Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lost and Found

Around the House
Not much to say about what is happening around the house right now.  Just moved a few weeks ago, so I am still in the process of settling in.  My mind has been trying to focus hard on writing, but work has been completely consuming me.  I need to get back in the habit of writing again, since I am way late in getting the next two books out.

My Thoughts
I am going to do something that is rather uncharacteristic of me these days.  I don't speak much about my personal life or feeling.  Mostly because I feel like I have lost a sense of myself.  I feel a bit emotionally dead and lost inside which is the theme of this blog.  It is about taking a step to find a way back to life.  So, I have decided to make a change and start doing thing differently.  Since, I have been such a bad friend, I will call a different friend every week.  Additionally, I will return voice mails with in 24 hours of  receiving them, and I will make a point of asking one person on a date a quarter.  It is time I took the my life back a little.  So, keep me honest and ask questions.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Things I Miss

Around the House
Well I just finished with a move.  I really hate moving especially when you have to wait on the Cable Guy to show up.  Unfortunately, they won't be showing until the end of the month.  It really annoys me.  Of course, that does force me to finish all of my editing and writing projects that are laying on my desk.  Well desk top at the moment since I don't have a full desk right now.

My Thoughts
I was thinking today while sitting here working that their are many things I miss.  I was thinking about some of my favorite TV shows that have found a new life in the land of Comics - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and Angel.  These where amazing shows that drew the audience in each week.  It is sad that they had to eventually come to an end, but it is nice to get to delve into them once in a while to make you feel better on a down day.  Of course the fact that we don't get to enjoy all of our favorite actors and stories every week is enough to make us all a little sad at heart.

The book series that I miss right now are the Harry Potter Series and the Black Jewels.  Now, the fact that Percy Jackson and the Olympians is technically over, it is great the Rick Riordan has continued to show us all the joy of the world of Percy Jackson by following them in the Heroes of Olympus Series.  I can't wait to see all the trouble Mr. Jackson gets himself into now.  At least with a great book it will always sit on your shelf to enjoy when ever the mood hits.

Those are just a taste of the few things I miss.  I just hope that for everything that goes away we each find a great new passion to enjoy.  I can only hope that my books do for readers what those series and TV shows have done for me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TV Review: Suburgatory

Around the House
Getting ready for a move, so the house is a complete nightmare.  I have boxes everywhere.  It doesn't help that I am trying to move and edit a book at the same time.  It is not the easiest thing in the world.  I am a bit disappointed that my next two books have been pushed back a little, but I am editing away.  As soon as I am done with this edit, I will be finishing the first draft of the second book on the Prelude of Illuminations and starting editing the third book in that series as well.  Then it is off to starting the second book in the Chronicles of Illumination.  Editor Tim will not leave me alone about getting him my next two books.  He is dying to see where the story goes.  Thankfully it isn't due until March.

My Thoughts
I was sad that Brothers and Sisters was cancelled, but I have to say that I am excited over what I have seen so far.  Tonight was the debut of Suburgatory which I was leery about adding to the DVR.  But now that I have seen it, it is non-stop laugh stop.  The characters of the show are funny, witty, and completely relateable.  The series reminds me of a cross between Desperate Housewives and Joss Whedon's classic humor.  The series shows a New York family the moves into a high end suburb where the people are plastic and every Mean Girls stereotype is true.  This show is definitely the best midweek show for laugh.

Rating 4 out of 5

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Movie Review: X-Men First Class

Around the House
Working on editing and reviewing submissions for the fall Anthology, so I am busier than I expected to be this summer.  Things are taking me way longer than I planned for and my editor has been on my butt about it.   I am very excited to see that Gilbert Press has their website up and running.  I really hope that authors are submitting great works so that my editor has something else to worry about.  Make sure you check out my page on there as well as the links posted.  Also, I am starting a new job in July which has me very excited.  I can't wait.  Otherwise, I am trying to get out to enjoy the weather some, though the rain in Chicago has made that a bit hard.

My Thoughts
Growing up as a die hard X-Men fan, I was very worried about this movie.  The trailers made it seem like they were going to be making a real mess of this movie.  I should have known better.  Marvel did an awesome job on it.  The back story was fleshed out in a way that allowed anyone watching the movie fall right in for the first time while keeping those who have enjoyed the rest of the stories enthralled.  I am wondering how they are going to handle the Havok item though.  Since having him a teen and Jean Grey a youth when Xavier is older makes me wonder how old they plan on portraying Scott.  Is he now going to be a younger brother?  Or is Xavier just going to age extremely quickly after his accident.  I am very curious to see how it all comes together.  I did especially enjoy the tie in to the first X-Men movie with the expanded story of Magneto.  It makes you wonder when and if they are going to have his kids popping up in the franchise, especially with the kick off of the Avengers movie.  I am rather excited to see.  The Internet is also spawning rumors of X4 and 5 along with turning the first class into a trilogy.  If they keep the stories going, I am down for the ride.  Also, I hear talks of New Mutants.  BRING IT ON!

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I love Youtube!

Around the House
I was checking my email today and a friend of mine sent me a link to this woman, Alina.  I think I am in love.  She is completely insane, so I had to share it with you all.  I spent the last two hours watching all of her posts.  Let me know what you think.

