and trivia answers
Wednesday is post day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Friday I have a special guest

Excited about all the great news and cool links this week? Think those movies should be remade? Know any of the trivia answers? (Come on, try to guess at least one!) Any plans for the weekend besides staying out of the heat?

Don’t forget to visit Annalisa!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ninja News, Eureka, WV, and How Do You Want to be Remembered?

Ninja News!

Today is another Special Participant Feature at the A to Z Blog. This time I interviewed author Marta Szemik. Her theme for the Challenge was “Changes Throughout History” and it was very cool.

Christine Rains is hosting a blogfest to celebrate her upcoming release, Fearless. Those of you who followed her during the A to Z Challenge know it’s an awesome story. For the blogfest, which runs August 7-9, she’s asking – What was Your Childhood Monster?

Jeremy Bates is hosting the Dog Days of Summer Blogfest from August 10-12. Visit his site for details and to sign up!

David Powers King hit seven hundred followers this weekend and he’s hosting a Magnificent Seven Giveaway! Congratulations, David!

Tips on acting professional as an indie author (or as a human being!) from Mel at Writings, Musings, and Other Such Nonsense.

Don’t forget the giveaway for CassaStar and CassaFire at The Writing Nut ends on July 31.

And since it is the last Wednesday of the month, you know what that means! Next Wednesday is another posting for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and we have many new bloggers joining us.

No More Eureka

I’d failed to mention this last week, but after watching Warehouse 13 Monday night, I was reminded that another great series is gone – Eureka. It was one of my favorite shows and now it’s finished. No more mishaps at Global Dynamics. No more Fargoisms. And no more one-liners from Sheriff Carter, like the classic “Yeah, that can’t be good.” Soon the SyFy Channel will be nothing but wrestling…

Word Verification

I’m running into this a lot again, mostly on the sites of new bloggers. I believe word verification must be the default setting for comments. Unfortunately, the blog owner never sees it on his own blog. If you’re not sure or you want to turn it off, go to your dashboard, click on settings, and then click on posts and comments.

And on a serious note… (Because it’s not always about the snark)

How do you want to be remembered?

Many of us are writers and authors, and we want to be remembered through our books.

But when I really thought about it, my books don’t rate that high on my list.

I want to be remembered for being genuine. For being genuine in my support, attitude, and love for my fellow human being. I want to know I made a genuine, positive impact on this world, even if it’s just a little bit. I won’t always succeed, but it's what I strive to achieve. I want to get to Heaven and hear the words “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

How about you?

Ready for some blogfests and giveaways? Ready for the IWSG next week? Were you a fan of Eureka? Is your word verification on by accident? And how do you want to be remembered?

Be sure to visit Marta at the A to Z Blog!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ninja News, Act of Kindness, and The Dark Knight Rises Review

Thanks again to everyone who left a word for Cassie Mae or weighed in on posting while gone last Friday!

Ninja News!

The sequel to The Backworlds is now available. Craze and his friends continue their adventures in Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge. See what role chocolate plays in the galaxy this time.

The interstellar portal opens, bringing in a ship that should no longer exist. A battleship spoiling for a fight, yet the war with Earth ended two generations ago. The vessel drops off a Water-breather, a type of Backworlder thought to be extinct. She claims one of Craze’s friends is a traitor who summoned the enemy to Pardeep Station. A betrayal worse than his father’s, if Craze lives to worry about it.

Available for all ereaders from: Amazon, AmazonUK, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. (iTunes and Kobo will be available shortly.)

If you haven’t read The Backworlds yet, it’s available as a free read from many outlets. See HERE for links.

Inspiring the words M. Pax writes, Mary spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the husband unit and two loving cats. She write science fiction mostly and has a slight obsession with Jane Austen. Visit Mary at her BLOG.

Ali Cross is celebrating her birthday by giving away books! Many to chose from – visit her site to enter.Happy birthday, Ali!

