Saturday, December 19, 2015

A year in review: high-highs and low-lows


This past year was a bit of a whirlwind, filled with high-highs and low-lows. 
There were lots of changes to my personal and professional life. 

In April I won a Kindle Scout campaign for LET HER GO.

I was welcomed into the KindleScout winners circle, which is filled with some amazing, talented and supportive authors. This is one of the best groups of authors I've worked with. Love them all :)

In June I wrote the sequel to Sparrow Man (Titled Nightingale Girl) in about 4 weeks. That was the fastest I've ever written a full-length novel, however there were many editing sessions afterwards. I hope to have Nightingale Girl out this Spring/Summer 2016

I finished the 6th and final book in The Phoenix Project Series. Writing an end to this series was bittersweet but lots of fun. (I had to change the publication date to late January 2016 due to the projects listed below)

Throughout the first half of the year my husband was suffering from Crohn's disease (an already 4yr struggle) which resulted in 9 surgeries over 1yr time span (2014-2015). We spent a year with him lying in bed, uncomfortable and visiting a doctor 2 hours away from our home. (Finding this surgeon was a 2 year search and the fourth surgeon we consulted with). I had been working as an RN an hour away from our home in the opposite direction and was spending a lot of time on the road. During this time I felt like our lives were falling apart. I was afraid of losing my husband and I was experiencing a lot of anxiety. In august, after many days spent rushing to the OR, ED, and emailing his surgeon, we finally agreed to a final surgery that would help my husband be more comfortable but was a major risk and would result in a drastic change to our lives.

Famous authors started saying "Yes" when I asked to interview them!! Authors like Andy Weir and Peter Heller and more. Find links here

My friends, family, and editor stuck by my side even though I became quite withdrawn and miserable. I was not handling the stress of life very well. I left a job a loved and a group of nurses I loved to work closer to home. As an introvert who doesn't like change, this was hard.

I finally got the chance to write in a KindleWorld and borrow the romantic world of a fellow KindleScout winner Sariah Wilson. Look for FORGOTTEN PRINCESS, a novella about a princess masquerading as a gypsy, in January 2016.



In November I received a message from the super awesome author Samuel Peralta with an invitation to write a short-story for one of his Future Chronicles endeavors titled THE ILLUSTRATED ROBOT. He read a portion of my book SPARROW MAN and was impressed! This was a dream come true. I'm super excited to be part of this project and can't wait to see all of the stories come together. Look for ILLUSTRATED ROBOT in the spring/summer of 2016.

Now that it's December, I'm happy to say that the husband is on the mend and adjusting to life after his most recent surgery. It was difficult watching everything that we worked so hard for trickle away, but we have each other. Seeing him up and moving around and living life again negates everything that we went through and everything that we lost.

I think the next steps of our life together might just be the best, we get to rebuild everything all over again. I may even get him to trim that majestic thing on his face.



And that is my year in review. 
Happy New year and Happy Reading. 
See you in 2016!









Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Future Chronicles - A review


I'm not one for short stories. I like to lose myself for hours - or days - on end, get really deep in the drama for 200 pages or more. Last week that changed. 
Last week I read The Future Chronicles.
This group of authors serve up a variety of futuristic stories that will  get the gears of your brain turning. The forward by Hugh Howey brought me back to the tiny goat farm I grew up on and Peter Cawdron's #DontTell stole the crown. Samuel Peralta's Humanity was a close runner-up. Overall, a must read for fellow sci-fi lovers.

 



Blurb:

The Future Chronicles - Special Edition includes fifteen stories, selected and new, from some of today's best writers in speculative fiction.

It includes ten selected stories from some of the Chronicles' popular titles - Robot, Telepath, Alien, and A.I. - to give new readers a taste of the series; and includes five completely new stories, first published in this Special Edition.

The Future Chronicles has grown, from a single collection of robot stories, into a series whose unique take on major science fiction and fantasy themes - A.I., aliens, time travel, dragons, telepaths, zombies, immortality, galactic battles, cyborgs, doomsday - has made it one of the most acclaimed short story anthology series of the digital era.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Girl With all the Gifts by M R Carey




NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING.


Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius."


Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.


The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.




Book Review:

There's a moral code I live by when it comes to buying books: If you want to read it, it will eventually go on sale. I got this sucker for $1.99! 

I've had TGWATG on my TBR list for most of the year, and the hum around this book made it even more enticing to read. When one of my bookish friends told me how amazing it was, I had to get my hands on The Girl With All the Gifts. I wasn't expecting a zombie apocalypse setting, with the title of this book I was expecting more of a superhero vibe. But, this was a pleasant surprise. The first half of this book was definitely intriguing. Eventually it turned into the typical run-for-your-life-the-zombies-are-coming apocalyptic novel. But the zombie origins storyline made this unique and wonderful. I really loved the underlying story of a motherless girl and her beloved teacher. Our main character, Melanie is super smart, a lover of greek mythology, and intuitive when it comes to figuring out what she really is. There were more great storylines, the mad scientist wanting to cut children's brains apart, and the stone faced soldier trying to hold shit together. Overall, this was a great read. The ending was a bit gloomy, but what do you expect with the zombie apocalypse? 

5/5 stars


What comes with every great book... a movie.