My Thoughts
This woman is fantastic.  She has reality show potential written all over her.  I could completely see her on Bravo or E! following her life and what he husband is doing now.  I do worry that she is setting herself up for a very messy divorce.  I have to wonder if the cousin is trying to set her up for a quick deportation after the divorce.  Since court rooms are now using social media in cases, I know if the mother gets her way all of these posts will be all over the court room.  I want a front row seat for this proceeding.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Gilbert Press

Around the House
I have been busy interviewing for a new job.  They have given me an unofficial offer, so I am very happy.  That right now is taking a lot of my time, so I haven't had enough time to finish my edits.  I do have a do date coming up for my next book with my publisher, Gilbert Press, so I need to get a move on putting together the final draft on Cursed which is supposed to hit shelves at the end of the summer.  I don't know how I am going to get everything done.  Especially, since the weather in Chicago is so nice now I don't want to be locked in front of my computer.

My Thoughts
I got a sneak preview yesterday of the new website for Gilbert Press.  It is really nice, so I am excited to see it go out.  They are currently looking for new authors to add to their list, so as soon as I have a link for you I will toss it up on for you all to check out.  I am glad a publisher is working to change the way the publishing industry is working.  They are really looking to hit the digital market hard and make a name for themselves by helping first time authors get noticed in the world.  I was also talking to my editor and he told me that they are looking for investors to speed the process along.  They are really looking to do an aggressive expansion.  With my book currently on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, I think they really have the skills to make it all happen.    I wish them tons of luck.  Oh, and for those of you who don't know, I did sign a 7 book deal with them to continue my series.  I am really excited about it.  Wish me luck!  Here is a link to their facebook page.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Movie Review: Thor

Around the House
Wow, I can't believe how long editing this book is taking.  It is one of the slowest edits I have ever done.  I am excited to announce that Gilbert Press will have a new website coming soon, and they will be starting major acquisitions.  It is nice to see my publisher getting ready to make itself a presence in the market.  Otherwise, I am here dealing with finding a job since I didn't the one I wanted, and working to restore my social life.  All things are really starting to look up in my world and that makes me very happy.

My Thoughts
As a fan of Marvel Comics especially the X-Men, I have been very happy with the way they are handling the realism of their live action movies.  They have been able to take their franchises and cross them over without making them feel cartoony.  I was extremely worried about Thor though.  How where they going to handle the whole god element in a way that made sense with the other movies, not take away from the realism they are using, and holds true to the story of Thor.  I was extremely surprised that they not only pulled it off, but did an amazing job.  I am now even more excited to see how they bring us to the Avengers.  Marvel has done such an amazing job that I hope the new X-Men and Spiderman movies hold up to the Avengers franchise.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Book Review: Red Glove

Around the House
The job hunt continues as does the writing.  Yes I am not just talking about my edits I am actually doing them for a change.  I am excited for a date tonight.  I hope it goes well, but if it doesn't their is always more fish in the sea right?  At least this will give me something to do.  I was actually worried that I was going to get blown off.  Well surprised never cease to amaze.  So after this review I am going to curl up in a hot shower and get ready to put the show on the road.  I don't know if I will get through another chapter of edits tonight, but I am going to try.  This round is just making small revisions and handling notes before my next read through to rework the wording and bring my engaging voice back to this almost over worked piece.

My Thoughts
The dark twisting turns of Holly Black's latest installment of the Curse Workers: Red Glove surprised even this most jaded of reader.  Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen next she shoved another piece of information at me that threw me for a loop.  Reading the Curse Workers is like reading someones private journal full of dark and sweet candy coated gossip.  This amazing book will keep you riveted until the end.  Expect a sleepless night or two as you plow through the world of Cassel Sharpe in the Curse Workers.

The Red Glove is the follow up to White Cat, where we are rethrusted back into the twisted life of Cassel Sharpe.  Loving a girl that cannot love him back, a family damaged by the power of the curse, and secrets and lies makes this world of fantasy better than anything on T.V. tonight.  Cassel is the most superbly written Anti-hero of not only the year but of the decade.  As a reader, you will want everything to turn out okay for him, but you will wonder how it can when he has to make choices that can ruin his life, his family, and his friends just to keep himself going.  Holly Black is amazing at translating the outsider feel of the teenager into a fantasy character where he is trying to be what he will never be - like everyone else - but could really succeed in living the con of his life if he could only let go of Lila.  She makes every writer jealous of her talents.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Review: The Last Apprentice Rage of the Fallen

Around the House
Still playing catch up with my book reviews.  This is the last one that I haven't gotten too.  Also, I am itching to get my hands on the new Sookie Stackhouse book that just came out.  I preordered it, so I am waiting for it along with the next Charliane Harris Anthology.  Till then I will continue to edit and work my way through the books I am dying to read.  I am still job hunting since I am not happy at work.  I have decided to really open myself up to new paths.  You never know where the world will take you.  I am also very excited by the CDs I forgot I owned.  I am looking forward to filling my nook with my favorite songs for car rides and trips to the gym.  Yea it is time to start working out and getting all hot for the summer.  I have really let myself go a bit.