Roland Yeomans’ book, Burnt Offerings, is free through Wednesday. Grab your copy now from Amazon. He's an amazing writer!

Random Act of Kindness

Many of you have seen or participate in the Kindness Project, which is really awesome. Since true kindness without expectation of gain seems so rare these days, I thought I’d challenge my blogger buddies to do at least one random act of kindness this week. Something that makes the other person feel good about himself. I did something nice for someone this weekend and that person probably doesn’t even know it was me. But I did it for the joy of doing something kind. If you’d like to do a random act of kindness (or you just did so) let me know!

Movie Review

The Dark Knight Rises
One word – awesome.
The final installation in Nolan’s Batman trilogy is a masterpiece. It’s also very dark and bleak. My only criticism is that it could’ve used a few moments of humor, as 164 minutes is a long stretch of intense darkness.
The film is full of special effects and CGI, but in Nolan’s hands, it integrates so well you might not even realize it’s a special effect. (No, they did not blow up Pittsburgh.) However, the film focuses on drama. The action is sprinkled throughout the film and doesn’t overshadow the storyline.
The acting is superb. Hathaway is perfect as Catwoman and Gordon-Levitt great as inspector Blake. Tom Hardy really shines as Bane and you’ll hardly recognize him in the role.
Won’t spoil it for you, but the ending is very satisfying!
And there is no comparing it to The Avengers – these are two very different films.
Wouldn’t take little kids – too intense and with all the talking, they will probably be bored. But for everyone else, go enjoy this epic finale!

Downloading Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge? Read The Backworlds? (It’s great!) Planning a random act of kindness? And who else saw The Dark Knight Rises?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ninja News, Trivia Answers, Blogging Question, Video Feature. and Cassie Invasion!

The Dark Knight Rises is out today! Yes, I will be skipping out on work early to catch the first showing.


The delightful Cassie Mae has invaded the Ninja turf today!

Wow, did Alex really let me invade his blog?? *looks around and pinches self* It is so! Now, before I get into it, I have to say, THANK YOU to the Ninja Captain for asking me to spend the last month fretting over what the heck I’m going to say to his huge ninja army.

I’m a watcher of The Big Bang Theory. And if you are not, you should be. It’s HILARIOUS! There’s a character on the show who always asks questions not everyone thinks of. Such as, “Does Aquaman poop? And if he flushes the toilet in Atlantis, where does the poop go?”

So I talked to a few friends of mine and asked them this: What if Darth Vader wasn’t Luke’s father? Like, he took a paternity test and BAM! Whoopsy, you’re not my kid after all. Would the dark side win in the end? Lots of different answers for sure. Some said if Luke didn’t succeed Leia would have. Some said, heck yeah the dark side would’ve won. And some said if Darth Vader wasn’t their dad, their father would’ve at least had to be a Jedi, or the entire thing of Luke having the Force wouldn’t make sense. Whew! So many things rely on that one fact.

Since Star Wars is my kind of ‘Fairytale’, this is exactly what I thought of for a Plot Twist when we announced the… what is it called? Oh yes, the WHAT IF BLOGFEST in August. :D

Oh, yikes!!! I’ve hit my word limit! I’m going to wrap this up real fast before Alex cuts me off. Think of your stories (if you write) or think of any fairytale (if you read) or just try to answer that Aquaman poop question (if you do neither) and ask the possibilities of ‘What if?’ You’d be amazed how many stories rely on one single element to make them work :)

And did I mention the What If Blogfest? ;)

I totally do the same thing. I wonder if I changed one element of a story, how much it would affect the rest of it. Hmm… sounds like exactly the premise of the What If Blogfest I’m co-hosting in August. (Yes, I’m not above shameless promoting :))

Ninja News!

C. Lee McKenzie’s new book, Alligators Overhead, is out now. Congratulations, Lee!

Rick Daley’s children’s book, Rudy Toot Toot, is also available now. Congratulations, Rick!

