Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Catch FIRE!!!



Ladies and Gentlemen! TODAY is a very special day in the blogverse. TODAY Alex J. Cavanaugh's NEW BOOK "CASSA FIRE" is released!!!

*fireworks! confetti! epic lightsaber battles!!!*

I met Alex over a year ago through mutual bloggy friends. He is a solid force in the blogsphere. He's always blogging (seriously! I don't think the man sleeps!), always giving us movie news and sci-fi views, and always (ALWAYS!) helping promote other authors and bloggers. In other words, he's a pretty swell guy.

So, without further ado, here's the most important news you'll read today:

CassaFire
by Alex J. Cavanaugh


CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Available today!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh’s first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:
“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

You can visit the author’s site at http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/
Book trailer available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa6VINRGtyE.

Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cassafire-alex-j-cavanaugh/1034742568
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/CassaFire-Alex-J-Cavanaugh/dp/0982713940/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329417150&sr=1-1
Amazon Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/CassaFire-ebook/dp/B007A2TSNG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1329663355&sr=1-1

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!? Get on over to Alex's blog and check it out! Then, buy the book. Seriously :D I'm doing it. Give into peer pressure. It's good for you ;)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Evil you say?



Today's the day! The day of Evil Geniuses that is :D. Golden Eagle is celebrating her Second Blogaversay today. Woohoo! *confetti and lightsabers and fireworks*. To celebrate, she's invented the Evil Genius Blogfest. Head on over there (after reading my entry, of course ;)) and read the rules, find links to the participants, and read Golden's personal entry. Evil Fun Abounds!!!! *insert evil, cackling laughter here*

And now: on with the show!
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"Evil? Evil you say?"

He watched them with his cold, red eyes. Eyes that saw through bone and blood, straight into the souls that quaked in front of him. Rubbing his chin, eyes, narrowed, he suddenly smiled.

"Yes, I suppose I am."

He slid from his throne and walked slowly to his prisoners, surveying them, one by one, making them squirm under his scrutiny. All so cocky, so sure of themselves when they'd arrived at his gates. How they'd crossed the River he'd soon learn and the Ferryman would be punished. Even if it wasn't entirely his fault.

"But let me ask you this-" He paused and looked down at the girl in front of him. She was staring up, defiant, only her quivering bottom lip giving any indication to the terror she was feeling.

"- who's the more evil. The villain who wishes only to take back was is rightfully his? The soul who was mortified, humiliated before an entire council of gods, demoted to demon and banished to this-" he looked around at the walls caked with grime, the black marble floors that echoed with the screams of others being tortured behind closed doors. "- this personification of hell? A villain created by a stranger who blackmailed and back stabbed and stole from me everything I ever had!" He swung around, grabbed the defiant-eyed girl by the throat and held her above the others. She struggled, squeaked in agony as his fingers burned her flesh.

"He stole my father! He stole my inheritance! He stole my LIFE! And I'm the one everyone calls evil!"

Hades threw the girl across the room and her companions winced as they heard her head hit the opposite wall. "Evil, my dear children, has all manner of faces." He grinned at them, his teeth glowing orange in the firelight. "The most dangerous of all, is the one you'd least suspect. The face you've all seen as a friend from the very first day you set foot on this gods-forsaken island is the very face you should fear. He's the reason I'm evil. He's the reason for it all."
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355 words

So go on. Let out your inner Evil Genius! Or at least visit all of us who have :D

Happy Monday!
Jen

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WOW! Links! Randomness! Thursday!!!

(excessive overuse of exclamation points!!!!! I blame the fact I've not had coffee yet.)

Good morning (early, early morning)!

In between posting math homework and triple checking that my term paper isn't due until Sunday, I stumbled upon this fabulous writing blog: The Muffin. I get emails from a site called WOW! Women on Writing and I completely forgot about their blog. It's a truly wonderful place to get good writing advice, hints and news.

