Monday, January 28, 2013

Rubber Room


In my mind I’m in a facility that’s on constant lock down, staring down a long hallway. A row of gunmetal gray doors lines the powder blue walls.

Somebody lets out a shattering wail of a scream.

My heart squeezes at the broken sound, cracked open and peeled back. It’s raw, like an exposed nerve shivering from so much hurt.

The tone falters into whimpers.

I glance over my shoulder.

Two staff members enters the day room to my far right.

The heavy door clicks shut.

Through the thick glass covering the front of the room, I can see them approaching the guy who is making those heart wrenching sounds.

Another scream splits the stale, artificial air.

Anger this time.

A wooden chair smacks the glass but doesn’t break it, causing me to flinch.

Crashing noises seeps out of the room.

The two male staff members are scrambling to take down the irritable patient, but he’s putting up a good fight.

A piercing buzzer goes off.

It squeals throughout the facility.

Code red!

The horrible sound hurts my ears. I stick my fingers in them and push my back against the wall.

Doors across the room fling open and a dozen workers who are all male storms in, straight to the day room . . . all but one.

The buzzing noise stops.

He breaks from the pack and heads towards me. His hazel eyes lock onto mine. They’re  kind, but I note a determination in his stride and the way he holds his broad shoulders in a straight, confident manner.

I shrink back, wondering what he wants from me.

Rebekkah,” he says, stopping in front of me, “I need you to go to the last room.” He points to the left.

Huh?” I look up at him, confused, trying to ignore the hollering coming from the other room.

When he bends his head down to look at me, his dark brown bangs fall into his eyes, curtaining them. “There’s a room prepared for you.”

Why would there be a room for me?” I ask.

He sweeps his bangs out of his face to look at me closely. The corner of his eyes crinkles. “You’ve been stressed out lately,” he says, “and frankly, we think you might be losing your marbles. ”

Wow.

Don’t sugar coat it.

Thanks.

I stand there, staring at him.

What can I say to that? He has a valid point. I have been overwhelmed, dealing with a full-time job that’s been chaotic lately because we’re in the busy season. I also been working on launching my second book in my YA paranormal series, not to mention other things life has been throwing at me.

C’mon.” He gently takes my elbow and steers me down the hall. “I’ll take you to your room.”

Without protest I allow him to guide me, thinking it might not be so bad to chill out for a while in a nice comfy room. Maybe there will be a bookshelf full of wonderful books I can read.

But when we stop in front of the room, I notice the door has an observation port so a person from the outside can look in. There are also metal secure locks and bolts on the door.

My heart drops.

He opens the door and swings it open. I lean forward and peek inside, feeling the blood drain from my face.

There are cushions lining the walls that look to be made out of leather, and the floor is padded as well. The padding looks to be four inches deep.

I step away, forcing the bile back down my throat.

A strong hand clamps down on my arm.

It’s for the best,” he tells me.

Before I can make a move, he shoves me foward and slams the door shut. A series of clicks follows.

Somebody shouts, “Lights out!”

And I’m shut into complete darkness.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Interview With Author Magen McMinimy

Today I have Magen McMinimy here to tell us about her book called Immortal Blood. But before we start, I have to apologize for the small text. My computer is being weird, and I tried for over two flippin' hours to fix it, and it still came out small. So if your eyes are like mine--not so good--be prepared to squint a little. But don't allow that to deter you from reading this interview. You don't want to miss out on getting to know this wonderful author. 



Hi, Magen. Why don't you make yourself comfortable. I just made some French press coffee. Would you'd like some? Or if you don't drink coffee, I can make some tea. I also made some yummy homemade apple turnovers. There's a magical ingredient in it that makes the calories and fat content fall out with every bite.

Pretty, cool, huh?

--That would be amazing no calorie turnovers sound just perfect. LOL.

So why don't you tell us about yourself and when did you start writing stories?