My Thoughts
Joseph Delaney had done it again with the latest installment of the Last Apprentice Series: Rage of the Fallen.  He has managed to add another depth to his world of magic and mystery by graying up the edges the Spooks have held for generations.  It is especially nice to see this graying since Tom is as gray a character as you can get.  You can't help love the young apprentice Tom Ward as he makes his run to fight evil.  Joseph Delaney does a great job of finally closing up some plot holes while leaving more unanswered questions for the readers.  I wonder how far he will take Tom and if he will really live up to the Prophecy made by his mother.  I only hope that in the end Alice does not follow her mother in the dark.

Rating 7 out of 10

Book Review: The Lost Gate

Forgot to post this last month sorry!

Around the House
I need a few drinks.  This last couple weeks have been really rough.  I haven't been sleeping anywhere near enough, but I have been reading a lot as a method of distracting myself.  So I will keep job hunting and ignoring my writing because I am not in the mental space to look at my works.  Hopefully next month.

My Thoughts
I recieved this book as a free copy, and I was very apprenesive to read it.  I wasn't sure the Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card was the type of fantasy story I was looking for.  I was afraid I was going to be sucked into a world of traditional fantasy with elves, dwarfs, and other mythical characters.  I was completely wrong.  The story was an amazing peice of fantasy work that would be a prefect compliment to anyone that is in love with the current works of Rick Riordan.

The Lost Gate is the first of a series of books that looks at mythology in a new and fun way.  Instead of symply placing the old gods into modern society he has explained there exsistance in a fun and exciting way.  The Mithermages is a great tie in to the upcoming Thor movie as well because it primarily focuses on the Old Norse Gods.  It is a great look at how people with magical abilities are currently living in society while struggling to regain their status as gods.  That the names of the gods we know from Mythology are just names given to individuals with a particular aptitude to a certain set of powers.  While the break down of the individual powers can be confusing at first following Danny on his adventure to find himself with the forbidden powers he possesses is a fun and fast paced tale that makes the reader crave more.  I recommend everyone run out and enjoy this book today.

Rating 9 out of 10

Book Review: Gunn's Golden Rules

Around the House
Well I got the official rejection email today, so I am back to job hunting and writing today as you can see.  I have been drowning myself in a couple new stories, so you can expect a couple book reviews to hit pretty quickly over the next week.  I am also working on ripping all of my CDs onto my computer so that I don't have to pack them up and move them again.  I figured since October is coming up I need to start spending the time condensing my life.

My Thoughts
Tim Gunn's conversation on life lessons through personal stories, comments on life, and thoughts on society are not only funny but an inspiring way to look at life.  His conversational tone kept me smiling while making me evaluate how I personally behave in society.  Tim Gunn is full of great advice for every man and a keen look into the mind of the fashion industry for everyone.  The reader will especially love the commentary about characters from Project Runway as well as a further tearing of the fashion industry veil. 

Rating 9 out of 10

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I've Been Quiet

Around the House
I know I have been quiet, I know there are no excuses for leaving you all wondering about what has been going on, but I didn't know what to say.  I am sitting here wondering what I should and could say.  I have been under a confidentiality notice about a job I wanted.  It wasn't a writing job, and it wasn't a job I am going to get.  I makes me sad to think about it.  While yes I have been pursuing other avenues of employment because my current work situation hasn't been the greatest; I was really hoping to get this job. I should have sat back and though about what is my fate in life.  I am an author.  No I am not a big enough author to just live off my work, but I have known for years that I am an author. 

While writing I have been working in the Family Entertainment field.  For those of you that don't know what that is, it is recreation and entertainment venues that cater to families like movie theaters, recreation centers, water parks, arcades, and bowling alleys.  My last job which I loved closed down operations, so I have been struggling with what do to with myself while I work towards making a career as an author.  You know what I have realized?  I think fate is kicking me in the ass for living in the land of perpetual hope.  Yes, that is a condition I possess so strongly that I allow it to over take my life.

I should have sat back and realized that I should not have been dumping myself into new jobs, when I have two completed books ready to go out that just need some more fine tuning as well as a new collection of short stories.  All of these I planned to get done this year, and now I have let two months of good working time escape me for nothing.  While I could still get the job, I think fate is showing me that this is not where my energy should be placed.  I should be working towards doing what I love and that is telling the stories that thrive in me.

So, now that I have had my hope crushed that is what I am going to do.  I am setting a new goal tonight.  I am going to finish the edits on the first volume in the Chronicles of Illumination, the follow up to my collection of short stories, as well as the other two books I have and get them out to all of my readers.  I am going to do what I know I am meant to do.  I am going to write.  So here is the plan starting on Tuesday - I need a night to relax.

1. Finish the current edit of the Chronicles of Illumination vol. 1 by the end of May.
2. Finish the edit on the Pandora book by the end of June.
3. Assemble the collection of short stories Cursed and the Chronicles of Illumination and get them both out by mid June.
4. Get the Pandora book completed and out there by Fall.
5.. Finish the first draft of the Chronicles 1.5 on Death and get started on book two by fall.

Those are the goals.  I need you all to help me keep going.  So start commenting and hit me on the head if I seem to be slowing down.

Love you all for your support!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Editting Nightmare

Around the House
My niece is currently in the hospital, so that has gotten a lot of my attention today.  She is fine, but has a very bad bladder infection so they want to make sure she is okay before releasing her.  The poor kid.  I wish she was home for lots of hugs.  Anyway, I worked today which you all know by now I hate my job.  Well I really don't hate it, it is just really boring.  And as always I have been curled up editing my next book which I have let sit on my desk top for the last year.  I know I have been bad, or so Editor Tim says. 

