"Another knockout. James Garcia Jr. manages to take ordinary, everyday people -- characters that are our neighbors, our friends, and even us, and put them in extraordinary circumstances. The novel has the quaint, almost cozy feel due to its small-town setting, but the theme is anything but -- evil, and a vampire's quest to find whether there is good in him is epic, to say the least. I love where Garcia took the characters from the first novel, whom I was happy to see again, and added a few new ones. The ending, with a visit from someone whom I thought was a great surprise, well -- I cannot wait for Book 3!" Nicole Hadaway, Author of Release.
Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. Forgive me the shameless promotion, but when you get a review like that one... Well, you know.
How is everyone? Did you enjoy/survive Christmas? We had three gatherings here in five days, so it was fun to say the least. *laughs* Our house is only about 1800 square feet, lest you think I've sold enough copies of my vampire series to afford living in a mansion. Not yet, anyway. I tell you this because my wife's family came over for Christmas Eve. That was about 30+ people. Thankfully not all 95 could make it, do you know what I'm saying? :)
It hasn't been all cleaning, entertaining and cleaning again. I got a bit of writing done, have gone to the movies or sat on the couch for a few of them. We saw Les Miserables on Saturday evening. I knew nothing of the story - other than the fact that it existed. Incredible performances. They should cancel The Academy Awards this coming year and hand those Oscars out for that film right now!
I've been on vacation and have another week. I plan to shake the virtual dust from my WIP and begin draft two of it. You may recall it is my take on paranormal romance. Now before you start picturing half dressed models on the book cover, you can calm down. It won't be like that. I'm not talking about characters hoping into the sack together left and right. No. However, I am definitely talking about exploring love and great loss. It is currently entitled, Ghosts. The plot involves both ghosts of the literal and figurative; ones that haunt the heart and mind as well as the darkened hallway or the mysterious attic.
So, that's what's next for me. In 2013, I plan to try and spend less time with endless promotion that has little reach, look for better ways of getting the word out there and ultimately spend more time than I have been with my family. How about you?
Finally, if Santa brought you a new Kindle this year, or you're just looking for good books to fill a Kindle you've already had, I have a crossover vampire series for you. You should find it fresh and hopefully not too preachy. My aim was not to convert people to Christianity so much as it was to show that you can mix horror and Christian themes, and have fun doing it. The prices are recently reduced as well, if your arm requires any further twisting. *smiles* Dance on Fire is now .99 cents and the sequel Flash Point is only $2.99. Get them both for $4. If now isn't a good time, perhaps throw them on your Goodreads shelf and pick them up later.
My friends, I thank you so much for stopping by in 2012, however many times that might have been. I hope to visit your sites more often, and to be as encouraging to you as you have been for me. Happy New Year to you and all of yours.
We'll talk soon.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. How are you all doing? Are we in the Christmas spirit yet? I hope so. I am getting there, but some things have risen up to do their best to dampen them…
Things have gotten tough at the dreaded day job. Due to many factors, we had a lousy busy season and have been forced to work weekends. I got out of working a weekend ago and the subsequent Monday due to the fact that we already had plans to accompany our high school freshman and his choir to Disneyland and the Candlelight celebration. It was a very cool time, but now I’m on the clock for weekend work and worked this past Saturday. I typically take two weeks off during the holidays – you may recall my having been sick for them last year. In any event, even that is in jeopardy, and I may have to work during this time as well.
Not only are we really busy, but now I find myself really tired. It didn’t take long at all for the busy workload to wipe away that three-day weekend I just had. Christmas makes us all busy. I’m trying to get some writing in, but my three hour window is shaky now because some days I am far too tired to concentrate. Lately, I’ve hardly blogged at all. Many have continued to visit in spite of the fact that I have rarely reciprocated, which I adore you for, and hope to improve upon.
Then this past Wednesday morning during a work coffee-break I attempted to do my #WriterWednesday shout-outs on Twitter, only to discover that the Follow Friday App had been permanently shut down. This left me with no real way of doing that work – which is more of a labor of love for me, to be honest. I just don’t have the time to check Facebook or Twitter feeds, so doing my #WW and #FF work from my trusty iPhone was my only dedicated method of continuing that interaction. I was left more than a bit disappointed by the fact that I only heard from a handful of friends last week when I usually hear from so many more.