Tor.com released this announcement:

Glenn Close and Gemma Arterton to Star in The Girl with All the Gifts Movie

M.R. Carey will adapt his 2014 novel The Girl with All the Gifts for film, The Hollywood Reporterannounced today. Retitled as She Who Brings Gifts, the movie will star Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, and Paddy Considine, and will be directed by Colm McCarthy (Sherlock, Doctor Who).
These stars will likely play the three central adult roles in the film: We’re assuming Arterton is idealistic young teacher Miss Justineau, who must teach special children in the wake of a worldwide fungal infection; Considine will bring the muscle as Sergeant Ed Parks, terrified and disgusted by his charges; and Close must be Doctor Caroline Caldwell, who will sacrifice as many test subjects as she needs to in order to find a cure.
But what about Melanie, the girl who will bring gifts? The casting directors will probably be looking for an unknown to play the precocious Melanie, who knows that something is wrong with her but also yearns for love and acceptance. In a press release, producer Angus Lamont talked a little bit about the film’s emotional core:
Melanie’s story is a completely unique take on a much loved genre, seamlessly blending together a lonely child’s search for love and family with a terrifying journey where she controls the fate of the last adult humans on earth.
Filming will begin in the UK in May 2015; no release date has been announced yet.





Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bow to the King of horror Josh Malerman!



Interviewing Josh Malerman awakened the frightened 80's child within me. So many things that I had tucked away, never to think of again because they scared the crap out of me, Josh reminded me of during his interview. I mean, it's been nearly 30 years of me telling myself Freddy Kruger wasn't real, and I almost had myself convinced. 

Let's see what Josh had to say about reading, writing and zombies!


1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Josh says: Jonathan Maberry is a no brainer. He’s an expert in the field and I’ve got a feeling he actually acts these scenarios out at home. You know how there are Civil War re-enactors? Jonathan might be like that… only with a war of the future… a zombie war. I’d also try to stick close to Brian Keene. The Rising was brutal, so he’s probably imagined scenarios equal to or worse than those that we’d encounter out there. He might be scary to team up with. Like, he might hand me a weapon and say, “Do it.” And I’d be like, “Do what?” And he’d shake his head and say, “Never mind. I’ll do it.” And what about John Russo? Fella wrote Night of the Living Dead, for crying out loud. I met him recently at a horror convention here in Michigan. Super nice guy. I think I’d like that; a kindhearted zombie aficionado on my team. That would make me feel… human.



2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Josh says: You said “first,” so that means I get to save Stephen King and then valiantly leap back into the river and save J. K. Rowling. I think we gotta go with Stephen King first. He’s older than her. And he hurt his leg or hip, you know. So yeah, save him, then dive back in. Then after I saved her I’d probably fall back exhausted and you would need to ask them this: “So you were both just saved from drowning in a river by Josh Malerman. But he got so tired from the heroic experience that he needed saving himself. Which one of you saves him?”
Meredith says: Thank you for picking up on that! Most skip over the "first" part and leave one of my favorite authors to the murky waters.


3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Josh says: I’ve made the mistake of beginning a few books at once. I usually like reading one whole, moving on, etc. But as it goes, I’m reading Kathe Koja’s Bad Brains. It’s mountaintop brilliant. Strange, nightmarish, very realistic in a fun way, and refreshing. Jon Skipp’s The Art of Horrible People is an incredible short story collection that sums up his enormous personality and brain. And Richard Laymon’s Blood Games is a thrill ride. And yeah, my TBR pile is frightening, too, but I’m kind of making a dent recently. Philip K. Dick’s Ubik is next.



4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Josh says: A book that I’d love to read again is Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train. She pulled something off with this one akin to a magic trick. Sleight of hand.



5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Josh says: I had something of a tie between John F.D. Taff’s The End in all Beginnings and Stephen Graham Jones’s After the People Lights Have Gone Off. Both of these are collections, and they inspired me to write one of my own. I can’t say enough about these two authors. If you have a single horror bone in your body, they’ll both tickle it until you’re blue. Then purple. Then dead. Then undead. Then, when you rise up out of the casket at your funeral you can say (to everybody in attendance): “Where are my books? Who has my books?”



6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Josh says: The Casualties by Nick Holdstock. I got an early look at this one with a chance to blurb for it. It’s magnificent. I’ll say no more. Check it out.



7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Josh says: You ever see “The Four of Us are Dying”? It’s a great Twilight Zone episode where this fella can change his face to look like anybody else. So… if a man just died, say, this guy can assume his identity straight off, and so on. I’d love that. I’d love to see how different my interactions with people might be if I wore different faces. And I love to see what doors I could slip through if I was the spitting image of somebody else. Man, you could go on for years like that. Think of it like a wild road trip. But instead of being away from home for a long time, you’re away from your true self.




8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Josh says: I’ve got a great office. Sweet scary posters. News clippings about Bird Box, letters from Mom, photos on the wall. But, for no good reason, I always end up writing somewhere else. The front porch is great. Especially if there’s a storm. The problem with coffee houses is that usually it’s poppy modern music and it’s hard to write a gripping freaky scene when kids are singing lullabies on the radio.
Meredith says: I can see how that would be a problem.



9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from one of your books.
Josh says: I wrote a book called Pest in which a fella senses that he’s losing his zest for life, then decides it must be a “monster” that is doing this to him. So… he sets out to catch the thing. That’s one of my favorites; watching Edgar arm his apartment, essentially trying to catch depression in a bear trap. I’ve got another one called A Mix up at the Zoo where this fella Dirk works at both the slaughterhouse and the zoo in town. His job is to give tours and his mind is all muddled so one day he accidentally confuses his jobs; slaughters all the animals at the zoo. It’s a colorful scene. And the attic birth scene in Bird Box rolled out of my fingertips like sand. One of the smoothest writing experiences of my life.



10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Josh says: I’ve got a novella out there called Ghastle and Yule about warring horror filmmakers who try to outshine one another (to a bad end.) Gordon Ghastle is a somewhat flashy old-school fella who is going for the Spielberg holy-cow movie making. And Allan Yule is a bearded rogue who loathes industry of any kind and makes movies that features no human beings at all. As I say on my instagram, I’m equal parts Ghastle and Yule. The guy who’s going for an undeniably shiny work of art and the guy who doesn’t care if he fails in that, as long as it’s art in the end.



