Friday, June 24, 2011

Watch This Not That

Skyline certainly isn't the worst movie I've seen--it had its moments (see below),

and felt more like a glorified music video than sci-fi film. But it's more 'meh' than 'grr'. And sometimes something comes along that actually brings a little improvement. So allow me to recommend the version of Skyline you should see...from a genius called Tobuscus.

And because I can never resist a Twilight parody...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Other X Factor

Move along Simon Cowell, nuthin' to see here. This X Factor doesn't have singing and dancing (see The Z Word) or snarky commentators, but it might have aliens. Priorities, people.

The second novel in the Apocalypse Babes series finds Seffy and her friends, along with a few other lost L.A. stragglers, ensconced in a compound that may or may not be run by evil Soviet scientists. Whether it's due to Bolshevik beliefs or
a manipulating girlfriend, nightmares are on the loose and they want what's
left of Seffy after the zombie attack. To make matters worse, one of the stragglers develops an unwanted attraction to Sef, and insists it's more
than just UST à la Mulder and Scully.

The X Factor is now available at Smashwords and Kindle.

Don't forget to check my website and enter my contest. Somebody's got to end up wearing pink velour, and it simply can't be Simon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sarah Mäkelä Is In Da House!

Sarah is one of my Almost Famous crit partners and I'm so pleased to host her here and let her share about her newest title, Techo Crazed...

Thank you for having me here today, Bella!

Techno Crazed is by no means the first thing I’ve ever written. That novella, Jungle Heat, is coming out at the end of next month. *grins* But anyways, I wrote Techno Crazed in January, so it’s one of my most recent projects. But back to the point...

First of all, it’s important to keep writing and moving on to the next manuscript once you’ve finished something. It can be hard to let go of a story you’ve written and edited over and over, and you should definitely send it out on submission, but I can say the two most helpful things I’ve done in getting published is writing a lot and finding a fantastic critique partner, Kinley Baker. She helped bring my skills to a whole new level.

Something to consider when you look for a critique partner(s) is to find someone on, or close, the same level as you. Yeah, it’d be great to pair up with someone who is a multi-published New York Times Bestseller while you’re an unpublished, and if you can do that kudos to you, but the chances are unlikely. My critique partner and I leapt from unpublished to contracted in about three months of each other. That’s pretty darn cool! (I also have two other awesome critique partners, Bella Street and Lisa Kessler. They moved to that next level within the three months too, which is so amazing.) It’s been helpful since we know what the other person is going through. Newsflash: being contracted/published isn’t a piece of cake. The hard work is not done when you sign the dotted line on your contract. But I digress...

It might not seem like you’re moving and shaking and gaining a lot of knowledge by just writing, but you are. I think National Novel Writing Month is really helpful in giving yourself permission to make writing a priority. It helped me to write my first book, and then my second, third, fourth... and well, I’ve been doing it (and completing my novels) every year starting in 2005. Some of them, I wrote and put it aside because I was editing another book at the time, but that doesn’t matter as much as simply honing your craft.

Here’s the blurb for my newest release, Techno Crazed. I hope you enjoy it! If you’re interested the excerpt is available here.

Private Investigator Hannah Franklin's life is turned upside down after being contacted by a former employee of MAX Home Security, the leader in security services. But they're not just protecting people anymore. Hannah's informant claims to have proof that MAX has ordered the assassination of politicians who stood against the corporation.

When her informant is killed and an attempt is made on her life, Hannah has no choice but to contact a freelance hacker. Her only hope now lies in the hands of a man she never expected to welcome back into her life.

Ian Bradley has lost his girlfriend and his job, as well as having acquired a very annoying gnome. Now his ex, Hannah, is in danger, and she needs his help. Ian vows to protect Hannah with every resource available to him -- and as a technomage in a high-tech world, his resources are almost endless…

If you’re interested in a chance to win a copy of Techno Crazed, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. I’ll announce the winner in it on 6/24. If you'd prefer, leave your email address in the comments, and I'd be happy to put you on the mailing list.

Techno Crazed is available now from Changeling Press!

Find Sarah on the web at:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Evernight and A New Favorite Author

What really attracted me to this books was the cover. I'm such a sucker for good covers--so much so that I bought this hardcover without knowing a thing about it.

I got my money's worth.

Evernight started quietly, lulled me into a gauzy world of familiar teenage angst and slightly Gothic weirdness, then grabbed me by the, er, throat.

I usually do not have time to relax and enjoy a book. This one didn't let me go. I had to finish it. Bianca and Lucas are compelling three-dimensional characters, joined by a whole supporting cast of Gargoyley goodness. I'm thrilled to know there are several more books in the series.

Because like any...tasty's always nice to know there are more where that came from!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Super 8--Nostalgia Brought To Life

Super 8, bottom line, is a great movie. The cast was incredible--I mean these kids acted their hearts out. The story had heart and soul and poignancy. The pacing, cinematography, direction were absolutely top-notch.

But what really left an impression on me was the nostalgia the film evoked. It was like watching E.T, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Poltergeist all over again. It was like watching a Spielberg film.

That JJ Abrams--the director and writer for Super 8--was influenced by Spielberg was obvious (and not just because Spielberg produced it). But it also had his own touch--smoothing some of the cheesy edges Spielberg had a weakness for. There was also the slightly annoying Spielberg meme of 'aliens, nice--military, bad' (my thoughts on aliens are closer to Mars Attacks!), but overall, it had that feeling that Spielberg evoked so well--that there was no place you'd rather be but in a darkened theater, glorying in a rockin' movie, and wondering 'what if?'.

Added bonus: See/remember why the 70s were so freakin' cool.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Z Word on Smashwords

Now available at Smashwords for zip, zero, nada. I'll be starting a contest promotion on July 6th, so if you leave a comment or review or share about The Z Word in any way, save and send me links starting on 7/6/11 for entries. Details coming up.

For now, I hope you enjoy the first in a series described thusly:

It's been said that a sure sign of the coming apocalypse is an 80s roller skate disco movie coming to DVD (with special features). In my science-fiction novel series Apocalypse Babes, a stylish group of twenty-something friends are torn from the Babylonian arms of 2006 West Hollywood and flung nearly thirty years into the past. It might be because one of them purchased the taboo film in a nostalgic moment, setting off a chain of events more disturbing than a roller skating conga line. They wake up in an apocalyptic but strangely familiar landscape, complete with a hidden mountain compound and retro survivalists, hinting at hidden and retro secrets they must face if they want to survive. 

Bring on the zombies!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

ABANDON by Meg Cabot

I've heard a lot about Meg Cabot, but have not actually read any of her books. While I love YA, I always figured her stuff would skew a bit young for me.

I picked up Abandon because I love Greek mythology, especially about Persephone (see my upcoming book which also is given the Persephone treatment).

The story follows 17 year-old Pierce Oliveria (Pierce because she pierces the Underworld? Oliveria because it sounds like an olive branch that she holds out to the Lord of the Underworld? Enquiring minds want to know) who lives on the Island of Bones (Isla Huesos) and has recently come back from the dead. She's left with strange memories of a dark, scarred guy who directs the dearly departed onto boats that most assuredly do not have a Lido deck.

Pierce also returns with a diamond necklace that gives mood rings a run for their money, and a huge aversion for tassles.

The book is written in a flashbacky stream-of-consciousness style, but you have to follow closely because there are small plot bombs and twists that take you by surprise. It was a relatively light read for such a dark subject, and is sure to please Meg Cabot fans, who, like a Greek chorus, are ardent in their support!