Friday FaBOOolousness – March’s MarvelOoous Mashups, Awards, and a Tag Meme

We skipped February so it’s time for The Ooo Factor’s next installment of MarvelOoous Mashups.  This month I’m including a few awards that my fellow bloggers so generously awarded me, as well as participating in the widely spread Lucky 7 Meme.

First up, a big HUGE thanks to Marcy Kennedy for awarding me the Liebster Award!

Liebster is the German word for beloved person.  If anything, I have definitely developed a close friendship with Marcy, even though we’ve never met in real life.  She is one of the most supportive writing friends a girl could have, and I look forward daily to her tweets, emails, posts, and smiles.

In turn, I award these great blogging friends with the Liebster Award: Amber West and Jen L. Kirchner.  They’re my liebsters and excellent bloggers.

Jen has previously written a few great Vote Your Own Adventure blog series, but she’s now venturing out into the Sci-Fi world and provides great Gaming Reviews for Girls as well as Sci-Fi Pin Ups each month.

Amber, in addition to all of her blogging greatness, has started a new series of her own where she takes inspiration from her blog commenters to build the next portion of her story.  Her tale has just begun, so be sure and stop by her blog to contribute to her Tell Me a Story series.

I’d also like to express a big HUGE thanks to Martine Svanevik for awarding me the Kreativ Blogger Award and Fallon Brown for the Versatile Blogger Award.

I’ve done this a few times, but still feel like I should share the love and award a few new bloggers with the same honor.

Let’s see….who’s Kreativ?  Definitely Myndi Shafer.  Myndi blogs about anything and everything, but my favorite series is her I am Beautiful posts where she features women’s beauty from the inside out.

Who’s deserving of the Versatile Blogger Award?  Lydia Sharp of The Sharp Angle.  Lydia blogs about everything from vivacious spring colors, to the writing craft, and in one of my favorite segments, she promotes other writers and their books out in the market today in Fresh Baked Books.

THANK YOU, everyone!  Winning these awards for my posts means so very much to me, AND congratulations to the new recipients.

*****

In addition to these fabOoolous bloggers deserving of the awards, be sure to click on these sites featured in the March edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: FabOoolous Writerly Posts

When writing, we’ve all heard to be careful with our use of flashbacks.  Luckily, Lydia Sharp helps us along with her post: Good Flashbacks, Bad Flashbacks.

All writers waffle back and forth as to whether or not they should travel down the traditional publishing route, the indie publishing route, or the self-publishing route.  These next two posts explore two of the three roads: The Ins and Outs of Indie Publishing, a guest post by PJ Sharon courtesy of Catie Rhodes, and Publishing with Small Press, a guest post by Laura Kaye courtesy of Stacy Green.  These are fabOoolous reads for all writers considering their publishing options.

Show Don’t Tell – one of the most popular phrases a writer hears when attending self-editing workshops.  Thanks to the great Angela R. Wallace, I found this wonderful example of how to show and not tell by Ilona Andrews.  Thanks for sharing, Angela!

What do we do when we want to talk about a controversial topic on our blog?  Taking a side in any controversy can be controversial in itself.  Thanks to August McLaughlin, she offers up a wonderful summation of just what to do in her post: Controversial Blog Posts – How to Make them Work.

We all know that Targeting Advertising is the Key to Success, right?  If not, check out this fabOoolous post and list of resources by Emlyn Chand.

PART II: FabOoolous Recipes

It’s Martini O’clock!  When in need of a fancy cocktail to get us through the night (or day in some circumstances), Jillian Dodd has just what we need: the Thin Mint Martini and the Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini.  YUM!!!

Part III: FabOoolous True Crime Stories

Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t corner the market on homosexual oriented serial killings. Kansas City had its own monster: Robert Berdella, a.k.a. the Butcher. While Dahmer killed his victims fairly quickly, Berdella liked to torture the young men he seduced for days and sometimes weeks. He kept a “torture book” detailing his sadistic activities. 

Ooo, Stacy really grabbed my attention with this one!  When I see an introduction like this, I’m interested.  For more about Bob’s Bazaar Bizarre, check out Stacy Green’s thrilling post.

What ‘s better than True Crime?  Throwing ghosts into the mix.  The Devil’s Weekend by Catie Rhodes does not disappoint.  To quote Catie quoting Joseph Conrad: “The horror! the horror!”

Part IV: Just Because They’re fabOoolous

Anyone who knows me, knows I love scary movies.  Especially slashers.  Which is why it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite links these past few months is Sonia G. Medeiros’ Creepiest Movie Quotes.

My vote for creepiest movie quote – “Your blood, all over me” from When a Stranger Calls (2006)

Can anyone name a few Songs that Became Movies?  It’s a lot harder than it seems.  Check out a few of the lyrical sensations that took Hollywood by storm, courtesy of Catie Rhodes.

Ever wonder what in the world the kids are talking about today?  Take a trip down memory lane with these Excellent Generational Phrases by Erin Brambilla.

Who is a Larger than Life Character?  Check out this very interesting blog post by Julie Glover where she explores theconcoctions of an author’s mind who take on their own identity and become conversational touchpoints

Julie picked Hannibal Lector as one of her top six. I have to agree…

Ever wonder what a logline would be like if we combined two movies together?  To be honest, I hadn’t either.  Not until I read Loglines from the Edge of Ridiculousness by Myndi Shafer.  This post is brilliant and very entertaining.

