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.

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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 – 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.

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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.

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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!