My Thoughts
Every author has their own writing process.  For me I get inspired at random times of the days and will add sections to the work I am currently doing, but when I finish a project/draft I need to table it to work on something else for a little bit.  That is how I managed to craft a book of short stories.  Then when I get back to the project I have a fresh perspective on my writing and can really go all hack and slash with the process.

When initially writing something new I do it in two ways.  I start at the beginning and just write till I run out of story.  Then as scenes pop into my head I begin adding them to the end of the document I am working in which slowly grows and allows me to flesh out the tale.  Then when I get back to reading through what has been written I can fill in the gaps.  Then by the time I start editing my work I get inspired by all the little scenes I wrote along the way that it allows the characters to take a life of their own.  They start to run away with the story.

So where am I now?  I am currently editing the first book in a series that follows my recently published book, Witches, Demons, & Deals.  I am also editing and rewriting the first two books of the Preludes - a Deluxe version of Witches, Demons, & Deals I am tentatively calling Cursed and book 2.  I have also started to work on book three of the series, but can't get much father until I firm up and remind myself of the events in book two.  I think I have given away too much already, but I do plan to have two new books coming out this summer/fall so keep watching for updates.

Friday, April 1, 2011

TV Show Review: Body of Proof

Around the House
Sorry I have been quiet for the last week or so.  I have been writing/editing projects and dealing with a dead computer.  The screen on my laptop died.  I finally got a new one so I am back in action.  Otherwise the house has been fairly quiet which is a good thing.  I have also spent the last couple weeks doing a mental inventory of my life and looking for ways to clean house.  Yes, I still plan to continue to write, so that means I still have plans to put out two projects this summer.  Also doing inventory and getting ready to edit for the anthology, but the publisher isn't sure it is big enough yet so I am reaching out to additional authors for support.  Feel free to contact me if you have items you want included.

My Thoughts
I am a fan of Desperate Housewives and was very sad to see the changes they made to Dana Delaney's character of Katherine.  I really missed her die hard bitch attitude that made me love her, but I was still sad to hear that she was leaving the show for her own show.  Now after watching the first episode of Body of Proof I have to say that I am in love with it.  The character of Megan Hunt has just the right about of bitch factor with streaks of vulnerability that Dana Delaney plays so well.  I am very excited to see how is this progresses.  It is a top ten recommendation for this year.  If you haven't put it on your DVR do it now you will love the twisty murder mystery element tied in with an emotional character development.  I must say that I have to give ABC a big thumbs up for the drama based shows that they have rolled out over the last couple years.  I see Body of Proof as a long standing stable to be loved by all.

4 out of 5

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Review: Twilight's Dawn

Around the House
Not to much to say right now that is happening around the house.  I haven't been writing like I should be which is why my blog posts have been quiet.  I have been harassing Editor Tim though on a regular basis regarding my notes.  I have been thinking about my current projects and the direction they are going in.  I do have some inspiration for updates and new projects as always, so my new project file is always growing.

My Thoughts
I just finished reading Anne Bishop's continuation of the Black Jewels Trilogy/Series, Twilight's Dawn.  I enjoy the twisted and reverse roles the male/female relationship takes through out the series, so I was extremely excited to start reading this new book.  I have actually, been waiting for it.  This is the second installment of short stories which support missing pieces in the Black Jewels Series with the first two taking place between Tangled Webs and The Shadow Queen, and the last two taking place after the events in Shalador's Lady.  As the book progresses, I have to say that I am worried we have seen the last installment of the Black Jewel's series, or at least the last book that deals with all the characters we have fallen in love with.

I have to say that this edition to the series reminds me a lot of Tangled Webs.  It seems just like events in the characters life that do not add to much to the series as a whole.  Too much is left unsaid, and the actual events wrap up too easily for my liking.  There is not enough danger for the characters I love.  On a whole the tales where enjoyable and would have been better read in context with the rest of the stories in the series.  I think taking the individual tales in the order of the books would have added another layer to the events of the books as opposed to reading this novel as a sit down book.  The part that disappoints me the most is that she seems to have used the tales to wrap up the lives of her most beloved characters.  That was hard to swallow since that could mean this is the final installment to the series.  I do hope to see more of what is happening with Lady Cassidy in future books.

Rating 4/5

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Series of Serious

Around the House
I have had a rough week in my world.  I strongly dislike my day job most of the time.  I do not feel that I am well suited for it, so I look to find a place in the world until I am able to join the choir of full time writers that I love.  This past week my car died.  I really did love that car.  It was the first new car I had ever bought, and I had hoped that it would be with me for a few more years.  Alas it will be moving on to greener pastures.  I am not in love with my new car, but I am getting to know it slowly.  Also, I have health issues running around in the family.  My mom might be sick, my niece has an ear infection, and I am have been feeling so run down.  I am hoping that every gets better real soon.