We can never be too safe in today’s digital world, which is why I absolutely recommend this fabOoolous Tech Safety and Security blog with Ian Thompson courtesy of Amber West.  Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the hackers are growing exponentially today?

*****

And now for the last part of today’s special blog celebration — my participation in The Lucky 7 Meme tag game.  Thank you to Angela R. Wallace, Marcy Kennedy, Lisa Hall Wilson, Shannyn Schroeder, and Jillian Dodd for the big slap on the back (that’s how you play tag, right?).

Of course with any tagging game, there are rules…

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines (sentences or paragraphs) and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 writers and let them know.

Everyone knows that I’m working on my first YA mystery novel, but very few know anything about it.  I’ve kept pretty mum on my title and storyline, but considering I’m almost done with my cover and am in the final editing stage, it’s time.

So here’s an excerpt from the rough draft of my first book… drumroll please…

Football Sweetheart

Whew!  That’s the first time I’ve publically announced the name of my book!!

I’ve been editing for the past few months and I’m really not sure if this scene will actually end up on page 77, but it’s there now.  So here goes…

Aimee glanced up while singing along to Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” only to notice Jeanie wasn’t standing in the circle any longer.  She slowed her swaying, and started looking around.  Jeanie was new to the school, new to the group, and had never been out to Uncle Marty’s — not with the girls anyway.  Just as she started to panic, Aimee spotted Jeanie across the dark street talking to Bobby.   

“The nerve!”   Aimee spewed spit with the exclamation, luckily keeping her tone low enough to only grab the attention of her friends. 

Okay, so it’s not much… but I did play by the rules – page 77, 7 lines down, 7 lines of my novel.

I’ve read some great excerpts of those participating in the Lucky 7 Meme tag game these past few weeks, and I’m looking forward to more.  Here are my Lucky 7 that I’d like to return the favor and slap on the back — TAG, YOU’RE IT!

  1.        Jen L. Kirchner
  2.        Amber West
  3.        Angela R. Wallace
  4.        Nichole Chase
  5.        Stephanie Nelson
  6.        Liz Schulte
  7.        Claudia Lefeve

This was really out of my comfort zone to announce the name of my book as well as include a small excerpt.  But why not?  I sure hope my Lucky 7 take the plunge with me, but I also understand if they don’t.

What blogs have you read lately that have really stood out among the rest?  Have any good blog posts for writers regarding self-publishing or e-books that you’d like to share? Recipes? How about a favorite true crime story that sends chills down your spine?  We’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Supernaturally Yours – Warlocks

We had so much fun with our last blog collaboration (Right to Remain Dreamy – our favorite men with and without badges), that we decided to take another stab at sharing our favorites – this time, we’re dealing in the supernatural.

Supernaturals and paranormals are taking over the world, aren’t they?  Who isn’t familiar with at least one of these book series, movies, and television adaptations: Twilight, Harry Potter, The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, Being Human, Alphas, I am Number Four, Teen Wolf, Merlin, Supernatural and Charmed?

The popularity of the supernatural is what led me to choose warlocks, well that and Stephanie Nelson had already selected witches.

By definition, a warlock is a traitor or oath-breaker; however, many commonly relate a warlock to the male version of the witch, since witches are stereotypically women.   Warlocks and wizards are oftentimes confused because they share many of the same traits and characteristics.  This similarity has led to debates regarding whether or not the character of Harry Potter is a wizard or a warlock.  Some argue wizard, because he’s not evil – but who’s to judge?

A warlock has the ability to cast a spell, or magical action, by reciting an incantation or by performing a ritual using herbs, potions, and amulets.  A warlock can also conjure the dead (necromancy), which might be one reason why many view warlocks as evil.

Because many view witchcraft as evil, mankind has attempted to eliminate witches and warlocks for centuries (think the Salem Witch Trials and witch hunters).  But I don’t view a warlock as evil.  I actually think a warlock is sexy, literally and figuratively, which is why I jumped at the chance to feature a few of my television and film favorites in this edition of Supernaturally Yours.

Enjoy!

*****

Harry Dresden (Paul Blackthorne) – The Dresden Files

Harry Dresden resides in Chicago where he consults with the police department and performs individual consulting gigs involving suspicious (paranormal/supernatural) circumstances.   Harry was raised by his uncle after the deaths of his parents (his mother was a witch and his father a magician), where he learns to utilize his finely crafted warlock skills and wizardry.

*****

Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) – The Witches of Eastwick

Daryl Van Horne is the mysterious, wealthy, and sexy man who moves to the town of Eastwick and mesmerizes three of its local women – Alex, Jane, and Sukie.  But Daryl’s arrival brings more than companionship for these ladies – he opens them up to using their witchcraft.  Daryl is the ultimate ladies man, sharing the love and attraction of three beautiful women.  But he’s also not afraid to wreak havoc on anyone who protests his actions or stands in his way (love the famous cherry scene).  Daryl puts his powers to use one final time just before the women decide to never see him again, when he impregnates each and every one of them, leaving his warlock legacy intact for years to come.

*****

Darryl Van Horne (Paul Gross) – Eastwick

This Darryl Van Horne is television’s counterpart to Jack Nicholson’s character for the short-lived Eastwick series.  Same concept, similar stories – Darryl, a mysterious, wealthy, and sexy man moves to the town of Eastwick and woos three of the local women who are unaware they possess a secret witchcraft – Joanna, Kat, and Roxie.  Unfortunately, the series ends before we know Darryl’s fate, but Paul Gross definitely does Jack Nicholson justice.

