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Showing posts from October, 2012

A Bad Day For Voodoo vs. The Hunger Game: Jeff Strand Guest Post by

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Q: Is A Bad Day For Voodoo as good as The Hunger Games?

A: Well, I wouldn't say that. I guess it's up to the reader to decide.

Q: Did you really just compare your book to The Hunger Games?

A: No! All I said was that it’s up to the reader to decide.

Q: But apparently you think that A Bad Day For Voodoo is worthy to be in the same sentence as The Hunger Games.

A: Um, no, I’m not the one who put them in the same sentence. You did that,

Q: But did you stop me? Did you say “Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s stop this Q&A right here!”? You most certainly did not. You were just going to let it happen. That disgusts me, sir. Your book is not worthy to be mentioned in the same sentence. In fact, the word “voodoo” is not worthy to be in the same sentence as “hunger.”

A: I’m sorry.

Q: The Hunger Games is 100% pure awesomeness and I resent you saying that your book reaches those heights. The Hunger Games is kind of violent, though. If they could get rid of the violence, it would be even b…

Q&A with S.R. Ellis

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1. Please tell us about your novel, After Life, Inc.
The After Life program was created to defy death. People no longer die, instead they are chipped and uploaded into a computer program to live out an eternally blissful existence.
Joshua has been confined to the After Life program for over 100 years and is put in charge of showing new arrival, Clara Jean, the ropes of living and surviving in the program. Clara Jean soon realizes The After Life program is not the peaceful utopia she was promised. Anyone under the age of 30 is a Minor and forced into slavery, expected to obey the Elders' every command without question or complaint. Joshua and Clara live in Pod 223 with 5 other Minors who now are the closest thing Clara Jean has to family. Together, Pod 223 begins the revolution to dismantle the most tyrannical corporation in Earth's existence and in doing so discover themselves and what they truly stand for.
2. What would be your ideal After Life program?
My After Life program w…

“Bake me I’m Yours” Cupcake Recipe

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“Bake me I’m Yours” Cupcake
Raspberry cupcakes
Makes 12
1 pint of raspberries, reserve 12 for cupcakes
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 stick butter, at room temperature
¾ cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cake flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
Directions:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin pan.
2.In a small bowl, smash the raspberries with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sugar. Strain and set aside.
3.Mix the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. (If using an electric mixer, cream for three to four minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed).
4.Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.
5.In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
6.Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture in three parts alternating with milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until combined after each addition.
7.Add in the raspberry mixture…

Review: Recipe For Trouble

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Title: The Cupcake Club: Recipe for Trouble
Author: Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published: October 1, 2012
paperback, 192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-4022-6452-8
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Suggested ages: 9 and up
Source: Publisher


Goodreads Summary:

Meet Lexi Poole. To Lexi a new school year means back to baking with her BFFs in the Cupcake Club. But club president, Kylie, is mixing things up by inviting new members. And Lexi is in for a not-so-sweet surprise when she is cast in the school's production of Romeo and Juliet. If only she was as confident on stage as she is in the kitchen. The icing on the cake: her secret crush is playing Romeo. Sounds like a recipe for trouble!
Can the girls' friendship stand the heat, or will the Cupcake Club go up in smoke?

My thoughts:
Recipe for Trouble by Sheryl and Carrie Berk is a cute book about a group of girls who are in a cupcake club. This is actually the second book in this series. I haven't read the f…

Review: Horrid Henry's Monster Movie

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Title: Horrid Henry's Monster Movie
Author: Francesca Simon
Publisher: Soucebooks Jabberwocky
Published: Sept. 1 ,2012
paperback, 91 pages
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Ages: 7-10
ISBN-13:978-1-4022-7737-5
Source: Publisher


Goodreads Summary:
Contains four stories - Horrid Henry's Monster Movie, Horrid Henry's Horrid Weekend, Horrid Henry's Grump Card, Horrid Henry's Olympics.

My thoughts:
Just in time for Halloween, Horrid Henry gets into all sorts of trouble. Horrid Henry's Monster movie is a collection of four stories by Francesca Simon. The stories include: Horrid Henry's Monster Movie, Horrid Henry's Horrid Weekend, Horrid Henry's Grump Card, and Horrid Henry's Olympics. Each story follows the misadventures of Horrid Henry. It's fully of funny events that will leave kids giggling and probably new ideas of how to pull one over on their parents. The book contains illustrations by Tony Ross that fit the scenes perfectly. I think kids will get a…

To Kill A Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Give@way

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You’ve read the book…now see it come to life on movie screens nationwide!




