Friday, 31 May 2013

“Wherever it is you may be, it is your friends who make your world.”    
                               ~ Chris Bradford


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Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test -
Time and change - are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray,
Friendship never knows decay.
For 'mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die,
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.




Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Author Interview with Drew Avera




Please welcome Author - Drew Avera

Hi, Jeanette, thank you for this opportunity. My name is Drew Avera, and I am a self published science fiction author. I am an active duty Navy veteran. I live in Virginia with my wife and two daughters.

Where are you from?  
Mississippi, born and raised. I joined the Navy at 17 and have been in Virginia since 2001.

Do you have a favourite saying?  
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely" I first heard this in history class when I was in 9th grade. Mr. Edwards also shared the quote "The ends justify the means," I had no idea what he was talking about at the time, but now my stories use both of those quotes within their plots. I think the way the world is today I understand that power/corruption idea a bit more than I did as a 14 year old kid.

How long have you been writing? 
I began my first book when I turned 30. It was going to be a fantasy novel, but I  quickly lost thie vision to see it through. I tried my hand at short fiction a couple of months later, but the rejection letters began to stack up. I heard about NaNoWriMo during this time and I jumped on that bandwagon. I wrote the first draft to my first novel, Dead Planet: Exodus in 20 days using my IPhone. I published it 5 months later after finishing the revision process. This entire thing started within the last eleven months. I'll be 31 this June (2013).

Where do you get your ideas from? 
I was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid. I will confess that I feel like ADHD is an overused diagnosis, but I have trouble focusing on one thing at a time. I have an over active imagination and it works constantly. I usually am planning a story while writing another story. Things happen and come to my mind so fast that if I don't write it down then I will lose it to another idea.

Do your personal experiences affect your writing? 
I believe they do. I had a rough childhood and abandonment issues stem from my experiences. I use that within the stories I write, not as a negative thing, but I feel that family, or a family like unit is capable of inspiring something within every person. You need to know what you're fighting for, and what's at stake. I think if individuals only fought to survive then eventually they would give up, but if you are fighting for the life of your wife, child, loved one, then you will stand before the gates of hell before giving up. That is the passion that I want my characters to have, even if it kills them in the end.

Dead Planet Book 1 Exodus by Drew Avera



Synopsis
For twenty five hundred years the civilization on Mars has been ruled by the Syndicate, an organization run by the top one percent. Every need and desire of the average citizen has been fed by the machine in return for a lifetime of obedience. What happens when the profit margins fall and the people become a burden to the pockets of the Syndicate? What happens when their plans to exile their citizens to a certain death is revealed? This is the story of a man named Serus Blackwell who has a job to do. Serus is a policeman who works for the Agency, but it isn’t what you think. Can he protect his sister, Kara, before the Agency kills her, or will the programming he received from the Agency override his emotions and condemn Kara to the same fate as the rest of the planet?

Excerpt
Pain was my only friend in this dark laboratory. This labyrinth of hell has held me captive for the last two months. It wasn’t bad at first, mostly physical exertion to the point of exhaustion. I had endured that kind of training growing up playing sports, but this new part of my training was something else entirely. ‘The human mind can only endure so much torture,’ at least that is what they told me coming into this. I wish I had volunteered, at least then I wouldn’t feel as if I were a prisoner being tortured by my guards.

“Dr. Roblin, how is Prospect Blackwell holding up?” the man in a black Agency uniform said as he walked through the door. I could not see his face but I had heard his voice before, come to think of it I had heard his voice several times throughout my time here. Wherever ‘here’ is, I’m not sure.

“He is physically a perfect candidate, Agent Gentry. I must confess that I am concerned with his mental capabilities though,” the doctor talked about me like I was a caged animal, unable to think on my own.

“What capabilities would that be, Dr?” There was an air of concern in the agent’s voice, though I’m not sure why. I would think that the idea of someone who is willing to put up a fight would be an attribute worthy of a member of the Agency.

“He is not responding well to the reprogramming. Each time we show him a picture of you he becomes discontent, almost as if he is remembering what you did to his father,” Dr. Roblin said. Just the mention of my father brought me back to remembering what had happened. I can only see it in short spans of time, my father dead in the street, Kara crying in my arms, flashing lights surrounding the scene, and finally his face, the man who murdered my father.


Purchase here: 

Connect with Drew



Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Little Things

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Life is unpredictable.  You never know what lies ahead. Becoming a grandmother changed my perspective of life. You can never have a moment back once it's gone.  So enjoy family and friends.  Forgive and forget.  And love with all your heart.

