Thursday, October 31, 2013

Zombie Blogfest

Kelly Hashway and Beth Fred are hosting the Zombie Blogfest about, you guessed it, ZOMBIES! Participants can post about anything and everything they want that is zombie related, and since it’s Halloween I thought this blogfest would be a great deal of fun.

Kelly Hashway’s Blog: http://kellyhashway.blogspot.com/ 
Beth Fred’s Blog: http://bethfred.blogspot.com/ 

What's in it for us?

Everyone will get a FREE copy Kelly Hashway's short story prequel to the Touch of Death series, Curse of Death. In fact, go grab it now here: http://www.spencerhillpress.com/featured_books/curseofdeath.pdf

Plus, US residents can also be entered for a chance to win some zombie limb candy and a signed copy of Touch of Death. (Sorry but international mailing is expensive and mailing candy internationally isn't always allowed.) Sorry, the giveaway is now over! 


My favorite zombie movies by far are the Resident Evil movies. I love the action, the story line, the characters, Mila Jovovich as Alice, and the zombies are the best looking in my opinion.

When I was writing the third book in my supernatural-thriller series I watched Resident Evil: Extinction several times. The post-virus world helped me to create my post-war world: demolished and dangerous. There may not be zombies or flesh-eating crows in my book, but there are deserted cities and few surviving humans. The other movie that helped with this, although it's not about zombies, was Terminator Salvation.

Zombie are everywhere and are only gaining in popularity. Even my nephews (seven and five years old) love zombies and have ever since they were able to pronounce the word. And let's not forget my godson who has been a fan of The Walking Dead since he was one year old!

QUESTIONS: Do you like zombies?

What is your favorite zombie movie, book, and/or show?

Zombie me. Eek!
If you want a chance to win a signed copy of Touch of Death and some zombie candy to satisfy you after Halloween sugar craving, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more zombie goodness:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

RIP Teddy (A Haunting Poem)

This is my first time participating in the Write . . . Edit . . . Publish monthly bloghop and since October's theme is HAUNTING, I thought it would be fun to join now. 
My poem below isn't exactly scary, it's more silly, and since I joined nearly last minute I do not wish for any critiques on this. I only aim to entertain. :) 

Haunting:
adj
1. (of memories) poignant or persistent
2. poignantly sentimental; enchantingly or eerily evocative

NOTE: RIP Teddy came to me one day when I was taking a walk in my neighborhood. As I passed a house, I noticed a small teddy bear in pieces at the bottom of the driveway and it haunted my mind for the rest of walk. Before I knew it, a poem manifested in my mind about the poor little girl whose teddy bear lay broken on the edge of the road. I had to keep reciting the poem as I made my way home so I wouldn't lose it. Although this poem isn't about a scary incident, the teddy bear was a haunting image that I couldn't shake until I could get home to jot it down.

Here is that poem:


RIP Teddy
By
Chrys Fey

© Teddy bear in pieces on the road,
a little girl’s broken soul lies with his soft remains.
She loved him with all her heart,
but this is Teddy’s crime scene.

Oh, Teddy what happened to you?
What brought you to this horrible state?
Nothing can resuscitate your sweetness,
not even surgery can bring back your joy.

You died so carelessly, tragically
Will there ever be justice for your murder?
Oh, Teddy who is the culprit
a dog, a car, a brother?

The little girl finds you in the road,
tears of horror streaming down her cheeks.
She picks up your severed limbs,
and puts them in a cardboard coffin.

“Mommy, daddy . . . can we bury my beloved?”

I borrowed my mom's Boyds Bear for this picture.
He has a broken leg, lol

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TRICK OR TREAT: For a $1 donation to UNICEF you will receive a PDF of "Stories for Halloween”, a collection of 13 paranormal-romance and horror stories from 13 different authors just in time for Halloween! To find out about the authors involved go to Joy Kamen's Blog, the creator.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Writing About: War

War is a big topic in the last book of my supernatural-thriller series, so I want to share with you the steps you can take if you ever need to write about war.

10 STEPS:

1.      How does it start? War cannot just sprout out of nowhere. There has to be events that lead up to it. In my book, terror attacks and massacres force my fictional world into war. What could happen in your book?
See: Writing About: Fictional Terrorism
2.      After the devastating events occur and the prospect of war is hanging overhead, there should be an announcement that the country or world in your book is going into war. This should be done by someone in power, perhaps by the president.
See: Writing About: A President
3.      Next, a public call for soldiers and more civilians to enlist is also a good idea. One of your characters could be watching the president on the television or listening to him/her on the radio. Your character could consider joining and then enlist. If you take this active approach, you will have to go in depth to reveal what it is like to be soldier.