For one day only on Thursday, November 15th, select movie theaters nationwide will show the award-winning film version of Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, in an event in honor of its 50th anniversary. In partnership with Fathom Events, Harper Perennial is offering YOU a chance to win 2 tickets for this event, plus a copy of the book!
PRIZE PACK: 2 tickets to the event at the movie theater nearest you and a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird
TO PARTICIPATE:
First: Click here for a list of participating theaters to confirm there is a screening of the event near you.
Second: Comment on this post and share it with your friends on your own blog/Facebook/Twitter! Please leave your twitter/facebook handle in the comments so I can be sure to contact you if you win.
**A winner will be selected at random by end of day Sunday, October 28th.
**To participate, first CONFIRM there is a movie theater in your area.

Sound Give@way Release Event

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To celebrate the release of the 3rd book of the SOLID series,
Shelley Workinger has put together a giveaway game!
EVERY ENTRANT who COMPLETES the task will win
ebooks of BOTH “Solid” (Solid #1) AND “Settling” (Solid #2).
The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will win SIGNED COPIES of ALL 3 BOOKS,
including “Sound” (Solid #3) just as it hits the shelves on Nov. 1st!

The rules are simple:

1. Visit each blog on the list
2. Leave a quick comment to show you were there
3. Copy the image fragment and paste it into a Word .doc
There are 18 stops to visit, comment on, and collect pieces from;
once you’ve hit all 18 stops and assembled* all of the pieces to complete the image,
email your entry to the author at: SolidNovel@gmail.com.
4. Visit the author’s blog: But What Are They Eating?
and leave a comment letting her know you’ve sent in your completed entry.
ALL 4 STEPS are important because she will choose the Grand Prize Winner
from her blog comments (using Random.org) and then check her email to verify t…

Heaven Should Fall Guest Post by Rebecca Coleman

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HEAVEN SHOULD FALL Guest Post by REBECCA COLEMAN

What is your advice to other writers on how to effectively write from multiple points of view and still make each character sound genuine?

I take it as a high compliment when readers tell me I write a very convincing sexual predator. A good teenage boy, too. One of my most triumphant moments, pre-publication, was when my beta readers highly praised a scene in which the protagonist puts on contact lenses for the first time. I've never worn glasses. My vision is 20/20. That "write what you know" stuff? Bugger that.
One of the trickier aspects of writing a novel that makes use of multiple points of view is distinguishing the voices from one another-- and somehow silencing your own "accent" among every one of them. Ever read a story where each first-person character sounds suspiciously like the same actor wearing a different stick-on mustache? I hate that. Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible was a revelation …

T. Lynne Tolles Guest Post

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Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"
- Dexter Kozen
Now days we think of Halloween as a time of candy, kids and "Tom-Foolery", but that wasn't always the case. Take for instance in medieval times when people foraged and harvested until their bones ached in hopes that they had gathered and stored enough food for their loved ones to survive the long winter months. Halloween was the beginning of the worrisome times to come and I think Dexter Kozen quote conjures up that sentiment.
We forget just how hard life was back then for all our favorite Halloween characters. Witches for instance were once respected people with great knowledge of herbal medicines and remedies. In fact the Old English wicce, means "wise woman". But as we all know that was all changed by the narrow views of the church and the superstitions they promoted about such people.
Soon black cats got a bad rap, because it was bel…

Review: Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards

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Goodreads Summary:
For the fans of the best-selling House of Night series, the Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards provides a unique interactive experience with the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Packaged in a keepsake box with a guidebook, the deck contains fifty gorgeously illustrated cards, many of which are based on characters in the books.

To begin, simply ask Nyx a question: What should I do in this situation? What is going on with my relationship? What will result from my next action? Then select a card and consult the guidebook to discover the message that Nyx intends for you. Just like Zoey Redbird and the other fledglings of the House of Night, you will be encouraged to trust your intuition and make powerful decisions about your life!

The Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards is an original divination system, created by P. C. Cast and oracle expert Colette Baron-Reid. It draws inspiration from the Tarot, Norse runes, and the I Ching, but no special expertise is required to …

Review: Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies

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Title: Samantha Sutton and the Labyrinth of Lies
Author: Jordan Jacobs
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published: October 1, 2012
Paperback arc, 352 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4022-7560-9
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Recommended Ages: 9 and up
Source: Publisher


Goodreads Summary:

A legendary ghost, an ancient treasure, a mystery only Samantha Sutton can solve.
What happens when Indiana Jones meets Nancy Drew? You get Samantha Sutton, twelve year-old archaeology buff with sharp wit and an insatiably curious personality. SAMANTHA SUTTON AND THE LABYRINTH OF LIES is the incredible page-turner about a young girl from California who is given the chance to follow her archaeologist uncle to the excavation of an ancient Peruvian temple.
What she doesn’t expect, though, is the legend haunting this ancient site. When important artifacts begin to disappear overnight, Samantha must navigate the disapproving eye of her uncle’s acerbic assistant, the bungling boyishness of her annoying big brother, and the e…

Jordan Jacobs Guest Post & Give@way

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Scary Stories
There may be some truth to the saying that some things are best left buried.  But that’s a luxury we can't always afford.

I was one of a team of archaeologists brought in for a quick study near a big American city, where a major freeway overpass was to be expanded.  When the original road was built in the 1930’s, an ancient cemetery had been discovered and partly destroyed. Development rules had changed since then, thank goodness, and this time proper study would be done.

Before the project began, we were shown the grainy old photos of construction workers, holding up the skulls they’d found.   A seasoned archaeologist can still feel uncomfortable disturbing the dead, even if only to save the remains from destruction.  But we had other concerns, as well.

Some came from the sky.  According to the construction team, some 200,000 cars used the overpass each day, 70 feet above our heads. Several seemed to shed a piece or two as they raced across the skyway.  A few time…

A Spooktacular Give@way

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Thanks to Sourcebooks I have a fantastic giveaway to offer to you. Four Spooktacular Books for every age! To enter, you must be at least 13 years old. This giveaways is open to US/CA addresses only. Good luck!







Horrid Henry’s Monster Movie by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross
Horrid Henry & the Zombie Vampire by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross
Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin
A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Elizabeth Kolodziej Guest Post

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Hello everyone, I am Elizabeth J. Kolodziej and one of my favorite parts about writing is the researching involved. Especially when it comes to creatures of the paranormal design. Currently, I have finished up a novella for Sizzler Editions staring Sultrus from Demon Protection Plan (part of an anthology, The Sexiest Time of the Year: Erotic Encounters at the Yule Season).
I find demons to be mysterious because I haven’t written about them much and my mom is worried about me doing so (dark creatures should always be revered). Yet vampires she has no problem with! Go figure. Anyways, when writing about a new type of creature, as a writer, I am creating a brand new world with rules I have to follow, therefore, the research is very important.
For instance, I have to decide if demons are capable of love. What do I do to figure this out? I go to the library, which is also known as my living room. I have my own demon encyclopedia I got years ago. It lists hundreds of demons and their stori…

D.J. McIntosh Guest Post and Give@way

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The Antagonist

To deserve its name, suspense fiction hangs on how convincing the threat is. And that means an antagonist who’s worthy of the name. As a crime writer, bad guys are never far from my thoughts but they always seem to get short shrift, even though without them, the entire genre would disappear. In order to meet the constraints of the formula, they get their just deserts in the end, as they should, but that’s not what I mean. How much ink has been spilled to help writers develop a tight and racy plot, or formidable central character? But we hear much less about the antagonist(s) whose malevolent ways drive the book.
And yet, what wonderful villains literature has given us. It’s Satan who’s the truly gripping character in Paradise Lost, Moriarty who comes closest to matching wits with Sherlock Holmes, and Silas, the frightening monk in the Da Vinci Code who is the most memorable.
A common criticism is failure to create “depth of character” in a novel’s antagonist. The more o…

Review: The Burning House: What Would You Take?

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Title: The Burning House: What Would You Take?
Author: Foster Huntington
Publisher: !t Books
Published: July 10, 2012
paperback, 280 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-212348-0
Genre: Non-fiction
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary:
Your house is burning. You have to get out fast. Suddenly you are forced to prioritize, editing down a lifetime of possessions to a mere handful. Now you must decide: Of all the things you own, what is most important to you?