DL Hammons of Cruising Altitude announced that the next round of Write Club will begin July 30. This time the stakes are raised, as the final round winner will be selected from a panel of publishing industry experts. What is Write Club? Well, we’re not supposed to talk about it, so you need to visit Cruising Altitude for details…

Howling Wolf Records is offering some cool giveaways – t-shirts, books, CDs, films – you name it! Check out their site for more information and some cool soundtrack and CD reviews. Remember, this site features our very own Retro Zombie, Jeremy!

Charity Bradford announced that the Unicorn Bell is holding a School’s In Query Contest. Check out their site for details.

And finally, Laura Josephsen just signed with agent Natalie Lakosil. Congratulations, Laura!

Blogging Question

Do you post when you can’t access the Internet?

I know some people schedule posts for while they are away. (Lee found a clever way to do this!) Do you? No right or wrong answer. I’d just decided a long time ago that if I couldn’t visit my blogger buddies that day and respond to comments, I wouldn’t post. (Which is why I skipped Wednesday this week. Meetings at work Wednesday and Thursday. As in, six hours a day to cover thirty minutes worth of material.) I just don’t feel right asking you guys to comment when I can’t visit your blogs.

80’s Trivia Answers

1 – To avoid an X rating, ten seconds is cut from this movie staring Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet. Angel Heart
2 – This expansion team joins the NBA the same year as the (former) Charlotte Hornets. Miami Heat
3 – What was the last Bond film to feature Roger Moore as Bond? View to a Kill
4 – This computer company introduces its VIC-20 model personal computer in 1981. Commodore
5 – What movie contains the line “This is pure snow. Do you know the street value of this mountain?” Better Off Dead
6 – Name U2’s first #1 single on the Billboard chart. With or Without You

Video Feature!

Today’s book trailer is for Laura Eno’s Immortal Desires. Enjoy!

Well guys, Cassie wants to know – does Aquaman poop? Excited about the new books, contests, and giveaways? Ready for Write Club? (Remember, don’t talk about it!) Do you post while on vacation? Like Laura’s trailer? And who is ready for The Dark Knight Rises????

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ninja News, Movie Reviews, and 80’s Trivia

Ninja News!

Thanks to everyone who visited me at The Writing Nut last week. The GIVEAWAY for CassaStar and CassaFire is open through July 31, and the winner will be whoever writes the most compelling reason why he or she should win the books. Nutschell is the judge, which is good, because I couldn’t select just one.

I was also blown away by the comments on my guest post at Rachna’s Scriptorium. I really worried I’d mess up on that one, considering the topic. Thanks, guys!

And finally, thanks to Andrew at Strange Pegs for his encouraging and very fair review of CassaStar.

One of the best writer resources is the Writer’s Knowledge Base. Started by author Elizabeth S. Craig and Mike Fleming, it is FULL of information. If you’re a writer, be sure to check it out soon.

Don’t forget to save the date for my next blogfest on September 17. I’ll announce the topic the first full week of August.

Still working hard on CassaStorm. Wrote a scene this weekend that just might be my best ever! I’m sure later I’ll discover I was wrong…

And I won’t be posting again until Friday. But the Ninja will be lurking...

Movie Reviews

Ice Age Continental Drift
The fourth outing with Manny, Diego, and Sid find the boys separated from everyone else and adrift at sea. I’ll just be upfront and state that I am not a big fan of this series. First one was good, but the others have been just all right.
This one relies on a lot of juvenile humor and the scenes with ‘teenager’ Peaches reminded me of just about every bad sitcom I’ve ever seen. The message is the same – herd first – so it doesn’t tackle anything new there.
The animation is beautiful though. The 3D was effective without being overwhelming. Peter Dinklage does an amazing job as the voice of the ape pirate captain – I didn’t even recognize him. And Sid’s cranky Granny utters the funniest lines in the movie.
My wife, who loves these films, found the teen segments a little annoying. However, she giggled throughout the entire movie, and since I find her giggling adorable, I foresee an Ice Age V in my future…
For those of you with kids – go and enjoy!