For Halloween many years ago I dressed up as a soldier
to honor our men and women veterans.
4.      If, for some reason, there is not enough soldiers to build a proper army, you can even have the president (or someone in power) ask for assistance from another country. I did this in my book and it was a very powerful moment.

5.      Once the army is together the preparations and evacuations should being. I gave these two things big importance in my book because the survival of my fictional world was thought to be unlikely, so civilian families, children, and the elderly all had to be evacuated. I also mentioned some of the things my characters did to prepare for the war such as stockpiling supplies and weapons.

6.     Training. This was a HUGE aspect in my book as most of the newly enlisted soldiers had never fought in a war before; most of them were fresh out of high school. For this part, I detailed how the soldiers learned to fight and use certain weapons.
See: Writing About: A Fight
Photo by Chrys Fey
7.      Battle Tactics. War consists of battle plans. My characters devoted a good amount of time planning out what would happen in battle. But I saved most of the details to surprise my readers later.
TIP: Research past wars to figure out battle plans your fictional army can do.
8.      War doesn’t stop while all of this is going on though. Keep the action up by writing about attacks, bombings, and other types of war-like events.
See: How to Create Action
9.      If the war in your book will bring your characters to hostile territory, you will have to describe the dangerous conditions, everything your characters do to survive, and what happens to your characters when the enemies get close.
TIP: A good movie to watch is Battle: Los Angeles.
10.   How does the war end? Do the good guys overpower the enemy, forcing them to surrender? Or will there be a battle to the death to find out who wins? The latter is the tactic I took and it was epic!


Stayed tuned for tips on how to write about a battle! Coming soon . . .



QUESTION: Would you be interested in reading a book about fictional war?


SHARE: Your steps to writing about war.


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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Character Interview / Memories of Murder by Yolanda Renee

With the help of Yolanda Renée – my guest today is Luke Williams aka Lucifer S Reynard, the antagonist of Memories of Murder. For the interview, we've traveled to Death Valley, by helicopter. It's night, a chill is in the air but Renée assures me I'll be glad for the coolness. She's right, we enter the cave, and the heat is overwhelming. The lower we go into the long tunnel lit by torches; fear begins to creep up my back.

Chrys: I'm not sure this is a good idea.

Renée: I tried to tell you, but you insisted on an audience with the Beast. Back out now and you'll regret it!

Shocked, I stop dead.

Chrys: Are you threatening me?

Renée: Me, heavens no, but if you don't go through with this, after getting his hopes up, after caressing his ego with the mere suggestion of an interview. Let's just say he doesn't take disappointment well!

Chrys: But I thought he was human, not the real thing, this isn't what I expected.

Renée: He's convinced he's the real thing; you want to be the one to tell him otherwise?

Chrys: This is too much; I mean the smell, the heat. Are we safe? Will we survive?

Renée: We'll, be fine. Just don't touch him. Give him a curtsey or bow, but don't put your hand out. And remember, when this is over its Palm Springs and the best spa in the world. I promise.

So, with that pledge in my head, I follow her to the liar of the Beast.

Lucifer is sitting on a thrown. An elaborate cast iron chair with what looks like gold and jewels embedded in a crown detailed into the chair, above his head. The King of the Underworld watches as we approach. The smell is horrendous, sulfur and the smell of death. I try not to breathe through my nose. He does not stand, only watches with amusement. I can see it dancing in his red eyes.

Renée introduces us and I bow, just slightly. He grins and I see sharply pointed white teeth. He's wearing a red cloak and his golden horns are, well, magnificent. I was hoping to get a glimpse of the dragon tattoo that is supposed to cover his entire body, but Renée informed me he'd also be naked, and it was a sight I would not want in my memory banks.

Chrys: Thank you for meeting me Mr. uh . . . .

Lucifer: Master is fine. I'm told you have some questions for me. I'm honored. Please sit.

I can't bring myself to call him Master, but take a seat on the pillows. The ones furthest from him, and Renée sits beside me.

Chrys: Thank you for allowing this interview. I just have a few questions.

Lucifer: Proceed. What do the people above want to know about me?

