Monday, March 30, 2015

April Movie Preview, What Are the Kargrandes, The Machine Movie Review, New Releases, and My World During the A to Z Challenge

I am visiting the delightful Stephanie Faris today with a humorous and snarky piece on giving from the heart.

I’m also at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, outlining what is to come in April.

And I updated my blogroll! It is now alphabetized and in smaller sections. If you're a regular here and don't find your blog listed, please let me know.

What Are the Kargrandes?

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? This is clue number twelve – only one more to go! New clues every Monday until the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7.

Sample Tweets for this week:

What are the Kargrandes? What are their powers? Are they sentient? #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

What are the Kargrandes? Can you solve the mystery by April 7? #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

If you haven’t signed up for the Thunderclap campaign, please do. If you are on either Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr and want to help me spread the word of the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7, click HERE.

And to celebrate my upcoming release, my publisher will be dropping the price of my third book, CassaStorm, to .99 on Wednesday! So if you haven’t picked it up, later this week will be your chance.

Movie Review

The Machine
Set in the near future, scientist Vincent McCarthy creates a self-aware artificial intelligence modeled after his late assistant. Britain’s Military of Defense wants to use Ava as a weapon though.
This is another quiet, slower-paced film. It explores a lot of issues surrounding life and death. When the military starts training Ava and it bothers her, it raises a lot of questions about what is right and what is wrong, as does the presence of soldiers from earlier experiments who have undergone unique transformations.
The other half of McCarthy’s mental and emotional struggle is his dying daughter. He has been working with the military on AI in hopes of finding a cure for her.
The special effects are good and the movie is well done. It’s one of those smaller films that’s good but not enough to really stick with you. This movie came out in 2013 and ironically there is another film coming out in April that is very similar.
Worth a watch if you’re in the mood.

New Releases

Michael – Path of Angels by Patricia Josephine

There is only one path.
Born mortal along with his three brothers, Michael is an Archangel with a specific role: hunt fallen angels and send them back to Hell…

Find Patricia and her books at Website/Blog, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Wattpad

Catalyst by Lydia Kang

Sequel to Control

Purchase it at Barnes and Nobel, Amazon, and Powell’s

April Movie Preview

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

3 –

Furious 7
Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother.
Director: James Wan
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham
Early reviews say it’s a fitting tribute to Paul Walker…

10 –

Ex Machina
A programmer wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO. Upon his arrival, he learns he’s been chosen to be the human component in a Turing Test-charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of the latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava, a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated--and more deceptive--than the two men could have imagined.
Director - Alex Garland
Starring – Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson
Artificial intelligence? Abd she’s named Ava? Now, why does that sound familiar…?


An extremely wealthy man, dying from cancer, undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body's origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause.
Director: Tarsem Singh
Stars: Matthew Goode, Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Michelle Dockery
Considering the director’s track record of doing beautiful looking films that are vapid, they might want to re-title this one Plot/less…

My World During the Challenge

The A to Z Challenge kicks off in just two days! There is still time to join us for the biggest blogging event of the year.

My theme is Cult Classics and I have all the posts formatted and images ready to go. I also have my posts scheduled at the A to Z Blog and the Insecure Writer’s Support Group site.

However, this year will be a little more insane as I have a book release and tour going on at the same time.

I’m still going to aim for my usual blog visits during the Challenge, which is one hundred and fifty a day, spread between blogger buddies, Challenge participants, and commenters. I’ll also have tour stops that are a top priority. I’ve already taken two days off from work to handle the load. (April 1, since it’s both day one of the Challenge and IWSG post day and April 7, since that’s Dragon’s release day.) But there are two other days during the month when commitments elsewhere will prevent me from visiting as many, at least right away.

My promise to everyone is that I will do my best. I may not get to every single post you toss out there, but I will try to get to as many as possible. Know that if you leave a comment, I WILL visit no matter what.

