Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Latest X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Hobbit Trailers! Plus November Movie Preview, Horror Story Trivia, and the Ninja News

Latest Movie Trailers

Just released - X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer - and it is really awesome!

Coming May 23, 2014. And just look at the cast: Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Halle Berry, Omar Sy, and Lucas Till.

And in case you missed this one a couple weeks ago – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Coming December 13!

November Movies

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

1 –

Ender’s Game
The International Military seek out a leader who can save the human race from an alien attack. Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young mind, is recruited and trained to lead his fellow soldiers into a battle that will determine the future of Earth.
Director: Gavin Hood
Stars: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin
I’ve read the book – curious to see how much they changed the ending…

8 –

Thor: The Dark World
Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
Director: Alan Taylor
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård
THE movie to see in November!! Looks awesome. And already scoring great reviews at Rotten Tomatoes.

15 –

The Wolf of Wall Street
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, P.J. Byrne, Jon Favreau, Spike Jonze
Not the type of movie I see in theaters, but it does look quirky.

The Book Thief
While subjected to the horrors of WWII Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refuge is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.
Director: Brian Percival
Stars: Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer
Based on the book. Before it was stolen…

22 –

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philip Seymour Hoffman
I don’t believe the box office will suffer if I just skip this one…

29 –

Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.
Directors: Chris Buck | Jennifer Lee
Stars: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk
So epic, I’d never heard of it until now… But what else are you going to take the kids to see after Thanksgiving?

Ninja News

Madeline Mora-Summonte just released a book - The People We Used To Be. The stories in this flash fiction collection are like day trips - brief, illuminating journeys - across the landscape of the human condition. Congratulations, Madeline!

L.G. Keltner carved one wicked dragon pumkin!!

Horror Story Trivia

Name the author…

1 – The Exorcist 1971

2 – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1886

3 – The Dark Tower 1938

4 – The Anubis Gates 1983

5 – At the Mountain of Madness 1931

Excited about the next X-Men and Hobbit movies? Any movies you plan to see in November? Think LG’s pumpkin is cool? And can you name any of the authors…?

And now scroll all the way to the bottom - my name in lights, courtesy of the awesome Jeremy Hawkins!

Monday, October 28, 2013

M Pax’s Favorite Astronomizing Moments, WALL-E and ET Pumpkins, Ninja News, Monster Trivia Answers, and Mini-Alex!

I’m visiting fellow science fiction author, Sandra Ulbrich Almazan, and answering a few questions about myself, my creative process, and words of wisdom. (Don’t laugh at that last one…)

M. Pax is here today to discuss her best moments as a star guide!

Best Moments of Astronomizing

September 27th was the end of my 6th summer as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory. Despite the growing light pollution from an expanding population in Central Oregon, we still have relatively dark skies – skies that let us view the Milky Way in all its starry glory. Glorious it is. It never fails to awe me and make my heart race. Here are some of my favorite moments:

1. Discovery. Every time I find an object, it’s as thrilling as the first time. I don’t use a computer. I use star charts and an electronics-free telescope. When I started, my astronomy friends taught me how to point at Jupiter. It and the Moon were my entire repertoire. Now I can find a hundred objects.

2. My favorite summer object: M24. It’s a densely packed star field – a star cloud – above Sagittarius. It fills my eyepiece with stars. It’s stunning. Overall, the Orion nebula is my favorite [winter object].

3. Giving Robert his life’s dream. Robert visited a few summers ago. He told me it was his life’s dream to see a nebula. I gave showed him five then told him he needed a new life’s dream, because 9 was way too young to be done with that sort of thing.

4. Showing kids how to use my telescope and letting them. “Come see my star,” they like to say. Awesome.

5. Being able to give a person in a wheelchair a tour of the night sky. It was possible with my Dobsonian.

Yeah, most of my triumphs have to do with giving someone a special night, one made of stars and dreams. It’s the most awesome job, and that joy is what I’m paid. I can’t wait until next summer.

M. Pax-- Inspiring the words she writes, she spends her summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where she lives with the Husband Unit and two demanding cats. She writes science fiction and fantasy mostly. You can find out more by visiting her at: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Wattpad

Find Beyond the Edge: Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo

Ninja News

Doralynn Kennedy’s Spiders comes out today. Congratulations, Doralynn!