Oh and guys, don't let the titles of the blogs deter you. They aren't JUST for women :D They're only written by women. You can stop by there too. Only beware: there's an awful lot of pink being thrown around! *shudder*

Keeping with the spirit of randomness that has recently infiltrated this blog (or possessed it...whichever term you prefer) I give you this:

1. My husband and I started watching the anime TRIGUN last night. It's hilarious! As in laugh out loud funny. Utterly ridiculous. You should check it out (on Netflix for those of you who subscribe) if you really need a laugh and want to watch animated people blow things up...excessively. [WARNING: Definitely NOT a kiddie show]


image found HERE

2. Our class discussion in English this week was on punctuation. I chose to talk about the ellipses. I had no idea how badly I overuse those three little dots. Seriously They show up everywhere! See the first part of this post for example. Any thoughts on them? Anyone else have ellipses addiction? Is it just me or does it seem virtually impossible to come up with a plural form of this word? Ellipseses...ellipsies...ellipsi...grr. Here-listen to someone qualified!

There you have it! An UN-caffinated version of early morning blogging. For your enjoyment. And now: COFFEE!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You Guys are Awesome and I Suck


[image found here]

Blanket thank yous are so lame. This I recognize. However, at the present, it's the best I can do. So here goes:

THANK YOU to everyone who has visited and commented since the Origins Blogfest; to everyone who read my post regarding the resurrection of my food blog and went there and followed; and a big, fat THANK YOU to everyone who comes here, regardless of my lameness of NOT returning the visit, and continues to be AWESOME!

I mean it. My term paper should be finished by Friday. My final exams shouldn't be too taxing. True, my next term starts the day after this term ends. BUT this little blog keeps chugging along and it will as long as I'm here. And I'm so thankful for all of you who take time out of your busy schedules to visit.

I'm humbled by your commitment and shamed because I haven't kept up my end of the bargain. That is going to change, however.

Thanks for sticking with me! And thanks for being AWESOME :D
xo Jen

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday, Monday...

aaaand you're welcome for having THAT song in your head now :D

I'm busy writing a term paper and getting information gathered for two final exams! Also on the agenda, some serious writing-related focus work, for projects AND blogging. I wish everyone a FABULOUS Monday, promise to visit soon, and leave you with varying degrees of funny!

Cheers!









(PS: Thanks Set Phasers to LOL for the most of these!)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bizarre Happenings on a Rainy Day

Ok.

So I want to get my food blog back up and running. I've been reading an AMAZING book by Dianne Jacob called Will Write for Food (visit her blog HERE) and I'm pumped and ready to go! This book is not just a great food writing resource. It's loaded with tips on writing memoir and book proposals that any writer will find useful. And if you suddenly get inspired to cook asparagus and write about it, well, you'll be well equipped.

On to the bizarre.

Having decided to reanimate my food blog, I thought, "Hey, I'll create a NEW one with the blog title as the blog address instead of my name!" Great idea. Yeah. Onto Blogger I go and...

...um...

what the FRACK?

Apparently there's a new Blogger format out there and apparently I have NO IDEA on this earth or any of the others that make up this ten dimensional universe how to navigate it. I was lost, abandoned, chewing the souls of my shoes for nourishment as I scavenged a beach of broken food blogger dreams!

Over dramatic, yes, but you get the idea. I'd already started a whole new blog account. I have the address AND a new email account. I figured it would be easier to find if you could just Google the blog name instead of mine.

Apparently I was wrong about my Internet navigating abilities.

So, that said, here's what I did. I went back to Ye Olde Blog Homestead and updated it. Culinary Vagabonding is slowly but surely getting back on its feet. For any of you who remember that blog, it was an experiment in cooking my way around the world. That idea and passion has not left me. What I lacked was focus and it's here, finally, just waiting for a bit more tweaking on my part.

What does this have to do with you? Everything! Well, everything, that is, if you want to read about food. Yes, I'll still be here, as always, writing about writing (or whatever it is I do here). Soon, and I'll let you know when, I'll also be blogging at Culinary Vagabonding and I'd love for you ALL to join me over there. I'll still be writing YA dark fantasy and horror. That's what this mad house is for! I simply cannot turn away from my other passions - food and travel.

Wander over if you will. Don't judge too harshly. Know that once it's up and running, I'll let you all know! Heck, I may even throw a party.

There will be chocolate.