The Three Musketeers
Reminded me a little of Battleship.
It was dumb, completely implausible, and threw history right out the window. That said, it was also a lot of fun! It tells the basic story and adds nonsense so over the top, you’ll be laughing along with it. Staring A LOT of people: Christoph Waltz, Milla Jovovich, Ray Stevenson, Orlando Bloom, Matthew Macfayden, Mads Mikkelsen, and Logan Lerman from Percy Jackson. Leave brain at door and enjoy the visual feast of a ride.

Trivia Time!

At the request of more trivia, we’re going back to the 80’s for these questions:

1 – To avoid an X rating, ten seconds is cut from this movie staring Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet.

2 – This expansion team joins the NBA the same year as the (former) Charlotte Hornets.

3 – What was the last Bond film to feature Roger Moore as Bond?

4 – This computer company introduces its VIC-20 model personal computer in 1981.

5 – What movie contains the line “This is pure snow. Do you know the street value of this mountain?”

6 – Name U2’s first #1 single on the Billboard chart.

Be sure to enter the giveaway! Do you use the Writer’s Knowledge Base? Seen either of those films? Know the answers to any of the trivia questions? And who is ready for The Dark Knight Returns this Friday?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ninja on the Prowl, Giveaways, Ninja News, Problem Solved, CassaStorm, Movie Trivia, and Video Feature

Ninja on the Loose!

Today I have a guest post at Rachna’s Scriptorium. She wanted something writing related. (Yes, I am a plethora of writing tips – not!) So you’ll have to stop by and see what I came up with.

Monday it was the reviews of CassaStar and Cassafire, Wednesday was the interview, and today is the giveaway of my books at The Writing Nut! Visit Nutschell’s site for a chance to win a copy of CassaStar and CassaFire.

Ninja News!

Liz Fichera’s cover for Hooked was revealed yesterday on Harlequin Teen’s Facebook page and today she has big news!

Michael Abayomi has a new book out – Neuro: A Science Fiction Collection. Congratulations, Michael! See his site for details.

Rick Daley is celebrating Christmas in July by offering his book, The Man in the Cinder Clouds, for on 99 cents.

Laura B. Diamond just signed a contract with Etopia Press for her book, Shifting Pride. Congratulations, Laura!

Unfollowing Problem Solved

Wednesday, I’d asked how to permanently remove blogs from Google Reader when unsubscribing doesn’t work and the blog has removed the GFC widget.
Thanks to Laura and several others, we have an answer!
Go to your Dashboard and look to the far right. Hold cursor over symbol and it will say Manage Reading List. Click that! It will pull up all the blogs you follow and you can adjust the settings from there. (And if you follow a lot of blogs, it will take a moment – trust me.)
Thanks, guys!

CassaStorm Progress

Entering the final few chapters of the manuscript. (No idea where, as dividing the book into chapters is the last thing I do.) Once I go back and add a few scenes and flesh out a few more this one will clock in at… about the same length as the others. No one can accuse me of being wordy! Or over descriptive or too high tech. As Nutschell said so well – “… a character-driven Sci-Fi story that isn’t weighed down by scientific jargon or technological lingo.”

Movie Trivia Answers!

What is the highest grossing animated film of all time? Toy Story 3
Next highest are The Lion King, Ice Age III, and Shrek II
Inflation adjusted highest would be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Three films are tied for most Academy Awards at eleven Oscars each.
Ben-Hur, Titanic, and LOTR: Return of the King

What song has unofficially been used in the most movies?

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
Several people suggested Happy Birthday, Bad to the Bone, and All Star, all likely candidates!