Chrys: Can you share a secret that is not revealed in the book?

He looks thoughtful for a moment and then smiles.

Lucifer: I can tell you that I met my Angel, long before that idiot Detective did, even before her dead husband.

Chrys: Really, can you give us some details of the meeting?

Lucifer: It was at the University of Washington in Seattle. Sarah was attending an Alice Cooper concert with a group of friends. I tried to get close, but the man with her wouldn't leave her alone, not for an instant. I wanted to take her that night, but never found an opportunity and had to leave town the next day.

I looked at Renée. She nods her head in confirmation.

Chrys: Wow, fantastic. Okay, my next question. What do people notice first about you?

Lucifer: Whatever I decide that they should.

At first I was confused, and then remembered the details from the book.

Chrys: I see, because you're a master of disguise, of course. Sorry, stupid question. Okay how about this, if you could change anything about your life what would it be?

He didn't hesitate.

Lucifer: My mother would be sitting here with me, on my right. She trained me and to see her proud of my success, would be what I'd change!

Chrys: Really, you think . . .

Renée reached out and stopped me. I was getting ready to point out that living in hell wasn't a success, and she should be here, as she was also dead, but thought better of it after Renée's warning.

Chrys: Sorry, lost my train of thought. What is the one physical attribute you're proud of?

Lucifer: I am perfection – I need not choose just one.

I just smile. He is so not perfect, he's creepy, horrifying actually.

Chrys: What's the worst thing you've ever done, and why?

Lucifer: Everything I do is with purpose – there is no worst! But the most fun was when I killed the man who murdered my mother. His torture was long, slow, and delicious. I ate parts of him while he watched.

Oh God. Oh God. Are we really going to get out of this alive? I start to fidget, looking for a quick escape. I looked at Renée. She grabs my hand, and squeezes. I regain my composure.

Renee: Go on Chrys, what other questions do you have for our host?

I take a deep breath and almost pass out, but gather my senses. Now all I want to do is get this over and run!

Chrys: Mr. I mean, Master …

I freeze, I can't believe I just said that, but swallow and go on.

Chrys: What are you most afraid of?

He is amused, watching me closely he says loudly in his deep baritone voice.

Lucifer: I fear nothing!

Chrys: Then, what makes you laugh out loud?

Lucifer: Fear, and sheer terror, but only when viewed in the eyes of others. Exactly what I saw in your eyes just moments ago.

He laughs, and I want to cover my ears. I smile until my teeth hurt and pretend to laugh along with him. I want to go home!

When he finally stops the caterwauling, I continue.

Chrys: What is it that you most dislike?

Lucifer: Stupidity!

He stomps his foot.

Lucifer: Unadulterated stupidity, oh and politicians! Although, they are my favorite torture toys.

He laughs again. Renée and I both pretend to laugh with him. She sends me a signal to wrap it up. I nod.

Lucifer: Wonderful, I've not laughed since Ester, what else do you have for me?

Chrys: Tell me, what is your most treasured possession?

Lucifer: I own the world – or I will soon. I possess all. But a treasure, my angel, my love, my Sarah! One day she will sit here, on my left.

Chrys: Which living person do you most despise?

He growls, angered by the question.

Lucifer: That simpleton, Detective Steven Quaid – he tries my patience. He thinks he's won, but you cannot defeat the Beast! One day soon, he'll learn his place.

He moves toward us, drops his cape to the ground and stands there fully naked, his hands on his waist, his stance threatening.

Lucifer: Now be gone, I've evil to wrought!

Chrys: Thank you for the interview!

I shout it over my shoulder as we walk fast, very fast, out of the cavern and back into the tunnel. We run back to the helicopter, and I ask Renée one final question.

Chrys: He's chained, why?

She shakes her head and sighs deeply.

Renee: He thinks he's the devil. Nowhere do I say he is. His punishment is an eternity in hell, where he's always dreamed of being – a hell of his own making.

Chrys: Thank God!

That weekend was one of the most frightening and relaxing of my life; Renée came through on her promise for that spa experience.

Title: Memories of Murder
Author: Yolanda Renée
Series: Detective Quaid Mysteries #2
Genre: Romantic-Thriller
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Released: October 3rd 2013

BLURB:
Decades ago, the seeds were planted. Today, dark, fathomless eyes rake the image before him. 