And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

I'm not afraid to bribe.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wandering Wednesday

Good afternoon all! I've been doing research all day; that's why I'm a bit later than usual in the posting. Researching some nonfiction ideas, not that pesky research paper that's due next week in my English class (humbug!).

First off, a BIG, HAPPY HELLO to all my new followers! So sorry I've not gotten around to visiting each and every new visitor's and follower's blogs yet. As I said, research has been eating at my time. Oh, and I'm still reading entries to the Origin's Blogfest from Monday. I naively thought I'd be able to get through all 200+ entries. HA! I'm doing good to hit the 30 I'll end up with once I finish reading the links currently opened on my browser. I met so many interesting and wonderful new bloggers through this blogfest and I'm so happy to have a few of them along for this wild and crazy ride (also known as my blog).

While I haven't done much writing these past few days, I have been doing an exorbitant amount of BAKING. Yes. Baking. I've made cookies and herb baguettes and last night I made corn chips! Seriously. Heat up some corn oil to 360*, cut corn tortillas into fourths and fry those puppies until they're nice and golden brown. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper and viola! Homemade corn chips! And what writer doesn't need the ability to make their snack addictions from scratch? Now, if I could just grow coffee beans in my courtyard...

How has your week been so far? Any writing to speak of? Baking? What pursuits do you enjoy outside of writing? Do you own your own coffee plantation? If so, I'm interested in working for you. You can pay me in anything but French Roast.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest AKA How the Madness Began



Good Morning! (Er...or afternoon. I'm a bit late today.)

Today, I'm participating in the Origins Blogfest hosted by these marvelous people: Alex J. Cavanaugh, D.L. Hammons, Katie Mills (Creepy Query Girl) and Matthew MacNish. Click on any of their links to find the list of links and wander to your heart's content. The blogfest is a chance for us to tell YOU how our dream of writing began.

How did my dream of writing begin? I was eighteen. I had been writing my whole life. Seriously. Stories for school, for fun, chronicles of every summer vacation since I knew crayons were for writing and not snacking. But it wasn't until I was eighteen, unable to sleep, staring at a blank sheet of paper on my desk that I first thought: I HAVE to do THIS! At that time, I was pursuing a career in music. No matter what I did, I couldn't make music fit. I can remember telling my dad, who supported my singing career whole-heartedly, that I wanted to sing and be famous so I could have enough money to do what I really wanted to do: write. Yes, folks, I wanted to win a Grammy so I could retire early and write. This response really got me thinking. If all I want to do is accomplish something so I can get out of it to do something else, why not skip all the middle steps and pursue the "something else" to begin with. Thus, my writing dreams were born.

I still love singing. I found where my voice belongs and hope to ease back into that field one day, you know, for kicks and skittles. But the dream of writing has been burning inside me for almost seventeen years. I've even tried to give it up. I can remember putting aside a book, telling it to sit tight, and turning away from writing to see if I really was committed to the work. My goal was to not write for one month. I lasted a week. And no, it wasn't just my serious lack of patience that was to blame!

That book I set aside? That was the book I started when I was eighteen. It is also - brace yourself - the same book I'm still working on. I've stopped and started, even finished it three times (rewriting and editing and rewriting and editing...) but only now am I able to see where all the pieces should fit and what needs to be chopped up and burned.

Is there a moral in all of this? I'm terribly anal about my stories. Well, yes, but that's not what I'm getting at. I am a writer. No matter what I do, I can not get away from it. I'm even finishing a degree in writing, for Thor's sake! I'm obsessed. I can't put a book away that has been on my chopping block for seventeen years. That right there is the sure sign of an obsession. No matter what I do, it's there, haunting me, hounding me, pushing me, not allowing me to quit no matter how badly I sometimes want to. I'm in this for the long haul and I'm excited to see what the next seventeen years have in store.

What about you? When did YOU first realize you had the sickness? When did it hit you that you HAD to write and nothing on earth or under it would tear you away from that occupation? Join in the Origins Blogfest and let us know!

Be bold, be fabulous and write ON!