Remember, in addition to cult classic movies, albums, science fiction books, and a term from Dragon of the Stars, I will be featuring one to four blogger buddies every single day!

Plus there will be a giveaway and a scavenger hunt on April 7 to celebrate the realse of Dragon. And some awesome tour stops, all unique and really, really short!

I might even have a blogfest to announce….

Still puzzled by Kargrandes? Picking up some new books? Seen The Machine? Any April movie catch your eye? Is your April going to be just as crazy? Have a plan for coping?

Don’t forget to visit Stephanie Faris and the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

Monday, March 23, 2015

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal, Weird and Future News, What Are the Kargrandes, Battle of the Bands Results, and Ninja News

Double A to Z Challenge shot today!

I’m a guest at Curiosity Quills Press, explaining why the Challenge is a great opportunity for writers and authors. (It's live now!)

I’m also at the A to Z Blog with tips on how to make friends.

Interesting Weird and Future Stuff

Caught these first two items at Edi’s Book Lighthouse:

From Web Urbanist - The Capital: Egypt Plans Largest From-Scratch City in History.
Slated to be constructed in just 7 years and cost $300 billion (more than the GDP of Egypt), this ambitious design for a brand new capital city of 5 million people is unprecedented – if completed, it will be a record-setting endeavor. And it is not just a conceptual vision, or at least not entirely- the site has been selected and a 100-square-kilometer test section has already been approved by the Egyptian government.

Edi also posted this from Dark Roasted Blend - Futuristic Concept Cars of the 1970-80s. Check it out – not as far-fetched as you might think.

And in a similar vein, Dark Roasted Blend had an article about Videophones from Future Past. Some of these really are far-fetched!

What Are the Kargrandes?

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? This is clue number eleven. (Why eleven? Because it’s higher than ten!) New clues every Monday until the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7.

Sample Tweets for this week:

What are the Kargrandes? Can you guess? What are their powers? #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

What are the Kargrandes? Solve the mystery by April 7! #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

The Thunderclap campaign is a go! Thanks to all who signed up. If you are on either Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr and want to help me spread the word on April 7, click HERE.

I also have an awesome (and easy) Scavenger Hunt planned for that day that involves Mini-Alex. Many thanks to the bloggers who have volunteered to participate. (I’m sure the promise of an exclusive Mini-Alex photo was the deciding factor!)

Ninja News

DL Hammons is looking for volunteers to read through the entries of the upcoming round of Write Club. See his site for details.

Mark Koopmans signed a book deal!
REVIVAL: The Donald Braswell Story will be published Nov. 3, 2015 by Pen-L Publishing. Way to go, Mark!

The giveaway for The Great Time Lock Disaster by C. Lee McKenzie is coming to an end soon. Register to win at Goodreads.

New Releases –

Double book release!
There’s a Goat in my Boat by Pat Hatt


Vault of the Gods by Pat Hatt

Seducing Fortune by Brinda Berry
Book 3 of the Serendipity novels

Battle of the Bands Results

I pitted Dream Theater against Redemption with Elton John’s Love Lies Bleeding. Ironically, several voted for Elton John. For those who voted for the two featured songs, this is how it all came down:

Redemption - 5

Dream Theater - 21

And, no surprise, my vote went to Dream Theater. Both are good, but Dream Theater took it to a much higher level.

Challenge Theme Reveal

And now, the day we’ve all been waiting for–the Great Challenge Theme Reveal!

My theme–Cult Classics!

Cult classic movie.
Cult classic album.
Cult classic science fiction book. (Boy, that was tough!)
And of course, a featured blogger buddy. (Or two or three.)
Plus, a term from Dragon of the Stars.

All alphabetically!

In choosing blogger buddies, I tried to select those who hadn’t been featured in the past two years. I hated that I couldn’t feature everyone, but my goal was to keep this year’s Challenge posts short. Some will go by name, some by blog, and some by a crazy Ninja equation. So you’ll have to check every day to see who I’ve featured!