11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Josh says: I love horror movie soundtracks. I listen to them all the time, not just while writing. We’ll have guests and I’ll say, “Tell me, Bruce and Donna, have you ever heard… Chopping Mall?” As goes a playlist, here are five of my favorites (try them out yourself): Creepshow, Under the Skin, Vertigo, Friday the 13th, and Cat’s Eye. But really, I love a hundred of them. The horror movie soundtrack plays like a bad kid who got his hands on classical music. “What does it sound like if I do this to it?”
Meredith says: I made the mistake of listening to Isaac Marion's playlist. But I said to myself, "this is Josh Malerman! I must listen to his playlist and get a taste for it." And then the soundtrack to Friday the 13th starts playing, and I'm reminded why I still have to sleep with a light on at night when I'm home alone. So I skip on over to Cat's Eye soundtrack... Let's just say my power bill significantly increased for a few weeks.



12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Josh says: I’d tell them not to be afraid of writing a bad book. Start it, explode with it, throw up all over yourself, and finish it. Worry about it being “good” or “bad” some other time. Think of it this way: would you rather have a crappy rough draft that you can fix? Or have no draft at all? I’d warn a young writer about Inspiration. Inspiration is a monster. It makes you wait for him. I’m just outside! It says. I’m close! And in the meantime you wait so long you end up with nothing on the page. So let’s all forget about Inspiration and just write whether or not we feel like it. Talk about what you write, talk about it too much, talk about it all the time. Give yourself phantom deadlines; I gotta get this story done on THIS date. OR ELSE! And meet those deadlines. Interview yourself. Hold conversations with imaginary editors. Place your own invisible books on an invisible shelf. Live delusional. But write yourself into existence, book by book. And remember that all books are words, and that all words are letters first.
Meredith says: nothing, I have nothing to say. That was the best advice ever.


Get your copy of Birdbox

Connect with Josh





About Josh:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Josh Malerman is an American author and the lead singer for the rock band The High Strung.[1][2] Malerman currently lives in Ferndale, Michigan.[3]

Malerman first began writing while in the fifth grade, where he began writing about a space-traveling dog.[4] Since then he has written several unpublished novels and his debut novel Bird Box was published in the United Kingdom and United States in 2014 to much critical acclaim.[5][6][7]



ZOMBIE CRAWL - Paint your face undead


I've always been a fan of the undead and the zombies created by Hollywood, even if they give me nightmares and prevent me from walking my dog after nightfall.  Each television show and movie has makeup artists that bring the undead to life. This task is both impressive and terrifying. One of my favorite zombie books was Warm Bodies. Of course, before I watched the movie, I read the book and fell in love with it. I knew this makeup artist had his work cut out for him. An undead James Dean, count me in!  Wondering how the makeup artists made R undead but still a little handsome? Watch below:





Don't forget to take a peek at the interview with Warm Bodies author Isaac Marion




Giveaway Details:

For a chance to win a Kindle eBook copy of THE NEW HUNGER by Isaac Marion
1. Share this blog post
2. Comment below
3. Share the Isaac Marion blog post AND leave a comment on the Isaac Marion blog post

Make sure you visit the rest of the participants of the ZOMBIE CRAWL in the links below!


z crawl schedule

Zombie Crawl 2 - Blog Party

October 22 - 31, 2015
How it works: Each day, the scheduled authors and bloggers will post awesome zombie-tastic content for your enjoyment along with a giveaway on their site/blog/page. You can hop around to all of the participating sites and enter as many giveaways as you like! If you would like to be emailed links to the new posts each day, join this Zombie Crawl Daily Digest list which will ensure you don't miss a post (or join the party on Facebook to get notifications). Make sure to leave comments and interact with the participating sites. Thanks for joining the party!

The Schedule:

OCTOBER 22 - Thursday
Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans (Party & Grand Prize Host) 
  Jo Michaels Blog (author) 
  Rissa Blakeley (author) 

OCTOBER 23 - Friday 
  Claire C. Riley (author) 
  2 Girls & A Book (blog) 
  Emily Shore (author) 

  OCTOBER 24 - Saturday 
  Kathy Dinisi (author) 
  Us Girls & A Book (blog) 
  The Voluptuous Book Diva (blog 18+) 
  

  OCTOBER 25 - Sunday 
  Casey L. Bond (author) 
  THE KATY blog (blog) 
  

  OCTOBER 26 - Monday 
  Saul Tanpepper (author) 
  Warren Fielding (author) 
  The Leighgendarium (blog) 
  

  OCTOBER 27 - Tuesday 
  Kody Boye (author) 
  Rhiannon Frater (author) 
  ER Arroyo (author) 

  OCTOBER 28 - Wednesday 
  Allen Gamboa (author) 
  Armand Rosamilia (author) 
  
  OCTOBER 29 - Thursday 
  Kate L. Mary (author) 
  aftershockzombieseries (author) 
  Eli Constant (author) 
  
  OCTOBER 30 - Friday 
  Aria Michaels (author) 
  Brian Parker (author) 
  
  OCTOBER 31 - Saturday 
  Cindy Carroll (author) 
  M. R. Pritchard (author) 
  Toni L.H. Boughton (author) 
  Digital Dirty Girl (blog)

To learn more about Band of Dystopian and/or to enter our Grand Prize Giveaway, visit BandofDystopian.com and don't forget to join the group on Facebook!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review: What Lies Within






Fast-paced and unpredictable, What Lies Within is an exciting read. For a good portion of this book I kept getting that eerie feeling I remember from watching the movie Scream as a kid. As Shelley Murano's story unfolded, I was hooked and couldn't put it down.  If you like YA and thrillers, What Lies Within is perfect for you.


5/5 stars

Get Your Copy of WHAT LIES WITHIN by James Morris








PS: I just started reading MELOPHOBIA, and I'm hooked. Pick up these books people.