--you’re not starting out easy are you? lol. Ok well, I’m a California girl born and raised though I now live in a smaller town in North Idaho and I love it! I’m married to a sweet man and I love it here. In 2010 I suffered a few medical issues that proved to make working a regular job very difficult. In 2011 I was determined to be legally blind, and thus my writing career began. I was home, reading and falling in love with the world of books again. I thought as I finished multiple paranormal series . . . what would I have done in the situations these characters were thrown into? How would I have liked to have seen the series progress, and was it different? So I took a leap and started writing my first book. The interesting thing was I never planned to publish it but my husband pushed and I published my first book, BLOOD CLAIM in August 2011.



What is Immortal Blood about, and how did you come up with the idea?

--Immortal Blood follows Bain, one of five Immortal Fae Warriors fighting to protect the human race from the Dark Fae. As he tracks a Dark Fae Luck Eater who has been attacking humans, Bain finds another victim in our heroine Isabelle; A feisty, independent woman who doesn’t believe in the world of the paranormal. Immortal Blood is the story of Bain protecting Isabelle while introducing her to a world of magic, legend and myth and of course it’s about the relationship that forms between the two of them.



Who is your favorite character and why?

--Oh I love them all, but naturally I have a soft spot for my arrogant hero, Bain.


What was the hardest part about writing this book?

--I wanted this book to be different; I wanted to create a totally new world and strong mythical creatures so I spent a good amount of time researching and studying everything I could get my hands on that referenced Fae legend.


How long did it take you to write it?

--I’ve been playing around with this concept for over a year now. I was still working on the final book of my Half-Blood Princess Series while outlining and creating the characters for Immortal Blood.


What is your favorite scene in this story and why? If you have more than one favorite, then just pick one.

--Oh man that is so hard, naturally I want to say the big love scene, but I think it might be Isabelle and Bain’s first real interaction. I love this scene because you get a good peak at what the two of them are like and you get to see Isabelle (Izzy) challenge Bain. (something he’s not used to women doing to him ;) )

Here’s the Scene if you want to share it:

. . . Izzy’s eyes widened a fraction as they drifted to catch Bain’s gaze; the violet glow of them almost hypnotizing her, that was until he spoke.

F***,” the brightness of his eyes intensified as he started a sting of cursing at her. “Why is it always f***ing vampires? You humans need to expand your horizons; I’m tired of being called a God damned vampire.”

Izzy arched her brows at that, her spine straightening from its semi huddled position that fear had frozen it in. Anger was quickly taking its place and was suddenly heating her veins. He didn’t need to curse at her, what the hell was she supposed to think? He had freaking wings and fangs.

Well excuse the hell out of me,” she shot out at him, “you have f***ing fangs and wings and you are clearly not human, my mind is a little muddled after you threw me a good twenty feet, attacked my date and flew me God only knows how far from the club and my car! Where I’d had a nice time and was enjoying the perks of my date.”


I read in your bio that you're fascinated with the paranormal world, so am I. What are you most curious about when it comes to the unknown?

--I just love the mystery of it all. And as an author I’m intrigued and inspired by the amount of my own crazy ideas I can put into my writing; there are no real rules.

I remember reading a review of my first book where the reviewer commented that they didn’t think my premise for the existence of vampires was believable and all I could do was smile and think . . . who was he to say that it wasn’t believable? Who really knows? That’s what I love. Like I said mystery.


Now, for some off-the-wall-brain-scattering questions.


If you could be a paranormal being, what would you be?

--Hmmm, a year ago I would have said a vampire. Now I would say a shifter where on a whim I could become anything I wanted.


Have you ever had anything unexplained happen to you before? If so, what?

--No not really, sadly my life has been pretty boring as far as the paranormal goes.


Do you believe in Faeries?

--I believe in a lot of things *grinning like the Cheshire cat* just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist..

If you found an ancient Ouija board, would you play with it?

--No way. There are two things that truly freak me out, that is demons and ghosts . . . oh and creepy little kids in horror movies!

If you were offered immortality and can grant one other person immortality as well, would you?

--The truth is I doubt I could take it if I couldn’t take my family with me. There are a few key people in my life that I could not imagine living without my husband of course, my parents and my sister and those people are the bare minimum.