*****

Pogue Perry (Taylor Kitsch) – The Covenant

Tyler Simms (Chace Crawford) – The Covenant

The Covenant didn’t get much as far as positive critical acclaim, but I personally enjoyed the story of the five beautiful teenage warlocks (Caleb, Pogue, Reid, Tyler, and Sebastian) fighting to protect their families and keep their secrets and powers.  All of the boys qualify as eye-candy, but I believe Pogue and Tyler rank at the top of the list.

*****

Jake Armstrong (Chris Zylka) – The Secret Circle

The Secret Circle follows a group of teenage witches and warlocks who are bound for protection.  But when one member dies, his brother returns to town and automatically becomes the sixth member of the circle – Jake.  While I wasn’t expecting a supposed main character to die so suddenly (and early in the series), I am most grateful for the addition of Jake.  Jake is a bad boy warlock, who for the longest time uses his knowledge of witches to hunt and kill them alongside other dangerous witch hunters.  But once Jake meets Cassie, his intentions change and audiences can now fall in love with his smirks.

*****

Brendan (Michael Weatherly) – Charmed

Along with Supernatural, Charmed may be my favorite supernatural series of all time.  One of the first warlocks we meet, Brendan, just happens to also be one of the most popular characters on TV today (on NCIS, where he’s of course not a warlock).  Brendan asks the Halliwell sisters for help so that he doesn’t fall into his family’s curse and become an evil warlock like his brothers.  Why?  Because if Brendan joins his brothers – they will become the “evil power of three” to offset the Halliwell sisters “good”. 

The earlier seasons (this is from season one) were always my favorites…

Wyatt Halliwell (Wes Ramsey) – Charmed

As Charmed moves forward, Piper and Leo have two sons – Wyatt and Chris.  Once baby Wyatt grows into manhood, his sexy good looks overcome the fact that he’s destined at one point to be the ruler of the underworld.  Because Wyatt is a baby or toddler most of the series, there’s not a lot of story to tell here – other than I loved the flash-forward scenes where we could see adult Wyatt in the future and enjoy his long locks and scruffy face.

*****

John Van Owen (Sean Faris) – The Brotherhood 2: Young Warlocks

In the middle...

John is a transfer student at a private academy who makes friends with a beautiful girl. Sounds like a typical teenage movie, doesn’t it?  To fend off a group of angry jocks jealous of his new female companion, John joins forces with a group of warlocks.  But like many innocent teens, John doesn’t quite understand his newfound powers or what the others have planned for him and his black magic.

*****

Warlock (Julian Sands) – Warlock

A warlock from the 1600’s, Warlock, is cast forward in time to 1980’s Los Angeles, and a witch hunter follows him through the portal.  Warlock is taken in by a nice young girl, who later partners with the witch hunter after Warlock places an aging spell on her.  This warlock is actually evil…but enticing enough for sequels.  He may not be my perfect idea for eye-candy, but Sands did bring the warlock to the big screen and was probably the first warlock that I thought of…

*****

One might ask why I didn’t list Adam Conant (Thomas Dekker, The Secret Circle), Chris Halliwell (Drew Fuller, Charmed), Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Merlin (Colin Morgan), but our list was supposed to be somewhat relatable to eye-candy or the hot factor, and while these four are very powerful warlocks, they just don’t quite do it for me.

What do you think?  Who’s your favorite warlock – books, film, or television?  Who did I forget?  If you could, would you practice witchcraft?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the next Supernaturally Yours post, Fae by MG Ainsworth.

And just in case you want to see more of….

Liz Schulte – Demons
Cait Lavender – Werewolves
Elizabeth Sharpe – Vampires
Sarah Ross – Angels
M.D. Christie – Ghosts
Christine Powell – Elves
Stephanie Nelson – Witches

Friday FaBOOolousness – December’s MarvelOoous Holiday Mashup

It’s that special time of year – a time when families join together to eat, drink, and be merry.  It’s the time of year when most family traditions come into play, and the time of year for celebration.  For one, it’s Christmas; for another, it’s Hanukah; yet for a few it’s simply the end of the calendar year.

To celebrate this time of year, here are a few links that might just help us get in the true holiday spirit.

Holiday Traditions

What says Holiday Tradition better than the music?  Shannyn Schroeder shares a few of her favorite holiday songs like a rocked out version of Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town, and Julie Glover translates a few of the Christmas Carols for us.

Sonia G. Medeiros talks New Holiday Traditions, including watching movies in pajamas while drinking hot cocoa.  Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Kathy Owen poses the question, is Santa Claus a Man of Mystery?

 

Sarah at Classy with a Twist catches the Christmas Spirit and tackles the age-old question – do you believe in Santa?

Donna Newton tells a story from her childhood of Father Christmas and Jingling Bells.

Read about Christmas Down Under with Katy Hulme over at Angela R. Wallace’s blog.

Want to spend Christmas at the Happiest Place on EarthTameri Etherton shares her magical holiday at Disney.

 

Deborah J. Hughes wishes everyone a Merry Christmas or Not over at Ghostly Dramas.

Is the term “Merry Christmas” cultural or religious for you?  See Piper Bayard’s thoughts in Merry Christmas or Happy Water Buffalo Day.

