Archive for February, 2013


Today it’s my pleasure to present Ciara Knight’s wonderful new book, Escapement.

The Neumarian uprising has begun. We are fighting for freedom and equality for all, but we need your help. Ciara informed us that you might want to know more about the uprising and why we ask you to risk your lives for our cause. To answer these questions I’ve agreed to let Ciara tell my sister’s, Raeth’s, story about her captivity. It will be free for you on a site called Amazon until March 1, 2013.

Our spies have told us this will help spread the word and find more recruits for our rebellion against the tyrannical queen. You can help by simply downloading a free copy of Weighted, a prequel to the Neumarian Chronicles. If you are intrigued and wish to follow our uprising, Escapement, book I of The Neumarian Chronicles, will be available for only $2.99 until March 1, 2013.

Escapement is told by Princess Semara. Don’t hold the fact Semara is a princess against her like I did, there is more to her than you can possibly imagine.

Here is a brief explanation of her telling of our uprising:

Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen’s reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother’s empire. When my own erratic powers surface I’m captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death.

What others are saying:

“A heady mix of action adventure and steampunk — leavened with a dash of romance — ESCAPEMENT offers up its fair share of thrills, horrors and heart-pounding moments. A strong start to a captivating new series.”

– Jana Oliver, author of The Demon Trapper’s Daughter

 

“A riveting tale of justice, mercy, honor and love. Take a deep breath and hold on, because you’ll be turning the pages of Escapement quickly. Three unlikely comrades, Princess Semara, Ryder, and his sister Raeth, embark on a journey that will alter their lives forever. The beautiful love story nestled into these action-packed scenes will make you sigh and remember why you love to love. After reading the prequel Weighted, I knew this story would be amazing, and it was. Ciara Knight truly has a gift for creating awesome worlds and characters you won’t forget.”

–Lindi Peterson–Award winning author of Summer’s Song

 

“Betrayal, secrets, and a rebellion send readers on a grand adventure, caught in the plight to discover Semara’s gifts and purpose.”

–Alex J Cavanaugh, author of Amazon best sellers CassaStar and CassaFire

 

“The most unmissable series ever! I couldn’t stop reading, the action and romance too breathtaking to break the spell!”

–ARC review by Sudah on Goodreads

 

“A courageous heart-stopping journey by young people to save their kind.”

–Hildie McQueen, bestselling author of Where the Four Winds Collide

 

If you’d like to take a peek into our world, here is a short video clip:

If you are now ready to join our fight, please add Escapement to your TBR shelf on Goodreads here.

The URL is: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17376403-escapement

 

Shout out on all your social media sites, and tell everyone you know to stand up and fight.

Ciara Knight is also having a giveaway on her site here Ciara Knight.

Congratulations, Ciara!

 

Today I am happy to be part of Alex J. Cavanaugh’s cover reveal for his latest (sure to be a bestseller) novel, CassaStorm.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  Let’s all give a cheer as we …

UNLEASH THE CASSASTORM!

 

CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh

http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Release date: September 17, 2013

Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure

Print ISBN 9781939844002

E-book ISBN 9781939844019

Congratulations, Alex — our favorite our Ninja Warrior hero.  May your novel bring happiness to countless readers.

SPOILER ALERT!

If you haven’t yet seen Sunday’s Downton Abbey or Silver Linings Playbook but plan to, you may want to skip this blog today.

Now for my rant.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, JULIAN FELLOWES, MR. HOTSHOT WRITER OF DOWNTOWN ABBEY?

I mean, it’s not enough that you killed off Sybil. It’s not enough that you whacked off characters during the Great War and the Influenza.  Now you had to go and kill Matthew only hours after he became a father.  Mere minutes after he tells his wife how much he loves her and he’s practically dancing with joy and love and sheer bliss.  What?  A character is happy? That means you must KILL HIM OFF!

You are a sick bastard, Julian Fellowes. Please take your writing awards and put them in a dark unpleasant place in your body.

You should have seen Silver Linings Playbook before you wrote your downer script.  Go see it right now and pay close attention to the scene in which Bradley Cooper finishes reading Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, throws it through the window in anger and disgust, and storms into his parents’ bedroom to lecture them about how Catherine shouldn’t have died at the end of the novel and what is wrong about writing a happy ending?

I wish Bradley Cooper would break into your house and deliver that same lecture to you.  Okay, so I want Bradley to break into my home too but for other reasons I won’t go into here.

And guess what Silver Linings does so very well.  Guess why the movie is a huge hit and people are seeing it two and three times.  Because by the end of the movie, after all the heartbreak and yelling and crying the characters go through, there’s a HAPPY ENDING!  Is life perfect for them?  No.  Is Bradley’s mental illness cured?  No.  Will he have a career again, an income, an okay future?  Maybe.  We’re not sure.

All we know is that his in-your-face noisy family and mentally whacko friends are gathered for a cheerful Sunday TV football game, and Bradley is in the kitchen corner with his lady love Jennifer Lawrence in his lap, and they’re smooching while his mother, who’s a freaking SAINT and been through hell for her loved ones, smiles in approval.