Video Feature

There are so many really cool book trailers on the Web. I’d like to start a Friday feature of awesome trailers. If you have a trailer for your book, leave a comment and let me know where to find it. To kick off the feature and get them out of the way, here are the trailers my publisher made for my books:

Ready to win or buy some books? Does the unfollowing solution help? Get the trivia questions right? Do you have a book trailer I can feature? Feeling lucky this Friday the Thirteenth? And who else will be forced to see the stupid Scrat movie tonight? (Ice Age IV)

Don’t forget to visit Rachna’s Scriptorium. and The Writing Nut!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Features, Ninja News, RaShelle Workman Rocks, Movie Trivia, and a Question

Continuing my special feature week at The Writing Nut - today is the interview! Want to know more about the Ninja Captain? Want to see why I claim to be a man of few words? Then visit Nutschell!

Double treat today – I’ve interviewed my buddy Andrew Leon of Strange Pegs at the A to Z Blog. Every other Wednesday is a challenge participant feature and Andrew poured so much into his theme of Fiction to Reality. Fascinating stuff so check it out!

Ninja News!

Win a print or eBook copy of Jeremy Bates’ latest, White Lies – go HERE for details or visit Goodreads. Giveaway open until July 24.

Carol Kilgore’s first book, In Name Only, launched Tuesday. Congratulations, Carol! Hope you are still on a high from all the excitement. May your sales go through the roof. You rock!

Rachel Schieffelbein revealed the cover art of an anthology coming out soon that features one of her stories. Congratulations, Rachel!

Nicole Zoltack’s short story, "A Land without Zombies," is going to be included in Spencer Hill's Holiday Magick anthology. Congratulations, Nicole!

Carrie Butler’s post on Writer Superpowers at Thirsty Thursday claims that Elana Johnson and I are the only writers to possess the superpower of Duplication. Thanks for the smile, Carrie! (And for the record, I really don’t have clones.)

Special Feature - RasShelle ROCKS!

You may have read RaShelle Workman's first novel in the Immortal Essence series entitled "Exiled." If not, check it out, it's free on amazon. If you have read it, and are anxiously awaiting book 2, "Beguiled,"or haven't read it, that's okay. She has a new series out. Blood and Snow.


The Blood and Snow series Summary:
"Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love's blood, become the Vampire, Snow White." Every thousand years the Vampire Queen selects a new body, always the fairest in the land, and this time she's chosen Snow White. *******
Each volume is novelette length. Book 1 is "Blood and Snow," book 2 is "Revenant in Training," and book 3 is entitled "The Vampire Christopher." All three are now available.
Today is the big reveal day for book 3...
Ready! Set!
                    Here it is!!!
To purchase Blood and Snow, click HERE.
Revenant in Training (book 2), is FREE from July 11th through the 13th. Pick it up by clicking HERE
And, The Vampire Christopher (book 3), click HERE.
Twitter: @RaShelleWorkman
Facebook: RaShelle Workman Author
About the author:  Lover of books, baking, and toffee-making. The author of Aligned: An Immortal Essence Short Story, Exiled, Sleeping Roses, and the BLOOD AND SNOW series. Honorary nerd with attitude.

Question of the Day

Anyone have an answer for this? There are two blogs that way back when I followed them, they had GFC in the sidebar. That has since been removed and no matter how many times I unsubscribe in Google Reader, they keep appearing again. (And in case you’re wondering, they are science fiction bloggers who never returned my follow and pump out blog posts like there’s no tomorrow.) Any other tricks I can try to permanently remove them from my Google Reader?

Movie Trivia!

Just a couple easy questions this time!

What is the highest grossing animated film of all time?

Three films are tied for most Academy Awards at eleven Oscars each – name them.

What song has unofficially been used in the most movies?

Whoa! So many cool new books. Which ones are you picking up? Any idea how to unsubscribe permanently? Know the movie trivia answers? Think my Writer Superpower really is Duplication?