Staying Merry with Parties, Food and Beverage

Jillian Dodd mixes up some tasty Holiday Cocktails.

Kate Wood isbaking up a storm in her kitchen this year.  Check out her Yummy Holiday Treat Ideas.

Tameri Etherton shares her Super Easy and Delicious Holiday Treat with us!

Marji Laine offers up her Top 10 Christmas Party Tips.

Giving Gifts

Alica McKenna Johnson asks, do you give Passive Aggressive Gifts?  I might fall into this category with my nieces and nephews….

Kathy Owen blogs an instructional wrapping video in What’s Your Greatest Gift Wrapping ChallengeHere, Kitty, Kitty.

Crafty?  Lynn Kelley shares her scrapbooking ideas for anyone who is in the mood to make some Homemade Gifts this holiday season.

Ellie Ann Soderstrom lists out her Holiday Gift Guide.  Now this is just too funny!

Stacy Green provides a few off-the-wall holiday gift ideas in her Glovers for Lovers post.

What does Jillian Dodd want for Christmas?  For Sexy Santa to come to town…

Holiday Fun

A girl after my own heart, Liz Schulte reminisces about five of her favorite holiday TV episodes.

Julie Glover asks, Are You a Christmas Person?, in this fun quiz…

What’s your favorite holiday book?  Jennie Bennett guest blogs over at Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project and shares a few of her favorite Holiday Books that actually inspire her to be a better writer.

Catie Rhodes started it, and the idea is just too fun to pass up!  So here’s Ten Random Holiday Things About Catie…

And now, me…

  1. I look forward to midnight every Christmas Eve so that I can put baby Jesus in the manger of our family’s Nativity Set.
  2. I love egg nog.  With alcohol.
  3. The only time of year I actually bake is Christmas.  This year, I made my mother’s famous Walnut Muffins and I tried a new recipe – Chai Sugar Cookies.
  4. I love to watch the holiday two-hour movies on Lifetime, LMN, and Hallmark with my mom as we wrap Christmas gifts.
  5. I’m hesitant to drive home on Christmas Eve now, courtesy of a snow storm a few years back that pushed me seven and a half hours off course.
  6. Spending time with my family is the most important thing to me when it comes to holiday celebrations.  I love to watch my nephews play, fight, or whatever it is they feel is necessary to do, and this is my niece’s first Christmas – that’s special in itself.
  7. When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave me a new music box or snow globe every Christmas.  To this day, I look forward to seeing all of my collectibles displayed in my parent’s living room and enjoy remembering one of my favorite people in the world.
  8. I like the idea of giving a child one gift to open on Christmas Eve to help ease their anticipation of Santa coming.  My cousin and I couldn’t wait to choose our one gift to open while the adults partied the night away.
  9. I may be in my mid-thirties, but I’m dying to go have my picture taken with Santa at the mall.  I think my parents have at least twenty-one pictures of me and Santa.  I have no idea why I stopped going…
  10. I love midnight mass – the candles, the smell of incense, and the organ.  There’s nothing quite like hearing a mass of hundreds sing O Holy Night and Ave Maria with the music playing through the organ’s pipes.

Now share a random holiday related thing about yourself. If you’d like to do this as a blog post, consider yourself tagged. 

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions, recipes, and gift giving/wrapping ideas?  I’d love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Friday FabOoolousness – Stephanie Nelson, Craved and Deceived

I met author Stephanie Nelson in a Facebook writers group, courtesy of the fabOoolous Liz Schulte.  Stephanie is one of the nicest and most supportive writers I have met.  She’s not afraid to tell us how she feels, how she accomplished her writing feats, and she doesn’t shy away from helping the rest of us accomplish our dreams.

Stephanie Nelson, Author

Stephanie’s life forever changed when she picked up the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.  Not only did our Stephanie discover the paranormal romance genre, but her addiction to books was born.

Like most writers, Stephanie started to read book after book, liking some and disliking others.  The more she read, the faster her stories and characters formed, and she took to writing.

After approximately four years of finding her comfort zone, Stephanie found her exact story.  Earlier this year, Stephanie released Craved, a paranormal romance introducing heroin Gwen Sparks.  Her second book in the series, Deceived, hits the online markets in early January.

Before we get started, here’s a little taste of Craved and Deceived to get everyone in the mood…

Craved:

Gwen Sparks just wants to live a peaceful life in the supernatural town of Flora, but from the moment she reads about the first murdered witch, all hope of peace is abandoned. Possessing the rare ability to read the memories of the dead, she volunteers to help catch the culprit behind the string of drained witches. Gwen has to team up with the one man who broke her heart, deal with a ghost who pulls her into the deathly realm at will, and fight off the advances of sexy but frustrating vampire who not only craves what runs through her veins — he wants her heart.

Deceived:

Gwen’s life has been a downward spiral since she discovered vampires crave witches blood. She’s summoned to Moon, the town of witches, where she learns that a war is brewing and she’s the secret weapon. Paired with the Angel of Death, it becomes quickly evident that she’s more powerful than she ever realized. But this reaper isn’t the robe wearing, scythe carrying kind – he’s a ruggedly handsome handful that has his eye on Gwen. As if that isn’t enough, she’s still tormented by Ian Desperaux’s constant intrusion into her thoughts and dreams. As Gwen struggles to balance her responsibility to the witches’ council and her secret relationship with her vampire boyfriend, Aiden, she’ll soon discover exactly what it means to be DECEIVED.