Okay, back to being serious.

I understand Immortal Blood to be the first book in a series. When will the next book be out?

--I don’t know exactly. If I can keep up with the goals I have for my writing I would guess sometime late summer 2013.


Where can people find your book?

It’s available for the Kindle at

The Print addition will be available at amazon soon and is available now through Createspace at https://www.createspace.com/4046944



Do you have anything else you'd like to say or add to this interview?

--Just a big thank you, it’s been fun!


Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me. I enjoyed it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Interview With Author L.M. David


Hi L.M. Thanks for stopping by and chatting with me. Would you like some coffee or tea? I just made homemade cinnamon rolls if you would like one. They're special because not only are they extremely yummy, but every time you bite into one the calories and fat content evaporates, so you can eat as many as you want and not gain weight.

Why don't you make yourself at home on my comfy couch and tell me a little bit about yourself, and when did you started writing stories?

I live in the San Fernando Valley and, until a few years ago, worked as a legal assistant in a law firm doing contract law. I returned to school to do insurance billing and coding, completing the course last year. I started writing in the ninth grade, mostly poetry. In tenth grade, I met an individual who wrote stories and got caught up in the excitement of what she was doing. By the eleventh grade, the two of us had created a sci-fi world and had several hand written book – and typed books – all of which I still have. When she moved away, I lost interest in writing for a long time. Around 2003, I dusted off my books and thought, why not get serious about this. And I did. One day, now that I have her permission to work with the sci-fi stories of old as my own, those may be cleaned up and set out for consideration.

Touched is the first book in The Hunter Legacy series. Can you tell me what it's about and how you came up with this story?

It’s about a vampire (I hear you guys groaning out there) who really isn’t the typical castle owning variety. This is set in modern society, the vampires are hiding their ‘difference’ from humans and this vampire is there to make sure mortals never find out about them. He’s the law in the western half of the US and, to keep tabs on his people, he works as a homicide detective. I wanted this to be a story where love is not the main issue and set out to make the two sparring partners instead of fall in bed, lovers at first sight.

What makes this book different from other books out there with vampires in it?

Let’s see, the vampires in Touched: The Hunter Legacy have real issues. The main character, Preston, is rich, gorgeous but miserable, and makes those around him the same way. And his love interest, Lindsey, has issues of her own and when they get together, it’s not love…more like a boxing match where you have to wait and see who comes out the victor. There’s also an albino vampire two shades into insanity and a shape-shifter which is considered a Stone Age version of the modern day vampire, which means he is stronger, meaner and definitely evil. You don’t hear about that sort of thing every day.

How long did it take you to write it?

From start to edits within a Prose writing group, two beta readers and completion, six months.

Who is your favorite character and why?

Without doubt, Preston. He can hold a grudge for eternity and tick off people in a heartbeat. Preston’s rich, gorgeous, and charismatic yet when it comes to relationships, he crashes and burns. None of his former flings have anything nice to say about him except a select few but even they have issues with Preston. He’s wonderful yet awful at the same time and such a cool character to write about.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

The sex scene – I still blush when reading those.

Have you ever experienced writer's block? If so, what did you do to overcome it?

Yes, I have. And to get rid of it, I either do a flash fiction or divert my attention to something else. If that doesn’t work, I read.

What is your favorite book?

That’s easy, Raphael by D.B. Reynolds. She is a fantastic writer and her stories are really well done.

Okay, now for some quirky questions.


If a hot vampire came up to you and offered you immortality, would you take it?

That depends if he’s just offering me immortality or offering me immortality with him as an extra added attraction. If it’s life forever with him, I’d jump in with both feet.

What would you do if you discovered vampires do exist among us?

I would be all right with the concept as long as they aren’t the killer vampire types and more like in the HBO show True Blood.

If you could be any character in a book, who would it be and why?

That’s a tough one. I guess it would be Cynthia in the series done by D.B. Reynolds. She is stubborn, opinionated, a kick butt private investigator and she sleeps with a master vampire whenever she wants.

Have you ever had a paranormal experience before? If so, what?