Karen Lange’s Homeschool Co-ops 101 is now available! Buy it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Congratulations, Karen!

Nigel Mitchell’s latest is now available – Six Guns of Madness. Purchase it at Amazon. Congratulations, Nigel!

Cover Reveal

Release date – January 2014
Add to Goodreads

Manny O’Donnell revels in his status at the top of his high school food chain…

Julie Musil is the author of YA fiction. As the mother of three teen boys, she’s immersed in teen speak, drama, and gym socks. She loves to chat--just ask her Super Supportive Hubby, the guy with the glazed eyes. Connect with Julie on Facebook, Twitter, or her blog.

Monster Movie Trivia Answers 

1 – Ginger Snaps 2000 - Werewolf
2 – Them! 1954 - Giant Ants
3 – Tremors 1990 - Graboids
4 – Dead Alive 1992 - Zombies
5 – Near Dark 1987 - Vampires
6 – Mimic 1997 - Insects

Mini-Alex and the Cassa Poster

I’m always envious of the prizes you guys win. This time however, my publisher sent me one of them – the Cassa Universe poster!
And Mini-Alex was very happy…

More Cool Halloween Pumpkins

From EgoTV Online - visit the site for even more!

Every viewed the stars from an observatory? Excited about the new books? Get any of the trivia right? And did you carve a pumpkin this year…?

Be sure to visit Sandra Ulbrich Almazan!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Being Humorous with The Vanished Knight! Plus Monster Movie Trivia, Haunted Castles, Man with the Iron Fist Movie Review, Cover Challenge, and Ninja News

Today I welcome the awesome Misha Gericke! And I may have stressed her a little with my request for snark. Let’s see how she did!

Be Humorous!

“Be humorous”, Alex said. “Humor always goes over well with the ninja crowd.” Do you have any idea how nervous this is making me. For one thing, I’m going to bust my chops and the ninjas won’t laugh.

Ninjas don’t laugh. Didn’t you know?

And even if they have a super secret sort of giggle, it’ll be too soft for human ears to hear. So… I guess the question is… If a ninja laughs in the blogosphere and I don’t hear it, am I ever funny?

Really though, writing humor gives me the heevie jeevies. It’s… sort of like… going into a room half naked. Anyone else know what I mean? I guess it’s because I know my sense of humor. It’s like 90% pure chocolate: dark, dry, a little bitter and absolutely wicked. Problem is, no matter how hard one tries, chocolate never really translates into writing. Same thing with what I think is funny. Not to say that my books are humorless. I believe there has to be bits of humor in all stories. Even fantasies with a possessed girl, a jackass (or fourteen), a nutty old man, a quiet kid, a heroic sociopath (or so people think, although I’m never sure if they’re right on the heroic or the sociopath side) and a half elf.

It’s easier then. My characters have senses of humor, and they make silly mistakes. And more often than not, I don’t plan any of it. The magic just happens, seemingly out of the ether. That, I’m comfortable with. Making the magic, not so much.

So… In the interest of humor, I thought I’d share a Nordian joke from Gawain in The Vanished Knight. *Clears throat*
What do you get if you tie two Merithians together? An irritation.
What do you get if you tie two Larisian Elves together? A headache. Unless you drown them.
What do you get if you tie two Ladrians together? Wait? You mean they’d notice?
What do you get if you tie two Nordian Saints together? Your hand back. Severed from your arm, of course.

Doo dum tsss!

Yeah… You’d need to read the book to get it. And in case you’re curious…

Purchase The Vanished Knight: Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, All Romance Reads, Amazon France, and Amazon Germany

M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects. She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain. If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blog. You can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.

Lexa’s Cover Reveal Challenge

Can you find the error on this cover?

To win a prize, find the cover error in each of these 10 blogs: Alex J. Cavanaugh, PK Hrezo, Father Dragon Writes, Bards and Prophets, The Write Game, Ellie Garratt, Klahanie, Julie Flanders, In High Spirits, and Mainewords.