*****

When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

Not at all. When I was a little girl I worshiped Bobby Brown – not the R&B singer, the supermodel. I wanted to be just like her. Eventually, my dream of becoming a supermodel changed to wanting to just photograph supermodels. I prefer being behind the camera rather than in front of it.

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

I write what I would want to read—paranormal romance. I find that music helps me get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I’ve tried writing without music and I just stare at the computer screen like a confused zombie.

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, Patricia Briggs, Elle Jasper, Jane Austen, Karen Marie Moning. The list could go on and on…

The cover art for your books is amazing.  Did you design them yourself?

I designed the layout for Craved but was still a newbie to Photoshop, so I paid someone to put it together for me. The Deceived cover is 100% me.

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Tell us why you chose Megan Fox for the role of Gwen.  Did you have her in mind from the development stages or later on?

I actually didn’t have any celebrity pictured while I wrote. I knew what Gwen looked like in my head, but finding someone who resembles a fictional person you have made up is a bit difficult. Megan Fox was the closest I could find that matched Gwen, at least in the looks department; their personalities so do not match.

Ditto with Matt Bomer as Aiden.  Anytime Matt is mentioned, we must find a way to weave him into the conversation….

Aiden is actually taller and more muscular, but again, Matt Bomer was as close to a real person that I could compare Aiden to. Not to mention, Matt is gorgeous and has to-die-for smirks and glances that make me sigh.

And Ryan Phillippe as Ian.  I think I froze on your website for at least thirty minutes remembering Cruel Intentions.

Yeah, well Ryan plays an excellent bad guy. Ian is sexy on the outside, and a monster on the inside. I don’t know what this says about Mr. Phillippe, but I instantly thought of him as Ian.  LOL!

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

Ryan Phillippe, the previous question sorta had something to do with that.  LOL!

Your Gwen Sparks series delves into the paranormal world.  What is your favorite supernatural creature and why?

I’d have to say vampires, although if I ever met one I’d be terrified. I think it has something to do with living forever, plus their strength, speed, and healing abilities. For reasons unknown, vampires have always been written as sensual characters, which I find funny since they kill us. Maybe that’s the reason why we love them. It’s like playing with fire without getting burned. I think all of the vampire craze would disappear if they really existed.

Besides writing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

Hobbies, what are those? Since I became an author, I really don’t have time for anything else. My world now revolves around my computer, which is sad, but what are ya gonna do, ya know? I used to enjoy sewing, playing board games, fishing, and reading. Yep, even reading is rare for me now.  After I publish book two, I plan to take some time away from my computer and recharge my batteries, so maybe I’ll find time to visit my hobbies again.

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television – what are your favorite television programs airing today? 

Psych, The Big Bang Theory, Bones, Supernatural, and The Vampire Dairies.

What is your favorite movie all-time?

Hmmm, I love movies but one that I’ll never tire of watching is Pride and Prejudice.

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater?

Nachos

Cats or Dogs?

Both, I’m a HUGE animal lover.

*****

See?  Stephanie is down to earth and as friendly as they come!

Want more Stephanie?  Be sure to visit her website and blog, follower her on Twitter, and like her Facebook author page.

In addition to the Gwen Sparks series, look for Stephanie’s first book (Taming the Wolf) in her new Anna Avery series releasing in early 2012.

Do you have a question for Stephanie?  Have you read Craved, and if so share your thoughts here!  What’s your favorite supernatural creature and why?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Tele-Tuesday: Right to Remain Dreamy – TV’s Top Criminals We Love to Love

Who doesn’t love a man in uniform?  A man wearing a badge and toting a gun?  And sometimes even a man running from the authorities, fighting hard to stand his ground and protect his own?

Tele-Tuesday joins three other authors this week to introduce our favorite TV men – some with badges, and others running from said badges.  Liz Schulte and Cait Lavender will share a few of the law men we love to love, while Elizabeth Sharp and I take down the men running from the authorities (who happen to be just as sexy).

As television viewers, we believe in both the cops and the cons, don’t we?  Both types of men fight to protect their own and believe their actions to be justified.  Both types of men believe whole-heartedly in their convictions and will stop at nothing to rid the world of evil.  Both types of men also have the ability to sweep a damsel off her feet, and woo even the best of us; don’t they?

Here at Tele-Tuesday, we hold a special place in our heart for those we know stand on the wrong side of the law – the men who alleviate the world of mass murderers and killers; the men who track and hunt the supernatural forces trying to overcome the world as we know it; the men who aren’t afraid to shoot first and ask questions later; and even the men with all the charm in the world, who might just steal our riches out from under us.

Dexter Morgan, Dexter

Dexter Morgan protects Miami – as a blood spatter analyst for the police department by day, and as a vigilante/serial killer by night.  Dexter only murders other cold-blooded killers; that justifies his actions, right? Deep down, he’s a family man, even if he refuses to admit that he has a conscience.

Damon Salvatore, Vampire Diaries

Damon is an arrogant, selfish, and dangerous vampire.  He lacks remorse, and he is unpredictable.  He lives in a world of isolation, but continues searching for acceptance and love.  Damon isn’t afraid to tear someone’s head off or rip out his heart; isn’t that right, Mason Lockwood?  But it’s all in the name of love – his love for Elena.  We all secretly wish Damon would do the same for us, especially when he flashes that crooked smirk.