My Thoughts
This last few weeks I have gone back to rereading books that I love.  Books and series that give me great inspirations.  I have been through Harry Potter, Sookie Stackhouse, and I am almost done with Twilight.  Next I will be falling back into the Anne Bishop Black Jewels Series since the new book just came out.  Yes, I will be posting a review when I am finished with it.  Enjoying each of these series has gotten me to thinking about an authors success with a series.  As an author we fall in love and dedicate our lives to a group of characters and when the Series is a success many authors fail to ever produce a piece of work that meets the expectations of the first run.  As the Harry Potter movie series is coming to a close I wonder where J.K. Rowling's next book is.  Is she a one series wonder?  Why is Stephenie Meyer holding on so tightly to the Twilight Saga when Host was a bestselling novel?  Are we only as good as the one series?  I hope not.  So I wonder if being a best selling author of multiple series means not falling so far in love with a series that we can't move on after.  Does James Patterson have the right idea?  I don't know.  I just know that I want to be an author that continues to tell great stories.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"I'm not Bad. I'm just Drawn that Way!"

Around the House
Sunday night has arrived, and I am sad to have to return to work tomorrow. I enjoy the time to myself and my writing.  I didn't get much of it done this weekend, but what I did accomplish makes me happy.  Death's Merchant is coming along great.  I am really getting into the story.  It is really starting to inspire me for the other works that I have coming down the pipe line.  So, after I finish the draft of Death's Merchant I will be editing Pandora's Last Breath and Chronicles of Illumination vol. 1: Hunted.  Both of these books are scheduled to be out in 2011; I just don't have concrete dates yet for them.  I do have to say that I am happy about the emails and responses I am getting regarding my book, Witches, Demons, & Deals.  For those of you that don't know Witches, Demons, & Deals is a prelude to the Chronicles of Illumination, so get on board now.  I looking forward to start seeing reviews being posted on Amazon and BN.

My Thoughts
I watched an interesting movie today and it got me to thinking.  The movie itself isn't important, and I don't remember the title.  It was about an actor that slowly destroyed a promising career in the 70's.  It made me think about how authors fall under the category of celebrity, but are mostly hidden from the publics view.  We don't see them on TMZ or in US Weekly.  We don't hear about all their dirty little secrets.  I have to wonder what skeletons are hidden in these closets.  I find it funny how you can hear about Lindsey Lohan or the Real Housewives which are currently making a fraction of the money James Patterson does, but we never hear about his life.  Are authors all quiet home bodies that don't get into trouble?  I doubt it.  Maybe it is just that our works are more interesting than we are.  I can totally believe that, but for once I would like to see an authors dirty laundry dragged out.  I wonder what that would do to their sales.  I bet they would double over night.

Mind you, I like my privacy.  I think I would cry if I was followed around during my days out on the town.  I like the fact that I can be anonymous and well known at the same time.  I really do hope that the most I ever have to worry about is what I produce being criticised and not what I did on the weekend.  Makes you think that in today's world it really pays to fly under the radar.  Would I get in to trouble as an author or celebrity?  Oh yea.  I don't believe in hiding my thoughts or who I am, so that worries me as social media really takes ahold in this country.  I don't do bad things; I am bad things.

Book Review: Dead in the Family

Around the House
I am an avid reader, so most nights I find myself curled up with a book before bed.  While I am absolutely in love with the digital age and Ereaders now that I have a Nook, there is just something about a hard cover book that I can't let go of for a favorite read.  They are always my go to books when I want something to curl up with.  I find reading to be a great escape, a writing inspiration, and a constant in an every changing world.

My Thoughts
No this isn't my first time reading the Sookie Stackhouse Series or even Dead in the Family.  This is one of those series that I run to every time that I feel the need to curl up with something familiar.  On a whole I give the series a nine out of ten.  It is fun, pleasurable, and interesting every time you read it.  Charliane Harris is a master craftsman for her world including the short stories that support the books which can be found in a variety of Anthologies and a companion book.  Having said that, I am sad to know that she is in the process of winding down the series.

When reading Dead in the Family the first time and then again now I can tell that many of the choices Charliane Harris made in this novel where to begin the wrap up of the series.  This novel seems a bit disjointed when compared to the rest of the series, almost like an extended short story.  While seeing all of our favorite characters is great, it feels like it could have been added to the last book and broken into a short story.  Even reading her new short story "Two Blondes," we get the feeling that this book is missing some of the magic the series has held.  While I understand story lines have to eventually be wrapped up; I wish Dead in the Family had the meandering yet cohesive plot lines that you feel in her other novels.  Placing all of that aside it is still an excellent novel and a great addition to the the series.  I just wish it had been three short stories.

The parts I love of this novel are they she continues to deal with the past and how it affects Sookie's future.  Nothing is just swept under the rug and forgot; it still affects this young telepath every day.  With the abrupt feeling ending of this tale I am curious where the next tale is going to take us.  I am actually itching to get my hands on it.  What I wouldn't give to get a review copy especially after reading the chapter excerpt on her website,   I know we are going to continue to see the fun, and have a blast as the series comes to an end.  I just hope she keeps the magic going and leaves us an opening for more short stories and novels for the future.  I always like having hope.

Rating: 6 out of 10 as a novel but 9 out of 10 if they were short stories

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Second Stop on the Virtual Tour for Witches, Demons, & Deals

Around the House
Enjoying a Saturday at home.  Responding to some fun emails and seeing what is going on with friends and family.  There is nothing like spending a Saturday curled up with a book and a cup of tea to relax.  I am completely dreading going back to work on Monday.  I am about to call and harass my editor on my new book.  I am dying to hear his thoughts.  He has been too quiet the last couple days, so I am curious what he is thinking.  If you haven't figured it out yet I am extremely impatient.  I have started to look around for an artist to help with cover art and an editor for first round edits, but finding someone local that is into fantasy is slightly hard.  I may see if the local community college has anyone to recommend.