And I know a lot of you have your posts scheduled and ready to go for April. I have mine in Word, html formatted and ready, and all of the images sized properly – but I won’t schedule each post until the night before. (Everyone do a collective gasp.) I still intend to run the Ninja News, announcing any new books, movies, news, whatever. I’ll probably throw in a movie review now and then. Or a cult classic image. So I can only plan ahead so far. But I’ll manage.

Even though the Challenge opens on Wednesday, April 1 is still Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day. Plan accordingly and prepare for a wild ride that day.

Plus, my next book releases on April 7, right in the middle of the Challenge. There will be a Scavenger Hunt Blitz that day, with lots of Mini-Alex photos and a chance to win an autographed copy of Dragon of the Stars, bookmarks and swag, and $20.00 in iTunes gift cards. There’s also an extensive blog tour (which begins next Monday at Stephanie Faris’ site) and other cool stuff to win.

I’m also posting at the A to Z Blog and the Insecure Writer’s Support Group next month.

Yeah, it's a lot! I’ll survive. At least that’s the plan…

If you’re participating in the Challenge, what’s your theme?

Visit the A to Z Blog for the full list of theme reveal participants!

What do you think of Egypt building a new capital? Get a kick out of the concept cars and phones? Figured out the Kargrandes yet? Battle of the Bands’ result surprise you? Does my Challenge theme sound interesting? What’s yours…?

Be sure to visit Curiosity Quills Press and the A to Z Challenge Blog!

Monday, March 16, 2015

No Escaping Food Porn, What Are the Kargrandes, Battle of the Bands, Movie Trivia Answers, New Releases, and Ninja News

Please welcome fantasy author,L. Blankenship!

No Escape

When I was in the early stages of my fantasy series, Disciple, there was a joke going around about how GRRM’s Game of Thrones would turn into food porn whenever the characters sat down at a table.

So I foolishly said: I won’t do that! How silly! My story’s about war! and romance! and magic! No room for food porn!

For a while, it went fine. My characters ate humble fare: bread, potatoes, cabbage, the occasional hunk of roasted meat. Maybe even some infamous “stew.”

But then came the elk. There was a dinner at a countryside baron’s and there were kings and queens in attendance. Nobody would serve potatoes and cabbage to kings and queens unless there was a famine going on. Serving elk was perfectly reasonable. And then sure, they’d dress it up with a nice presentation -- that impressive rack of antlers -- and some tasty side dishes. Wouldn’t they?

That one dinner opened the floodgates. Next thing I knew, everything had fancy sauces and was being wrapped in pastry. There’s just something about fantasy stories that requires food porn. No writer can escape!

The six-part gritty fantasy romance series is now complete!
Disciple, Part VI on sale.
Disciple Omnibus, the collection of all six books, is also available now.

What Are the Kargrandes?

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? This is clue number ten – new clues every Monday until the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7.

Sample Tweets for this week:

What are the Kargrandes? Tenth clue – can you guess? What are their powers? #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

What are the Kargrandes? Are they connected to the Dragon? Solve the mystery by April 7! #whatarethekargrandes

The Thunderclap continues! If you can help spread the word of Dragon’s release on April 7 through either Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, please join the campaign. I just need a couple more people. Many thanks to those who have joined – it’s great to know I have some awesome and supportive friends.

My good friend Spacerguy has a blog dedicated to all things Star Trek. He also has a Wikipedia page, and I’m honored to say the Kargrandes are mentioned there!

Ninja News

Donna McDine is visiting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group site on Wednesday, discussing book festivals and their importance.

The A to Z Challenge kicks off in a few weeks! It’s not too late to sign up and join the mad fun. Don’t forget the Great Theme Reveal is next Monday, March 23. Think I can outdo my theme from last year? Not sure, but I did try! We also Twitter chats every Thursday from 1:00 – 2:00 pm Eastern and 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm Eastern. Look for #azchat.