Dean Winchester, Supernatural

Dean drinks and he is promiscuous; he’s on the FBI’s most wanted list (it has nothing to do with his impersonating an officer repeatedly); and the trunk of his car resembles an arsenal of a man at war.  Why?  Because he is at war – a war of hunting and killing the supernatural evils plaguing the world today.  He may complain now and then, but for the most part, as long as he’s driving around in his baby (’67 Chevy Impala) and listening to classic rock and roll with his brother, he keeps the rest of the world safe.

Boyd Crowder, Justified

Boyd, Boyd.  What hasn’t he done?  He has robbed banks; he has been involved with the narcotics trade; he has destroyed his competition with rocket launchers (“Fire in the Hole”); and he has led a white supremacy group.  But he’s really not all bad; promise.  He does want to be good; he believes in the Bible and he always helps his good friend (US Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens) when he comes calling.  But why do we really love Boyd?  It’s all about the hair…

Neal Caffrey, White Collar

Neal is the best of the best in the con world, or at least he was.  Forced to turn his life of forgery, robbery, and crime around after his arrest, Neal now works alongside the FBI to solve some of the government’s most difficult white-collar crimes.  But once a con, always a con; right?  Will Neal ever truly follow the letter of the law to a “T”?  We sure hope not; we like him just the way he is.

Doesn’t the allure of these bad boys keep us coming back for more and more, week in and week out?

What do you think?  Are you a fan of Dexter, Damon, Dean, Boyd, or Neal?  Which of TV’s criminals do you love to love – past or present?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Remember to stop by Elizabeth Sharp’s blog to see the rest of our bad boy lineup, and then hop over to Liz Schulte and Cait Lavender’s page to see which of TV’s men with badges are standing on the other side of the one-way glass….

Friday FabOoolousness – Liz Schulte, her Secrets, and Dark Corners

I first met Liz Schulte on Twitter and now we enjoy discussing our favorite television moments, movies, and hot guys with other writer friends on Facebook.  Liz’s work first caught my eye when she shared the cover to her novel, Dark Corners, with a few of us before the release date.  Some of us call her “superwoman” on Facebook because there seems to be nothing she can’t accomplish, but the term came to full fruition when she recently released Secrets, her second book this year.

Liz Schulte, Author

Liz is one of the very first people I look to when seeking advice or direction for my writing.  She’s friendly, helpful, and one of the best writing friends a new writer could have, which is why she is the first author featured in this new blog series.

Before we get started, here’s a little tease of Liz’s books for everyone to savor while reading the interview…

Dark Corners:

Ella Reynolds knew from the first moment she walked into the old house that someone or something was watching her. Waiting. Her husband’s violent murder sent her spiraling into a world of grief and isolation. But Ella isn’t alone. Who or what is responsible for her husband’s death is still with her. Darkness has engulfed the past year of Ella’s life. Everyday reality slips a little more between her fingers as she struggles to break free from her memories. She must look deeper into her past as well as the present to discover the truth of her husband’s homicide. A string of uncanny events takes place and practical explanations run thin as Ella follows the terrifying road to closure. As the past and present come to a head, Ella must decipher who or what the murderer is before it takes her as well.

Secrets:

While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the abyss gazed back at her. She discovers mysterious men follow her around, people close to her are dying, and her dreams are no longer her own, as she falls head over heels for a perfect stranger. A chance encounter leads to an obsession that could destroy everything she has ever known or loved. Olivia is about to find out there is a lot she doesn’t know and sometimes what you don’t know can kill you.

*****

When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

I would love to say I did, that I always knew, but I didn’t. I was pretty set on being a veterinarian until the 4th grade. Then I had a couple years of vacillating before I settled on a Supreme Court Judge.  I held that ambition right up to the point when I decided not to go to law school (I even took a philosophy of law and constitution law class while working on my undergraduate). I wasn’t entirely certain what I was going to do when suddenly I had no clear path. I considered forensic psychology and went back to school to work on a forensic degree to accompany my bachelor’s in psychology and minor in philosophy. Around that time my mom suggested I try to write a book. I am a huge pop culture fan; I love books, movies, television, and theater. I was always talking about how I would do it differently, so I decided maybe she was right. I gave it a go now I am completely addicted. I constantly have stories running through my head.

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

I find inspiration in everything. From talking to people, observing people, hearing stories, dreams, and sometimes all it takes is a really good first line.

At the beginning of this year I decided I wanted to write a story about witches. I started researching, combing through some notes I had from a class I took on the history of witchcraft, and a first line popped into my head.  94,000 words later I had a book (to be released in 2012). All it took was that first line and the story just poured out of me.

With Dark Corners I drew a lot from imagination and some ghostly experiences of my mother’s.

In Secrets I used a lot of dreams I had written about in my dream journal. You never know what will end up being the spark that turns into a fire. To write about life, you have to participate in it.

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

That is such a hard question. I love so many authors. As far as traditional authors I love Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Bronte, Oscar Wilde, Hunter S. Thompson, Brett Easton Ellis, Thomas Harris, Elizabeth Aston, Diane Setterfield, and Joseph Heller.

As a kid I loved R.L. Stine (Fear Street), Christopher Pike, and L.J. Smith.