Today's Authtoberfest featured author is Nicole Ciacchella!




1. It’s Halloween, pick 3 of your favorite writers to paint the town red with and tell us why you chose them.
Nicole Says: a. Edgar Allan Poe, for what are probably obvious reasons. I have yet to find another author whose works can scare me more.
b. Charles Baudelaire, because he was a great admirer of Poe and his work reflects it, and because it would give me a chance to practice my French.
c. Jane Austen, because if I’m going to hang around with any other author I can imagine, it’s going to be her. Her witty remarks about the Halloween costumes we’d see would be sure to keep me amused.



2. You’re ready to head out with your pillowcase to collect loads of confections on All Hallows’ Eve, what’s your costume and why did you choose it?
Nicole Says: I’d love to be a Jedi, and a Tolkien elf would be fun too. Hermione Granger is also high on my list, but I think if I could do any costume, it would be Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games. I mean, have you seen the costumes Elizabeth Banks wears in the movies? The outrageous clothes, the impossible shoes, the colorful hair, the theatrical makeup, the enormous false eyelashes! To me, that is the epitome of Halloween dress-up fun.



3. Old Mrs. Robinson opens her door and you’re holding open your pillowcase patiently waiting. “Oh deary,” she says in her frail, little old-lady voice. “I forgot it was Halloween. Don’t know why you kids go begging anyways. Let me go find something to give you.” She shuffles off and finally returns three and a half minutes later with 5 pennies, 2 peppermint candies that look like they went through the dryer, and her deceased husbands dentures. “Take what you like,” she offers, squinting at you.
What do you choose and why.
Nicole Says: The pennies. My kids have these awesome dinosaur banks that you “feed” coins to, and then you watch them slip down this twisty tube into the dino’s transparent belly. When I was a kid, I would have played with a bank like that for hours.



4. I really love reading Dean Koontz but some of his stuff scares the bejesus out of me. What’s the spookiest book you’ve ever read?
Nicole Says: It’s basically a tie here. Poe’s works really freak me out, with The Masque of the Red Death topping my list. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft is a real mind trip too. However, I also think Stephen King’s The Shining is one of the scariest things you can possibly read. I’ve never seen the movie, but reading that book made me want to sleep with the light on forever.



5. You’re a writer by day and supernatural creature by night. (Shed that human skin you sack of bones) What are you and why?
Nicole Says: Uh oh. I’m about to expose myself here! The truth is, supernatural creatures aren’t so much my thing. I’m more of a magic loving, sci-fi kind of woman, but if I had to choose one, it would probably be a shapeshifter. It’s fascinating to think of the insights I’d gain by being able to take on lots of different appearances. Since I majored in French and am passionate about learning about other languages and cultures, I’m always interested in learning about customs that are different from my own.



6. Every author has a bookshelf filled with his or her favorite reads. Run on over to yours and tell us the scariest book you have.
Nicole Says: I have lots of Poe, which I’m sure comes as no surprise by now! He’s been one of my favorites since I was in high school. I also find a lot of science fiction scary, particularly when it comes to the dystopian and post-apocalyptic stuff. Justin Cronin’s The Passage gives me serious shivers, as does The Hunger Games because, really, who wants to live in worlds like those?



7. We don’t all write horror but there comes a time when you’ve got to surprise your readers and make sure their hearts are still beating. How do you prepare yourself to get in the spooky writing mood?
Nicole Says: I like psychological horror, those scenes that you read and you want to drop the book because you’re just so disturbed by the idea of a person acting that way or having those thoughts—Gone Girl was so masterful at this. Writing those kind of passages can be a weird experience because it’s fun to imagine how readers might react, but it’s also uncomfortable to get into the mindset of a character who has truly depraved thoughts. I’ve had several writing sessions like that while working on my new Astoran Asunder series. To get myself in the right frame of mind, I spend a lot of time watching shows or movies or reading books with psychologically complex characters.



8. Stephen King’s front porch light is on but there are no Halloween decorations.
Do you:
a) trick-or-treat and cross your fingers that he’s handing out the good stuff
b) run screaming
c) call your mom to bring your favorite King paperback and beg for an autograph
Nicole Says: Oh, definitely B. No offense to Stephen King, who I’m sure is a wonderful person, but his books are so twisted that I wouldn’t go anywhere near his house!



9. Congratulations, you just won the literary lottery and sold a million books at full price! The royalty check clears on October 28th. What are you buying for the neighborhood kids?
a) an assortment of mini candybars
b) an assortment of cheap, hard candies
c) full size Hershey bars
Nicole Says: C, all the way. I am all about buying the best possible candy and handing it out in large quantities. Plus, you know, it means anything left over is hanging around in my house, so…



10. Your writer friend calls you with some frightening news. They’re giving up on writing, can’t take the pressure any longer. What do you tell them?
Nicole Says: I would definitely try my hardest to talk them down. Writing is really tough. You pour your heart and soul into your work, devote tons of your time and attention to it, and if it doesn’t take off the way you’d hoped, it can be devastating. Still, I think a passionate need to tell a story is what drives most authors. We are the victims of our own creations. I can’t imagine ever giving up writing, because my characters aren’t going to leave me alone until I let them out of my head. Plus, the wonderful thing about writing in this day and age is that, while all the choice can be a little overwhelming at times, readers have more options than ever before. I love the idea that there’s a book for everyone out there, which means that even those books that don’t hit the tops of the charts have passionate fans, people who might not otherwise have had a satisfying reading experience if they hadn’t found that book. The wonder of this era is that genres that were once considered niche and that weren’t given much priority now offer a wide array of books to readers.



Connect with Nicole!