My thoughts:
The Burning House: What Would You Take by Foster Huntington is a fascinating book that takes a look into people's lives when they answer the question: If your house was on fire, what would you take? This question is answered by people of all ages, professions, and nationalities. Every list is different. Some lists are long, some are short, some come with an explanation as to why the items are chosen. Each list is accompanied by a photograph of the listed items. This is a neat book to read. I enjoyed looking through it and discoveri…

Review: Troll Hunters by Michael Dahl

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Title: Troll Hunters
Author: Michael Dahl
Publisher: Capstone
Published: August 1, 2012
Hardcover, 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4342-4590-8
Genre: Middle Grade, Paranormal
Source: Publisher



Goodreads Summary:
Evil and danger rumbles under the earth. Follow the adventures of a group of contemporary teenagers who discover that their town, and ultimately the entire world, is under attack by fierce creatures from deep beneath the earth. These creatures were known to the earliest humans as trolls or goblins, but they are much more dangerous than their fairy-tale versions. The teens make unlikely allies along the way, including a half-man, half-troll, as well as some legendary constellations that quite literally come to life. The young heroes will also discover their own untapped celestial abilities in an epic battle between good versus evil.
A thrilling, suspenseful fantasy novel
Set in an ordinary small town, a group of kids ban together to fight off mythical creatures

My thoughts:
The Troll Hu…

Q&A with Debra Chapoton

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1. Please tell us about Sheltered?
Living together unsupervised, five troubled teens confront demonic forces and are compelled to deal with their problems in distinctly different ways.
High school junior, Ben, hacks into his step-father's real estate holdings and provides rooms in an old two-story house to various outcasts: the schizophrenic kid, the angry Goth girl, and the homeless girl who worships him. When Megan needs a place to live she comes to the rooming house with a different set of problems and the ability to confuse and attract Ben.
One by one strange and mysterious occurrences stretch the teens’ beliefs in the supernatural. How they deal with demons, real and imagined, has tragic as well as redeeming consequences.

2. Which character was the most fun to write? why?
The angry Goth girl, Cori, was fun to invent. She is based on several different students I’ve had who projected hostility but were marshmallows inside. Cori gets to be smart, mean, clever, angry, and holds th…

Looking for a spooky book to read? Try one of these:

Excerpt: Iced by Karen Marie Moning

Sci-Fi Matters, Guest Post and Give@way by Harry Steinman

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Want your writing to be read in 1,000 years? Look to Science Fiction for a Clue.
     Science fiction matters, but not as a forecast of future events. Where are the flying cars? Eternal youth? Meal-in-a-pill?
     The under-rated literary category offers top-notch entertainment—and an overlooked benefit. The success of certain sci-fi stories holds a key to your own writing success.
     Technical fiction—use that term if the rocket ships, ray guns, mages and alternate histories some associate with science fiction distract you—is an excellent barometer to measure society’s fears about technology-wrought change. Writers have employed the backbone themes of sci-fi for thousands of years. Tales involving hubris, the mad scientist, monsters, and playing God strike a chord with the reader, and have for millennia.
     Set your Way Back Machine and travel with me some 3500 years in the past to consider one of mankind’s earliest technical thrillers. You’ll recognize this tale immediately. Yo…

Q&A with Anya Wylde

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1. Please tell our readers about The Wicked Wager.
The ‘Wicked Wager’ is a light hearted humorous romance and murder mystery set in the Regency era. It is difficult to slot the book under a particular genre. It has comedy, romance, mystery, and a whole lot of madness.
The book begins with Lord Richard Hamilton, the protagonist of the story, wanting to marry his fiancée Emma as soon as possible. But Emma’s uncle, the very powerful Duke of Arden, disapproves of a quick wedding. Richard makes a plan to fool the duke and move up the wedding date. His plan is simple enough, but as soon as he sets it in motion, a whole lot of obstacles crop up which end up culminating in a murder. He is one of the suspects and the trip to the altar turns into a possible trip to Gael instead.

2. You give Lord Richard Hamilton a rough time in this book. Was he a fun character to write? 
Richard was a lot of fun to write. He is not an alpha male but a normal fellow in love and desperate to marry his fiancé. He…

Audio Book Review: Mercury by Lesley-Ann Jones

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Title: Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury
Author: Lesley-Ann Jones
Narration by: Jane Collingwood
Publisher: Simon and Schuster audio
Published: July 3, 2012
Length: 13 hours, 9 Minutes
Genre: Biography
ISBN: 1451663951 (ISBN13: 9781451663952)
Source: Publisher



Summary:
Revealing and intimate, based on more than 100 interviews with key figures in his life, this is the definitive biography of Queen front man Freddie Mercury, one of pop music’s best-loved and most complex figures.

My thoughts:
Mercury by Lesley-Ann Jones is the first biography I've listened to on audio. I wasn't quite sure what to expect-performance wise. I was pleasantly surprised. Jane Collingwood is the main narrator, but there are other voices that chime in for various interviews by various people. I liked this aspect of listening to a biography on audio. I think it broke up what could have been a potentially tiresome reading of another person's life.  Not that Freddie Mercury's life …