Being a part of the indie publishing scene, I have found many independent authors I have enjoyed very much: HP Mallory, Elizabeth Sharp, Stephanie Nelson, Wenona Hulsey, C. G. Powell, Jeff Ambrose, Olivia Hardin, Lisa Rayns, J.A. Titus, and I could keep going.

The cover art for your books is amazing.  Did you design them yourself?

Dark Corners was designed by my sister. She went to school for graphic design and took time from her busy schedule to design the cover for me.

Secrets was designed by Donna Dull with 4 Corners Press. She suffered my pickiness quite well.

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing Ella and Olivia and why?

I did not. I normally don’t have anyone in mind until I finish the book, because by then I know the character so well it is easier to find an image that suits them.

Ella is, in my mind, an Emily Blunt type character.

Olivia is now a very particular picture of Anne Hathaway I came across.

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

Ummm, way to put me on the spot. Hahaha

I am going with Timothy Olyphant because I cannot wait for Justified to restart. I love that show; Boyd’s hair more than anything.

 

Besides writing, I’ve noticed you’re quite the crafter and baker.  What other hobbies do you enjoy?

I do like cooking. And occasionally the crafting vibe hits me. I love to travel. I have been to several countries and all around the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) and I absolutely love it. I no sooner finish one trip then start thinking about the next. I also love to play trivia. I get super competitive, though. I spend time with my two dogs and two cats and eight nieces and nephews. I have a very close-knit family. We all hang out a lot.

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television – what are your favorite television programs airing today?

Today as in Wednesday or as in this half of the season, which is winding down?

My favorite Wednesday program is Revenge. I didn’t know if I would like it or not when it first started, but now I am totally hooked.

I just realized this will be published on Friday so my favorite Friday show is easily Supernatural! How could I not love the brothers Winchester. I believe it is even the mid-season finale. Yikes!

As far as this first half of the year, my favorite series playing is The Walking Dead. Amazing show. Every episode feels about five minutes long to me and I am completely enthralled with the storyline and the characters. I am so bummed I have to wait until February for new episodes.

As a movie connoisseur, what is your favorite movie of all-time?

It is Christmas time so I feel like I should choose It’s a Wonderful Life, but I cannot. While that remains in the top five favorite movies, the Godfather is hands-down my very favorite film. It is magical. The story, the characters, the cinematography and framing—beautiful. I love it so much and can talk your ear off about it if given the opportunity.

The Corleone family….just look at Pacino and Duvall here. Classic

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater? 

I like to get a bottle of water and Twizzlers. Twizzlers can be eaten slowly so I feel they last for more of the movie. Plus they are tasty and delicious.

Do you physically investigate the paranormal, or do you research via books, television, and the internet?

I don’t do much investigating. I am a bit more of a skeptic. I do like to look for haunted hotels and bed and breakfasts while I am travelling because I like to think of myself as an open-minded skeptic. I am willing to allow for an experience of a ghostly nature, but I have yet to experience anything for myself. Most of the strange things I have encountered, I can find a way to explain given enough thought and investigation.

Lastly, I know you are a zombie enthusiast.  Name your favorite book, movie, and television series featuring the supernatural undead. 

My absolute favorite zombie book is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It seriously cracked me up. I think the author was brilliant with maintaining the charm of Austen in a world overrun by the undead.  Bennett sister ninjas, priceless.

Movie is a much harder choice. I think I have to have two because I cannot choose between them. I love Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. Shaun of the Dead is the most hilarious spoof of a zombie movie I have ever seen. It works because it is done seriously while not being serious at all. Zombieland is almost a postmodern zombie movie. The rules are hysterical, the zombies are awesome and gross, and the story has charm.

 

Television show is of course The Walking Dead.

*****

Isn’t Liz just delightfully fun?  I absolutely adore her, and I hope you enjoyed getting to know her today!

Need more Liz?  Be sure to check out her blog, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook author page.

Better yet, buy a copy of Dark Corners (available in kindle, nook, and paperback formats) and Secrets (also available in kindle and nook formats)!

Do you have a question for Liz?  Have you read Dark Corners or Secrets, and if so share your thoughts here!  

And, to not only put Liz on the spot….which celebrity are you thinking of at this very moment?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Friday FabOoolousness – June’s MarvOoolous Mashup & Blog Awards

This month, fellow writer & Twitter friend, Raelyn Barclay awarded me with my second blogging award – the Versatile Blogger Award.

THANK YOU, Raelyn!  Winning this award for my Tele-Tuesday and Friday FabOoolousness posts means so very much to me.  I hope to share the things that make me say Ooo with others out there, whether it is television, movies, authors, novels, mysteries, or other bloggers.

From now on, anytime someone clicks on the Versatile Blogger Award icon on my site, they will experience Raelyn’s fabOoolous blog!

This award comes with a few fabOoolous rules:

  1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
  2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
  3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
  4. Contact the winners to congratulate them.

Before I share seven random facts about me, I first pass the baton.  The Versatile Blog Awards go to:

  1. Amber West
  2. Ellie Ann Soderstrom
  3. Sonia G. Medeiros
  4. Catie Rhodes
  5. Jess Witkins

 Congratulations!

In addition to these 5 versatile blogs, click on these fabOoolous sites in my June edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

What’s the first rule of Author Club?  WRITE a GOOD story! Oh, what a great post by Andrew Mocete.  Brad Pitt even helps him out with the rules….

