Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 A to Z Challenge List Open, What Are the Kargrandes, Share Your Thoughts Bloghop, and Ninja News

If you are a self-published author, you need to check out a new site called Reedsy. They connect authors with professional editors, illustrators, etc. They also have a blog packed with tips and information, and today I am visiting that site as a guest of Ricardo Fayet, co-founder of Reedsy. Please drop by!

Special thanks to those of you who took the time to listen to my guitar piece last week. You are greatly appreciated! If you missed it, I posted a snippet of me playing Marillion’s Easter.

Kargrandes Update!

New clue today at What Are the Kargrandes? Every Monday is a new piece of information about the Kargrandes from my upcoming book, Dragon of the Stars. Any ideas yet? Know how they are connected to the Dragon?

Sample Tweets for this week:

What are the Kargrandes? Third clue up this week- #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

Can you solve the mystery – what are the Kargrandes? #whatarethekargrandes #scifi @alexjcavanaugh

And in other book news, I’d like to thank Lily Eva Blake for her wonderful review of CassaFire!

Ninja News – New Releases

This Wednesday at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group site is none other than author Medeia Sharif! Want to know how she went from parting from her agent to four books in one year? Check it out Wednesday and find out.

Ashes Burn Season 1: Ashes Away by Tyrean Martinson
Comes out January 28 and you can pre-order it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Fade Into Me by Charity Bradford
Charity will be a guest here on February 9.

Woven by David Powers King and Michael Jenson
Comes out January 27!
David will be a guest here on February 11.

The Seventh Man by Lisa-Buie Collard
And you can enter to win a free book!

Evening of the Dragonfly by Mary Montagues Sikes

Twice in a Blue Moon by Cate Masters

Share Your Thoughts Bloghop

Hosted by Jamie Ayres to celebrate the release of 18 Thoughts, the third installment in the My So-Called Afterlife trilogy.

Each person participating will post a thought (belief) that has defined their life, their way of thinking. Post up to 18 if you’re feeling adventurous and post any time between Jan. 21 and Jan. 28. I’ll pick 2-3 winners each day.

I’m going to give you the one belief I live my life by:

I believe God rules and God reigns, His son Jesus Christ died for my sins, and I live under the tenets of grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness.

(And on a lighter note, I also believe speed limit signs are merely suggestions!)

The 2015 A to Z Challenge List is Open!

Please read and follow the sign-up instructions outlined below so you sign onto the list correctly!

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE

We recommend short posts, turn off Word Verification, and visit five blogs (or more) a day beginning with the one after yours on the list.

Blogs must be on an open platform – no Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. – and comments enabled.

To streamline legitimate blogs from advertisement blogs, the Co-Hosts will be visiting each blog on this list throughout the Challenge. Blogs on the list showing no activity once the Challenge starts or miss five days in a row will be removed.

Please note your blog name and number in all correspondences. Remember that as blogs are removed, your number will change.

There are categories for those looking for like-minded blogs. Select ONE category code and enter it after your blog’s title/name. The code applies to your blog, not your theme for the Challenge and is purely optional. See the first few blogs on the list for examples. However, if your blog has adult content, you MUST mark it (AC) or it will be removed from the list. Codes are as follows:


Be sure to grab the badge and display it in your sidebar so we know you are participating and link to the A to Z Challenge Blog.

For more information we recommend you follow the A to Z Challenge Blog and the hosts:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
Nicole Ayers @ The Madlab Post
Author Stephen Tremp
Heather M. Gardner
AJ @ Naturally Sweet
Pam @ An Unconventional Librarian
Matthew MacNish @ The QQQE
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored Diary
S. L. Hennessy @ Pensuasion
C. Lee McKenzie @ The Write Game
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
Susan Gourley @ Susan Says
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing
Lisa Buie-Collard, Author

We also have a Facebook Page
Email address is
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

Sign up below and join us for a month of alphabet fun!

Know What Are the Kargrandes? See some new books you want? What thought or believe do you live by? And are you joining us for the A to Z Challenge, the most awesome blogging event of the year? (Please do – it’s a lot of fun!)

Don’t forget to visit Reedsy’s blog.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Zombie Influences with Loni Townsend, Ninja Plays Marillion’s Easter, WhatAreTheKargrandes, Predestination Movie Review, and Ninja News

Rocking into Mordor today! But first…

I am excited to welcome author Loni Townsend as she talks about zombies. And her list of zombie influences rocks!

First off, a big thanks to Alex for letting me on his blog today.

In This World Bites, Michael gets bitten by a zombie. So naturally, I should be able to come up with my top ten zombie movies, right? Turns out that I haven't actually seen ten zombie movies. But I've compiled a list of media that impacted me in some way while writing This World Bites.

10. The Grudge - The image of the babysitter wandering down the street with a missing jaw is forever engrained in my mind.
9. Warm Bodies - Who doesn't love a love story?
8. Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides - It's on Wikipedia, so it must count, right?
7. Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Alright, so they aren't zombies...
6. Serentity - My friend assures the Reavers count as zombies
5. Video Game: Left 4 Dead - Fighting off zombie hordes with friends? Sounds like a good time.
4. The Mummy - Zombie bugs!
3. Game: Plants vs. Zombies - BRAINS!!
2. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - Yes, it's cheesy, but his sidekick, Marcus, played a lot into my imagination
1. Zombieland - By far, my most favorite zombie movie of all time.

My friend insists I must watch the Resident Evil movies. Do you have any other suggestions for me?