Out of sight is out of mind, so I suppose what really bothered me was the very real possibility that I might be quickly forgotten in a community where we literally “know” hundreds and thousands of people. One might have thought that less Twitter interaction might actually be better, giving me more time to write, read or blog, but I don’t see it that way. To me, it’s a big loss.
So, my friends, does anyone have any suggestions? Is there another App that can help me do the same thing? I’m not interested in mass following and unfollowing people which seems to me to be what these bigger and better mousetraps are for now. How do you Twitter-loving folks keep up and reach out? I just want to be able to interact with my friends, even if it is only at 140 characters.We’ll talk soon… I hope.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. By the time you read this I will have returned from a short weekend trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. I pen this post Friday evening as we prepare for it. You see, our Freshman and his high school choir are performing and we are chaperoning. It will be great because it is decorated for the holidays and always very cool to visit during this time. Since I haven't offered anything of my writing in a long time, I thought this would be the time to share something. It is from the moment that Tiffany returns to her parents who have thought her long dead. If you like what you see, I have just recently lowered the price of the ebooks. Flash Point is now 2.99 and book one in the series, Dance on Fire, is now .99. If nothing else, how about adding book 1 or 2 to your Goodreads shelf?
Hmm? I wonder why she's always cold. What do you think it might be?
We'll talk soon.
Angie sat transfixed. There were simply too many thoughts, too many emotions, and too many memories colliding into one another in her poor brain and she was woefully unequipped to handle it all. It was no small wonder why she didn’t fall over with a heart attack.
“Mom,” Tiffany began as she hung her sunglasses on the front of her long sweater. “Are you alright?” She stopped abruptly.
“No.” Angie heard someone saying but didn’t realize who it was or where it was coming from. It did sound remotely like her voice, although but a shell of its usual strength. It was then that she realized that she was also shaking her head. “No, no, no,” she announced, her voice finding itself with each syllable.
Angie was seemingly powerless, as if she were part of an audience witnessing what was transpiring rather than a participant. “It can’t be. Don’t do this to me.” Angie closed her eyes and fought to hold them that way as she began to yell, defiantly. “I’ve lost her. Are you trying to drive me mad?”
But she lost the battle. She opened her eyes to see Tiffany approach and kneel before her, staring deeply into her eyes. “I swear, Mom,” she spoke tenderly. She didn’t touch her yet. It was too soon. “It is me. I’m so sorry that I was taken from you, but I am back now.” She leaned closer still, setting her hands down on the floor on each side of her. “I have found my way back to you and I will never leave you again.”
It was Tiffany. Angie had spent perhaps a hundred sleepless nights, wondering what it might have been like to hold her daughter the night of the fire and have her die in her arms. She had wished for the most basic of human desires: to kneel against the gurney in the morgue and weep over her departed flesh; to even have a body to bury. Kneeling beside her was the subject of both her bitter dreams as well as a promised, but unlived future.
“Steve!” Angie cried out suddenly. She didn’t wait to see whether her husband had heard or not, she simply yelled once more with everything that she had. She needed him beside her now. “Steve!”
Steve heard his name called out the first time and had begun to swing his legs out of bed by the time that she called again. He managed to get the closed door open, but was unable to navigate through the doorway without bumping his left side in the frame because of the cobwebs of sleep on his brain. He winced as he came barreling down the hall to see what could be the matter. He could see someone kneeling before Angie but seemed to have trouble registering just what exactly was taking place there in the middle of the room. The person pulled back a little, no doubt hearing his approaching assault, and only then did he finally see her.
“Holy Mother of God!”
He stopped dead in his tracks and had to lean against the nearest wall in order to keep himself from joining the two of them there on the floor.
“Steve,” Angie said, turning to face her husband. Her expression was blank. Even her eyes seemed drugged. “It’s Tiffany,” she stated plainly.
