Wednesday, May 4, 2016

IWSG & Ten Pieces of Speculative Fiction You Don't Want to Miss

Are you excited today? I'm back!!! That's right. My vacation away from blogland is over. Shall I tell you what transpired in my corner of the world while I was away?

A little of this:


And a little of this:


And a little of this:


And some of this:


LOTS of this:


Even a touch of this:


And FINALLY this:


But not much of this:


Or at least, not as much as I'd have liked. Guess I was inspired to take that blogging break, eh?

SO on the quick and exciting end of the spectrum, yesterday was the big bad release day for

(Because waiting until later would just be silly.)

I contributed THE MIRROR PEOPLE to this anthology: Jak Ralston leads an ordinary life. Home, work, church. Repeat. Unremarkable in every way, except for one. Every day Jak stares into the eyes of a serial killer.

My review of the anthology:

5 STARS Rarely have I enjoyed an anthology this much. It engaged, took me to new places, and left me pondering. With most anthologies, I find myself skimming through some stories to get to the next. Not so in this case. Each stood on its own... (Read more)

It's the crazy times in life that make us appreciate the good. I'm super grateful for the outpouring of love I've seen over the last month, and though I'm frantic about writing deadlines, I feel solid in ways too innumerable to count. With the bad comes reflection. With the bad comes perspective. With the bad, we suddenly see the good in ways we never could have imagined. Here's to taking the punches of life and learning to truly appreciate those bandaging or bandages on our bruises. Take a moment and let your bandagers know how much you appreciate them today, eh?




Now it's giveaway time! I'm going to introduce one of the authors in the Parallels anthology, a woman who ROCKS to medical thriller world.

Last month L.G. Keltner (author of FELIX WAS HERE in the anthology) shared with us SELF HELP 101, along with two truths and a lie. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win an entire series of comedy stories.

The Game:

1. When I was 17, I got a chance to travel in Europe for three weeks.  The day before I left, I got up early to run errands.  Then I was too excited to fall asleep that night.  Combine that with an inability to fall asleep on airplanes, landing in Rome at 10a.m., and having an entire day of activities ahead, I was awake for approximately 60 consecutive hours.
2. When I was about 12, I was playing basketball at school.  I decided to make a half-court shot.  Not only that, I decided to do it while facing the opposite basket.  After all, I thought I stood no chance of making it either way.  So I took the shot and . . . I made it.  I turned just in time to see it go in.  I’m sure I could never under any circumstances pull it off again.
3. In college, Jamie Kennedy (Randy from Scream, comedian, etc.) did a stand-up routine at my school. On a dare, I asked him to marry me, and he asked me how much money I had.

The lie: #3. Jamie Kennedy did perform at L.G.'s school, and she actually did ask him to marry her. However, she wasn't dared to do it. She did it because she, for some reason she cannot fathom now, thought it would be funny. And he did ask how much money she had.  The answer was $10.

Way to guess everyone! And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...


Congrats, Christine!

And now meet the author of THE THIRTEEN in the Parallels anthology (and one of her OTHER works, A Shot in the Light):

Sidney Knight, a freelance reporter, is at a motel on the Oregon coast. She takes a break from her writing to walk the beach and discovers hundreds of dead seagulls. She rushes back inside and calls her brother who works for the CDC. The bird flu has arrived and she wants to know what she should do. She ends saying at least she will get a flu shot, but his alarmed “No!” gives her chills.

She begins to dig into the statistics and realizes it is the deadliest flu year in many decades, what's worse, the shot seems to have increased the death toll. A Shot in the Light follows Sidney and a group of her friends as they first try to understand how this happened, then make an effort to expose those involved without getting themselves killed.

Set in an American where half the population has died, distrust is rampant and various police state efforts complicate matters, A Shot in the Light is a near future apocalypse thriller.

Get your copy HERE.

Ready to meet the author?

Hart Johnson is a social scientist by day, and plots murder and the apocalypse when the sun goes down. She has published a flu conspiracy trilogy (A Shot in the Light) and a cozy mystery series under the name Alyse Carlson. She has hopes to eventually support herself writing or take over the world, whichever works out first.

When someone tells her they are vegan, her first response is WHY WOULD YOU GIVE UP CHEESE!?

Her favorite cheese is brie but she is extremely enthusiastic about many sorts. She has two buddies in her neighborhood and collectively they are the Couch to Keg team. This was originally a misheard statement by another neighbor—they were doing the Couch to 5K and he misheard them; the name stuck a lot longer than the running efforts. Now they mostly watch great TV (currently Game of Thrones and Outlander) and drink wine accompanied by some CHEESE. In the off season, they also go to the Whole Foods Wine bar and typically get a cheese tray (the Spanish tray is the best—manchego, drunken goat and one other—but always ask after the daily special first).

Find her online HERE!

Hart gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win an their choice of the PRINT book (US ONLY, just the first book in the series) or the entire series via eBook.