Don’t forget to visit The Writing Nut.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ninja News, Movie Reviews & News, and Special Thanks

I’m the guest of honor this week at Nutschell’s site, The Writing Nut. Today’s feature is a review. Wednesday is an interview and Friday a giveaway. So, if you don’t already follow The Writing Nut, hop on over.

Ninja News!

Candy has a new prompt up for her Follow My Lead monthly blogfest. This month you could win a copy of Catherine Stine’s Fireseed One. Check out Candy’s SITE for details!

Professional editor James Anderson has an “Ask the Editor Fridays” segment and last week’s question was “What is the difference between a Proofreader, a Copy Editor, and an Editor?” Visit James’s site for the answer!

Anne R. Allen posted six reasons why you should be grateful for bad reviews.

I’ve mentioned this before, but for those of you on Twitter, there’s a handy site called WhoUnfollowedMe. It’s amazing how many people will follow you just to get a return follow – and then dump you. (What’s sad is how many authors do this to pad their numbers.) If you’ve never checked to see who’s no longer following you, this site is a great way to stay on top of your followers.

The list for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is much shorter now and features only participants from the last two months. Sorry, but it’s almost impossible for this Ninja to visit every blog each month, although I do try. Might be time to find a co-host…

Special thanks to my fans

A big thanks to all who have purchased my books! Both achieved Best Seller status on Amazon US and UK, which still boggles my mind. CassaStar and CassaFire continue to bounce around in the top 15,000 and higher overall on Amazon US and they are still in the top 100 for science fiction on Amazon UK. I am truly humbled by the sheer amount of people who’ve taken the time to read my books. Big thanks to those of you who’ve read and reviewed or mentioned them on your blogs as well. Whoa. And here I never even wanted to be an author…

Movie Review

Overall, very good – more than just a baseball movie. Really tackles the issues of changing the philosophies of how the game’s been played since its inception. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill give great, understated performances. Special shout out to Kerris Dorsey as Pitt’s daughter. Amazing performance and she plays the guitar better than me!
I recommend Moneyball. It’s funny and interesting to see the inner workings of baseball. Ultimately, it’s about how a small market team changes the very course of baseball to compete with the big boys.

Movie News

Filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld and comic book super-writer Grant Morrison recently announced their crazy Dinosaurs vs. Aliens project. Yes, you read that right. Here’s some more information:

To see the actual teaser trailer, visit Screen Crush

Tons of news today! What grabbed your attention? Have you seen Moneyball? The clip of Dinosaurs vs. Aliens? Did you go see the Amazing Spiderman this weekend?

Don’t forget to visit The Writing Nut. Thanks to my loyal followers who visit my guest spots – you know who you are!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ninja News, Amazing Spiderman Review, and Best Directors

Ninja News!

Today I have a guest post with Gabi at The Write Connexion.. She wanted to know more about organizing a blog tour. Not an expert, but I gave it my best shot!

Thanks again to everyone who posted for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Welcome new members and appreciate all the support you guys give one another. I even received an email from a member who stated that not only has the group helped him to be a better writer, it had helped him to be a better person. Now that is just awesome! Special thanks also to Laura Eno for her post on Writer Etiquette. I also spent some time cleaning up the list of non-participants, so it should be much better next month.

Milo James Fowler at In Medias Res has a new book available - maikro - haiku and microfiction. Congratulations, Milo! (He’s also the most successful short story writer I know.)

DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude just had a short story accepting for Open Heart Publishing’s An Honest Lie anthology. Congratulations, DL!!

Cathy at Life on the Muskoka River is raising money for the YMCA Literacy Services in her area. This involves a marathon with writers locked in a room. Intrigued? Visit Cathy’s SITE for more details!

Beginning Thursday, July 26, 9 PM EST, EJ at The Open Vein will be hosting an all new regular Twitter chat focusing on New Adult literature. (Hashtag #NALitChat) Check out his site for details.