“I see that, dear,” Steve replied, still holding his position against the wall. He stared at his long-thought-departed daughter. She looked just the same as she did the afternoon that he had last seen her, the day that they had left her home for what was to have simply been a weekend. She smiled at him warmly, as if reading his mind.
“Hello, Dad,” she said.
“Hello, Tiffany.” His legs gave out then, and he slid down the wall. He seemed not to notice.
It was the most extraordinary of reunions; the three of them sitting on the hardwood floor in the living room and mouth of the hallway. No one moved for a good ten minutes or so as if doing so would cause one or all of them to awaken to find this were but a dream. Angie stared at her beloved daughter, speechless but reborn. Steve simply studied both of his girls, taking it all in. A smile broke out on his face as he could visibly notice the color of that rebirth filling his wife’s cheeks and lips.
Finally, Tiffany stood. Her parents studied her, marveling at her, as if she were an angel suddenly appearing before them. She reached down and took her mother’s arms at the sleeves and lifted her to her bare feet.
“You’re cold, dear,” Angie whispered as she continued to simply stare at her beautiful young face.
“I’m always cold."
Hmm? I wonder why she's always cold. What do you think it might be?
We'll talk soon.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I haven’t been writing of late. Do you know how you can tell? Because I have been reading so much. Believe me, if you see the same book cover on my Goodreads badge for weeks, chances are that it’s because I’m writing again. In any event, I have been reading a lot lately, and I’d like to share one of those books with you now.
I just finished reading a delightful book by my good friend author Susan Ricci. It’s not horror or a thriller of any kind. What it is, however, is genuine, sweet, funny, tender… and real. It is called, Dinosaurs & Cherry Stems. Here’s the synopsis: Twice divorced, cynical Cindy Layton feels like a relic with prehistoric baggage, and doubts she can muster the courage to establish a new relationship, even if it's on her own terms. Her journey out of the Stone Age hits freaky, hilarious turbulence when she joins an Internet dating service. The scammers and weirdoes she meets in cyberspace make Cindy want to crawl back into her cave, until she receives an accidental email from Jay DeMatteo. Jay has the dating blues, too, but after meeting Cindy, reconsiders his options. Now it's up to him to convince her it's never too late to pursue a meaningful relationship, even when a couple is struggling with midlife adolescence.
I’ve mentioned previously that I watch romantic comedies and like to take a hard left turn from my horror reading on occasion for something different. It keeps everything fresh that way, I guess. In any event, I just read Susan’s book and am so glad I did.
Sometimes we read something and can tell that the author really didn’t own the material. They researched and did their best, but they really haven’t lived it. If Susan didn’t live every single moment of this storyline, than we must consider her a master because I could find no flaws. It kept my attention throughout, driving me to turn those pages with a perfect narration that never once caused me to trip over a word or phrase. I laughed aloud a few times and even found myself tearing up at one point. I was sitting at my desk at work, too, and I hate that. *laughs* The last thing I need is for my employees to come into my office and see me dabbing at leaking eyes. But that shows the wonderful job that Ricci did with this novel.
I would also like to take a moment and congratulate the author and her team on producing an exceptional novel. I read a lot of Indie stuff these days and typically find one or two errors in editing or formatting, but not so here. God knows I still find stuff in my own writing, sadly. I found Dinosaurs to be an exceptionally produced and professional job – and I would be remiss if I didn’t give Team Ricci their props for a job well done.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I am pushing forty-four years old in 2013 that made me love this story. Now, I married my second girlfriend, didn’t date much, and have never been divorced or separated. The only thing I really had in common with the characters is my age, and desire to be loved and to love another. In spite of all of that; however, I found myself completely engrossed with the characters and the story, finding myself right there with them.
What does that tell us? It tells us that this author did a brilliant job. If you find yourself tired of the supernatural, the science fiction, the formula-driven serial killer and monster stories, do yourself a favor and pick this up. I'm so glad I did. You can find it on Amazon here.
Of course I'm going back to my serial killer and monster stories now. *grins*
We'll talk soon.