Loni Townsend
Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.
Find her Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

What Are the Kargrandes?

Thanks to everyone who spread the word about the special site for Dragon of the Stars, What Are the Kargrandes?

Remember that there is a new clue and piece of the puzzle every Monday morning up until release day. So, check it out today!

Several of you asked about pre-written Tweets. Yes, something I should’ve done last week! Below are a couple you can use and save – adjust as necessary. Thanks!

What are the Kargrandes? New clue every Monday! #whatarethekargrandes @alexjcavanaugh

Solve the mystery – what are the Kargrandes? #whatarethekargrandes #scifi @alexjcavanaugh

Rocking Into Mordor

The moment you’ve all been waiting for – I have one minute of me playing Marillion’s Easter. I wanted to pick a more complicated song than what my band plays and it took me many tries to get it right. Here you go – listen to it while you read the rest of the post! (Or watch on You Tube)

Movie Review

Staring Ethan Hawke as a time-traveling Temporal Agent. His final assignment involves tracking down a criminal and bringing in a new recruit.
Where to begin? This movie is a total mind-mess. Think Memento and Looper. I can’t tell you much about the film without giving it away, and you need to discover the twists and turns for yourself.
It’s a quiet, slower-paced film. Reviews online are mixed, so it’s either a love it or hate it kind of film.
Ethan Hawke and the other leads do a fine job in their roles.
You want a film that will make you think, and possibly blow your mind, this is it.

Ninja News

Roland Yeomans has a new site - Return of the Last Shaman. If you’re into weird occurrences in the natural world, he offers some cool stuff.

Lisa at Flash Fiction posted her Annual List Of Possible Topics For the #AtoZChallenge. If you’re still searching for a topic, check out her suggestions.

Found a new website - Indie-Visible
We define “Indies” as those authors who independently publish books with skillful handling of all phases of the writing and publishing process. Our PubHub is where Indies can access expert advice and trustworthy freelancers, and ultimately build their dream teams to help them write, edit, proof, publish and market high quality books.
Thanks to Leandra J. Wallace for the tip!

New releases!

52 Likes by Medeia Sharif
Find Medeia – YA and MG Author
Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

The Anime Way by Nigel Mitchell
The next book in the TOONS series.
Find it on Amazon


What zombie things have influenced you? What are the Kargrandes – any clues yet? Have you seen Predestination? Need some topic ideas for the A to Z Challenge? And now you’ve finally heard me play – what did you think?

Monday, January 12, 2015

What Are the Kargrandes? Plus Ignore the Captcha, Movie Reviews, A to Z Challenge, Dragon News, and Ninja News

The special site for Dragon of the Stars is open -

The site is just one page with two images that rotate every seven seconds. Every Monday morning, a new clue will appear, and a piece of the puzzle will fall into place, all the way up until the day before Dragon’s release.

This is where I need your help – spreading the word about the site on social media. For Twitter, the hashtag is #whatarethekargrandes. I’ll be sending out Tweets and posting on Google+ - please feel free to share there and elsewhere.

What are the Kargrandes? You’ll find out on April 7!

Dragon of the Stars is now available for preorder on Amazon! It will soon be available for pre-order at other book sites, so keep watching. Today is also the last day of the Goodreads giveaway.

Thanks for all of the amazing comments last week for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! And the introductions were awesome. It was cool to read a little bit about each member. (If you missed it, add your introduction to February’s post.) It’s always so amazing to hear how many of you find IWSG your favorite post day. You guys rock!

And thanks to everyone who visited my interview with Chrys Fey - AND went back to comment on my very first blog post! It doesn’t look so lonely and unloved now.

Ignore the Captcha!

Did you know you don’t have to fill out the Captcha letters OR check the box saying you are not a robot?

That’s right – you can just ignore them and hit publish comment!

Thanks to The Happy Whisk and Father Dragon Al for pointing out that trick.

I will be going back to the pop up box soon!

Movie reviews

The Wolf of Wall Street
I’m not sure of the purpose of this film. Don’t do a ton of drugs without expecting something to go wrong eventually? If you are looking for a movie with redeeming values, this is NOT it.

Latest Schwarzenegger film and it’s really violent. Certainly one of the bloodiest films I’ve seen in a long time. Plot was disjointed and odd. It’s passable if you just want mindless gore.

Favorite Album and Book of 2014

You got my favorite movies last week – this time, I’ll just give you one of each.

Favorite album was Voyager – V.
Every time I listen to it, the music sounds fresh.

And these books didn’t come out this past year, but that’s when I began reading the series – Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law. The man is a master with character development. Excellent fantasy series!

Ninja News

At the A to Z Blog today is Sharon Arthur Moore with her theme of all things food related.

The 2015 A to Z Challenge sign up list opens in two weeks! Are you ready for the sixth Challenge? I have my theme and the basics for each letter already picked out.

Available now!
Loose Corset by Christine Rains
Her blog tour is already in progress and you can win some cool, custom geeky dice.
Check it out!

SC gave me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you! I’ve received it before, so I won’t list my seven things.

Rocking Ninja


I hope to have a recording of me playing guitar next Monday. I have selected Marillion’s song Easter, a favorite of mine.

Because yes, I do intend to simply rock into Mordor!

Can you help with the #whatarethekargrandes campaign? Did you know you could ignore the Captcha? Seen either of those movies? Ready for the A to Z Challenge? And who’s ready to see me rock into Mordor..?