My buddy Jeremy Hawkins runs the website for Howlin’ Wolf Record’s Online Magazine. They feature movie soundtracks, video releases, interviews, and science fiction and horror conventions. Posting several times daily, you’re sure to find something fascinating there!

New Releases -

One Good Catch by Heather M. Gardner

Ignoring a recent trauma that is affecting her everyday life, ER Doctor Kate Maguire engages in some high risk activities, but putting herself in these dangerous situations isn’t enough to feed her edginess. She needs something more...

Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

Of Blood and Sorrow by Christine Rains

Zodiac Killer: Newly Discovered Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Holy Ghost Writer

Loyalty by Carrie Butler
Mark of Nexus Book III

Battle of the Bands!

Hosted by Stephen T. McCarthy and Faraway Eyes.

Back in the 70’s, Elton John did a song called Love Lies Bleeding.

Several rock bands have covered it since then, including these two prog bands. You know the drill – select your favorite. And with both, the singing doesn’t start until several minutes into the song.

First, Redemption:

Now, Dream Theater:

Movie Trivia Answers

1 – Ratt – Body Talk, 1986 The Golden Child
2 – Queensryche – Real World, 1993 Last Action Hero
3 – U2 – Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, 1995 Batman Forever
4 – AC/DC – Who Made Who, 1986 Maximum Overdrive
5 – Journey – Open Arms, 1981 Heavy Metal
6 – Guns ‘n’ Roses – You Could Be Mine, 1991 Terminator II: Judgment Day
7 – Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son, 1977 Heroes
8 – Extreme – Play With Me, 1989 Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Do you write about food porn? Figured out the Kargrandes yet? (Spacerguy thinks he has!) Ready for the Great Theme Reveal? Picking up some new books? Get all of the trivia right? And which band I is your pick…?
And sorry, having site issues I'm trying to solve, so some links have been removed while I try to find the problem.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hawkeye Joins Civil War Cast, Arrow and JLA, What Are the Kargrandes, Movie Soundtrack Trivia, Mini-Alex, and Ninja News

I am over at the A to Z Challenge Blog today with a ‘Getting to Know Your Co-Hosts’ segment. Still time to sign up for the Challenge! We’re also hosting Twitter chats every Thursday.

Movie News

Hawkeye will be in Captain America: Civil War

From two sources -

JoBlo announced that Renner is scheduled to shoot Civil War next spring:If true, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is going to be one jam-packed film. The confirmed cast already includes Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, and Chadwick Boseman in his first appearance as Black Panther.

And from Cinema Blend: While the bulk of Steve Rogers' team has already been confirmed for the third Cap installment, it wasn't until nowthat we got confirmation that Hawkeye will also show face.

According to io9, DC is creating a Justice League in the Arrow universe: With the announcement that the CW is expanding its superhero show roster with an Atom/Firestorm/Black Canary team-up show, it looks like we might finally be getting something Smallville tried (and ultimately failed) to do: Create the Justice League on television.


And finally, now that we are into March, we can list the top films of 2014:
Transformers: Age of Extinction - $1,091.4 million (no idea why!)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - $954.5 million (still making money)
Guardians of the Galaxy - $774.2 million

What Are the Kargrandes?

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? This is clue number nine – new clues every Monday until the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7.

Sample Tweets for this week:

What are the Kargrandes? Ninth clue – can you guess? #whatarethekargrandes #scifi @alexjcavanaugh

What are the Kargrandes? Are they connected to the Dragon? Solve the mystery by April 7! #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

The Thunderclap campaign went live late Wednesday morning! If you missed it, please sign up to announce the release of Dragon through Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. I am at the halfway point and need more commitments for the Thunderclap to happen. If you can share my campaign, I’d greatly appreciate it. Would really suck to miss it by just a couple sign ups.

JC’s Book Haven also had a really nice review up last Friday.