Born and raised in Michigan, Nicole lives there still with her husband and two wonderful children. When she's not writing, Nicole enjoys reading, gaming, traveling, and cooking.
Nicole rarely meets a genre she doesn't like, and as a result has written contemporary romcoms, fantasy fiction, fairy tale retellings, and dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction. She's the author of the Fairytale Collection books, the YA/NA crossover Contributor trilogy, and the Astoran Asunder series.
Want a free monthly short story and sneak peeks at Nicole's upcoming works? Join her newsletter!
http://eepurl.com/t3I0r
Follow Nicole on Twitter and Facebook for her random thoughts, favorite memes, and info on upcoming releases. Nicole also loves e-mail from her readers, and you can contact her at nicole@nciacchella.com
http://www.facebook.com/nciacchella
http://www.nciacchella.com


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Today's Authtoberfest featured author is R. E. Carr!




1. It’s Halloween, pick 3 of your favorite writers to paint the town red with and tell us why you chose them.
R. E. Carr says: Well, I’d have to start with George R.R. Martin because I want to be really nice to him before trying to outrun him in the zombie apocalypse. It’s only fair. Then I would have to select Rick Gualtieri, because Halloween with two comedic vampire writers with a love for practical jokes is too good an offer to pass up. I predict that we would have an awesome time glitter bombing every sexy vampire costume we pass and playing with our kaiju toys while hopped up on sugar. Lastly, I would grab fellow Kindle Press author T.J. Zalecki because I think she looks taller than me and it’s a lot easier to paint if you have someone who can reach the high places without a ladder. Also while she’s not looking Rick and I can have our vampires bite her sirens and we will have a full-on mermaid apocalypse!
Meredith Says: I can't wait to read about the vampire mermaid apocalypse!I love the cover art ;)




2. You’re ready to head out with your pillowcase to collect loads of confections on All Hallows’ Eve, what’s your costume and why did you choose it?
R. E. Carr says: I, um, may have an adult-sized Belle costume stashed away for purely innocent reasons… I mean, she’s a smart, bookish Disney heroine with brown eyes and brown hair who gets to take home a ferocious Beast… yeah, I’m going to quit while I’m behind.



3. Old Mrs. Robinson opens her door and you’re holding open your pillowcase patiently waiting. “Oh deary,” she says in her frail, little old-lady voice. “I forgot it was Halloween. Don’t know why you kids go begging anyways. Let me go find something to give you.” She shuffles off and finally returns three and a half minutes later with 5 pennies, 2 peppermint candies that look like they went through the dryer, and her deceased husband’s dentures. “Take what you like,” she offers, squinting at you.
What do you choose and why.
R. E. Carr says: I’ll go for the teeth, after all I never know when I’ll get around to starting that cloning facility I always dreamed of and every bit of DNA helps.



4. I really love reading Dean Koontz but some of his stuff scares the bejesus out of me. What’s the spookiest book you’ve ever read?
R. E. Carr says: My first experience with a horror novel was actually a Dean Koontz novel. I saw Phantoms at the supermarket checkout like as a little girl and told my mom “ooh, pretty, I want that!” and she being my mom of course didn’t read the back, she just say the butterfly on the cover and put it in the cart. Yeah, I was a little surprised (at age eight) what I got myself into this time. I became terrified of any and all oil slicks on the pavement until I was about twenty and became completely obsessed with all missing cultures throughout history. When I went to Chichin Itza this year I may have even done one pass looking around corners for any mysterious holes.



5. You’re a writer by day and supernatural creature by night. (Shed that human skin you sack of bones) What are you and why?
R. E. Carr says: I am the fierce and mighty were— Who am I kidding? Everyone knows I turn into big fluffy bear and hibernate and am only moderately savage while waking up. Also, I’m slightly obsessed with honey.



6. Every author has a bookshelf filled with his or her favorite reads. Run on over to yours and tell us the scariest book you have.
R. E. Carr says: The scariest book I have on my shelves has to be the Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook. I mean, imagine 208 complete pages with no bacon and they expect you to cook these recipes and SURVIVE!!!



7. We don’t all write horror but there comes a time when you’ve got to surprise your readers and make sure their hearts are still beating. How do you prepare yourself to get in the spooky writing mood?
R. E. Carr says: I like to drink between 40 and 60 ounces of tea and then write late at night (because I won’t be sleeping anyway). My apartment is old and creaky and creepy and there are all sorts of weird reflections so it’s very easy to get in the mood. Also, the sheer amount of stimulants in the system guarantee that at least my heart will be racing.



8. Stephen King’s front porch light is on but there are no Halloween decorations.
Do you:
a) trick-or-treat and cross your fingers that he’s handing out the good stuff
b) run screaming
c) call your mom to bring your favorite King paperback and beg for an autograph
R. E. Carr says: I tend to get crippling stage fright when meeting my idols and I feel physical pain asking for anything, so I would probably conduct a séance. If my mother actually clawed out of her grave and brought me The Stand to get signed I think I would be stunned into enough courage to finally approach.



9. Congratulations, you just won the literary lottery and sold a million books at full price! The royalty check clears on October 28th. What are you buying for the neighborhood kids?
a) an assortment of mini candybars
b) an assortment of cheap, hard candies
c) full size Hershey bars
R. E. Carr says: Oh, the neighborhood kids are totally getting hooked up with British and Japanese candies. Every child should be shown the wonder of Crunchie Bars, Cadbury Flake, Meltykisses and green tea flavored Kit Kats.



10. Your writer friend calls you with some frightening news. They’re giving up on writing, can’t take the pressure any longer. What do you tell them?
R. E. Carr says: I will give them the very same advice that was given to me when I tried to give up a few years back:
“Go ahead, give up, be a quitty quiterton who quits. It’s not like it was dream or you really wanted to do this, right? I’m sure you’ll love sharing the story with your grandkids how you had a talent and then threw it away because it got tough at some point.”
Yeah, I tend to respond to sarcastic motivation, but it’s true. If you start getting angry over quitting something, then you probably can take that rage and channel it back into your work.