My Thoughts
I was very excited that Walter from Heroic Fantasy agreed to do an interview with me to support my book, Witches, Demons, and Deals.  Walter was actually the first to agree to an interview.  See the link below to enjoy the interview.  Make sure you leave him some supporting comments.

Walter, thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to interview me.  It was a real pleasure getting the chance to work with you.  I look forward to building a bigger relationship in the future.  Well off to respond to another interview request.  I am looking forward to getting several more completed.  I am then going to go back to working on my current project and harassing my editor.

Going Liquid

Around the House
I just got home from Dinner and a Movie with Katrina Rue.  These nights are always great.  It gives us the chance to talk about our lives, projects, hopes for the future, and cats.  We are big cat lovers.  While talking she got me to thinking about the state of publishing which I will get into in a minute.  We did see "I am Number Four" which looked interesting, but I did not want to see it because the author did not receive proper credit for his book.  It always upsets me when someone creates something whether it is a book, art, movie, or picture and does not get the credit.  I find it shameful that this is still a practice in the publishing industry.  It is time for authors everywhere to stand up and take credit.  No more ghost writing!  Books should be by the writer with interviews or insight by the celebrity or company that asked for the project.  Authors should not be nameless ever.

My Thoughts
Yes, since my original rant I know I have been quiet about the Borders issue.  As a shopper I never really enjoyed the Borders experience I was always a Barnes and Noble guy, but as I see the company going into bankruptcy and closing stores to try and save itself, I am sad.  Not sad they aren't surviving; I think they made lots of mistakes at the top, but sad about what it says for the future of the publishing industry.  Looking around I see that the publishing industry is now where the Music Industry was during the 1990's with Napster.  So much content is free on the Internet or pirated that it is going to make it hard for retailers and consumers to find new great books.  I hope that with the growth in ebooks we are seeing that the publishing industry heads this off before the authors become the real victims.

Also, I worry about the survival of Borders.  If they do go completely out of business leaving mass market stores and Barnes and Noble as the main company to get books I fear that voices of authors are going to become extremely censored.  You can see how this is happening right now.  Look at what Amanda Hocking has done for independent publishing via the Nook and Kindle.  As an author that couldn't get a book deal because her style or story was not what the publishing business was looking for; she ended up quiet until the rise of the ebook.  Now look at her; her books are flying off the digital shelf.  This goes to show you that what consumers are looking for are not what is being produced.  She not only found a place for her stories, but showed the publishing industry they were wrong about censoring her by not granting her agent representation and a book deal.  So with Barnes and Noble as the major book store out there will this problem get worse?  I think it might.  So I call all readers to gather up and really look at the self published/independent authors out there.  They are the voice of the consumer because they write what they love and not what the publishing industry is looking for.  If we buy more of their books we are telling the publishing industry to sit back and reevaluate what they are looking for.  It is time for a change.  So now I am going to get off my high horse and curl up with a favorite book.  I may even write a little while I smile knowing that authors like H.P. Mallory, Amanda Hocking, Jason Letts, and so many others are making a change in the publishing industry by believing in themselves when the industry doesn't.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blog Tour Begins

Around the House
I am completely wiped out right now.  Between work and the new projects I am working on I am exhausted.  It doesn't help that several weeks ago I gave myself second degree burns with Icy/Hot that are still healing.  They are getting really annoying and keeping me up at night.  Otherwise I can't complain much about what is going on at home.  I just wish there where more hours in the day, but what can you do?  I am excited that I took a three day weekend that I am looking forward to enjoying.

My Thoughts
I am very excited to announce and thank Tracy from Her Ladyship's Quest for the time and effort she put in with me doing an amazing interview on her blog.  She has been a great person to meet.  I look forward to building a relationship with her in the future.  She is just the first to publish an interview I did regarding my book and world.  I look forward to sharing them with you as they come up.  Go see the review by clicking on the link below.

I am still looking for places to do review and interviews for this, my first virtual, tour, so any suggestions or requests you have would be great.  I love getting the chance to share my works with people.  I am really looking forward to my tours in the future when I can visit old friends like Tracy and make new ones along the way.  I have to say the writing community has been really positive and great when it comes to requests for interviews and reviews.  I am definitely excited about this new chapter in my life.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The End is Near

Around the HouseWell I have to blame Katrina Rue, my best friend and fellow author for putting me into cat frenzy again.  We had one of our car conversations last week and now all I can think about is getting a kitten of my own.  I lost Buffy, the White Avenger, back in May, so it has been lonely not having a baby to cuddle with.  I miss having a cat running around the house doing interesting things.  I especially miss having company at bed time.  Buffy only really liked to play when I was ready to pass out.  I miss it.  It is amazing that things you get used to.

Now I am looking at Toygers and Bengals.  I have always wanted a Bengal, but I know they are so active they would have to have a playmate.  Last thing I need is a bored cat ripping the house apart especially while I sleep.  Additionally, my niece is starting to get to the age where she needs to be exposed to animals.  I want her to understand what is appropriate and what isn't.  Since she is an only child she doesn't get much kid exposure outside of day care, so I think a pet would help.