You have until Tuesday, May 10, at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on May 11, 8 a.m EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. I began writing with Fan Fiction. In fact I wrote a Harry Potter alternative book seven prior to the release of Deathly Hallows that had such uncanny commonalities as Nagini turning into a woman, breaking into Gringotts to steal the Hufflepuff cup from a vault, and Snape's tears having magic powers that were central to the climax. I will never beat the last line of that story: “So spank me.” (Narcissa to Lucius as they finally made peace, having been estranged during the war).

2. When I was a senior in high school my best friend got a wild hair... or decided my mom was the only mom of one of her friends who could be talked into signing the permission form—one of those things—and we signed up for a skydiving lesson. We spent a full afternoon jumping off progressively higher things and rolling out of the fall so we didn't break an ankle or a leg, then we went up in a perfectly good airplane and jumped out.

3. In 2008 I had a conference in London. Through my early online interactions and writing experiences I was part of a writing group, a couple of my fellow members decided to travel at the same time so we could all meet our friend Tara who lives in Wales and we could travel a bit together after the conference, taking advantage of some of the things we had in common (mostly writing, Harry Potter, and Monty Python). The highlight of our trip was making our way to Doune Castle in Scotland and doing a few rounds of the French taunting...

So sleuths, which is the lie? How was your April? Do you have someone to thank today for being there? Do you read medical thrillers? Have you met Hart?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How Animals Can Inspire You... (IWSG)

...to laugh. Okay, so one of these isn't per say an "animal," but it's pretty amazing.

Brought to you by Maggid
WEEEE!


Beware the Kung Fu master!


And you thought fishing was safe.


Can't you just hear him laughing as he runs? Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, suckers!


Yoink!
(Beware, Elephants are smarter than they seem.)

I'm still kind of on break, drafting like a maniac, but I wanted to pop in and say, I hope you've laughed today. If not, find a good reason. It's when we get too serious about ourselves or life that reality crushes us. Don't be crushed. Be like the first elephant. Jump for joy.





A quick heads up, I'm participating at the Parallels Anthology blog for the A-Z Challenge, posting for C, H, and O. Pop in and say hi! I'll be back to posting weekly in May.



Now it's giveaway time!

Last month Sarah Ahiers shared with us ASSASINS HEART, along with two truths and a lie. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win a paperback.

The Game:



1. I came in second place in my middle school’s spelling bee when I was in 6th grade
2. I played the violin for ten years.

3. I have had a myriad of pets, including: dogs, goldfish, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, squirrels, horse, anoles, tree frogs, & cockatiels.

The lie: #1. Sarah has never actually entered a spelling bee.

Way to guess everyone! And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...


Congrats, Kai!

And now for the next few posts I'll be doing something different. I'm so excited to be in the first ever IWSG Anthology contest that I'm going to introduce you to ALL the other authors, one week (or month) at a time. But of course they'll be giving stuff away. And playing the game.

The first one is:

Dani Finklemeier has decided to write a self-help book about how to take over the world, but she’s not sure where to start. After all, she’s only seventeen and looking for a better way to make money than babysitting. She buys a self-help book that promises to teach her how to write a self-help book in the hope of getting the job done.

Not that it’ll be easy to get any work done this holiday season. Her family is staying at the house for Christmas, and fights break out almost immediately. Dani also has to deal with the fallout from an unexpected kiss with her best friend Seth and the feelings that go along with it. On edge around her family and unsure how to interact with the one person she’s trusted with everything in the past, she can only take what inspiration she can from the crazy circumstances surrounding her and see what happens.

One way or another, it should be an interesting holiday.

Get your copy HERE.

Ready to meet the author?

L.G. Keltner has been trying to write novels since she was six years old. She’s wanted to be many things over the years, but the dream that survived into adulthood was that of being a writer. She graduated from Drake University in 2008, but she’s still learning every day. L.G. lives in Iowa with her husband and children.

You might run across L.G. munching Pepper Jack cheese while kicking trash over a game of Monopoly.

Find her online HERE!

L.G. gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to an the ENTIRE series (not yet released) in eBook of SELF-HELP 101! (5 installments between now and February 2017.)

You have until Tuesday, May 3, at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on May 4, 8 a.m EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. When I was 17, I got a chance to travel in Europe for three weeks.  The day before I left, I got up early to run errands.  Then I was too excited to fall asleep that night.  Combine that with an inability to fall asleep on airplanes, landing in Rome at 10a.m., and having an entire day of activities ahead, I was awake for approximately 60 consecutive hours.
2. When I was about 12, I was playing basketball at school.  I decided to make a half-court shot.  Not only that, I decided to do it while facing the opposite basket.  After all, I thought I stood no chance of making it either way.  So I took the shot and . . . I made it.  I turned just in time to see it go in.  I’m sure I could never under any circumstances pull it off again.
3. In college, Jamie Kennedy (Randy from Scream, comedian, etc.) did a stand-up routine at my school. On a dare, I asked him to marry me, and he asked me how much money I had.

So sleuths, which is the lie? Have you laughed today? What did you find funny recently? Do you like funny books? Have you met L.G Keltner before?