Connect with R. E. Carr!




R. E. Carr likes to split her time between the alien (well, resident alien) she married, her two adorable offspring and the vast army of characters who constantly argue in her brain. She uses her past life as a video game reviewer to remind herself just how awesome it is to be writing novels now.

Rachel writes because she knows so many people and places that never quite made it into this version of the universe. It's her duty to let them out. Writing also gives her mind a certain peace and calm rarely felt in this multi-tasking, wired world.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Today's Authtoberfest featured author is JAMES MORRIS!





James Morris is a cool guy. He has won two KindleScout campaigns this year! What an accomplishment. James has written some great reads, people. Check out his links below.
Let's see what James had to say about All Hallows' Eve!



1. It’s Halloween, pick 3 of your favorite writer buddies to paint the town read with and tell us why you chose them.
James says: I’m really not sure. Unlike the zombie apocalypse where survival is at stake, going to a party is a lot more personal. I’d want to know the writers as people first, which is a problem because really, I don’t want to know most writers. Not that they’re not nice people. But if I love a piece of work, and then I meet the writer, and he or she turns out to be an odious turd, then it’s forever going to impact how I read the book. And the book and the person, to me, are separate things. All that to say, I’d dress up in a costume, like maybe Darth Maul where no one would recognize me and let my id roam free.



2. You’re ready to head out with your pillowcase to collect loads of confections on All Hallows’ Eve, what’s your costume and why did you choose it?
James says: I used to love Halloween, but as people got older, there were fewer and fewer parties. I’m talking Halloween bashes where everyone is costumed (and not “as themselves” – seriously, why go to a Halloween party without a costume!) Having said that, my wife and I talked about going as Wonderwoman and Superman. But you know what? I can’t pull off that costume. I think I’d prefer to go as Hugh Hefner.



3. Old Mrs. Robinson opens her door and you’re holding open your pillowcase patiently waiting. “Oh deary,” she says in her frail, little old-lady voice. “I forgot it was Halloween. Don’t know why you kids go begging anyways. Let me go find something to give you.” She shuffles off and finally returns three and a half minutes later with 5 pennies, 2 peppermint candies that look like they went through the dryer, and her deceased husbands dentures. “Take what you like,” she offers, squinting at you.
What do you choose and why.
James says: Hilarious. (I will share, one year while trick-or-treating, a woman gave us peanuts. Like, 3 of them. With the shells on. I thought it was the worst treat ever.) As for Mrs. Robinson, I’d skip the 5 pennies, as well as the peppermint candies and take the dentures. Who knows when I might need them? Bwhahaha.



4. I really love reading Dean Koontz but some of his stuff scares the bejesus out of me. What’s the spookiest book you’ve ever read?
James says: The one most recent was Birdbox by Josh Malerman. I thought that was one of the most unique horror books ever, and I’m kinda jealous I didn’t think of it. The other one that stands out in memory is Stephen King’s “The Shining.” How he made the shrubbery maze – with its topiary animals – scary, was very cool because that idea could’ve gone very, very wrong.
Meredith says: Birdbox was an awesome read. Josh Malerman's interview is on 10/31, stay tuned!


5. You’re a writer by day and supernatural creature by night. (Shed that human skin you sack of bones) What are you and why?
James says: One of my cool elementary school teachers played us Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens during Halloween. And I always liked that story of the skeletons dancing with abandon during that one special night a year, and then returning to their graves during the day. I’m not sure what creature I would be – vampire, werewolf, ghost – they are all so interesting – but I love the idea of capturing the spirit of life, which we unfortunately only really appreciate in the face of, or in the wake of, a tragedy and death.





6. Every author has a bookshelf filled with his or her favorite reads. Run on over to yours and tell us the scariest book you have.
James says: I generally don’t keep books – I give to them Goodwill when I’m done; I just ran out of room one day and thought: will I ever re-read them all? So my shelf is limited. The scariest one right now is THE CHOCOLATE WAR by Robert Cormier because I think it speaks to the entrenched power structures that are in place no matter where you are, which is scary indeed. (My analogy for life is I often think I’m caught in a bureaucracy as a low-level employee, and there are decisions made way above my pay grade, and I have no idea what they are, but whose ramifications continue to trickle down.)



7. We don’t all write horror but there comes a time when you’ve got to surprise your readers and make sure their hearts are still beating. How do you prepare yourself to get in the spooky writing mood?
James says: Scary or sweet, it’s the same. It’s boring, I know, but I just sit. And then I think: what would surprise me? What would scare me? Of course, making sure that I don’t have happy music in the background helps!



8. Stephen King’s front porch light is on but there are no Halloween decorations.
Do you:
a) trick-or-treat and cross your fingers that he’s handing out the good stuff
b) run screaming
c) call your mom to bring your favorite King paperback and beg for an autograph
James says: I’d definitely trick-or-treat. His house during Halloween must be insane.



9. Congratulations, you just won the literary lottery and sold a million books at full price! The royalty check clears on October 28th. What are you buying for the neighborhood kids?
a) an assortment of mini candybars
b) an assortment of cheap, hard candies
c) full size Hershey bars
James says: None of the above. I’m buying them peanuts with the shells on, so that they can remember me years and years later as the guy who gave them the worst treat ever.
Meredith says: I just laughed out loud!



10. Your writer friend calls you with some frightening news. They’re giving up on writing, can’t take the pressure any longer. What do you tell them?
James says: Writing is very personal; it’s like religion or politics that way. I would say I understand why they’re stopping. I’ve said before that writing as a career is not pragmatic at all and filled with heartache. Why we continue to do it speaks to the crazy love we have for it. So, when that love starts to wane, I’d say, take a break. For now. And then see if the passion returns. It’s not a failure. You are not a failure.