If you are your TV like Catie Rhodes suggests, I’m in trouble.  My DVR is jam-packed full of random programming – does that mean that my head is jumbled with complete randomness?  Uh-oh…

Bond, James Bond.  Who doesn’t love 007?  Piper Bayard and her partner Holmes break down some of the Bond films in their new series: Classic Spy Films.

Trapped in a city surrounded with zombies, what do you do?  How about Vote Your Own Adventure by Mark Lidstone.

Let’s flip the switch now to grammar.  Remember that class?  Take the Homonym Hell test issued by Girls with Pens.

Sticking with the writing theme, check out the writing series by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, aka The Bookshelf Muse – 7 Deadly Sins of Writing.

My last mashup goes to the great Jenny Hansen.  This week, we celebrated the release of James Rollins’ new novel, The Devil Colony.  On Tuesday, we partied like it was going out of style on Twitter, and Jen deserves a prize for all of her fabOoolous posts.  Check out a few of the devilish blogs she put together for the event:  Devilish Snacks, Devilish Movies, a Devilish Playlist, and a fabOoolous Devilish mashup.

In addition to my awards & mashup, I was “tagged” (kinda like – Tag; You’re It!) by two fellow Twitter friends & bloggers this month.  It may have taken me a while to get to the game, but sure, I’ll play….

First up, Angela Wallace:

Angela tagged me and the rules state that I must answer these questions & tag eight other bloggers.

1. Do you think you’re hot? I’ve never considered myself hot, like most girls I’m sure.  However, when I darkened my naturally blonde hair to a deep red (not fire engine red), something happened.  Blondes have more fun, but men like red heads!  My new hair color definitely compliments my fair skin and light eyes better than the blonde, but I miss my pretty highlights.

2. Upload the picture or wallpaper that you’re using at the moment.

Having fun in a picture booth….

3. When was the last time you ate chicken? Last night; we eat chicken a lot in my house.  This time, I served chicken with cream of mushroom and sautéed garlic & green beans.  It received rave reviews.

4. What song/s have you listened to recently? “Independently Happy” by Blue October.  BO is my motivational music at the gym.

5. What were you thinking as you were doing this? Holy Toledo this is taking forever….

6. Do you have nicknames?  What are they? I’m T-BRAT for those of you who don’t already know.  T-Brat stands for a few different things: Tiffany-Brat (my brother refused to call me Tiffany growing up, I looked more like a Brattney); Tech-Brat (Guns’ Up, Red Raiders!); and, T-bird-Brat (my very first car was a cherry red Ford Thunderbird).

I have another nickname, but in order to keep the blog clean, think the Meredith Brook’s lyrics….”I’m a _____” – You fill in the blank.

Now, I tag 8 friends: Tymothy Longoria, Robyn Sadler, Jennifer Starks, Haley Whitehall, Mia Castile, Nichole Chase, Leah Lozano, and Elizabeth Sogard.

Next, we have Julie Glover

This tag requires me to type the phrase, “Writing is like…..,” and finish it, post it on my  blog, and then tag three other bloggers.

Writing is like….staring out the window and dreaming of all the wonderful things in this world that you’d like to accomplish but having the ability to transcribe those thoughts into words.  Writing is capitalizing on your imagination, taking the journey you’ve always wanted to travel, and silencing the voices in your head.  (Okay, other writers will understand that this doesn’t make me crazy!)

Now I tag –

Amy Thomas, my friend Wordluster on Twitter, and the creator of my Facebook writing group Young Adult Sisters (and Brothers).

Shellie Sakai, my WANA alumnus, and fellow writer in the fabOoolous Round of Words in 80 Days challenge (aka Row80).

Liz Schulte, another fellow writer and Twitter friend who graciously invited me to join HP’s Writing Group on Facebook, as well as the proud author of the new thriller, Dark Corners.  Check it out!  I’m pretty sure Liz is still up in the clouds….as she should be!

Finally, to my 7 fun facts – This time I tackle the top 7 travel destinations on my bucket list:

1.        Italy – specifically Positano, Rome, and Vatican City.  I want to experience the history, the architecture, the food, and the wine – Now, that’s a vacation!

 

2.       Hawaii – any island, just take me to the beach!  Perhaps a trip while Hawaii Five-0 is filming would be best….it might increase my odds of meeting Alex O’Laughlin. 

 

3.       Canada – I’d like to travel at least once to the west (Vancouver) and once to the east (Prince Edward Island).  Anyone with me?

 

4.       The Caribbean – specifically Jamaica and The Bahamas.

 

5.       Paris – do I really have to explain?  What female doesn’t want to travel to Paris?  See the Eifel Tower?  Eat a fresh macaroon and drink a cup of black coffee at a Parisian café?

 

6.       Germany – my great-grandfather emigrated from Germany to New York.  I’d like to experience the land of my ancestors, and participate in the real Oktoberfest.  Beer & Frankfurters, please!

7.       London – like most Americans, I’m infatuated with the Royal family.  I’d like to see Buckingham Palace, the changing of the Queen’s Guards, ride the London Underground, and experience a culture and history we’ll never quite understand in the states.

 

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? Do you have a bucket list of places to travel?  If so, please share!  Leave a comment; I’d love to hear from you!

One final note, if any of the award recipients or tagged bloggers don’t feel like playing, no worries!  I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.