Jade Hart at Dream, Write, Publish just signed a book deal with Curiosity Quills. Congratulations, Jade!

And special thanks to Allison at Geek Banter and Rek at A Chronicle of Dreams for their wonderful reviews of CassaStar this week. You ladies rock!

Movie Review!

The Amazing Spiderman
We didn’t need a reboot of this franchise so soon, but with so many great reviews I had to check it out – and I wasn’t disappointed. Handing over this reboot to an unknown director was a risk but it paid off. Marc Webb handled the action scenes and character development well, adding a humorous edge that was missing before. I really liked the new Spiderman – the kid was the master of snark. As much as I like Sam Raimi and Spiderman 2, this movie was better. It’s not The Avengers, but it’s really good. (And you should’ve seen all the little kids dressed as Spiderman at the show!)

Best Directors

Matthew at FilmMattic recently posted a list of top one hundred directors, so I decided to do my own list of top ten. My list is what I consider the best (and my most favorite) directors.

1 - Steven Spielberg – Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters (Because of his huge body of work.)
2 - James Cameron – Aliens, The Terminator, Avatar (The man’s never made a bad film.)
3 - Christopher Nolan – Memento, Inception, The Dark Knight (He hasn’t made a bad film either.)
4 - Peter Jackson – LOTR trilogy, Dead Alive, The Frighteners
5 - Guillermo del Toro – Blade II, Hellboy, The Devil’s Backbone
6 - Michael Mann – Last of the Mohicans, Heat, Manhunter
7 - Joss Whedon – Serenity, The Avengers
8 - Quentin Tarantino – Reservoir Dogs, Inglorious Basterds, Pulp Fiction
9 - Rob Reiner – The Princess Bride, This is Spinal Tap, A Few Good Men
10 - JJ Abrams – Super 8, Star Trek

Enjoy this week’s IWSG posts? Excited about the news? Did you see The Amazing Spiderman? (It made 35 million on Tuesday alone!) And who are your favorite directors?

Don’t forget to check out Gabi's site!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Ninja Returns, Insecure Writers Support Group, and Ninja News!

I’m back! Did you miss me? I missed visiting you guys. Felt like something was odd every morning. However, four days away from it all with my wife was awesome. Outdoor activities were limited due to heat, but I had fun indoors as well. (Some of you will get that later…)

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. (This month we are posting on Tuesday as well.) I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

I’m well over halfway done with the first draft of CassaStorm. While I didn’t beat BuNo, 45,000 words for June is still really damn good for someone who types slow. (That would be ME!) I’m really happy how it’s all coming together.

CassaStorm ventures into several new areas. You’ll learn more about the various races and the intergalactic politics are more prominent. It’s also written from the point of view of three characters rather than just two. And now that I’m writing the third book, I realized each one has a common theme. (Never planned that – it just happened.)

The big question is whether this will be the final book. Yes, CassaStorm will complete the series. Will it be the final book for me? Well, that’s the subject of another IWSG post…

Ninja News!

LisaAnn at Kicked, Cornered, Bitten, and Chased just signed a deal with an agent – congratulations, LisaAnn!

Ali Cross’s next book, Desolate, comes out this week. Congratulations, Ali!! You can also visit her site for information on INDIE-pendence Day, a celebration of indie books that runs July 2-5.

Nicki Elson announced that The Omnific Publishing Freedom Sale will run through July 31. Kindle editions of select adult titles are now only $2.99. This includes her book, Three Daves.

Cate Masters has a new book, In the Midnight Hour. Congratulations, Cate!

M. Pax’s next book, Stopover at the Backworlds Edge, comes out July 23.

Karen Elizabeth Brown announced her next book, Medieval Muse, will be out in August.

Anyone else melt in the heat this past weekend? What are your writing insecurities today? Excited about all the new books? Did I miss anything major while on vacation? What are you doing for the Fourth of July? I’m hiding in a cool movie theater and watching the new Spiderman…