Connect with James Morris!



(This is James. I call him Jim 'cause we're best friends. He just doesn't know it yet.)


About this author:

James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching 'House Hunters Renovation', or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Today's Authtoberfest featured author is NICK COLE







1. It’s Halloween, pick 3 of your favorite writers to paint the town red with and tell us why you chose them.
Nick Says: Stephen King because the Dark Tower series is what it would be like if every day was Halloween and it was all Trick and not so much treat. Ray Bradbury because he just owned that awesome homespun weirdness meets future fantastic vibe of “all’s not right”. Martian Chronicles specifically (Side note: I appeared in a production of this as Spender the murderous astronaut who goes native. Mr. Bradbury showed up and after the show we talked and he kept calling me “Spender”. One of the best nights of my life.) And Charles Schultz. Because the older I get the more I long to be in that neighborhood on Halloween afternoon. Carving a pumpkin. Cutting the eyeholes in a sheet. Crawling through the trenches in no man’s land and hoisting a root beer with the world’s greatest flying ace. Midnite in the pumpkin patch talking about the meaning of life.



2. You’re ready to head out with your pillowcase to collect loads of confections on All Hallows’ Eve, what’s your costume and why did you choose it?
Nick Says: Pirate. Because I am, says I.



3. Old Mrs. Robinson opens her door and you’re holding open your pillowcase patiently waiting. “Oh deary,” she says in her frail, little old-lady voice. “I forgot it was Halloween. Don’t know why you kids go begging anyways. Let me go find something to give you.” She shuffles off and finally returns three and a half minutes later with 5 pennies, 2 peppermint candies that look like they went through the dryer, and her deceased husbands dentures. “Take what you like,” she offers, squinting at you.
What do you choose and why.
Nick Says:  I tell her to get a big bowl and I empty all my candy into it. I’ll be back later with more.



4. I really love reading Dean Koontz but some of his stuff scares the bejesus out of me. What’s the spookiest book you’ve ever read?
Nick Says: The Spookiest? Probably the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Inside you find The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, The Man in the shadows. Scary stuff.



5. You’re a writer by day and supernatural creature by night. (Shed that human skin you sack of bones) What are you and why?
Nick Says: An Edward Gorey Ghost. Haunting the nights looking for the lost road that leads to yesterday and WhatMightHaveBeen. Wandering the night for all those long lost good times. Not threatening in any other way that an over-consuming melancholy for all the good that once was.



6. Every author has a bookshelf filled with his or her favorite reads. Run on over to yours and tell us the scariest book you have.
Nick Says: I guess, in a way William Forstchen’s One Second After is pretty scary. In a “Wow! I hope this doesn’t happen but it’s probably gonna sort of way!”



7. We don’t all write horror but there comes a time when you’ve got to surprise your readers and make sure their hearts are still beating. How do you prepare yourself to get in the spooky writing mood?
Nick Says:  I like looking at Edward Gorey pictures and listening to 80’s goth music.



8. Stephen King’s front porch light is on but there are no Halloween decorations.
Do you:
a) trick-or-treat and cross your fingers that he’s handing out the good stuff
b) run screaming
c) call your mom to bring your favorite King paperback and beg for an autograph
Nick Says:  I’ll go with “a” and tell him that I don’t like anything he’s handing out. Instead I’ll take a one minute story off the top of his head for a “treat”, or, I get out my Big Book of very Bad Tricks. Your call, Stevey, but I’d pick the story.



9. Congratulations, you just won the literary lottery and sold a million books at full price! The royalty check clears on October 28th. What are you buying for the neighborhood kids?
a) an assortment of mini candybars
b) an assortment of cheap, hard candies
c) full size Hershey bars
Nick Says:  Full size Hershey’s with almonds. Memory. Basic Training. I hadn’t had a candy bar in six weeks. One day a guy smuggled in a few from the PX. It was heaven.



10. Your writer friend calls you with some frightening news. They’re giving up on writing, can’t take the pressure any longer. What do you tell them?
Nick Says:  Probably for the best. It doesn’t sound like they were doing it for the love. Because in the end, that’s the only reason you do it. The more successful you become the more people hate you. If you can’t take the pressure now you don’t want to know what it’s like when you actually make it. Just write for fun. You’ll be happier that way.

Connect with Nick Cole






("I drink your Milkshake. I drink it down!")

_______________________________________


Nick Cole is a former soldier and working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can be found writing books for Harper Collins.




Monday, October 26, 2015

Today's Authtoberfest featured author is, the prince of darkness, ERNIE LINDSEY!




1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Ernie says: First, Chuck Wendig. I only know of him through his Twitter feed, but he seems perfectly badass enough (can I say ‘badass’ on your blog?) to be like Ash from Army of Darkness. I can see him cocking a shotgun and saying, “Come get some.” Second, after reading The Martian, I’d have to go with Andy Weir, because he’s brilliant enough to rig whatever we’d need to stay alive. And maybe build a spaceship too so we could get away from the zombies. Third…while I don’t think he’s written any fiction, I’d have David Sedaris along. Why? Because laughter would be necessary in a post-apocalyptic zombie world.



2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Ernie says: Hah! Well, at least you didn’t ask me to pick only one. Supposing they can both be saved, I’d go with J. K. Rowling first, because anyone wealthier than the Queen of England likely has monetary access to excellent hitmen. I wouldn’t want her angry with me for not picking her first.



3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Ernie says: I just finished reading The Martian again for the second time, in preparation for the movie release. Prior to that, I absolutely devoured Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. Brilliant, melancholy, and full of gorgeous writing that made me jealous of her talent.



4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Ernie says: Tomcat in Love, by Tim O’Brien. I’ve been recommending that book for years. Some of the things O’Brien does with language in that story are astounding.