That’s all we needed.  The movie’s ending wasn’t forced or unexpected.  There was no deus ex machina twist or fancy literary showmanship, and no soap opera obsession with drama and death.  Just a closing scene that gives us some warm fuzzies after putting us through the emotional ringer.

But the ending to your show tonight?  Hated it.  I really, really hated it.

Yours truly,

A pissed off writer

Action heroes aren’t supposed to have recurring hip and upper thigh pain.

They’re supposed to leap into action at any whoop, sniffle or snort of impending danger.  Their fine-tuned bodies are a marvel of physical grace as they escape the jaws of doom or give bad guys a godawful pounding.

Me, I haven’t felt so graceful lately.  And I haven’t been under mortal physical threat. Which is a good thing ’cause on some days my left hip hurts while other days it’s just fine.

Remember how a few months ago I told you that I was in physical therapy for my left hip?  The therapy helped as did some nutrients.  Lately I’ve been a lot better, and that’s a relief because (1) I really, truly hate being sick or injured or physically limited in any way, and (2) Since the new year began I would have to meet a new deductible of $500 before my health insurance would start picking up most but not all of my therapy tab.

So I’m fixing myself on my own time.

And I do seem to have turned a corner.  I learned the hard way that babying my hip only makes it worse.  See, I’m an epee fencer, right?  Since I’m right-handed that means moving in a kind of crab-like weird way with my right leg in front, and doing lunges pretty much only on my right side, and so on.

Well, that kind of movement can throw any body out of whack.  Hang around fencers and you’ll hear a lot of chatting about trips to their chiropractors, doctors, and/or physical therapists.

So what I now do on my own are a lot of lunges on my left side, and I’ll go up flights of stairs using only my left leg to climb.  Of course I also do my little exercises that my therapist gave me to strengthen the little muscles I never knew existed.

But guess what’s the most important element in fixing my body? Stretching.  And I mean extreme stretching.  I mean stretching my left leg/hip from six to ten times a day.  Stretch till those tight little muscles and tendons and tissue and whatever else is in there scream in agony and then… slowly… relax.  And I can get deeper into the stretch.  And suddenly the pain in my hip/leg goes away and I can walk around normally again and not limp like Quasimodo.

See, whenever there’s been an injury to a joint (and my injury was cumulative over a long period), muscles around that joint shorten to protect it, and ligaments can retract, and the joint can become compressed.  I think this is called Adaptive Muscle Shortening, though I wouldn’t swear to it.  Sitting so much at my job hasn’t helped either, because that 90 degree position my body is in shortens some muscles.  One stretch I can do at work calls for lying on a big production table with one leg bent up and the other dangling over the edge. Obviously I don’t do it when co-workers are around.  Or when I’m wearing a skirt.

Anyway, my point is my body is slowly getting back to normal, but it’s taking a lot of effort.  How about you? I know some of you are in great shape but others have bad old limiting injuries.  Have you had any you’ve been able to completely heal?  I wish you the best if you’re hurting too.

A friend is turning one of my manuscripts into a screenplay.

In all honesty, I have mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand I’m really honored and flattered and happy.  I mean, someone thinks that something I’ve written is so good she’s taking on the fiendishly hard job of transferring my story into a different medium.  That’s true validation for me.

On the other hand, I feel guilty.  Here she is, a young gifted actress trying to make it in New York, working a full-time job and spending her free time making the rounds to auditions, and she’s going to spend countless more hours constructing a screenplay based on my novel.  Even if she writes an Oscar-worthy one, that doesn’t mean it will get her anywhere because Hollywood is notoriously tough to break into.  Good writers and great talent are ignored, churned up, spat out, sucked dry.  Only a handful will make it.

My sister has a friend who’s an Emmy-winning writer and he has a few horror stories about the business.  He retired early and moved to Santa Fe.  I think Disney tried to tempt him back with a lucrative contract to write some Nickleodeon series for someone like Miley Cyrus.  I guess he’d rather shoot himself.

So should I tell my young friend “Don’t do it!”?

On the other hand, a whole lotta actors only made it when they wrote a screenplay the studios wanted.  Think Sylvester Stallone (Rocky), Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale), Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting). There have been so many actors whose careers had stalled until they wrote a breakthrough screenplay.  But they would only sell it when legally promised the lead role.

For my friend’s sake, I really, truly hopes this will happen to her.

The good news is she’s smart, talented, and has already done a theater workshop reading from my novel.  I guess the reaction of her friends/ audience was strongly favorable.  So a screenplay might make sense.  On the other hand… I just feel guilty.  If her screenplay goes nowhere, it will ultimately be my fault because the story and characters are mine.

I wish her all the luck in the world. And at her request, I’m sending her notes and my synopsis.  Maybe, in the end, I’ll be cheering her on at the Oscars.

Have any of you had literary dalliances with the big or little screen?  Ever been tempted to write a screenplay of your novel?  Ever wondered if suicide would hurt less?