One final task and the transformation is complete. Steady fingers screw intricately carved horns on each side of a stiff brow, and a gargoyle suitable for Notre Dame scowls from the smokey mirror in satisfaction. A jagged smile rips through his smooth, hairless face, and inked, reptilian scales caress his naked body. A laugh of hideous resonance emanates from his gut as the demons of hell welcome Lucifer into their fold. 

In a dungeon-like chamber, his Lilith awaits. The kidnapped daughter of a nun, groomed to fit the final piece in the complex puzzle for world domination. Will Lucifer marry his bride, on the summer solstice? 

Only two things stand in his way. His greed... 


...and Detective Steven Quaid.

BOOK LINKS:

BIO: 
An adventurous spirit took Yolanda Renée to Alaska where she hiked the Brooks Range, traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and learned to sleep under the midnight sun.

She claims her vivid imagination as a blessing, a habit, a hobby, a calling and sometimes a curse.

Renée now resides in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, and Boston terrier, Patches.

AUTHOR LINKS:


Thank you Renée for an experience I will never forget!


QUESTION: What did you think of her character interview?


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Plagiarism is NOT Writing!

Plagiarism is the act of stealing someone else's written words and passing them off as your own. Copyright ensures that what you write is safe and legally yours if someone tries to steal it. You could fill out an application to copyright a specific work, but there is a rule that says whatever you have written on paper (even on a napkin), and on the computer is protected by copyright.

No writer should ever steal another writer’s work!

It is okay if you get an idea for a story while reading another book. For example: you’re reading a romance between a vampire and a mortal *coughs* and you suddenly get a marvelous new concept for a paranormal romance involving a vampire and a mortal. That is fine! Just about every writer has thought of a new story this way, and you can use an idea you get while reading another book, but you have to make it your own. You must create your own plot, characters, and write in your own voice. 

Using the same name as a character in a book you’ve read is also okay. For example: you're reading a western-romance and you love the name Colt. You can use the name Colt for one of your characters but if you do, it would be smart to make your character vastly different. (New hair color, eye color, personality, and even career.) You don’t want to make it look like you kidnapped someone else's character for your own story.
TIP #1: Borrowing a character’s name only works if the name is ordinary. If you use the name Legolas or Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings, you’ll have a problem as these names are unique. Try to create your own instead. 
TIP #2: Only use one part of a character’s name. For example: say you like the last name Potter. You can certainly use it for a character in your book, but using Harry too wouldn’t be a good idea as that name combo is already legendary.

Along the line of stealing actual words, it is never a good idea! You may admire a writer's descriptive paragraph, and wish you had written it, but you cannot take it for your own book just because you're writing about a similar setting or moment. There are no shortcuts in writing! You always have to write your own descriptive paragraphs.

You can allow yourself to be inspired by a writer's words though. When I read this metaphor: “potato chip shards” (from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn . . . my book review is coming in 2 weeks!) my brain tingled. I thought that metaphor was incredibly vivid and creative. For my own writing, however, I'd find an alternative word for "shards" or use another type of chip. 

One of my readers a while back had asked a question regarding plagiarism and blog titles so I wanted to highlight that here for anyone else who may be wondering the same thing:

Having the same name for a post, like "Protagonist VS Antagonist", is entirely fine because a title is not copyrighted. Many authors have the same book titles, but the story is different. So you could use "Protagonist VS Antagonist" as a title as long as the content is not identical to mine. And if you do want to include a part of another blogger's post in yours, always use quotation marks and cite them, just as you would with a research paper.
TIP #3: If you are afraid something isn’t legal in regards to writing and/or blogging, just don’t do it and stay on the safe side.

QUESTION: Have you ever been the victim of plagiarism?


To find out more about Copyright go here: http://www.copyright.gov/


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Your Time Trip Today Blogfest and Cover Reveal

I’m glad you’re here for the Time Trip Blog Fest hosted by PK Hrezo for her indie debut Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc., a NA book that's one part sci-fi, one part romance, and one part rock-n-roll. I don’t want to delay your travel plans any longer so here is the stunning cover:

Title: Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc.
Author: PK Hrezo
Genre: NA Sci-fi Romance
Publishing: Indie
Official Release Date: 11/12/13
Will be Available on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords

BLURB:
Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated; a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. We’re a family owned and operated business with one hundred years of experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.

Anxious to attend some special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?

You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply

Contact us via phone or Web conferencing directly from our site. Our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip.


We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.