Yes. Before moving to California, I lived in a two story house in New Jersey. My room was on the second floor and from time to time, I heard someone walking up the stairs yet when I looked to see if there was someone there, the staircase was empty. Now, I smell things that shouldn’t be there. Like when I am typing late at night, I smell perfume or cigarette smoke. Not only am I a non-smoker but the thought of wearing perfume while typing at a computer late at night isn’t something I would do, lol.

If you could stay in Dracula's castle for one night, would you?

Until I learned about the land sliding away from the foundation and uprooting bones, I would have said yes. Now, not so sure.

Now, back to being serious.


When will your next book be out?

I have a book coming out in April, 2013 called Psy-V Project, which has nothing to do with Touched: The Hunter Legacy series. The sequel to Touched, called The Watcher, was submitted to the publisher. She has recently informed me that The Watcher has been accepted. You see, when pitching Touched, I failed to mention it was part of a trilogy, thus making it necessary to submit the other two remaining parts of the trilogy independent of the first book. I still haven’t pitched that one to her but will.

How many books will be in this series?

Three. If Preston and Lindsey, or the characters in Touched gains a fan base, then I would continue it but not as part of the trilogy. I love writing about Lindsey and Preston, and hope to keep the two going as long as I can.

Do you have any advice to give about writing a book?

Yes, never give up. If writing is what you love do to, and are obsessed with it, like me, then aim for that finish line and go for it. When I pitched Touched to agents, all turned me down. I regrouped by taking a hard look at my query letter, at the book blurb and the synopsis, cleaned them up and resubmitted to a few big name publishers. They turned me down but this time, I had some input as to how I could improve my chances of being accepted. I worked my query letter again, cleaned up the synopsis and blurb, resubmitted it and found a publisher. Persistence, and patience, will pay off it you keep at it. I am told that 99% fail at becoming published because they give up and I wanted to be in the 1% that didn’t.

Do you have anything else you'd like to say?

Can I have another one of those cinnamon rolls?

Yes, of course.

*gives her another warm cinnamon roll*

Thanks again for stopping by. I enjoyed chatting you up.



Friday, January 18, 2013

Author Feature

I love meeting authors and today I have L.M. David's book cover, blurb, and her links to share with you. She's the author of Touched: Book One in The Hunter Legacy series. On Monday she's going to stop by to chat with me about her book, herself, writing, and she'll even answer some zany questions I'm going to throw at her. But for now, take a looksy at her cover, blurb, and links where you can find her and buy her book.


Here is the blurb:


Preston Ciora has ruled over the Western Vampyre clans for centuries, though not by his choice. He works the streets as a homicide detective by day. At night he dishes out justice within the vampyre community.

Nine hundred years since his sire and life-mate died, Preston remains emotionally scarred and alone.

A series of grisly murders rattles those under his protection and threatens to expose his ilk to the mortal world. All evidence points to a delusional vampyre who is in league with an ancient shape-shifter—who has an agenda of his own.

To make matters worse, a strange woman tells Preston he will find love in the arms of a fire-breathing hellion named Lindsey. Despite his efforts to defy the foretelling, Preston finds himself embroiled in a tense war to win her heart—a battle he is intent on losing.


Here are her links:

lmdavid54.wordpress.com




Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.”--Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, January 14, 2013

COVER REVEAL: DARK SPIRITS

So here it is you guys!

Here's the cover to Dark Spirits. The only thing missing is "A BEYOND THE EYES NOVEL" in small letters on the front. But this is pretty much it.

What do you think?

I like it because it has a YA feel to it and is keeping to the theme.

I've already received a testimony on Dark Spirits from a wonderful author who read the ARC. Here's what she said:

Even more thrilling than the first. This is a captivating series you won’t put down and will leave you hungry for more.”–Felicia Tatum, author of The White Aura







Stephanie Flint is the cover artist. Her web address is:

http://www.sbibbphoto.com

She's wonderful to work with.


Have a good week!