For the correct cover, rules, and prize list, go to Lexa Cain’s BLOG.
Soul Cutter releases from MuseItUp Publishing on December 6, 2013.

Ninja News

Many of you are gearing up for NaNo and might be in need of a buddy at the NaNo site. Beverly Fox is looking to connect with other participants. Visit her or leave your NaNo name in the comments so others can find you. It helps to have friends in the hunt with you!

Lee at Tossing It Out has a special guest today – Liza Long from Anarchist Soccer Mom. She received national attention with her post Thinking the Unthinkable (I am Adam Lanza’s Mom) and talks about the impact of going viral had on her. This is a continuation of his respect series, touching upon blogging and pageviews.

Somerset Memories asked Ella to write an article about her grandparents – and here it is published! Congratulations, Ella.

Want to visit a haunted castle? Gadling lists the ten most haunted castles in the world, including Castle Bran – Dracula’s castle.

Movie Review

The Man with the Iron Fists
Directed by and starring RZA, with Eli Roth as one of the producers.
First off, this movie is not good. But, it is ridiculously entertaining! If you like way over the top wire-fu mixed with a bit of gore, then this might be the film for you. Won’t win any Oscars, but it was entertaining as hell.
Also starring Rick Yune, Lucy Liu, and a fat Russell Crowe.

Monster Movie Trivia!

Name the monster(s) or creature(s) in the following movies:

1 – Ginger Snaps 2000

2 – Them! 1954

3 – Tremors 1990

4 – Dead Alive 1992

5 – Near Dark 1987

6 – Mimic 1997

Misha does know humorous, doesn’t she? Have you picked up The Vanished Knight? Participating in NaNo? Ready to visit a haunted castle? Seen The Man with the Iron Fists? And do you know any of the monsters…?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Complicated Writing Life! Plus Who’s Your Hero Blogfest, Scary Places, Death Star Pumpkin, and Ninja News

Today I welcome friend and fellow author, Liesel Hill!

Complications I Wish Were Part of my Writing Life

As a writer, life is never complex, right? There’s always plenty of time to do what needs to get done, plenty of opportunity to complete our running list of tasks, plenty of “us” time on top of everything else life throws at us. Right? So, here are some complications I wish I could add to my busy writing life:

1) I wish I didn’t have all day to write. I wish I had to work a day job that would significantly cut into my writing time and complicate my thought processes.

Oh, wait. I do!

2) I wish I didn’t have the ability to isolate myself from the world to write. I wish there were other people, especially children, bursting in, whining, needing things, or just being cute and pulling me away from my work.

Oh, wait. There are!

3) I wish there were other things that needed to be done on top of my writing. You know, errands, housework, food preparation, just the jumble of day to day living to take away from my precious writing time.

Oh, wait. There is!

4) I wish writing didn’t come easily to me. I wish that I often had to slave for hours over the keyboard, then scrap everything and start over. I wish I had to write, re-write, and re-write again so many times it made my head spin.

Oh, wait. I do!

5) I wish publication weren’t such an easy process. I wish it was something I had to work for, honing my craft for years without any real guarantee of traditional success.

Oh, wait. It is!

So, why do we do it? Why do we novelists continue to churn out book after book when most of the world would have quite two pages in?

Because we just. Freakin’. Love it.

Happy writing everyone! May this coming holiday season complicate the heck out of your writing life! :D

I’ve recently put out book 2 of my dystopian series, Quantum Entanglement as well as book 1 of a new crime drama series, entitled Dark Remnants. Both are $0.99 for a limited time!

Ninja News

Thanks to everyone who sent out messages on Facebook and Twitter for W4WS on Monday! I really appreciate it.

Don’t forget to sign up for the How I Miss You blogfest on November 8.

Sean McLachlan won the 2013 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, taking the gold in the Personal Comment category for his article Video Games with a Refugee, part of his Iraq travel series on the Gadling travel blog. Congratulations, Sean!

Rachel Schieffelbein and her horse won this past weekend – they are the Arabian and Half-Arabian US Nationals Champion. Congratulations, Rachel!

Want to see some creepy places? Check out Roland Yeomans’ POST and read about the abandoned amusement park, the Winchester Mystery House, and the Suicide Forest.