My Thoughts
I really hate when things come to an end.  While I knew it was coming it is hard to see it in print.  We are reaching the end of the Sookie Stackhouse Series, the book series that inspired the hit TV show True Blood.  L.A. Times reported today that Charliane is getting ready to wrap up the series with two more books.  That will leave a big hole in my reading world.  I have fallen in love with the average southern girl who ends up tangled in all sorts of supernatural messes because her cousin couldn't keep her mouth shut.  I hope it all ends well with a bit of Sookie Happiness, but I don't know if that is possible.  Also, I really hope she manages to find a life away from the vamps.  Additionally, I hope that Charliane keeps doing the occasional Sookie short story so she can keep living on in all of our hearts.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Marketing Magic

Around the House
Well it is definitely winter in Chicago, so I am freezing.  Like most authors I also have a "day" job, so I am forced to go out and brave the elements.  I would much rather be curled up with Jason Letts new book!  As an Aquarius, I really love the water and miss the Summer (or Spring/Fall) sun.  I really do function best when the weather is nice and I get to wander the streets of Chicago.  Currently, I am working to connect with Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Independent Authors who have self published at least one novel for my Anthology.  I am not planning to make any money off this anthology, but use it to promote each featured authors as a means of increasing each of our individual reading audiences.  I am actually very excited about this project.  Katrina Rue has already signed on for the project, and her forthcoming novel should be out this summer.  Also, I will be including a preview of my next book.  I am hoping to get some of my fellow authors involved so I can list their previews and short stories.  See my other postings for information if you are interested.

My Thoughts
Self marketing is like Russian Roulette.  You never know when you are going to hit a real money maker (get your book some great exposure).  I am in the process of collecting a list of websites/blogs that I hope to try and get my book reviewed on this spring.  This is known as setting up a virtual tour.  I am actually excited by this prospect.  Along the way I will be announcing a contest to win my book in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled for more information.  I am not hosting the contest, but the copy will be signed.

Currently, I have found that Facebook is a great method of promotion for little cost.  Unfortunately, I am not seeing the sales from it that I was hoping for.  After my ad campaign expires I am not sure I will be continuing with the service.  It comes down to simple word of mouth as the best method of getting your work noticed.  So, get reviewed on as many blogs as possible, see if other independent authors will review your book and give you a quote, and keeping working everyday to keep your book noticed.  Additionally, I will be doing a run of local press releases which I hope will generate some interest.  Wish me luck!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Supernatural Makeover Anthology Request

Around the House
I am currently starting to compile information for an anthology I am putting together.  Also, I am busy working away on my next book.  Nothing major is going on here in Chicago besides trying to stay warm and avoid the snow which doesn't seem to want to go away.

My Thoughts
D.J. Cappella and Gilbert Press are currently accepting submissions for "A Supernatural Makeover" Anthology which will support and promote independent authors trying to establish themselves in publishing industry.  We are currently looking for short stories with a supernatural twist that involve the makeover of a home or individual character.  We are accepting stories from independent authors as well as published authors.  This project will be available for sale in print and ebook format in the US and UK.

Reading Period: Submission period is open until March 15, 2011.
Word Count: 2,500 - 15,000 words
Content: Makeovers with a Supernatural Twist!  We are looking for original fiction only and will not be accepting or responding to fan fiction.  Stories must feature characters that the writer or writers have personally created.  These may be previously published shorties, excerpts for novels, and new short stories/novellas!  We will not be accepting material that individuals do not have the copyright to use, and/or distribute worldwide.  We would love to see stories that tie into series and books you have currently written and published.
Payment: Authors receive one contributor copy of the book.
Submission Guidelines: Submissions will only be accepted via email at this time. Manuscripts must be doc or rtf formatted attachments.  Manuscripts must follow standard formatting with out the use of special characters and fonts.  Each page of the manuscript must include Name of the Author, Contact Information including email, and page numbers.  Additionally the manuscript must include an short author bio, where and when the story was originally published if a reprint, and a statement that you have the right to print this story internationally. In the body of the email please include a cover letter with author information, previous credits if any, and a short synopsis of the work.
Reply To:
Response Time: Four to six weeks from date of submission.
Estimated Release Date: Late Spring/Summer 2011.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A World of Updates

Around the House
So I have survived the Chicago Blizzard of 2011.  In truth I got off very lucky.  No major issues with me or the family, no lost power, and nothing out of the ordinary besides really bad road conditions.  Unfortunately, I have been a bit sick recently, so my writing has been on hold while I ponder and read trying to feel better.  I am taking the down time to reconnect with Charliane Harris's Sookie Stackhouse Series which I absolutely love.  I am excited to announce that in the next several weeks a contest for my book Witches, Demons, & Deals will be appears on a young adult fantasy blog.  As soon as those updates are available I will get them to you.  Also, I am looking to kick off my own web page this year near summer, so as we get to that point over at the Cappella camp I will let you know.

My Thoughts
Since I haven't been feeling great and my current project is with my editor Tim; I have been thinking about what comes next.  I know I have mentioned more projects than you can shake a stick at here and in my book.  So, I have decided to give you a bit of a teaser and let you know what my tentative thoughts on my world of magic and mystery are for the coming year.