Friday, January 11, 2013

How To Deal With Bad Reviews


As an artist, it's inevitable that eventually somebody won't like your work. It's just the way it is. Every artist has been trashed not once, not twice, but repeatedly.

So how do they deal with it?

I know a lot of them don't bother reading their reviews. But how did they handle it when they started out?

That's what I want to know.

I remember reading an article after Stephaine Meyer's book Twilight became a huge success. It had Stephen King in it, slamming Stephanie's poor writing abilities.

I wonder if she cried when she read it.

I know I would.

I realize being an artist you have to have thick skin and roll with the punches, but we're human and even the thickest layer of skin can be penetrated.

My debut book Beyond the Eyes have mostly received good to outstanding reviews, which makes me happy. In fact, the last few remarkable reviews were kind enough to defend why my main character Paige is the way she is. They got it and totally understood her, and her relationship with Nathan. However, I have received a few not-so-good reviews to where they absolutely can't stand Paige. Some of them were downright ruthless.

Did I cry?

No.

Did it bother me?

Hell, ya. But honestly, I do appreciate their review and honesty.

I've read several times from avid readers that if they see a book with nothing but 5 star reviews, it makes them suspicious about the integrity of the reviews.

When I recently received a 2 star review that zinged me and my book, I was told by a reader whom I didn't even know, not to worry about it. She told me that a bad review never sways her from not buying a book or watching a movie she feels she might enjoy. And nine times out of ten, she likes it.

That made me feel good.

What also helped me through it was after that review, I received a 5 star one, totally defending Paige and Nathan, like the other two 5 star reviews before hers.

It made my day.

But truthfully, I'm still scared though. I don't want people to hate my book(s).When they do, I kind of feel like I've let them down. However, I know I can't please everyone, and the world would be boring if everybody had the same opinion.

So how do I deal with bad reviews?

The following is a list I go through in my mind, tell myself and do to help me get through it . . .

  1. All authors get bad reviews. Look at how many scathing reviews Amanda Hockings and Stephanie Meyers received and how successful they are.
  2. Reread all the good reviews I have received.
  3. I have fans of this series. Fans!
  4. I have people chomping at the bit to read Dark Spirits (the next book in my series).
  5. I have people who I don't even know come up to me in public, telling me how much they love Beyond the Eyes.
  6. Keep writing because it makes you happy and entertains you.
  7. Not everybody is going to like your books. Try not to focus on the bad. Instead, focus on the good (refer to all of the above).
  8. Writing a book is a huge accomplishment. You should be proud of yourself for it.

That's pretty much it.

Dark Spirits will be out hopefully next month and right now I have a couple of wonderful authors reading the ARC.

I'm not going to lie, I'm nervous as hell.

Only two other people have read Dark Spirits: my critique partner and editor. They liked it a lot, but my stomach is still in a knot. I just hope the authors like it because if they do, I know I'm on the right track.

Yeah, their opinion shouldn't matter, however, in this particular situation it does. The reason being, if they do, then they're going to do a testimony for me and will put a review out as well. So fingers and piggies crossed they like Dark Spirits. If not . . . well, I'll have to continuously excise number one, six, and eight.

Update: One of the authors reading Dark Spirits just emailed me. She said she couldn't put it down and loved it! She wants me to hurry up with the third book (The Devil's Third) so she can read it.

Yay!

That just made my Friday. :D



Monday, January 7, 2013

A Smell From The Beyond


Do you guys believe that sometimes spirits can alert you to their presence by using a certain smell?

When my great-grandpa was alive, he used to smoke a pipe with cherry tobacco in it. After he died, sometimes the room we were in would fill with the smell of cherry tobacco. The same thing with my grandpa Walt. When he was alive, he was an alcoholic. After he died, sometimes we'd smell alcohol. And it wasn't like this faint smell where we would question it. No. It was so strong, the room or car would smell like a brewery.

Back to my great-grandpa.