Ninja News

Editor Dianne Gunn is this Wednesday’s guest at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

Milo James Fowler posted about a new site for both authors and readers - Quarter Reads. The short stories are basically .25 cents each and the author sees .22 cents of that. Milo has a huge list of stories available HERE. Sounds like a great opportunity for short story writers!

Donna McDine announced a very special library drive:
Numerous studies from both government and the private sector provide clear evidence that early reading skills are an investment in a child's future. Early reading skill development dramatically affects the quality of life for children as they grow into adulthood. Sadly, a recent article by Carole Dickerson on the Journal Standard website quoted a local social worker who stated that many of the parents in the homes she visits do not own a single children's book.
This is quite shocking to me and in response, I am announcing a children's book drive within my county to support the Rockland County Department of Social Services. I encourage other authors of children's books to do the same or if you have gentle used children's books to please donate to the book drive.

A to Z Challenge Minions urgently needed!
The following co-hosts still need a few more Minions:
Jeremy Hawkins (He only has one!!)
Joy Campbell
Heather Gardner
Zalka Csenge Virág
Susan Gourley
Matthew Rush

Jack Lewis Baillot is hosting a WWII themed contest and giveaway! See her site for details.

Out now –
Song Remains the Same from Tony Laplume
The second volume from his Mouldwarp Press Presents anthology series.
Find it in paperback and eBook on Amazon


Mini-Alex soaks up some afternoon sun with his best Dragon friend.

Trivia – Movie Soundtracks

I’ve listed the song, artist, and year – name the movie!

1 – Ratt – Body Talk, 1986
2 – Queensryche – Real World, 1993
3 – U2 – Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, 1995
4 – AC/DC – Who Made Who, 1986
5 – Journey – Open Arms, 1981
6 – Guns ‘n’ Roses – You Could Be Mine, 1991
7 – Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son, 1977
8 – Extreme – Play With Me, 1989

Answers on Monday!

Have you figured out the Kargrandes yet? Can you help with the book drive or as a Challenge Minion? Know any of the trivia answers? Excited Hawkeye will be in the next Captain America? And can you help with the Thunderclap campaign…? (I’m willing to grovel.)

Be sure to visit the A to Z Challenge Blog.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Plus March Movie Preview, Chef Movie Review, Mini-Alex, and Ninja News

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. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts today are Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence!

It’s about a month away from my book’s release date, so what am I NOT insecure about?

I’ve been working hard on the guest posts for my tour and I’ve completed all of them through May.

Set up a Thunderclap campaign. Hopefully it’s approved and I can announce it on Monday.

The website for my book - What Are the Kargrandes? is up and running with new clues every Monday.

My publisher has the eBook on pre-order at several sites:
Barnes and Noble
Amazon UK

They are running a special promotion on CassaStorm the week prior to Dragon’s release.

They are also sending out promotional materials, books, and ads to a half dozen science fiction conventions taking place this spring.

The book is on Goodreads
And it’s also on several Goodreads lists: Most Anticipated Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Novels of 2015, Can’t Wait SciFi-Fantasy of 2015, and Excellent Space Opera. (Yes, I’m still groveling for votes!)

I don’t have a release day blitz planned outside of the Thunderclap, but if anyone is willing to help spread the news, let me know.

Yeah, it’s a lot. My insecurity? Will it be enough…?

And I need IWSG co-hosts for April and May! For April, it would be best if you were not doing the Challenge. (As IWSG and Day One of the Challenge are one and the same.) Please leave a comment if you can help either month.

Movie Review

Directed by and starring Jon Favreau, the director behind Iron Man.
I’d heard a lot of good things about this film and finally watched it on NetFlix.
Favreau is renowned chef Carl Casper, working at a posh restaurant serving ‘popular’ dishes. His world is turned upside down when the biggest food blog critique pays a visit and rips the food.
This is an amazing feel-good movie! The characters and their relationships are the focal point. There are many touching moments, especially between Casper and his son. As a divorced dad, he’s not quite sure what constitutes quality time, but he learns along the way.
It’s also hilarious, especially when Casper’s world begins to spiral. He’s trying to do the right thing, but he makes a lot of mistakes. (His son sets up a Twitter account for him, and let’s just say that doesn’t go well at first.)
Rounding out the excellent cast is John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Downey Jr. in a priceless role.
It’s about food, family, friendships, and one fun road trip.
Highly recommended!