CassaStorm is on Goodreads’ Best Space Opera list, feeling lonely at the bottom. Mini-Alex would be really happy to see it closer to CassaStar and CassaFire, which are at the top!

Amazing Pumpkin Carving!

From Urlesque:

Who’s Your Hero Blogfest

JL Campbell is celebrating the release of her novel, Saving Sam, which coincides with National Heroes’ Day celebrations in Jamaica. She’s asked us to write about our source of inspiration.

I’m fortunate to have so many amazing people in my life. My parents are heroes. So is my wife. And so are many of you. All of the struggles you face, and yet you continue to push for your dreams. It’s very inspiring.

If I have to name just one though, I’d choose the person who has given me the most inspiration and peace in my life. As a born-again Christian, my Lord and Savior is my hero, and Jesus sets the most incredible example. I want to display the same loving and servant heart He possesses. I’ll never measure up, but He gives me a standard to aim for.

Who is your hero?

Do you wish for any of those things Liesel listed? Sign up for the blogfest? Check out the creepy places? Dig the pumpkin? And who is your hero?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Teleportation! Plus My W4WS Day, How I Miss You Blogfest, Ninja News, and Horror Taglines Trivia Answers

Today I tackle teleportation at Stephen Tremp’s awesome SITE! When did the concept emerge? How has it figured into science fiction? And is it possible…?


Hosted by Stephen Tremp, Mary Pax, Christine Rains, and CM Brown.

I have the honor of sharing W4WS today with the awesome Isis Rushdan. That’s right! It’s the Ninja’s turn today. And was it ever difficult coming up with the Tweets and Facebook posts.

Thank you to the hosts and to all the W4WS members – and anyone else who helps – for your efforts today.

For Twitter –

For fans of #StarWars and #Heinlein – CassaStorm by @alexjcavanaugh Amazon Best Selling author #W4WS #spaceopera

Space opera with heart – the Amazon Best Selling series by @alexjcavanaugh #spaceopera #bestseller #W4WS

“CassaStorm pushes the limits…” best-selling #spaceopera by @alexjcavanaugh #W4WS #scifi

For Facebook-

"CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery." - Edi's Book Lighthouse. From the Amazon Best Selling author Alex J. Cavanaugh Available in print and eBook at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and others. Watch the trailer on YouTube - #W4WS

For fans of Heinlein and Star Wars – space opera with a heart! CassaStorm concludes the Amazon Best Selling series by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Available in print and eBook at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and others. #W4WS

Ninja News

Nicole Zoltack’s Black Hellbore is out today in eBook – print coming in January. Congratulations, Nicole!

Rachel Morgan’s The Faerie War is out today!! Congratulations, Rachel. You have wrapped up your awesome trilogy.

Milo James Fowler had some exciting news this weekend - Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Space-Time Displacement Conundrum, his first novel, will be published next year! The novel will first be serialized for subscribers, followed by an eBook and print release. Congratulations, Milo!

Cherie Reich’s epic YA short story, Magna’s Plea, is available and free at Amazon. Congratulations, Cherie!

Toinette Thomas is celebrating her birthday today by independently publishing two new works of fiction! Happy birthday, Toinette. I think you mentioned cupcakes…?

Kyra Lennon is hosting the Game On Bloghop October 28-31. To celebrate the second edition release of Game On, Kyra wants to know – who is your sports crush? Get the details at her site.

Remember, every Monday is a new post at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group website. We’ve also added a lot of new sites to the databanks, so check often.

Pat at it’s Rhyme Time created this video - Orlin The Rhyming Cat - The Ninja Wannabe. If you’ve visited Pat and read about the Ninja Wannabe, no need to be confused, it’s just me. (A rhyme in your honor, Pat!) As if the lyrics and head-butting from a cat puppet weren’t enough, just wait until you see what Cassie does with me in the end…

Horror Movie Tagline Trivia Answers

1 - Ding dong. You're dead. 1986 House
2 - Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas. 1992 Army of Darkness
3 - Man is the warmest place to hide. 1992 The Thing
4 - The good news is your dates are here. The bad news is…they're dead. 1986 Night of the Creeps
5 - The night HE came home. 1978 Halloween
6 - Herbert West has a very good head on his shoulders...and another one in a dish on his desk. 1985 Re-Animator

The Second Annual Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest! 