Book Link:

BIO: 
PK Hrezo is a native Floridian whose life could easily be a Jimmy Buffet song. She shares her home with her firefighter husband and their two children. When not creating characters and their worlds, PK can be found at her other job of rearranging passenger’s itineraries for a major international airline. The only hobbies she loves more than traveling are reading, writing, and music, and when the four are combined she exists in total bliss.  

Author Links: 


BLOG FEST QUESTION: If you could walk into Butterman (Time) Travel, where and when would you book your time trip to, and why?

I thought of going to Europe during the Middle Ages. I pondered going to Concord, Massachusetts in 1848 when Louisa May Alcott wrote her first story, hoping I’d bump into her. I even mulled over going to Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 when the Salem Witch trails began. But none of those spoke to me, so I searched my thoughts and finally came up with the perfect answer.

MY ANSWER: I would want to take a time trip to the days before all my life struggles transpired; before all my health issues, before my battle to get a diploma, before my spine surgery at fifteen, before I learned about heartache, bullying, fear, and loneliness.

I would want to go back to the time when I thought washing dishes was fun.


When Jell-o was the best dessert in the world!


When I could stuff my face with food and didn’t care what others thought.


When I smiled as big as I could and didn’t care if I looked like a psycho. :D


When I ate corn like a beaver. And wore the same pink sweater all the time.


When making and eating salad was fun! When I didn’t care I had a dorky hair cut. When I could wear weird dresses and think they were pretty.


When I did karate to the Nutcracker Ballet and didn’t care if my siblings thought I was a nerd. (I’m sure they did.)


When all I needed to entertain myself were my dad’s military gloves.


I would like to witness this time of my life so I can make armor out of my innocence to protect me against my future struggles.


QUESTION: If you could take a time trip where/when would you go? 


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Writing About: A President

FYI: This is a literature post for writers who are interested in writing about a fictional president. This is not a political post. Please keep that in mind. Thank you!
In chapter twenty of my final supernatural-thriller, I introduce a new character: the President of the United States of America. And while I was creating this powerful character, I realized the most difficult character a writer could EVER create is a president. Being a president is the toughest job any person could have and trying to mimic that, even in fiction, is far from easy!

Who is Tomas? Probably not what you think. ;)
Here are three options you can use to help you create a president: 
1.   You could create an evil president. 
To achieve this you would have to describe a mean, narcissistic personality and how this president does things potentially dangerous to the citizens of the country he/she rules. The president could relish in his/her power in a godlike manner, have a thirst for revenge that could include killing, and/or want to secretly bring down the country. Make sure to reveal the state of the country to show the impact of his/her reign.

2.   The other option is to create your ideal president. 
What type of qualities would you like to see in a president? What issues would you want him/her to support? While this method takes after your opinion, it would be wise to consider showing the president in a different light for the sake of remaining  neutral. You can do this by including a character who may not agree with everything your fictional president does in your book.
3.   Or you could try to fashion a president most people could be satisfied with. 
This is by far the trickiest method and the one I took. To do this, you will have to compile a list of traits that others look for in a president and combine as many of them as you can. Trying to create a president everyone can be happy is very well impossible, but the odds of more people liking that fictional president is a bit greater if that is your goal.
Next you will have to complete a character profile. I included gender and race because even though I would like to say that these details don’t matter, it is obvious when it comes to a president (even now-a-days) it does. That doesn’t mean you can’t use whatever gender/race you want, you certainly can! It's you're book!
·         Name:
·         Age:
·         Gender:
·         Race:
·         Party:
·         Position on Issues:
·         Personality:
Don't forget to also consider what he/she would look like as you would with any other character. Just because they are presidential doesn't mean you can't reveal what eye color they have.
Bring Characters to Life!
And if your president has a major role instead of a small role then you'll have to go even more in-depth while creating him/her. Does your evil president chew cinnamon gum like a camel? Does your honorable president like sugar in his coffee? Does she wear a fancy red scarf every day? 
Characters Make a Book
So who is Tomas, you ask?

Here he is:
He's my families cat! :P
I didn't have pictures for this post, so I improvised. 

QUESTIONS: 

1. Have you created a presidential character? How did you do it?

2. Which type of presidential character would you be more interested in reading or writing about: an evil president or an honorable president?


REMINDER: This isn’t a political post, so any comments bashing past presidents or the current president will be deleted. Keep it nice and clean. Thank you!



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