Friday, February 10, 2012

head cold and freezing

Happy Friday! Two of the most marvelous words in the English language, aren't they? I hope everyone has had a wonderful and productive week. I have had a bizarre week, one that is now fizzling out with a tremendously annoying head cold while the weather is going from unseasonably warm to frigid. Georgia weather. BAH!

I haven't responded to anyone's comments. Shame on me! (Ugh. Bah! Grumble...)

I haven't done any writing! (Humbug! Gripe...cuss....)

BUT

I appreciate all of your comments about my current frustrations regarding my WIP. You've all suggested I run it by another set of eyes. Which I did. And BOY did that help things! Actually, I ran it through another brain (I have that power, you know). I told my husband what was going on with the story, where it needed to go in order to flow. All I needed was the beginning. And so, in his usual calm, level-headed wisdom, suggested something which blew the lid off my problem. Seriously. It was like, "Well, duh! How DID you not see THAT solution!"

And so, I have a starting point. Huzzah!

Now if I could just get over this dratted head cold (grumble, complain, bicker, groan....)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'll be back to posting and reading and commenting next week. Cross my heart :D

Monday, February 6, 2012

a weekend in review, some WIP ramblings, and a really awesome poster

Good morning Monday! I hope you are all doing fabulous. Me, I'm a bit tired, but that's to be expected. I was up stupid early on Thursday (as you all read about HERE); then my husband went out of town Friday night and I never sleep well when he's gone. I ended up on the couch all night letting "How to Train Your Dragon" play on loop. Sadly, I didn't dream about dragons, but my cat waited until 5:30 to perch on the arm of the couch and ask for breakfast. He's learning. The rest of the weekend found me hunched over my math book (bleck), wandering through a new local produce market (huzzah!) and creating a cafe at home (groovy!). In other words, it was a good weekend and I kind of hated to see it go.

BUT: another week, another opportunity to pound out some words, wander down a few more rabbit trails and accomplish,you know, SOMETHING :).

Did you do anything exciting this weekend? Or was it a nice, relaxing few days with nothing eventful whatsoever? I like those kind too :)

Another question: what do you do when you have a story you believe in 100%, that you've been working on (off and on again) for about 10 years, that just simply REFUSES to give you an open door? In other words, this trilogy of mine has been written and rewritten three times. I love it. I believe in it. I just can't figure out how to go about starting it! It's so frustrating! I've walked away from it so many times, come back, rewrite the first few chapters and - it just doesn't work. I wish I knew what to do.

Maybe I'll try meditation.

And now, here's a neat little poster my husband found (not sure where). Consider it inspiration to blow all your reservations out of the water, chase away those self doubts and give "but what will THEY think about it" a good swift kick in the pants. Cheers!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

up waaaay too early...

Cup of tea? Check.
Made cat believe I gave him fresh canned food but really just stirred up what I left out last night? Check.
A bit annoyed that said cat woke me up at 3:52 instead of his usual 6:00? Double check.

Good morning blog-verse. How are you this dark, cold morning? Me, fine, despite the ridiculous hour at which I now find myself typing.

I did discover I missed the Insecure Writer's Support Group post yesterday. Again. Alex J. Cavanaugh hosts it the first Wednesday of each month. There's an amazing list of bloggers participating. Maybe if I wrote it on my calender I'd remember. Grrr....

No more crazy dreams-turned-novels, but I have been contemplating the last one (not the Harry Potter dream, mind you) as well as two others I've had in the past. What is it about our subconscious that creates such crazy stories while we're sleeping. Your body's asleep but your mind is in overdrive! I have been told I think too much, that I'm too much of an internal person. Perhaps this is why my imagination is so fertile. Who knows? I just think it's because I read too much...

But seriously, stories are marvelous things, aren't they? They paint for us a different reality. One flash of inspiration and WHAM we're off and running down a path previously undiscovered. What could be at the other end? What will we find, who will we meet along the way? Who knows? There's only one way to find out.

Follow your yellow brick road, tumble down those rabbit trails, heck, pry open that wardrobe door if you have to. Just whatever you do, don't hesitate to wander. Me? I'm off down a rabbit trail right now...

...even if it's stupid early a.m.

Happy wandering!