Ninja News

Mary at Play off the Page posted that KUMD, Duluth Public Radio, is currently welcoming women authors to read their work on the air. See her site for details.

The A to Z Challenge starts in less than a month! If you haven’t signed up, please join us for the biggest blogging event of the year.

And finally, Mini-Alex would like to report that he’s not too fond of snow and ice…
Although he still rocks in any climate!

March Movie Preview

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

6 –

In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Ninja, Yo-Landi Visser
Apparently, the future looks very bleak to Blomkamp…

13 –

A live-action retelling of the classic fairy tale about a servant step-daughter who wins the heart of a prince.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Lily James, Hayley Atwell, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Madden
I’ll wait for the animated version of the live action version of the animated film…

20 –

Do You Believe?
A dozen different souls-all moving in different directions, all longing for something more. As their lives unexpectedly intersect, they each are about to discover there is power in the Cross of Christ ... This stirring new film from the creators of God's Not Dead arrives in theaters Spring of 2015. More than a movie, it's a question we all must answer in our lifetimes: DO YOU BELIEVE?
Director: Jonathan M. Gunn
Stars: Ted McGinley, Mira Sorvino, Andrea Logan White, Lee Majors
Do I believe? YUP!

27 –

When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.
Director: Tim Johnson
Stars: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez
But I already knew Sheldon was an alien…

Anyone else stressing with similar insecurities? Seen the movie Chef? As frozen as Mini-Alex? Can you help co-host the IWSG? And what movies catch your interest this month…?

And the Thunderclap campaign just went live! If you can participate and help me, please sign up HERE.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Back to the Future! Plus Leonard Nimoy, Lame Blog Comments, Housebound Movie Review, What Are the Kargrandes, and Ninja News

Please welcome Jamie Ayers today! She was gracious enough to let me move her appearance to today so I could feature Bill and Kevin from RiffTrax last week, so please give her a warm welcome.

We all have a vision of what the future holds. In 1989, the future meant flying cars, self-lacing shoes, and the hoverboard. This is the year Back to the Future Part II was set, but like most things in life, what we often expect doesn’t happen.

Often times, it’s better! In the final installment of my trilogy, 18 Thoughts, my three amigos (Olga, Nate, and Conner) do a little time traveling. Instead of traveling to the future though, they’re going back to the past, so they can have a future. Confused? Well, then maybe someone should head to Amazon and download the first two books, 18 Things and 18 Truths. *stares expectantly*

All caught up now? Great J Anywho, my trilogy is all about hope. Hope that everything will be okay in the end, no matter how crazy things get in-between. After my seriously jacked up childhood, that ‘thought’ never bloomed in my mind. But over the course of my adult life, I’ve been able to look back on everything with a wondrous panorama of what was God’s plan all along. So be full of hope today and hold onto faith! Most people can’t see time for what is really is, but we are in fact infinite.

I still desperately want a flying skateboard though and discovered some DIY instructions on Ryan Craven’s blog. Alas, I’m a DIY moron, so instead of the brutal torture I’d undergo making this myself, who do I have to bribe to make one for me? I’ll do ANYTHING! I will even *gulp* give my babies away. And by babies, I mean the books in my trilogy, in ebook format (because I’m desperate but poor). Okay fine, you just have to comment on this post and I’ll leave it to to pick a winner.

*What do you think our future holds?

Olga Gay Worontzoff left the Underworld anxious to return to normal, but fate had other plans; now she’s caught in a world that’s a mix of familiar and supernatural, torn between past and present.