5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Ernie says: It’s for sure a tossup between The Martian and Eleanor by Jason Gurley. The interesting thing is, both were originally indie-published works, and both went on to get picked up by Crown Publishing, a division of Random House. A refined version of Eleanor is due out in January 2016. Take note: I’m positive that Gurley will be one of our future literary giants.



6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Ernie says: This has been the year of little reading, for a variety of reasons, so my choices are limited. But, I’d have to go with Station Eleven. I didn’t want it to end. Ever.



7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Ernie says: Telekinesis. Mostly I’d just like to be able to flick a finger and pick up all of the toddler toys, fling the laundry on hangers and in drawers, put the dishes away, and pour a glass of wine without having to get up from the couch. Forget fighting evil villains. I just want the chores to be done.



8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Ernie says: I’m such a creature of habit that I have to be tucked away in my little office, sitting at my cluttered desk. Trying to write anywhere else throws off the balance.



9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from one of your books.
Ernie says: The climax/ending to Sara’s Game. My former agents felt the original ending could be quite a bit stronger and asked me to revamp it. I waffled with ideas for two or three days until the perfect resolution hit me. I’m convinced it contributed to the success that title has seen, and likely allowed me to keep doing this as a career.



10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Ernie says: Wow. Um. All of them? Not counting the kidnappers and killers? The closest would probably be Chris (a.k.a. “Brick”) in Going Shogun. The witty everyman.



11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Ernie says: I can’t actually write to music. At least not music with words. I’ve learned to manage most aspects of my ADD, but being able to write while someone else says words isn’t one of them. So, for me, it’s the soothing sounds of rain, ocean waves, or waterfalls in a jungle, with binaural beats in the background that are supposed to enhance creativity or concentration.



12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Ernie says: Use your adverbs sparingly, he said, conspiratorially.


Connect with ERNIE LINDSEY!




USA Today bestselling author Ernie Lindsey grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia, working on the family farm and reading, and has spent his life telling stories to anyone that will listen. He is the author of thirteen mystery, thriller, and suspense books, along with numerous short stories. When he's not writing or reading the works of other thriller writers, you can find him chasing a toddler, feeding a toddler, or cleaning up after a toddler. He remembers non-toddler things, but they're flimsy, gauzy mysteries.
Ernie and his family live in Oregon, along with a multi-fingered Hemingway cat named Luna.
Head over to ErnieLindsey.com for more information, or join him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ErnieLindseyFiction

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Today's Authtoberfest featured author is Vincent Robert Annunziato!





Let's see what Vincent had to say about reading, writing and All Hallows' Eve!


1. It’s Halloween, pick 3 of your favorite writers to paint the town red with and tell us why you chose them.
VRA says:
a. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
b. Dracula – Bram Stoker
c. Exorcist – William Blatty



2. You’re ready to head out with your pillowcase to collect loads of confections on All Hallows’ Eve, what’s your costume and why did you choose it?
VRA says: Well I’d say I don’t really need one. I’m pretty scary. But I would love to choose the Hulk. He’s a massive beast who nobody messes with when he’s angry.


3. Old Mrs. Robinson opens her door and you’re holding open your pillowcase patiently waiting. “Oh deary,” she says in her frail, little old-lady voice. “I forgot it was Halloween. Don’t know why you kids go begging anyways. Let me go find something to give you.” She shuffles off and finally returns three and a half minutes later with 5 pennies, 2 peppermint candies that look like they went through the dryer, and her deceased husbands dentures. “Take what you like,” she offers, squinting at you. What do you choose and why.
VRA says: 5 pennies. I can still buy gum with it.


4. I really love reading Dean Koontz but some of his stuff scares the bejesus out of me. What’s the spookiest book you’ve ever read?
VRA says: The Exorcist


5. You’re a writer by day and supernatural creature by night. (Shed that human skin you sack of bones) What are you?
VRA says: I’ll take Angel of Light for $500 Meredith.


6. Every author has a bookshelf filled with his or her favorite reads. Run on over to yours and tell us the scariest book you have.
VRA says: Exorcist – William Blatty


7. We don’t all write horror but there comes a time when you’ve got to surprise your readers and make sure their hearts are still beating. How do you prepare yourself to get in the spooky writing mood?
VRA says: For me the characters become real. So, it’s not a mood it’s a forced motive. As I am searching the plotlines and moving the characters through them, the potential for physical, emotional and spiritual dilemmas are always present.


8. Stephen King’s front porch light is on but there are no Halloween decorations.
Do you:
a. trick-or-treat and cross your fingers that he’s handing out the good stuff
b. run screaming
c. call your mom to bring your favorite King paperback and beg for an autograph
VRA says: I’m all in on calling mom to get the autograph.


9. Congratulations, you just won the literary lottery and sold a million books at full price! The royalty check clears on October 28th. What are you buying for the neighborhood kids?
a. an assortment of mini candybars
b. an assortment of cheap, hard candies
c. full size Hershey bars
VRA says: Definitely C, but I don’t know if there would be any left to hand out!


10. Your writer friend calls you with some frightening news. They’re giving up on writing, can’t take the pressure any longer. What do you tell them?
VRA says: Take a chill pill. Order up a Gran Marnier on the rocks and have a very long discussion.


Connect with Vincent Robert Annunziatio!





Author bio:

33 Degrees was selected as a Kindle Scout winner for publication. Thank you to all my fans who voted and helped get 33 noticed!
Vincent Robert Annunziato is a native Long Islander who currently resides with his wife and family in Virginia. He graduated Sachem High School and received a B.S. Degree from Hofstra University in Television Science. Vincent spent several years in Hollywood working for various production companies. He eventually wound up landing a job with the government, marrying a wonderful woman and raising three beautiful children. After thinking the dream of becoming a writer had passed him by, Vincent wrote his first novel on an Amazon Kindle HD tablet while commuting to work 2 hours each way.