I've told this story in a post before, but I'm sure a lot of you haven't read it since it's an old post. When I was growing up, I told some of my friends about my great-grandpa's spirit visiting us. Well, my friend James laughed at me. That was until he experienced it first hand. He was at my house one night when our living room filled with the smell of cherry tobacco. James was totally shock. I pointed at him and said, “See! I told you so.” Afterwards, he went home, and his mom yelled at him because she could smell the scent on him and thought he was smoking.

He never laughed at me again.

Saturday night Kevin and I had some friends over. While we were playing Monopoly, Kevin sniffed the air and said, “Do you guys smell that? It smells like cherry tobacco in here?” Our friend Curt nodded. “I sure do,” he answered. I smelled it as well. What's weird is, the last time I had smelled it was after Mom died, almost two years ago. Well, for six months now, my sister and I haven't been talking, and we finally made up on Saturday afternoon when she realized she had misunderstood a situation involving me. Also, on Saturday afternoon, my great-aunt posted on my Facebook wall about her father (great-grandpa), what his last advice was to her, and that he would have loved me very much. And then, that night he showed up.

How weird is that?

I wonder why?

I've always felt connected to him, even though he died shortly after I was born.

So, back to my question. Do you believe spirits can alert us to their presence by using a certain smell?


Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Review-The White Aura by Felicia Tatum

I would say The White Aura is a YA urban fantasy novel.
The White Aura

I give this book 5 Stars *****


I love the cover and title of this book. Felicia’s cover artist did an awesome job. I had wondered why Felicia would call her debut book The White Aura, but when I read it I discovered why, and it was perfect.

The White Aura is written in two POV (points-of-views)–the main character Olivia Whitehead and her love interest, Scott Tabors.

The reason why I gave this book five stars is because of the story. For me as a reader, I want a good tale. I don’t care if the book is written by a famous author or not. If the story isn’t good, then it’s a deal breaker for me. Even if the writing is superb. Well, The White Aura floats my boat as my mom would say. Felicia came up with a good idea, and I’m glad she decided to share it with the world.

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Whitehead is just an average teen. She likes to hangout with her best friend Juniper, have sleepovers, do makeovers, go shopping and giggles about stupid stuff. But Olivia has a secret–she’s been having dreams about a hot guy she calls Mr. Sexy. The dreams are so realistic, she begins to wonder if this guy is for real or if she’s losing her marbles.

And then there’s Aiden. He’s a jock at her school and so gorgeous that every girl wants to date him. At the beginning of this story Olivia can’t stand him, even though Aiden shows some interest in her. Eventually, though, Aiden wins her over, and she can’t deny how attracted she is toward him.

Scott Tabors is Mr. Sexy. He’s a sorcerer who has many powers and one of them is dream walking, which he uses to spend time with Olivia while she’s asleep.

Now you’d think that would be creepy, right? Some magical dude invading your dreams. Well, it doesn’t hurt that he’s hot and Olivia is his heart mate–somebody he’s suppose to be with for the rest of his life.

Scott wants to meet Olivia in person, but there’s a curse on his family. If Olivia falls in love with him before she turns eighteen, she’ll die. So he visits Olivia in her slumber and tries to patiently wait for the day when he can be with her during their waking hours.

Things start progressing when an evil and powerful sorcerer sets his sights on Olivia. He wants to claim her as his own and will stop at nothing to possess her.

Something is happening to Olivia. She’s changing, and she doesn’t know what the hell is wrong with her. She tries to tell her parents, who are hardly ever home and have jobs she’s not clear about. Her parents know something, but they won’t tell her. They avoid the questions she throws at them, which frustrates her even more.

As a reader, I love to be surprised, and how Scott finds out about this malicious sorcerer, shocked me. I had to smile at Felicia’s cleverness. Not many books draw a reaction out of me like that and hers did.

When Scott discovers what’s going on, he does everything in his power to protect Olivia. But despite his abilities, Olivia is still vulnerable to this wicked being. So Scott is in a sticky situation where if he swoops in and saves Olivia, she’ll die because of his family curse. But if he doesn’t, her fate might be worse than death.

This book is a quick and easy read. It leaves you hanging to where you have to read the next book. I for one will be reading the next book in this series, and I’m looking forward to it.