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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Mother's Day Promotion

Candy's Man Normally $2.99

Promotional price: $0.99


Coupon Code: PL66R 

Expires: May 25, 2013




Excerpt 

“Can we sit down?” he asked.
She frowned.  Whose house was this anyway?
She motioned toward the kitchen and followed him.  Cleve pulled out a chair and sat down.  He was making himself at home and it annoyed her.  He wasn’t the boss here.
“Are you going to sit down?” he asked with puckered brow.
“No,” she said, lifting her chin.  “I prefer to stand.”
“Suit yourself,” he said, and she wanted to slap the arrogance right out of him.
“You’re here because...?” She crossed her arms against her chest.
His eyes narrowed.  “Why are you going out with Nash?”
The question surprised her.  Hadn’t she just asked herself the very same thing?  She looked into his intense brown eyes.  “I don’t see how that is any of your business.”
 “He’s my brother,” he said, balling his fists.
“And...?”
“I don’t want him involved,” he said, sternly.
“Involved in what?”  He took a deep breath.  He was getting angry.  “I think you should leave,” she told him, and his eyes flashed with fury.
“I haven’t finished speaking,” he told her, and stood.  All, six-foot-six of him.
She pulled her dressing gown tighter around her and took a step back.  “Well I have,” she spat.
He moved towards her and she was backed in a corner.  She looked up and felt her chest heaving.  He had a strange look on his face.
When his hand came up and caressed her cheek, she held her breath.  His touch was warm and heated her insides.
“Candy,” he whispered, his hot breath fanning her skin.  “It’s me you want, not my brother.”
“I can’t...” breathe.

Use Coupon Code: PL66R when purchasing.

Click here to purchase:  Smashwords

Also Available from Amazon and other outlets 
at regular price.  See blog. 


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Author Interview - Steven Wolff


Where are you from?
Born & Raised in San Antonio, Texas (USA)

Do you have a favourite saying?
I do!

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - old Chinese proverb"

I love this because in all things we do in life, when we are brave enough to try something new, we have to take the first step, and the many little steps necessary in order to succeed. Little changes in our lives eventually turn into big changes down the road. People think they have to great things in life in order to make a difference. I disagree, I believe little things we do can ripple into other people's lives without us even knowing it. A simple smile, thank you, a bigger tip, opening the door all can make a difference.

How long have you been writing?
I started writing my first book - Anica Storm & The Wand of Time in November of 2009 as well as a few other books so for about 4 years now but I've only been self published since Sept 2012.

Where do you get your ideas from?
I am very blessed with imagination and creativity, it's something that comes very naturally and easily for me from as far back as elementary school. I had forgotten to bring a toy for show & tell so when I was called up to the front of class all I had was a pencil that was sharpened all the way down to the eraser. I remember playing it off and saying "this is my favorite toy because its a rocket ship!" For some reason I never forgot that day. As I grew older I discovered my imagination flows freely which helps as an author.

Do your personal experiences affect your writing?
All the time! I write putting myself in the main character's shoes, thinking about what I would do, why, and share my thoughts and feelings based on not only my own experiences but others as well. To me this makes the character more believable and life like.

What is the name of your book?
I'm working on an exciting book/series called SELF-AWARE which is a fresh twist on the popular Zombie genre. In my story, the world just recently went through the Zombie apocalypse (within the last few months) and it starts off with the main character waking up in a body bag.
She's a twenty something year old woman who has a mutated strain (defect) of the Zombie virus that's going around. Instead of her flesh decaying, it's constantly regenerating and looking healthy. She looks, walks, talks like you and me but at her core, she's still a zombie... She still has to feed on another human every 72 hours otherwise she starts to decay and stops regenerating. If she doesn't eat long term, she will  become mindless like all other zombies so she's in a tight spot.
So at her core she's a zombie (what i call a ReGen) who looks and easily passes as a human, who must find and befriend other humans who are trying to survive zombies so she can eat them so she herself wont decay into the zombies we know, while trying not to get killed. (Talk about fun right?)
To make it more interesting, she remembers everything and still feels "human" so she's constantly struggling with not only herself but the world she's in. The reader follows her as a new Zombie and gets to experience what it's like through the eyes of a zombie who is struggling to hold onto her humanity.
Early beta-readers are loving this and i'm loving it too because its fun to write. Yes there's everything diehard zombie readers want in it as well as some original ideas.
I'm making this both as a series and a book, with Episode One coming this Summer. Then every two weeks another episode will come out on Fridays. Then when they are all out, I'll combine them into a book and plan on reading it/releasing it as an audio book as well.



EXCLUSIVE LOOK at SELF-AWARE by Steven Wolff

CHAPTER 4 MMMMM, BRAINS

Inside the classroom are long brown tables with chairs tucked underneath. At the very front of the class on the front row is a woman with red hair, lying motionless and completely naked. There are several sharp knives lying beside her like someone had placed a table. Stephanie & Britney walk into the classroom where they see Valerie standing on the teacher's side of the table.

“What is this?” Britney asks confused.

“Breakfast!” Valerie smiles.

“She looks like one of the students here at PSU.”

“Oh, she is. I found her in the restroom this morning. That’s where I usually nab them.”

“You mean you wait for them to use the restrooms and then you kidnap them?”

“Pretty smart huh?”