18 Thoughts on Goodreads| Amazon |YouTube

Jamie Ayres writes young adult love stories stories by night and teaches young adults as an English teacher by day. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband and two daughters. Visit her website at

What Are the Kargrandes?

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? This is clue number eight – new clues every Monday until the release of Dragon of the Stars on April 7.

Sample Tweets for this week - thanks to all who are spreading the word for me:

What are the Kargrandes? Eighth clue up this week- #whatarethekargrandes #scifi @alexjcavanaugh

What are the Kargrandes? Animals? Weapons? Solve the mystery by April 7! #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

And there is an awesome review of Dragon of the Stars at Edi’s Book Lighthouse!
Since the book is on pre-order at Amazon, reviews can’t be posted until its release–however, Edi started a forum discussion with his review. (Never knew you could do that!) So if anyone wants to chime in or add a discussion/review there, feel free!

Ninja News

Thanks to everyone who visited last week for my INTERVIEW with Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy of RiffTrax and MST3K fame!

Don’t forget Wednesday is Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day!

New Release –
Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble by Lori L. MacLaughlin
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out has an amazing post today and coming up Wednesday. His Battle of the Bands post on Sunday pit two rock bands playing a piece by Beethoven. His post today is an interview with the lead guitarist of the Greece band, Orion's Reign. Wednesday, for IWSG day, he’s doing a video interview with the L.A. musician, Sebastian Sidi, and he offers up some great advice for writers about overcoming insecurity. So check it out!

Leonard Nimoy

Last Friday we lost a great science fiction icon, and the inner geek in me is still crying.
Nimoy was many things–actor, director, poet, singer, and more. He created one of the greatest characters of all time in Mr. Spock, up there with Sherlock Holmes. I grew up with Star Trek and consider it the greatest science fiction franchise ever created. Nimoy brought true depth and meaning to the character of Spock.
It’s a sad day for all and he will be sorely missed. Prayers for his family and friends.

Movie Review

The main character, Kylie, is sentenced to house arrest and must return to the home she grew up in. Strange sounds and happenings begin to occur.
From New Zealand, this film really surprised me. It didn’t rely on gore or shock tactics, and there are many funny moments. There are also many twists and turns, which is why I can’t reveal much else about the movie.
Overall, it was very satisfying, well-acted, and very well done. A really original film.
Available on NetFlix.

Lame Blog Comments

We all enjoy blog comments. Sometimes even the lame ones. Just what is a lame comment?

Is it the ‘Great post’ comment? Is that better than nothing? Do we leave comments like that when we just can’t find something to say about the post? Now, I can usually find something to comment about in a post. Just by reading, one or more things will jump out. (Besides, ‘Great post’ is R’s trademark comment. No one else should be able to use it, right Pat?)

Is it the ‘Hello’ comment? Someone just stopping by to say hello without reading? Or just to leave a comment so you’ll comment back? I recently visited a blogger who had obviously spent a great deal of time and researching the post, and the very first comment was basically a ‘Hello.’ I thought it was a shame–the blogger had put so much effort into writing and this person didn’t even read it.

Is it the comment that has nothing to do with the content of the post? Someone who is just asking an unrelated question or leaving a reply to something else or just making a random comment?
I’d recently told Arlee Bird that leaving a comment that has nothing to do with the post is rude, and he agreed and added ‘That is one of the biggest indicators that a blogger is either just immersed in self-interest or in la-la land.’

It takes time to write a blog post. (Mine take between two and three hours to put together.) With that kind of effort, a blogger deserves a decent comment. Doesn’t need to be long, just relates to the post. (That’s why I offer a variety of topics in my posts–something for everyone. Plus I ask questions at the end.)

What’s your opinion on lame comments and what constitutes a lame comment?

What do you think the future holds? (And do you still want a hoverboard?) Any idea about those Kargrandes? Seen Housebound? What are your thoughts on Nimoy? And what’s your opinion on lame comments…?