While my next project, that is currently under editing and revision, takes place in the same world as Witches, Demons, & Deals you will not get to see any of your favorite characters.  Now no long faces, one of the main characters of this story will be making a transition into Raisa's world in a slightly major way.  That is all I am going to say on that.

The next project on my plate is the editing and revising of the first novel of a five part series which I hope to be optioning out to agents in the summer.  This project does feature all off the main characters from my current book: Raisa, Brendon, Sarah, Alaster, and even Damian.  Let us just say the witches' plates are going to get a lot fuller with even a goat or two along the way.

The final two projects I am working on are companions to the Witches, Demons, & Deals world.  The boy from Sarah's story will be getting his own fully fledged out story, and we will see more of our friendly neighborhood Death Dealer.  Don't be surprised if you haven't seem the last of the Godfather of Wish while I am at it.  I think they are going to make for some fun and interesting reading.  Don't look for anything to hit the local shelves or Internet pages just yet, but updates will follow.

Remember to comment lots, send reviews, and share will all your friends.  Have a safe and fun rest of the winter.  I just hope we are coming to and end here in Chicago.  I miss the sun!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bust at the Big Box

Around the House
I am having a night of issues at the moment.  I currently have four projects spinning in my head, and I am fighting with each of them. Currently my next novel which starts off as part of an upcoming series (as is my current book Witches, Demons, & Deals) is with my editor Tim.  He is currently reading through it and listening to my spazing over the next project in the line.  Then I have revisions I am avoiding for my first book in the series which starts as my current book ends.  Yes, that means more of Raisa and her antics.  Finally, I have two new projects that I am working on; one is part of the world but I am not sure how it will connect yet and the other is turning into 1.5 for the series I am revising.  No it can't just be book two.  It is a bit frustrating and fun.  I can't wait to see how it all turns out.  I am hoping to have book one and the project I am currently fighting with hit publication with in months of each other, so that means I need to hurry and write.

My Thoughts
I am an avid follower of Publisher's Weekly, so I get to enjoy all the news update fresh in my email.  The potential fall of Borders has really grabbed my attention.  While I have always had a preference for Barnes and Noble, I worry what it will mean if this company does go under.  Barnes and Noble has taken over as the a leader in the industry, but I worry what it will mean for new authors, publishers, and agents if this is the store that has all the buying power in the market.  Lets face it.  Amazon is great, but there is nothing like wandering the aisles of a book store and discovering that next great read.  What will that mean for authors who don't have the backing of an audience?  Will they ever get the space and credit they need if only one major book retailer is left?

Also, hearing about BN's change in direction worries me.  For those of you who don't know they just laid off a large number of employees so that they can direct those resources to the online/nook community.  As a Nook owner that makes me happy, but as a shopper I worry that with less buyers we may really be missing out on some great pieces of fiction.  I hope this doesn't mean that new authors will have to struggle even harder to get into the book store than they already do, but I fear that is where we are headed.

Finally, seeing that both Amazon and BN have made self publishing easier for new writers on their ebook readers is exciting.  With the success of independents like Amanda Hocking it looks like these retailers are really trying to support new authors.  If Borders does close it may mean a new surge in the growing world of self publishing, but is that a good thing?  I don't know.  And another thought is will the sales of these self published book affect how these companies view these authors if and when they are welcomed into a large scale publishing house?  I hope not.  Promotions on the store and web level really do help the author in sales, so I just hope that these retailers will give all authors a fair shake as they change how their books are published.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Press Release: Witches, Demons, & Deals

On January 17, 2011, D.J. Cappella's collection of short stories "Witches, Demons, & Deals" premiered for sale as an ebook (electronic book) on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Amazon UK.  Excitement is growing for this debut authors fun and festive tales of witches living in the suburbs dealing with life, love, and a lot of magical mayhem.  Coming in February 2011 the paperback edition with also be available on as well as selected other retailers.  Mr. Cappella looks forward to seeing the publics' reception of his novel.  To schedule an event or connect with Mr. Cappella he can be reached via email at
Purchase at Barnes and Noble
Purchase at Amazon

A Fresh Start

Around the House
Mrs. Vladimir is sorry about the delay in posts.  We have been spending so much time preparing for the release of my book that she hasn't had the time to update her blog, so she has asked me to take it over.  I have been working really hard recently with the premiere of my first book of short stories (3 of which follow Raisa Vladimir) that doing anything around the house hasn't happened.  I am very excited to announce though that ebooks are currently available on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble.  See the links below.  Additionally, Amazon has agreed to pick up my paperback edition of the my book, Witches, Demons, & Deals, which will be available the first week of February.

My Thoughts
Everyone from time to time wants a fresh start.  We all want the ability to leave the bad parts of our lives behind and start a new with only the good.  The funny thing is that to move towards a fresh start you have to embrace the bad and the good.  They teach us all things about ourselves.  For me the bad gives me inspiration in my writing.  I believe that it is true that to be a good writer you must experience pain and be able to translate that pain into all your writings.

Currently, I am using all these experiences in my four pressing projects.  Two of which are edits and rewrites on full novels that I am hoping to get picked up by an agent and publishing house this year.  The next two are new projects that I am starting.  All of these projects do have roots in my world around Chicago, so I am hoping that they really grab my audiences attention.  I wont say to much at this time, but each of these projects do tie in very closely to the characters in my Book.  I can't wait to hear all your thoughts and comments.