They walk up to the table and look down at the naked student. She’s still alive; the only thing moving besides her chest rising and falling is her eyes, which communicate terror. Valerie takes a strip of duct tape and rips off a foot-long piece which she then places over the student’s eyes, pressing firmly to keep them from opening.

“Why isn’t she trying to leave?”

“Because I paralyzed her.”

“You what?”

“I paralyzed her! What part do you not understand?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe the part as to WHY you would you do that?”

“Think about it… If you’re gonna eat someone, wouldn't you want the meat to be nice and warm instead of cold or room temperature?”

Both Britney and Stephanie wince.

“Still not comfortable with eating humans yet, are you? You'll get used to it. I paralyzed her by delivering a blow to the back of the next on the 6th vertebrae. This paralyzes from the neck down so when I cut into them, they don’t feel it.” Valerie said.

“Where did you learn that?” Stephanie asked.

“One of the medical books I found in the library. During the early days of the Zombie apocalypse, I stayed put in the library and was bored out of my mind. The Internet and TV stations went blank towards the end of 2012. Power fluctuations became a hassle with surfing the web and watching TV so I started to read instead. I've learned a lot, most of it useless. I studied anatomy back when I attended school here, before the outbreak.”

“What was your major?”

“Criminal Forensics. I grew up watching a lot of CSI.”

“So what did your anatomy class teach you about paralyzed naked girls?” Britney asked.

“Well, it taught me which parts are okay to eat and which parts are not.”

“Really?”

“No, it wasn't a class on cannibalism but I learned enough to save you both time and effort. For example, you can eat any of the muscle, the liver, the heart but believe it or not, the best part is the brains!”

“How did I know you were going to say that?” Stephanie asked.

“It’s true! Here help me with this.” Valerie reaches down and grabs a machete. She draws back and chops the machete forcefully down right on the forehead, wedging it halfway in. Stephanie turned away, grossed out.

“Come over here and hold the handle nice and tight, please.” Valerie instructs Stephanie who really didn't want to be part of this. Valerie grabs a handheld sledgehammer and uses the flat side of hammer to push the machete clean through the skull. The skullcap with the hair and half of the brains falls onto the table, facing up. The other half of the brain is still attached by the optic nerves, dangling out. Britney tries to throw up but can't  she’s disgusted. Valerie gives them a moment to process it as they aren't used to seeing someone chopped open.

“If anyone said you're not human, this is proof they’re wrong. EVERYBODY squirms the first time in anatomy class.”

“Yes, but they don't eat the test subject.” Britney protested.

Valerie took a fork and knife and cut a bite size piece of brain.

“Here, try this, you’ll love it.”

Stephanie and Britney winced and declined so Valerie put it in her mouth and started to chew on it.

“Mmmmm! So good and still warm too!” Valerie says as she cuts another piece and eats it too. “Oh my gosh… you’ve got to try this.”

“Uh, NO.” Stephanie protested.

“How about you Britney? Want a bite?”

“I told you already, I’m a vegetarian.”

“No, you’re a Zombie who’s self-aware. You’re not alive anymore. This is what we eat in order to sustain us.”

“Tell you what. If I find a vegetarian, I’ll bag them and bring them just for you. Maybe you’ll be able to taste the vitamins and minerals in their muscles. So it’s kinda like eating vegetarian. Maybe they will taste different.”

“I don’t know, I think I rather die.” Britney said sticking to her guns.

“I’m with you Britney, I don’t know if I can eat another human.”

“Look, if you've ever eaten a hamburger, you've eaten something that once was alive. This is no different.”

“But it is different. This is someone’s daughter or son, husband or wife.” Stephanie argued.

“This is SURVIVAL. It’s one thing if we had a choice to eat beans and rice but normal people food doesn’t sustain the virus that keeps us alive. Do you want to be like those creatures, roaming around mindless? Eventually you're going to kill other humans so you might as well pick the ones you want to live and the ones you want to eat.”

“One bite. Try it, I promise you'll love it.” Valerie slices a tiny piece of brain matter and balances it on a fork. “Close your eyes and pretend its something else.”

Britney passes on it. Stephanie closes her eyes and takes a bite, not very thrilled about it. Several seconds later Stephanie opens her eyes in shock.

“Oh my god, that is good!!!” Stephanie says.

“Any part that is muscle you can also eat like steak. Avoid the fatty parts and you’ll be good to go. Personally I like leg muscles.” Valerie says, cutting a piece off and chewing on it. “Mmmmmmm”

“You’re just trying to get me to try it, I’m not buying it.” Britney protests.

“Want another piece of brain, or leg?”

Stephanie points to the brain. Valerie turns the fork over and stabs a piece onto the fork and hands it over. Stephanie closes her eyes and opens her mouth.

“Wow, I never thought I would be loving the taste of human brains. It’s got a little tingly taste to it, kinda like Pop-rocks!”

“That’s the residual neurons firing on your taste buds!”

Britney covers her ears with both hands. “I’m not listening. La la la la”


~ ~ ~

Connect with Steven Wolff


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