November 8, 2013 - hosted by Andrew Leon, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and Matthew MacNish

The bloggers we really miss…and the ones we would really miss!

Do you have a couple blogger buddies who aren’t posting as often? Those who’ve pulled back and seem absent from the blogging world? Do you have blogger buddies you are grateful they are still around and would miss if they vanished? Now is your chance to show your appreciation and spotlight them!

On November 8, list one to three bloggers you really miss and one to three bloggers you would miss if they stopped blogging. Then go leave a comment on those blogs.

Our blogger friends are special – time to let them know!

Sign up below!

Thanks to all who send out the W4WS messages! Picking up some new books? Enjoy the video – even at my expense? Get any of the trivia correct? And can you think of some bloggers you miss…?

Don’t forget to visit Stephen Tremp!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror News! Plus Horror Movie Trivia, Ninja News, and Wednesday’s Response

Today I am visiting the lovely Sia McKye! She had some really great questions about CassaStorm, my music, and everything in between. Let me tell you, when Sia emailed me her private thoughts on CassaStorm, it was probably the most awesome thing anyone has ever said about my writing. So be sure to visit Sia!

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror News!

From JoBlo - another clip from Thor: The Dark World as Jane and Thor meet again. (And she smacks the crap out of him!)

White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, an Agent Pendergast story, comes out November 12!

From Blastr - Guillermo del Toro wants to make a new film adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel The Witches. Right now the fate of the project rests in Warner Bros. hands.

Wired featured some of the most amazing Lego creations ever built, including this old haunted house:

Looking for the best haunted house for your Halloween scares? Visit Haunt World for the one nearest you. They also list trails and hayrides.

Ninja News

Sean MacLachlan at Civil War Horror is looking for blogging advice as he contemplates the new direction in his writing career and the future of his two blogs.

Candilynn Fite had this bit of news - SCBWI announced the SPARK award for non-traditionally published children's books. You can read the rules HERE.

Thanks to everyone who has purchased and reviewed CassaStorm! I’ll take reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble – I’m not picky!

CassaStorm is now on Goodreads’ Best Space Opera list! (CassaStar and CassaFire are #3 and 4.) If you enjoyed it and have time to vote for CassaStorm, I would appreciate it!

Wednesday’s Response

There were some great comments on Wednesday’s post regarding blog content and pageviews. Overall, most of you thought blogging was about community and comments more important than pageviews.

A couple comments that stood out:

From Brandon and Bryan at A Beer for the Shower:
… we had our Amanda Bynes post reach 180,000+ views. Did it increase our regular readers, or increase our book sales, etc? Not in the slightest. It was just a bunch of people who got a quick laugh and left. We don't really care about that, so going viral only counts if those people stick around. If they don't, then it's just empty calories that really aren't even worth bragging about.

From Holly at I Am HR Sinclair:
Blog views are interesting as well as searches, but comments are the only way to really know if what you said of value to anyone. And I think we all want to know we have some to say that someone else liked.

From Keith at Musings of an Unapologetic Dreamer:
Blogging really is about community and friends. It's a family-type relationship in many ways isn't it?

From Julie Dao at Silver Linings:
The best blogs, for me, are the ones with humor and honesty. And those are usually the ones with the highest number of followers and comments!

Horror Movie Taglines Trivia

Guess the movies from these poster taglines:

1 - Ding dong. You're dead. 1986

2 - Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas. 1992

3 - Man is the warmest place to hide. 1992

4 - The good news is your dates are here. The bad news is…they're dead. 1986

5 - The night HE came home. 1978

6 - Herbert West has a very good head on his shoulders...and another one in a dish on his desk. 1985

Are you excited about Thor? Amazed by what people can do with Legos? Little help for CassaStorm? (It would make Mini-Alex happy! He might even make an appearance next week.) Any other thoughts on blogging? Know any of the movies? And who is ready for a hayride…?

Don’t forget to visit Sia McKye!